Ain’t Nothing Like a Good Whinge

The quick cure for a hell of a week

I’ll give you a nickel if you let me whine for a minute.

Not enough money? Too bad. That’s all my father ever offered and it was his favorite barter.

“I’ll give you a nickel if you bring me a cup of coffee.”

“I’ll give you a nickel if you help me find my briefcase.”

“I’ll give you a nickel if you answer the phone/see who’s at the door/take a message.”

Pardon the cliché but I never saw a nickel of those nickels. Neither will you. That’s still not going to stop me from whining — I’ve earned the right. Because it’s been a hell of a couple of weeks. And they capped off with the looming threat of our house becoming a vomitorium. Parents, you know the warning signs I’m talking about: the urgent tug on your arm in the middle of the night followed by the words, “Mom, my stomach hurts.”

Hey kiddo, I’ll give you a nickel to not barf on me.

So bear with me while I whine a little bit longer. Just a bit.

Here’s a fun fact: British and Aussie slang for a good whine is a “whinge.” It makes me happy to know it. The word feels good just coming out of your mouth. Try it.



I think I’ll have myself a good whinge.

Helps, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s helping me. You know what else? It’s Friday. It’s above freezing in February in Minnesota. My kid’s getting great grades this quarter. My boys still hug me without prompting. My husband is kind and makes me laugh. My mom is a near-octogenarian dynamo. I have both a milkman and a guy who delivers the dry cleaning. There’s a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the fridge.

I’m feeling much better now. Thanks.


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