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Pessimist or Realist


September 7, 2010

I’m not really a pessimist. I’m a realist. I know, I know: That’s what all pessimists say.

Just now, as I was going through all the possible things I could write about and from whose point of view I would write it, I realized that my point of view reminded me of Winnie The Pooh’s friend, Eeyore.

There might be two sides to any issue, but for some reason, I have been trained to play devil’s advocate whenever my husband has what sounds like a great idea.

I feel compelled to point out the realistic view simply because someone has to do it… and he refuses to do his fair share. He sees only his rather rosy view of things. I want to see the rosy view once in a while! (There is much foot stomping, here.)

For example, a power outage would result in a groan from me because I can’t use my computer. However, my husband sees a power outage as a reason for a party. He will break out the mini marshmallows, spear them on toothpicks and have a marshmallow roast over a candlestick on the living room floor.

I’m easily led. I might think about the possible consequences to my living room carpet, but the mini marshmallow roast is so much more fun than worrying about picking marshmallow out of carpet fibers… and I didn’t really want to work on my computer anyway. So sometimes his enthusiasm is just what is needed.

We were going to the beach last weekend and the weather man said there would be a storm out at sea. I saw this as an impediment to swimming because there would be riptides. My husband saw it as an opportunity. He was going to bring his metal detector. Storms wash up all sorts of things on the beach. You never know when a gold doubloon might wash up and make us rich!

Okay, so sometimes some realism is needed, but far be it from me to impede the process of our getting rich.

My husband thinks gardening will make us some money. He wants to plant a garden next year. No, no, I said that wrong. He doesn’t want to plant a garden. He wants to pick and eat and sell the fresh fruit, so we don’t have to buy it. He sees the result. I see the process; the tilling, the fertilizing, the weeding.

He says, “Look how much easier it will be to simply walk in the backyard and pick a fresh tomato than to go all the way to the store and buy one.”

However, what he doesn’t see - and this is where realism comes in – is that boxes of Froot Loops, mouthwash and cat food don’t come from anything he could grow in our backyard. So, chances are, I will still be sauntering down a grocery aisle, picking out my cat food and cereal. For me, it would be far easier to push my cart over to the produce section and pick out the perfect tomato for my bologna sandwich…And, the grocery store is probably air-conditioned.

Speaking of air-conditioning, he’s always wanted a convertible sports car. We haven’t had the conversation about this whim yet because you can’t argue with the fact that we have three kids that don’t drive yet and a sports car has two seats. He can do the math.

At some point though, the kids will all be driving and we will have the following discussion:

“Think of the wind blowing through your hair!”

“Think of the 3rd degree sunburn on your bald spot!”

I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. I simply realize that sunburn on your head would soon trump the wind blowing through what little hair we have left and we’d be looking for a buyer for our convertible sports car in less than a month.

Eeyore wouldn’t say he was proud of me, but he would be… inside.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website for more info.

Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website <a

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for more info.


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