Posted by: jility | January 5, 2011

Hot Buttons

Everybody has their hot buttons. What drives one person mad may make another laugh. Some people find things funny one day and irritating the next depending on who is talking/writing or, for some, the time of the month (luckily, I don’t have THAT problem because I am spayed) or the degree of hangover (haven’t had that problem since 1981!). For some unknown reason, many folks seem to think that we should automatically KNOW their hot buttons and avoid them.

Sometimes, things that didn’t push their hot button, now do because they don’t like the person doing the talking or writing or breathing on their planet. I get a kick out of people who become righteously indignant over things that are harmlessly said or done.

So, I would like to think I don’t have a hot button but, alas, my dashboard is a lightning storm of hot buttons. I do try to take a step back and think about whether I would be upset if somebody I liked was saying the same thing but sometimes I am just in the mood to be pissed off, period! I hate to admit that but it is true.

My mother was the QUEEN of hot buttons and she made no bones about it! I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. One of her hot buttons that really amused me was the “What do you want to eat” button. This is how it would go down:

Guest is over for a meal; let’s say breakfast for instance. Guest is on their best behavior, trying to please the almighty Ann Grinnell. It didn’t matter if they were 6 or 60, the scenario was always the same. Mumma says to Guest very nicely (but it was always a set up), “What would you like for breakfast?”

 Guest says, trying to be nice and no trouble at all, “Anything would be fine.”

Mumma says (still fairly nicely), “You can have pancakes or oatmeal or eggs or toast or anything you want.”

Now, by this time we (just kids at the time) all know what’s coming next. We don’t dare say a word to warn Guest for fear of retaliation from Mumma but we feel for Guest and what is on the horizon. Guest is like a male widow spider with no clue what is about to happen. We are all trying to send Guest telepathic messages to JUST PICK ONE!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! SHE IS GOING TO EAT YOU ALIVE IN A MINUTE!!! But, alas, poor Guest probably comes from a normal family so has no clue and is still trying to be nice.

Mumma has set up Guest quite nicely and is now ready to go in for the kill because she KNOWS what is coming next! She’s rubbing her hands together in anticipation of the next sentence out of Guest’s mouth. Her facial expression is changing; her face is getting red and her whole body is stiffening.

Here it comes!

“I really don’t care,” poor unsuspecting guest says.


We all look down at our hands in horror.


Poor Guest is dead meat now. Guest falls right into Mumma’s web.

Here it COMES!!!


Poor guest slumps; beaten, bruised and defeated. Guest tried to be nice and had their head bitten off in the process. They have NO idea why or what they did wrong! Didn’t Guest know that not choosing a food would drive Mumma insane (short trip actually)? Guest should have known that! Everyone in the UNIVERSE knows that don’t they?

So that is a true story and I saw it over and over again growing up. Mumma had lots of hot buttons and GOD FORBID you didn’t know them ALL! They also changed depending on the time of day or time of month or amount of alcohol involved.

We see this with people all the time. We are automatically supposed to know each other’s hot buttons and stay away from them. I think people should just hand each other a list of their hot buttons so we can just avoid them or decide to avoid the people altogether if the buttons seem to unreasonable to us.

So the next time somebody pushes your hot button, just ask yourself, is this an Ann Grinnell breakfast button?


  1. Yes, she could be very scary indeed. THat’s how I got so tough!

  2. Hmmm… Did you have some inspiration for these piece ??? Just saying is all 😉
    As usual an enjoyable story in the “Day in the life of…”.

    • LOL no, just sayin…

  3. wow…. now that was one of the scariest stories I’ve read in awhile….
    Hope I don’t go to sleep early tonight.

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