We love to hate them

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Prime or it’s not worth the time. Christian Wiediger via Unsplash

Who’s up for some piping hot takes?

Anyone who has known me for less than six months knows me as someone who speaks very mildly, hardly stating an opinion, and in general has a penchant for understatements. Anyone who knows me for substantially longer than that knows that that is all a farce and that I am one of the most opinionated and extroverted people around. I have an opinion on pretty much every topic under the sun. Once I am comfortable around someone, they will get to hear my opinion.

It will not be an understated opinion, coated in euphemisms and diplomatic language. No thank you. I am going to go on a long rant, punctuated by a few moments of silence, and always followed by another rant. I can go on forever, much like the winters in Saskatchewan. So, today, I figured I would give you a list of the things I love to rant about. Some of these I love, others I hate so much that I have helped a co-worker form on a pitch list fueled by pure rage. Lastly, some are things I have had to change my stance about. Here we go.

I love my Kindle. Before I ever owned a kindle, packing for travel used to give me anxiety. Sure, I picked 10 books for a five-day trip. But what if I do not enjoy any of them after the first few pages? What if I am left with nothing to read, and must – gasp – go outside or speak to someone? Now, I can download a thousand books for my two-hour flight. Even if I do not like the first 999, I am still left with one. Not to mention that people cannot try to start a conversation based on the book cover, and best of all, no one can come for a visit, pick up my favourite books, and ask if they can “borrow” them. No thank you, Mark Twain. I “borrowed” those from some other gullible soul myself. I have seen this episode before!

I love winters. Before you lynch me for saying this just as the weather is beginning to get a tad bit warmer, think about it, will you? Think about the hottest day in August. Is there anything you can do to feel better, short of blasting an air conditioner and dooming the planet? Is there any food or drink that helps? Maybe a cold drink helps you cool down, but I can assure you it does not help me. Now think about the coldest day, sometime between November and February. You could have some soup, you could make tea or hot chocolate, you can put on another layer. Personally, I love some beef stew on cold winter days. Given a choice between +40 and -40, I would always take the latter.

I love fountain pens. When I first got one, three years ago, I thought it would be a lot of work. To be fair, it is a lot of work compared to using a ballpoint – but the writing is so much smoother with so little effort! A good fountain pen costs a fair bit, but it lasts a lifetime if you take care of it. Perhaps this is rationalizing my own obsession with fountain pens, but I also wonder how many single use ballpoints I would have gone through in the last three years and have concluded that a reusable fountain pen seems a lot better for the environment, too.

This last one is a bit of guilty pleasure. I love Amazon Prime. Everything I know about how Amazon treats its workers and business rivals tells me I should not, but it is hard to overcome the temptation of free three-day shipping especially when my headphones break and I need new ones, or when I can sign up for a recurring delivery of cleaning supplies, never again finding myself with a hamper full of clothes and no laundry detergent. Amazon Prime has made life easier, more so in the last two years.

Moving on to things that enrage me, the first item is a person; a famous person that many seem to idolize: Elon Musk. I have no reason to suspect that my intelligence is below average, and I just do not get the Musk hype! All he has done is invest in some very commendable businesses. However, he runs those businesses in a way that borders on being abusive to his staff. Yes, he did go to Stanford for a while, but a part of me thinks that getting into Stanford becomes a lot easier when your grandfather owns an emerald mine in South Africa. Not to mention his inane tweets that keep talking about things that are neither his domain nor his business. I would like Musk better if all he did was his work on his own projects and delete his Twitter.

I do not eat bacon, and I hate how there is bacon in everything. I see a pizza I would love, except it comes with bacon. Sure, I can customize it to leave out the bacon, except now I am paying the same price! Sometimes, when with a friend, I have been able to ask for the bacon on the side so my friend can enjoy it. Yes, as you may suspect, I love getting my money’s worth. However, I would much rather just not have bacon on everything!

Speaking of getting my money’s worth, you know how sometimes supermarkets will have a sale with some odd condition? Buy groups of three for $2, but otherwise it is $2.95? Why? I live by myself and do not need three or six or 90 cups of soup. Maybe I just want to try out this brand, see if I like it, and do not want to be stuck with two cups of soup of the kind I barely could finish one of! If you want it all to sell faster, figure out some other way to do that. Do not make me enter a months-long commitment to soup.

I could have sworn I hate more things, but it seems I am out of things to hate already. I guess that is good news. I will leave with one last thing though. Something I used to hate but then grew on me: pineapple on pizza. I used to hate it, mostly because the internet told me to. But then one day, I had wings in mango sauce. Unrelated, but it made me appreciate the contrast in taste, and I went back to give pineapple on pizza another shot. I am glad I did, because I am now firmly in the camp of taste contrasts, be it pineapple on pizza, wings in mango or coconut sauce, or sweet and sour chicken!

I guess, looking back, there are more things I love, or have come to love, than things that enrage me. I am not sure how I feel about this, being firmly in the camp of “the world is a mess, and we are right to be angry.” Perhaps I am aging and mellowing out after all…

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