This week in Sunday Life I make peace with annoyances
I’m a very annoy-able person. A lot of things annoy me. Here’s a small sample: sniffing, loud chewing (the type Americans do in sitcoms when in heated discussions at diners), mid-90s ozonic perfumes, when the person sitting next to me on the plane keeps brushing my elbow, people who don’t reuse their paper cup at water fountains and slow walkers on narrow paths.
And that’s just the scab on the wound. I have a deep gash worth of stuff that gives me the irits.
Actually, the word “irits” gives me the irits. In the same way “I’ll do it in a mini” does.
But the most annoying thing of all is that I’m so annoy-able. Such things really shouldn’t annoy me. And this annoys me further. And so down the spiral we tumble.
During the week I chatted with Flora Lichtman, coauthor of the new book Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us. Her pet annoyance is people clipping their nails on the subway (who knew!?). Indeed, having a guy next to her do so one morning prompted the book.
Lichtman identifies three factors that make something annoying. It’s unpleasant. It’s also unpredictable.