Don’t know if you noticed it but when we ‘talk’ we ‘complain’. It seems the main topic of speaking to one-another is to complain about something.
I’m not saying the human species is unhappy with everything there is to be enjoyed on this planet but it sure sounds like it. No matter where you go or whom you talk to everyone is complaining.
There is plenty of stuff happening everyday that is annoying, frustrating, upsetting, and otherwise worth a good complaint, but does everyone else want to hear it?
Take work for example, there are plenty of topics there to complain about. The copier is jammed again, the coffee machine is overflowing, there are no good snacks in the vending machine, got too much work, not paid enough are always good conversation starters but you are talking to fellow workers who are in the same situation.
Family is always a topic of complaining. “My wife doesn’t….” or “My husband doesn’t….” or “the kids are….” or “My mother-in-law….” Are all good starters for a complaining conversation? It not only tells of the misery a person is living but also can annoy the listener who may not be interested in sharing experiences.
Houses and cars are always good topics that people can complain about which will bond neighbors in their struggle to survive. Complain about things that break or getting stuck in a traffic jam or frustrated by the normal day-to-day living. Everyone has them or there wouldn’t be anything for the immigrants to do.
Now automobiles are perfect examples of a great topic to complain about. As soon as you are handed the keys that chunk of metal rubber and vinyl depreciates. Whether it is new or used there are so many moving parts that can break, rust or need some computer diagnostics you can always have something to complain about. Then there is the condition of the roads and detours for repairs and breakdowns to complain about and of course the occasion of an accident. It is always an accident unless your complaining turned into road rage. Automobiles also like to go-missing so you can complain to the authorities and start all over again.
Vacations are a great subject for complaining. From the very beginning you are doomed to complain. Getting the family together and packing the car creates so much stress you wonder why it is called a vacation? The constant squabbling and getting lost only fuels the fire of frustration. Once the destination is reached, there is the unpacking confusion, lost items, rush to the beach for a good sunburn, bad Wi-Fi connections, gritty sand, overprice tourist restaurants, crappy towels and paraphernalia that just goes home to the trash, constant struggle to have ‘fun’ then turn around and repeat the process home.
If traveling by a carrier there are tickets, delays, transfers, lost luggage, tight seats, annoying companions and constant instructions of where to go but not how to get there.
Food is always a good topic to complain about. Even at the finest restaurants food prepared delicately with magnificent presentation just isn’t cooked right for your proletariat pallet. Food served in paper is scarped down by the pound with no complaints washed down by sugar drinks and then complain about the bad service from an assembly line worker making minimum wage. At the grocery story after wandering miles of aisles looking for that special ingredient that will make the slop you are about to serve to your family a cuisine dish you have to complain about how long it is taking to check-out or there was not enough capers since their expiration date only last twelve decades.
A bad hair day or a poor fitting suit or someone else’s’ choice in clothing is good for a complaint. The tabloids show us all the dos and don’t for fashion tips but most of us don’t follow them so why complain. We don’t care what we look like.
In the past year or two, with the help of the Internet and social media, politics has taken off as a great topic of complaining. Doesn’t matter your political affiliation or preference, there is plenty to complain about and argue with other’s who do not agree. It is like a sport when my team is winning everyone cheers. There are even cheerleaders’ called ‘talk shows’. Unfortunately no matter how loud we protest or complain, these chosen representatives of the people make the laws that rule our lives.
Religion is not a topic to complain about. You’ve chosen what God you want to follow so there are no complaints there. Then again there are all those other religions you can complain about.
Love is a major topic for complaining. Just listen to the jukebox or any of your favorite television dramas. There are volumes of terrible writings and poems about love lost, love hurts, love unrequited, etc. Our constant search for more includes love but we don’t seem to know it so we complain about the mystery unconceived.
So the next time someone comes up to you and ask, “How are things going?”
What will you say?
“Not bad. Can’t complain. If I did what good would it do?”