Kvetching as Therapy
kvetch (kvch) Slang
intr.v. kvetched, kvetch·ing, kvetch·es
To complain persistently and whiningly.
1. A chronic, whining complainer.
2. A nagging complaint: “a rambling kvetch against the system” (Leonard Ross).
[Yiddish kvetshn, to squeeze, complain, from Middle High German quetzen, quetschen, to squeeze.]
Who knew that the Yiddish word “kvetch” came from the High German term quetzen which means to “squeeze”? I didnt know that. I only knew that one of my guilty pleasures is complaining and squeezing out my various nagging complaints to anyone willing to listen. Not everyone is willing. I notice that very positive, upbeat people have less patience and overall tolerance with kvetchers. That’s understandable since they tend to see the positive side of life and believe in maintaining a “glass half full” perspective. On a good day I agree with them completely. On another day I want to whine like a little girl and have others say things like, “Oy, you think you have a benign tumor the size of a walnut? I think I have a melanoma the size of a grapefruit!” I feel better in both complaining and knowing that their fruit or vegetable sized fictitious growth is larger than mine is… Today I woke up with a cold sore and severe ringing in my left ear. Somedays I feel like a walking symptom checklist. The older one gets the longer the checklist, and of course the more fatal one imagines it to be. Of course the worst thing to do at that point is look it up online. Immediately one realizes they have idiots for doctors and have a rare mitochondrial gene malformation that manifests as a cold sore and ringing in the left ear. Instead of going to urgent care one thinks about cemetery plots and how expensive they are to purchase, especially at the last minute and without a Groupon.
My friend Amy called me while I was busy misdiagnosing myself and said, “Why dont you take some Musinex? I would think there are alot of allergies and minor ear infections in places like Atlanta around the month of May.” That kind of took the wind out of my hypochondriacal sails, but I made sure she stayed on long enough to squeeze out a couple dozen good kvetches. I felt somewhat better afterwards, even tho it was a pain to keep switching the phone over to my right ear. Somebody should study if sustained, mindful, concentrated kvetching is therapeutic, although I imagine it might kill the therapists over time or at least make them start itching and wondering what that vague looking rash on their thigh might be.