There's a psychological phenomenon called "med-student's disease", in which a person who studies an ailment becomes convinced that he himself suffers from it. Apparently, it's quite common.
Design patterns have a similar effect on programmers. He learns about, say, the façade pattern and suddenly, every object needs a façade. He's putting façades on top of his façades. Madness.
I myself have been studying combinators for the last few weeks and -- by complete coincidence -- have been finding uses for them left and right.
You actually seem to have the opposite problem. You are reading about patterns and thinking, "When the hell will I ever use these?"
I respectfully submit that, well, that maybe it's you. Perhaps it's because you don't understand the patterns well enough, or because your programming experience has not been broad enough for you to have seen the patterns. Something.
The notion of design patterns, and the patterns themselves, are popular with programmers because we actually have run into them, over and over. The original patterns -- like functions and for-loops -- showed up in assembly language and then were built into higher-level languages. The next group (mostly the GoF patterns) haven't made it into languages yet but they are common use and their names are in the common vocabulary of programmers. On the horizon are concepts that have been floating around academia for a decade or two (monads, combinators) and are just starting to find acceptances in the commercial world.
My point, and I do have one, is that if it weren't for many, many programmers using design patterns every day, they wouldn't be design patterns; they'd just be some code that some guy wrote and then forgot about.