Monday, January 11, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 2:01 AM

Originally Published 2006-02-07 17:45:45

I just got an email from a gal who gave me the brush-off for just about the lamest reason ever. She basically caught me dropping a piece of fingernail on her floor. (It wasn't that, precisely, but describing it would indicate specifics I don't want to go into.)

"You did something so bazaar that I could not believe my eyes. You... threw [your fingernails] on my floor. I was so shocked that I did not say anything. I don't know why you thought it was OK to throw your personal garbage on my floor and treat my house like a garbage can. It was disrespectful and rude. I have never had someone do something this bazaar before. It was a huge red flag. If you can not respect me the first time we meet then what would it be like if we had a relationship." [sic]

Ok, that's fine, so I crossed someone's pet peeve on the first date. Whatever... nothing personal. fwiw, I do it in my own house, based on the assumption that sweeping every week or two covers a multitude of sins, but that's largely irrelevant -- aside from the fact that I didn't realize it would cause offense, of course. I certainly could alter that one behavior if everything else was awesome (which it seemed to be in the short period of time I knew this young lady -- I was really looking forward to getting to know her better).

The thing that boggles my mind is... why is it so important? I mean, am I weird to think that little things like that are really minor? Does everyone have pet peeves like this? Is that the reason people don't call back? Because you used the wrong word somewhere, or bite your nails, or don't rinse a dish, or like Peet's instead of Starbucks, or would rather watch Stargate than Oprah, or like to read People magazine instead of BusinessWeek?

Do I have pet peeves like that? Do I bail at the first sign of some weirdness that I find irreprehensible?

No. I don't... although perhaps I should have here and there. Hmmm. Well... that's not true. If I have a hard time making conversation or I just think a girl is flat-out dumb, I have definitely been known to bail. But that seems, through my admittedly myopic lens, to be more of an "incompatibility" than a "pet peeve". I want my partner to be my best friend, and any of my friends would be more conscientiously clean in my house if I asked them to, but I can't exactly tell any of them to get smarter or more verbose.

So, I guess what I'm left with is the same feeling that I get when I encounter the bar scene... younger people (e.g., under 25) are too immature to handle relationships, and by the time they are ready, they're so cynical they write people off at the drop of a dime. I chalk it up to being afraid of intimacy, but maybe it's just that people get so used to being alone that no one ever seems compatible. The list of requirements grows so complex and detailed that no one ever lives up to par. Seriously, now, no one will ever actually circumvent all of your pet peeves blindly AND be a good-hearted, smart, athletic, cute boy, will they?

So how about a good-hearted, smart, athletic, cute boy that actually listens and will adjust around those pet peeves when made aware of them (assuming they are consistent, there are less than, say, 10 of 'em, and none of them involve going outside the relationship)? Isn't that what every girl dreams of?

Or am I missing something obvious?

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