July 31, 2006

Ten Discoveries that Will Annoy Those Around You

This one is bound to get me in trouble, so let me say that I am guilty of some of the infractions below. Every one of us goes through self-discoveries in our life. These discoveries, however, often affect those around us. Here are the ten discoveries that are most likely to annoy those around you:

1. Wine -- this usually happens to men at around age 30-35. They buy books, take classes, and then no dinner is ever the same again. It will be impossible just to drink wine in front of them, without being asked to swirl it in your glass, stick your nose in it and comment. However, this discovery is accompanied by fringe benefits, as the wine discoverer will purchase and dispense the liquid as freely as a roadie handing out condoms at a Motley Crue concert.

2. Religion -- bringing this up in front of others always has awful consequences, no matter what the denomination. 'Nuff said.

3. Music -- this usually begins with "I just discovered the greatest ____ band. Their name is ____ and they are from _____. You have to check them out." Then one of two things happens. Either the person names a popular group like The Killers that you already know and like, or they pull out the Karabanash Brothers, two goat herders from Uzbekistan who combine traditional Uzbek folk melodies over a hip-hop beat (don't look them up, I just made it up), and who are obscure for good reason. This is all you will hear in your friend's home or car for at least three months.

4. Politics -- other than on a blog, where readers can avert their eyes, this one is guaranteed to start heated arguments, ruin relationships, and clear rooms.

5. Money -- the person may not have much money, but they suddenly discover its importance. They will begin wearing and dropping brand names, and will confess their embarrassment that they had to stay at the Tropicana rather than the Bellaggio on their last trip to Las Vegas, because they were in a wedding and the entire wedding party was put up at the Trop. You long for the days when, instead of talking about money, your friend regaled you with tales of sexual exploits.

6. Sexual Exploits -- this is historically thought of as a male topic of conversation, but that is clearly no longer the case. It can be rough on the married listener, whose imagination will run wild if fed even the most minor detail. It can also be awkward if the person who has made the discovery is married, and the object of the exploits is not his or her spouse.

7. Ethnicity -- your friend Linda says she has just discovered that she was named after her great Aunt Lukaya from the Ukraine. She starts making you borscht for breakfast, wears traditional Ukranian peasant garb to yoga class, and wants to drag you to Kiev instead of the Caribbean for Christmas, so that she can find her roots.

8. Health -- a reformed fattie is as bad as a reformed smoker. You are very happy that your friend has lost thirty pounds on the new "no food" diet, but you don't need to be told how bad Diet Coke is while you're guzzling one.

9. Inner Chatterbox -- this can be heard while eavesdropping at cafes. Two friends are sharing a tiny table, sitting across from each other. One of them is the pair's chatterbox, loudly dominating the conversation with every thought that pops into her head, madly seguing in mid-sentence to the next random snippet. This person needs an editor, big time.

10. Blogging -- this one needs no explanation. Annoying? We're downright insufferable.


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