Metatalktail Hour: Bringing the Cringing January 29, 2022 5:22 AM   Subscribe

Warm salutations, Metafilterians! For today's chat, I want to ask you what is a basically ordinary thing (or things) that creeps you tf out, but that nobody else seems to mind.

Is there an expression, a word, a phrase, a scent, a sound, a taste, a visual, a gesture, a tactile thing, or something else that seems either inoffensive or even nice or enjoyable to most other people that is like nails on a chalkboard to you? Share the idiosyncratic creepinesssss!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:22 AM (265 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Oops, and I forgot to say, OR JUST TELL US ABOUT WHATEVER IS ON YOUR MIND HOW WAS YOUR WEEK WHAT'S UP WITH YOU NO POLITICS PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
posted by taz (staff) at 5:29 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


As an example, one of mine: My husband finds it totally hilarious that I'm super creeped out by the expression "I want to pick your brain." This phrase just brings up a sort of horrifying, nightmarish visual for me every time, and I'm like "Nooooooo! Leave my brain alone!!!!"
posted by taz (staff) at 5:42 AM on January 29 [17 favorites]


English speakers saying "bless you" when someone sneezes. I didn't like it even when I was deeply religious — even then it felt superstitious. Calling on the supreme being because of a sneeze? Seems a bit trivial.

Here's hoping gesundheit makes a comeback or salud takes over instead.
posted by Tehhund at 5:42 AM on January 29 [11 favorites]


Anything involving eyes creeps me right the hell out - including seeing someone putting in, taking out, or otherwise adjusting contact lenses.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:43 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


Somehow every figure of speech involving “touch” or “run” appalls me. Touch base, touch and go, the crowd he runs with, let’s run it up the flagpole, run that past me one more time, run with it... bleah.

I can just about tolerate “to get in touch with,” but that is my limit.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:44 AM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Oh boy the thing that people do where they use your name over and over unnecessarily like "hi Robin nice to see you Robin also Robin Robin Robin" like I'm right here and I know you know my name and just please stop it's creepy.

On touching: that old AT&T "reach out and touch someone" thing was really creepy.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:52 AM on January 29 [25 favorites]


omg, I had forgotten about that. So. Creepy.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:54 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


“Reach out” is also troubling, unless you are a member of The Four Tops.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:05 AM on January 29 [19 favorites]


A weird visual thing - probably a bit trypophobia-ish - and something I've had since childhood is a visceral adverse reaction to zigzag lines in whatever my monkey brain translates as the "wrong" place. So, a zig zag line drawn on a piece of paper is ok but a zig zag-shaped fault in e.g. a piece of fruit, or a cut in a finger presenting in a vaguely zig zag way is disproportionately disturbing.

Elsewhere, I ate two crickets this week.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 6:08 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


It's not creepy, but when people substitute "Goodness" or "Gosh" for "God" - like, "Oh my gosh!" instead of "Oh my god!" I am perfectly willing to believe I'm totally off on this but when I hear it I think some kind of religious oppression is at play. That what they want to say is, "Oh my fucking god!" but instead come out with "Oh my freakin gosh!" and... I die a little. It makes me want to grab them by the shoulders and shake, "Just out with it! It'll do your heart good! Repeat after me, "Goddamn!" not "Goshdarn"..." (In truth I almost never hear this lately (there isn't really a German equivalent - though I am asked every third time I open my mouth or give my name, where I'm from... which, is an education (every time, along with the bitterness, I taste how good I've had it : though with an English friend I have reflected how nice it would be to not have this constant, alienating reminder that I am not from here...))

The weather has been resolutely meh. Roughly 5c (40-ish F) and rainy/misty 98% damp: It's just fucking goddamn awful. Give me minus 10 and sun and all is forgiven. But just above zero and damp goes right into my soul - and since booze has been staying in the cupboard lately there's not even that as a compensation. I have taken to wearing either two sweaters or one of the ridiculously heavy, Danish sweaters that lurk like un-explored mountain ranges at the back of my closet. They are glorious but weighty
posted by From Bklyn at 6:15 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


Wearing odd socks.

Like, omg how can you cope with your feet feeling different all the time? I even get creeped out by wearing two socks of the same colour but from different pairs. They don't feel the same. They don't. Wow.
posted by prismatic7 at 6:17 AM on January 29 [13 favorites]


Yarn being pulled in-between my fingers. I tried to learn how to knit. It didn't go well.
posted by cooker girl at 6:53 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Paper straws . Paper straw wrappers. I cannot stand even the thought of having them in my mouth. At a restaurant, after I unwrap my straw I have to hide the wrapper or I am viscerally bothered by it.

In other news…I have a 2nd interview for a library job next week that I REALLY want. Five minutes from home, I would get to teach classes… it just seems ideal. Fingers crossed that by this time next week I’ll have a new job!
posted by bookmammal at 6:53 AM on January 29 [25 favorites]


My husband is creeped out/ afraid? of licking adhesive things (like to close an envelope). He does all the accounting and prepping to mail out the bills but I have to lick all the envelopes. He can’t even stand to watch me do it.

I understand though - we have confirmed it’s the same feeling I get just thinking about snagging a fingernail in anything.(which is probably common).

I get creeped out abt blood draws - I’m ok with the pain etc but the idea that my blood is outside my body bothers me a lot. I can sit through all kinds of blood drawing no prob but I can’t watch the tubes filling and they have to keep the tubes out of my sight after.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:56 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


I get irrationally angry about fake foods, like cakes made to look like other things. ESPECIALLY if it's food, say a realistic looking steak that's actually a cake.

I hope the people who make and support that kind of soul destroying nonsense forget their password and get sent a verification code to an email that they've also forgotten the password to.

Insult stolen from this guy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:15 AM on January 29 [16 favorites]


Similar to Tandem Affinity, I have no problem with blood if it’s naturally coming out of a wound or whatever but the second it’s in a container I feel woozy and nauseated. I have to close my eyes during blood draws so I don’t see the tubes and I definitely can’t be at a blood donation site and see the bags of blood.
posted by Fuego at 7:15 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, pats on the shoulder etc. are all fine greetings, and I've done each of them, but for some reason the 'clasp each other's forearm' thing gives me the willies. I can't even watch it, it's so discomforting. Makes no sense.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:34 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Face painting. You know when there's a fair or something and you see all these kids running around with their faces painted like unicorns or cats or whatever? That freaks me out. I hate it. And then, a couple years ago when everyone's instagram story showed them with mouse whiskers and pointy ears,my phobia extended right into the virtual world. Same with those face swapping apps. They all freak me out the same way.

Also if someone rubs styrofoam together near me it puts me in crippling pain.
posted by bondcliff at 7:54 AM on January 29 [11 favorites]


I am very disturbed when people waste food on television shows or movies. The Great British Bake Off when something doesn't go right I usually feel deeply sad and uncomfortable about it but at least I know it wasn't intentional. Food fights, food being dropped on the floor as a gag, pie in the face, etc... any of it. The episode of How To with John Wilson where he makes risotto? I was alternately angry and pissed off and sad and uncomfortable. Yeah it really bothers me.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:59 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Oh! Food wasting gets me too.
When I see people in a restaurant eat a couple of bites and then just casually ignore the rest of the food, maybe shove a crumpled paper towel onto the plate as if the food's just rubbish...

I had a friend who couldn't stand to hear the word "knee". She reacted like people do who can't stand blood. Got pale and nearly fainted. It seemed to be the sound of the word that freaked her out, not the meaning of it.
posted by Zumbador at 8:13 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


the thing that people do where they use your name over and over unnecessarily

Oh man, my new manager does that and it's really disconcerting!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:19 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Needing to dig open the metal spout in cardboard box of salt. Metal and cardboard together.

A dripping wet pickle on a plate near my bread. Washed but not dried cherry tomatoes. Wet lettuce on a sandwich. (Clean, yes. But dry.)

Lint. Crumbs. Smudgy eyeglasses.

Paper cuts.

Blurry photos because their phone was dirty.
posted by marimeko at 8:22 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


This thread spares me from posting a couple of things that have been bothering my for a while to r/unpopularopinion. There are two particular food social media trends that I see on Instagram a lot at the moment that I really hate.

One is using the drool face emoji on any kind of cooking content. It doesn't make me think of pleasant salivation, it looks (at least on android) like someone making a sex face while a big wet glop of spit is falling out of their mouth. It reminds me of the sensation of having an unpleasant big wet glop of spit falling out of my own mouth, rather than the sensation of salivating over some delicious food. I don't know why that one emoji grosses me out so much, but it really does, and pretty much every single IG post about food or cooking features it in the description.

The other thing I hate is when someone with long fake or painted nails starts interacting with some incredibly greasy food, like tater tots, pulling them apart with their bare hands until the grease oozes out all over their done nails. I don't really like the appearance of non-natural nails in general (I also hate it when a perfectly good video of someone petting a cute animal is ruined by them having non-natural nails) and I hate the sensation of having grease all over my own hands; watching someone with nails like that greasing up said nails with some food that I might otherwise find appetising is just the worst.

Obviously these are totally reasonable and innocuous things for people to do and they're clearly going to carry on doing them; I would just like to make clear for the record that I HATE IT.
posted by terretu at 8:31 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


Dishcloths crocheted out of yarn. Wet yarn with food residue in it is revolting.

Videos of people coming out of dental sedation, talking with a mouth full of cotton/gauze/whatever. As funny as they sometimes are, the sound triggers an intense urge to gag.

The word "gooey", especially when trying to make a food sound appealing.

Pictures of desserts oozing over the side of the container, as if that somehow makes them look appealing. Tons of this on Pinterest.

Pictures of children with food on their faces/clothes.

The GIF of the little girl shouting "I love it!" with a huge wad of food in her mouth.

The GIF of the weird man-baby smiling and shaking his finger at me.

Also, vampire shows where the vampires run around with blood on their faces/clothes as if they were three years old.

Lengthy sex scenes in movies. I don't want a soft porn interlude in the middle of my story! (I also don't want story interludes in my porn... lol)

My own fingernails. As soon as I can feel them past my fingertips, or god forbid, hear them make a scritching sound when I handle paper, I run for the clippers.

I could do this all day!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:33 AM on January 29 [17 favorites]


Not sure if this counts as creepy, but I go bananas when I see people who are dressed wrong for the weather, or who are wearing an illogical combination of things. Like shorts in the snow, or flip-flops and a leather jacket. It just makes me feel like nothing makes sense anymore, which is basically true and I’ve accepted it to an extent, but I hate to see it demonstrated like that. That thing where people wear a wool beanie with a T-shirt? I have been known to rant and carry on for hours. When I lived in Colorado, I used to see people running in the park wearing shorts and a tank top when it was 34 degrees with snow flurries. And then there’s the first day in fall when the temperature goes down to like 60, you’ll see someone wearing a big winter coat and a hat and mittens and a scarf over their face, and I think, what are you gonna do when it gets COLD?
posted by scratch at 8:41 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


My sister and I sometimes say that we should have a podcast called HOW DO YOU LIVE because she does so many things that aren't creepy per se, they just give me that "This isn't right" chill.

So like she sleeps in really light t-shirt/briefs, in a room with the door open (cats) and the window open (airflow). HOW? I sleep in head-to-toe pajamas (hoodie and hat, only kind of because it's cold, i do it all year) with the door and window shut tight. I make skin-on applesauce, she can't even imagine it. She's a great cook, but hers is skin-off. She got me one of those peelers, I use it grudgingly, sometimes. I run a humidifier constantly in the cold months, she never has one (and has super dry skin but it's not clear of the connection). I have a shoes-off household, hers is shoes-on. She's a shower in the morning person and washes her hands a lot. I am a shower when necessary person and except for COVID precautions never wash my face or hands except in the shower (I'm aware this isn't normative, she may have me on this one).

But closer to the brief, I am a twitch about little bits of water in places they shouldn't be. Maybe this is because I'm a shoes-off household but like people (ahem, Jim) who wash their hands and let them drip dry, or who wash their hands and leave the sink all covered in water, or who walk into the house and shake the snow off in any place other than the entryway. Like I have a special towel for errant water because cleaning up after it is such a big part of my THING here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:07 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


Disembodied mouth on tv or a big closeup of a mouth. A big ugly mouth chewing. I think this must bother everyone and they do it on purpose to wind people up.
posted by bleep at 9:13 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


Nails on a chalkboard, but that's common. For whatever the reason, the phrase "go big or go home" drives me nuts. In second play is "teamwork makes the dream work".
posted by kathrynm at 9:20 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


The damp little plosive sounds actors make when they're kissing onscreen make me feel queasy. Such a turnoff.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 9:26 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


My sister and I sometimes say that we should have a podcast called HOW DO YOU LIVE because she does so many things that aren't creepy per se, they just give me that "This isn't right" chill.

Wait... you mean your sister who is still mad at me because she found out when I put a Kleenex in my pocket I don't fold it neatly? That sister? The one who saw a photo of the two clocks in my car being an hour off and probably wrote a letter to her Congressperson in protest? This is the same sister, right?
posted by bondcliff at 9:33 AM on January 29 [15 favorites]


The slang term that gets under my skin is responding to something someone said with just the word "Word". My son started doing that as a young teen, and every time he said it I asked him "Which one?" - unfortunately all that did was annoy him into using it even more often. He eventually grew out of the habit, but not until after he moved out on his own around age 19. The teen years were difficult...

I guess "mood" (or "mood af") has sort of replaced "word" these days? Which doesn't bother me as much, I have no idea why.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:38 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I won't go to any restaurant that's directly adjacent to a hair salon. Like, I recognize that there are walls and stuff and that realistically there are other more important things to be concerned about in a more likely proximity. BUT! The very idea of that much loose, dead hair so close to that much food... I just can't do it.
posted by mochapickle at 9:42 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


This is the same sister, right?

I only have the one. And I have issues this ruling: she is ALL WRONG about the kleenex thing, but HOW DO YOU LIVE with the car clock thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:47 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


I solved the problem by buying a new car where the clocks sync to internet time automatically. I did it just for her.
posted by bondcliff at 9:50 AM on January 29 [20 favorites]


There are some fabrics and textures where, if someone else touches them and it makes a particular sound, I can't bear it. It's often something like fingertips against denim, say. What's worse is when the kids do it. I cringe, I say ugh, stop doing that and they're all OH DID THAT BOTHER YOU LET ME DO IT ANOTHER THOUSAND TIMES. Which maybe counts as exposure therapy, but it definitely does not help. (Runner-up in badness is when I touch one of those textures. Touching: Bad.)
posted by mittens at 9:57 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


Balloons. I cannot, cannot be near balloons. One time it was raining like mad in Chicago, and the bus finally came, and I hopped on. Whew! Then, at the next stop, just two blocks later, a person with a veritable bouquet of balloons got on and started heading toward the back of the bus, where I was sitting. Ended up walking home a mile from there in a storm, which sucked, but it was better than the terrifying feeling (!!) of sitting near A BALLOON. Beats the shit outta me, but I've been like this since I was four, that I can recall.
posted by heyho at 10:02 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


I really hate the expression "work hard, play hard." I can't STAND when someone refers to another person as "yummy."
posted by Pax at 10:05 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


I would like to be a mermaid, but I find squid so creepy I'll have to stick to land. I'm not into tentacles in general, tbh, so please keep your clever octopus videos to yourself.

I cannot abide cottage cheese, even to look at, even advertisements for it are too much for me, get out of here with that nonsense, Daisy.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:08 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


The legal phrases “voire dire” and “petition for writ of certiorari”. I will only say “jury selection” and “cert petition”. Something about those r sounds is extremely unpleasant to me.
posted by skewed at 10:23 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


Needing to dig open the metal spout in cardboard box of salt.

Eugh I had to do this recently for the first time in a long time and the feel of the paper on my fingernail while I tried to dig under the little metal piece ick ick ick. Why don't we have a better design for that??
posted by geegollygosh at 10:24 AM on January 29 [9 favorites]


The phrase "bio break."

Makes me feel like I'm surrounded by cyborgs.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:26 AM on January 29 [19 favorites]


Ohhhh the sound of toothbrushing (not limited to teeth)!! That particular chchhshht-ch-ch-chchchssht sound makes me feel like I'm going to rip my face off.

Also I hate the smell of popcorn. Always have, creates a weird blind rage. I manage at movie theaters better than when it drifts through these paper thin walls from my neighbor's place into my bedroom :(
posted by Grim Fridge at 10:28 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


I hate hate hate when people say "yum."

Yuck.

There you all go. I have officially yucked all your "yums." (That phrase doesn't bother me though, for some reason.)

I seem to be more triggered by silverware-squeaking-on-dishware sounds than other people. It makes it feel like my teeth are going to jump out of their sockets.

Both my classrooms this semester have chalkboards, which is torture for me. I run out of class at the end of the period thinking "chalkonhandschalkonhandsmustgetchalkoffhands!!!!"
posted by BrashTech at 10:29 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


The word “whimsical.”

Going through tunnels or into caves. Watching people do those things on TV.

The Capri Sun straw setup that looks way too much like veinipuncture.

Veinipuncture. The lady who donated blood and fainted and threw up and was asked politely never to come back? Even though her O+ blood was in high demand? That was me.

Singers who sound like they have strep throat. Offspring guy, I'm looking at you.
posted by armeowda at 10:56 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


The smell of coffee. How does it not just smell like burnt beans to other people? There's an entire floor of a local book shop where I'm unable to set foot because they have a coffee bar there, and passing that floor on the stairs makes me want to retch.

Fingernails. I mean, I can just about tolerate mine, because I never look at them except to cut them really short. That other people want to grow them long, show them off and even decorate them makes me shudder, and I hate looking at them. It's probably the mental picture I have of the pain of snagging a nail and ripping it, more than anything else.

Songs where the metre of the words doesn't match the music, so the singer has to stretch out a word, or puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable, or uses a weird turn of phrase to make the lyrics fit. I'll still skip that song ten years later, so I don't have to hear that part of it again.

All of these are much worse if I'm tired, for some reason. We're strange beings.
posted by pipeski at 10:56 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


I realize this is a regional thing, and thank $deity I don't live in those regions, but it creeps me right out when people call me honey. I'm feeling uncomfortable just typing it out.
posted by Mitheral at 11:04 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Needing to dig open the metal spout in cardboard box of salt.

Eugh I had to do this recently for the first time in a long time and the feel of the paper on my fingernail while I tried to dig under the little metal piece ick ick ick. Why don't we have a better design for that??


Not to mention the sound it makes!

It's weird how many of these things people have in common.

As other have said: chalkboards. Everything about them. The texture, the chalk dust, the smell of chalk dust, holding a piece of chalk, the squeak of the chalk, the erasing of chalk boards. Super chalky chalkboards but also chalkboards that are too clean. We didn't have white boards when I went to school. I know I wasn't the only one who suffered chalkboards. Then there were the kids who *enjoyed* scratching their nails down chalkboards. I could never understand this.
posted by marimeko at 11:18 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


MAYONNAISE. just no.
posted by supermedusa at 11:21 AM on January 29 [12 favorites]


the mere existence of the word TEMBLOR.
posted by supermedusa at 11:29 AM on January 29 [8 favorites]


The phrase “local library” makes me want to punch something. And I love libraries.
posted by corey flood at 11:34 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


The word “whimsical.”

Last summer I got a raspberry whimsicle from an ice cream truck - it was a fun, silly impulse buy!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:39 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Everything about ketchup: the taste, the smell, the way it looks on plates after eating. I don’t even like washing dishes that have ketchup on them, let alone putting the stuff near my mouth.
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:42 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


The smell of rice cakes. The word "folksy." Bluegrass /old time music (in general). "Sugar" as a term of endearment. "Preggers." "Vinyls" instead of just "records." The keystroke sound on iPhones. Patchouli. Artificial fruit smells. Dirty slush. Brown socks. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Carpeted bathrooms. Miracle Whip. Any situation where I have to crawl under a thing.
posted by thivaia at 11:44 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


Oh and I will second "yuck your yums," which makes my skin crawl. Also "nom."
posted by thivaia at 11:46 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


These upset me so much it's hard for me to write it out.

Spitting into a bathroom sink without the water running.

Touching a sink, or anything that is itself touching a sink.

I have peculiarities.
posted by meese at 11:49 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


For the past couple of days there’s been half a red velvet cake on the sidewalk and for some reason it repulses me more than the dog shit and possibly not-dog shit that is also covering the sidewalk. The snow has made everything gorgeous right now, but I’m already dreading seeing that red velvet reappear as the snow melts. Feeling queasy simply typing that out.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:50 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Carpeted bathrooms

Oh dear god, yes. There's a whole version of hell where it's just a carpeted bathroom with no doors or windows and you can never leave. Listen people, don't do the crime if you can't do the carpeted bathroom time.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:52 AM on January 29 [7 favorites]


The phrase "make a baby." Gross.
posted by mochapickle at 11:53 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Touching: Bad.

Yeah thanks to this thread I've had the horrible song somebody touched me stuck in my head for the past couple of hours. So creeped out.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 12:00 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


heyho, that's called globophobia and I also have it! As Roy from the IT Crowd says, it's the possibility of a tiny fright. Helium balloons are okay for me. Just not latex balloons.
posted by cooker girl at 12:01 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


The phrase "bio break."

Makes me feel like I'm surrounded by cyborgs.


Oh, for sure, you definitely are NOT, ha-ha, what a silly idea.

During this ten-minute break I will enter the human restroom to do very normal biological activities, as we humans do, am I right?
posted by BrashTech at 12:13 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


It's probably the mental picture I have of the pain of snagging a nail and ripping it, more than anything else.

I once watched an irate teenage girl with acrylic nails stalk out to her mother's car, aggressively pull up on the door handle and rip off all four fingernails in the process. It hurts me just typing it out.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:17 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Muscle Milk. A fundamentally disgusting combination of words.
posted by something something at 12:48 PM on January 29 [15 favorites]


The phrase "make a baby." Gross.

I also dislike "give birth."
posted by something something at 12:49 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Wooden sticks in ice frozen pops or the little wooden paddles used for ice cream samples. It's the porosity of the wood that squicks me out. It's horrible on the tongue or teeth and disrupts the smooth creaminess of the ice cream or frozen dessert.
posted by mightshould at 12:55 PM on January 29 [23 favorites]


There’s a trope in Batman comics that he can beat anyone with preparation because he studies people for weaknesses.

I am so ready to take on all of you RIGHT NOW.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:56 PM on January 29 [43 favorites]


Piggybacking on mightshould’s comment with those disposable wooden chopsticks. When I eat with them I dread the thought of them dragging against my teeth, tongue, or lips. Especially if they’re wet from soup! Ugh. So gross.
posted by obfuscation at 1:09 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher I have a friend, and former roommate, who used to jokingly threaten to toss me into a bathtub full of mayonnaise and spiders (I am an arachnophobe). he had a hard time understanding I am not afraid of mayonnaise, I just don't want it anywhere near me, much less my food.
posted by supermedusa at 1:12 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Stepping in something gushy/gooey. And no, I don't just mean something demonstrably gross, but stepping in mud or even wet sand on the beach (notwithstanding the actual part that's under the water). As I child, this would make me gag. As an adult, I'm less viscerally squicked, but still squicked.

Re: water where it doesn't belong, Jessamyn, my travel buddy gets out of the shower and shakes herself (including her long hair) like a dog, soaking much of the hotel bathroom (and sometimes dousing the only role of toilet paper) because someone told her that wrapping wet hair in a turban/towel will seriously damage it. (The fact that I've done it all my life without difficulty does not persuade her.) My friend is a doctor, but she believes this. Twice I have slipped in hotel bathrooms where she's soaked the floor because she's done this and neglected to put down a bathmat. Wet public restroom counters, around sinks, especially in airports (when you've got all your *stuff* with you, is another unfortunate water hazard.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:13 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Then there were the kids who *enjoyed* scratching their nails down chalkboards. I could never understand this.

I had a high school math teacher who would drag his nails - very slowly and for what seemed like ages - down the chalkboard to silence the class when things got too chaotic.

It worked. Every. Time.

*shudder*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:18 PM on January 29 [6 favorites]


I had a high school math teacher who would drag his nails - very slowly and for what seemed like ages - down the chalkboard to silence the class when things got too chaotic.

It worked. Every. Time.


I'm starting to realize that you're either a chalkboard scratcher or you're absolutely against chalkboard scratching. There's no in between. (But that the only ones with any power are the chalkboard scratchers).
posted by marimeko at 1:39 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


This thread is a real journey of pain..
posted by bleep at 2:24 PM on January 29 [11 favorites]


This thread is a real journey of pain.

Yes, but also I kind of like being around other people who are as particular and persnickety as I am, so there is joy here too.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:04 PM on January 29 [21 favorites]


The word “stinky.” Ugh, I don’t even like typing it. I get unreasonably angry when people name their cats Stinky, which for some reason seems to have been a popular name for cats at one time among people I know. I always feel like yelling at them to let the poor animal have some goddamned dignity.
posted by holborne at 3:12 PM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Oh, and another one: the phrase “we're pregnant.” Yeah, introduce yet another way to normalize the idea that a pregnant woman's body doesn’t belong to her alone but actually is “ours,” great idea, everyone.
posted by holborne at 3:18 PM on January 29 [20 favorites]


Oh my god mochapickle you remind me of the Worst Restaurant Ever, it was in a shopping plaza RIGHT NEXT TO A PET SHOP I kid you not. Yes it smelled like the pet shop. Weird place... advertised as half-italian and half-chinese restaurant, you could order from either menu and it was one kitchen. There must have been a heck of a story behind that bold, innovative idea but I never learned it. Place folded after a couple months, nobody really wondered why.
posted by evilmomlady at 3:22 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I'd rather have someone whisper moist in my ear for an hour than hear someone earnestly use the term preggers.
posted by Twicketface at 3:34 PM on January 29 [9 favorites]


Tightlining/waterlining. Absolutely not. I can’t stand watching someone do it, and the very concept freaks me out. Also the word “hubby.”
posted by sugarbomb at 3:39 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


I am not the least bit squeamish about medical gore, but I absolutely will not watch replays of sports injuries during live sports broadcasts. Broadcasters seem to have no problem at all showing detailed slow-mo's of severe knee/ankle/bone injuries that squick me out.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:45 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


"Preggers."

OMG yes, as well as "we're pregnant," "hubby," and "nom."
posted by Pax at 4:08 PM on January 29 [8 favorites]


Can I add "veggies"?
posted by pipeski at 4:19 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


I have an incredibly visceral reaction to things morphing or shrinking or growing as a visual effect, it actually turns my stomach sometimes. The strongest example I can think of is in cartoons when there is a hole in the floor and everything in the room shrinks and warps until it is all sucked down into that hole. As a kid I had screaming nightmares about that and I still hate it.
posted by buildmyworld at 4:40 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


The strongest example I can think of is in cartoons when there is a hole in the floor and everything in the room shrinks and warps until it is all sucked down into that hole

And thousands of parents are out there wondering why their kids scream bloody murder at bath time.

This thread could not be long enough for me.
posted by jamjam at 4:46 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


I do not like popsicle sticks, or tongue depressants. I otherwise love wooden utensils, even wooden chopsticks, they have to be hardwood though. Pictures have to hang straight, and rectangular objects have to line up. There isn't anything that makes me toss my cookies, however.
posted by Oyéah at 4:46 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


When people use the diminutive form of my name (think "Gorge"). It's a popular form of the name, just not me. Unless you're my father, in which case it's strangely fine. But most people aren't my father.

In other news, I started a new job, which is pretty much as close to my dream job as possible in corporate America. Data analysis focused on issues of social justice, and in theory I'm really excited. Except that it's been really hard, because my team isn't very organized, their data discipline is non-existent, and the beginning of the year is when everyone wants last year's numbers. And their communication is different from what I'm used to, and that makes it even more difficult. It's pushed me over (under?) the top and back into pretty bad depression, what with how shitty everything already was. People keep telling me that it will get better (like, my friends and my therapist), but it's hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

On the other hand, I was able to work today and focus on just one report, and it came out pretty well. So I'll hold on to that.

Also, the song "Sea Beast" by The Dead Deads gives me hope. Apple, Spotify (can't find it elsewhere)
posted by Gorgik at 5:04 PM on January 29 [10 favorites]


Slippery slope
Easy peasy (lemon sqeezy)
Winner winner chicken dinner.
Those plastic shower chairs from the hospital. I have a neighbor who uses one in her garden. Anytime I help her in the garden she tries to get me to use it. "Would you like a chair? Are you sure? I have 2. They're really comfortable. I love mine. I really think..." NO I DO NOT WANT YOUR GROSS, FLESH COLORED HOSPITAL THING, GET AWAY, GET AWAY, GET AWAY.
posted by BoscosMom at 5:11 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


A feeling of certain dread washes over my heart any time I have to walk or run barefoot on concrete. I may as well have already stubbed my toe, I'm so focused on how unpleasant it will be. Easily the worst part of going to the beach or the pool, for me. Wearing shoes? Totally fine.
posted by happyfrog at 5:12 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


veterinary instruments.
posted by clavdivs at 7:29 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


One thing that totally grosses me the fuck out is people (I guess mostly women) wearing flip flops in the city all summer long. In the street! In the subway! Ugh. I just can’t even.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:48 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


I absolutely will not watch replays of sports injuries

Oh yeah, I can't bear to watch "epic fail" type videos. Literally every muscle in my body convulses in sympathetic anguish when anyone suffers injury. By the same token I avoid socializing with the sort of people who laugh at those videos, on the basis that they clearly have no empathy for their fellow humans experiencing obvious pain.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:59 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Styrofoam noises AIR HORN my sister. She says she hates the high-pitched squeaking. To me, two big blocks of styrofoam rubbing together make a pleasant brushing noise, and the squeaks are rare, and still pleasant, mostly. I had some really bad ear infections as a kid, so probably I actually physically don't hear it the same way she does.
But a bunch of other sounds that send other people screaming from the room don't bother me at all. I don't care about nails on a chalkboard (unless they're mine), or silverware or whatever. Unless and until someone does it on purpose to annoy me. Then it could be anything.
I love, love, love, oscillating sounds that rise asymptotically in frequency like the Euler's Disk. Or bending a big sheet of plexiglass so it goes "BOWWWWWoiiiiingk!"
People eating with their mouths open, though, that bothers me. Soundwise, that's probably the thing that bothers me, but weirdly it's not mouth sounds as such, but the doing-it-wrongness of having your mouth open for something where it doesn't make sense, like a Jolly Rancher or something. How do you suck on a hard candy with your mouth open? I used to work with a guy who could make drinking from a bottle of water sound like opening a bag of Doritos.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:15 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


It irritates me that I get light headed when I cut or otherwise injure myself. (Otherwise I'm fine with blood, just not from my injuries!)

I really hate touching raw chicken. I can cope if I wear gloves but try and get out of chopping it if I can.
posted by freethefeet at 9:37 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Looking in/at a mirror in the dark, which I can trace back to some horror movie trailer I saw on TV when I was little. It creeps me right out. Maybe related, I'm also super uncomfortable looking in a mirror if other people are there.

Zombies. I mean, zombies are supposed to make people uncomfortable, but if I see or read anything made for adults that's even zombie-adjacent, I have violent nightmares for a week. I clearly haven't been traumatized by actual zombies, but the idea of them switches on something terrible in my imagination.

Things beeping. I'm not too sensitive to sounds - my neighbor teaches trumpet lessons to children and I don't mind, for example - but if something is beeping I want to crawl out of my skin.
posted by centrifugal at 10:46 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


the sound of someone else using fingernail clippers should never be heard except maybe through a closed door.
the shrapnel? eeeww.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:15 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


“Prolly”
posted by klausman at 12:47 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


"anyways"
any scene in a movie where you look down from a high place makes my body feel like it's going to simultaneously poop the pants and throw up
the texture of that puff of cotton they put in a medicine bottle (horrible, horrible)
"across the pond" IT ISN'T A POND
people who say that "suck" is a swear
and the very, very worst one:

small talk. of almost any type. I genuinely cannot bear it, I have been known to silently walk out of a room because I just cannot tolerate the fucking inanity of small talk. it makes me feel like I'm going to start screaming at the top of my lungs and never stop and they will have to cart me away.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 1:40 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


The sound of roller suitcases rolling over gritty bumpy sidewalks.
The clop clop of certain wooden heeled shoes.
Misophonia related to certain sound qualities of voices (which means I am always on the hunt for podcasts that don’t trigger this — and they are hard to find!)
But worst — a certain “lo fi” drum sound and hiss/crackle that is popular in ads and makes me literally groan until I can turn the sound off. Brrrrr.
posted by profreader at 2:54 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Wet, wrinkly shower-skin against other wet, wrinkly shower-skin. UGH.

also any and all depictions of shame or disappointment in childhood but that's probably something I should get therapy for sometime haha haha ha
posted by aihal at 3:16 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


Your feet. Particularly your toes.
posted by MT at 4:07 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


This thread is an amazing sensory journey. Thanks, taz.

When I was two or three, I had a simple stuffed turtle made out of fabric that had been printed to look like a patchwork quilt. There was a specific spot at the edge of one "patch" where a yellow flower pattern was cut off, so you could only see part of the flower. That one interrupted flower freaked the hell out of me at that age, this morbid fascination I couldn't let go of, the way you might obsessively stick your tongue into a socket left by a missing tooth. I recently explained this reaction to interrupted patterns to Little eirias and she knew exactly the feeling I was talking about. Never felt so clearly that she is mine.

This 1980s commercial for Whatchamacallit made me incredibly uncomfortable when I was a kid. Something about the way the singer's voice sounds like she's either horny or high. The sound of her intoning "whatever it is, whatever it was" was burned into my brain like a trauma memory.

Around that same age, I was creeped out by this song and as a grownup I actually only find it more disturbing.
posted by eirias at 4:51 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


People talking as if you are supposed to know what they are talking about, or like they are resuming a conversation they think they were having with you earlier. I think my creepy feelings around this go back to stalker movies and/or obscene phone calls where you pick up the phone and the person is already talking and the tone suggests you are sure to know what they are talking about, and it's something not very nice. I used to get this a lot working in bookstores. People would walk in with some conversation going on in their head, probably, and sort of drop me into it without creating the context you usually have in a conversation like that. It can also happen because of mistaken identity but whatever the reason, I feel like I am getting into someone else's head in a way I don't want to be.
posted by BibiRose at 5:39 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


It has only happened to me a few times, but the sound of two of my teeth scraping along each other. Not grinding, or clicking, but a perceptibly wrong, misaligned scraping. I was once sitting close enough to a student at work to hear it when it happened to him. *shudder*
posted by rip at 5:45 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Oh also thin, pale mushrooms that grow under logs, insects with legs too skinny to possibly be functional, and a specific thing a fellow camper used to do where she broke up narrow sticks into pieces and planted them into the ground very close together. We called them stick gardens and I remember begging her to stop making them. Somehow these things are all related in my mind, and are wrong, wrong, wrong.
posted by rip at 5:51 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


People eating over computer keyboards and building up longstanding dirt between the keys. Touchscreen phones and tablets that go everywhere with you in the house -- when do they get a wipe down?

Imagining what goes on on other people's hands and in their heads about what's on their hands. (You moderated posts with those hands, Jessamyn! :-P )
posted by k3ninho at 5:57 AM on January 30


At work, because things are so awful (supermarket worker) some coworkers have adopted "Living the dream" when you casually ask "How are you?". I. Can't. Stand. that phrase.

Watching balloon releases on TV. Yes, they are almost always in remembrance of someone (usually tragically) lost, but they make me rabid with anger. Don't they know how dangerous balloons are to the environment? Don't they know how many animals get tangled up/try to eat balloons??? I truly become unhinged about this.

Glowing lights in my room at night. I actually cover the cable box light and turn my alarm clock to the side so I can't see it. Even though my eyes are closed, I KNOW if I opened them, those lights would be there (and I can't see the numbers without my glasses, so it's just the light that bothers me). I like to blame the movie "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" that I saw as a child, with the little glowing demons that only came out in the dark...but it's probably just me.
posted by annieb at 6:40 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


Can I add "veggies"?

If excessive abbreviation distresses you, I advise you to never go anywhere near Australia.
posted by zamboni at 7:42 AM on January 30 [9 favorites]


These are all language-related.

Rhyming abbreviations/acronyms with the pattern xOxO, so:

Acceptable: Bolo (the tie), Gobo (the Fraggle), SoHo (grandfathered in)
Not Ok: FOMO, BOGO, YOLO, other cities' takes on SoHo like Raleigh, NC's GloSo for Glenwood South.

These irritate the heck out of me.

Also as an aging white guy, I have a tough time with a lot of "of the moment" slang that seems like it's not going to make it into the hall of fame the way "cool" has. Fine in a single song, or if it feels organic and natural. But by the time I'm hearing it all over (or considering using it; trust me, you don't want that) it feels like it's probably dead. When people use slang that feels awkward coming from them I silently ask "Are you also getting jiggy with it?" I really do not ever again want to hear that something is going to be "lit" due to the presence of "bangers". Please god no. Yes, I am an old man from the 1890s.

From Mrs. Freecell:

- the word "slacks"
- Helen Hunt, just in general (which begs me to mention her wearing slacks)
- adults using "tummy" to talk about their own stomachs - it's ok when talking to kids.
- She finds "chat" vaguely threatening and annoying. In a work context "Do you have a minute to chat?" is usually bad. In a social context, we both struggle with small talk, so if someone wants to "chat" it means nothing interesting will be discussed. I'd rather know what a person I just met thinks about the Ukraine situation or the meaning of life.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:45 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


“Love handles” is an extremely lewd way to describe a not-inherently-sexual body part. A very conservative coworker said it once and I think I blushed.

Related, using the word “sexy” to mean popular, trendy, or generically cool. Like a sexy research topic or sexy font. You have many, many adjectives to choose from, please try again.
posted by momus_window at 8:23 AM on January 30 [9 favorites]


its ok to use 'tummy' when talking to your cat about its sexy furry chubs you are about to rub.
posted by supermedusa at 9:34 AM on January 30 [15 favorites]


I have an incredibly visceral reaction to things morphing or shrinking or growing as a visual effect, it actually turns my stomach sometimes.

I had such a problem with this as a child--I still remember having to hide my eyes while watching a live-action Pinocchio. Sesame Street had a morphing faces animation (I think they were hills?) that was also really frightening to me...

As an adult, I have some weird reactions to certain textures. Dry towels are great when my hands are wet, but I just have the "nails scratching on chalkboard" response when my hands are dry. Similarly, I cannot abide anything tight around the waist, even if the fit is supposedly correct.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:45 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


You know what grinds my gears? This just happened on Facebook and reminded me. That poem "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry. It's a perfectly fine poem until that terrible ending: "...and am free." You don't have to spell it out! You don't have to hit your reader over the head with a hammer! It's not an especially complex poem to begin with! "I rest in the grace of the world" is perfectly nice! A lovely phrase! But then it's ruined! And all my Quaker friends are always sharing it around and being all, "Oooh, it's so deep."

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Also glad to learn I'm not the only person with severe condiment aversions.
posted by Well I never at 9:53 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


I have an incredibly visceral reaction to things morphing or shrinking or growing as a visual effect, it actually turns my stomach sometimes.

I had such a problem with this as a child--I still remember having to hide my eyes while watching a live-action Pinocchio. Sesame Street had a morphing faces animation (I think they were hills?) that was also really frightening to me...


I completely forgot about this! I used to hide behind the couch during the Hulk transformation in The Incredible Hulk. Fighting, violence, blood, gore - no problem to that 7 year old. But that scene, nope.
posted by mephisjo at 10:07 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


I used to hide behind the couch during the Hulk transformation in The Incredible Hulk.

Bet you loved Manimal.
posted by pipeski at 11:08 AM on January 30


The SO chews icecubes. It drives me insane. I often have to leave the room.
posted by Splunge at 11:40 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


(Splunge - Does your SO have iron deficiency?)
posted by obfuscation at 12:41 PM on January 30


I'm absolutely repulsed by canned tuna fish. Not just the taste and texture - even just the *smell* of it can drive me out of a room. Oddly, non-canned tuna (a slab of tuna steak for example) is... not my favorite fish, but does not generate anything like the same visceral disgust that it would if it was canned.

Reasonable-length fake nails are a mild turn-off and always make me a little concerned they're going to break. Unreasonable, ridiculous fake nails move the needle from "mild turn-off, mild concern" to "huge turn-off, major creepiness factor". And if your nails are super-long but even possibly not fake, that's just cranking the dial even further in that direction. No thanks.

When I was a kid, I a.) had a recurring nightmare where I would go into a dark bathroom, switch on the light and find a bloated, disgusting severed head in a toilet bowl (yeah I have no idea where that dream came from or what it's about; I swear I was not an otherwise traumatized child) and b.) we lived in a house where the light switch for the upstairs bathroom was on the hallway wall outside the bathroom, as a result of some bone-headed architectural fail. My little brother and some of our friends would sometimes take advantage of the incredibly obvious prank of switching off that light switch while someone else was inside using that bathroom. I hated it and I've hated being in a dark bathroom ever since.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:43 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]


Sometimes you will for instance be sitting on the couch, and someone will lie on that same couch with their head towards you. And you will look down at their face and you will see it upside down: with their chin towards the top of your visual field, and their eyebrows towards the bottom.
This is still bearable, sort of. But then they will start speaking. And your lovely daughter or your sexy wife will turn into a creepy alien with its mouth at the top of its face, and its eyes at the bottom! I can't bear to watch it...
posted by bleston hamilton station at 12:53 PM on January 30 [6 favorites]


I like ketchup, but I cannot stand having to deal with washing leftover ketchup on plates.

And then there is young kids dressed as and acting like adults. It generates instant, visceral loathing, particularly when it's business attire.
posted by mollweide at 1:49 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Referring to people as “creatives.”
posted by sugarbomb at 2:21 PM on January 30 [9 favorites]


Oh god, it's tongues. Tongues and all the creepy things people do with them. Remember the Pearl Drops lady? I'm pretty sure she's the one who sent me down the road of revulsion. Now I can't stand to see anyone's tongue at all. Stick that thing back in your mouth where it belongs!
posted by HotToddy at 2:53 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I like ketchup, but I cannot stand having to deal with washing leftover ketchup on plates.

Now I'm having flashbacks to the assholes who put ketchup on the back of the high school locker padlock.

I like ketchup fine on the things it's a condiment for.

But out-of-context ketchup is indeed truly disgusting.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:20 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Touching certain cotton balls, especially the ones in the top of bottles of aspirin. I have to use tweezers to take them out, and even that is an upsetting process. Really, it's best if someone else will do it for me.
posted by dizziest at 3:37 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]


I don't even know where to start here, folks.

Owait. I do: STICKY

I hate sticky anything. Freaks me out in practice, theory, and conversation.

Also:
sponges
microfiber cloths
people cooking food without their hair pulled back (especially while on the teevee!)
tilted pictures on the wall
dishes left in the sink
styrofoam squeaking
touching someone else's damp/wet towel
"Just sayin'"
"Jeggings"
"Er mah gerd"
SITCOMS

I could go on...
posted by feistycakes at 3:58 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Calling milk "moo juice."
"Immersive."
Almost all perfume, cologne, scented candles, air fresheners.
Podcasts, most NPR, embedded video clips. PLEASE GIVE ME A TRANSCRIPT. I hate being a prisoner of someone elses concept of pacing.
Low bit rate MP3s, distorted audio in general, especially if other people can't hear what's wrong with it.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:27 PM on January 30 [9 favorites]


I've hated being in a dark bathroom ever since

Well, yeah, because if you go to the bathroom in the dark, spiders might come out of the toilet and bite your naked butt. Right?
posted by Pax at 5:13 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I forgot a work one - when, in professional work prose (for example, an article or resource for client consumption) someone uses a state abbreviation instead of writing out the state name. "This new IL law applies to any employer with employees in IL..."

I'm actually not all that bothered by most stupid work cliches that, but really can't stand "reach out" in a work context. It always sounds so...emotional to me, and not business-y. You contact/call/email someone for work purposes, you don't "reach out" to them.
posted by Pax at 5:21 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


This thread has taught me that, try as I might, I will never manage to avoid creeping out somebody somewhere along the line. It's enough to make one give up even trying.

no offense intended...
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:35 PM on January 30 [6 favorites]


Clams and oysters. Mushrooms. They're all slimy.

These excuses for words, and any of their derivations: "boob" and "tit".
posted by NotLost at 7:08 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


My wife is creeped out by dinosaurs. I think that's unusual, but she disagrees.

I also recently started a new job. I will be working with voter data ... and I am learning software that is new to me.
posted by NotLost at 7:22 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Clams and oysters. Mushrooms.

Oh my!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:27 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Seconding the face-painting, bondcliff. Why is this clown-adjacent activity advertised as "fun"?

If a whole fish is served to me (or the table) please don't put its head closest to me -- if you do, I'll turn the plate, slightly; just don't like it looking at me.
posted by Rash at 8:14 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Clams and oysters. Mushrooms.

Chitin is the major structural component of the cell walls of mushrooms and of the shells of oysters and clams. It’s present in other structures of clams and oysters but I wasn’t able to search out how much you end up eating when you consume them.
Chitin-producing organisms like protozoa, fungi, arthropods, and nematodes are often pathogens in other species.[15]

Humans and other mammals

Humans and other mammals have chitinase and chitinase-like proteins that can degrade chitin; they also possess several immune receptors that can recognize chitin and its degradation products in a pathogen-associated molecular pattern, initiating an immune response.[15]

Chitin is sensed mostly in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract where it can activate the innate immune system through eosinophils or macrophages, as well as an adaptive immune response through T helper cells.[15] Keratinocytes in skin can also react to chitin or chitin fragments.[15] According to in vitro studies, chitin is sensed by receptors, such as FIBCD1, KLRB1, REG3G, Toll-like receptor 2, CLEC7A, and mannose receptors.[15][16]

The immune response can sometimes clear the chitin and its associated organism, but sometimes the immune response is pathological and becomes an allergy;[17] allergy to house dust mites is thought to be driven by a response to chitin.[16]
How much that determines your repugnance for clams, oysters and mushrooms is an interesting question, but I’d be surprised if the answer is 'not at all'.
posted by jamjam at 8:22 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]


HotToddy, that “Unnnnngh” in the Pearl Drops commercial is just horrendous. I remember it from being a kid, and even as a kid I knew how it was supposed to read, but how it actually read to me was a sound of agony or despair, not that four-year-old me had the vocabulary for it.
Every dystopian scifi commercial parody pales in comparison to the “help me I am in hell” of that sound. That’s the despair of “Fifteen Million Merits” distilled into one single vocalization.

I’m not really bothered by tongues, though.

***

“Moving forward,” or “going forward,” as office newspeak replacements for the already fine and perfectly clear phrase, “from now on,” or its equally serviceable cousins, “in the future” and “henceforth.” I’ve been hearing it for years, and I still hate it.

“Sooner rather than later” doesn’t bother me conceptually, but it bothers me immensely as a bad, clunky rendition of “sooner than later,” which I admit may not be for everyone, but it is mellifluous and poetic compared to the version with the wholly unnecessary extra word in it.

When people say “hone” when they mean “home.” Homing devices home in on their targets. It’s right there in the name.

Saying “pop” for “soda” (or whatever your preferred colloquialism for carbonated beverages might be) isn’t bad in and of itself, but when it’s said in an Appalachian accent so it sounds like “pawp” it gives me the same skin-crawlies as “dawwer” for “dollar,” “wiww” for “wheel,” and something like “taaghw” for “towel.”
The softened or dropped syllable-terminating L was so prevalent where I grew up, that as a child, upon hearing the word “luau” on some tv show or other, I assumed internally that the “real” word must be “luile.”

***

I used to really feel uncomfortable when people would sing, unaccompanied and unprompted, during regular everyday public life, probably because my dad would tell us to stop singing in some situations (DON’T SING AT THE TABLE! etc.), but I have mostly shaken that one, as spontaneous joyful singing is truly one of life’s simple pleasures.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:42 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Mister Moofoo, George Carlin had your back.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:31 PM on January 30


Had I only known then, Greg.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:40 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


The sound of anyone cracking their knuckles. During my first week of college, all 500 first-year students were assembled in a large auditorium for an orientation. The featured speaker was late, and a series of resident assistants did their best to keep us entertained as the minutes ticked by. Finally, one got up and instructed everyone in the room, on the count of three, to crack our knuckles. The wet, meaty sound that rippled across the room was so deeply revolting (to all of us! All 500 of us groaned!) that to this day a single person cracking their knuckles turns my stomach.

Coworkers who say "I have a question" before asking their question. Just ask it.
posted by southern_sky at 9:55 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


I have more.

Whistlers. People who whistle in public. Maybe this is not so much of a creep out as a rage inducement but whatever, I can’t stand it.

Having a knife pointing at me on a table or counter. I have to move it. Bad energy, man.

Seeing people’s gross chipped pedicures under the toilet stall divider.

The schmutz that accumulates on the base of an electric toothbrush.

Hyper-religious men with beards.
posted by HotToddy at 10:35 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I have an aversion to eating meat, or even watching other people eat meat, EXCEPT FOR the ones I ate in my very non-adventurous childhood: Chicken, beef, and pork. I respect vegetarians but this isn't an ethical thing, I just get squicked out by lamb, goat, lobster, and so on. I started eating Gyros long before I found out what meat they contain so I am able to make a completely illogical exception for those.

When Mad Cow Disease was a big thing in the news I continually worried I'd have to learn to eat Bison or Ostrich or something.

Also I don't like steak unless it's well done and someone cuts it into little bites. Among steak aficionados I am thus known as "a monster."

White noise drives me crazy. Even a tiny bit of static under something. And I'm a musician so I run into this often. The thought of turning on some white noise on purpose in order to sleep is mind-boggling to me.
posted by mmoncur at 5:29 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


mmoncur, I'm curious: how would you characterize your hearing? I ask because my hearing is super-duper good and I cannot really handle a no-white noise existence. I hear little rustles in the leaves outside (cat? rat? lurking murderer?), water dripping down a pipe inside a wall (why does it keep dripping? is an upstairs neighbor's tub / sink overflowing and our ceiling will soon crash in?), somebody moving things on a balcony from an apartment two buildings away (is someone breaking in? or why is someone doing anything that makes noise at 3 am outside on a balcony midwinter? Whaaaat are they doing? Whyyyyy?) etc. ANY little shifting or movement in the house, which is creepy if you have a temporary embarrassment of cats or dogs to attribute it to. I hear things that sound like huge crashes somewhere outside, and ask my husband, "did you hear that?" He always says no.

But of course the joke around here is that he's a sound engineer (he is) so of course he can't hear anything. If I could only borrow some of my ears' superpower for my eyes, I would be doing pretty well, senses-wise.

But so, yeah, my life is full of uncomfortable mystery from all the unidentified wrong sounds. For three seasons of the year I mostly defeat this by running my floor fan, but now is the winter of my (hearing) discontent. My husband with the not-so-great hearing hates the noisy fan, but when he turns it off, I feel like I can hear earthworms crawling underground. (I don't actually think I can, but that's how it feels with all the myriad little creepy noises.)
posted by taz (staff) at 6:05 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


OK I have had misophonia I think my entire life so I read as much as I could and then skipped a good two thirds of the comments, sorry. The pandemic has been good for this aspect of my life although my now not so new anymore beloved slurps soup and cereal and that takes a lot of self control on my part. Anyway. I have a lot of can't stands, but this is funny:

My whole life I hated going to the movies with my mother because she makes her popcorn last through the whole movie, and popcorn chewing gives me a fight-or-flight response in an otherwise-quiet room. A couple of years ago I found out that she too has misophonia and makes her popcorn last the whole movie to drown out other people's chewing.

Gah! LOL.
posted by wellred at 6:32 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


A sensitive issue for many, but 'folx'. Latinx I like, the other versions of that word are gendered. "Folks" isn't gendered.
posted by hwyengr at 6:43 AM on January 31 [8 favorites]


Can eat whole peanuts all day long, but peanut butter or even the thought of it used in the recipe makes me nauseous. Used to have many, many other food yuk factors that I grew out of -- but peanut butter remains.

Auto-tune vocals are completely revolting and an insult to musicality. Absolutely anything with Auto-tune must die.

Overheard inane smalltalk...screw that noise, I'm leaving the room.
posted by Consult The Oracle at 6:43 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh, and speaking of hearing / noise suffering: Laugh-tracks. That's all. The devil's music.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:13 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


Not mine, but my wife has a HUGE aversion to stopping/opening any sort of mechanical device when it's in the middle of a timed cycle. Like, if the dishwasher is running, and I realize we're out of forks, and I go to open the dishwasher and retrieve a fork? It causes her intense anguish, for reasons she can't or won't articulate. The closest I've gotten to a good explanation is "you can't interrupt it, it's doing its job!" If the need is great enough to actually require opening the dishwasher, she'll leave the room before I do it.

Naturally I am torn between respecting this adorably neurotic tic, and leveraging it as a threat in low-stakes arguments about completely unrelated things.
posted by Mayor West at 7:29 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Wristwatches and rings. Every single moment that I'm wearing a ring, 80% of my mind is devoted to thinking, "there's a thing on my hand! Get it off!" I couldn't even manage a ring through the entire wedding reception, though I tried my best and managed through most of the photos. (With a $12 used stone ring, 'cause I knew I'd never wear it again.) I have a wristwatch that I bring in my pocket and set on the podium when I'm giving a talk in a room without clocks, 'cause I find it almost impossible to speak or think while wearing it. There are lots of other things that are similar. The hardest part of going back to working in person was realizing that I had to wear socks all day again.

Otherwise, I don't seem to have any strong sensory reactions, nor any real sense of horror or visceral shock at much of anything. I do dislike almost all cakes and desert pies. But, I can eat them and smile. I genuinely believe that most of you aren't also just pretending that you like them in a massive, self-assembling conspiracy. But that's confusion, rather than cringing.
posted by eotvos at 7:37 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Fish hooks creep me the hell out. No real reason or associated trauma. But whenever I see someone swinging a fishing rod around I can't help but worry that I'm going to catch a fish hook with my face.
posted by Alex404 at 7:46 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I'm absolutely repulsed by canned tuna fish. Not just the taste and texture - even just the *smell* of it can drive me out of a room.

mstokes350 I am right with you. Including the mixing of canned tuna in a bowl with another horror - mayonnaise. I cannot stay in the room with the smell of canned tuna and certainly not the squishing sound of mixing it up. When I was little and mom made tuna casserole, I got my own little no-tuna casserole.

Also I really do not like the word horny and will feel the opposite if a partner describes themselves that way.
posted by Glinn at 8:17 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


There's something about this particular scraping thing that I cannot stand. It's almost like filing one's nails with a metal file, but it's - like, there used to be book covers that were this almost 3D like hard plastic thing that had grooves in it? Or the lower guitar strings, when you change them or drag a pick along and it makes that whizzing sound? ARGH I could probably describe it better if I weren't distracted by the need to shiver and clench my fists.
posted by Occula at 8:56 AM on January 31


Oh boy the thing that people do where they use your name over and over unnecessarily like "hi Robin nice to see you Robin also Robin Robin Robin" like I'm right here and I know you know my name and just please stop it's creepy.

JEFFFREEEEEEYYYYYY
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:57 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Re:!”there’s a thing on my hand, get it off!” - this is how I react to fingernail polish! I am constantly conscious of its weight and wrongness on my fingernails and it drives me to distraction. Once in middle school a friend persuaded me to try some stick-on nails, and after applying just one I removed it and fled the room.

And I forgot my worst one - biting a grain of sand while eating something. The sound and sensation give me the heebie-jeebies. If I’m eating at the beach I don’t chew things well just to avoid that, but last night it got me in a salad.
posted by centrifugal at 9:01 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I used to think that I didn't have the "cringe" reaction to anything. People would talk about "cringe comedy," like the British version of The Office or whatever, and I wouldn't understand.

YouTube video thumbnails make me cringe. The ones with faces in them, faces making over-sold facial expressions, like scratching their chin, head tilted up, face scrunched into a quizzical expression. Launch all of those people directly into the sun to save me from their embarrassment.
posted by emelenjr at 9:08 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Spelling mistakes leap out at me. It’s 2022 now and spellcheck is in pretty much everything, but other mistakes run rampant. “Should of” drives me crazy. How does that look normal to people!?

High pitched chirps are annoying to everyone, I think, but some people can’t hear them or can tune them out. Every week for the past two years I’ve had a conference call with a woman whose smoke alarm chirps. I mentioned something about it (“Hey Andrea, you might want to check on that smoke alarm.”) and she said “Huh. Yeah.” and it still chirps.

The Internet Movie Car DataBase is a pastime of mine, so I spend a lot of time looking at bits and pieces of cars in the background. Cars have corner reflectors, you know, little red rectangles on the sides of the car near the back. On the Toyota Prius Prime, however, it’s not a rectangle. It’s a large, blood-red, wedge-shaped piece. With the car’s swoops and swashes it looks like it was carved out of the metal. To me it conjures the image of an open wound. It’s revolting. Take a look and tell me if I’m crazy.
posted by Monochrome at 9:59 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Monochrome that car is HORRIFIC.
posted by Zumbador at 10:06 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Chewing sounds. Crunchy is OK, slurping soup is annoying, but if I hear a "moist" chewing I need to stand up and leave. I had an office mate who did this (and of course ate at his desk, though thank god not constantly--just during lunchtime.) I approach lunch meetings with dread, fearing there will be a moist chewer near me.

As atonement for the sins of my super pedantic years, I am now extremely non-prescriptivist when it comes to language. Almost everything is fine, what I used to think of as mistakes are just idiosyncrasies that add to the richness of life. Except for some reason saying "less" when you mean "fewer." If someone does that in front of me I will be embarrassed on their behalf and my brain will spend the next 15 seconds trying to figure how to help us all move past this awkward moment.
posted by mark k at 10:24 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


The word "womb." For me that combination of letters feels and smells rubbery and acrid, and just does not belong in the same thought-space as where a uterus is and what it does.

Acquaintances (or strangers) randomly touching my arm in mid-conversation. What the hell kind of social signal is that? Is it a dominance thing? Are they testing to see if I'm corporeal? One of the unexpected joys of social distancing has been not having that happen ever.

Having my name used over and over, yeah, especially if it's my given name that I don't habitually use, especially if they then mispronounce it.

Washing dishes with sponges, and the way kitchen sponges smell.

Auto-play videos. Also, PLEASE GIVE ME A TRANSCRIPT seconded.
posted by pernoctalian at 10:35 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I don't want to yum anyone's yuck, but the thing with mayo is something I don't really get. I mean, I know it's white and unguent and creamy, and that can just seem gross, I guess (for reasons probably best left to our psychotherapist), but do you have the same feeling for yogurt or sour cream, or béchamel, or hollandaise, say? The thing is that I've made mayonnaise (in fact for a couple of years I only made my own mayonnaise, but then I got lazy and more willing to use store stuff if it doesn't have like sugar and stuff), and it's just egg, oil, and lemon? Also garlic if you are making it more like aioli, or you can add other herbs or whatever (like tarragon, etc.) for your own preference. If you are ugh about any of those ingredients, then it makes sense (and also in the US eggs can be sort of dangerous, since they wash off the natural protective coating), but in general, I don't get why mayonnaise in particular is so widely viewed as disgusting. It's a classic preparation.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:03 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


It gets oozy when it gets warm, is why.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


it starts off oozy! But if you mean going-bad-oozy, that's a thing — I know — because I've always heard about that, so I believe it ... but I've lived in stupidly hot places and eaten mayo almost all my life and never had bad oozy from mayonnaise. LOTS of bad from fish / seafood, though, and I still love fish, so I'm probably not the best guide here, in any case.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:17 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


but do you have the same feeling for yogurt or sour cream, or béchamel, or hollandaise, say?

No but mayonnaise is so much more horrifyingly gelatinous. Like a good yogurt or sour cream is silky and dense and hollandaise is silky and smooth but mayo is just all bobby globby and goes smjmjmqqshhffllshqwsh in your mouth. If you mix some roasted garlic in and call it aioli I will eat like a cupful of it and be half repulsed but garlic is irresistible.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 11:32 AM on January 31 [6 favorites]


I cannot STAND when people refer to parents in public as "moms" and "dads" instead of mothers and fathers, or parents. But especially moms. It's casual, it's slang, it's what you address your OWN as, but it's not THE TERM. It's infantilizing and it makes me angry!
posted by Occula at 11:43 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Most of the things that drive me crazy are the kinds of things generally recognized as irritating, or else the kind of things understood to be irritating when one is very tired/stressed/hurried. But the one thing I just irrationally cannot stand is central heat. Maybe it's because I mostly experience it in buildings/homes that weren't built for it --drafty, shitty old buildings that have been retrofitted-- or that the systems are badly maintained, but central heat makes me feel scorched, itchy, greasy, damp, and chilled all at once.

Radiators 4 lyfe.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:00 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


>If you mix some roasted garlic in and call it aioli
Unashamedly: confit the garlic under olive oil and use both the confit garlic and its oil when making the may-aioli, thought you might also call that a Toum. Overdo with grated/microplaned raw garlic for green zing.
posted by k3ninho at 12:05 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


The only way I can stomach yogurt is tzatziki and raita. All others can fuck right off.
posted by cooker girl at 12:10 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Mostly I am just a bit baffled by artificial fingernails, except in the context of pornography featuring multiple ladies about to have a nice time together in which case NOOOOO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!
Also I have a thing about those twee fake wells and whatnot that you can get as a garden ornament. And things made to look like marble which are not marble, although I did stoop to owning some UPVC window frames which look like wood but are not wood. This is basically lies in material form and shouldn't be allowed. Except if it's a theatre set, where we agree to suspend disbelief.
posted by quacks like a duck at 1:20 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I have a habit of making tuna sandwiches with a layer of potato chips. Why? In case there is a bone fragment I will probably not notice it. Bones in tuna freak me out. If I feel the crunch of a bone in my mouth I immediately spit everything out. I dispose of the sandwich and what ever tuna salad is left. I rinse my mouth out. Then I'm off tuna salad for a while. Lat time it was two months.
posted by Splunge at 1:25 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


I now have the Whatchamacallit commercial song in my head. Luckily for me, I find it soothing.

Squeaky Styrofoam makes my teeth hurt. I don't think this is an uncommon one, though.

I'm thinking about some therapy for eating issues, like sometimes I will spent time happily cooking a dish, look at it when I'm done, and be revolted at the thought of eating it. I know it's good, my husband is eating it happily, but I just can't. Usually this passes if I let it sit for a bit. If it's just a quick meal I'm pulling together, it usually doesn't happen. I also have a weird thing with leftovers, where I know they've only been in the fridge overnight, they're fine, I have to force myself to go back to them. Day old pizza sitting on the dining table? Sure! The great thing I made yesterday? Nope.
posted by PussKillian at 2:09 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


“Sooner rather than later” doesn’t bother me conceptually, but it bothers me immensely as a bad, clunky rendition of “sooner than later,”

I have a similar one! I think "that said" is perfectly good, and someone I work with (whose writing I have hierarchical control over, but try not to pick at too much) elongates EVERYTHING (I know, I'm the anti-state-abbreviation person, above), using many more words than necessary, and uses "with that having been said," instead.
posted by Pax at 2:25 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Picking up other people’s dirty dishes and cutlery. It was why I never waitressed.

By contrast, cleaning retail bathrooms never bothered me.
posted by jgirl at 3:11 PM on January 31


Coworkers who say "I have a question" before asking their question. Just ask it.
Or, even worse, 'can I ask you a question?'. I always respond with 'you already have', then ignore them.
posted by dg at 4:37 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid I absolutely loathed buttons (still don’t like 'em), and I could not stand to have anything on my hands, especially gloves; plus I could not tolerate the feeling of being trapped in a heavy coat.

Which led to many instances of showing up at school when there was six or more inches of snow on the ground in an unlined nylon windbreaker over a shortsleeved t shirt, with my face bright red from the mile walk to school, and my hands a truly brilliant red from throwing snowballs, which was my preeminent winter recreation.

I got away with it for a couple of years, but during the winter of third grade on one very cold Saturday morning, a social worker turned up at the front door unannounced, and our case was not helped when I came in from having a snowball fight halfway through her visit wearing a t-shirt without the windbreaker (you can’t really throw snowballs even in a windbreaker, much less a heavy jacket!).

My parents were completely humiliated, and after that I was forced to wear a parka when I went to school when there was snow on the ground. But I really could not handle that, and in a few weeks I found a section of hedge on the way to school not far from my house that wasn’t visible from the sidewalk where I could hang my parka, pull the sadly crumpled windbreaker out of a pocket and restore the status quo ante, collecting the parka on my way home.

That worked for a month, and then one day the parka was gone, and I had to explain to my parents that I’d 'lost' it. I swear they were angrier about that than when I’d accidentally set fire to our house and destroyed most of the back porch the year before.

The buttons thing came back at me again the next year when my 4th grade teacher sent home an edict that I would not be allowed on any field trip unless I was wearing a long sleeved button shirt. I, ah ... somehow don’t think my parents ever actually saw that note, and when the first field trip rolled around, the only buttoned shirt I owned was from the Cub Scouts the year before, which I’d dropped out of because I hated the shirt. But I wore it that day even though it was now too small and I was afraid to move because I thought I might rip out a seam. I looked utterly ridiculous, and my teacher never forgave me.
posted by jamjam at 5:15 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


One thing which gets me is bad representation of bilinguals in fiction, especially in comics, especially especially latinos in comics.

I'm reading Generation-X now, and there's one character who's always saying things like "Madre de Dios, don't be like that, chica." and it drives me crazy, I probably won't be able to keep reading for long.

Oh, and ungrammatical, illogical made up Spanish place names in comics, like Santo Angelo or San Conception, make my blood pressure rise.
posted by signal at 5:22 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


taz: " but in general, I don't get why mayonnaise in particular is so widely viewed as disgusting. It's a classic preparation."

In Chile, at least, they put it on everything, and you have to specifically ask for them to not put it on any sandwich or hot dog you order, and if you don't you're served about 3 or 4 times more greasy white stuff than all the rest of the ingredients put together.
posted by signal at 5:27 PM on January 31


The stop motion cooking videos where the ingredients are non-foods. Like chopping a tomato into big red dice into smaller red dice. NO THANK YOU.
posted by meemzi at 5:41 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Bad kerning, or keming.
posted by signal at 5:50 PM on January 31 [14 favorites]


I don't like the texture of pudding or yogurt, though they do taste good. However, jello and mayo are fine, just not together.

Actually mayo is great, but only if used with mustard, when they mix on a sandwich, it's heaven.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:54 PM on January 31


Unrelated to topic: I've been excited to start lending my Kindle books out, but it turns out a) most of them can't do that, and b) you can only ever loan a Kindle book once, ever. I like to play by the rules, but not when they're so stupid.
posted by curious nu at 6:32 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I had to stop reading because I will get bugged by more things, and I've put effort into being less bugged by things. I hate peeling onions and having bits of onion paper turning up all over the kitchen. People who leave their used tissues lying about, folded or not. I really dislike the poop emoji, though I will clean up after dogs and babies without fuss. I do not want to be exposed to ass unnecessary poop.
posted by theora55 at 8:55 PM on January 31


Unrelated: it's been quite cold here and I've been wearing 2 flannel nightgowns, and while I understand this will not get me nominated for a Nobel, a Macarthur genius award seems reasonable. It's really cozy. I sleep in fleece tights and a sweatshirt (possibly also a turtleneck, maybe a fleece vest) or other warm clothing in winter, but had someone staying because their heat is sketchy, and I love my double-layer flannel. People complain that nightgowns get twisted up, but I have flannel sheets, and am basically velcro'ed into bed.

I have a proper hot water bottle and a down comforter which make survival possible. Because I am too cheap/ hate to burn fossil fuel and the house is nippy at night.
posted by theora55 at 9:02 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I am viscerally repelled by makeup, especially deep red lipstick and thinly plucked or painted on eyebrows. I cannot bear being trapped in a space with dressed up ladies with heavy makeup and perfume. I do not fly or go to church. Movie makeup is difficult for me to view. I have less problem with goth eyeliner or black lips. It's the dressed up ladies' makeup that creeps me out. Being close enough to smell someone's makeup makes me feel physically ill.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:39 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


The admonition to Keep your eyes peeled. Shudder…
posted by carmicha at 11:14 PM on January 31 [5 favorites]


I recently left a job where one of the managers would use the word “kindly” when asking for something to be done, or not done.

“Please kindly turn in your monthly expense sheet”
“Kindly stop leaving the windows down in the truck”

It always made me want to violently do the opposite, after punching something. uuughhhh
posted by tarantula at 4:52 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I recently left a job where one of the managers would use the word “kindly” when asking for something to be done, or not done.

The receptionist at work does this with "polite notice", including starting Slack posts with "POLITE NOTICE: [contents of post]".

I don't have the heart to explain that it's hardly a polite notice when you're yelling "POLITE NOTICE" at everyone, or that politeness is a show-don't-tell kind of deal...
posted by terretu at 5:00 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


When people say "guac." Like, your time is so precious you can't say "amole"???

Also I somehow hooked onto the fact that mayonnaise is made from old eggs and NOPE even though I know it's a basic sauce la la la. Not gonna happen. Luckily my husband agrees and mayo is not allowed in this house. Perhaps related, also canned tuna fish and tuna salad.

My daughter can't seem to put the top on the toothpaste and I hate how it gets a little... thickened? at the top and then kinda unplugs itself and glooshes out when you squeeze the tube.

Also I am on a personal mission to banish "you guys" from all workplaces.
posted by nkknkk at 6:25 AM on February 1


OH and the flashing of a TV from another room, like if I'm in bed and my husband is watching TV in the next room and I can see the flashing lights of the different scenes reflected on the walls. OMG I hate that so much.
posted by nkknkk at 6:27 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.


Well I Never, I also dislike the last line, but I *really* don't like this one. What he's talking about? That's a swamp, that's where that happens. I grew up on a swamp and the idea of stepping barefoot into that slimy mud with *shudder* THINGS lurking unseen in it, or possibly sharp clam shells to cut your foot... Ugh. And he's talking about lying down??? A thousand times no.

I've always hated walking barefoot on any texture other than clean carpet. Grass lawns, concrete, asphalt, dirty hardwood or linoleum, sand with sticks and sharp things in it. I hated walking on grass as a toddler, but when I was four I saw one of those PSA things about not being barefoot outside, and the person in the video was playing basketball on an asphalt playground and stepped on a thumbtack and then showed him pulling it out of his foot. Boom, traumatized.
posted by ananci at 6:34 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


One more - hashtags with puns for weddings. WHY IS THIS A THING? #gettingBarryed #HappilyEverMcMaster #SayYestotheWests WTF
posted by nkknkk at 6:34 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Strangers bare feet.
Just spent two week vacation in a hotel, where another guest walked around barefoot outside his room. Eg at breakfast, meals, at the bar. I eventually swapped dinner shifts, because even just seeing him was so gross, knowing his feet underneath the table were bare.
Years ago i had a colleague at work who would walk around barefoot. On carpet. So gross.
posted by 15L06 at 6:47 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Oh good, we’re still doing this.

I despise the word “slathered” since it’s used in every blog recipe for DIY lotions and creams. They usually finish up by tying a gingham ribbon around the jar but so far, my love of gingham has been unaffected. I also want to scream, your body butter only looks whipped like that for two days max.

Those same blogs and forums, cutely referring to their husband as DH. Just know that in this American League region, I am mentally translating that to Designated Hitter.

Eyes. I dislike wearing mascara and if it’s clumpy, I will be scraping it off between my fingers. The kind that goes on in tubes? Pulling that off too. Eyelash dyeing? It’s okay when they are painting my lower lashes but having to look up while they paint the underside of my upper lashes? Absolute hyperventilating torture. Eyelash extensions? Okay, because they do it with your eyes closed but all those extra lashes in my peripheral vision, super annoying, and then I was back to the mascara issue where I could feel them and gradually pulled them off.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:58 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


The thing that creeps you out? After practicing medicine for 30 years I can confidently say: I’ve seen worse.
posted by neuron at 7:47 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


cockroaches. I don't like them. Other bugs are fine, it's just them.
My daughter petted a hissing cockroach at the zoo. I almost threw up.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:25 AM on February 1


Wet cat food. The pate kind isn't as bad. The ones with extra gravy are gross. And the smell. Alas, I know it's better for the cats. And Gidgette is less likely to barf up wet food.

Fuckin' phone menu trees. I had to call Prudential about my late father's dividend check. I went through phone tree hell to try to get to an operator. Then the damn tree asked me if I was calling about life insurance. I said, no. It said, if you are call blah blah blah. Then it asked AGAIN if I was calling about life insurance. I practically shouted no into the phone. AGAIN the life insurance phone number. Then the damn thing hung up on me. I called my brother and told him to deal with it.

Contrast that with the helpful lady at the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office who took care of what I needed done and told me not to worry about sending in the form. Though a form due on 12/31 showed up on 1/31 is a little ridiculous.
posted by kathrynm at 8:30 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Luckily my husband agrees and mayo is not allowed in this house.

My sister had a boyfriend who was... angered by mayo. Like, it's not my fave but I'll eat it on some things and I acknowledge that it's real and it tends to come on sandwiches. We'd go out to a deli, he'd order a sandwich, it would come with mayo, and he'd get all pissed off, return it, complain, roll his eyes like "Can you BELIEVE this?!" I am not a fan of mayo but not acknowledging that mayo was real was a bridge too far.

For another episode of HOW DO YOU LIVE. I was talking to my sister last night as we were managing some stupid thing in my Mom's house (boiler inexplicably decided to stop working on the coldest day of the year - she had to get out of bed when the low temp alarm went off and go meet the boiler guy, I was on the phone keeping her in good spirits) and she mentioned bringing over a pocket of batteries in case the problem was just a bum thermostat. She was afraid she'd send them through the washer though, so I suggested putting them in a trouser pocket so she'd know they were there. She was like "Did you just say TROUSERS like you are from a different century?!" I said I did. In thinking about it later I think it's because the person I speak with the most in person (no zoom, no phone, just f2f) is 96 years old and I think it may be rubbing off on me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:08 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


When people say "guac." Like, your time is so precious you can't say "amole"???

Hah! I'm this way with most cutesy-abbreviations. "Sandos" instead of sandwiches, "fingies" instead of fingers, etc. Feel incredibly awkward any time I hear them.
posted by curious nu at 9:22 AM on February 1 [6 favorites]


Re: scraping noises

Had a coworker who enjoyed his daily yogurt way too much -‌- the last act, drawn out interminably, was scraping the little container with his spoon, to retrieve every last molecule. Skritch, skritch, skritch -‌- like an insect, toiling away at its task.
posted by Rash at 9:28 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Male (I have only seen male) chefs cooking while WEARING A WATCH ON THEIR HAIRY WRIST. My disgust is so visceral I can't watch a lot of cooking demos. So gross, why would they do that.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 9:36 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Wait. Saying "trousers" is old fashioned?
posted by Zumbador at 10:12 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I arrive here, late as usual, to mention that some people do not wring out the kitchen sponge 🧽 after washing up in the evening. It lurks by the sink, sopping wet in secret, until I pick it up, always unsuspecting, always surprised by this cold wet soggy thing, always instantly, deeply, viscerally annoyed.
posted by hilaryjade at 10:14 AM on February 1 [7 favorites]


Any artificial smell imposed on me by others. Room/car fresheners, bathroom odorizers, those bowls with like flower petals in them. Smelling other people's perfume is gross and doubly so in this year of Our Dark Lord 2022. And doubly doubly if it's deodorant.
The worst though is incense, probably because it's supposed to be delightful and spiritual and shit.
posted by signal at 10:20 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Weird, I actually love all the things mentioned in this thread. Huh. Guess I’m just built different…
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:47 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


the sound of someone else clipping their finger and toe nails. I swear I can here it from a hundred feet away. NOOOOOOOOO
posted by tarantula at 11:24 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


British English speakers saying “Person X is called Y” instead of “Person X is named Y”. Feels like they’re calling Person X names or something.

Most colognes, perfumes, and hairsprays just smell like slightly rancid alcohol to me.

I find the smell of wet latex paint to be essentially unbearable. Almost as bad as garbage and dead things. Also can’t stand to be in the same room where old paint is peeling from the ceiling. Eeeeew!

I used to be afraid of swimming pools, but I kinda exposure-therapied myself out of that. Still not a huge fan of the drain or the filters.

Tootsie Rolls, or any chocolate-flavored thing that isn’t chocolate. Just… why???

The phrase “six of one, half dozen of the other.” So needlessly verbose.

The word “nonplussed” should die a fiery death. I can never remember if it means the thing it sounds like it means, or if it means the opposite.

Wow… clearly I have problems. How exactly do I get through life, anyway? 🤣
posted by panama joe at 12:47 PM on February 1


Oh, and one more thing. How could I forget?

Smile talkers! That thing some people do where they smile while they're talking. Particularly unbearable if they're saying something snarky/smartass/passive-aggressive/impersonal.

I don't, as a general rule, punch people. I don't think I've punched anyone in decades. But when I am in the presence of a smile talker, I want to. I really, really want to.
posted by panama joe at 12:59 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


hilaryjade

The Dangerous Kitchen NSFW bad language
posted by Splunge at 1:03 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I used to be afraid of swimming pools, but I kinda exposure-therapied myself out of that. Still not a huge fan of the drain or the filters.

Oh shit man I forgot how I used to be afraid of pool drains and lights. (The lights are only frightening when they're turned off...or when they POP OUT OF THE WALL AND FLOAT AROUND AT YOU LIKE SOME KIND OF TERRIBLE ROBOT BEAST well great now I'm not sleeping tonight.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:54 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


things that bother trypophobic people with the addition of "clusters" (also the word "clusters" itself; EW!) of dots, teeny tiny lines, ugh ugh ugh. Reminds me of disease. I can't. I get so nauseated thinking about these things and seeing them in books or paintings etc.
posted by bookworm4125 at 3:29 PM on February 1


OMG don't get me started about hot tubs. It is person soup. You know what kinds of things like the combo of flesh, moisture and warmth??

No thanks. Just thinking about them grosses me out utterly.
posted by nkknkk at 3:50 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


The worst though is incense, probably because it's supposed to be delightful and spiritual and shit.

I'm usually okay with most of the usual air pollutions but that stuff triggers my asthma -- had a terrible time with it in India.
posted by Rash at 4:19 PM on February 1


A hot tub is a giant bidet.
posted by HotToddy at 5:31 PM on February 1


A hot tub is a giant bidet.
Well, more of a combined toilet/bidet really. Quite efficient, although only recommended for #1 ...
posted by dg at 6:29 PM on February 1


While I kinda agree about public hot tubs you all can all pry my personal tub from my hot pruney but relaxed body. Nothing non pharmaceutical better for body pain.
posted by Mitheral at 7:10 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Stickers. Of any kind. Can’t stand ‘em.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:26 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


When people say "guac." Like, your time is so precious you can't say "amole"???

Hah! I'm this way with most cutesy-abbreviations. "Sandos" instead of sandwiches, "fingies" instead of fingers, etc. Feel incredibly awkward any time I hear them.


And anyone over the age of five using the word “yummy.”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:31 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Wait. Saying "trousers" is old fashioned?

Only in American English, I think.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:33 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Wait. Saying "trousers" is old fashioned?

Well, you can have my dungarees when you pry them off my dead, cold 19th-century legs!
posted by panama joe at 10:30 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


mmm, dead, cold 19th-century legs. yummy.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:56 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


mmoncur, I'm curious: how would you characterize your hearing? I ask because my hearing is super-duper good and I cannot really handle a no-white noise existence.

Taz: I have pretty good hearing (am also an audio engineer, coincidentally). But I keep two cats and two dogs in the house so any weird noises can be blamed on them, and the dogs are in charge of deciding if noises represent danger. (They are wrong 100% of the time.)
posted by mmoncur at 2:37 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I hate learning about these kinds of things from people I know / have to work with /etc...


Like OK now that I've learned that you're melting down every time you hear the word "foogle" I will be forever wondering if there's not another one of these things you haven't told me about that will come up at the least opportune moment and put me or my projects into danger.
posted by some loser at 4:51 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


the dogs are in charge of deciding if noises represent danger. (They are wrong 100% of the time.)

My late darling was a bit of a sadist, I'm pretty sure. When my husband was away, and it was late at night, herself lounging beside my desk, she would sometimes become super alert, abruptly raised head, ears angling, nose flaring, pointing toward the dark shadows beyond my room, and it would freak me out no end. The one being in the house with ears better than mine, and she's hearing something I don't. I'm half convinced she would do it just for funsies, to shake things up a bit.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:39 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I am unabashedly pro-mayo, and completely indifferent to ketchup (which is at best blah or at worst actively disgusting to me and completely confusing as a condiment when, like, tomato chutney exists in the world) . Stating this in my fifth grade cafeteria was the first time someone ever called me a Bad American to my face. I have worn that title proudly ever since.

Mustard, however. A very good mustard can literally move me to tears.
posted by thivaia at 6:37 AM on February 2


Well, you can have my dungarees when you pry them off my dead, cold 19th-century legs!

I had a great-grandfather who was Scottish or Irish and some of his slang trickled down that side of the family to the point where there are some words I'm not sure are Irish/Scottish or Yiddish (the other side of the family). And I grew up in a rural area and so only learned some of the useful semantic signifiers from television. So like: pants (definitely what you'd say in American English but definitely NOT what you'd say in UK English), slacks, dungarees, trousers, are all kind of interchangeable to me and yet I know vaguely that this is not the case for other people. My dad would definitely say dungarees when I was growing up. And I guess it's a Hindi loanword? And trousers is maybe Gaelic? So interesting.

I can never think of cringey things until they happen, such are my mind's defenses, but another one is getting into or out of the car and keeping the door open for longer than is necessary, like KEEP THE CAR AIR IN THE CAR PLEASE. I am basically a pain in the ass for as little temperature fluctuation as possible.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:56 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


omg, I grew up in New England saying dungarees, meaning jeans. They’re not?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:00 AM on February 2


As a barefoot devotee, my apologies to everyone who hates it. But, in our defense, our feet are washed a lot more often than your shoes are. I don't really get the objection.

If I had a choice, I'd go barefoot most of the time. I did a barefoot week once as an adult just to try it; it was great. I never realized the city bus floors had such a temperature variation, or how much detail there is in the texture of marble staircases. Figuring out how to get to the shower to wash your feet off when coming home without tracking garbage onto the floor, though, was really annoying. I wound up putting on a pair of thongs when coming home, which just feels silly.
posted by eotvos at 9:01 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


omg, I grew up in New England saying dungarees, meaning jeans. They’re not?

South African here. To me, dungarees means a sort of trouser-vest combo? With lots of buckles, usually? I think Americans might call those "overalls" which to me, means a trouser-long-sleeved-shirt combo often worn by mechanics or people with messy jobs.
Damn. I didn't realize that. "Overalls" is a word I have used in my writing.
Did my American readers visualize my tough workmen-like characters prancing around in (what I think of as) dungarees!?!?
posted by Zumbador at 9:57 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Here's an interesting shoe thing (well, for me, anyway): When I was a kid, then early teen I refused to wear shoes except when I absolutely had to. My parents didn't care much, because they also went barefoot at home most of the time. As I got older, I wore more "fancy" shoes, stylish things. Even my minimal footwear was cute ("cute"). Then, in my more advanced years, I got a couple of weird foot pain problems, and then I broke my ankle (not related). Since then I've only worn crocs, because they got rid of the foot pain totally, and they don't slide on most slippery surfaces (ankle breakage issue), and I can slip them on and off with no effort. My husband kind of hated them, though. He was okay with me wearing them, because he didn't want me to have foot pain or borken bonez, but a) sort of reminisced about when I wore cute shoes, and b) wouldn't hear of ever trying them himself. Until he became seriously ill. Spending LOTS of time in the hospital with doctors and nurses all wearing crocs, he saw all these people he liked and admired (who were/are also saving his life) wearing crocs, and to my utter shock, allowed me to buy him some for the period that he was going to be hospitalized ... and now he wears them 80% of the time. So, I'm just saying, shoe-wise, crocs-disgust is real, but also not terminal. (um, not really a sexy story, I know, but if you stay together long enough, even mutual crocs can be kind of 🔥)
posted by taz (staff) at 10:05 AM on February 2 [7 favorites]


Overalls for me (Canadian) means a pair of pants with attached bib front and back and the shoulder straps to hold them up. Coveralls are a complete body covering minus hand, head and feet that are usually worn by over regular clothes by people in dirty occupations like mechanic or millright. Often called a jump suit if that is the only layer or it is everyday casual wear.
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


Obligatory: The Dungarees vs. The Suits
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:29 AM on February 2


The 2022-02-02T02:02:02.020ZTOT* thread on the blue reminds me that ISO-8601 formatting is a hill (of documentation) I'd die on: this fuss about rare patterns in date-time is only cute and clever when you're still conveying recognisable information, not cringey confusing nonsense.

*: TOT is Tonga Timezone
posted by k3ninho at 11:39 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Anyone who does the 'Rabbit Rabbit' thing on the first of the month. I didn't learn about that until adulthood and I hate it so much.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:54 AM on February 2


Things that squick me out:
Feet, in general
Olives
Spiders
Armpits
Bodily fluids, particularly phlegm and boogers
Donald Trump’s voice (actually, everything about him)
The term “baby bump”
posted by sundrop at 7:54 PM on February 2


the mere existence of the word TEMBLOR

Are you me? Let's find out.

COMPTROLLER
posted by flabdablet at 12:56 AM on February 3 [5 favorites]


So many of these are fairly small, like words or foods, that I feel weird about the first thing that comes to mind for me when I hear "creeped out" -- when humans and animals are Island of Dr. Moreau'd. I never realized this was a huge repulsion until I saw the Lindsay Anderson movie with Malcolm McDowell called O Lucky Man, and the scene in the movie where McDowell is in a hospital room and yanks the sheets back on this quivering, huge pig's body that's been surgically attached to a whimpering guy's head. Like, just...it's a horrific moment, and often enough to get the film included in listings for horror movies even though it's not technically part of the genre, but I had no idea until then that it would be such a major issue for me. I'd read Dr. Moreau as a kid and it made no impact, I thought, but maybe it had without me realizing it until I was in that theatre. You'd think this would be such a rare creep-out that you wouldn't have to encounter it much, right? Wrong. It's bizarre how often this type of thing shows up.

I have lots of smaller issues, but nothing will creep me out like this weird, sick trope.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 2:11 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I did a barefoot week once as an adult just to try it; it was great. I never realized the city bus floors had such a temperature variation

you did what
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:52 PM on February 3 [16 favorites]


The thing that creeps me out the most is drool. I hate it so much - if there is somebody spitting or drooling in a movie I have to look away or risk barfing. A couple of years back I was doing VFX for a boxing movie, and they assigned a shot to me where the actor took a big mouthful of water just before doing a closeup of him getting punched so it would all spray out on impact. So there's this slow-motion shot of the guy's face wobbling from the impact with a huge rope of spit coming out of his mouth, but the director thinks it's too much and we have to remove it. It took days of queasiness! I tried to convince myself that I was getting paid to do exposure therapy but it didn't seem to help.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:04 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


I spent several years in my early twenties hardly ever wearing shoes. Lessons I learned: My parents found it really embarrassing.
Shoes are a class signifies, children from very poor backgrounds were FASCINATED by the spectacle of a white middle class barefoot person.
Escalators are a pain and sometimes shock you.
Americans are very weird about bare feet! And will tell you all about it with no sense that maybe not everyone shares their disgust!

Being barefoot is like having a whole other sense, you know so much more about your environment. But that's also why I eventually started wearing shoes again. As a person without a car who walked everywhere, our urban environment is mostly hard, hot, and sharp.
posted by Zumbador at 8:10 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


I have large and very flat feet. Walking on any surface barefoot is an excruciating sensory experience. I wear sandals on the beach, and into the water. I'm in awe of folks who can just decide to not wear shoes for fun.
posted by mollweide at 8:23 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]


Oh my gods. My people, I adore you. I have never or rarely heard anyone else share my existential revulsion for:
the word yum/yummy
ketchup
tunafish
laugh tracks

Whistling, exhaust fans, and helicopters make my brain-gears stop turning and the sound of chewing gum makes me retch, but that's misophonia and at least I am aware I have comrades in that camp.
posted by desuetude at 10:42 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I'm in awe of folks who can just decide to not wear shoes for fun.

Bow down, peasant. I have gone barefoot everywhere I could possibly get away with doing so since about the age of 20, and I'm on the cusp of 60 now.
posted by flabdablet at 2:06 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


And yeah, public reactions are weird. I've been spat on, called a dog, whistled at and had eggs thrown. I've been politely told that I can't come in here without shoes, and rudely told to fuck off for the same reason.

But the single most common public reaction is the one that happens in winter: the look of confusion, the wrinkled brow, and The Question: "Aren't your feet cold?"

To which I always reply "Yes, but that's way less uncomfortable than shoes."

Fuck I hate walking in shoes. The only pair I've owned for years have cycling cleats attached to the soles.

Boots are not quite so bad. I have a pair of steel capped work boots that are reasonably comfy and those are what I'll wear when I can't get away with being barefoot. They are many many years old now but apart from a bit of scuffing around the toes they show no signs of being so.

our urban environment is mostly hard, hot, and sharp

For some, the appropriate reaction to that reality is just to wear the fucking shoes. For me, it was moving out of the city.
posted by flabdablet at 2:16 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Apparently my need to wear shoes has always been too much for my brother-in-law, and after 25 years, he's finally decided to say something. I must now bring my house shoes to wear in his house when we visit, which is fine, but I leave it as an exercise for the reader to consider whether he washes his dog's paws every time the dog comes in from the yard.
posted by mollweide at 3:46 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


The thing about barefoot people that shod people often seem not to appreciate is that when we've stepped in something we'd be unhappy to track around inside our houses we know about it instantly and are very very strongly motivated to clean it off promptly and thoroughly.

Plus, we've all done exactly this just often enough to be way less likely to let it happen again than anybody shod would be. Slugs are the worst. That slime is almost indestructible.

Plus, we tend not to host the kind of foot microecology that thrives inside closed, sweaty shoes. Foot stank is entirely a problem of the habitually shod.
posted by flabdablet at 4:04 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Zumbador: "Being barefoot is like having a whole other sense, you know so much more about your environment. "

Hard same.

Back in my early twenties, when I was in Architecture school, I went barefoot, a lot, precisely for Zumbador's reason: to have another sense of my environment.

I'd get up, walk the fifteen minutes in a still semi-rural part of Santiago, with cracked sidewalks, dog shit, the possibility of broken glass, etc, get on a crappy bus, ride 30 minutes, then walk another 15 minutes to my school and then spend all day at said school, then the same on my way back home, barefoot.

This was seen as slightly (ok, very) odd behavior by my very conservative school. I became a kind of urban myth or cautionary tale: "hey did you know there used to be a student who walked around barefoot?".
I teach at the same school now, 30 years later, and have had people come up to me and ask 'hey, is it true…'

I had a girlfriend from a fairly conservative family. I'd go to her house, barefoot of course. Her mom would get on my case about how my feet were "dirty", so I'd ask her how often she washed the sole of her shoes, which she kept on in her house. Her grandfather once asked, "doesn't this boy have enough money to buy shoes?"

Once, in Rome, I went to Saint Peter's Basilica. There was a long sign listing all the things that they forbade, including shorts, miniskirts, women with shoulder baring tops, etc, a looooong list. I, however, noticed they didn't mention being barefoot.

The floors of Saint Peter's should really be experienced directly by your bare feet. The cold, the smoothness. Highly recommend.
posted by signal at 4:05 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


you know so much more about your environment

and your calves and knees and quads and hammies and hips and spine all get a much better chance to work together properly. On any surface free of gravel or thorns, walking becomes a joy; a kind of functional dancing rather than a plodding slog.
posted by flabdablet at 4:13 AM on February 4


While it may not be as much a divide as standing versus sitting, I feel like we've uncovered another Metafilter schism.
posted by mollweide at 4:13 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


Wipe that schism off your feet before coming inside, please.
posted by flabdablet at 4:15 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


The thing about barefoot people that shod people often seem not to appreciate is that when we've stepped in something we'd be unhappy to track around inside our houses we know about it instantly

Oh. This reminded me of another aspect of being barefoot. Smokers who don't extinguish their smokes, just leave them smoldering for you to step on.

Yes, the "aren't you cold?!?" question.

Another thing is that broken glass is less of an issue than you'd think. Most broken glass outside goes blunt pretty quickly. Devil thorns, on the other hand...
posted by Zumbador at 4:19 AM on February 4


Smokers who don't extinguish their smokes, just leave them smoldering for you to step on.

The look on their faces when I gaze at them levelly while grinding out the butt with the ball of my foot is priceless, though.

It didn't actually take very many months for my soles to harden up to the point where I could do this without taking any damage.
posted by flabdablet at 4:22 AM on February 4


Devil thorns, on the other hand...

Yeah, those are bastards. And fuck bindiis forever.
posted by flabdablet at 4:28 AM on February 4


Anyone who does the 'Rabbit Rabbit' thing on the first of the month.

You may wish to skip ahead to 6:25 if you are a MeFi podcast listener.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:28 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


shoes off at the door, indoor shoes on, thankyouplease.
posted by k3ninho at 12:50 PM on February 4


But when I was a kid my parents dropped me and my siblings off at the swim club and we spent all day there all summer. We went barefoot of course.

By mid summer we could step on just about anything and shrug it off. Bees? No problem. Thumbtacks? Just pull them out and toss it in the trash. There was one local thistle that hurt but that was it. We all used to be indestructible from the ankle on down, but these days even walking on a pebble can be annoying.
posted by mark k at 12:22 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


One of the things going on there is that the surface area of feet scales roughly with the square of height, while the force applied at the sole scales with body mass, which scales roughly with total bodily volume, which scales roughly with the cube of height. So an adult is always going to experience more sole pressure than they did as a kid, which will in general translate to deeper penetration when stepping on lumpy stuff.

There's a threshold effect at play as well. Over the last six months I've dropped my own body mass by a smidge over 20%, and my soles are way less inclined to crack or otherwise take damage than they were when I was at peak mass.
posted by flabdablet at 5:36 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Foot stank is entirely a problem of the habitually shod.

Whoa. Never considered that before but I do believe you're right!
posted by HotToddy at 10:51 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Also, my partner is a New Englander of a certain age who says "dungarees," "slacks," and, omg, "brassiere." I think he does it partly to get a rise out of me, but he also claims to have been well into his 20s before he realized there was a difference between a dress and a skirt, so it may just be an inherent indifference to the taxonomy of clothing. Also he is a big fan of coveralls for any and all manly labor.
posted by HotToddy at 10:58 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


By mid summer we could step on just about anything and shrug it off. Bees? No problem. Thumbtacks? Just pull them out and toss it in the trash. There was one local thistle that hurt but that was it. We all used to be indestructible from the ankle on down, but these days even walking on a pebble can be annoying.

Well, yeah - summer feet, they're called!
posted by Pax at 4:41 PM on February 5


Basically any cutesy word having to do with food or digestion. When an adult says "tummy" I want to scream; equally "yummy."
posted by less-of-course at 5:53 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Well, now you’ve done it. This list of mine gets longer and longer and you’ll be sorry you started this thread when you read on:

I hate: the phrase “pet peeves”,
dirty microwave ovens, can you please clean up your own splatter on the platter?
mayonnaise and ketchup, but I like 1000 island dressing just fine
anything, and I mean anything made with cream sauce OMG why?
peas: fresh, frozen or canned. Ugh. Yet I love split pea soup?! Eggs, sausage, hamburger, mashed potatoes, oysters, clams, olives, sour cream, yogurt except for vanilla, the only kind I can tolerate, lima beans, beets, turnips, bleu cheese, cooked spinach (raw is fine), kale, beef products, candy corn, liver, ripe bananas, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate icing, chocolate covered anything except mints, yet I love brownies?!, candy, pepperoni, any canned fish except tuna, which I like, watermelon (I had a watermelon milkshake once and it was terrible).

I think I must be unAmerican, not liking chocolate cake and watermelon. I'll turn myself in to the nearest authority governing this when I find it. ;)
posted by Lynsey at 11:35 AM on February 6


Lynsey, a watermelon milkshake sounds like something that should not exist… as in “just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
posted by bookmammal at 12:05 PM on February 6


The messy human condition. Sometimes people are cringey and it sucks. This week maybe it's me, next week, possibly you. Just be nice to them, it sucks.


Too intense? The word hipster, then. It isn't a word, it's a catchall for "vaguely disliked characteristics."
posted by firstdaffodils at 5:01 PM on February 6


A chocolate cake milkshake sounds pretty good to me, but I guess you'd need a fatter straw.
posted by jamjam at 7:04 PM on February 6


I’ve never cared for watermelon, either. It’s like eating solid sugar water.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:46 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Really really good when paired with a half decent feta cheese, though.
posted by flabdablet at 1:39 AM on February 7


The schmutz that accumulates on the base of an electric toothbrush

That's what other people's electric toothbrushes exist to clean off, surely?
posted by flabdablet at 1:41 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I absolutely cannot abide the practice of repeating silent vowels at the end of a word for emphasis. You "loveeeeeee" that movie? Not love it, but lovey it? Just don't.

Also, when people use "singular" to mean "single". That's not what it means. It means "unique". Get it together, people.
posted by Crane Shot at 1:33 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


"brekkie"
posted by exlotuseater at 9:00 AM on February 14


Neologisms that combine two words that actually mean the same thing are on my list. "Ginormous" and "chillax" can go walk into the sea. We don't need those words. Either of those pairs actually *is* the same word. Just put a "very" in front. I'm open to the ones that combine more than one concept. But, I'm old and cranky.
posted by eotvos at 9:16 AM on February 14


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