anne lamott

While waiting in the pediatrician’s office for Malcolm’s “well child” appointment yesterday, I read that Annie Lamott has a new book coming out.  This did not stir the reaction you’re probably expecting.

Can I be honest here?  I don’t like Annie Lamott.  I am apparently the only person in the entire nation who does not adore this author.

My whole book club made a pilgrimage to hear her speak at, I don’t know, the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church or the Philadelphia Free Library or maybe both.  And I did not go along.  Instead, I made excuses.  I probably pretended to be busy that night, because – correct me if I’m wrong – it is not cool to not like Annie Lamott, with her victory over alcohol addiction, her little cornrows, her love of attending a black church in Oakland, her ”look what I made up!”  theology.  

You know what else I dislike?  I don’t like coffee.  Or gum.  I tried coffee once when I was 27 and met with a new client who was introducing this new-fangled invention called Voice Mail, and I felt I had to accept the offer.  That was the first and last time for java for me.  I gave up gum long ago.  Not only do I shun it myself, but I can’t stand hearing others chewing it.  I bet Anne Lamott is a loud gum-chewer.

I don’t like sushi either.  I don’t care if it’s what all the hip people eat, and have done for the past 20 years, I prefer my fish cooked, thank you very much.  Grilled salmon is heavenly.  Tuna melts are delicious.  Steamed clams dipped in butter?  Beyond amazing.  But sushi – no.

In my opinionated world, guys over 40 should not wear Oakleys.  No man in a business suit should wear a baseball cap.  Women over 40 should not embarrass their children by wearing Uggs.  Nobody should wear Crocs.  Everybody should say “thanks” instead of “theenks.”

When my persnickety perfection occurs, politicians will stop referring to themselves in the third person.  As a codicil, they will also stop posing fake questions of themselves, then answering them rhetorically.  Will Jennifer be glad when this tired device is retired?  Yes.  Does Jennifer expect this to happen anytime soon?  No.  This trick may have been clever and refreshing once upon a time, but that was about 5,000 politicians ago.

Listen up, people.  Stop saying: at the end of the day, boots on the ground, and what does that look like? (in describing an abstraction).  Long ago, I gave up on railing against how the word “issue” had replaced “problem.”  Everybody says it now, although the other day I read an article where the writer put the word “issue” in quotation marks.  Someone else remembers!

I am bothered every morning when I listen to the BBC on our local PBS station.  The Brits love to take the high ground on matters of pronunciation, especially as compared to Yanks, but they are polymorphous perverse when it comes to pronouncing foreign words.  They screw them up on purpose.  Sri Lanka should be pronounced Schree Lanka (rhymes with Tonka) but the Beeb calls it “Siree Lanka” (rhymes with Sanka).  This is just wrong.  The original English speakers mis-pronounce Capri by putting the accent on on the first syllable.  Regatta is mangled so that the “gat” ryhmes with “cat”.  Why they do this is a mystery to me.

But enough about my annoyances.  it’s your turn.  Tell me I’m not alone!

What are your pet peeves?  What drives you up the wall or around the bend?  Why do you love Anne Lamott?  Don’t be shy.  Do tell!
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