Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Emotional Rescue.

grumpy adj \ˈgrəm-pē\
: moodily cross : surly

I know someone who admits he is a grumpy person. However, he is quick to point out that he's not an angry person. "Angry and grumpy are different," he maintains. I think this is true. An angry person will let life eat away at him from the inside, will let the anger permeate his entire being. Anger is a river, ebbing and flowing but ever-present.

Grumps, on the other hand, simply don't like the way things are going right now. They don't approve of that stupid shirt, your annoying way of up-speaking, your lackluster service, your loud celebration or your obtrusive position in the subway car. They are going to let themselves get good and bothered about it, and they are going to make their feelings known. But grumpiness is a storm cloud, one that forms when a highly developed notion of what should be meets a highly developed awareness of what is, and then passes on.

The same qualities that contribute to this person's grumpiness also make him good at telling people (including me) to hold tight, stay the course, look at the big picture, not get worked up over silly stuff, and, as he calls it, CTFO (chill the fuck out). In general, the grump is an expert at forbearing, being sensible, and appreciating the things in life that do not suck, because those things are so very rare.

"Poor you, you have to calm people down a lot," I say one day. "It's like the emotional equivalent of rock-paper-scissors. Grumpy trumps jumpy." Hm, yes. I am onto something.

I, for instance, am jumpy (more precisely, neurotic). But I also find that people confide in me a lot, maybe because they know that no matter what they're freaking out about, I have probably already freaked out about that same thing and can offer some insights (or at least empathy).

And maybe you are that sensitive one, that one who errs a bit to the side of being open, aiming to please too much. We'll call you chatty. Chatty neutralizes grumpy, which becomes either placated or simply stunned and confused when faced with a wall of input.

So there you have it: grumpy (rock) trumps jumpy (scissors) trumps chatty (paper). What other flaws of ours can be turned into secret, singular weapons?

P.S. I am also grumpy and overly eager to please, so I guess I always trump myself.

Music: "Doncha Bother Me"


  1. Grumpy people make me grumpy. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

  2. yup I am grumpy and full of the proverbial


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