I have a complaint: people complain too much.
Have you ever noticed that when we complain, its usually something that we can control. Okay, okay, I’m the first person to kvetch, so much so that the New York Times printed one of my rants. But I do it for the sake of humor, not because I’m a curmudgeon.
The aunt that I live with is a frequent complainer, being at set-in-your-ways age when you complain about what’s not to your liking. Last weekend, she decided to wash windows and proceeded to complain about how tired she was after working all week and going to an 8:30AM meeting that day. However, she proceeded to sweep and clean…and complain.
It occurred to me, as I tried to leave the house, that she didn’t have to do the housecleaning at that particular second. She could have sat down for some lunch and a cup of coffee, made a phone call, even taken a nap. There was no company coming, no plans for the evening, and no concrete reason – other than personal choice – that my aunt had to do the housekeeping right then. If I hadn’t been rushing to catch the library and the post office before closing time, I’d have stayed to help. Within the hour, I’d have been back home and I suggested that auntie wait for my assistance. She’d have none of it and as I walked out the door, I heard a now-familiar tirade about “you young people” and our shortcomings.
I love my aunt but I just wanted to say “If you’re tired, sit down and SHUT UP about it!” In my opinion, you can’t choose to do something and then complain about doing it. Further, you can’t reject someone’s help and then complain about having to do it alone. Am I wrong, people?
My aunt is not alone, though, in her tendency to whine. People with lots of kids complain that they have lots of kids. I’ve got some news for them: you made the kids, so you know where they came from and how not to get any more. At 37, I’ve managed to avoid conceiving children because I know how hard it is to care for them; I don’t want to hear you bitch and moan about yours. Here’s a dollar, by a condom.
Movie stars complain about the paparazzi, the gossip mags, and fans wanting to know about their personal lives. If nobody cared about you, you wouldn’t be a star, and you wouldn’t be able to afford the mansion you live in, or even the security cameras around it. If you didn’t want anyone to know your name, you should have been a bus driver. But the trade off for the admiration and the pretty clothes and a percentage of the box office is people taking pictures of you and speculating about your love life. Once they stop caring, you stop working, just like what’s-her-name. Yes I’m talking about you, Julia Roberts! Make like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, sell your photos for some cold, hard cash and smile for the cameras.
I’ll bet you a million dollars that the president doesn’t complain. Not just Obama, but all of them. Talk about a crappy job! Every decision you make could affect millions of people, and you’re never really sure where you stand. Scary-looking guys with sunglasses and earpieces follow you everywhere because one of the other guys with your job got shot. And lawyers and stock brokers make a butt-load more money than you for all the stress you have. But he’s POTUS, the most powerful person in the world. And he wouldn’t have run for office if he didn’t want the job, so stop complaining about how you hate your job and be thankful that your performance reviews aren’t a topic for the Sunday news shows!
You know who doesn’t complain? People with cancer . You never hear a cancer patient say, “Oh my goodness, my hair is falling out, and it makes my face look so fat” or “Don’t mind me I’m just vomiting. I can’t stand this chemo, what do those doctors think they’re doing?.” Actually, they suffer and suck it up, because the alternative is more sickness, more pain. They have no choice but to accept what is and thank God or Allah or their surgeon that they’re living another day. Then they get back on the bike, or go back to work, or start a charity walk, or go home and kiss their kids goodnight.
And I’m gonna guess there’s no complaining about how many toys are on the floor.