You've felt it when your phone buzzes to alert you that the LIRR is experiencing delays ... again.
You've felt it when someone asks if you live IN "Lawnguyland."
And you've definitely felt it if you've opened your mailbox and found a red-light camera ticket.
These are the things that will make most Long Islanders cringe.
LIRR service alerts
No, not again. Nothing can make a Long Islander who depends on the Long Island Rail Road for their work commute cringe like an alert (from Newsday's mobile app, perhaps) indicating that the system is experiencing some major delays or worse, that your train has been canceled.
One word: Potholes. They do a number on your car tires and can cause you to spill your coffee while driving, and after a particularly rough winter, they are seemingly everywhere. Who can forget the one Long Islander -- Bobby Fitzgerald, of Levittown, -- who became so fed up with the pothole problem in his area back in 2014, that he resorted to filling in the cracks and craters himself.
Sorry, parking lot's filled
Few things will make you want to pull the hair out of your own scalp like waiting on the long line of cars to get into Jones Beach for the annual fireworks show only to find out that they aren't letting anymore vehicles into the parking lots, because they're filled up. You're left with two choices: Go home or pull over and watch them from the side of the road.
Red light camera tickets
A trip to the mailbox can easily ruin your day when you discover an envelope bearing the Nassau or Suffolk County logo and words like "Notice of Liability." Yup, you've been caught by the eyes in the sky, a red light camera, and it's going to cost you.
Your first instinct is try to play back in your mind every single traffic maneuver you've made in recent weeks as you tear open the envelope. Then, you see the photo evidence, but even still you're not convinced you're guilty. "No, I definitely, stopped before making that right turn," you tell yourself. So you head to the website indicated on the paperwork to see the short video clip they claim to have of you. Then, you can hear your old driver's ed teacher's voice saying, "Want some butter with that roll?" as you watch your car roll, rather than making a full legal stop, into that turn. Cringe. Time to pay the piper!
Driving during rush hour
Trying to get anywhere by car on Long Island during the morning or evening rush hours can seem like the greatest test of a person's patience. A commute that could take only 15 minutes during another time of day, can become a 45-minute trek as your car slowly crawls along the Long Island Expressway or Southern State Parkway. You're totally sympathetic when there's a bad accident behind the delays, but cringe when you discover that the gridlock can be attributed to nosy drivers slowing down to see why a car is pulled off on the side of the road.
Long Islanders living close to the water will especially relate to this one, but even those who reside further inland are not immune. It seems that anytime there's any significant amount of rain, puddles pop up in your basement. It's even worse if this coincides with high tide.Time to break out the towels and the wet-dry vacuum.
When the crowds descend on the East End
Goodbye peace and quiet. Hello, packed beaches, bars and restaurants. This is Montauk and the Hamptons in the summer months. In recent years, the increase in tourists has locals in these communities counting down the days to Labor Day and officials implementing increased police patrols, curfews and other measures to improve their quality of life. Locals so look forward to the exodus of out-of-towners at the end of the summer, that they even celebrate with a holiday called "Tumbleweed Tuesday" which takes place the day after Labor Day.
Winter storm warnings
Snow. Unless you're a school-aged kid (or maybe a teacher) longing for a day off, the word will you make you cringe more than the sound of fingernails scraping against a chalkboard. Sure, it can be pretty. Sledding and building snowmen can be fun, but they're not worth the other headaches that undoubtedly accompany any significant snowfall: shoveling, hazardous driving conditions, icy sidewalks, power outages, downed trees, road closures, train delays and cancellations, and of course, arranging child care when school does close if you can't stay home, too.
Beach closed to swimmers
Nothing beats a cool dip in the ocean on a hot summer day, but when it's 90 degrees outside and you learn your local beach is closed to swimming due to dangerous rip currents, elevated bacteria levels or other factors beyond your control, you're not going to be a happy camper.
Do you live 'IN Lawnguyland?'
This is just a minor pet peeve, but admit it, when people ask if you live "in" Long Island, instead of "on" Long Island, the inner grammar police in all of us does cringe a little bit. Even more so if they pronounce "Long Island" like "Lawnguyland."
'Strong Island' T-shirts
On a related note, seeing someone wearing a tank top, T-shirt or any other piece of clothing indicating that they hail from "Strong Island" will also make you grit your teeth.