Monday, September 2, 2013

This date in the history of mankind: The birth of Brag-plaining

I’m weird. No, don’t worry, it’s OK. I’ve made peace with it.
Part of the blame goes to my own unique blend of genes, chromosomes and electrons, all misfiring together in some sort of strange, off-beat symphony.
The rest of the blame? The bigger chunk? Well, that comes from the fact that I’m a person. All people are weird, even if they don’t know it. Especially if they don’t know it.
It’s a subject I’ve covered before and I’m sure I’ll cover again.
Today’s reason why people are weird is something I’ve been noticing quite a bit of recently: People complaining about an issue they have no interest whatsoever in seeing resolved.
Example: “This thing I have to do sucks.”
                 “So, don’t do it. You don’t have to. It’s a volunteer thing. Say you’re sick. No one will care.”
                “No, I can’t do that. Ugh. I just really don’t want to go.”
                “So … don’t?”
                “No I have to. God it’s going to suck.”
What kind of lunacy is this? Any animal in the world that’s ever witnessed one of these kinds of exchanges must just shake its head and ponder how we – people – ever made it to the top of the food chain.

But it’s not just my fellow humans who are prone to this madness.
Not long ago at work, I found myself complaining about having a lot to do. Someone offered to intervene on my behalf and get me more time on a project or what have you.
Naturally I turned him down flat. Resolve my complaint? Oh, lord no! That’s not what I wanted at all.
I guess part of it might come from not wanting to admit defeat or give up on something. Most people like to be pushed just a little. To operate just a hair over the line between too busy and busy, in order to keep things interesting.      
No one wants to cross too far into too busy, because that leads to unacceptable levels of stress. But toeing the water at little? Yeah that suits humanity just fine.
Especially because then we get to complain about it to others. “Look at how hard I’m working!” “Should I help you work less hard?” “AHH! OF COURSE NOT YOU HEATHEN!” *proceeds to slap that helpy helperton right in the face*
There’s a certain amount of pride that comes from taking on even a thimbleful more than you should. And we love to tell others about it. So in that sense it’s not even complaining really, it’s a more subversive version of bragging.
Maybe it’s an offshoot of humblebragging, where you disguise a brag by trying to be self-effacing. This theory of mine needs a buzzy name if it’s ever going to catch on and have its own Twitter account.
 Complaino-bragging. Brag-plaining.
I don’t know, I’m just the idea man. You people work the finer points out for yourself.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m a little swamped today. I’ve got to post this blog, go to the supermarket, cut the bottoms off of some doors that are getting stuck on a new rug we just put down and then make some food to bring to my parents for a Labor Day party. I just don’t have a lot of time, but …
No I don’t want your help! Why would you say that to me!?!   

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