The Glass Half Empty


I have to admit that I am not likely to ever be the poster child for optimism. Let’s face it: a glass half empty really is just that. Assuming there’s no free refills and no waitress to top it off, the glass will never approach fullness again; the process of evaporation alone assures its steady progression towards emptiness. If we apply this same metaphor to one’s lifespan, for instance, this argument becomes even more clear. Someone who is forty could claim that their “glass” is either half full or half empty, depending on their perspective. I would submit to you, however, that the fact the first half is gone is indisputable. You have, at most, only one half remaining. Unfortunately, the last half, having sat around for so long, won’t be as fresh or quench as well. Moreover, a fly who spent the day doing the macarena on a fresh turd out in the yard could land in it and start buzzing around in circles on the surface. Even worse, some klutz could come by at anytime and knock the glass over, shattering it and spilling its contents in an instant. I’m sorry, but the glass is definitely half empty, and the fullest it will ever be again. I’m almost fifty-one; if my glass is still half empty, whatever’s left near the end is going to be black with algae, smelly and ill-fit for consumption. So depressing.

I’m in a foul mood today and the newspaper, which I usually regard as one of life’s simple and necessary pleasures, did nothing to improve it. These are strange days, indeed. I have always been stupefied by the actions of those who lack a modicum of common sense (virtually everyone, it would seem); those of you who have followed this blog can attest to the fact that even the brightest stars in the skies of mankind (yes, me) still flicker now and then, and the newspaper daily and dutifully reports the misdeeds of the dumbest among us. Most days I take comfort in knowing that I maintain elite intellectual status not by my own merit, but through the almost unbridled stupidity of the rest of humanity. Today, for some reason, it is not enough. Here are but a few examples of why it’s time for another flood so we can start over again:

1) The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin incident. In my neighborhood, virtually everyone who walks down the street, cloaked in a hoodie or not, looks suspicious to me. I would not, however, presume to follow them for any definable reason, unless I had some kinky predilection to being pummeled about the head and shoulders by either an irritated crackhead or innocent pedestrian. (It’s a 50/50 proposition in this neighborhood, but in either case, I don’t). I’m pretty sure that following someone so they feel threatened, then shooting them after they turn on me doesn’t meet the standard of self-defense.

image courtesy of mtv.com

2) Justin Bieber, in an apparent attempt to broaden his appeal to now include all demographics, has changed his appearance to that of a lesbian version of himself. Now absolutely everyone can find him adorable. Perhaps this is the newest style and soon all men will look this way; though access to both restrooms in an emergency carries some appeal, I will continue to do my part to encourage the moderately clean, elderly hobo look.

3) In the local news, Tucson city government is in the midst of a budget crisis, much like most other cities. The powers that be blew over 230 million dollars in downtown revitalization funds, with very little to show for it. Currently, construction has begun on a streetcar that will ultimately take passengers from nowhere to no place, while the rest of the city’s roads have fallen into disrepair. Recently I hit a pothole so hard that I now have a prolapsed scrotum and my truck will only drive in counter-clockwise circles.

4) For some reason, though I find its popularity and very premise utterly ridiculous, my eyes are inexplicably drawn to the horoscopes. I am a Taurus; today’s horoscope claimed that “Push comes to shove far too quickly in the morning.” This statement had absolutely no practical application to my day until I recalled this morning’s bathroom visit. (In fact, it may have been there that I read my horoscope). No matter; these things are written in such a vague manner that anyone seeking relevance can find it. Are people really that stupid? And, if there is something to it, I resent the intrusion into the more basic functions of life, where advice and/or instruction are neither needed nor appreciated.

I could go on and on, but I’m sufficiently vexed. I’ll feel better soon. After reading about and often working amongst the garbage of life all day, I’ll go and coach some girl’s basketball. There I’ll see hope for humanity in the hard work and sweet nature of those girls, and find solace in the fact that there are still loving, caring parents who are doing a good job and want the best for their children. Then I’ll go home and get more of the same. Tomorrow, my mood will hopefully have improved and I can go back to enjoying the stupidity of others, and life as the guy who sees the glass as half empty.

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About Thestrugglershandbook

I'm a middle aged (if I live to be 100) guy, married, father of three, from Tucson, AZ. I'll write about almost anything. Though somewhat bent, what I write is always true(ish). It won't change your life, however. Unless that would preclude you from reading...
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25 Responses to The Glass Half Empty

  1. Let’s try this perspective…. this metaphoric analogy, philosophical bromide, whatever… never suggests what the glass is full of. It’s presumed to be water but is it? It’s either half-filled or half-empty… but of what? So, given that, your polluted, dung-fly, and algae ridden nitrate sample might be just what you need to give life to a withering plant. Although, the glass could be half full of air.. also necessary for life. Which then could mean that while you might think a full glass.. full life… is the goal, having a spewing glass cauldron of bacteria culturing away with air taking up the excess space might imply a life of nurturing others to grow. (Yeah.. that outta work. Feel better now?)

    1. Martin Vs. Zimmerman – In another 6 months no one will remember this.
    2. Justin Bieber – The sad part is he will outlast #1. Just accept this as normal from now on.
    3. The Tuscon City Government – Prolapsed scrotums aside (or not), think of all the jobs that were created with that downtown revitalization thing. Regarding your vehicle.. list it on Ebay and sell it to an Australian.. everything moves counter-clockwise down under. C’mon, man.. think republican!
    4. Horoscopes – It’s a good thing only stupid people read these things, otherwise one might get upset about glasses being half-filled.

    I feel your pain. Thanks. 😛

  2. efchristi says:

    Half full or half empty you are only as old as you feel and as young as you act. You assume life ends at 75 or 80 and you may be right depending on your health. However, you do control the quality of those remaining years, for what it is worth to you.
    I am 68 and still feel fairly young, am active and really love life. We visited Tucson quite a few times and really loved it, but my wife didn’t care for the really dry weather so we live in Texas where there is considerly more rain.
    In the end though, you get out of life what you put into it. I found positive thought bring positive results. Try it out and see if things change.

    Respectfully,

    Ed

    • You sound like a contented man, Ed. You know, I’m really a bit happier than I perhaps come off. I do adhere strictly to the glass half empty attitude, however; I am often pleasantly surprised and rarely disappointed.

      • efchristi says:

        I am happy to hear you are happier than you portray. I sometimes feel like a glass half empty, but most time half full. It is the cycle of life. I like you am rarely disappointed and sometimes surprised.
        People are uniquely different and that is a good thing. Imagine what the world would be like if we all were the same.
        I think Forest Gump had it right – stupid is as stupid does. We all have a way of stepping on ourselves.
        Have a great weekend.

        Ed.

  3. His Salt says:

    What a great installation in the matters that make no difference what so ever. 🙂 Excellent post.

  4. Chris Macy says:

    Oh, brother-in-law, I feel your pain. You are never so amusing though, as when you are vexed, so I’ll rely on you to lift me out of my vexation when those days come (more and more often). You nailed it with the Justin Beiber comment – don’t really keep up with him, but he DOES look like a lesbian version of himself. How hilarious! Keep writing!

  5. Jim says:

    I went to engineering school, where I learned that you simply have more glass than you need to hold that amount of liquid. That’s why I canceled my newspaper subscription.

  6. Linki says:

    Clearly you missed the article in the newspaper addressing the health benefits of optimists over pessimists. Check it out and maybe your glass is really 2/3 full. Just saying….

  7. Good for us that you’re damn funny when you’re in a foul mood. I’m still giggling. Almost snorted my coffee over that pothole line.

  8. Someone tell that kid to go back to his other hairdo before it’s too late! I can’t even get past the Beiber pic to read the rest…

  9. This was just what I needed.. I’m still laughing my arse off over it. Thanks!

  10. Arizona girl says:

    I hope you’re feeling better 🙂 If it’s any consolation, even in your ‘bad moods’ you have a witty way of presenting your view of the world to us that keeps us laughing! An admirable talent, for sure!

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