Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Am I Not Human? If You Bug Me, Will I Not Bitch?

Let me just say this: after 22 years of parenting, I refuse to be resigned! I'm not going to just give in and say, "Well, okay, then. Sam is just never going to hang up the hand towel and I'm not going to make an issue of it any longer. It's just not worth it." Nor am I just going to--I was going to use the metaphor throw in the towel but that would be redundant now, wouldn't it?--give up and say, "All right. It's over. Jared will never, ever take all of his dishes into the kitchen from the living room, so I'm done harping about it. It's pointless."

NO! Because that is what THEY want. Who? Well, yes, Sam and Jared want that. Oh, my, yes. They would love that, although their constant refusal to acquiesce to my simple requests/demands would indicate otherwise--that they in fact love to hear me harp and harangue about handtowels and snack detritus, so often do they perform behaviors that result in it.

No, I am talking about a different THEM. I am speaking about the followers of Pastor Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Missouri. "The one thing we can agree on," says Pastor Will, "is there's too much complaining." He asked his congregation to take a pledge: go for 21 consecutive days without complaining even once. If they caught themselves griping at all, they had to start over. To help them, he gave them each a purple rubber wristband like the one pictured at the top of this post. Each member of his flock placed it on his or her wrist. If he or she erred, the congregant then switched the wristlet to the opposite arm and started counting again from day one. Some members reported that it took seven months to complete the pledge and attain their "Certificates of Happiness." Others were successful in as little as three months. One member asked her sixth grade class to take the pledge with her. The students found their biggest obstacle to be brothers and sisters who could be "really mean!"

Reverend Bowen is looking to attain World Domination with his no-complaint program: "We're going to be the center of no complaining around the world!" he said. And truthfully, he has planned for this eventuality by appearing on shows like Oprah!, Good Morning America, and has been interviewed in People magazine. He's even giving away his purple rubber bracelets for free on his website http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/, which will automatically lead you to his church's webpage.

Well, Reverend Bowen, not the whole world...!

Because I, for one, will not be sucked into your little purple plan! I reserve the right to beef, bellyache, grouse, grumble, kvetch, carp, object, lament, sound off about, bemoan, fuss, bewail, and crab about pretty much whatever I feel like here at The Dept. any old time I want. I find it cathartic and necessary. Some people find it entertaining, and as the old saying goes, "misery loves company."

So...take your little purple bracelets and snap 'em.


  1. Purple: I'm not sure I could go 21 consecutive minutes without complaining. And I am not worried about it. Complaining is therapeutic. Pastor Will's congregation is going to be the center of Anal Retentiveness.

    Relativity from the DoN archives: Brilliant. Children really do know best, eh? But it's important to stand your ground. We have to enjoy a certain amount of dominance before Alheimer's sets in.

    June 25th Tie: "Shares a similar stripe template with other ties?" Nance, are there more than 2 stripe templates, LOL? ---Gotta go. It's time for today's broadcast, and I'm watching it LIVE today. Para variar, just by way of a change.

  2. Anonymous10:27 PM

    HAHA... I saw that site and the first thing I thought was: I'd have to give up blogging. That was a dealbreaker, right there. :) Kvetch away, my friend!!

  3. OH, I'm ordering a bracelet, for the husband of course! Then maybe he'll stop bitching about me bitching :)

  4. If I had an Israeli shekel for every tıme I heard somebody complain on the trip I was just on, I`d have enough money to go back to Israel.

    A post wıll go up eventually, but as I`m in Turkey for the next two weeks, I`m not sure when that will happen. It has, however, been a wonderful trip/journey!

  5. Nance, your brain is a thesaurus...I never knew there was so many renditions of the word complain! I feel the need to expand my vocabulary right this very instant!

    And do you mean to tell me that I may NEVER get the boys to scoot up to the toilet???

  6. After they complete the program wearing their purple wristbands, they celebrate together by drinking purple Kool-Aid.

  7. JUNE 26th TIE: I just knew you would be squealing with glee when you saw this new tie. Such a break from the sorry stripes. This one I could watch again.

  8. I read the article--give up using sarcasm?! No way, the world is a much happier place when I use thinly veiled sarcasm to make fun of people. What are these people doing instead of complaining?

    By the way, thanks for the side bar link. I think I need to update here soon!

  9. Ortizzle--are you a "Seinfeld" watcher? Remember "serenity NOW!"? that's all I can think of. where will all that bottled up complaining GO!?!?!?
    RE: my archive post--thank you so much for continuing to go back and read those. i'm pretty happy with my old stuff, and that one is a fave. speaking of Seinfeld: conversations at The Dept. are very Seinfeldian. at least those involving my English-major son and I are.
    RE: debut tie. I really liked that one. but BW has me trained to be so darned grateful for anything non-purple and non-striped that i am starting to question my taste.

    girlanddog--i try not to do TOO much bitching on my blog, but really...!!

    nina--LOL!! I seriously could have predicted your reaction.

    i.h.--be careful in Turkey. i just read in the PD today that they lead the league in Anti-American sentiment. seriously. but I know you'll have a great trip. are you getting me ANY souvenirs???!!!


    brookelina--separated at birth, sister. you and i will never see our "certificates of happiness."

    jenomena--you are a more lackadaisical blogger than *i* am! how else will i keep up with you if you don't keep up with your blog?

  10. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Yes, I am a Seinfeld fan, and I do remember 'Serenity.' LOL. When I came back to the U.S. in '99, I discovered a ton of shows that I had never seen. Of the few that I really liked were re-runs of Seinfeld, and also Frasier & Third Rock from the Sun. Most of the other sit-coms were filled with characters with no personalities, all shouting out banal one-liners, like so many stand-up comics.

  11. Anonymous6:05 PM

    JUNE 28th TIE: "cast iron and porcelain" is waxing quite poetical, at least for me. I always love your metaphors for color, but these are particularly lovely for the hard-soft (cast iron & porcelain vs. the silky tie) contrast. So even when BW's tie is not a Tie de Force, the Tie Report more than makes up for it. And let's face it, Nance: it's always easier to wax humorous when it's a crappy or mediocre tie, LOL. (Kind of «consuelo de pobres», "a consolation prize," but what the heck.)

  12. Anonymous8:08 PM

    I don't like purple. It's not my color. Why does everything in my life go wrong? Why can't I have a bracelet that matches my clothes? Why is this preacher so mean and life so hard?

  13. Anonymous12:02 PM


    I see your friend, Giana, is on the cover of the Ladies Home Journal for August.

    I discovered this by following a lemony smell to the magazine rack
    at Barnes and Noble.

  14. Ortizzle--thanks again for your encouragement about the Tie Report. Sometimes, I think only you and I read them!

    V--I am fast becoming anti-purple anyway due to BW's constant purple ties. Which, by the way, I feel perfectly justified in complaining about.

    nancy--LOL!!!! Or, did you simply follow the overly-accented use of Italian pronunciations??


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