While looking through my Facebook feed, I noticed the confluence of bitching posts. Not "bitchin' posts," but posts wherein the poster is bitching about something. Bad driving, ugly people, stupid people (always a crowd fave), sensitive people (which is funny?), and on and on and on. Not in-depth bitching. Most people have the good common sense not to publicly bitch about their true personal problems in such a superficial forum. I probably only think it's superficial because I'm over the age of 27 and still reflexively pay for my music. Anyway, the takeaway: people like to bitch! About everyone, and mostly about people they don't really know that well! So I started thinking: every time we're bitching about the crappy waiter, the crappy waiter is probably bitching about the sucky customer. When I start thinking about it that way, I feel waaaaaay less inclined to just reflexively bitch about other people. I don't want to live in a world where everyone is going around bitching about me! And they are! I just know it! I know it because I apparently know a lot of people who like to bitch about a lot of other people. I wasn't really good at stats, but I can see which way the wind is blowing.
So you're annoying everybody. I mean, not everybody ALL THE TIME, but even that person who sleeps in your bed with you every night and swears he loves everything about you is annoyed by you no matter WHAT he says. He just has the decency not to bitch about you on Facebook. I'm reminded of that Modest Mouse lyric: "If you knew everything they thought I bet you would wish that they would just shut up." And thanks to Facebook, I'm far more aware of just how much all of my friends like to bitch about every other person in the world. Not that every one of my friends bitches constantly, but if you figure that what you see is just the tip of a possibly gigundous ice burg (I didn't try very hard to come up with a less cliche metaphor -- go ahead and bitch), then you realize HOW ANNOYED THEY ARE BY EVERYTHING. Pretty soon you're walking around the grocery store contemplating how alone you truly are, no matter how many people claim they love you, and you start tearing up a bit right there by the lettuce because you're JUST NOT CYNICAL ENOUGH FOR THAT TO BE COMPLETELY OKAY.
We've all known at least one person in our lives who no one likes but everyone tolerates. When I worked in a bar, there was a young lady about whom all the regular bar patrons would BITCH A LOT when she was absent, but she'd show up and become like any other member of the group. And she was completely oblivious. And that person could be ME or YOU and we would MAYBE NEVER KNOW! I'm not saying we should all just stop bitching, although research has shown that "venting" isn't actually helping us be less miserable and may be making us MORE miserable. Let's face it; modern human kind has embraced misery as an inescapable trap. Lord knows I have no faith that this back pain is going away any time soon. I'm just saying that your bitching is born of you feeling that your comfort is somehow the entire world's responsibility. If you didn't think so, you'd just shrug and say, "Oh, well! I guess that guy has important places to be, too!" And really, the world doesn't give a shit.
It's too busy bitching about you.
Book Notes - Patrick Nathan "Some Hell"
1 day ago