Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rants Welcome...Whining, no so much.

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?

PC


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29 comments:

robynl said...

My somewhat new neighbour across the street from me is the one who listens to me whine/vent. So far she hasn't let me know if I've crossed over but the relationship is only 6 months old. We listen to each other.

Stacy S said...

My dh & bf listen to me. My dh will let me know when I start getting to bad.

KimW said...

I wish the temperature was 106 degrees, but not without air. It's freezing out where I am and I'm sick. Sniffles, headache, fever..that's whining isn't it. I'll stop. lol My husband always seems to get my little vents. Fortunately though, I don't do it often. He will call me on it, but in a very diplomatic way.

Jen said...

Rhonda bears the brunt of my rants/vents/whines. Most of the time I recognize my whine as such and will preface with, "Okay, I'm whining, but ..." My new fave phrase I've coined is, "There's only so many ways to slice a pie." which means if you're unhappy with a situation you usually have a handful of choices in dealing with it, choose one and then move on.

Rhonda Nelson said...

Jen bears the brunt of my whines and whatnot. Many a conversation has begun with, "Okay, I need to bitch for a minute." It usually ends up being a little longer, but I always come away feeling better. :-)

Amy S. said...

My best friend.

Smarty Pants said...

Of course I whine/vent to y'all. You get the brunt of it, actually. Other topics are parceled off between my mom and DB. DB just humors me, I think.

I've had to learn not to solve people's problems when they complain at me. I want to fix it, I'm a problem solver. Sometimes people just want to let off steam.

Instigator said...

Yeah, you guys are who I whine to. I try not to do it often but...sometimes I just can't help it :-) But I know that when I do y'all will offer a sympathetic ear, a kick in the butt, a solution I haven't tried/thought of or a combination depending on what I need more.

If it's not y'all it's my sister. Usually because I feel guilty over whining to y'all one more time :-)

Instigator

Playground Monitor said...

Well y'all listen. And the DH listens to a point but I try not to vent too much to him since he has his own problems and responsibilities that are way huger than mine. So I vent to myself a lot -- talking and ranting aloud while I cook or clean house.

Wait! Stop! Don't back away. I'm not dangerous. Really.

PM

Angel said...

Stacy S--when I first read that I thought it meant dear husband and boy friend, instead of best friend. Oh my! :) So I'm not always good at cyber lingo...

I used to feel so guilty about talking through my problems. But I've learned that that's just how most women deal with issues. Many times, we just feel better after saying what's on our mind, without having the problem actually solved. What great stress relief!

I love the fact that I can just preface my rants with "This is a rant..." and know y'all have the option of deleting and no one will be upset. After all, who wants to listen to someone else rant when you are having your own bad day?

If it isn't you guys, its my mom. We've come to a place in our relationship where we are really close friends and can talk about just about anything. My Mom is a really smart woman who has been through a lot, so any wisdom she tosses my way I listen to. And I hope I also offer a listening ear for her too.

Don't worry, PM, we know you are crazy... much... :)

Angel

Meljprincess said...

My husband, my mom, and several author friends listen to me when I vent.
A couple of years ago I had trouble entering a contest so I e-mailed to say I was having problems and one of the authors from the site told me to "pull up my panties..."
I no longer buy her books. Bitch.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

My poor hubby gets the brunt of my venting/whining. Of course he wants to fix it, because that's what men do, but I remind him it's a Mars/Venus moment. Mars wants to fix, but Venus just wants to talk and have someone listen sympathetically. He's gotten good at it, but he sometimes gets that deer in the headlights look. :)

I can't really vent to my mom. She's a bit of a drama queen, so any venting just gets her wound up like a top. Once she gets spun up, watch out. It'll be hours before she winds down again.

Problem Child said...

And I'm known to rant on the blog from time to time, but I at least work on those before I post. The Playfriends get raw, unedited, venting.

Kathy said...

I've got a bad temper. I tend to rant to no one in particular. Surprised? Oh, and if you mess with my babies, I'm all over it. (Sorry Lynn, I do relate to your Mom. It's hard not to worry about your children, especially if you have a 'fixer' personality.)

Angel's right. In my experience, everyone has their own set of problems to deal with. Most often, I feel like no one wants to hear mine so I don't mention them. Part of that stems from having to rely on myself for so many years in a strange place where I know absolutely no one or don't know who to trust.

(Geez, these past few blog posts have really got me wondering what kind of genie I've got trapped inside.)

CrystalGB said...

My husband and my best friend. My best friend listens better than my husband. He tunes me out after a few minutes. LOL

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Kathy, I think it's normal with the military life to be sort of aloof and self-reliant and reluctant to open up. We have crunchy exteriors that are hard to crack. :)

That's why I rant to my husband. He'd prefer I find someone else to rant to, but tough, he dragged me around the world (well, so did my parents) so he gets to be my BFF.

Anonymous said...

my friends and co workers.

kim h

Kathy said...

Yeah, Lynn. Sometimes I feel like Morticia Adams. Back straight, life goes on, must maintain decorum at all times. Is there a distoxing spa for this kind of thing?

I do rant to my DH because he is my BFF but sometimes I just don't think he 'gets' the writing stuff. Like now, when I'm kind of bummed about it. :-)

Barbara Vey said...

Well, I live alone, so I tend to rant in my blog (see last week called Today is Rant Day, ::g::) and thank goodness for that. We all need to get it out of our system and move on.

But I have to say, I can't feel too bad about your extremely warm weather. I Love it Hot, hot and hotter and I don't use AC. These old bones hate the cold and that's where I'm stuck. So maybe we could swap houses for a while. :g:

Carol said...

It's usually my husband, mom and sometimes my sister and several friends I have on line.

JOYE said...

Most rants are with my sister but I have become very selective in what I rant about around certain people. Our local newspaper has a vent column and you would be surprised about what people rant about. I live where there are alot of retirement communities around so you can just imagine how silly and ridiculous some of their ranting is.

tetewa said...

Since the only thing I really ever need to vent about is work, I do this with one of my friends who I work with. She does the same with me.

sabrina said...

I only have my Mom and sister and they listen and are helpful.

Debra said...

Hmm, we are getting prtty cold here. Go ahead a vent all you want. I don't blame you.

catslady said...

Okay it ate my post. I have two people - one is my best friend and she definitely calls me on it when I get too negative. The other is my mom who is hard of hearing so she just lets me ramble on.

Cherie J said...

My twin sister. She is great at helping me put things into perspective since she knows me so well and we are so much alike.

Pat L. said...

I have 3 very special friends who listen to me vent. And venting really does help.

Kimberly L said...

My boyfriend gets the short end of the stick around here and he's still here. LOL

readingissomuchfun said...

My fiance listens to me when I vent. He does let me know if I cross over to a whine.

Have A Wonderful A Safe Weekend Everyone.

Hugssss
LindaH