How do they do it?

I was speaking with someone the other day who in the course of the conversation was telling me that he has been married for 14 years.  That may not be the exact number but I know it was over 10 years.  Truth be told, he may have been married 10 or 14 years but I was struggling through a 5 minute conversation with him.  Ten plus years of this incessant chatter.  Day in and day out of the complaints and minutia.  How do they do it?  Is there a particular club that people join when their chief interest in life is complaining and criticizing others?

This is not a club I want a membership in.  They wouldn’t include me anyway.  I can find a silver lining in almost any scenario.  It may be unrealistic but I would rather view life through humor and ‘rose colored glasses’ then spend my days evaluating how inept others can be.  Or how lousy the weather is.  Or what’s wrong with the PTO, the football coach, the government.  We all know these people.  Some are family members. Not mine, of course!  Some are coworkers.  There’s always one.  Some are people we have “small talk” with (and you know how I feel about small talk) and are glad to know our paths will not be crossing any time soon.  Insert martian wave here.

Later on, I popped into a restaurant that serves breakfast all day.  The woman ahead of me in line was rattling her order.  No hello.  No “How are you?”  Just “I will have an omelet. Egg whites only.  Onions. Peppers.  A touch of salt.”  And on and on she went.  Staccato.  No emotion.  All detail.  It was a $4.95 omelet and you would have thought she was ordering a steak at Morton’s.  I was wondering if she was going to request a complimentary back massage with the order.   The chef handled the whole situation with ease.  I don’t think he spoke once.  I know he didn’t roll his eyes.  I think I may have.  Did I roll my eyes?  Clearly, I am spending too much time with middle school children.  Then I thought, imagine if the person I spoke to this morning and the omelet lady are a couple and they are sitting down to dinner right now saying, “I met the most annoyingly optimistic person this morning.  She writes a blog….”   You never know, right?  Maybe that’s how they do it!