My teenager’s bad habits are getting better. Sort of.

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Mass shootings and cowardly deputy sheriffs at public schools. An uptick in violence in Syria resulting in hundreds of innocent dead people. Sexual predators in every corner office in corporate America. If you’ve read the news in the last few weeks, you’ve probably considered going on an anti-depressant. Or getting drunk. Forever.

Me? Well, I could easily let the depravity of the world suck me in like a baby with his thumb. But instead of writing about the world’s wicked woes, I’m going to focus on utter trivialities and nothing at all important to anyone but me in my small micro world:  Margaret’s super annoying habits.

This is sort of a follow-up post to one I wrote more than a year ago which focused on the top five things I don’t like about Margaret when she was a tween. As with that post, please note my disclaimer that despite any annoying habits Margaret may have at this juncture in her teenage life, I love her. Unconditionally. Love the teenager. Hate the annoying habit. You get the idea.

At the end of that post, I scribed a most sincere hope that each year I would have one less on my list. True to that hope, here are the Margaret’s top 4:

  1. Asks to borrow something of mine and yet doesn’t put it back. Items include my iPhone (up until last week when she got her own), clothes, tweezers, shoes, charm, etc. She either hordes them in her room (think of an island after a Cyclone hit) or puts them in a random place. This results in a highly inefficient and (often) rather frantic search for said item because I’m usually running late. (Note: this is something that would definitely be on my husband’s top 5 most annoying habits about me).
  2. Takes the last (fill in the blank) and leaves an empty box/wrapper in the cupboard/refrigerator/drawer and neglects to tell me we’re now out of this consumer good.
    I typically stumble upon the absence of a key household item at the most inopportune time, such as when I’m about to shave my legs in the shower but there’s no razor or when I am about to make breakfast for dinner (a favorite meal of my family’s because we almost never make a big breakfast meal for breakfast due to time constraints). I go to crack some eggs or fry some bacon or pour the pancake mix and their isn’t any left. (Note: this would be on my top 5 most annoying habits about my dear husband.)
  3. Cracks her knuckles. Constantly. I’m not exaggerating. I think it’s become an addiction. Yes, my affliction is her addiction. Why can’t she just vape or create fake social media accounts like most normal teenagers? In all seriousness, it may not seem bad to you, but I cannot stand the sound of a cracking knuckle. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard or Fran Drescher’s speaking voice. It’s almost as bad as giving up Coke Zero for Lent. No, I take that back. It’s worse. There was a male executive at a company I worked for who used to do that when he met with me. And when I’d politely ask him to stop, he’d do it more. It traumatized me. Such the jerk.
  4. Can’t listen to me – or anyone within earshot of her – chew. She has this syndrome called Misophonia. It’s like daggers shooting through her. To minimize the sound of chewing, she makes incomprehensible and frankly embarrassing sounds that we only hope to capture on video one of these days to show her prom date. So my options are: Don’t eat around her. I try my best. But she’s kind of like that server who comes over to ask you how your food is right after you shove the first bite into your mouth – she hovers. So, I try to silence my chewing sounds. But that’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s like sneezing silently; no matter how much you try to muffle it, someone who is sneeze-sensitive will hear you. Plus, I grew up with an Italian mother who has a PhD in loud chewing. It’s worse than on cops shows when the team is scrambling to figure out a crime late into the night while mowing on Chinese food (why do they always eat Chinese food from the container? Who does that in real life?).

Look, these are really annoying habits, as you can see. But I’m even more hopeful than last year because, as anticipated, this year there is one less than last year. Which means next year there will only be three. Progress!

What annoying habits do your teenagers have?


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