My least favorite word in the English language is avid.
Why does this simple word give me the distinct urge to push my finger down my throat? The only reason I can come up with is that a woman, who I absolutely cannot stand, gushed to a small group of moms assembled at a Tupperware/Pampered Chef/Home Interior party that she was “an avid gardener”.
I was probably in a bad mood anyway, having been pressured into attending that guilt-producing form of social retailing, but this took me right over the edge of grumpy and into outrage. I had seen her yard. Of course, she called it a garden.
Please. Grass, English boxwoods and Stella d’Oro lilies do not constitute a garden.
That one ridiculous statement ruined a perfectly adequate adjective for me. Forever.
This particular person was one of those rather wealthy mothers who wanted everyone to know she was rather wealthy. You know the type. She also showed up at elementary school functions wearing a tennis skirt that made even the little kids gape and say the word ham for no reason. She tromped all over the rest of us Homeroom Moms like a hefty flamenco dancer. The victory smile she always wore never quite made it to her eyes and to top everything off, she proudly introduced herself by a cutsie nickname fit only for a Petfinder poodle.
It’s been ten (10!) years, and that snooty you-know-what still invades my mind every single time someone writes or says “avid”. Perhaps there is a syndrome I can claim. Some sort of adjective-triggered obsession or a new post-traumatic disorder. I’ve never been awarded one, officially, and maybe my time has come.
So try, my friends, to save my fragile sanity. Avoid the word. Who knows when I might snap.