The aunt, uncle, sister or cousin that never has a good word to say about anything and whine whenever they get the chance.
I just spoke to one of mine again and listened to the reasons that XYZ or ABC will be a problem.
In other words, why the things that excite me have fatal flaws.
Why anything I like or promote, is destined for failure.
Yet, they have good events happening in their life that they love to brag about.
Their son or daughter made the honor roll again.
Their spouse got another merit raise and they are on their way to vast riches and fame.
So why do I continue to call and hear the gloom and doom they find in other things? I suppose some misguided sense of obligation to my relatives, keeps me calling back.
Even though, I know that regardless what we discuss, ultimately, I will have to mention something about my current situation and hear the negative feedback.
It goes like this as you listen to my end of the phone call.
"Hi Fran, it's me.
What's new? That's wonderful.
Little Timmy won another Pulitzer Prize.
Amazing, that he's only three.
Your husband discovered a cure for cancer? Terrific.
And you've lost so much weight they want you to model for Victoria Secrets? Good for you.
Oh, me? Well, I got a bonus at work.
Oh, that will put me in a higher tax bracket? I didn't think about that.
Did I mention my wife finally got her PhD? Oh, they're overrated because you can get one over the Internet and they're usually scams? I see your point.
Hey, my daughter got a job at the local Red Lobster as a hostess.
Shouldn't I worry that she'll be raped in the parking lot when she gets off late at night? No, that was something we never actually discussed.
Gee, you've really thought these things through, all right.
Thanks for the info.
It's been great talking to you again.
Keep in touch.
" And that was a mild example.
I've resorted to contact avoidance procedures where I'll concoct any excuse not to call.
But can you blame me? The negativity spreads to co-workers or friends.
Often times, around the good old water cooler, I would listen to the constant gripes and complaints about the job, employer, the pay, the working conditions and other employees.
Friends complain about their work, relatives, and family as well.
Nothing is ever good enough.
The house, car, job, and lifestyle all have their inherent problems.
No one ever appears to have the things that make them happy.
So, in response, I'm going on strike.
I'm going to place a moratorium on hearing negative talk.
Come join me in my fight against the whining and complaining we all get to experience.
Become a zero-problems zone.
It's time to end the negativity and hear positive feedback.
We can do it and you can't talk me out of this.
I can feel the surge as the readers cheer me on.
I almost feel like calling up Fran and telling her the good news.
I'm just afraid she'll remind me that I'm over on my cell minutes again.