What is wrong with complaining?

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Nothing! I love some good complaining, but there are certain requirements for the complaints to be good.

First, they should be fresh and crunchy. It’s possible to make stale complaints interesting, but it can be twice as much work as finding something new and dressing it up in some jokes. Stale complaints tend to be floppy and uncooperative. They know everyone has seen them before, and they are mostly unwilling to be trotted out one more time. They really don’t respond well to being hijacked and recycled and may peter out before the show is over, like a sleepy pet reptile.

Everyone enjoys watching a baby complain about shoes, but normally only the first time. It wears thin very quickly, even more quickly when the baby realizes they are accidentally entertaining. Pushy babies are the worst babies.

Nextly, the complaints must be funny.  There is nothing funny about seeing an old dog struggle to his feet, and it’s only a little bit funny when he rolls his eyes to you in silent reprimand for putting out the same kibble you have served for years. He knows there’s forbidden meat in the kitchen; such a let down. But when that very same dog complains while sleeping, groaning and heaving as if someone is rolling an accordion across the floor, it’s funnier every time it happens.

If you must complain, also consider the recipient of your complaint. Can they do anything about the problem? Can anyone? No one can make your brother stop farting with total certainty, not even your brother. If you are going to complain about it, you are likely wasting your time. Complaining to a person who can actually have an effect on your problem is really the only option that will make the complaints worth your while.

Do not tell your entire tale of woe to the first person who answers the phone. Wait until you get the attention of the person who can fix it, and then don’t tell them your entire tale of woe, either. Instead, keep it specific and yet conversational. Perhaps: “Chef, that new special is delicious but I think it may be making my brother fart like a state trooper on vacation.”

Hey, ultimately you can vent if you want to vent. Just know that your circle of ventees is going to shrink, just as readily as the circle of people willing to eat the special meal with your brother.

Currently, I have some very shifty complaints. I am becoming cranky for no particular reason. For instance, on my morning walk I found a lovely patch of flowers, instead of  being glad I noticed them while their brief bloom is happening, I was irritated that they are so far away from my front door. Really? I literally walk there every day because the dog cannot get his fill of nose data without a full tour. This was a classic example of the dumb complaint.

Seamlessly, we arrive at my final point about complaining: you need to listen to your own complaints first before you unleash them on the unsuspecting people who put up with you. If you are bitching about flowers, maybe study that and find out what your real complaint is.


Feel free to vent your complaints in the comments. It’s really the best use of the internet, you know.

My book page is newly renewed, although it is reliably shallow and skimpy on details you are welcome to see what’s wrong with it here: megegardnerbooks.com.

You can buy the first book now and get updates on the second one via my very infrequent newsletter. She is going to be ready for pre-order any minute!!

Mom is Broke

Is it possible that if you send a dollar to yermom she will buy something stupid with it? ALWAYS. That should never be a reason not to give a little something back. Is rent stupid? MAYBE!!


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