Service of Irritations that Irk Now and Maybe Not Before

April 13th, 2020

Categories: Advice, Apartment Living, Fear, Frustrations, Irritations, Retail, Strategy, Supermarket

The pandemic has created a new set of frustrations that didn’t occur or rile as much or at all before.

Living as I do in Manhattan I listen carefully to advice to protect myself from the virus and gripe when many suggestions depend on a person’s living in a house or fully equipped apartment without alternates. “Leave an Amazon package in your garage or in the trunk of your car for a few days,” is one or “when you return home immediately wash your fabric face mask in your washing machine.” I can count on one hand the number of NYC apartments I’ve visited or lived in that have their own washer-dryer. It’s not always a question of money or space: Some co-ops don’t allow them.

The reason I love Bounty paper towel is how strong it is. Drives me nuts that after the many times I wash my hands I must toss the paper towel that dries them instead of subsequently wiping a counter or not wasting one at all as before. I formerly wiped my hands with a linen kitchen towel.  Insult to injury: finding replacement towels is still a challenge in NYC.

A Manhattan friend’s recent late night Tweet: “The streets are eerily quiet these days. So when a car with a CAR ALARM is parked nearby and blares for hours on end, it’s more infuriating than usual. Dude, how old is your car, and could you park it in NJ please?”

Another friend placed an online supermarket order for her suburban mom so her mom had only to swoop by in her car for pick up and run. Friend was disappointed to hear that there was only one box of tissues–they’d run out of the less expensive brand she’d chosen–and that the market didn’t automatically provide a substitute even if costlier. The whole idea was to cut down the number of trips for supplies. There should be an opt in box to check that clears the store to make substitutes.

In “Service of My Space: Am I Invisible?” I’ve written about the disrespect many pedestrians show others on NYC streets. Some shove in front of the elderly or disabled and cut them off not always because they are studying their phones–but because they can or don’t care. The streets in midtown are empty now yet there are those who walk in the middle of a sidewalk forcing anyone coming towards them to walk in the street or hide in a building entrance to keep six feet away. Have they not heard about the advice to social distance?

Because I must don a mask and gloves to leave my apartment–my building asks tenants to protect others and themselves in public spaces–I try to plan trips to the garbage room to coincide with a visit to the lobby for mail or a grocery store for supplies. Did I ever imagine I’d have to strategize tossing garbage?

What little irritations have you noticed that never came up before the pandemic and/or didn’t irk you? Am I even more thin-skinned than usual? Are you?

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5 Responses to “Service of Irritations that Irk Now and Maybe Not Before”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    What irritates me now? EVERYTHING!!!!!😎

  2. ASK Said:

    Tired of excessive media coverage (YES, I AM), happy I never threw out my old-fashioned thermometer because I cannot find batteries for the digital variety although I have not needed either, irritated by scientists who disagree with each other, and the list could go on and on and on…

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I hear Gov Cuomo almost exclusively these days otherwise TV doesn’t go on until 7 pm and then most often I watch MASH. I am a daytime radio person and listen to music on my laptop.

    As for the scientists you mention they are similar to doctors who disagree over how to treat a condition or illness leaving the decision of next steps to the patient. Since when did most patients get a medical degree?

  4. Moustapha Bin As-Lip Said:

    Irritated as hell by having to watch the media let Trump’s campaign rallies masquerade as CoronaryVirus press briefings. But hurrah to the CBS lady FINALLY giving a lesson on how to not take his lies and pretend they are truths which cant be questioned any more. Weijia Jiang could ask the right question but couldn’t handle the answer properly. But then, within a few days, Paula Reid started showing us how you don’t just sit back and let Trump’s lies wash over you. While there are people dying out there

    What are the chances the rest of the press corps will learn from it? Or will they meekly sit back and do nothing when he labels any news report he doesn’t like “fake”.

    And while we are on the subject, what are the chances Joe Biden will hit back powerfully enough (or appropriately laugh) when Trump starts to lie about any/everything? Somehow I don’t see it.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Good point–a big time irritation.

    I wonder what light Jonathan Karl’s new book “Front Row at the Trump Show” will shed. He’s known and followed the man for a quarter century and isn’t put off by his petty name-calling and insults.

    I’ve bored everyone who knows me by faulting the media from the start for his being in his job in the first place. Had they given him the attention he deserved in 2015 –i.e. NONE–we might have the same nightmare we now have only someone in whom we have confidence and the appropriate team to fix it.

    Biden’s choice of VP will be crucial. Just as Sarah Palin sunk McCain’s ship, the right woman might help steady the S.S. Biden.

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