How to be Not Totally Miserable

The Pessimist’s Survival Guide

I don’t know about you but I’ve experienced a virtual whirlwind of mostly negative emotions over the last few weeks… well, months. Make that… decades.

Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit. I wasn’t always filled with the unsettling sense that we’re trapped inside some fucked-up, global version of Duck Dynasty meets The Kardashians meets Naked & Afraid.

For example: in kindergarten, I only worried about making sure I didn’t pull any shit that might piss off Santa and whether or not there were enough cinnamon graham crackers in the world to meet my insatiable desire.

But of late, things have grown rather grim. Unfortunately, it’s not in my nature to be optimistic. I’m far too much of a realist for that (Eeyore is my spirit animal). And while under “normal circumstances” (whatever the hell those are) my apparent inability to self-soothe through mental distraction might totally screw me, I realize desperate times call for desperate distractions. We need to find comfort and reprieve where we can — not so much as to allow the tiny hands of apathy or misery to smother us, but merely in order keep our sanity.

So I give you The Pessimist’s List of Things that Aren’t Absolutely Terrible. Or what “normals” would call, Things That are “Good.”*

*According to me. Note: This asterisk is on an infinite loop.

In absolutely no particular order: Things that are “Good”*

  • French fries
  • Autumn
  • National monuments
  • Nature and its creatures
  • When a celebrity has visible cellulite
  • Laughing until you cry
  • Crying until you laugh
  • An inelegant and perfectly timed, lucid stream of creative obscenities
  • When the elastic finally gave out in my least favorite sweat pants and they became my most favorite
  • No new emails
  • Or finally getting that one email you’ve been waiting for so you can finally finish that one project you couldn’t finish until you got that one fucking email
  • Cake for no reason
  • Maria Bamford
  • Caffeine (only before 5 pm…You wouldn’t give the Tasmanian Devil meth before bedtime, would you?)
  • British accents
  • When a legislator has the balls to say that corporations should pay higher taxes…and then puts his/her vote where his/her mouth is (that sounds dirty)
  • Giggling

  • Food
  • Someone else making me a sandwich
  • Writing a post when you’re hungry
  • Buttoning your jeans without injuring yourself
  • Cheap sunglasses (because when I inevitably crush them under my butt, drop them on a ride at Disneyland, or lose them somewhere in my goddamn house, I’m only out about 10 bucks, plus tax)
  • When a super model gets old
  • Not attending a networking event (EVER again)
  • Alcohol at office parties
  • Salty nuts
  • Words that sorta sound naughty but are actually totally innocent
  • Lip-syncing to The Piña Colada Song while picking out bananas at the grocery store
  • The impermanence of adolescence. And PE class.

  • The harnessed power of electricity as demonstrated through a light bulb
  • Helping another person
  • Monty Python
  • When super serious, emotionally constipated, morally bankrupt, rich shitheads trip and fall down
  • That feeling you get on a Friday afternoon right before a three-day weekend
  • Saturdays or any day of the week when I can lie in bed until cobwebs form across my atrophied muscles
  • Not being cornered by a close-talker who just ate a bag of garlic for lunch
  • Toothpaste

  • Finding out it’s covered by insurance
  • Having insurance
  • Satire even when — or especially when — it seems nearly impossible
  • Inflatable Trump Rat

  • What I imagine (hope) Jon Stewart would say were he still on TV
  • Consistency of principle and the rejection of hypocrisy
  • People who work toward the betterment of the world and its inhabitants even if it means sacrificing immediate personal gain
  • Critical. Fucking. Thinking.
  • Shelter from the storm

If you are able to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, please consider donating. From the New York Times:

The American Red Cross is accepting donations on its website. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up an animal emergency response hotline (713–861–3010) and is accepting donations on its website.

To learn more about where and how to donate to those impacted by Hurricane Irma:


Written by

Outraged and cynical at parties. Draw-er of things. Vegan. Etc.

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