What on Earth?

January 4, 2012

I must be grumpy today, and that seems kind of funny after our great New Year weekend. Thank you for spending our 12th New Year together since you were born. As you become older I know that you will want to be out with friends and you should; please always remember to be careful. I will never forget that you spent many, many a New Year’s Eve with your old Gramma watching the ball come down, and doing everything from playing the Winnie the Pooh card-matching memory game (dang, what a memory you have), laughing until we could barely breathe, discussing Dick Clark and whether he could really be a vampire (he didn’t AGE for decades, like Roddy McDowell), and whether Ryan Seacrest would take over the Rockin’ Eve.

You, New Year 2001

It’s not really resolutions that I have in mind today, but the creation of another of those posts that will serve as a receptacle for a topic. This topic? Pet peeves. Here we go, and I will add to it as they come to me, or when I am most grumpy.

  • When (and why) did American society begin to depersonalize children? I can’t count the people I have heard call their children (from most common to least), “The Kid,” “The Child,” or “The Teen.” Did children lose their right to have names? When I hear someone always refer to their child in such an impersonal fashion I wonder how much they love them. As they grow, won’t children feel less important if they aren’t allowed a personal name at home?Worse yet, the media depersonalizes children before they are ever born. I recall referring to my pregnancies as “The Baby” because we didn’t know the gender, but it was not to depersonalize. Today, pregnancies are often known as the “baby bump” or simply “the bump.” Maybe I am the only one all of this really, really bothers, but I won’t be calling you The Kid or The Teen any time soon, and I will NEVER call a pregnancy a “bump.” My most impersonal address to you is Sweet Girl. That just fits.
  • Service people cannot count change anymore. When the total amount of the sale is $3.26 and I hand the service person a twenty dollar bill, the count should be as follows: Stating the sale amount: “That was $3.26.” Placing coins in my hand – all pennies at one time, service person counting aloud to me, “And, $3.30, $3.40, $3.50 (dimes), $3.75, $4.00 (quarters), $5.00 (single dollar), $10.00 (five dollar bill), and $10.00 (placing ten dollar bill) is $20.00 (final recitation of the dollar amount tendered). Today, service people count my bills to me: “Ten, fifteen, sixteen.” And then GLUMP! They dump the change on TOP of the bills, leaving me doing a balancing act with my hand, trying to keep the coins from falling to the ground. At a drive-through window on a windy day that is quite a challenge. Placed and counted properly into my hand, I would have the coins in the palm of my hand belowthe bills and could grasp the whole pile quite nicely. Maybe the new counting method is a ploy to get us to drop our change so service people can scurry about later, scooping it all up. Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe it’s ignorance. It’s danged irritating, and doesn’t show me in any way that I have received the correct change. If the cash register won’t work to show the amount of change due, service people are stymied. Our society is forgetting how to count, and that’s a bit disconcerting.


  1. I hate that people cannot make change, although I’m guilty of it, too. I have a learning disability in math and my brain simply doesn’t work that way. I can do some math in my head, but anything that is not an exact amount sends me running for the calculator, or pen and paper. If something is $15 and you give me $20, I know you get $5 back, but if something is $4.30 and you give me $20, I’m lost. I hate it, but I’m just used to it by now.

  2. Well, you have a good reason. I can’t say that I have a good reason for being a crotchety old grump, and I seriously doubt that many service people have any better reason than mine (none) for their inability to count back change. What a world, what a world.

    For $4.30 – think of it as counting upward from the sale price. The sale was $4.30; return two dimes and say, “$4.50,” return two quarters and say, “$5.00,” return a five dollar bill and say, “ten,” and return a ten dollar bill and triumphantly announce, “and ten is twenty!”

    Besides, you write well. You don’t want to get me started on what I think of grammar, usage and spelling in the brave new millennium. Sigh.

  3. Laziness seems to have taken over so many areas of society – it sends me silly just thinking of it…

  4. that’s good to hear.

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