Turning the Tables on Those Who Whine

The author has a low tolerance for those who bitch. But he’s about to do it anyway.

Mood music for this post: “Thorn in My Pride” by The Black Crows:

This post is about whining and hypocrisy.

For much of my adult life, I’ve had a low tolerance for people who whine about every little thing. I say adult life, because as a teenager all I did was whine.

Facebook has become a favorite hangout for people with lives packed with drama, and they whine on their profile pages with complete abandon.

I see those messages and I get all high and mighty, telling whoever will listen that these folks should keep their crying to themselves.

In the world outside of Facebook, not even my kids are safe from my low tolerance. Here’s an example:

Sean, 3 at the time, whines about something.

Me: “How about some cheese to go with that whine.”

Sean, being pretty sharp for a 3-year-old: “But it’s not lunchtime.”

The other night a friend from work marveled at how LITTLE I whine about things. He said something about how I’m one of the most optimistic people he’s ever met.

I am an optimist. After all I’ve been through, I’ve found the ability to see the silver lining around every cloud.

But I’ll be honest: Sometimes it’s all just an act.

I try to keep the optimistic face and only show people the confident, been-there-done-that-no-big-deal side of me. Sure, I spend a lot of time in this blog pointing out my weaknesses and failures, but I do it for the sake of testifying as to who I used to be and how I became the guy I am today. That requires taking a rigorous moral inventory of one’s self. Otherwise, I try to keep the happy face bolted on tight.

When I write about how life is so much better now that I’ve learned to (mostly) manage the OCD and related addictions, I mean every word. I’m one of the luckiest guys on Earth.

But that doesn’t mean things go smoothly every day.

Sometimes I still let the worries get the better of me. And when that happens, I whine. Just like all those Facebook friends I mocked earlier.

There’s a lot I want to whine about right now.

It pisses me off that in order to keep my most self-destructive addictions under control, I have to let myself be controlled by other addictions: Coffee. Cigars. Internet.

It makes me angry when I can’t spend money on unimportant things, which is another addiction. We’re so broke right now that I simply can’t afford to do that. I still have done it on a couple occasions, typically in the form of music downloads from the iTunes store. Fortunately, as readers here know from the mood music I put with most posts, all the music I could ever want is available for free on YouTube.

The lack of money is probably my biggest bitching point right now. We have never needed much, Erin and I. We don’t have expensive tastes, unless it’s the occasional splurge during a vacation trip.

Even then, we stay in the cheap hotels, and we’re fine with that.

But lately the basics are getting hard to cover. Bills are getting paid late. We’re not used to paying bills late. Erin has always been very much on top of that.

The cause is a deliberate choice we made over a year ago: That Erin would quit a full-time job and attempt to get a freelance copy editing business off the ground.

She’s handled it like a champ. She works her ass off every day, and her clients are always happy with what she delivers. The trick is finding enough of those clients to stay afloat.

We sometimes find ourselves in the position where bills come due before the money she’s owed arrives in the bank account. But we usually manage to muddle through.

I also take comfort in the fact that money is tight for everyone these days. Hell, even my father is broke. And he’s the best there is when it comes to money management.

I’m also a firm believer that if you hold onto your Faith, God will always provide. And He always has, even when we don’t realize we’re getting what we need and not what we want.

But lately, the money problem is becoming a mountain we’re not sure we can climb. I think we’re going to figure it out and I have no doubt all will be well.

I just hope reality matches my optimism.

How’s that for a bitch fest?


8 thoughts on “Turning the Tables on Those Who Whine

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  8. Bitch away. It’s good for your heart and your head. I have a saying (OK, it’s not mine, it belongs to a shrink I used to kn0w). “I love (heart) selective effective ranting.” Which means, it’s OK to throw shi& and slam doors and completely lose it; if you do it selectively (i.e. not all the time), it will be effective. Trust me, it works.

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