I wanted to make sure Sara didn't miss her kids too much, so I made sure to whine as much as possible while she was here*. I think I covered pretty much everything.
"I can't believe I have to wash dishes again."
"I have shin splints."
"My head hurts."
"I'm too full."
"My preschooler broke my nose with her hard head."
"My nose hurts."
"I want apple pie. Why don't we have any apple pie?"
"My lips are chapped."
"My nose is dry"
"My nose is full of dry boogers."
"My feet hurt."
"My elbows are dry."
"I can't do pushups because I have a thingy on my wrist and it hurts."
"There's pie in my hair."
"My hair hurts."
"Why did I eat so much pie?"
"I have a hangnail."
Sara really enjoyed it. She likes her best friends whiny and annoying.
Or maybe she was just holding her rage inside. Come to think of it, she did laugh a little too hard when I stepped weird while walking into the living room one evening and fell into a heap.
I am nothing if not introspective, so all that whining got me thinking. "Is whining ever OK?" I thought to myself, "Or is it just a form of vocal self-pity that should be abandoned at all costs?"
Well, I honestly can't see myself quitting with the whining entirely, so I think I've decided to support conditional whining.
Sometimes we need to let off some steam--complain a little. It helps us feel better in some cases. However, it can go too far. When whining goes beyond letting off steam and veers into poor-me-why-is-the-world-against-me-all-the-time-in-everything-I-do-life-sucks-and-I'm-a-miserable-failure territory, then it's time to shut up and regroup.
Whining can make it all worse. It can alienate you from your friends and family (ever been around a whiny toddler or teenager for a while and wanted to ship him/her off to Siberia at the first opportunity?). It can reinforce any sense of misery or hopelessness you already have. It can make you forget what's good in your life and forget the needs of others (many of whom probably have far more reason to whine than you.)
In short, I think I'll allow myself to whine from time to time, but only for a short while, then it's time to figure out what to do about my problems and take action instead of wallowing in the negative verbal soup (like alphabet soup, but more metaphorical).
So, Sara--sorry to have avoided the epiphany until after you left, but I'll try to keep up the reluctant-Pollyanna behavior until your next visit.
*Note: I am not implying that Sara's kids are particularly whiny. But, they are kids after all.