Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Complaint about Complaining

I was going to talk about trust but I don't trust myself to stay within the safe boundaries of generalisations, so I'm going to have a whinge about complaints instead. Here too, sadly, I run the risk of identifying culprits of unreasonable grumbling. To be sure there are fault finders galore in this world, but I do not wish to name and shame those I know, nor even make obvious insinuations. Also, I have been known to bleat as well, so far be it from me to throw stones.

However, the question on which I wish to focus is what is reasonable complaining and what is not. Is it fair, for example, for my neighbours to complain about the sounds I make in the kitchen as I rise early to prepare for the day? A few plates banging, the kettle boiling, the toaster popping. It may be only five thirty in the morning, but this is the time I choose to get up and who could reasonably complain about the normal noises I make?

If I add the sounds of As I Lay Dying to the audio mix then perhaps I am going too far. If I sing loudly, or stomp or take no thought for the clashing of cups and cutlery in the sink, then maybe there are reasonable grounds.

There are things which we simply have to endure. No matter how annoying or disturbing they are. I find the sound of motorcycles irritating, for example, but I can hardly expect all the riders, lovers as they are of those two wheeled machines, to stop assaulting my senses simply to please me. I don't understand rudeness or laziness but I have neither the power nor the authority to do anything about it.

What I can do is fill the ears of like minded people with my cavilling. On this common ground, we cement an affinity which makes us feel good. Justified even. Dare I say righteous without inferring self righteousness? (because that is another thing I don't like) - I didn't know how to properly punctuate that sentence. Some readers will complain about that which is fair enough too because I do purport to be a writer.

This is so much fun, I have no desire to stop and yet, I must.

My first attempt at a book was called What's Your Problem? It was a book about complaining which one editor said they "did not get", and I gave up. That was many years ago, and I have learned much since in terms of doggedness, and understanding that many people do not 'get' me or 'get' what I write, but I don't care.

I invite you to a have a whinge. Moan away right here in the comments. Go on. You know you want to get something off your chest.

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