Typical complaints for me:
- Husband has not gotten dead bird (that he found on our patio) out of "temporary storage" in garage freezer yet to give it a proper burial, and it has been over three days now
- Husband has not gotten dead stray kitten (that we found in our front yard) out of "temporary storage" in garage freezer to give it a proper burial (maybe in same mini-casket with his new friend-in-death, Birdie), and it has been over a week now
- Animals like to die in our yard/ on our property
- My phone does not have a message capability
- Husband argues too much with me about the phone’s mysterious secret abilities that he is convinced it has
- I don’t want to do the dishes, it’s your turn to do the dishes
- So what that you do all the cooking, it is just frozen stuff from Trader Joe's so does that even count anyway
- I thought I just finished doing all the laundry, why is there so much again already
- Did you drink all the milk? I can’t have coffee without milk. I don’t want to hear any of your lame excuses, Tall
- Who used my good copper stock pot from the high-end kitchen store to make a frog habitat (and should we just hold off on the stray kitten/ Birdie burial and wait for the inevitable to happen with Froggy and then we can have a package burial deal?)
- I forgot my coupons when I went to Target to look for frog food
- Someone stole my ATM/ debit card number and drained my bank account
- That lady cut me off when I was driving
- Trader Joe’s was out of my favorite wine (again)
- Why do we never get to go on vacation (and sleeping in our own guest room and “pretending” we’re on vacation doesn’t count)
- I hate that snotty lifeguard at the pool, the one who is a know-it-all and thinks she’s so great
I decided he’s probably right; now I am making a conscious effort to not dwell in Negativity World and instead notice the myriad positive things in my life. For example, we had some friends over for drinks and dinner last night, and the conversation went something like this:
Friend: So when we went on vacation last week, I got totally sunburnt …
New Positive Me: (thinking that Old Negative Me would have said, “Wow, that sucks, I hate to be sunburnt …”) I have pretty hair! And it is totally cooperating today, and my bangs look super-cute!
Friend: (exchanging quizzical look with her husband) Uh, that’s nice. Yeah, your hair does look very nice tonight.
New Me: I have $20 in my purse right now! I’m rich!
Friend: So we got stuck in major traffic when we were driving back from the beach. I swear, it took like five hours to get home.
New Me: I love my car! My car is really reliable!
Friend: Well, so is mine, but that’s not the point. The point is that it should have taken about two hours, and then the DVD player jammed so the kids were bored out of their minds.
New Me: We went to the movies last week and saw “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” and I loved the movie! It was fabulous, and the kids loved it, too!
Friend’s Husband: Do you go to the movies a lot, MOV?
New Me: (hesitating while struggling to squash Old Me down with a fly swatter because Old Me would probably say, “Movies are waaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive these days,”) Uh, well, uh, I prefer TV, actually! I watch HGTV anytime I want because we have TiVo and it’s the greatest thing ever! I have had so many positive experiences with TiVo! I can watch House Hunters all day long if I want to! And sometimes I do!
Friend: (looking at watch again) Uh, did you make these little puff cheese things? They’re really good.
New Me: (conferring with Old Me that they are frozen from Trader Joe’s and they're not that good) Are you insane?
Friend’s Husband: Wow, it’s late. We should get going.
New Me: I just won a prize in a contest at work! I won a new spatula!
Friend: Uh, our sitter will get mad if we stay out too long. We gotta go. (To her husband) Sweetheart, go ahead and bring the car around.
After they left (and between you and me, isn’t 6:45 a little early to leave? What kind of sitter only sits from 6:30—6:45 anyway?), I turned to The Husband.
“Well? What did you think?”
“About what?” he asked.
“The new, non-complain-y me?” I replied with a smile as big as a TiVo House Hunters marathon.
He shook his head. “Honestly, MOV, I think you pissed them off. You’re right that you weren’t complaining for once, but you were acting bizarre—saying things totally unnaturally. Who does that?! And whatever our friends happened to be talking about, you just hijacked the conversation and brought it back to some braggy thing about yourself. Ugh. No wonder they left so early. I think I’m gonna go sleep in the guest room.”
“Enjoy your vacation! Love ya!”
(“Me, Original Virgo”)