I am not just a grinch around holidaytime, I tell people, I am a grinch all the time. I work on my attitude but I am a nitpicker and sometimes being a nitpicker means that you notice little tiny things that don’t bother anyone else and it makes you seem grinchy. I know that I differentiate crabby from nitpicky but not everyone does, nor should they. Often these are things that really only affect me–my friend still jokes about the level of sound coming from her refrigerator after I mentioned it when staying at her place–and some are larger issues like why libraries don’t have better websites if we are in the information business? Anyhow, the internet tires me out because it’s always full of soandso said something racist and other people flipped out, or various people in positions of power being jerks, or clickbait-y “Top Ten Things You’ll NEVER BELIEVE” and I’m always like “Try me, I have a pretty good imagination…” Headlines that offer to show me something that leave me breathless are either preaching to some other choir or have a really low bar for what makes someone amazed/breathless/stunned/whatever.

So anyhow in the vein of lowing the general internet blood pressure, here are a few things that have happened to me that you might think would have gone badly but actually went okay. I only mention them because it’s easy to think this sort of thing is never dealt with well.

  1. I got pulled over by the police for having a headlight out. The officer gave me a warning and was totally nice about it.
  2. I got a random set of death threats from someone on the Internet and the people who I was working for handled it quickly and professionally and did not make it my problem or tell me to “get over it”
  3. I went to get my headlight fixed and I got my car in and out of the mechanic’s on time and the mechanic was pleasant and charming and I was charged very little for very good service.
  4. I ordered an item from ebay that never arrived and did not get a good result from their dispute resolution process so I called them to talk about this and they gave me a coupon for twice what I paid for the item and asked if that would “make it right” and I said sure.
  5. There was a profile of me in a local paper that I think was accurate and fair (even if they did edit out one example of me saying “fuck”) and that other people liked.
  6. My flu shot gave me the predictable one day of dragass but was otherwise hassle-free
  7. The new recipe I made came out pretty much like it was supposed to and looked like the photos that came with the recipe.
  8. I went to the gym and no one bothered or body-shamed me or paid any attention to me whatsoever except for that nice Nordic lady who always says hi in the locker room.
  9. I made a mistake remembering both the time and location of a lunch with my boss and she was fine with it and we had a nice meal once we found each other.
  10. My bathroom ceiling started to leak because of ice dams and I told my landlady who said “Thanks for letting me know” and we called Terry The Ice Dam Man who came over and pounded on the roof with a stick for a few hours and now the ceiling doesn’t leak anymore.

I realize that some of these situations are ones that maybe only I was worried would go terribly wrong. But others were scenarios that have entire web communities fretting about them on the regular. I’m also aware that being a nice middle-aged white lady counts for something and that I am a fortunate person in many ways. Writing all of this down is maybe also to remind myself of that as well as to just address the old “Why doesn’t the newspaper ever have any GOOD news?” question.

What do you think?


  1. It’s been a long day today. This list gave me good perspective and good cheer about my not-so-great situations that actually have true upsides as well. It also made me shed a couple tears, because I have a really low bar for that. Happy solstice, friend!

  2. I only know about ice dams based on what I read on Wikipedia about five years ago, but wow they sound like they can cause a lot of damage. Glad to hear it just takes a guy with a stick to knock them down.

    Does he have to come out several times during Winter or is once enough for the whole season depending on average snow?

  3. Middle-aged? I suppose 45 counts as middle-aged by someone’s reckoning. I usually think of it as 50-70. After 70 no one counts the years much, just the days.

    Thanks for being grateful for small favors. With all the chaos and misery the news media would like us to swallow it’s nice that little things can still give us days that can make us smile.