According to Merrium-Webster, there are two definitions of the word complain:
1. : to express grief, pain, or discontent
2. : to make a formal accusation or charge
So Wednesday, after deciding to accept the 'no complaining challenge' I was feeling good about myself. Okay, maybe even a little smug. My euphoria lasted about an hour.
It disappeared when I crossed paths with a dip-sh*t in a pickup who mistook the Walmart parking lot for the Daytona Speedway. As I made a right turn into the lot 'Ricky Bobby' blew through the stop sign at about 40 MPH, hung a left on 2 wheels and came so close to me he nearly took my front bumper with him.
Of course, I reacted with all of the serenity befitting a gal on a journey for peace of mind and self-improvement. I'm pretty sure I was still standing on my brakes, when I leaned on my horn and shouted "A**hole!"
And I wondered, "Was that a complaint?" Because I'd like to think it was more of an observation.
You can't really call it a complaint unless I had whined about it to someone. Right? Still, I was 'expressing discontent'. But my heart was pounding in my ears, so wasn't my reaction was justified?
Ugh. I may have to avoid driving for these 7 days, even if it might be unfair to the other drivers who need my horn-blowing and constructive critiques.
I have noticed that my complaining style is not so much premeditated tirades, as it is knee-jerk reactions, and avoiding them takes more of a conscious effort.
But what about justifiable complaining? Does that count? Because sometimes I have a lot to complain about. Like war, famine, politicians and not being able to find the end of a roll of tape and reality TV stars and when I can't open a jar of mustard and when I have a conversation with my mother and I have to say everything twice.
Okay. Maybe I'm missing the point. We all have some reason to complain, but I guess it's a slippery slope. One minute you're complaining about your boss, whom admittedly probably is an overpaid buffoon and moments later you've worked yourself up to a full blown rage over a broken shoelace or a bad call by a referee.
But to be honest, I'm not even sure if I get the point. Isn't venting good for you? No doubt, its better for the vent-er than the vent-ee. It's never fun to be on the receiving end of someone's emotional dump. Especially if it's angry and often.
So is the idea for me to become a nicer person? Someone who's easier to be around?
I guess the only thing to do is soldier on. Chin up and mouth shut. And when I'm behind the wheel, I'll try to keep the horn-blowing and the 'observations' to a minimum.
I wonder. Do hand-gestures count?