Saturday, July 23, 2011

471. Which Is It?

I complain. A lot. It is a slightly natural Virgo tendency. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. For example, I might say, “I don’t like this 100 degree heat!” to which The Husband will respond, “Nobody does.” Or, I might say, “My sister never called me back,” to which Oakley will say, “Yes, I did. You just don’t know how to retrieve your messages.” The point is: people view this as complaining.

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
To that end, The Husband sat me down and we had a long discussion about my excessive negativity (I prefer to call it “Virgo-ness”). He said that I am alienating people and not going to have any friends left if all I do is criticize.  I brought up the fact that he also said the lifeguard was snotty, and he even said it might be fun to trip her so that she falls in the deep end.  He ignored my comments about his comments and told me to focus on the subject at hand. 

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.

(Long silence)

New Me: I have $20 in my purse right now! I’m rich!

(More silence)

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”)


  1. What, they got their panties in a wad because you were displaying your sparkling wit and making joyful conversation. Fie on them.

    Although I gotta admit at the car statement I would probably have used a few of my ESL words to ask you what was up.

    Did I ever tell you my son works at TJ and told me people buy one bottle of 2 buck Chuck and sneak out to their cars to taste it before they bought more of the same case?

  2. why sneak out to the car? why not try it there and share it with the beleaguered employees?


    ps--glad you think my wit "sparkles," sometimes I am afraid it is dusty

  3. wait.. i thought this was a capricorn thing? or just a megan thing? i have such a hard time not making everything a point, too. last night the mountain man zoomed through a stop sign... he didn't see it. i freaked out. and then kept talking about how he needs to watch the road, drive more carefully, pay attention... when in reality he's probably a better driver than i am. i couldn't let it go! ugh. help me, MOV. (oh wait, i think i might be barking up the wrong tree for help on this one...)

  4. I can help you! We can have a little support group on how to be positive! I will go first: My name is MOV and I have pretty hair...



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