Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All the world is a stage, and we are merely complainers.

The last thing the world needs right now is another complainer.

But honestly, I'm okay with a little complaining now and again. It's what makes us human and relatable. I don't trust people that never complain about anything. Because really. SomeTHING or someONE in this great big world of ours HAS to bug you. The odds are not in your favor to love everyone and everything with whom you come in contact. So if you never complain, then the little annoyances of life will build up inside of you, eat away at your very essence and then cause you to explode into a million tiny bits.

It's a scientific fact.

Although I have not been to every country on this great, big planet of ours, I can probably say with much confidence that the big ol' U S of A is home to the greatest population of complainers in the world. We take complaining to a whole new level. Yes, we are a generous country, and most of us will help you if you are down and out. We have your back. But despite how good we know we have it, we are human, and can't resist complaining once in awhile.

For instance, a few days after the horrific earthquakes in Haiti, I was filling up the gas tank in my sexy, black, but as of late, a very dirty grayish-colored Honda Odyssey minivan, (jealous much?) and I was parked behind what looked to be like a brand-new, shiny, silver, large, very expensive Mercedes sedan. The owner was standing there on her iPhone chatting away at the pump, (Um, lady, you do know that you can self-combust that way, don't you?) and loudly complaining about the fact that she has to put premium gas in her aforementioned Mercedes, while saying, "It just STINKS how expensive premium gas is these days!" Ahem. And I thought to myself:

Haiti should have such problems.

So as much as I subscribe to the thought process so brilliantly voiced by Shirley MacLaine's character in "Steel Magnolias", in which she says something to the effect of, "If you can't say something nice, then come sit next to me," some complainers just need to shut up.

I have decided that there are two types of complainers in this world. 1.) Your run-of-the-mill, very relatable, "I'm-totally-feelin'-ya-and-get-where you're-coming-from" kind of complainer, and 2.) The Bragger Complainer. (see the Mercedes-Premium-Gas Complainer above.)

Here are the types of complaints I'm okay with, that usually come from the first type of complainer I described:
  • "My kid kept me up all night with illness/nightmares/explosive diarrhea. I'm so tired."
  • "My husband has to travel this whole week for work and it sucks. I guess we're eating chicken nuggets and hot dogs all week, because I can't muster the energy to cook anything from scratch."
  • "If I have to drive my kids to one more activity, and sit there and entertain the other kids for an hour, I might poke out my own eyeballs."
  • "Driving in snowy weather rattles me. I wish I was in Florida."
  • "My car smells like poo. Something has to be stuck under one of the seats. Again. How many times do I have to tell these kids not to eat in the car?"
Now here are the types of complaints that come from the Bragger Complainer. The Bragger Complainer is not really complaining. They are just finding another way to brag, and they are trying to be relatable, but failing miserably.
  • "I am so annoyed that I gave my gardener and housekeeper the week off. I could really use them right about now. My rare rose plant needs a good pruning, and I am soooo craving one of my housekeeper's famous gourmet omelettes that that she makes with those truffles that I have flown in from France every Tuesday morning."
  • "I was taking a bath in my loose diamond collection this morning, and I am sure that a 12-carat one got stuck in my butt crack. Dang it hurts. I hope my private doctor will make a house call this early in the day."
  • "Oh man! I snagged my panty hose again with this 7-carat Tiffany diamond tennis bracelet that my husband just happened to give to me out of the blue the other day. He dropped it off at the salon while I was getting my spa treatments, and when I came out of the massage room after my 2-hour massage with Vlad, the male supermodel/part-time masseuse, the little blue box was just sitting there waiting for me. But I was sooo annoyed, because I was hoping for 10-carats. Seven-carat tennis bracelets are sooo 2009."
  • "My Ferrari smells like rare Russian Beluga caviar. I was driving home from the market the other day and spilled a whole jar of the stuff on the floor. Now I have to have the Ferrari detailed and they gave me this 700-series Beemer to tool around in in its stead. I guess I don't mind slumming around town in it for a few hours."
  • "I was polishing off my Emmy the other day, and the wings on the damn thing poked a hole right through my cashmere sweater. It's a good thing that my Oscar has a much smoother round head."
Like I said, the Bragger Complainer is not a complainer. Beware. They are just insecure braggarts and nobody wants to be friends with them, especially me. We all have nice stuff. We just don't need to tell everyone about it to try and put people in their place. Our mamas didn't raise us that way. And no, we're not jealous of you. We just don't want to hear about your problems that aren't really problems.

Enough of my tangent.

So where was I? Oh yeah. Complainers.

I am a complainer, and proud of it. However, I try not to abuse my right to complain, because people get sick of hearing it. It also helps if you temper your complaints with a little bit of humor, so people don't even know you're complaining. Almost.

And here's the part in this blog entry where I am going to complain. And yes, once again, it involves the toilet and the bathroom. Because that's what we're obsessed with in this house. Not by choice, of course. It's just how it is. If you are tired of reading about my family and their bathroom habits, or lack thereof, then stop reading HERE. If not, then by all means, keep reading.

But you have been warned.

Twice this week I stepped in pee. TWICE. I have the yellow socks to prove it. Bill stepped in pee once this week. ONCE. One plus two equals three. That's THREE times we have unwittingly discovered pee on the bathroom floor. Check that. Actually the bottom of our socks discovered the pee for us.

The boys share a bathroom, so I am not exactly sure who the floor-peeing-bandit is, but I know it's one of the boys. The skills that I have gleaned from years of watching CSI and the Mentalist have deduced that 1.) it is not Annabel or I, because neither of us uses that bathroom, and even if we did, our lady parts make it almost impossible to get the pee anywhere but the bowl, and 2.) it is not my husband, because he doesn't use that bathroom either, and even if he did, he has learned in his 35 years on this planet how do I put this politely?...AIM. (There is no dirty-minded innuendo intended there. I am talking about going to the bathroom, people.)

Let's review. It is not me, Bill, or Annabel that is consistently peeing on the bathroom floor. So that leaves Charlie, Henry, and George. Oh, and of course, there is my fifth child, Not Me. Immediately, Not Me is the first person blamed in these situations. Poor guy. Or girl. I am not exactly sure what Not Me looks like, because I have never met him/her. I don't even remember giving birth to him/her. But dang, that Not Me is quite the troublemaker around this house. If I ever get my hands on that piece of AIR, then he/she is soooo going to the naughty step.

Honestly, I don't care who is peeing on the floor. I just want it to stop. Now. I know I sound like a broken record, because I have written about this topic in the past, but it's a big bowl! A big, white, bowl that is a contrast to the ceramic tile on the floor! I do not have the energy or the time to clean that bathroom floor daily. I gave that bathroom a good scrub-down this weekend, thinking it would be good for at least a week, and it was good for about 12 hours. IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO KEEP IT CLEAN AND PEE-FREE FOR AT LEAST A DAY? 24 HOURS? ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED FORTY MINUTES? EIGHTY SIX THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SECONDS?

Apparently my expectations are way too high. It is time to set the bar lower, then I won't be disappointed when things don't go my way.

It feels good to get that off my chest. Yes, I know that in the grand scheme and order of the problems of the world, it ranks right up there with a zit on the forehead. That's how minor it is. Yes, I know how lucky I am to have my children. Yes, I know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, and running water, and toilets that work. Yes, I know how lucky I am that I don't have to share a bathroom with three little boys, because then my pee-on-the-floor encounter percentage rate would be much higher.

But is it too much to ask to PLEASE put your piss in the bowl?

If it is, then I reserve my right to complain about it.

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