Things I Don’t Understand

Sometimes I’m confused by what I think is really obvious.  But what I think is really obvious obviously isn’t obvious.
– Michael Stipe

1. Parents who ride bikes helmetless but make their kids wear them.  Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean your brains won’t go splat if you get into an accident.  And by the way, nice message you’re sending to your kids.  And while I’m at it, if you’re going to go through the trouble of making your kid wear a helmet, why not be sure it fits him right?  I can’t count the number of helmets I see on kids (adults, too, actually) that are set at a jaunty side angle or sit too far back on the head.

2. Personalized license plates that tell you what kind of car it is.  “Mustng” – “My CRV” – “Benz” – I don’t know why people do this.  Do they think the rest of us are too stupid to figure out what kind of car they’re driving?  It says it right there on the car, but thanks for making sure I can’t miss it.  Have they simply always longed for a personalized plate but are too boring to think up something good? (Side note: the best license plate I’ve ever seen: PHQRSLF)

3. People who cannot be bothered to return their shopping carts to the proper area in the parking lot when they’re finished unloading them.  I mean, Christ, how hard is it to walk the cart 200 feet or whatever to the effing cart corral?  Are you really so damn lazy that you just hoist the cart up on to the median or leave it in the empty space next to you or squeeze it into the space between the curb and the car in the next space?  Give me a break.

4. People who friend EVeryone they know, or used to know, or think they might know, or would like to get to know, on Facebook.  I get a fair number of friend requests each week from people I went to high school with.  Sometimes these requests sit in my box for days, even weeks at a time, because I’m conflicted.  I graduated high school in 1994.  That’s a long effing time ago.  On a regular basis, I talk to exactly one person I went to high school with, and that’s Aimee.  There are a handful of other people I see from time to time, usually through my brother (who is close with several guys from my class), and one or two others I’ve reconnected with in the past five or so years with whom I maintain a mostly electronic relationship.

I’m not one of those people on Facebook who tries to amass as many friends as I can by friending everyone whose name is familiar or who I had 4th period Geometry with or shared the lunch table with in 10th grade.  It doesn’t interest me to share the information that I allow to be public on FB with the girl who threatened to beat me up in 9th grade because her boyfriend – who I didn’t even know had a girlfriend – kissed me.  And yes, that person recently sent me a friend request, which I promptly ignored.

I mean, really – what is the point?  Communication with at least half of the people whose friend requests I do accept, or who accept mine, is limited entirely to monitoring status updates and making the occasional wall post or comment, if that.  Usually the people who request to be friends (and yes, I’m aware of how lame this sounds – almost as lame as the (honest to god) 15-minute IM conversation David and I had about changing our relationship status on FB last August) don’t even send a “Hey, it’s great to see you on here, what have you been doing with yourself?” message.  And to be fair, I hardly ever send them, either.

So again I ask, what is the point of friending everybody you passed in the hallways for four years?  I confess that I occassionally go through my Friends list and unfriend people.  This is, in some circles, apparently a devastating thing to do to another person.  But if we’ve been “friends” for months, and neither of us has commented to the other on anything, I’m guessing you’re not even going to notice I’m not on your list anymore.

How do you handle friend requests from people you used to know?

5. Why my apartment complex charges pet rent on top of a pet fee.  I’m in the process of trying to transfer my lease from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom.  Yesterday, the guy told me that, in addition to the ridiculous “transfer fee” of $700, I’m also going to have to pay a new $300 pet fee, because the fee I paid when I moved in to my one-bedroom is non-refundable and non-transferable.

The lady in administration told me the fee is applied to the cost of cleaning or replacing the carpet before the next tenant moves in.  Never mind that Pico, in all his born days, has never peed outside the litter box (except once when he was very young and had a UTI), and has never had fleas, and so it is unlikely that the carpet in my one-bedroom will need to be replaced and that $300 to clean 600 square feet of carpet is highway-god-damned-robbery.   But no one’s explained to me, then, if the fee is for the cleaning and/or replacement of the carpet, why the hell do I pay an additional $480 a year in pet rent?  One or the other would be fine, but both seems exorbitant to me.

I love everything about living here except dealing with the leasing and administrative offices.  Every time I turn around with this transfer thing, there’s some new fee no one told me about the first four times I discussed transferring.  It’s maddening, and it’s turning what should be a fun, happy thing into a giant ball of frustration and anxiety.

Thanks for letting me vent.  Share your complaints/confusions/rants in the comments, if you like.

7 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Understand

  1. I have one exception to issue #2. If the car was made prior to 1980, I don’t mind the vanity plate. Duke and I bet on the year of classic cars that we see, and we always settle up by reading the license plate.

  2. My friend list is outta control. I have people from high school, family members, people from college, people from the blogging group I write for, women from a message board I frequent (we’ve all been friends for YEARS – and I have vacationed with many of them, so it’s not just random people)… Half of ‘em, i wouldn’t notice if they weren’t on my list anymore, but I also like connections and some of these people that I wasn’t friends with in h.s., I’ve really gotten to know via FB. Who knew? They are actually really cool people, and I might not have known that otherwise.

  3. I am confused by the fact that people have large and outrageous words on embroidered on the back on their pants. Surely if you ass is wide enough to accomodate the word “bootlicious” this isn’t a feature you want to draw people’s attention too.

  4. Ram, that is an excellent observation. And I know “Juicy” is the brand name, but I think it’s creepy to have the word splayed across your backside.

    Lyrically, that’s a fair point – maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty.

    Jane, is it common for classic cars to have vanity plates?

  5. Oh, I’m gonna agree with Ram. I *HATE* ass-pants (that is what my girlfriends and I call ‘em). I hate them especially on youngish girls and they say things like “daddy’s girl” – just skeeves me out.

  6. I had a girl from hs “friend” me at least a half dozen times over several weeks on FB. I’m quite sure I had not seen her since graduation, and even during high school, we probably exchanged less than 10 words. After ignoring her request several times, I finally relented and accepted her online friendship. We have not said anything to each other since. You tell me, what is the point of that? It’s not hurting anyone, but why am I friends with her, other than the fact that we both happened to grow up in the same geographical area?

    I have also ignored requests from someone whom I also actively disliked in hs, and of course with whom I’ve had no contact subsequently.

    I don’t get it either.

    The other thing I refuse on FB is any kind of application request. If I have to add something to my profile to get a “high-five” or “drink” or “top friend” from you, I ignore it. I wish people would learn.

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