Raise your hand if you feel OUT OF SORTS.
Now raise your hand if you feel GUILTY for feeling OUT OF SORTS because SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE IT WAAAY WORSE THAN YOU DO.
Now raise your hand if you’re tired of me SCREAMING AT YOU.
Sandy effed us up* – and by “us” I mean so many things…
- This entire side of the country
- Many counties within Connecticut
- The town in which I live and our neighboring towns
- Specific friends and family of mine
*To state the obvious, there are very, very different degrees of “eff-ed up-ness;” Sandy wreaked havoc of all sorts.
Then, yesterday, we re-elected the President. Whether you feel that is a good thing or a bad thing, there was probably some anxiety involved, am I right?
And NOW, if you live anywhere near me… it’s EFFING SNOWING.
COME ON, Mother Nature… why are you mad at us and how can we make it better? Flowers? Jewelry? What’s your jam?
For the past eight days, there are two sentences I’ve heard countless times:
- Do you have power?
- But I can’t complain…
#1 made me uncomfortable every time because my answer was always yes when everyone else’s was no. (Survivor’s guilt!) I even asked a strange man at the bagel store if he wanted to come over and use my shower.
#2 is driving me crazy, because here’s how I feel – and I’m going to warn you, you may not like what I’m about to say – you CAN complain.
If you were out of power for eight days with two kids under the age of three and had to live in our friends’ basement or if a giant tree landed on your house, just missing your kid’s room or if your garage was flooded and you’re now dealing with all sorts of repercussions… you are allowed to complain.
If you were dealt any kind of crappy hand this past week, I’m giving you permission to be upset about it. You are very welcome.
But here’s the catch – you have to vent to ME. Or to your sister. Or to your best friend. Or to anyone that is not suffering any more than you are.
You canNOT call someone in Staten Island and say, “Yeah, I’m so bummed, my kids bike got ruined because we left it outside.”
You canNOT call someone in Seaside Heights and say, “I’m so pissed that our annual trip to the shore is going to be cancelled this year. My kids loved that roller coaster.”
Doing either of those things would make you an asshole.
BUT it is OK to be sad. And mad. And – now I’m going to be all therapisty here for a minute – it’s OK to express those emotions.
(Trust me, your scale will thank you if you EXPRESS those feelings rather than EAT them.)
Look, I love that November is Gratitude Month (correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is an AA tradition). I love reading what everyone is thankful for everyday on Facebook. Of course, I think it’s important to take some time to count our blessings.
BUT. In the meantime, shitty things have happened to a lot of people and I think they have the right to vent about it.
*That does NOT mean they are not grateful for everything they have.
*That does NOT mean they don’t feel horribly about the people who are suffering more – whether it be at the hands of Sandy’s wrath or otherwise.
*That does NOT mean that they don’t know that they are “so lucky, because it could have been way worse.”
It just means that people need to vent. their. frustrations.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
So, vent away. Just pick an appropriate audience.
(And yeah, that can totally be me. You just have to buy the drinks.
I’ll split it with you.)