[Despite our best efforts to keep internet usage to an absolute minimum, we have exceeded our monthly allowance a week early again. So now we're reduced to snail speed as punishment. They won't sell me any more monthly bandwidth, don't ask me why. 100GB just doesn't cut it in this house. We have installed a new cable hoping that prevents multiple downloads from corrupt packets, at least. Anyway, the point is, I'm still not on FB, but now it's because I can't. It doesn't work at this speed. So if you want to comment on this, please do so HERE, or I won't see it for a week. Danke sehr.]
Are you a curmudgeon? Do you think it's funny?
Last night Martin was watching some classic British comedy on DVD - "Open All Hours". If you've never seen it, find it. You'll be glad you did. If you are now thinking "Ooh, it's YEARS since I saw that!" buy yourself the DVD and enjoy.
Anyway the point is, some of the characters are the most delightfully funny curmudgeons. Very BRITISH attitude. Sorry, but it is. I'm not saying there are no curmudgeons anywhere else (I have it on good authority they exist the world over) but I think there are more to the square mile there. No, I'm sure there are. And with less reason for it than elsewhere too. These are rarely/never the people with the most reason to be grumpy, it's a character/cultural trait.
I was happy to discover, when I came to Canada, that there were less of them. Which again, probably isn't true, it's just the circles I move in, or rather DON'T because I have become a hermit. In Britain I lived in a village, and in various ways I ran into these types regularly, and so perhaps my lifestyle just keeps them out of my life. English village life, well..... European/old world village life...you just meet the locals more. It's just a way of life. Some people think it's quaint. I couldn't get away fast enough.
So what's my problem? "Are you complaining about people complaining again Melanie, you old hypocrite?" Oh no, don't try that one on me. We all complain, it's sometimes useful and necessary, and other times, well, it just gets it off our chests (like this). But you know exactly what I mean so don't pretend you don't.
I'm talking about people whose conversation is MOSTLY complaints. For a start they are pessimists. When they look at the sky, they'll never say "I think it's brightening up", they'll only ever say "bloody weather, miserable again". Which is exactly what they are. But it's not just a question of their glass always being half empty. These folk seek things to complain about. Watch them. They'll look around them looking for something negative to say. They are only happy when they are grouchy.
How does that work? Getting attention? Beats me.
In our modern world we tend not to call people grumpy, or grouchy, or miserable old sods. We say they are very negative. I've even heard theories that these people are "suffering", from some low-level chronic form of depression. Maybe some cases are, but what I see is a dark pleasure. They seem to relish in being negative and foisting it onto others. I envisage them secretly grinning (something we are not privy to) about how many people they've brought down today with their whining and bitching.
If they are suffering, they certainly aren't doing anything to help themselves, but no, I don't think they are suffering at all. I think they cause suffering, but I think they thoroughly enjoy it. They thrive on criticizing other people, predicting doom and gloom, and generally being a dark rain cloud in our midst.
We have two weapons. We can ignore them, which sometimes works. Give them no attention. Or we can smother them in sunshiney positivity, which drives them utterly bonkers. I switch between the two depending on whim, frankly, but I refuse to let them get me down.