Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sometimes there are limits to how much you can complain

The other night I met this guy and he was complaining about his current lot in life. That being, he had paid off his mortgage a few years ago but now his wife wanted to move and he didn't want to. I listened for a while because venting about something that sucks, and having to deal with taking on a new mortgage and uprooting your home certainly sucks, but it became obvious that he wanted a certain level of sympathy for being a victim and I'm sorry (not sorry), he's simply not entitled to that.
"I don't mean to sound unsympathetic to your plight, but I mostly am so screw it, I do mean to sound that way."
"You don't think I'm a victim here? My wife is making me do something I don't want to do."
"As a U.S. citizen over the age of 18, there are very few things anyone can 'make' you do."
"I have no choice in the matter!"
"Of course you do. You always have a choice. If you make this move, that's the choice you're making."
"So I can either move or divorce the woman I've been married to for more than 30 years. What kind of choice is that?"
"It's a shitty choice. No question about that. And you deserve a certain amount of sympathy for having to make it but it ends there."
"I think you're wrong. You do not always have a choice. What is someone has a gun to your head and tells you to do something you don't want to do?"
"That's also a shitty choice but you can always refuse and get shot in the head."
"That's not a choice!"
"Of course it is! You have two options and you have to pick one. That's what choosing is. Again, nobody says any of the options have to be good."
"I'm too old to get a divorce."
"That's certainly a factor you have to take into consideration but you need to know that the ball is entirely in your court. You may not like it and you might feel like it's beyond your control but ultimately, how you choose to respond is entirely up to you. If you really don't want to do something, don't do it."
"We've already done all the paperwork! All that's left is the closing!"
"If you're letting yourself get swept along by the things that happen to you in your life, that's a choice you're already making. Nobody is forcing you to do anything."
He kept talking but I tuned him out after that because I'd said all I could say on the matter and clearly he wasn't going to shut up. People face tough decisions every day without whining about it and his situation isn't even that dire, when you put it in perspective: either way, he ends up alive and living in a house.
None of this means that I want to listen to people who have to make truly horrible choices and their reasons why, it just means this guy shouldn't have talked to me about his.

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