Re: In Which I Save You From A Lifetime Of Torment

1

I have several grumpy inlaws, and for three decades I've been trying unsuccessfully to figure out ways to see my siblings without them. One has a grumpy daughter.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:25 PM
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Let's say that, hypothetically, one is oneself occasionally inclined (geneigt) to grumpiness. What is to be done?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:31 PM
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Change.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:32 PM
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2 - I think as long as you have the same level of grumpiness, you should be fine. Just find someone equally matched so you won't bring them down.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:33 PM
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3 is the better idea. But if you can't change, at least don't put your grump on a non-grump.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:34 PM
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don't put your grump on a non-grump.

Some people find that pleasurable, even exciting, you know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:36 PM
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Yeah, I've dated a lot of grumps, and for the first couple of months, it seems like they're just grumpy because of one transient circumstance and then another, so you accommodate and feel bad for them, and then you realize that, nope, the situation will change, but they'll always be grumpy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:36 PM
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Changing doesn't require tons of work on your personality. Just ask yourself, "Am I making this situation easier or harder for my partner?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:37 PM
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Grumpiness is one of the Grundstimmungen of Dasein.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:38 PM
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it seems like they're just grumpy because of one transient circumstance and then another

Right, but non-grumpy people almost never grump! Keep that in mind! (Exceptions to be made for hunger, lack of sleep, and new medications, but nothing else!)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:40 PM
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It's a matter of Sittlichkeit that you take drugs for this sort of thing.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:41 PM
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I have lots of grumps among my best friends, for some reason. I could never tolerate it for long in a partner because I feel somehow responsible for helping them to maintain relative happiness, but in friends, grumpiness can even be charming.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:41 PM
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How grumpy are we talking about here? I'm wondering if I qualify.

Crabby, maybe. Often irked. Easily miffed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:41 PM
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I get the feeling that you're not grumpy with Buck, LB.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:42 PM
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11: unless, of course, your insurance company is busily engaged in fucking you over.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:42 PM
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Yeah, I'm going to post about Alif's situation tomorrow and see if the commentariat has any advice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:43 PM
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I was going to talk about how grumpiness, a trait I (more than?) occasionally exhibit, is not necessarily congruent with self-involved, guilt-trippy unhelpfulness, but I realized making that point would involve talking about the things I do well in relationships, and further realized the people I've been in relationships with might have significant differences of opinion about the nature of, and possibly the existence of, those things.

Stick with the happy people, kids! Discard us rotting grumps on the forest floor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:43 PM
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Hrm. This weekend I'm not going to appeal to him to confirm that. (There was salmon-related disobedience, and some words were said; nothing harsher than curt, but curt. I'm a tense and hostile cook, when guests are coming over, and the mayonnaise had already betrayed me, forcing me to fall back on adulterated Hellmann's.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:44 PM
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10 is true. And re 13, I think there's a difference between not having sunshiny reactions to every stimulus and thinking the world has a vendetta against your comfort. My aunt does this--everything will be fine, but she finds something to bitch about and then won't shut up about it. Other people's enjoyment is piss in her face.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:45 PM
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Other people's enjoyment is piss in her face.

Some people find that pleasurable, even exciting, you know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:46 PM
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I do think that there is much more nuance to the common grump than people are acknowledging here. There are many people, places, and things which I do not like, and would prefer to avoid, but I'm not going to, like, get all up in my SO's face about it. I also think of myself as helpful, but I'm not the one to ask, I suppose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:47 PM
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What do you do with the always-vaguely-uncomfortable? My bf from Oct-March was the sort who was constantly a little tired, or a little nauseous, or had a little headache. The guy I dated May-June was the same way. Both of them probably had real health issues, but since I don't experience constant discomfort, I just kinda felt bad for them and tried to make them comfortable. At some point, though, I realized we never stayed out late or drank a lot or fucked a lot because they never felt up to it. Is it reasonable to dump someone for not having super-high energy? I don't judge them, but it did mean I didn't feel we were compatible.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:49 PM
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Yeah, isn't there a niche for the lovably grumpy? Grizzly Adams: that's me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:49 PM
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I'm not going to, like, get all up in my SO's face about it

Ok then. This isn't about loving all of God's creation, it's about not being a pain in ass.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:50 PM
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My mom started making excuses for her latest husband about two weeks after they were married last December. It's been getting worse ever since until, a week ago, she visited and admitted that he's an asshole control freak. Which, of course, isn't really a grump, but it's just as bad to be married to.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:50 PM
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Is it reasonable to dump someone for not having super-high energy?

I'm pretty sure this was one of the main reasons I was dumped by the Ex, and yeah, it seems totally reasonable; it's a pretty important part of compatibility.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:52 PM
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Are we talking about the 'Princess and the Pea' personality, when you say grumpy? Twenty feather beds, and the pea underneath spoils it all?

(True story -- I told Sally that story when she was five or so. A few days later, I went to wake her up in the morning. She rolled over, stretched luxuriously, and then looked slightly puzzled, and reached under her hip, where she pulled out a scissors she'd been sleeping on. Not a true princess.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:52 PM
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I wonder if this doesn't boil down to "should enjoy the same activities"? Everybody gets grumpy about doing certain things, don't they?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:55 PM
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'Princess and the Pea' personality, when you say grumpy?

That's part of it, although definitely not all of it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:55 PM
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Or are you talking about people with unpleasant personalities? Because that is goddamned annoying. Smile once in a while, Ms. Boring!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:56 PM
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It's possible for a non-grump to get along with a grump if the non-grump cheerfully takes no responsibility for the grump. We're good friends with such a couple, and she'll occasionally say, "Eh, he's just grumpy," and go about her business.

LB, that is a delightful story about Sally.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:56 PM
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You fuckers piss me off.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:57 PM
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Everybody gets grumpy about doing certain things, don't they?

I think there's a distinction to be made between doing things one doesn't like and being grumpy about doing those things.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:58 PM
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Smile once in a while, Ms. Boring!

No.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 6:59 PM
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a distinction to be made between doing things one doesn't like and being grumpy about doing those things.

Obviously. The former is a doing of things one doesn't like, and the latter is an attitude one has toward doing certain things. Ms. Tweety seems to be suggesting that it is reasonable for there to be some things the doing of which engrumpens one. You might think that, no, one should always grin and bear it. But that's different from the above distinction.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:04 PM
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I think there's a distinction to be made between doing things one doesn't like and being grumpy about doing those things.

What is the distinction? Not doing things one doesn't like is fine, but doing them and being grumpy about it is not fine? Makes sense to me, I guess. But then it comes down to "we never like to do the same thing," which seems like it could describe the situation ogged related in the post.

34 is awesome. I should have said "Mr. Boring", but, you know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:04 PM
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Sifu, I'm wondering if you know any grumpy people.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:06 PM
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Dealing with a grump isn't so hard as long as you don't let it bother you. Which can be hard, if you yourself aren't a grump, to realize that that person grumping and whining over there isn't really meanginfully unhappy or upset, he/she is just a grump, doing his or her grumpy thing. That was a tough realization for me because if I'm actively bitching and moaning about something, I'm really upset. But the grumpy are not like you and I.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:07 PM
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I still think I'm overly shy about inviting people to things because of one of my grumpy exes -- if he hated a movie/play/etc. that I'd suggested, I'd never hear the end of it. It got to the point where if it wasn't obvious that he was enjoying a movie (from him laughing or the like), I'd start to get so tense that I couldn't enjoy the remainder of it. There were a few times when he'd turn to me when a show was over and say "that was a good movie! I'm glad you picked it" when I hadn't been able to enjoy the film because I had been so filled with dread by the idea that he hadn't liked it.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:08 PM
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What do you mean by "meaninfully unhappy or upset", Brock?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:09 PM
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I didn't say "meaninfully", ben, I said "meanginfully". Pay attention.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:10 PM
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Well w-lfs-n'd, w-lfs-n.

One needn't necessarily grin and bear it. I think it's perfectly acceptable to, for instance, roll one's eyes and bear it. Hell, it's perfectly human to be grumpy while doing something you don't like; if you're like this a lot, however, you're probably a grump.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:11 PM
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I'm wondering that as well. If not, what the hell did I do to be so lucky?

No, I mean, I've dated at least one person who spent a lot of time grumpy, but it was very much symptomatic of larger problems in the relationship. I know people who are generally grumpy stick-in-the-muds, but they are either (a) single or (b) widely ignored by the cheerful and vivacious types surrounding them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:11 PM
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Whenever I read about a negative personality trait, I worry that I have it. Every personality test I take on the Internet, though, I end up normal and healthy. Do others have psychological hypocondria?

Related: If you are experiencing some kind of "symptom," never, never look up that symptom on Google.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:11 PM
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For example, on the fake asperger's test, I got a 10 -- I have mentioned it in a couple different comment threads because it kind of creeps me out. That seems pathologically healthy. Maybe I should take some kind of worrying test to ease my mind.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:14 PM
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Exceptions to be made for hunger, lack of sleep, and new medications, but nothing else!

But if you have voluntary lack of sleep that lasts more than a few years, you should probably:

Change.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:15 PM
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If you have voluntary lack of sleep that lasts more than a few years, you are probably:

Hallucinating.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:16 PM
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To be less of a little bitch, ben, I'm not sure what you don't understand about the phrase. I meant that yes they're being grumpy, but since that's what they always do, damn near no matter what, nothing's really wrong (in the sense that there's no need for you, as a caring partner, to attempt to address the grumpiness, or its source).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:18 PM
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I just didn't get the inference from "that's the way they generally are" to "they're not actually unhappy or upset". If all you mean is "you're not obliged to do anything about it", that's another matter again.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:21 PM
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In a state of severe fatigue, I did once hallucinate the walls getting a little undulate-y. But that's about it. My hands, which are spiders, concur.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:22 PM
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49: I see the confusion. I guess that's all I meant by "meangingfully unhappy or upset". "Meaningful" meaning something you as a caring friend or partner ought to care about or try to do something about.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:24 PM
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51: well, by that definition nobody is ever meaningfully unhappy or upset.

Wait, that came out wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:26 PM
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45: clearly, you have Williams syndrome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:27 PM
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Thank goodness my wife didn't have the chance to read this post a few years ago.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:28 PM
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I wasn't a grumpy person before, but I am now that Adam Kotsko is the most well-adjusted person on the Internet and am obliged to adopt him as a role-model.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:28 PM
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counterpoint: fuck the lot of youse.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:29 PM
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I wonder if this condition responds to any kind of medication.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:31 PM
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Mmm, I think I know the sort of grump. They're just not happy to be doing whatever it is that you're doing, and it generally matters not a damn what the activity is or whether they have anything else they'd rather be doing. It always strikes me as a passive-aggressive way of expressing that they're annoyed at having to be there.

This is quite a common occurrence with my father when it comes to outings like family reunions or really any kind of loud, noisy group function. Trouble is you can't just avoid those things when you have a family. But there is hope! My dad's mellowed with age and with, uh, politely expressed guidance from his daughter.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:38 PM
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When I was young my father was stern. After I left home he passed through a much-enjoyed "mellow" phase and now is grumpy. Grumpy is about the worst because I've seen how pleasant he could be.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:40 PM
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There was a grumpy man
Who wrote a grumpy profile.
He sent a grumpy e-mail
And cracked a grumpy smile.
He met a grumpy woman,
Became her grumpy spouse
And they now live together
In a grumpy little house.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:44 PM
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I think to be honest that grumpiness is a kind of depression. My step grandfather turned into a grump when he got laid off from work at 64 just short of a full pension and with nothing to do. He remained a grump until my grandmother got sick, at which point he suddenly had a purpose in life, and ceased being a grump.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:45 PM
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I know people who are generally grumpy stick-in-the-muds, but they are either (a) single or (b) widely ignored by the cheerful and vivacious types surrounding them.

I am grumpy yet beloved. I achieve this by seeking out needy people who will care about me anyway, or insecure people who will do virtually anything for my regard. I have a lot of fun, for a grump.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:51 PM
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don't settle down with someone grumpy.

I'm sure it's been repeated a hundred times, but gawd yes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:54 PM
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61 nails it. Here's my advice, Ogged: if you see this friend and his wife when you are in his town, try by way of experiment to really focus on making sure she feels included. Maybe she's grumpy because she is not having fun.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 7:58 PM
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So, not so much. Which surprises me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:04 PM
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Or maybe, I think on reflection, I've just surrounded myself with other grumps and we grump happily together. Or--and this is my new favorite hypothesis--I am not so much grumpy as alway oscillating between euphoria and choking on my own rage. Some people like me for one, some people for t'other.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:07 PM
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Maybe she's grumpy because she is not having fun.

Or vice versa. Argh, selection, identification and endogeneity! We need to instrument grumpiness, obviously.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:07 PM
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by way of experiment to really focus on making sure she feels included

I and the people I know do this instinctively (well, except for when I'm trying to make people cry), and I think she likes us and all, but she's a grump. (I should say that her husband is hardly a bundle of joy at all times, so I don't really mean to lay blame, but generally speaking, stay away from the grumps.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:08 PM
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You people will never change. It's just like the time you were all cackling about whatever it was, completely oblivious to....

IMO there is a difference between superficial grumping and grumping obviously connected to an artery pumping high volumes of well-oxygenated grump.

Sometimes solitude is preferable.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:13 PM
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I think to be honest that grumpiness is a kind of depression.

I think there must be some kind of distinction to be made, though. Some people are weirdly happy, and some people are sort of happiest when being unhappy, no?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:15 PM
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Is this advice just Emerson's no-relationship policy viewed from the other side, I wonder?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:16 PM
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Are we talking about being grumpy or being a passive-aggressive jackass? Because almost all the comments along the line of "yeah grumpy people suck" seem to be using the latter definition.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:21 PM
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72 expresses what I utterly failed to express in all of my previous comments. Doesn't that just fucking figure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:28 PM
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"If you're already committed to a grump, well, there are limbless orphans in Somalia, so suck it up, you self-pitying bitch."

Or you could do as I and just get a divorce. But I'm not very good at sucking it up long-term.


Posted by: bgg | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:32 PM
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This whole thread was such a fucking downer.

I'd like to teach the world to sing,
And live in harmony...


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:34 PM
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72:I looked up passive-aggressive syndrome the other day, and it ain't quite grumpy. We grumps are not passive, but assertive in our attempts to lower the oblivious and unconscious to our level of discontent.

The rains have ended in Dallas, and the 95+ days, every day, with 80+ nights, have begun. The fucking dogs are grumpy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:42 PM
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All over Dallas, in the still, sweltering night, grumpy dogs fuck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:44 PM
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I think it'd be hilarious if McManus moved to Portland and, overnight, became a cheerful centrist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:45 PM
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Are we talking about being grumpy or being a passive-aggressive jackass?

Grumpy. Grumpy people talk more about what's bothering them than what makes them happy, they focus on what went wrong more than what went right, etc. "We went shopping today, and the parking lot there is so full, we had to park five minutes away. We bought a couple of things, so I guess it was ok." Instead of "Look at this cool thing I bought!" Basic, not necessarily hostile, not really objectionable in isolation stuff. But soul-sucking over time.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:47 PM
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Oh my gosh, that's what you mean, ogged? I so totally resemble that remark, at least lately. I will redouble my efforts to look on the bright side.

Snapping the hips: wondrous!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:52 PM
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Frowner, I've adopted a policy of not believing that any of your self-descriptions are terribly accurate. I suggest you do the same.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:53 PM
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It's hard to imagine you being like that, but I guess that's why god Al Gore I invented the internet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:53 PM
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Grumpy people talk more about what's bothering them than what makes them happy

Aha. I would have called that griping more than grumping. Grumpy, in my head, is more in the realm of the silent sulk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 8:59 PM
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They do that too, the bastards.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:00 PM
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I didn't used to be (hi, raver?), but "living the dream" sours a guy on spontaneous youthful fun. Also, I'm from Boston: America's Grumpiest SMSA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:01 PM
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Grumpy people are the most fun to needle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:02 PM
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OMG, I do have Williams Syndrome! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:02 PM
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Grumpy people are Eeyore. I am Tigger. My wife's family have a strong Eeyore streak running through them, which helps to explain why I'm in my office at the moment reading Unfogged while my brother-in-law is visiting.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:06 PM
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I think identical grumpy actions can spring from quite different personalities. there are people for whom the grumping is, as Brock was talking about above, almost meaningless. our maid here in SEACSX is an incredibly grumpy person, and stomps around doing things unnecessarily loudly and bitching and moaning like every single aspect of the world is a calculated personal affront to her. however, it's like a storm cloud that can just blow over, and 2 minutes later she's fine. it makes her a pain to be around, sometimes, but it doesn't mean that she's consumed with actual ill will.

my dad, by contrast, is one of those people like Becks talked about, and whenever we do anything remotely my idea I am on tenterhooks the whole time for fear he'll ostentatiously hate it, even to the point of complaining about it for days (or years). he does this not because he is grumpy, but because he's a self centered passive agressive type.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:07 PM
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88: Eeyore was my absolute favorite as a kid. I also really loved Oscar the Grouch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:17 PM
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Eeyore was my absolute favorite as a kid

You never fail to surprise, Sifu.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:21 PM
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Here's Wikipedia on the hedonic treadmill

The idea is that there isn't much we can do about our grumpiness level. It's just who we are.

Despite the fact that external forces are constantly changing our life goals, happiness for most people is a relatively constant state. Regardless of how good things get, we'll always be about the same level of happiness. It is believed that the baseline of an individual's happiness is at least partially genetic. For example, identical twins are usually equally bubbly or grumpy.

I have no idea if the science behind this is any good, but it rings true to me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:47 PM
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92: they have top people on the case, that's for sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:50 PM
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But you can learn not to grump.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:51 PM
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They should have "keep it to yourself and pretend to have fun" classes instead of Home Ec.

Do they still have Home Ec? I'm so old. That's fine, though, youth is wasted on the young. None of you would know, though, things just aren't the same. I wish I was in school again. Boy, things were so simple in those days. But I guess those days are lost forever. That's fine, really. Don't worry about me. What were you talking about?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:54 PM
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92: I wonder if these studies ever contrast childhood v. adulthood. From the time I was born until I was 14 or so, I was a relentlessly unhappy person---my parents would show my baby photos and claim they called me "The Judge" because I never smiled. But since teenagehood, I've been really resilient and reasonably happy. Some circumstances changed, but mostly, I've thought it might have been puberty, which only did good things for me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 9:57 PM
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It's good to know that the chicks were as enthused about the advent of titties as the guys.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:02 PM
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98

Before tits, I was formless and void.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:04 PM
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99

Me too!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:06 PM
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100

Before tits, I was a hard SF guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:06 PM
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101

They should have "keep it to yourself and pretend to have fun" classes instead of Home Ec.

I would fall in love with Sifu if he weren't so young.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:33 PM
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102

I'm nine, you sicko.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:39 PM
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103

I'm twelve. I knew it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:46 PM
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104

Divide by 3.5 day is my favorite!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 10:58 PM
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105

I'm six, apparently.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 11:15 PM
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106

Is the link in 92 some kind of abstruse joke?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-07 11:44 PM
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107

[lighting blue touch paper]

What about people who are, say, grumpy only one week out of four?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 12:22 AM
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108

The upside to Williams Syndrome is that if you survive you're inoculated against Utilitarianism.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 12:34 AM
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109

First of all, 98 wins the thread.

Second of all, a distinction needs to be made between the bitchy, the grumpy, and the actively destructive grump. The first seeks opportunities to bitch, the second eagerly bitches when the spirit moves him, and the last seeks to prevent anyone enjoying anything in his company. As an aspiring member of the second class, I am unable to offer an independent comment. In order to highlight the weaknesses of this class, I will assert that City of God rocks ass, and that if you haven't seen it you are worth nothing. This last clause exemplifies the final stage of bitchhood.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 12:39 AM
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110

Does it make you grumpy if you prefer o-fun to m-fun?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 2:11 AM
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111

Shorter this thread: Contrary to popular opinion, Ogged does need a girlfriend who's name ends in .jpg!


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 2:25 AM
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46: But if you have voluntary lack of sleep that lasts more than a few years, you should probably:

Take a break from having small children and let them grow up a bit.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 2:29 AM
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113

Where I work, whenever we talk to students we're supposed to assure them that the cheerful staff at the library are eager to help them with any problems they may have. I always add, "except when we're feeling grumpy". They never laugh.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 3:15 AM
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I'm married to a bit of a grump. More of an antisocial sulker than a grump I guess. I stopped caring years ago and certainly don't make excuses for him, and our friends don't seem to care if he disappears from social occasions - e.g. we had friends here for dinner and instead of eating, he went to bed. Sounds like a wanker written down, but he's not. When he wants to be, he's excellent company, he just could have really done with the "keep it to yourself and PRETEND to have fun" classes.

It was worse a few years ago when he was ill and then had some sort of Chronic Fatigue thing - constantly tired and miserable and grumpy and burping - I don't know why the burping. Really fucking tedious. I told him then that if he ever got cancer I was out of there.

What about people who are, say, grumpy only one week out of four?

Their problem is that they have to live with people who are really fucking annoying for an inexplicable quarter of the time.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 5:33 AM
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115

Their problem is that they have to live with people who are really fucking annoying for an inexplicable quarter of the time.

Yes, tell me about. I am married to someone who genuinely seems to believe that. Sometimes the lack of insight is genuinely funny.*

'You don't think screaming at me for 5 minutes because I stirred the dinner,* and you'd just carefully arranged all the pieces of meat so they were facing the same way ... you don't think that was a tad unreasonable'

'No'

Personally, I am a bit grumpy, in the sense that I can sound a bit gruff and snappy at times. But I'm very much not sulky. I'm one of those people who is grumpy/angry for 30 seconds, takes a deep breath, and then forgets about it. No grudges, no huffs, no sulks.

Also, I'd be surprised if I come over as grumpy in company. I'm a private grouch, not a public one.

* a stew *I* was cooking, I might add ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:03 AM
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116

How do you tell which way a piece of stewmeat is facing?

I like the Tigger/Eeyore distinction -- if you broaden it to cover all the characters, you can describe most people. I, myself, am Eeyore; Dr. Oops, Tigger. I console myself by noting that at least I'm not Rabbit.

Also, in terms of dwelling on the negative, does it help if you're doing it for comic effect? I'll certainly turn a day's events into a step-by-step recantation of what went wrong, but the idea is to entertain. And I'm usually happy if I have a popped balloon to put into and take out of a jar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:16 AM
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117

113: I always add, "except when we're feeling grumpy". They never laugh.

Grumps, the lot of them.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:16 AM
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118

re: 116

They were strips of meat, so they did have a sort of a 'directionality'. It's very amusing now, but at the time ... less so.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:22 AM
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119

Oh dear, I'm afraid maybe I am Rabbit.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:33 AM
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120

The capacity to worry about that makes you not Rabbit. Rabbits are entirely pleased with their rabbit-hood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:45 AM
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121

115:
'You don't think screaming at me for 5 minutes because I stirred the dinner,* and you'd just carefully arranged all the pieces of meat so they were facing the same way ... you don't think that was a tad unreasonable?'

Your wife's name is Margret?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 6:55 AM
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122

What to make of this? My favorite was Kanga.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 7:11 AM
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123

I achieve this by seeking out needy people who will care about me anyway, or insecure people who will do virtually anything for my regard.

And Frowner's presence at Unfogged has now been explained.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 7:27 AM
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124

I like the Tigger/Eeyore distinction -- if you broaden it to cover all the characters, you can describe most people.

I like this too. In fact, I would extend the advice to run, run away to people who are Tiggers. A tigger is fun to have at a party every six months or so, but after a certain point, bouncy, bouncy all the damn time is not fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 8:49 AM
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125

Oh, there are good and bad Tiggers, as well as good and bad Eeyores.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 8:51 AM
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126

I'm pretty sure I'm Rabbit, alas. My wife is, too, but she claims to be Christopher Robin.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:00 AM
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127

re: 121

Heh. I'd forgotten all about that site [and Mil Millington's very funny newspaper column].

Also, 124 is right. Happy, bouncy people are not natural, man.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:03 AM
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128

Christopher Robin always carries a gun (Winnie the Pooh, ch. 1 et seq.) Clearly he is a dangerous man to cross.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:24 AM
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129

I'd rather be Piglet.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:34 AM
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130

For a long time, I thought my ex-wife was simply situationally depressed/upset. There was always an excuse for her behavior. But, she refused to get professional help.

Finally, I decided I couldn't live that way anymore.

It is not much fun being around someone who refuses treat their depression or bi-polar disorder.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:40 AM
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131

I'm nicely bouncy.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:47 AM
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132

I'm nicely bouncy.

Baywatch at Unfogged.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:49 AM
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And I'm usually happy if I have a popped balloon to put into and take out of a jar.

Heh, I was describing that story literarlly just last week (though, after I remembered the details I suspected that I remember it from reading The Tao of Pooh rather than the Pooh stories themselves which seemed less respectable).

In fact, I would extend the advice to run, run away to people who are Tiggers. A tigger is fun to have at a party every six months or so, but after a certain point, bouncy, bouncy all the damn time is not fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Harlan Ellison described himself as insipiring that reaction of, "why don't you ever stop!" in people.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:53 AM
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134

I courted a girl in high school by reading WtP stories into her answering machine while she was out.

Not the most virile approach, I'll grant.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 9:58 AM
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135

Did it work?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 10:00 AM
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136

I have never read or watched any WtP story of any sort. All my knowlege of WtP has been gleaned from TV commercials and pop culture references.

Just thought you might find that evil interesting.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 10:38 AM
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Ever consider that she's only grumpy when she has to hang out with you? Of course, I'm playing devil's advocate here, so don't jump to any false conclusions, but grumpiness can certainly be situation-specific.

As for myself, I am generally a cheerful, glass-half-full sort of person, but when forced to endure the company of particularly hostile, tiresome or self-pitying relatives and acquaintances, I become quite the champion grump. Feigned illness or exhaustion are relatively acceptable, white lie-ish methods of escape from unpleasant social situations. And you never know, it might be that your friend's husband eggs his wife on in these situations because wife's excuses absolve him of blame.

My ex-husband did this me all of the time. We both hated spending time with his mother, who was hyper-critical and relentlessly dished out obnoxious, not-so-subtle digs at us. However, his misguided filial duty prevented him from taking action, so he made our visits particularly hellish for me. No surprise I was stricken with migraines and fatigue every time we crossed the threshold of her home. Thank goodness no children were born from that misguided union, or I'd still be suffering from infirmity and passing out from exhaustion every time the kids wanted to visit grandma.

Anyway, just a thought.


Posted by: grumpy old bat | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 11:07 AM
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18: Did it curdle? I had a strange one the other day where it turned into a thick axle grease from the outset and stayed that way. Disgusting.

But oh so very much worth it if it comes out right.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:04 PM
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139

79 is an important clarification. And Just ask yourself, "Am I making this situation easier or harder for my partner?" is pretty much good advice whether you're grumpy or sunny or anything in between: the perpetually optimistic, for instance, can make life harder by telling you to look on the bright side of (say) your cancer diagnosis, you know.

All that said, p-a grumpy isn't about grump; it's about p-a. And a *lot* of the "cheer up" types are incredibly p-a. Dragging out a partner who is (say) dissertating and is therefore in the midst of multi-year stress (and therefore "grumpy"), even if you're doing it "for their own good," and then blaming them for acting grumpy, is p-a and assholish.

But yeah. People who perpetually complain about petty shit and how the world doesn't understand them are annoying. Tell them to call you once they work out their meds.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:10 PM
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140

Nirvana is to achieve Rabbit's friend or relation Alexander the beetle-hood.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:11 PM
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138: It did, repeatedly. I've had no luck in the past handwhisking it, so I tried the blender, and I got about half the oil in and it suddenly separated disgustingly. I tried starting with another egg yolk, and adding the curdled mayonnaise a bit at a time, and that looked like it was going to work but broke again halfway through. Maddening. I've still never made it work -- I think I need to watch someone who knows how.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:12 PM
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tbh, fresh mayonnaise often isn't worth the effort. Heretically, I often prefer salad cream. Specifically, Heinz Salad Cream.

This probably makes me a bad person.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:16 PM
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143

Weird, I've never had a mayonnaise break on me, but I've always used a food processor rather than a blender. Is it possible you're adding the oil too quickly?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:16 PM
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144

I courted a girl in high school by reading WtP stories into her answering machine while she was out.

With a different voice for each character?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:22 PM
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145

Possible. I got the first half cup in, after which the recipe said I could speed up a little, and I didn't speed up, but it broke anyway. I think the blender/foodprocessor distinction may be important -- it seemed to go wrong when the blades were fully immersed. Maybe I'll try in the mixer given that I don't have a foodprocessor. And Hellmann's isn't bad, anyway. (I don't know what Salad Cream is -- Miracle Whip, maybe? But it sounds scary.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:23 PM
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the perpetually optimistic, for instance, can make life harder by telling you to look on the bright side of (say) your cancer diagnosis, you know.

Well, quite. The reciprocal of grumpiness, from the grump's point of view, is inane optimism. For which there is just no excuse.

143: adding the oil too quickly is always a risk, especially at the start. But I also suspect that things can go wrong if the starting mix is insufficiently acidic (I tend to go for lemon juice).


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:23 PM
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141: Have you tried adding a little mustard to the beaten egg yolks before adding any oil? The mustard grains are said to help the emulsion on its way. Also, you may simply be going too fast with the oil. It's really only the thinnest intermittent drizzle to begin with.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:32 PM
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Yup -- the recipe I had was yolks+vinegar+mustard, and then drizzle in the oil, and finish up with a couple of Tbsp of boiling water. I couldn't get past halfway through the oil.

Too fast is a possibility, because I've never seen it done, but I was going pretty slow -- maybe 6-7 minutes to incorporate the 3/4 cup of oil that I got in before it broke?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:41 PM
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Hmm. My quick trawl of internet recipes just now turned up the idea that using just one egg yolk doesn't give most blenders enough of a chance to blend (insufficient material to get a grip on). Also, Delia Smith's recipe says to start adding the oil literally one drop at a time. You can go faster later. She's timed the whole business and she says ten minutes tops. My mayonnaises usually come out a bit thinner than I suspect hers do, but then I think it's no bad thing to be noticeably a bit sloppier than the bought stuff.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:52 PM
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150

NO AIOLI
SURELY NO MOBY


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:55 PM
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151

Obi-wan Kenobi told me in the lobby!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 1:59 PM
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"WtP" WTF?

Scrolling up from the bottom, and forgetting last night, I was wondering why everyone was discussing that weaker Kaufmann compilation of Nietzsche.

"Reading it into her answering machine?"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 2:09 PM
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Just a drive-by comment, since I get to be outside today, but:

1. Those open plunger thingies that come with your food processor? If you drill a very small hole in the bottom, they can be just the thing for adding oil when you're making mayonnaise. (1/16" or so should do, but you can start small and use progressively larger bits if you want to experiment.)

2. For mayonnaise and all other sauces, get this book. You deserve it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08- 6-07 2:31 PM
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I've made mayonnaise by hand a few times. With a bowl and a whisk. It turned out fine, maybe a little thicker than I personally like, but it was enough to remind me that I don't actually like mayonnaise enough to be bothered. It seemed that the secret was the slowness adding the oil, as already mentioned.

I'd be much happier if I could perfect a really good vinaigrette. Sometimes they turn out so nice and sometimes they don't. I need consistency.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-07 12:39 AM
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