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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

My well-fed fat face

A complaint about complaining.

I live with a complainer. She leaves a trail of discontent in her wake.

I am not a stranger to the feeling of protest. The feeling one gets when things aren’t the way you want them. I am not foreign to the idea of wanting something a different way, but there is a limit.

To be clear, I am not talking about the world at large, I am talking about the endless uncontrollable details. The things we let go of so we can move through our day without going insane. That smudge on the window. The yard not mowed. The dishes not picked up, the clothing not picked up, the…everything not picked up. The endless cycle of laundry and dishes. This blends itself into the uber service you provide and the attempts to sneak a bit of time to write while trying to make sure you have allowed yourself enough time to think about your own dying parent. I am talking about the endless efforts to be better, act better, think better…stop thinking, think enough, be empathetic, not be too empathetic. Take time to know what’s going on outside your little world, then take time to fucking scream at the world. Take time to feel powerless, then take time to empower yourself. Forest bathe, meditate, eat right, worry about that skin condition that could be something else, but you know will take you a year to get a dermatology appointment…ok, so I complain too, and maybe it is a bit of the world at large.

My day has the constant drone of an audible subtitle I hear at a distance. I hear shit, shit, shit, shit, and it crawls into my brain and eats my happiness. There are times I turn around when I hear her coming. Just so I don’t have to hear about what tiny inconvenience has assaulted her today, and don’t even get me started about the smell issue. The smells that no one else can smell, each invisible aroma sends her into a rage.

Now, even though her complaining drives me simple, it is the weird trigger of my OCD in my brain that bothers me the most. I spend so much of my time rethinking the complaints, direct and indirect, valid and mostly invalid and reliving my anger. I have turned into a complainer about the complainer.

I know she is in a different world; I know I should be able to cleanse my brain, but it only lasts so long. I think maybe this is a test, If so, by who...whom? Is someone watching, am I failing?

Before this we would only visit my in-laws once or maybe twice a year. After about a day my mother-in-law would start to twitch, and it was time to leave. It was never a problem. I didn’t realize that 23 years later I would be living with her, but I know our relationships with our parents are complicated and I do this for my husband. I am a saint, a savior and impatient bastard, a selfish prick. Sometimes all at once.

I am human…and I guess, a bit of a complainer.

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