So if I have to explain kvetch to you, you won’t get anything out of this essay anyhow. So too bad. As it happens, kvetching is good for you, some people even make a living at it. It is good to give expression to the uncensored gripe, complaint, anger, or pain. Because if you don’t you just end up giving yourself a stroke, because it builds up inside you like a balloon about to burst. When you reach a certain age you can give up all that stuff about appearing dignified, or at least you should. Everybody, in spite of what they might say to you, love kvetching, unless it is about them. Kvetching is half of what youtube is about, that and cat videos, that should give you some idea. I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not really a secret, it’s just something I haven’t bothered to tell you yet. I’m not Jewish. Yeah, and I kvetch. But let me be clearer. As far as I can tell, I’m not Jewish. My parents weren’t Jews, and they certainly weren’t the sort of people that would even consider adopting anyone, besides they already had five other kids. But as far I’m concerned everybody is Jewish to a degree, it’s just that some can prove it. They have the papers.
I take back what I wrote there, in the title of this piece. Nothing is as good as sex. If you think otherwise, then it’s been far too long since you’ve had any. But I didn’t want to write about sex, because every bonehead on earth talks about, thinks about, writes about, posts pictures of, and gets very little of, sex. The subject is worn out. Why read a cookbook when you can eat? I’ll tell you why kvetching is important. We spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think. So we try to be cool. Everything is ‘no problem’ or if you’re texting, it’s ‘np’. Not long ago everybody was saying “It’s all good.” Of course when I say ‘not long ago’ I mean a decade ago. When you are older, time is compressed. You think about giving somebody a call, and half the time they’re dead, and have been for years. Nobody ever tells you.
But I lost my train of thought, or as a lot of people call it, I had a ‘senior moment’. I was relieved when I learned what that phrase really meant. I thought it referred to when an older person dies while sitting on the toilet. (technically they die lying in front of the toilet, cause nobody ever keeps their balance when they’re dying). But, for Christ’s sake, I didn’t want to write about dying either. Or toilets. These are just about the least popular topics for any older person. Christ doesn’t like those topics either, that’s why I’m saying this for his sake.
No, what I was going to write about was how being cool is a total waste of time. First of all, it is never the right person that notices. Why is that? You are being the epitome of cool at some party or whatnot, and only the most uncool people walk up to you, and want to be your sidekick. Happens every time. I’ll let you in on a secret, nobody gives a shit about how you are, what you’re saying, what you’re wearing, what your face is like, etc. because they are using up all their energy thinking about what you think about them! and that’s just the ones that are even bothering to think at all. Most people are just like cows, in the pasture, chewing their cud, not a thought in the world. You could tip them over if you wanted. But even the most bovine do eventually have thoughts. But usually people don’t really know what to think until you tell them what to think. That’s called marketing, and that is why few people really let themselves kvetch. They are too busy marketing and doing a lousy job of it, usually. That is where kvetching comes in.
You see, you are kvetching with your body language, your facial expressions, and you don’t even know it. You may think you got your sales pitch down, and you’re saying all the right things, but your body is saying something else. How many times have you asked someone how they are doing and they say “Good” or “Fine” but their tone of voice, their intonation leads you to worry they might take a bit too many sleeping pills or jump off a bridge. When you kvetch, you get that stuff out of your body and into where ever that stuff goes, I’m not an expert on these things. But I do know that when you get your complaints out in the open, not always, but often, they end up being pretty damn funny, or at the least, absurd. But only if you understand how to kvetch, because kvetching is not your garden variety complaining.
You need to kvetch in such a way that anyone can relate, because they have had the same kvetch at one time or another. If you are a serial killer, you might kvetch but it will likely not be the same sort of complaints that the non-murdering listener has had. So that kind of kvetching, we don’t need. For that, we have therapy. Let me give an example.
Why is it that everybody always talks about how easy it is to get laid, and yet, almost no one ever does? You get this all the time, especially from women. Where are all the good men? they complain. We are right here, waiting for you to ask us for sex. Well, maybe not you in particular, but don’t worry, I’m sure there is a woman who would love to have sex with you. Just ask! These women are full of shit. They fail to understand that ‘good men’ in the abstract is entirely different from an actual ‘good man’ in the flesh. Fact No. 1 – People are Gross. No getting around it. They just are. Better to just understand this, because otherwise you will use this as an excuse to never, ever, have sex with anyone. Fact No. 2 – People are Sexy. But sometimes you don’t see it, because you are too hung up on the gross part, but you know what? The Gross Part IS the Sexy Part. But you won’t discover the truth of this if you don’t have sex with Mr. or Ms. Gross. It works the other way too. You may think that so and so is really sexy, but sure enough, if you get intimately involved with him or her, they will become the monster from the black lagoon. Might be a smell just as you wake up next to them, that just hits your Gross button, or their hair in the wrong places, namely, not on their body.
So what does that have to do with what I don’t remember bringing up in the first place? Almost always, when someone asks for sex the first impulse is to say No. In fact, when you ask anyone to do anything for any reason, unless maybe it’s a request to pass the salt, is to say No. Because Yes implies INVOLVEMENT, and that feels icky, like having to do all kinds of things you really don’t want to do. So the truth of the matter is that getting laid is not easy, for most of us. If you are older, it is even harder. Let’s face it! Nobody wants to have sex with an old person, including, perhaps even especially, old people themselves. Now the good news is that this initial reaction to the idea of having sex with an old person, can change. But it is a Catch-22, because in order to get somebody to want to have sex with you, they need to have sex with you. Sex works miracles on perception. Someone that you hadn’t found attractive at all suddenly becomes, well…. not beautiful or handsome but not gross either. They become a bit more attractive, and the more sex you have, usually, it gets even better. Sex definitely changes how you feel about someone, almost always for the better. Which is why I sincerely believe we should all get off our high horses and fuck one another. We will be much happier for having done so.
What does any of that have to do with kvetching. Nothing whatsoever. I just used kvetching as a lead in to writing about whatever comes to mind. Writers do this all the time. You start a novel, and you think you know what it’s about and then discover that only the first couple of paragraphs were any good. The rest is filler. The author figured you would only get through the first few sentences when you ‘re in the store anyhow, so….make it good! It’s the same way with popular music, they grab you at the beginning and the rest can be crap. It doesn’t matter because almost nobody actually listens to a whole song, or reads a whole book anymore. They twitter. There is only one twitter I would ever consider sending, #myass. I lied. I have twittered before. I sent “sitting on the toilet, thinking about Vladimir Putin” I thought that was cute. But my trouble is: I don’t know when to shut up. A good close. Now there is a true art form. A good exit.
Never learned how to do that.