I like a good moan once in a while. It’s great to get things off my chest and vent some spleen. But the things I, as a grumpy old man, moan about are all things I can’t personally change. I don’t mean the weather, wasps and other natural phenomena, because there’s nothing anybody can do about those, so you’re on a hiding to nothing if you fume away instead of just accepting that they are as they are.
No, my complaints are all about the things somebody else, or society as a whole, ought to do differently, like forcing traffic wardens to face the human consequences of their disgusting little tickets, or bringing back the death penalty, specifically for car clampers and purveyors of reality TV.
What I would never do is say to somebody else, “Don’t you dare go ahead and fix the problem until I’ve finished ranting about it”. But that’s the difference between a man-rant and a woman-rant. If it’s possible to correct a situation, I’d rather just mention it to the person who’s in a position to do something about it, and maybe I’d throw in a few helpful suggestions where appropriate. Or fix it myself if that’s possible.
Women don’t think that way. It drives them crazy if you start looking for answers before they’ve agonised about a problem in the minutest detail. The dog’s just dumped on the carpet?
Man solution: get some toilet paper, pick up the cack and flush it down the loo,
clean the carpet, abuse the dog, end of problem.
Woman solution: describe it in all its awfulness (size, smell, texture), make it perfectly clear how upset you are, hunt through all your old invoices to prove how much the carpet cost, declare that it will never be the same again, ask whose job it was to house-train the dog (yours, of course), imagine a situation where somebody comes to visit with a baby crawling across that very spot, picking up God-knows-what infections and going blind… and now comes the really clever bit. Criticise the man for just standing there while the guggy soaks into the carpet, or if he’s leapt into action already, complain that he never takes the time to really listen to you.
Not only is it impossible for the man to win in a situation like this, but at the end of it, he’ll be just as much in the dark as he ever was about ways to avoid it happening again. Chalk another one up to the little lady, even though the man isn’t playing the same game at all.
I'd pay for the old boot to join the Bingo club if I could only find one in Timbuktu.
Ah. that's better.