I Hate to Complain, But Not Really
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Don’t you just hate it when people say things like:

“Did you know there are only 22 more shopping days left before Christmas? I’ve already done all my shopping, and now I’m starting to work on my Christmas cards. Nothing says Christmas like gorgeous Christmas cards, don’t you think? I do my shopping all throughout the year—buying things on sale, buying things even though I’m not sure who I might give it to—so when December comes around I can sit back, relax, and concentrate on other things, like what kind of candy to fix, or pies to bake—and I watch all those other people go bonkers with their last-minute-Christmas-shopping binges! It’s crazy, don’t you think?”

Well, actually, I do my Christmas shopping at the last possible second. I don’t even remember what a Christmas card looks like anymore. And I buy my pecan pies at Brookshire’s. Lady, it’s you that’s crazy. But not as crazy as people who say:

  
 
“Nope. I hardly watch TV at all. Well, I do watch reruns of CSI, and I try not to miss the news at 6 and 10 because it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, but that’s about it. I watch the History Channel and the Discovery Channel, but that’s not like watching real TV—it’s more educational. And sometimes I watch the Food Network, depending on what kind of recipes they’re cooking (I especially like those shows that use cast-iron Dutch ovens), but other than that, I hardly watch any TV at all. I do watch NASCAR, but that’s different.”

Sure, we believe you. I don’t watch television either, but that’s because I don’t have cable or satellite and can’t receive the digital signal the government practically guaranteed I’d be able to get. But am I complaining? You bet I am. I’m not like some people who say:

“Now, you know me, I’m not a complainer; even if someone took the last package of Double Stuf Oreos and the store didn’t have any more, I wouldn’t complain. That’s just the kind of person I am. No complaints out of me. No sirree! But I cannot believe they preempted my favorite TV show for a presidential address. I’d write to my congressman, but he probably wouldn’t care because he’s on “their” side. He was probably glued to the TV, making notes of everything the president was saying. And am I ever going to know who shot Dorothy Mae’s stepsister’s father-in-law’s twin brother? Not in this lifetime! But I won’t complain about it. Not me!”

Oh, please! If my favorite store didn’t have Double Stuf Oreos, I’d complain with every ounce of strength in my body. And then I’d never go to that store again. I’d probably start a campaign to run the store out of town. So don’t tell me you don’t complain. You sound just like those people who say:

“Now, you know me, I never gossip about anybody, and may I be struck by lightning if I ever bad-mouth a soul, but if you haven’t heard the latest about Mr. X and Mr. Z, then honey, I don’t know where you’ve been. I hear they’ve both bought motorcycles—Harleys, I think they are—and they ride around town in leather jackets making all sorts of noise. Probably trying to pick up young hussies that don’t know the difference between night and day. And do you know how old those men are? Older than you and me, let me tell ya. Old enough to know better. Old enough to know they should be at home, painting the house or fixing dripping faucets like they’re supposed to. Their poor wives must be swimming in tears. But don’t tell anybody. This is just between you and me.”

Excuse me, but I heard every word. Now, can you please stop? You’re making me nauseous.

Finally, don’t you hate it when writers start writing about all the things they hate, but they don’t offer any solutions? And you and I know they have no business complaining because they probably do things that make us complain about them—like forgetting to wash their hands after they pee, or leaving the lunch meat on the counter all day, or not taking out the trash, or practicing banjo even though the neighbors have taken out a restraining order against them doing it. But do they chastise themselves? Heavens, no! They sit in their comfortable writing chairs, all cozy and warm behind their laptops, spewing out stuff they have no business spewing, when they should be out feeding the goats or something.

Not that I’m complaining, mind ya.

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