Wednesday, August 27, 2008


That's what a sign in my dentist's office says, and I always get a little laugh out of it, especially since I'm convinced we in America live in a society of complainers. My neighbor Heidi and I discussed this just this morning while we were on our morning walk. (Appropriate since today marks the birth of one of the most vocal complainers in my world.) So today I'm complaining about complainers.

We got started on the subject because of children's sports--and how parents are never satisfied and are too competitive. Women especially are never satisfied. Here's a typical litany of complaints: my smile isn't white enough (but I can buy that!); my breasts aren't perky enough (I must buy that!); the schoolteacher isn't good enough (I see a pattern here); and dang it, my husband doesn't earn enough (and I don't want to work).

My friend replied that she doesn't know many people who are truly happy. But I'd like to think I'm one of those few. Check it out: I have a job/business that I love; I have a terrific husband, a wonderful child, and we have shelter and food and love.

I have a theory--it's in vogue to complain, because it shifts responsibility away from the complainer. His or her or your unhappiness is always someone else's fault. Weh weh, boo hoo hoo.

Life can be tough sometimes, but the most complaining I hear comes from the mouths of people who have the fewest reasons to be grousing. I'm talking about single men and suburban housewives who've got such a cushy life--they got everything they need and more!--they have nothing else to complain about. I get that it's rare to be happy with everything (we all want to earn more and work less, for starters), but let's get real.

Life is what you make it. So if you're unhappy and miserable, whose fault is it, anyway?

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