There was an entire editorial in the i on this very topic this weekend and it made me smile. One Charlene White. I’d never heard of her, but she appears often on the television show Loose Women. The title tells you all you need to know, really. A serious show, but it’s often blindingly, vitriolically funny, as if Woman’s Hour had dropped a load of PCP and had gone out spoiling for a fight.
Anyway, Ms White to take it upon herself to extol the virtues of pettiness. This can be a major pain in the ane when it interferes with your life, but as she points out sometimes it’s a powerful tool for getting things done. Ms White recites the tale about her then boyfriend never ever doing the laundry, even his own. She was expected to do it. I don’t get this. My modus operandi has always been ‘If it’s in the laundry basket it needs wash and hanging out to dry, or slung in the tumble dryer.’ It’s hard being a saint.
Anyway, she just stopped doing her boyfriend’s washing, and waited till he ran out of grollies.
‘Where are my boxers?’
‘See the basket over there? They’re in there with the rest of your washing. High time you started doing it yourself again.’
I have to say I see her side of the story completely.
Then a reference to Lewis Hamilton. I think he’s a jerk, but a startlingly good driver. He rolled up at the FIA press conference at the Miami GP with every intention of expressing his displeasure at the attempted ban on him and the other 19 drivers wearing jewellery. He was festooned with bling. Show of defiance, I think it was a weapons-grade petty response, and good luck to him for that. I applaud him. He’s still a jerk.
I mention this since I Succumbed to a bout of pettiness last week. I’m currently living in what government departments refer to as an HMO, a house of multiple occupation. You and I call it a shared house. It’s like being a student again, and as like being a student again no bugger cleans the stove. As I never use the hob or the oven, ever, I dug in my heels and refused to clean the burnt on bits of other’s repasts. However, it got to the point where the cooking squalor exceeded even my lax standards. I went put and spent a pirate’s ransom on hob cleaner, oven cleaner, some stuff to clean the worksurfaces (they were showing signs of neglect), good quality scouring pads. You get the picture.
I put all the stove cleaning gear actually on the stove, so it was unusable till the stuff had been moved, and used the surface cleaning gear to build a wall around the kettle, rendering it inoperable.
Guess what? It worked! Pettiness rules!