My mother practices small-scale vigilante justice the old-fashioned way, by registering complaints with various corporate factions via telephone. The day after Christmas a couple of years ago I walked in on a conversation she was having with the Keebler Company about a box of broken pretzel crackers. This was not a surprise: she'd warned us on Christmas Eve that she would be calling, but everyone thought it was a joke. Who can hold a grudge that long against snack food? But there she was on the phone, giving it to the elves: "They were all broken! Every single cracker!" Sadly I could not hear the scripted customer service response when she informed them that they should already have her mailing address on file.
I try to remember this every time I'm tempted to get outraged by random concerns that in no way impact my actual life, like that horrible animated GIF trend, or typos in twitters. (If you don't have time to proofread 140 characters before you hit send, you're either driving or bleeding. Either way, prioritize.) Luckily it's spring now, which as we all know is the season of anger—there's just nothing worse than fresh things borne from the earth. Think about it: what is frisee if not the Kony of edible weeds? What are sandal-clad tourists if not the potential bearers of hammertoes (whatever those are)? (Cf. "mallet toe.") Gross.
So I set out to do some preemptive homework by creating a list of things I've decided to hate, which include but are not limited to men who can't choose between hair and baldness (Dick Van Patten is king of this crowd) and people who say "Nordstrom's." I'm also not wild about vanity footwear sizing—a 7 should be a 7, man—or the fact that the cosmetics industry has blanketed all the ladies' mags with stories on something called "BB cream." And why am I still reading ladies' mags!? Outrageous!
The problem is whenever I play this game I automatically come up with a list of awesome things that counteract my peeves, such as anyone who uses the word "clams" to mean money, or how when we were little my friend Meredith assigned names to her stuffed animals that reflected their literal species, like Beary or Lamby. Or I end up watching the greatest music video in the history of the world.
Probably this proves nothing beyond the fact that I can neither build nor support a sustained argument, much less commit to one frame of mind at a time, but I'll keep working on it. The world wants me angry, I can tell.