Tis The Season To Nitpick

There was once a time when we didn’t seem to worry so much about every little thing. We didn’t always sweat the small stuff. It was more like, “Sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never hurt us.” Like ducks, we’d just kind of let the water roll off our backs and then moved on. Who cared if we weren’t always politically correct?

But, that’s all changed now. Goodness, we can’t even let sleeping dogs lie.

Not that my neighbors dog ever was much for barking the truth anyway. I can’t even remember the last time he repeatedly barked in order to alert the neighborhood that a dangerous intruder was nearby. Of late, he only barks (incessantly) to inform us of stray cats, wayward dogs, and old Mr. Jenkins somewhat questionable attire. Some watchdog!

But, I digress.

Today, we will nitpick anything to pieces, even when it comes to nitpicking lice out of our children’s hair. Not that I’d ever want to draw undue attention to the fact, that our barber suggested I may have done irreparable harm to my sons hair the last time he had head lice. But, he forgave me…sort of.

But, as I was saying; have we really become overly sensitive to everything as a society?

Take retailer, Target, for example. Last week they became a real topic for conversation when they introduced a new holiday sweater. The sweaters say, “OCD, and then directly underneath “Obsessive Christmas Disorder.” Cute. Not the sweater… it’s downright ugly! But, I thought the idea clever.



Now I think most of us know what OCD really stands for, and obviously Target does, otherwise, they wouldn’t have counted on the general public immediately recognizing the play on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I know I did, saw the clever play on words and enjoyed the humor in it.

But, then I suffer from the problem and try not to take myself too seriously. But, then what do I know?

However, some mental health advocates, and more than a few consumer groups, apparently took offense to the whole thing. They pointed out how sufferer’s of the disorder would not see the humor in the sweaters and would be deeply offended by them. Their concern for us sufferer’s of OCD is admirable.

But, I think some of us can see the humor in our tics, and recognize no malice was intended.

And if that were not enough, last week offered us a second helping of overly sensitive people being critical of, Starbucks, and this years holiday coffee cups. The cups are simply red and green and lacking the usual christian symbols of the season. Like snowmen, flying reindeer, and Santa’s little helpers.

Yes, I could possibly understand Madison Avenue types being deeply offended by this horrid turn of events. What with the big money to be made by encouraging a more festive holiday season, this might be misconstrued as sacrilegious. Heaven forbid!

However, with so many more serious issues occurring in the world this holiday season, don’t you feel that the son of god—patient, tolerant, and understanding soul that he is—might not cut Starbucks just a little bit more slack this time around?






45 comments on “Tis The Season To Nitpick

  1. Paul how happy I am with this post!!! I really truly love Christmas, both in the religious way and the wonderful, glittery kitschy decorative way. I refuse to go into the debate wether you have to say ‘Happy Holidays’ or if you can write xmas, if it is political correct to have a Christmas trees in a public building…hey we are celebrating the feast of love and light and new beginnings right??? So I am already avoiding the stores in a OCD manner and I am happy yodeling away to the fifties Holidays Golden Oldies ( Mr Walker walks around with cotton balls in his ears, I wonder why btw) Last year, my son and I ended up by accident on a veryvery busy parking lot just before Christmas…this guy honked his horn and yelled at us ‘to hurry up’ when there was nowhere to go. My son and I looked at him with raised eyebrows (very effective) and then we saw he was kinda chubby with white long hair and a long beard (really!!) My son and I started laughing…it did not make him happier. You see, people do lose their sense of humor and it makes them miserable, I’d say! Jingle Bells from Ohio, Johanna

    • I’m so happy you and your son have refused to join in with holiday jeer. And my guess is, Mr. Walker doesn’t have ear muffs to keep his ears warm. At least you now know what to get him for Christmas. As for the chubby guy and the white hair, I think that explains why my Christmas wish didn’t get to me last year. Who would have thought? Santa getting stuck in a parking lot in the middle of Ohio? I never would have guessed. 😀

  2. It is a tough tango to remain sensitive, yet still maintain a sense of humor! I think the sweater is fun and silly and the cup is lovely. Not time for such sweating of the small stuff! But I always adore your look and take on things Paul 🙂

  3. I missed the Target OCD kerfuffle, but heard too much about the Star$ cup issue– so it probably all evened out. I agree with you. People are taking the wrong things much too seriously and this year, in particular, it has become tedious.

    • Indeed it has. Whatever happened to holiday cheer. We need it more than ever this year. I mean, there must be bigger issues for these folks to go and attack? All they have to do is look around. If they’re not careful, they’re going to make Santa’s naughty list. 😀

  4. I’m with the Bean lady! All way too tedious! I’ve started to see stores advertise that they will be closed on Thanksgiving (as if that gives them extra points). Really I don’t care who is open and who is not. It’s extra $$ for retail workers who work. Police, hospital workers, etc., work on Thanksgiving. Why aren’t we doing something for them? We are sucking all the humor out of life. Perhaps this is the negative of social media with it’s instant disapproval. (As I sit here with my SB red cup sipping a nice mocha!) I don’t care about trivial things these days.

    • Yeah. It’s almost like there’s been a war declared on humor. People attacking this and that—and what has this and that ever done to anybody—and all without a laugh track too! And besides, if we blog writers have to work on holidays, the least Starbucks can do is provide us with a little festive snowfall on the cup. That’s it, I’m going out and buying me a little white paint, and dipping my paint brush so that I can paint snow on my cup. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore. Well, not without splattering my Starbucks coffee cup with a little white paint splatter anyway. 😀

  5. I love this post! But I’m someone who always became offended at the shipping term “C.O.D” because I thought it too was a spoof on our disorder. Turns out companies just wanted to get paid. 😉 Greatly miss reading you and your hilarious perspective, Paul. As one of the few adult non-coffee drinkers (can’t even stand the smell!) I never even give Starbucks a glance. Too funny.

    • 😀 Hey Stephanie! Yeah, the nerve of those companies, out for the money only. What were they thinking? LOL Thank you Stephanie. Appreciate your kind comments, and I hope your well. Still grateful to you for all the help and support you gave me when I first started this crazy site. :O)

  6. In May 2012 I found myself bark-to-bark with a howling neighbor I fondly refer to as “Yippy Dog.” Please check out my lifeattitudes site for the gory details of what happened when I arose one morning to learn mornings, noons and nights for the foreseeable future were now forever altered by a “watchdog” named only because one is checking their watch incredulous to how long he barks non-stop. The Target sweater…look, I know we’ve moved too far to the side of political correctness but the question I want to ask is how did that idea even get to the shopping floor. Was there not ONE Target management type in charge who might have stepped back a moment and said…”you know, maybe we can go about this another way because I can see this “train” coming if we do this?” The coffee cup message thing is hysterical. People can eat on $5 a day and that’s what these Starbucks drinks cost. If you think of it with all the political correctness floating about their cups should simply say “HOT” or “COLD.” That simple design would increase the profit margins at Starbucks even further! (Disclaimer – I do visit their cafes on occasion if I hit a lottery ticket…)

    • A lottery ticket, I think that’s precisely the going rate for a good, or bad cup of coffee these day’s, Bruce. And I’m going to have to go check out the gory details about Yippy the Dog! Makes me wonder if he hasn’t made appearances here, out west? Perhaps, Target, is still reeling from last year’s credit card snafu? But, it wouldn’t be the first time the “Brain Trust” have given people cause to question that phrase when it comes to, Target, and management. 😀

  7. I’m never sure if my quirks are OCD or old age! However I do know people who are crippled by OCD so I can understand their family’s sensitivity. The whole Starbuck controversy is ridiculous.

    • Your quite right about the whole OCD thing, Jan. And, I am indeed fortunate in my case, that it is not as extreme as in the case of so many others. And, though, I would laugh at the antics of televisions “Monk” OCD can be quite debilitating. As for the whole Starbucks thing, your right there too. What a lot of howling over nothing. But then again, you can’t pay enough for that kind of free advertising! 😀

  8. nice post,as anyone might say we surely have enough huge issues to worry about in this world! When I saw things about the cups I thought they had put some words on the cups that people didn’t like. I thought oh brother, but when I heard it was because they were blank, enough! I really can’t imagine taking the time to think about it!! Thanks for the post!

  9. People take thing way too seriously. Sometimes I think is want to start a company which only makes t-shirts that I know will piss people off. But I need to find someone who has a distorted mind, can be irreverent, has been arrested several times and spoken to aliens. Do you know anyone like that?😊

    • Ha, ha, ha like someone like that could really exist! George, sometimes your so funny. Um but… just for the sake of argument, purely speculation mind you…what if someone like that really did exist? Naturally, someone that talented would have to be a brilliant mind. I mean, what with being able to fluently converse with aliens like the world famous Doctor Dolittle does with animals, and still slip in and out of prison unnoticed with the ease of a transforming chameleon. Why, scholars of the world—say Oxford or Cambridge—would surely be clamoring for his expertise in all matters. But, let’s just say I did know someone like that…not that I couldn’t, since I too am a genius.You’d ask this Renaissance man to stoop to standing on street corners hustling your cheaply made Tee-shirts? How much did you say it pays? Not that I’m asking for me, of course, but for this extremely bright and remarkable fellow your wishing to employ. Are we talking six figures here? 😀

      • I was thinking seven figures and no street corners for me my unorthodox partner. I figure an appearance on Shark Tank would set us up for life. But since you don’t know anyone I guess I’ll have to go it alone…sigh.

  10. I know a few bloggers that have claimed this and known someone personally with OCD, they poke more fun at themselves and can appreciate the humor. Without humor, where would we be… pretty soon, humor, in general is going to be an offense. There will be no more laughing in this world allowed.

    My God, sometimes I’m really hating this whole PC stuff. It’s also confusing when it’s okay to say something, but then it’s changed often…and yet changed again. I’m afraid to reference any particular group of people by a given name- as I might get in trouble using a reference that is deemed no longer politically correct. I might resort to “those people” (in an effort to not offend anyone) and then, I’d get in trouble for that. What did you mean by “those people?” Nothing. I was just making a statement.

    One day in highschool, I was wearing shorts and one guy said “My God! You’re WHITE.” He didn’t say it with menace or purposely making fun. He said it as a statement. I was like “yeah, I know. It’s not fair. Wish my body would tan.” hahaha. I could have taken offense, but why? If there was a shirt stating I’m a “white girl” and have something funny on it – if the shirt wasn’t ugly, I’d buy it.

    In school, my kids, can’t even play games the way we used to. Kick ball, we used to PEG the people, beam them as hard as we could to pick them off as they were running between bases. Guys were more brutal to guys than girls… but still. Now they have to do it baseball style. Throw it to the base, catch the ball. I think their dodge ball is different too… my Gosh, we’d play GREEK dodge and beam each other too. I wonder what the Greeks thought about that.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. Today we have people walking on beds of nails. Whereas in the old days (like way back in the 1980’s) it was eggshells. We’ve evolved into this people (you know the type…those people) who take offense to practically everything—especially anything they don’t agree with. On the other hand I’d like a shirt that say’s “I’m a white girl” I mean, if it isn’t ugly. 😀

      • I met that guy’s wife once (Poindexter, or Dexter.. actually Brian, I think? Guess he was super smart in school) at a backyard party.

        She is the one (I believe her name is Christine) that wrote the lyrics for come out and play – which I think is politically based? I dated some guy (the one throwing the party) that told me that? They all went to high school together. So that counts for royalties for me too, right? I shook her hand and said “hi, nice to meet you.”

        Maybe I can “hand deliver” your mail, for a hefty fee, of course.

  11. As someone who is very over-sensitive, I am extremely offended by this post. That red cup was probably the worst offense of the year made by anyone!! Ok ok, so that’s the first actual picture I’ve seen of this so called Starbucks cup of despair, but still… Offense taken!

  12. Who came up with the term PC? I was just having this conversation with one of my sons the other day telling him I’m sick of PC. Who on God’s green earth hasn’t said the wrong thing from time to time? Geez, last time I checked as humans we weren’t perfect, did I miss something? I do think there has to be a balance and sensitivity however when living by the golden rule we’re covered and don’t have to worry about PC. I think the greater issue is a lack of common sense, it’s so rare these days. This is a very good post Paul I knew I had to read it when I saw one of my alter egos front and center (love the Grinch). Yeah, I think it’s time we all just chill and if we can laugh while doing so then all the better.

  13. HOLD THE PHONE: there’s a season to nitpicking? As in, I should curb it the rest of year? Fat chance!
    Totally agreed. Some people just go looking for trouble. Relax.

  14. I’d seen the kerfuffle about the cups but didn’t really know what it was all about. I mean ffs, who cares what colour the cup is as long as the coffee rocks and doesn’t cost the price of a jumper from Target….right!?

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