Everything Dies

I’m regularly accused of being dark, and for a long time I fought that characterization despite some damning evidence.

None of my dresses have spiderwebs on them. Clearly I am a sunny person.


So-Called Proof of My Bad Attitude

– I wear a lot of black.

– I dye my blonde hair dark.

– As a kid, I named my treehouse “The Gloomy Place”.

– I regularly ditched pep rallies in high school.

– I recently developed an affinity for the Type O Negative song “Everything Dies”.

My Perfectly Good Excuses for Those Things

– Black clothing hides food stains better, and sometimes I eat like Cookie Monster.

– I am a blonde, but someone neglected to tell that to my dark brown eyebrows. Dyeing my hair to match my eyebrows makes way more sense than bleaching my eyebrows to match my hair.

– I think we can all agree Eeyore’s home has the best name in the Hundred Acre Wood.

– Even the mascot hates pep rallies. On the Official List of Bad Things, high school pep rallies fall somewhere between Hitler and celery, but they’re definitely on there. I’m pretty sure Hell is just an endless pep rally.

– “Everything Dies” is… well, it’s kind of funny. And I know I’ve used this picture a lot lately, but look at the lead singer. Just look at him.

So he’s a little dead or whatever. Our love persists.

Then a few weeks ago, I was sitting between two co-workers at a bar here in town and had the following conversation:

BARTENDER: So what are you guys doing once this job wraps up?
CO-WORKER 1: I’m going home to California!
CO-WORKER 2: I’m headed back to the east coast.
BARTENDER: And where are you going, Stephanie?
ME: Me? Oh, I’m probably going to die here.

That was the moment I realized people had been right all along: I am a pessimist. A party pooper. A wet blanket.

And you know what? IT’S THE BEST.

Reasons Pessimism is Awesome!!!!!!

Sorry. That was way too many exclamation points. Let’s try that again.

Pessimism: It’s Swell.

Reason #1: It’s harder to spill a glass that’s half-empty than it is to spill a glass that’s half-full.

Reason #2: Pessimists are always pleasantly surprised. When something goes well, it’s a nice change of pace. If something goes badly, you still get to say, “Yep. Saw that one coming,” and that’s kind of fun.

Reason #3: I’m pretty sure I only developed a sense of humor because my outlook on life is so bleak. If I couldn’t find things to laugh at, I’d just want to cry all the time . Nobody wants that, so instead I make a lot of jokes about becoming a bitter cat lady! Whee!

Reason #4: Because a pessimist’s hopes and dreams are microscopically low, crushing them is almost impossible. This means pessimists are basically emotionally invincible. For example, when I woke up this morning, my only goal was “don’t die”. So far, so good. Even if everything else goes terribly today, I’m coming out on top as long as I’m still breathing at midnight. (Great. I’m going to die today just because I said that, aren’t I?)

Just know I died doing what I love: wearing my Ghostbusters shirt.

Reason #5: My pessimism attracts optimists like a well-stocked cranial cavity attracts zombies. It’s like they sense the dark void that is my soul and need to fill it with cheer before I turn into a black hole and suck up the entire universe. Optimistic friends are great! There’s pretty much nothing funnier than horrifying them with statements like this:

Reason #6: It wouldn’t surprise me to find out pessimists enjoy the really nice parts of life a little bit more than optimists, or are at least a little more conscious of those moments. When you’re hyper-aware of life’s rough patches, the sweet parts are a little sweeter because you have something to compare them to. If your whole life is sunny, how can you tell which parts are sunniest?

Reason #7: A study showed pessimists lose less money gambling because they take fewer risks and become jaded more quickly. I assume our cautious nature means we also live longer than our optimistic counterparts, but mark my words: we’re not happy about it.

Reason #8: Of course, it’s possible to take pessimism too far. Someone needs to tell my 16-year-old brother that being a complete cynic is a surefire way to never be invited to another party. On the other hand, overdoing the positivity is a surefire way to get punched in the face and never be invited to another party.

It’s probably odd to write a positive list about the benefits of negativity. Is it possible to be so pessimistic you come out the other side as an optimist?

Blech. I hope not.

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19 comments

  1. tori nelson

    I can’t tell if I’m a pessimist or a grumpy old lady trapped in a 25-year-old body. Mostly I’m really happy… unless those damn raggamuffin heathen hoodlums throw their ball in my yard *shaking an angry and arthritic fist*

  2. shenanitim

    Crap, I can’t remember what the study was called, but one scholar did a study about outlooks on life, and her data concluded that pessimists have a more realistic view of life. That optimists are nice and all, but they’re also seeing things the world through crazy junkie eyes.

    As for your Pete Steele obsession, you’re no different than every other pessimistic girl out there. Just don’t start posting his Playgirl spread, or [shudder], the cover to Type 0’s “Origin of the Feces.”

  3. asuttond

    Fa-La-La-La-La

    I like your upbeat pessimistic attitude that has contributed to you wonderful humor in life… but I still am not convinced in the optimist vs. pessimist debate.

  4. cavallogolooso

    You may be pessimist. But you’re not depressed. Pessimist could see an half-empty glass… but depressed doesn’t care about. They don’t care about surviving: they don’t want to exist. But someone could find that’s because they are pessimist: they see a bad life… they think “I don’t want this kind of life” … their dreams are not so microscopical: they want a 100% good life: if it’s not the whole cake, they don’t want it at all.
    Are they pessimist? Are they depressed?

    When I’m not sad I always use the so-called pessimism in Murphy’s Law style… it saves me and my colleagues from great accidents. If you think about the worst, you could prevent it (ok, not in REAL Murphy’s world) …

    but when you’re depressed, you simply don’t care about … or you think only : “Yep. Saw that one coming” but you’d rather not to be there when it happens.

    all right… not so funny. But your post was!
    (sorry for my bad english, I’m trying to learn!)

  5. gabrielgarbowota

    I was a long-time pessimist and tried my hand at optimism, but now I’m just kind of a moderate. I have a vague sense that everything will be okay, but not great. Thanks for the post!

  6. nishh3

    A

    A joy to read this post! I quite liked the way you reasoned out that pessistic attitude. I exactly know what you were saying as I could relate myself to much of that:)

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