Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Things I Am Disproportionately Angry About

There's so much in the world to be proportionally angry about because they are, in fact, awful. But what about the things we're disproportionately angry about? Here are a few of mine.

1. Anna Wintour's sunglasses.

Everyone knows how hard it is to be a woman of a certain age in the public eye. As women get older, women are considered less physically attractive, and since women's cash-value is so often correlated with their appearance, this isn't so much of dating/hotness problem as an everything problem. How can a woman in the public eye craft an image that will garner professional respect as she ages?

It's not crazy to think that Anna Wintour might have helped us with this question. The longtime editor of Vogue is known as a ruthless boss (did you see The Devil Wears Prada?), an astute editor and businessperson, and also a style icon. I don't follow style, but I occasionally found myself hopeful we'd get some insight. How will Anna Wintour look at, say 65?

It is personally infuriating to me that the answer to this question is: sorry, ordinary mortals can never see Anna Wintour's eyes again. Ms. Wintour wears her sunglasses everywhere, indoors and out. We're not talking about those lightly tinted glasses that actresses like Diane Keaton wears. We're talking full-on, impenetrable eyewear:

Becoming "Dame" Wintour

At the Tony Awards

Not only does this look ridiculous, the messages is obvious: the skin around the eyes of women over 65 are is so ugly and awful, it should never, ever be seen.

2. Pointless messages on buses.

If you don't ride transit, you might not appreciate why a person like me would get enraged by messages saying things like "Have a Nice Day" or "Happy Holidays." But the reason is simple. The messages space on the front of buses is there for a reason: to tell potential riders which route it is and where the line ends. We need this info, and we often need it in a timely way. When the buses -- as they often do -- choose to alternate the route into with the pointless message, we stand there on the side of the road like idiots, waiting for the "Have a Nice Day" to disappear so something informative like "Route 94: Ossington Station" can appear.

Maybe if you drive everywhere you don't appreciate the problem. The messages alternate every few seconds. Maybe you're thinking: What's the big deal? You seriously can't wait a few seconds? To which my response is: you go stand on the corner of some street in a blizzard, trying to decide whether to run and catch bus X or walk three blocks over to catch bus Y, and look up to see "Have a Nice Day." I guarantee you will find yourself thinking some version of "What kind of pointless insanity is this?"

Plus, you have to ask yourself: Why? Why are these messages even happening? The only answer I've ever been able to come up with is someone thought "Oh, the messages can alternate. Let's put "Have a Nice Day." What kind of deranged mind thinks this is a good idea?

3. Why can't I get my coffee for here?

As regular readers know, I often carry my own coffee mug or espresso cup to avoid using disposable paper coffee cups so I can feel .00000001 percent less responsible for ruining the planet than I already do. Generally, I regard lugging this mug around as a tax on my time and energy: why can't we be like normal countries, where any place you get coffee is a place you can get it in a normal coffee cup that gets washed on site and reused for other customers? But since we're not, and since I hang out a places like libraries where paper is the only option -- OK, I carry my own mug.

Some days, though, I am not going to the library. Some days, I am out and about and I go to a normal coffee shop. Somehow "normal coffee shop" these days has come to mean paper-by-default and ceramic if you ask really nicely. So I ask really nicely.

Unless I make a federal case out of it, though, I often get served in paper instead. I find I have to order "for here," and then say something like "Could I get it in a ceramic cup"? and then sometimes I have to watch the person and gently say again, "Oh, sorry, could I get it in a ceramic cup"?

WTF? Why? Why is this so hard?

A nearby question is: why don't other people want their coffee in ceramic cups? Everyone I see, even if they're having coffee "for here," even if they have a "Save the planet" tote bag, even if they look indignant when they can't recycle their plastic beverage container, has their coffee in paper. I know this is a topic for another day, but what is up with that? Do people like the paper experience? Do they not trust the cafe dishwasher? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anyway, I know these are not real problems. Whatever. Have a Nice Day!

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