Friday, May 18, 2012

A Little Cheese with that Whine?

I was a little surprised to receive an anonymous comment on my most recent post -- the one concerning getting the boat dock ready for use this spring.  The comment essentially said -- anyone who has a boat on a lake should refrain from complaining.

I admit, I've never liked criticisms, and so this bothered me a bit.  Maybe it hit a sensitive spot.  I responded with a smart-ass quip about how cowardly it is to provide anonymous criticisms.  But a few days later, it was still bothering me.

I re-read the post.  Was I complaining?  It wasn't my original intent to do so, although I freely admit I don't like this particular type of task.  I'd intended to give an illustration of why that old saying, "a boat owner's happiest two days are the first day he owns his boat, and the last day," has some validity.

Would you like a little cheese with that whine, mister Spears?  Yes, it did get a little whiny.  Yes, I was complaining a bit, as well as telling what I thought was a head-shaking and modestly amusing tale.

But was the critic correct?  Did I really have no right to complain, since I live in such an environment of luxury?

I don't think so.

Complaining is a human preoccupation.  I've listened to billionaires complain.  And I'll bet everyone you know well, at one time complains about something.  Your economic condition doesn't dictate whether you need to whine once in a while, but it does probably dictate how bearable it is to listen to the complaints.  I might have crossed the line.

In my defense, I'll note that the "boat" is a pontoon boat with a 50 hp motor -- not exactly high luxury.  My entire lake recreation set-up is one of the most modest on the lake.  But yes, it is still a luxury item, and yes, I do currently live more comfortably than most.

Based on my observations in Ethiopia (and elsewhere in the third world), a refrigerator is a luxury item, and so is air conditioning.  I'm certain my critic would never complain if his automatic icemaker broke every year, and to fix it he had to load it into a truck and haul it to the store while standing in cold water.  That would almost be be a similar hassle factor.

So in conclusion -- yes, I probably will continue to occasionally complain a bit.  Hopefully, I can do so in an amusing way which entertains.  But if it does seem like I need a little cheese with my whine, just move onto another blog post.  No need to comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment