You can just stop blinking with that doe-eyed innocence right now. We’re talking about Pains in the Asses–PITAs–and we’re talking to you!
Yeah that’s right, but rest assured we are not singling you out as a bad person. Each and every one of us has our own brand of pain in the assery–that little sliver of our personality that rears its ugly head from time to time and makes the ones nearest and dearest to us roll their eyes with abandon. We’re just asking you to embrace yours.
Now for those of you who are COMPLETE PITAs? You’ll never acknowledge who you are which is one of the reasons your flavor of PITA is in the “complete” category. Just know that if every phone call you make goes straight to voicemail, you might be a Complete PITA.
For the rest of us, here are some of the types of PITAs we’ve observed during our time on Planet Earth.
This is Ellen’s brand and it’s usually triggered by work standards. She can walk by a sock crumpled in the middle of the floor for a week, but darn it, anything she creates–blog posts, graphics, foot washing stations, cakes, balloon towers, life-sized zombies–makes her perfectionism kick into high gear and sends her exacting PITAssery into a collision course with whomever is closest. But really that’s only fair because it’s usually the person closest who deserves the fallout. Erin gets splattered with it all of the time. Just sayin’.
There may be other things that trigger it, but you never have to wonder because it is always direct . . . and mostly always annoying. “Let’s cut the crap and get this wrapped up” is her battle cry.
Erin likes to describe herself as a Labrador puppy–all happy go-lucky, brimming with sloppy kisses and enthusiastic tail wagging. A good portion of the world views her as easy-going. And that is true . . . until it’s not. Then it’s “Surprise! I’m going to grind everything to a screeching halt!” Ellen is always amazed by what triggers Erin to dig in her heels. There really is no rhyme or reason.
While her PITAssery is so random, it’s like waiting for a shooting star, there is a way to ignite it. Just start putting foods she loathes on her plate and watch her “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” turn into actual gagging. Or just try the magic word “cantaloupe.” That should be enough to see her undercover PITAssery bubble to the surface.
The Rules Aren’t for Me PITA
For this PITA, all of the world is a sapling ready to bend to her will, or be transplanted, or be completely ripped out by its roots and replaced by a birdbath.
She’ll sign on or up for anything because she knows conditions and plans are for other suckers, not her. No photography during the show? Well, that doesn’t mean she can’t take a picture of her princess! Open bar only has wine or beer? She will have her liquor! Of course she’ll select the fixed price menu because it’s the cheapest option but . . . “Yes, I know it’s a fixed menu, but could you replace the bruschetta appetizer with mussels, and the chicken penne with pad thai? That would be great.”
If you’ve ever wished you could visit the sun, just hang out with this person because she is the center of the universe. She’s the person whose sentences you feel like you can complete because YOU CAN. You’ve heard each and every one of her stories at least eleventy times plus three because she has never met a conversation she couldn’t hijack.
Oh, so you think you’re going to finish your conversation with your friends about editing software? WRONG! You’re hearing about the time Monopolizer thought she was running a 5K, but it was really a 10-miler, with her friend, Betty–“who is a hoot”–but you’re never going to meet because she now lives in Dubai and that makes Betty soooooo much more interesting than you. But rejoice that Betty is some obscure perfect friend who is halfway around the world because if she were here right now, you would be tempted to stab her in the toe with a steak knife just to give Monopolizing PITA a new story to tell.
Stir the Pot PITA
This PITA is also a conversation stopper, but instead of grinding girls’ night out to a stop from boredom, she lights it on fire. If the previous PITA’s MO is monopolize, this one’s is sabotage, and her arsenal is a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of everyone’s emotional vulnerabilities. She is a master of mercilessly digging into Achilles heels like a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks bought on clearance one size too small.
Enjoying silly chit chat and mojitos with your girlfriends talking about how you should all live together on a commune when you are old and retired? Not when Stir The Pot PITA marches you down the memory lane of all the squabbles everyone has had that would make living together IMPOSSIBLE. Forget fantasy living arrangements. You’ll be lucky to leave the restaurant speaking to one another.
My Problem is Your Problem PITA
This is another sneak attacker. You may not have heard from her since the calendar flipped its page, but clear your schedule now because now she has a problem and she expects you to drop EVERYTHING to solve it.
The PITAssery usually starts creeping up on you with an innocuous request: “Could I call your babysitter for Friday night?”
Easy enough. But when that sitter is unavailable, you find yourself peppered with calls, buried in text messages, and tangled in a web so sticky, you cave and cry, “I’ll just come over and babysit for you!” Just. to. make. it. stop.
“That’s great! Do you think you could bring dinner, too, because I’m swamped. Remember Billy has allergies to Swiss cheese, peanuts, and mangoes, and Sally is a vegan, tofu hating, junkfoodivore who gags over anything green.”
This is probably the same as a Complete PITA. You know the one who can find everyone else’s personality hiccup without ever turning the searchlight on herself?
Wait, what?! Don’t you go labeling US with this moniker. Remember we kicked this all off roasting ourselves? Don’t be a Stir the Pot PITA.
What Type of PITA did we miss?
-Ellen and Erin
Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”