2013 was a year of many annoyances. From Miley Cyrus's twerking to voting citizens who support the Affordable Care Act but hate Obamacare, stupid people seemed to proliferate the planet. Here's what we hope to see end in 2014:
1) People telling you what not to say.
OK, we here at HuffPost are guilty as charged. Throughout the year, we have been more than a little fascinated with telling you what not to say to various people. You know, things not to say to a menopausal woman, a person who uses a wheelchair, a childless woman, a single woman, a newly widowed, divorced or separated woman. We've told you what not to say to an empty nester, to a family with a special needs child, to a family with an adopted child.
For the record, we're not the only ones doing it. But can't we all just call a moratorium here? Since everyone's boiling point is different, who is anybody to tell you what to say to someone else? How about we just stop these compilations -- unless someone would like to make a list of things never to say to someone (like me) who writes these things for a living?
2) The Food Police.
OK, this needs to be said: Back away from my bread and cheese and leave me alone already with your endless food proselytizing. What we eat has become a political statement and our dinner tables the battleground. The Food Crazies need to stuff a sock in it and take all those pesky Juice Cleansers with them. I don't care what you eat and I don't care what you won't eat. I just want you to eat/not eat it without acting like you are leading a parade to salvation.
Shaming has become the darling phrase de jour. We have fat-shaming, body-image shaming, and smoker-shaming. If you yell at your kid for shouting in a restaurant instead of gently reminding him to "use his indoor voice," you are probably guilty of parent-shaming. I get it. Nobody likes to be made to feel bad about stuff. It'd be nice if we could all just get along. But maybe it's time to lighten this all up. Or at least come up with another word for it and leave "shaming" for what the ayatollahs do to women who want to drive.
4) Making Crazies into Heroes.
The Internet has given us the ability to make instant heroes out of the wrong people sometimes. I'm thinking here of North Carolina dad Tommy Jordan who in 2012, after discovering his daughter's profanity-laced Facebook rant about her chores, launched into a tirade of his own -- viewed more than 38 million times on YouTube -- that concludes with him pumping bullets into her laptop. OK, now who among us hasn't on occasion wanted to empty an automatic assault weapon into their kid's computer? Right. But we don't, do we? Let's not forget the N.J. waitress who claimed to be stiffed on a tip because she is gay only to turn out to maybe be the one who duped all the well-meaning people who sent her donations. Ugh, double ugh.
How about if we develop some standards for who becomes an online hero? I nominate Deborah Cohan, the woman who led a pre-double mastectomy dance in the operating room to Beyonce, to head the list.
5) Politicians who misbehave.
Sure, this is nothing new. But how can anyone not hope that Anthony Weiner's weiner and Rob Ford's crack pipe disappear forever? Congress is bad enough with its playground shenanigans of "I can talk longer than you" and "If you like him, we can't be friends." But the weiner and the crack pipe? Just. Must. Go.
Here's something to bear in mind as you post your 100th selfie of the day: There is a medical classification known as narcissistic personality disorder, named after a mythical Greek boy who fell in love with his reflection in the water. The boy at first did not realize he was infatuated with his own image, but when he did, he died out of grief for having fallen in love with someone who did not exist outside of himself. Thank you Facebook friend Joseph Rick Cruse for reminding us of this story. How about we all go share it right now?
As a rule, aren't we all better off when we look to others for inspiration and focus our affections on people who are not ourselves? So can we maybe please stop pointing the camera inward already? Besides, it not only distorts your nose -- and not to pick on Anthony Weiner too much here, but other parts as well -- and sends the message that your life is all about you. It shouldn't be.
7) Parents afraid to parent.
Can we put an end already to the "every kid on the team gets a trophy" mentality? You aren't building their self-esteem as much as you are creating self-entitled and -- dare I say? -- delusional young adults who believe that everything they do is just peachy keen. Truth is, nobody gets a job because they tried hard; jobs go to those who produce results (or who at very least have a family connection to the boss).
People have stopped parenting. They are afraid to tell their teenagers they have no business sending Snapchats of their booty or that it is not OK to post "LMFAO" on Facebook. If you buy your sixth-grade daughter clothes that the hooker on the corner admires and covets, don't act indignant when your kid gets sent home from school -- assuming that there is the rare school principal with the courage to send her home. Set some boundaries and do the job you signed up to do. Be there for your kids, be a role model, be a parent first and friend second. You may return my high horse to the stable now.
Oh, you know who you are. You post hateful comments anonymously. You think being cruel is cool and your favorite site is Reddit.com. Why don't you try, just for a change, to go post some pretty photos of sunsets on Pinterest? You might feel better because honestly, nobody can hate as much as you guys do without developing stomach ulcers. And since you didn't sign up for Obamacare, that could turn out to be costly for you.
Snark needs to vanish from our culture already, and take its second cousin Rudeness with it. No more talking on your cell phone in a restaurant while your dinner companion twiddles her thumbs (Oh right, she's probably texting not twiddling.)
9) Weird-flavored coffee drinks.
Pumpkin should not be a latte flavor. It crosses a line of nature. Garlic ice cream did that too a few years ago and now, aside from The Rose restaurants and the city of Gilroy, Calif. (the garlic capital of the world), nobody would dare suggest you try some. Pumpkin lattes should go away and take Red Velvet lattes with them.
10) Device addictions.
Yes, we are device-addicts. We give tremendous lip service to not bringing our phones to the dinner table and then we discreetly take a glance whenever they vibrate. Much has been written about our addiction to our smart phones and how we need to disconnect sometimes to actually reconnect with the humans in our life. We've all read those stories. What we all haven't done though is acted on them. Let 2014 be the year we actually stop talking and start disconnecting.