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Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.

There are a few important mental lists that I keep in my head and throughout my life I have either added to or subtracted from them as required based on new experiences I've had. These lists are quite varied, both in subject matter and length; some have only one or two items in them and some go on for quite awhile. I have a list of favorite foods and favorite scents, and even favorite sounds. I have lists for best teachers and best beaches and best days ever. I also have a list of things that make me cringe, and this list has the distinction of being the one that has continued to grow at a steady pace over the years. I do a lot of cringing, I guess.
I recently had an occasion to drag this particular list out of my brain in order to add something new to it and I took the opportunity to do a short review. Actually, it turned out to be a rather long review given how many items there are on it. It amazes even me how many things make me cringe. I thought that I might share a few of them with you just to determine whether I am cringing all alone or there is someone out there cringing along with me.
I shall begin with words. I won't lie to you, dirty words make me cringe, a fact that has forever been a source or infinite amusement to friends and co-workers. I'm not sure why people find it so funny that I don't say dirty words, but they do. But there are perfectly normal and socially acceptable words that make me cringe, and one of them is the word 'nosh'. Webster's Dictionary defines the word 'nosh' as a Yiddish word meaning 'to snack'. It comes from the High Middle German meaning 'to eat on the sly', which I assume, means to sneak food. To me, the word is not just unattractive, as words go, it always makes me think of self-indulgent, out of control barbarians shoving food down their throats, chewing with their mouths open, and throwing mutton legs over their shoulders. Barbarians nosh, civilized people dine.
Really bad grammar makes me cringe, along with the tendency of some English dialects to drop the g's from words that end in 'ing'. I especially cringe when this is done by people who are national figures addressing millions of people on television. If you want me to take you seriously or earn my support, don't make me cringe.
Pop/rock princesses who sing in high registers through their noses make me cringe. No one can tell me that all that high-pitched whining isn't deliberate. Either that, or we have an entire generation of female singers who need their adenoids removed. I have the same problem with singers who find it necessary to run up and down scales to get to a single note. It's not only time consuming, it's annoying.
Dressing up poor little dogs like people makes me cringe. Like it isn't bad enough to be some poor mutt who has been bred down to a miniature size and hauled around like a handbag. Every time I see some miserable looking chihuahua or poodle dressed in something that looks like a diamond studded tutu being lugged around by some airhead celebrity I feel like starting an organization that dresses up like ninjas, frees them from captivity, and takes them to live on a farm or something.
Tube Tops make me cringe. I don't care who you are, how you look, where you come from, or how much money you spent on your tube top, you are going to make me cringe. They are not just a hideously ugly thing to wear, they also have connotations that are nasty, like those white, tank top undershirts that men wear. Both of them make me cringe whenever I see people wearing them.
Hospital dramas on television make me cringe. I have absolutely no interest in what doctors do in between treating patients they are obscenely over-charging. I kind of view doctors the same way I view car mechanics. They are trained to fix a machine and famous for making dubious diagnoses and charging you an arm and a leg. I have no desire to know what sort of weird drama goes on in their lives when they are not doing what they are paid exorbitantly to do professionally.
Any intimate love scene between any two or more persons of any persuasion in films and television make me cringe. I'm certainly no prude, but I just have no desire to get highly intimate glances into the very private goings-on of any person or character, real or fictional. You know that now famous line, "Don't ask, don't tell..."? Well, for me it should be "Don't ask me, don't tell me, and don't show me." It makes no difference to me how good looking the characters are or whether they are in love or not; the circumstances are immaterial. I don't care if it is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, or Brad Pitt and George Clooney, or all three of them in a hot tub, I don't want to see it – even with background music.
This brings me to the last thing I will mention that makes me cringe – reality television. If I want to see ordinary people behaving badly, treating other people like garbage, crying their eyes out, losing their tempers, or generally engaging in mind-bogglingly stupid drama, I'll just go to work, hang out with my son's teenage friends, or listen to the local gossip. I don't need a TV for reality, thank you, and I certainly don't need to pay excessive cable fees. Reality is free.
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