Annoying your friends—instant poem

Annoying photo of an old fence with peeling paint and out-of-focus leaf
Annoying photo of an old fence with peeling paint and out-of-focus leaf
Annoyo annoyas annoyat
and (which nobody would dispute) annoyant.
There! I've annoyed you, true?
Another silly joke
that you didn't understand.
There she goes again, you think
racing away on a rant
careless in Lala Land.

And there you go again
annoying me
with your stodginess or recklessness
or subtle similarity to me.
Everyone annoys you
but that's their duty, it's their job
to be different and it's hard
being always bland and clear.

Non annoyo non vivo
and dulce irritatio.
People like what they like
and it's never quite right.
A walk by the beach? 
No thanks they say
Give me a bath or a bee or a peach 
I'd rather be bored than adored.

The fun is at the interface
of two annoying people
like me and yes, you'd better believe it,
you. Because you are annoying too.

~ Rachel McAlpine 2021

When someone told me, “All friends are annoying for 15% of the time,” it hit me like a thunderbolt. Eureka! It’s true! And you still love them or like them, and it’s kind of interesting and stimulating.

I am annoying too

The corollary follows inexorably: yes, that means I’m annoying too, even to my friends, or especially to my friends. So I started thinking about how I probably annoy people. The list is long, but these are the first few that spring to mind.

  1. By being relentlessly pointlessly predictably pathologically optimistic.
  2. By making very silly jokes that only make sense in my own head. All the time.
  3. By interrupting people and talking over them.
  4. By criticising people while pretending to be merely discussing them. (Pretty much always I am criticising some behaviour that is more typical of myself than of them.)
  5. By daring to publish “instant poems” that are only half written and unworthy of my great brain and supreme talent.
  6. By humble-bragging. (See 5.)

Well then. The only behaviours that I struggle against are 3., 4. and 6. The others are annoying in a useful way, I think. True or not?

You are also annoying, to some people, some of the time. I wonder what you do that is annoying…

32 thoughts on “Annoying your friends—instant poem

  1. I annoyed a person by always saying “We’ll see” when considering whether or not to do something.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Very good. Do it again.

  2. Sadje says:

    I too am exactly annoying like you. The same habits, except the poems. 😜😭

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Wow! I’ve got company!

      1. Sadje says:

        Yes, no joke. 😍

  3. josaiawrites says:

    I am annoying in oh,so many ways, I am sure. I even annoy myself sometimes! I am always looking for the lesson in things, always trying to see how things happen to get us to the next place. Sometimes that just gets on others’ last nerve! And I can repeat myself because I don’t trust people to really listen or hear me. (Maybe I don’t really listen to myself as well, I think….!) And when I strongly believe in something, I simply will not let it go! Thankfully, I live alone and the only one that cannot get away from my annoying traits is me…!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Wow, you know yourself so well! And far from annoying me, you made me smile.

      1. josaiawrites says:


  4. realruth says:

    The Latin links did not annoy me. I enjoyed them.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Bother, I failed!

  5. I love a little Latin
    I learned it as a boy
    a very useful skill to have
    and handy to employ.

    I have an annoying habit of playing devil’s advocate and of arguing a point of view that differs from my own!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh Peter the competer! Both handy and annoying: the perfect combination. Long live Latin, even my piglet variety.

  6. judibwriting says:

    Being annoying is being human. Which is very annoying.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:


  7. Your post and the comments which follow made me laugh – I recognise all of this in myself too. Rachel, you inspire far more than you annoy as far as I can see!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      We’re all a great jumble and if you see me that way, that’s a relief!

  8. alison41 says:

    A wonderful poem!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you Alison!

    2. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you thank you Alison. It might get better later — or not!

  9. Cathy Cade says:

    Definitely number 3! Although i think I’m getting better at keeping my mouth shut.
    And guilty of starting tedious accounts that nobody wants to listen to. (I’ve caught that from my husband.)
    No doubt I annoy the members of our writing group by nit-picking when editing their stories for the anthologies.
    I annoy my kids to billy-o by remembering things they’d rather I didn’t. (Heh-heh. Getting my own back.)

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That all sounds very good to me. Do you catch yourself starting to tell the full story and quickly jumping to the end as you see your audience twitching? I do. And hey, editors gotta do what editors gotta do.

      1. Cathy Cade says:

        mostly someone interrupts. I just trail away and nobody notices.

  10. Ally Bean says:

    This post is great. Not in the least annoying. I annoy people by paying attention to what they say, then do. Sneaky people do not like me at all. *tee-hee*

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hello Ally! Keep it up, that’s such a valuable skill: the world needs this annoyance.

  11. My wife considers me a pedant because I am a stickler for meanings of words 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Sounds as if you have found a good annoying niche. And exactly the right wife.

  12. How annoyingly inspirational, lovely Rachel!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      The statistic is rubbish (surely) but doesn’t it feel true-ish, my friend?

  13. toutparmoi says:

    I’m a natural-born annoyer. Like Peter, I can never resist playing devil’s advocate. A friend once said, “Look, I’m not going to get into a discussion with you about this, because I know you’re perfectly capable of turning around and arguing the complete opposite tomorrow,” Well, of course. My habit of disagreeing makes me disagreeable!

  14. djmwrites says:

    This post about being annoying is actually the opposite, and the takeaways I have from this is the new (for me) enlightening
    term ‘humble bragging’ – and that I am not alone in being a nice person who interrupts others without thinking. I hope I try to be a good listener at other times to compensate!!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s good news for me! I annoy people quite enough without doing it in this blog post. I’m lucky to have sisters and grandchildren who call me out when I talk over them

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