Common Sense

The Bright Side of Life

Tell me if this has ever happened to you. You're at an event and you get stuck talking to someone who you'd rather not get stuck talking to. I usually like most everybody -- my wife says that's because I'm hopelessly naive. There are exceptions though: negative people.

I really lose patience with people who complain and whine and go on and on carping -- sort of what I'm doing now, going on about them! But seriously, I was next to this woman who seemed to know a lot about me personally and the subject of illnesses came up.

I'm sympathetic to such issues, since I'm pretty aware of such issues. But that's not the point -- this is: The woman wouldn't stop talking about how everyone was out to get her.

She seemed to have a fairly minor ailment, but oh my God, the boss doesn't sympathize for her.

The kids don't call her.

The neighbors don't even bother to contact her.

I nodded my head, desperately looking for the drink guy, but she was just warming up.

She tells me that her feet swell, but her podiatrist is a jerk.

Her kitchen's falling apart, but where on earth could you find an honest contractor? And on and on and on.

I'm pretty sure she was a good person, although she clearly didn't have a good word to say about anyone, or anything.

Into my third glass of wine I finally got up the gumption to say, "Surely something good is going on in your life?"

She stopped, thought and then just when I thought she was about to say something positively profound, she went into grandkids, whose parents apparently rarely allow her to see.

I wonder why.

She asked me what she should do? In my now dizzy head, I "thought" “Shoot yourself!” But I "said," “Get a hold of yourself. You've got a lot of baggage. But you look like you can carry it. Consider yourself lucky."

"Look at the alternative," I said. "You could be dead."

She gave me a quizzical look, then she moved on.

And I had one more drink.

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