Editorials, Opinion


The Airing of Grievances

Happy Festivus!

If you’re scratching your head and checking your calendar to see how you missed a holiday, don’t worry — you aren’t the only one.

The concept of Festivus was first introduced in the “Seinfield” episode “Strike” from Season 9, which aired Dec. 18, 1997.

According to festivusweb.com, “Festivus is a secular holiday, normally celebrated on Dec. 23. It is mainly meant as an alternative to the pressures and commercialization of the Christmas season. … The usual holiday tradition of a tree is manifested in an unadorned aluminum pole, which is in direct contrast to normal holiday materialism. Those attending Festivus may also participate in the ‘Airing of Grievances’ which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year, followed by a Festivus dinner, and then completed by the ‘Feats of Strength’ where the head of the household must be pinned.”

This fictional-turned-real-life-secular holiday even has its own slogan: “Festivus for the rest of us!”

As much as the holiday season is about joy and love, there also tends to be a lot of stress and frustration. So in that spirit, we’ve asked members of the community, as well as The Dominion Post staff, to join us in the Airing of Grievances. (You’re on your own for the Feats of Strength.)


We had a group of friends in over the holidays, and some of them jumped at the chance to gripe about their pet peeves.

1. Restaurant menus that are only accessible on Facebook or QR codes.

2. Lack of small shopping carts at some grocery stores.

3. Businesses that don’t have phones.

4. Meetings scheduled for late on Friday afternoons.

5. Neighbors that ignore their barking dogs.

6. When you pull into an empty parking lot and the next person parks right next to you.

7 Weak decaf coffee. Just because it’s decaf doesn’t mean it can’t have robust flavor!

8. People who introduce themselves only by a first name. Please — you’re no Beyonce, Bono, Madonna, Drake, Cher … you’re not well-known enough (yet) to ditch the last name.

9. Folks who pick up their dog’s poop but then leave the bagged poop on my street!

10. Coffee roasters that can’t produce a deep dark roast.

Brent Bailey & Friends

The elimination of full-service checkout lanes in many stores is another complaint. Many stores only have one lane open, with customers backed up into the shopping aisles.

When stores start offering discounts to use the self-checkout lanes or when they make it easier to scan produce that must be weighed, then I might consider using them.

Dan Myer

My pet peeve is leaf blowers! You can hear them a mile away, and sometimes people run them for hours and hours, instead of just crunching those leaves up on their huge lawns with a much quieter lawnmower.

You can’t hear birds in the trees or wind in the pines and the noxious sound drones on in one’s head into bedtime, even after that infernal machine is turned off.

Carol Nix

1. Stop being offended!

2. Electric cars: No. Flying cars: Yes!

3. Term limits to vote on the ballot, because they won’t vote themselves out of a job!

David Champe

My major concern is, since the pandemic, the highways and byways have become extremely dangerous as cars speed excessively, especially on the interstates. People speed on county and city roads and highways.

When I was in school, we were taught to leave one car length behind the car in front of you for every 10 miles an hour. I had the unpleasant experience of being rear-ended in the city.

We need more State Police patrolling the highways and more Sheriff’s Department people patrolling county highways and streets in the city.

Bill Weiss

The Dominion Post Staff

Though my neuroses may put me more in the way of George on the Costanza Scale, Frank and I are similar in our penchant toward minor grievances.

  • That said, it is almost Christmas, so in the spirit of that impending, more joyous holiday, I won’t allow this Festivus tradition to get away from me — I’ll keep my gripes short.
  • Items on tall shelves in stores. Especially items on tall shelves in stores that are pushed way back. This is not a short person’s paradise.
  • People who do not share the sidewalk. If someone is coming toward you, make space. If they have pets, don’t crowd them — particularly when they are making the effort to keep some considerate distance. Understand you are not the only person in the world walking and act accordingly.
  • Tiny, thin napkins in restaurants. Pizza places love these, but I see them everywhere. They are useless, messy and you need 100 of them per meal. Pure grief.
  • People who laugh way too hard at or repeat a funny line of dialogue in a show or movie. We get that you get the joke. We also get the joke.

Katie McDowell

People merging onto the interstate who don’t get up to the speed of traffic when they merge, and those who think they have the right-of-way to merge even when someone is in that lane.

Joey Spencer
IT Specialist

I find it irritating when you want to look at a restaurant’s menu on their website, but you have to start the process of ordering online just to see the menu.

Also, I dislike it when restaurants only offer discounts or deals if you order through their app and not allow you to get the deals while ordering in the restaurant.

Greg Romine

Hearing someone say “supposably.”

Paul Baird

My grievance this year (among too many to list) is people talking on their phones in speaker mode while out in public.

Just last week, while having a nice dinner with my family, I learned of a saga involving a microwave, because the gentleman in the next booth had his daughter on speaker phone lamenting about her malfunctioning microwave.

At one point I felt like I had a vested interest in this situation. While annoying, I hope she got it fixed.

C’mon, folks! Just text while in public. Especially when out to eat!

Brad Pennington
Circulation & Marketing

I agree with many of the grievances others have aired, but here are a few of my own:

  • That the rinse agent for the dishwasher never seems to need refilled until it’s my turn to do the dishes.
  • When people don’t use their turn signals — something that is both annoying and potentially dangerous.
  • Related: When you have your turn signal on, indicating you would like to merge or change lanes, and no one will let you in. (Excluding when people ride the fast lane to the front of a traffic jam, then try to cut in.)
  • When I’ve consumed the last sip of my morning coffee without realizing it was the last sip — and the disappointment that follows when I go to take another drink and there’s nothing left.
  • When people don’t leave a voicemail. If you don’t leave a voicemail to prove that you are a real person who actually needs something from me, I will assume you are a robot and probably block your number if you call more than once.

Jessica Nelson