But, I don't really have a favorite of anything. I don't even have a favorite color. So, I'm certainly not going to go through the trouble of having a favorite object of vexation.
So, instead of tending to a handful of peeves I have chosen to cultivate a Garden of Gripes with neatly ordered rows where one crop is no more important than another.
Heading into my fourth year of homeschooling I'm spending a little more time in the row where I've planted annoying questions and comments from people who don't homeschool but have a lot of curiosity about it. And by curiosity I mean opinions. Interestingly, many opinions come in question form. "Are you really going to wear those pants?" "Who voted for this jack wagon?" "Is this dinner or did a horse throw up on my plate?" They sound like questions but if you listen closely you can hear the judgement.
But if you try to get the speaker to admit to their opinion you always get a hasty assurance that such is not the case. At all. "No. I love those pants on you! Fashion be damned." "No, no. I mean, heck, Paris Hilton voted for him too and she's obviously well-informed." "What? Don't be silly. I love oatmeal. I wouldn't dream of not eating this."
So, in no particular order of importance, here is yet another list of stuff that annoys someone who can't just keep it to themselves like a regular person. I will not, however, list the comment/question/opinion. Just my internal response. It's what we in the biz like to call a "gimmick" to keep the reader interested in a topic that was exhausted 5 year ago.
- Do you? I wouldn't know. I've never been particularly patient. That's what this bald spot is about which should also take care of your next intrusive question. Although, maybe I am patient. I haven't slapped your fool face yet even though I've wanted to since about 5 minutes before you even showed up.
- I could not agree with you more. You could never do this.
- Do YOUR kids like THEIR school? Let me ask them. Johnny, do you like getting swirlies in the boys' bathroom during lunch recess?
- No, I don't have a teaching degree. I didn't flunk out of my first choice of study in college.
- Yes, I do worry about that. That's one of the top reasons why we homeschool.
- No, we're not which means I'm not morally obligated to be nice to you unlike many of my compatriots.
- No, these are not Bugle Boy jeans.
- Your admiration is misplaced and now look what you've done. The conversation has gone from painfully awkward to deeply discomfiting as I refuse to accept the mantle you keep trying to place on me. Way to go.
- It is a lot of work. Were we supposed to be avoiding that? I didn't know.
- Testing? You mean other than this conversation? No.
- It might have something to do with you admitting right in front of their faces that you can't get them to listen to you. Maybe? 50% of parenting is a matter of getting them to fall for your feint and you keep showing your hand. It's like you don't even want to play...ooooohhhhh.
- Prom? Really? I take it you didn't go? Because if you did there is no way you could place that much importance on it.
- Colleges now count remedial English as one of their offerings, sooooo, I'm pretty sure my kid is going to be able to get into one, but thanks for your concern.
- Yes, four different grade levels. Yes, I know what causes it. Well, we did just meet but if I decide to have more you'll be the first to know. Where should I try to reach you? Here? Or back in the soup aisle where you asked me if the schools were on a break?
- Yes, we're at your winery in Napa with three kids on a Thursday morning in September. Is there a problem with that?
- Until they make it illegal.