When I first moved to Texas I met a fellow New Yorker—we’ll call her Lindsay—who couldn’t stop kvetching (dead-on-balls-accurate diction) about all Texas wasn’t. Her body was in Austin, but her mind, and mouth, was still in New Yawk.
“Yeah, but you’re here,” I said. For me, that said it all. Lindsay was acting as if she were stricken with grief, coping with the death of a loved one, and she somehow wanted to prove how much her beloved meant to her by showing, as often as possible, just how miserable she was without him. Because for Lindsay, and for a lot of us, that was proof of love.
“You know,” I said, “just because you don’t cry at a funeral doesn’t mean you didn’t love the deceased.”
“It doesn’t make you unfaithful to New York if you get a happy ending out of Austin.” Yes, I love the double entendre.
Lindsay didn’t want to understand. I didn’t get to know her and never went out with her again, but she struck me as the type of friend who’d repeatedly ask for, then totally agree with, your advice but who couldn’t ever follow through. “You’re right. You’re right. I know you’re right.” She didn’t want to be happy.
A lot of us complain for a long time, but when it comes down to it, if we’re not really working to change it, we must not want it enough.