Monday, January 26, 2009


Originally posted on Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Okay, I've been thinking about whining lately. It's something I do a lot. And I don't find it very attractive. I mean, there aren't any big catastrophes going on in my life—I'm actually rather good in a crisis – it's the good times that seem to bring out the worst in me.

I've been whining because my mother, who is ninety two, informed me that she would rather have a frozen chicken pot pie instead of the one I spent a whole day making for her.

I've been whining because none of the pets we love are getting any younger. At our high point — or our most intensely whack-job point, it depends on your mindset -- we had eight dogs and fourteen cats. I can't take credit for this; I am married to a man who is one of God's natural care takers. "But he/she/it needs us," he will carol. And we have another dog. Or cat. On in one case, a 700 pound hog – don't ask. I've often thought the "she needs me" mantra figured rather heavily into his decision to marry me. This is not something I've asked him. I don't care what the experts say about communication in relationships, the real trick to any long term marriage is knowing when you've hit Do Not Go There Territory. Anyway, Dorothy, our little Border Collie/Chow Mix is seventeen and having Little Old Lady Days and Willie Cat who is at least seventeen and probably a lot older--we don't know because he was an adult stray when Roger conned him into joining the household – is having health problems that we can't seem to fix.

I'm whining because I am not getting any thinner even though I now traipse over to the gym to pedal—somewhat languidly, I will admit—for thirty minutes on the bike with the back rest. I've been doing this for almost a week and a half and I do think I should be seeing some results by now.

I'm whining because there isn't any good TV, and I've finished all the Janet Evanovich books that have been published.

For a long time I tried to tell myself not to whine. I was very stern on the subject. "Appreciate the good stuff, you idiot!" I used to scold. "If you're not grateful enough for what you have, it'll all be taken away." A substantial part of my brain is three years old.

Then one day I emailed all my complaints to a long suffering friend. And the weirdest thing happened. When I finished with the litany, I found myself thinking about how lucky I am to still have Mama in my life. And I thought about how wonderful and amazing it is that she's so independent and together that she prefers to nuke her own chicken pot pie instead of letting me cook for her. It's not like I really love cooking. Not unless it's a national holiday and there are more than a dozen people present to applaud my efforts. Unfortunately, I've always been what's known in show biz as a money player.

So I called Mama to say how proud I am of her, gave Dorothy and Willie extra treats and thanked them for staying around so long and informed Roger that while I wasn't prying, if I had been one of his rescue efforts twenty seven years ago, I wanted to thank him too.

I'm going to whine a lot more from now on. It seems to bring out the best in me.

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