I knew this day would come. I’ve been dreading its arrival for over three years. It’s that very disquieting sensation of tranquility, however temporary, when your existence has reached an unsettling plateau of comfort. And, try as you will, you just can’t seem to find anything to complain about.
I know how enviable the circumstance in which I currently find myself may appear, but when you’re engaged in a pursuit that requires kvetching, this situation is a disaster! It’s humiliating. I am an embarrassment to my ancestors.
How could it be that my life has no respect for my deadline, self-imposed as it is? An essay is due, and I am gripe-less.
Feeling very much like Koko, the Lord High Executioner from The Mikado, I am in desperate need of a little list. So I begin to flip through my mental file cabinet for potential sources of irritation.
Let’s see; last weekend we travelled north. Surely an encounter with an airline could yield all sorts of problems. But no, nothing, nada! The flights were on time, even early. My in-flight TV set was working, and, to my joy, showing a Law and Order marathon. The man sitting next to me was not obese, did not have bad breath, did not try to talk to me while I was engrossed with my beloved Olivia Benson, and didn’t have to go to the bathroom – not even once! Can things get much worse than that?
How about our outdoor dinner party? Certainly a ripe potential for multiple tragedies. There was a whole host of concerns. We worried about the temperature. Would it be too hot or too cold? Wind gusts of 25 miles an hour or no wind at all but plenty of little biting things dining on our guests?
Would it dare to rain? Would the intra-coastal be at low tide so our company would have a perfect view of mud? And a possible odor of something akin to milk that had been accidently left out of the refrigerator for a few days? Would a female friend in too-high heels trip coming down the spiral staircase from the upper deck, requiring a visit from the fire department?
But no, none of the above. Everything was perfect. Couldn’t have been better. Food was excellent, temperature just right, fish were jumping and the water level was high. Slight breeze, no bugs. And not one sprained ankle in the group. Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m beginning to feel more than a little hopeless.
Keep searching, I tell myself. Something will come up.
The dry cleaner has not lost any clothes lately. No long lines at the bank. The person ahead of me at Starbuck’s bought only a bottle of water. The supermarket did not run out of my favorite no-fat, sugar free imitation chocolate fudgesicle. And there was plenty of Cool Whip.
The weather has been beautiful, the air reasonably dry, and my golf game, after taking a dive, has recovered to its accustomed level of incompetence.
My appliances are purring, my computer is behaving, and I haven’t scratched the car in two weeks.
I’m not feeling fat, my bad hair days have been at a minimum, and a stranger in a diner told me I was beautiful. Can circumstances get any worse than this?
I suppose I could always complain about my children, but I have declared them off-limits. I may have to reconsider, however. It’s starting to look like these are very tough times for a whiner.
I concede that this is not going well. That my quest for a societal offender is coming up empty. I have one last hope. I turn my thoughts to my spouse.
Yes, he still falls asleep gripping the TV remote in a tightly clenched fist, but that’s an old story. As is his misplacing things, constantly giving me driving lessons, and messing up the house with papers. Good news, or in this case, bad news – he has lately limited his cooking to the outdoor grill so my kitchen has not been under siege.
Surely, we must have had an argument about something recently, or at the very least, a mild disagreement. But I can think of nothing. Maybe I’m losing my mind. Now that would be something to complain about, but I’ll need more proof.
Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me to relax and appreciate the fact that for this brief moment in time, my stars are in alignment. It is a shaky peace at best, because we all know how quickly the axis can shift.
So I shall do just that, and be grateful that I am leaving the rest of this page as blank space. For now.