Last week I talked about what I love about this time of year. To balance, I thought I’d list a few things I don’t like.
For most of my life I’ve been Pollyanna, always seeing the glass half full, and fifty per cent chance of sunshine (not rain). The word “hate” was not in my vocabulary and a smile was a universal greeting.
At some point I became a cynic. Fortunately I was a late bloomer. I recall a mentor in my chosen field of public administration telling me that I couldn’t be a successful city manager unless I had a healthy dose of mistrust. It was a variation of the old adage, “Don’t eat anything unless someone else tastes it first.”
That wasn’t me. I became a city manager anyway, but somewhere during those 25 years my rose-colored glasses gradually became clear. I developed a list of least favorite things and they have nothing to do with Christmas, but fall more into the category of pet peeves.
Arrogance. Working in a field peppered with politicians, I often found myself in the presence of arrogant individuals. Fortunately, most of the elected people I worked with were not like that. There were a few exceptions. They shall be nameless.
Untruthfulness. I am not fond of lies. They are eventually discovered and when they are they’ve done their damage. I particularly dislike lies of omission, when part of an excuse is the truth and the rest is left out.
Not taking responsibility for one’s actions. This one’s so common it’s almost laughable. So many are quick to blame others for their own failings. Just check the news.
And then there are the minor annoyances: drivers who camp on one’s bumper; people who are never on time; people who are thoughtlessly unkind (sometimes not even realizing it).
This may seem like a big leap into pessimism for a person who loves the season, but it has a point. I’m a writer and characters in books have flaws. Making a list of pet peeves helps me identify flaws a character might have and hopefully overcome by the end of the book.
The best list of flaws, of course, would be my own. But I’d have to ask you what those are because it’s hard to recognize them in oneself.
I’ll leave that for another time. Merry Christmas.