observations on life

The Evil of Optimism

So today I discovered why I am continually disappointed.  I’ve always thought of myself as being solidly pessimistic, but today I learned that is not the case.

It all started three years ago when I hired the three stooges to restain our deck.  I was *optimistic* that they would do a good job and I wouldn’t have to worry about the deck for ten years, or even longer!  That very summer, though, the stain started to peel off.  Not only did I hire these guys who knew nothing about staining decks, I found out by doing an internet search that the stain they used, Sherwin Williams, was rated the WORST deck stain you can buy.

The next year, the deck steps rotted away.  So I hired our usual handy-guy to rebuild the steps.  This summer, handy guy, yesterday, in fact, replaced 8 or 9 other boards on the deck that had rotted away.  I had been thinking that the stain is now in such bad shape that a pressure washer would no doubt be able to get most of it off.  I mentioned this to handy guy, who said “I have a pressure washer.  I could do that.”  Oh yay.  Optimism!!!!.  I won’t have to do it myself, and because he knows more about it than I do, he’ll do a better job.

Today he pressure washed the deck, and some of the stain came off.  When he was finished, I went out with my paint scrapers, and scraped sheets of it off, which would have come off with the pressure washer if handy guy had just used more pressure. And while I sat there, scraping loose stain, with sweat dripping onto my glasses and into my eyes, I realized that I get so disappointed so often because I am unrealistically optimistic.  All my life I’ve been saying that if you’re an optimist, you’re continuously being disappointed, whereas if you’re a pessimist, once in a while you are pleasantly surprised.  But am I really pessimistic?  NO.  Fuck no.

Optimism is a sociopathic beast.  It leads you on with false promises, gives you hope, then laughs while you cry.  It tricks you.  It leads you into temptation, then delivers you into evil.  Optimism is a menace.  A plague.  DO NOT make the mistake of being an optimist.  The only result possible is sore disappointment.

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