Posted by: Kate | December 18, 2008

Kwitcher Bitchin

I’m done.

I’m tired of myself, of the whining and the angst and the blah. I can’t imagine that you’re anything but tired of me.

It’s not just here; I’m pathetic and miserable off-computer, too. I had a very bad night last night, in which I completely failed to communicate with Emily (apparently, “Don’t interrupt” immediately translates itself into Sanskrit when entering the ears of an 8-year-old). Then I failed to be a reasonable source of support and encouragement for my sister, who is having completely normal and developmentally appropriate worries about school and boyfriend and life and I just rambled at her and generally proved that her older and once-omnipotent sister is still old but decidedly less competent. Then I failed Willem, because he asked what he could do to help me and what I planned to do today, since he’s off at school and I’m home with Jacob, and I completely fell to pieces, berating him for trying to help and rambling about how asking me what he should do is unfair because I already don’t know what to do for myself and now I feel guilty because I don’t know what he should do either and woe is me and whine. I tried to remind him that I’m still in pain from Tuesday’s dental work and that this is adding to my general insanity, but I think he believes that his wife has now left the building, to be permanently replaced by a sniveling, incoherent mess.

Apparently I hit my limit for my ability to endure my own self last night, because I woke up this morning with absolutely no patience for myself anymore.  Enough wallowing and whining.  It’s not helping, and it’s certainly hurting me and those around me.

Not that I’m going to just shake it off or that I’ll suddenly crawl out of this cloud of depression, in a burst of “chin up!” “smile more!” “this too shall pass!” optimism.  That would just be creepy, coming from me.  I know I’ll still have the same worries and fears and angst, and sometimes it will ooze through.  This is a blog, not a novel; it’s meant to reflect wherever I’m at on a given day, not to meet some prescripted arc of plot and storyline.  Some days are bad, and part of the point of writing it all down is to remember that stuff as well as the cute and happy stuff.

But still.  Enough with the whining.  I’m going to rely on the Thumper philosophy for a while: If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothin’ at all.  We won’t go so far as all-nice-all-the-time here, because I’m comfortably in touch with my inner bitch and sometimes whining is the only right and proper response to the world.  But not so often, and not so intensely.  There’s nothing wrong with a little self-censorship and a lot of editing, and if I can’t find something less obnoxious to talk about, then that’s what memes are for.

I think part of what pushed me to this epiphany of sorts was a series of posts on a message board I frequent.  Someone had a legitimate-sounding gripe, and I would have had a lot of patience and sympathy for her except I’ve had very little patience or sympathy for anyone over the past month or so.  Still, I’d have at least listened politely, except she took it too far.  Multiple, repetitive, ranting posts in which she used the term “fat-bitch,” as though the woman’s weight had become a personality trait; as though she was irritating enough as it was, but that extra poundage just made an unbearable situation into a nightmare.  Her problem had many solutions, things she could have planned for in advance or things she could have tried in the moment, and if she wasn’t able to come up with those solutions on her own, I’m confident that she could have asked and received lots of support and ideas.  Other people’s problems are always easier to solve, which is why message boards thrive in the first place, I think.

Instead, she just complained, and with a level of vitriol and harshness that I found upsetting, just as a bystander; I can’t imagine what that level of hostility must feel like to the target, not to mention the source of it all.  I don’t think she should necessarily have shut up, but perhaps dialled it down a notch.  Or three.

And if I was that uncomfortable watching her ranting, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to spread that particular wealth further into the world with my own whining.

So, I apologize, and I’ll try harder.  Not to fake cheerful or pretend happy, but to find things to say that aren’t so deep and dark and miserable.  Here and offline.  And if I can’t say something nice less-than-miserable, then I won’t say nothin’ at all.



  1. Kate,
    You are posting life…unfortunately you are living in a similar situation that so many are now and the “light at the end of the tunnel” isn’t anywhere to be seen yet. The fact that you had oral surgery and are on the pain meds certainly doesn’t help at all either. I undertstand trying to be positive but in such a cynical environment but sometimes it just is what it is.
    Anyway you have thrown some happiness in you posts with your trip to the Nutcracker post and the Babyshower…so it all hasn’t been negative. 🙂
    I hope you and your family can smooth all of this over and get on with things! And as you have told me time & time again kids pick up on their parents’ misery, I wouldn’t be surprised if Emily is feeling unsecure and down too, time for a little family or just mom & daughter fun time.

  2. You do need a place and a way to vent all your negative feelings, but you can get stuck there, too. If not taken too far, “fake it ’til you make it” has some validity.

    BTW, you’re not alone in your concerns. The town where I work has the distinction of being the “hardest hit town” during this economic crisis according to the NY Times. So many people have lost/are losing jobs that I’m worried our enrollment will drop. I’m low man seniority wise. If they cut a teacher in my department, it’s me. The thought terrifies me.

  3. You not being excellent at everything all the time is just as helpful as the omniscience. It is just as encouraging. Talking with you last night was more comfort than I can put into words. It was exactly what I needed – to know that I was not alone and that crap happens to everyone. I love YOU! bwah!

  4. Kate, it’s a bit like a grieving process when you lose your job . .you’re just coming out the other end of the dark tunnel. I get like that with money woes. It seems the past two weeks, everything has broken. Adam’s car, my lounge ceiling, my washing machine, the paddock fence . . then I lose my bottle because someone leaves a cup on the floor! Everyone needs a place to scream now and then and this is your place. Things will work out . . .

  5. I never thought you were whining too much. But then, I am the queen of the whiners in my circle, so maybe I’m a little blinded to it. Anyway, I hope that this change of mind means a little more happiness for you. You deserve it.

  6. I didn’t think you were whining too much either. I find it to be a relief to see that others respond to negatives in their life in a normal way. That way I don’t feel like I’m the only one who can’t be Mary Sunshine all freakin’ day and night.

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