A Complaint Against Those Who Complain

I’d like to file a complaint.

It’s against people who are never satisfied and criticize the world. It could be the weather, food they eat, places they visit, people they encounter.

They are the ones who are never content with anything that encompasses their daily lives.

The latest diatribe occurred at a wedding I attended. There we were, seated around a reception table, when on comes the meal. The entree happened to be surf & turf, more precisely, lobster and filet mignon.

Now what could be wrong with that? Well, ask the guests. One steak was showing red and off it went, back to the kitchen. Another was an end piece and wouldn’t do. Someone else didn’t like how tough the meat was, and another was bothered by how undercooked it turned out.

What followed was a rendition of “musical plates” as dinners were passed around the table to suit everyone’s fancy. One guy didn’t like lobster and served up an exchange for two filets. Another critic was a vegetarian and sent the whole plate back for a helping of linguini.

From the looks of it, this diner was more content than the others with his pasta and ate in ecstasy. Ten to a table. Only one satisfied customer.

It got worse. The A/C was up too high, putting people inside a frigid zone. Another found the music much too loud for her listening pleasure. And another was irritated by the exorbitant charge for a beer. Or the wine glass was served half full.

An open bar might have been more palatable. That way you can order two servings of wine to get one full glass.

Don’t complain about the traffic. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. If there were fewer cars on the road, it would be even harder to find a parking place.

No sense in complaining about the weather, either. If you don’t like it here, go elsewhere and you won’t like the conditions there also. No matter how bad it may be at times, folks, it’s better than no weather at all.

My cousin, a veritable big-mouth, sat with me one evening. We were watching the weather on TV to check out a fishing trip the next day. The forecast called for rain and he went into an uproar.

“What are you blaming the meteorologist for,” I interceded. “It’s not his fault. He gets paid for his predictions, not the weather. Let’s change days to accommodate Mother Nature.”

Given the choice, I would rather be an optimist. My glass is always half full, not half empty. I tend to see the brighter side of things. If it showers, I look for the rainbow. If God serves me a lemon, you guessed it. I make lemonade.

I always have something to wear, whether my wife likes it or not. People who kick never have a leg to stand on anyway. I’m going to wear informal this evening, whether the occasion calls for a suit or not. Okay, I will wear black socks instead of white to accommodate the fashion.

Chronic hypochondriacs tend to bother me. These are people who complain about every health issue imaginable, whether it’s a mosquito bite or an ingrown toenail. Set your eyes on someone with a missing limb and you’ll feel the gratitude. The man who is always kicking doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

The next time you complain about the food on your table, think of the hungry in Africa and other third-world nations. If you’re always tired, please keep your emotions to yourself. I really do not want to hear about it.

Go to a gym. Take a fitness class. Change your routine and find a more positive side to your day.

A child tells me, “There’s nothing to do,” and sits in front of the TV playing video games. Read a book, I tell him. Let’s go for a walk and maybe play some ball. How about a game of Boggle?

Sometimes it works. Other times, the world is against him.

You can’t please some people no matter what you do. They complain when they don’t get what’s coming to them. And they complain even more when they do.

I saw a woman recently grumbling to a postal clerk at the window about her welfare check being late as if he were the one responsible for putting it in the mail. Didn’t get her anywhere.

I once ran across this sign at a service station that drew a smile. I often get some inspiration from signs. This one read: “To keep from having complaints about our free service, there will be no more free service.”

The next time you complain about something, find yourself a closet and just keep on knocking.

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Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.
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3 Comments

  1. I call it a personality disorder. It’s a way for people to get attention, have control over situation and have a say in everything.

  2. Thank you, Tom, for this reality check and exposing the spoiled brat attention-seekers and control freaks.
    Their bloated personalities are not the only trait exposed. It shows a lack of basic etiquette not to mention the basics of wine drinking. Red wine is always served in a large, stemmed glass that is wider at the bottom (to contain the fragrance) and it is NEVER filled to the top but only one-quarter to one-half full. To release the aroma, the glass is held by the stem and swirled a few times on the table, then it is held up to observe the color and density as it coats the glass before inhaling the aroma and sipping. So the wine glass which your chronic complainers believe to be ‘half-full’ is technically full-up. Sadly, your chronic complainers are (blissfully?) ignorant of such small pleasures – gastronomic or otherwise.

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