Bad days are like sour cherries. Even in a great batch of fruit, you hit some duds. As you munch, you’re going to get some berries that are overripe, sour, or bitter. You bite into them, make a face, and put them aside. You don’t eat them because they don’t taste good.
Life is like this. Day follows day. Some days suck.
The past couple of years have been difficult. Too many bad days, too many days of feeling helplessly enraged by events far beyond my control. Too much anger in me and in the air and all around. Too many prices going up while our incomes never change.
I suppose I could have smiled on through, but I didn’t want to, any more than I felt like eating sour cherries. I had a right to be angry and saw no reason to pretend otherwise.
Was I wrong?
I don’t think so. People who care about us will cut us some slack. Leave us emotional space to get over what’s bothering us and what’s more, they should. You’d do it for them, wouldn’t you?
The whole “stay positive” thing is out of control. If the proponents of permanent smiles are to be taken seriously, no one will ever frown again. No tears, no sadness, no anger. Ever. There will be one acceptable emotion. Happiness. We will all wear a Happy Face. Happy, happy, happy. No matter what. Has anyone read or seen The Stepford Wives?
So, what’s your problem? Losing your home to foreclosure? Got cancer? Heart Disease? No job? No prospects? Don’t be mad or sad. You’ll be fine. No matter what those doctors are saying, no matter that you don’t have a place to live. Or a life. Or a future.
According to the proponents of Happy Face, no problem is so big it can’t be overcome with a positive attitude and a bright smile. I’m betting most of the people who believe in Happy Face have never confronted an intractable problem. One day, their fake smiles will catch up with them. They will crash and burn. The corners of their mouths will turn down and their faces will shatter on impact.
I’m not suggesting we all walk around sneering, sulking, and grumpy, but we need to be allowed to express what we feel. Otherwise, life becomes a total fake.