Saturday, June 8, 2013

Is a Cranky Optimist Just a Raging Pessimist in Training?

Those of you that know me, and I guess that's technically none of you, since we've never met, know that if nothing else, I roll on the posi tip.  Translation: I'm an optimist.  More accurately, you might say that I am something of a cranky optimist.

DEFINITION: Cranky Optimist  - crank·y /ˈkraNGkē/ op·ti·mist  (pt-mst) -
One who keeps a positive attitude while stopping briefly to complain bitterly, some might say psychotically, then like a demon has been exorcised, carries on in the most sunny and positive fashion.

I call it cranky optimism, others call it Sybil.  Agree to disagree.

One thing that I find happening more frequently as I reach the upper limits of my 40's is that Sybil er, rather the Cranky Optimist is making more frequent appearances.  More importantly, her appearances are more intense and triggered by smaller infractions than in the past.  If it happens to be around the time of the (ahem) monthly hormonal swing, the Cranky Optimist may behave more like Godzilla on a psychotic Rumpringa through an unsuspecting city than like somebodies mom, coworker or wife. Fortunately, these episodes are short lived and leave minimal damage in theirwake.

In parallel to my Cranky Optimism, my mother has gone full-on pessimist.  Her mind has been poisoned by the 24 hour news cycle (which she won't turn off despite pleas and offers of chocolate) hence, she offers more conspiracy theories than an Oliver Stone movie.

This makes me wonder, is it a foregone conclusion that we get curmudgeonly as we age? I have seen my mother morph from the most accepting, tolerant and open minded person I ever met, into the Dad in "So I Married an Axe Murderer".   As soon as she tells me that the Colonel puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, I'm moving abroad.

June is my a birthday month and I think that witnessing my own aging along side my mom's has me somewhat introspective.  Maybe my awareness is enough to keep me from going the full Stuart McKenzie.  I hope so, because I hate watching the news and I like KFC.

6 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

hokgardner said...

My parents become more and more liberal the older they get. Dad goes out and registers people to vote and builds houses with Habitat for Humanity. Mom teaches ESOL classes at the local library. They hate Fox news.

I refer to myself as an optimistic pessimist - I fully expect the worse to happen, and then when it doesn't, I'm happily surprised.

Lin said...

I'm turning 50 in August. While I'm sorta naturally crabby, I find I have less patience with the b.s. of life--like the young co-worker who refuses to put her coffee cup in the dishwasher because "that's not my job" and my kid who can carry her laundry from the laundry room...but no one else's laundry. I just don't have time for that pettiness.

I don't watch the news. Ever. I think that helps keep me sane.

Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

HOKGardner - My mom is going in the opposite direction. She still argues bitterly with her conservative cousin, but she's getting more like her than she'd ever care to admit.

Lin - I agree. The news is poison. Eating arsnic and feces cookies seems safer.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

I just refuse to think too hard or long about anything and then let the outcome surprise me.

Anonymous said...

With his wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face, "oh, you're gonna buy my chicken!!!!"

Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Anonymous - I was waiting for that response. Thank you!

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