I Suffer the Mortification of having a Character Flaw Pointed Out To Me

So last night, it was after midnight and I was (finally!) in bed.  The room was dark.  Darling Husband remembered something that he’s supposed to do, so he said, “I’ll send myself a note on the iPad,” and he turned on the iPad.

Even though the iPad’s brightness was at the lowest setting, my eyes had already adjusted to the pitch dark of the room, so when Darling Husband turned it on, it was like the sun rising from the floor.  Too bright, too bright!

So, I was lying there merrily making comments about how my retinas were being burned out, and how when I cover my eyes with my hands I could see my skeleton.   I was just about to launch into a comparison of the iPad to a nuclear blast when Darling Husband said, in an off the cuff way, and not joking at all, “You complain a lot.”


“Wait.  What?  Are you being serious?  I complain a lot?”

“Oh yeah.  You complain all the time.”


Nobody likes being around someone who complains all the time!  Was he serious?  Do people cringe when they see me coming because I’ll be the one bringing everyone down?

I needed more intel.

“Wait, wait, wait.  Are you serious?  You do know I don’t mean most of my complaints, don’t you?  I’m just being silly.  You know that, right?  Have other people noticed?”

“Well, you’re always too hot or too cold or it’s too bright or it’s too loud or you got rained on.”

Oh, ouch!

I lay there silently blinking big sad kitten eyes up at the (now) dark ceiling, considering this revelation.

I must have been too quiet because Darling Husband said, sounding a little surprised at the thought, “Are you sad?”

No, I wasn’t sad, but I wasn’t sure yet what I was, so I said, “I think I am.”  But really it was more of a sense of horrified dismay.  “I mean, you’ve just told me I have a pretty serious character flaw.”

“Well, not necessarily a character flaw.  More of a character trait that we’ve all had to learn to put up with and love you in spite of.”

Ok, now he was just enjoying himself.

So I said, “But I really need to know, because this is embarrassing.  Do I really complain all the time?  Don’t people know I’m mostly just having fun with things and I’m not really upset?”

And here’s where I’m not sure if he was backpedalling or what, because he said, “Well, come to think of it, maybe you mostly complain at home.  Maybe it’s just around us.  In fact, that could be the case.  I’ll have to observe you around other people.”

But that’s not much better.  I don’t want to be the sort of person who treats her own family worse than strangers.  Yuck!  I don’t like that at all.

And then he said, “And it’s not really that you’re complaining, it’s more like…”

But at that point, I accidentally interrupted him, and then interrupted myself to ask, “It’s more like what?”

And Darling Husband said, “Oh, I just thought of the word for what you do, but I forgot it already.”

I tried to help, “You forgot the word?  Is it whine?  Grouse?”

“No, no.”

“Kvetch?  Spout vitriol everywhere I go?”

“No.  No, no, no!  But I can turn the iPad back on and look in a thesaurus if you like…”

And here it is tomorrow, and he still can’t remember the word that best describes my Terrible Character Flaw, so how can I fix it??

Today was Soup Day.  I was a little nervous about talking at Soup Day.  What if I started ranting and everyone was rolling their eyes in their minds? (Hey!  Rant!  Maybe that was the word he was looking for!)  Maybe no one wants to hear my complainy rants, and they’ve all been too polite to say so until now.

I’m feeling just a slight bit subdued, and might have to resort to posting pictures of fluffy kittens playing with yarn, superimposed with inspiring quotes from now on.

So, in the vein of not complaining, and without resorting to the kittens, today’s Picture of the Day is of the reading material in Barbetta’s bathroom.

As you can see, they have a little basket in there of books to read.  Look at the books.

Barbetta’s serious when she says that she hasn’t read any fiction (except for The Blog, as she so matter-of-factly put it) in two years.  Not even in 2 minute blocks while in the bathroom!

And, further in the vein of not complaining, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed by her and so proud of her for all her hard work.  I’m not sure why she’s not a quivering heap of jello in the corner of a room by now from how crazy-busy her life has been while she’s been studying for her Nurse Practitioner degree.  And, of course, she got straight A’s the whole way through.

It’s really disappointing that for privacy and awkwardness issues, she won’t treat any of her friends, because wouldn’t you want the person who is diagnosing and medicating you to have gotten straight A’s in school?

Oh no!  Was that a complaint?!  Ugh.

Tomorrow:  Kittens and inspiring quotes.


15 thoughts on “I Suffer the Mortification of having a Character Flaw Pointed Out To Me

  1. You need to move to Brooklyn where your art form will be really appreciated. I think the first thing they teach kids in kindergarten here is “What are you fuggin’ kiddin’ me? Ya gotta be fuggin’ jokin'” Where do you think Joe Pesci learned his “What am I a clown?” when he was being complimented for being funny. Besides DH is completely wrong. Everyone knows you don’t bust open the lap top or ipad without turning down the light when your partner is next to you in bed. It’s “fn” and then down arrow to the lowest setting. He knows this of course so this is all idle torment.

    • Brooklyn! I’d fit in great in Brooklyn! I wanna move to Brooklyn. Sort of. It sounds loud in Brooklyn. I can hear the traffic when you call me.

      Wait–was that another complaint?? Aaaaaah!

  2. There’s a difference between complaining and pontificating.

    Complainer: It always rains on grocery day. Satan is out to get me!

    Pontificator: Do you ever wonder Hey it’s grocery day. Tha means a black cloud will form above my house. And DH will love that because he studies weather. And while he studies I go get groceries. I like that (not really) but at least I can take Alex. And more pictures for photo club The milk cartons are most radiant in the late afternoon.

    You are the latter.

  3. Not Kittens, please! Anything but kittens. I might gag. And everyone knows it’s not nice to make pregnant women gag.

  4. I relate to so many of your experiences! I ‘grouse’ at people in a way I mean to be joking and I have always assumed everyone knows I’m just messing around – then I’ll get a comment from someone about how bitchy I am or something – then I don’t know what’s worse, feeling horribly misunderstood and misjudged, or the idea that people really feel like I’m seriously being hard on them. Then I spend a month unable to leave the house because I’m sure the whole world hates me….

    • Right! You understand! If I can find some kittens, I’ll give you some of the pictures I take for the next time that happens. They can tell you how awful you are and you can reach into your handbag and say, “Here. Look at this kitten.”

  5. I must say- never thought of you as a complainer- but then isn’t the purpose of soup day to whine, complain, moan, and grouse about everything in our lives and then go home (or in my case stay home) and secretly think how happy we are to have our own husbands, children and lives. I thought we were having our therapy that way- Is it still complianing if we lay on couches and someone “hmms at us every few minutes? I can get more couches!

    • Shew! That’s what I thought soup day was about, too. Glad I’m not the only one.

      Couches would be great. I was thinking of getting you some chair pads for your dining room chairs for your birthday. Those chairs get hard after 3 hours of grousing.

      Uh oh. I think I just complained about your chairs.

  6. I too have received that assessment – and then the person saying it will usually do the same thing your husband did, lol! So I don’t know, people are strange. I’ve also gotten the “you talk a lot” and then when I am not talking and being very quiet they say “Why aren’t you talking?!” it’s like people are never happy – at once you are talking too much, and then you aren’t talking enough, make up your mind people 😉 perhaps it’s more a reflection on them than it is on us?

    • I’ve heard the talk too much, not talking enough thing, too.

      My plan, going forward, is to complain as much as I want when I know I’m having fun with it and being goofy. But I think I’ll take a step back and see if I can catch myself complaining for real. Because I don’t like being around people who really complain. People who are joking complaining–that’s fun. Real complaining? Not so much.

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