Things I Complained About in the Week I Gave Up Complaining

#1 – New Mexico, including the climate, road system, alcoholism rate, dust, Hatch Chilis (not so special!) Southwestern Art and Kokopeli. I don’t know what got into me. Let’s just say I was not all that enchanted by the Land of Enchantment.

#2 – When Click and Clack, the Car Talk guys, laugh about things that are not funny, which is all the time. How funny can it be when you need to replace your catalytic converter or the heating coil? Woohoo, that’s a good one Click and Clack!

#3 – When Garrison Keillor sings. I gotta say, I grew up on A Prairie Home Companion, and while I don’t seek it out, when it comes on my local NPR station (Holla, KERA!!!), I feel a lovely, warm, nostalgic wave. I like the sound effects, some of the running characters, and even the news from Lake Woebegone. I realize this shatters your image of me as one of the COOL KIDS, but I cannot lie. I like A Prairie Home Companion…until Garrison sings! I hate it when he sings, especially when he has a real singer on the show and feels that we would all appreciate Garrison adding his particular old guy croak of a voice to his/her song. He’s a man of many talents; why does he have to sing?! Ooh! That pisses me off! Makes me want to stab him roughly and repeatedly with a lambda probe (see handy schematic above).

4. Heat and all things heat-related. I’m an outdoorsy kinda gal – no, really! I enjoy getting out in nature (especially if it’s a controlled kind of nature) and mixing it up with the elements, but DAMN! It’s hot in the summer! I’m sick of sweat, sunscreen sweating down my face into my eyes, sweat-stench, changing my sweaty clothes, wearing clothes, sweating in the shower, sweating in bed (but not the good kind), heat stroke, heat waves, hot flashes, when the steering wheel in my oven of a car is too burning hot to touch, and being blinded by the sun when driving my oven of a car. I don’t like when people say, “Hot enough for ya?” or “Whew! It sure is hot!” or “Well, she’s either drunk or passed out from the heat; poke her with a lambda probe and see if she comes to!” I also hate when Paris Hilton says, “That’s hot,” and that she had the balls to trademark the phrase, but that’s a whole different rant. By the way, I don’t understand this diagram at all. Science! What the hell?!

5. I don’t like when people say farewell to dead people. It seems so condescending. What mortal ever has fared poorly at death? It’s the one thing with which we are pretty much guaranteed success.
So, that’s only five complaints. Not bad! I realized some important things with this little experiment. People complain a lot, and it’s hard not to join in. There is a sincere desire to complain to show empathy. We complain more about small things than large. We complain to make conversation and to show that we understand the human condition. We complain in literature, poetry, art and song. Many times, situations are bad, and we feel powerless, so all we can do is complain; it makes us feel slightly empowered. Or culture encourages complaining; after all, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Still, I am going to try to complain less. It’s boring and unattractive. Maybe if I complain less, I’ll be happier. Maybe if I spend more time thinking of good things with which to start a conversation, the dialogue will be more pleasant and productive for everyone. Of course, that takes a lot of planning and effort, and the spontaneous, organic nature of conversation will be ruined. Plus, nobody likes or trusts a Pollyanna. And also, it really is so damned hot…..