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Things That Bug Us

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Nobody’s perfect. I’m not. You’re not. We know this. But that doesn’t mean we can easily accept everything about our romantic partners. Some things about them really irritate us. You know those little clear plastic pieces that connect price tags to clothing? This ex-girlfriend of mine used to cut them off and leave them on the floor. Did I mention that she’s an EX-girlfriend? Some of the funniest dialogue in my solo show “What They Said About Love” revolves around the things that people find most irritating about their significant others.

Here’s the interchange between Sandrine and Mark:

Sandrine: “There are very few things that Mark and I can eat in common. And there’s something really sad that we can’t sit down at the table and eat the same meal.”

Mark: “Another really good example is I’m a morning person and Sandrine’s a night person. It’s a little bit like she’s a vampire and I’m a morning bird or whatever. So we had a lot of conflict early on. We’d start to process, and my whole body would drain, and it was hard, because I wanted to process, but I was like—I just want to go to bed!”

Here’s what Connor and Sarah had to say:

Connor: “Something that irritates me about her? Sometimes she talks really loudly. Like right in my ear. It’s kinda like maybe she can’t hear very well. It’s more of a concern, than an annoyance.”

Sarah: “Sometimes your, like, hesitation to do things frustrates me.”

Connor: “It’s frustrating to me, too.”

Sarah: “He’ll be like, ‘Oh, no. I don’t know. I don’t want to.’ And I’m like, ‘Whatever! Come on. Let’s just do it!’ Aargh!”

Connor: “Like we were in Italy. Like right there at the warm Mediterranean Sea. And she just jumps right in and she’s like, ‘Why aren’t you jumping in?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m looking for the right spot.’”

Sarah: “It became this, like, metaphor for our relationship.”

Next up, Claudia and Wayne:

Claudia: “Well, I have to say that my expanded experience of life now includes more cats. And I was not used to living with cats. And there was a time when the cats were jumping on the bed…making themselves really comfortable. And I just said, ‘No more cats in the bedroom!’”

Wayne: “I’m having a hard time thinking of anything, because irritation and annoying…is extreme to me. I mean, to me nothing is a reason to withdraw or contract, because everything is a reason to open. Here’s a good example. Claudia would say, ‘Well, we really should be doing this.’ Feeling frustrated or, you know, anxious. And I’m like, if we should be doing it, we would be doing it. And if we’re not doing it, then we shouldn’t be doing it.”

Claudia: (Long pause.) “Anyway…”

And last but not least, Gabby and Matt:

Gabby: “Something that irritates us about each other? Sponges. You're going to say the sponges.”

Matt: “I'm going to say the sponges, and you're going to say the blowing of my nose.”

Gabby: “Oh, I forgot about blowing your nose. But yes, that is—oh my God. He does not know how to blow his nose quietly. When he blows it, it's like a moose is in the house.

Matt: “It's like a wild animal, a mating call.”

Gabby: “I'm like, ‘Just do it quietly.’"

Matt: “I can't.”

Gabby: “He can’t. He doesn't know how. He does not know how, and it drives me nuts.”

Matt: “My turn. I'm the cleaner-upper, and so there are two sponges. We have a counter sponge and a cutting board sponge. And I’ll find them, like, coated in shmutz. And I’m like, can’t you just rinse them out so they don’t get all that bacteria and funk inside them? Because then they’re not good for cleaning because they’re funky!”

Enjoy stories like this? Reach out to book a performance of “What They Said About Love.” The script is also available as a play that can be performed by a full cast.

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