The national mood has been quite frightful this year. Do I need to mention all the reasons why this is so? The problems in Washington DC negatively affect the country and the international scene. Add to that circus, the usual amount of hassles and problems facing the average person these days. It almost seems too much.
Just when situations seem to be at their most bleak, that one person in your life who is unfailingly, radically chirpy and cheerful shows up. You know the woman (sometimes its a man) who never acknowledges that life can be painful. The Pollyanna who never admits that the glass is ever half-empty. The concept of reality never enters her mind.
This is the person who only posts sugary, sweet memes to social media. A person like that, designed the animated gif of the unicorn standing in a forest of candy-bearing trees and there’s a winged fairy holding his magic wand with glitter swushing over the entire scene. The meme that makes you want to gag.
Everyone knows that one, over the top person who believes that everything works out beautifully. The person who fervently believes that the bad person gets punished and the righteous person lives happily ever after. Their level of optimism is more than cringe-worthy, it’s unbearable.
She’s that person who says “upsy daisy” when she lifts up a baby, the cat, the empty plate when you’re finished eating, and thinks she can do the same to the frown on your face. She means well; she really does.
Think about that person for a few moments. The mood she tries to impart seems rather brittle and vulnerable. It seems like she is the survivor of a very unhappy childhood. Perhaps she is the one who took it upon herself to save the sanity of her dysfunctional family. Now that she’s grown up she wants to impart happiness onto this unhappy world. Her attitude is not that of the God-fearing moralist who wants to impose her beliefs on everyone else. This upsy daisy person just wants the world to be a happy,happy place.
This is the person who always starts the day in the most upbeat mood humanly possible. If the toast gets burnt, there’s a grand moral lesson to be learned from it. If the only fruits she has in her fridge are lemons, she’s the one to make the lemonaide.
You’ve just broken up with your lover, and your aunt tries to cheer you up by saying, “There’s someone out there for everyone.” That’s little consolation to a poor boy from Wyoming whose special someone probably lives in Outer Mongolia. When she notices that platitude didn’t work, she’ll say, “Well, good things come to those who wait.” Worse yet, she might say, “When God shuts a door he opens a window.”
One of my old classmates was the upsy daisy person in school. She was often heard to spout, “After the storm the Sun will shine.” She was the one most guilty of saying, “Life/God doesn’t give you things you cannot handle.” (Except when life/God actually does.) This classmate probably grew up to be the person who filed for bankruptcy and chirped, “The best things in life are free” and “Just think about how much worse other people have it.”
If you’re a bit of a Pouting Paul, like me, maybe we can give Mrs. Upsy Daisy a little satisfaction. Perhaps we can allow some of her crazy optimism to rub off onto us. At least for a day. How about today? I’ll use this platitude, “all things in moderation.”