When it’s 106 degrees outside for the fifth day in a row and my air conditioning goes out, and the A/C company can’t get to me for at least another 24 hours, so the choices are either sweat it out or head to a hotel, what do I do?
Send an email to the Playfriends and bitch about it. Put “a rant” or “venting” in the subject line, and the others know what to expect.
Ranting and venting (or bitching, as it’s often called) is allowed on the Playground. It’s a pressure release for situations beyond our control. At most, I can expect sympathy. If I’m lucky, someone will have something helpful to add (like Angel volunteering an extra window A/C unit that would at least allow me to cool one room enough to sleep in). But I don’t expect it, and I feel better just because I was able to get it off my chest.
That’s what friends are for, right?
Whining, though, is a different animal. We don’t have much tolerance for that. If you’re whining, it usually means there’s something that can be done about it. We’ll offer sympathy, but also advice. Take it or leave it—it’s totally up to you—but your whining time is limited. As long as you are working to rectify the situation, you can continue to whine if results aren’t forthcoming (because then it technically becomes a vent or a rant). But if you aren’t actively working to fix the problem, then at most you’re going to get one or two rounds before we pass a moratorium on it. (Where do you think writing challenges come from? Whining about the WIP.)
Oh, it sucks, because it’s no fun to whine alone—you need an audience. But as we all know, it’s no fun to listen to someone whine incessantly. After a while, a sympathetic ear can get full.
You might not think it sounds very fair on the surface, but I assure you, it is. After all, if your friends can’t tell you when it’s time to put your big girl panties on and deal with it, who can? I’d rather them tell me to my face than roll their eyes every time I revisit a subject. And if I don’t whine at them, it means I can save my ranting for things like the luncheon or my Room Parent issues—which are endless.
So yeah, my Playfriends are there for me—whether I like it or not. Someone has to tell you when it’s time to grow up and get over it. That’s a true test of friendship.
Who listens to you when you need to vent? And do they call you on it when you cross over to a whine?
Don’t forget to comment today for the chance to win a book in our Book-a-Day giveaway this week. And we’ll see you tomorrow for our big Birthday Blog party, where there will be lots of party favors to be had!