Pollyanna in a pickle

By | July 14, 2011

Despite getting a “Christine has a good vocabulary” note in virtually every elementary school report card, I never really understood what a “pollyanna” was, I always assumed it meant a “goody two-shoes”.

But it means — not that you, my three readers don’t know — a person who only sees the positive in every situation and absolutely refuses to acknowledge very real and negative consequences.

Or put simply, an irritating optimist. Imagine a person who’s house has just burned down to the ground but still has “their health”.

Well, my health is fine but if my house went up in flames I would not be thinking about my outstanding cardiovascular fitness. I’d be cursing the damn electrician who messed up my wiring. I probably would even use a word or two that would raise (singed) eyebrows.

If it is possible, I am a cheerful pessimist. I don’t think everything is going to be okay. I know full well that bad things can and do happen all the time. I could lose my job, get a horrible disease or just chop off the tip of my finger chopping onions. None of that’s cool but it’s all possible.

Yet I get up in every morning looking forward to my walk to work.

But I don’t ever jaywalk. I could get hit by a car or — more likely given my route — a bicycle running a stop sign going the wrong way on a one-way street. And rest assured, I shake my little fist at all of them with righteous indignation; an attitude I am more familiar with.

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