People love numbered lists. Top ten reasons why salt is better than pepper. Best five ways to tell a teenager he sucks. Two genders you absolutely must have sex with before you die. Numbered lists appeal to our common human desire for order in a naturally chaotic system. Whether you read them as a source of new experiences to try or to argue with the absurdity of putting Tom Brady (the most overrated player in NFL history) as the number one quarterback of all time, you just cannot escape the numbered list.
Which makes it the number one biggest annoyance of the holiday season. I am tired of seeing the best five Christmas dinner recipes. I am bored with the top ten Christmas carols of all time. Can we just stop the impulse to judge, rank, and debate these supposed sources of infinite joy and just, oh I don’t know, enjoy them?
Number two on my holiday annoyance list is retail store workers. I know they have a hard job this time of year as thousands of people filter through the doors to purchase pointless knick-knacks. But they do not need to follow me around every second, asking if I need any assistance or telling me what sales are currently happening. Oh if I buy 27 of these vinyl figurines, I can get 3 free? Just give me some space and time, and I will browse like I want without bothering you with a million questions or demanding you look in the back for a super-rare special edition bright yellow and orange size 26 pair of yoga pants.
Traffic comes in at number three. What is it about the holidays that makes people incapable of driving in a straight line at the listed speed limit? Is everyone drunk on eggnog and rum? The traffic laws do not change as soon as Thanksgiving is done, but somehow everyone’s ability to follow those laws goes the way of the stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Finally, the fourth annoyance of the season is unrealistic expectations. Every year, someone has a desire for an unattainable gift, or amount of gifts. “I just want there to be thousands of gifts like when I was young.” “All I want is the ultra-high definition 1,000 inch screen television, just that one thing.” The season is about giving but these materialistic sycophants cannot be happy unless things are exactly the way they want it. How about if you want hundreds of presents under the tree, you buy them? How about if you want that big screen monstrosity, you buy it for yourself after the holidays? All I want for Christmas is family, friends, and fun.
I guess that means the fifth annoyance is self-righteous pricks like me, uh? Oh well. I can live with that.