I’m a pretty pessimistic person round and round. I believe when you come to a fork in the road there will be a speck of food on it.
But it works for me. It gives me a healthy cynicism that allows me to see the world through hosed colored glasses.
I’ve found it a very useful tool in my life. I don’t take things too seriously which allows me to say randomly idiotic things on a frequent basis.
It’s not that I don’t care about things or issues or feelings (okay, maybe that last one not so much) but pessimism gives you a pause before reacting.
I use my own experiences, knowledge, and moral compass to listen to their situation before coming up with what I expect to be a fully formed, thoughtful, useful solution to what I, no doubt, think is nothing more than whining from a maggoty-assed, puss-bucket.
Of course, that’s not how all pessimists are. For some, it roils inside their reactions turning the edges of their perceptions black with a non-existent middle. Like a cream-less Oreo.
When these people come to a fork in the road there’s already a heart on a tine.
It’s like that with pessimism. When it’s taken to extreme levels the first thing lost is humor. I may expect the worst when I turn around the corner but I’ll be wearing clown shoes when I get there.
I was talking to someone who wears his pessimism badge like a truncheon through the forehead. The kind of guy who wakes up each morning to Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s classic durge, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire. Quite a toe-tapper, that.
He was going on about some mundane event being the most tragic since the creation of torture. I mean, toast you ordered from a greasy spoon didn’t turn out the way you ordered is shocking? Come on! It’s a greasy spoon! Success there should be gauged on the level, force, and eruptive location of your explosive diarrhea.
During a rest between his eight-minute, non-stop rant he said,
“I guess my glass will always be half full.”
“Maybe you need a smaller glass?” I throw in a little attempt at levity.
A huge mistake, I know, but, come on, it’s what I do. When life gives me lemons I make babies lick them. But it took him into the seventh best (yes, I keep exacting records. If I ever go on a murderous rampage I want documentation!) invective filled rants about my personage.
I sat there collecting bile vial after bile vial until his beaker was empty. He sat there, panting, anticipating my recognition of his reasoning and expecting, fully expecting, my acquiescence as his lemming to the abyss.
I looked at him thoughtfully, nodding as I soaked it all in before saying,
“You have many valid points. I should take life more seriously. I do spend too much of my time on folly. I should spend my time uncovering the miasma that is life as it truly is.”
As he was beginning to accept his victory, I leaned over, as did he, which made it much easier to squeeze his nose and say,