I Can’t Complain. A Kind of Complaint

When my sister texted me sometime ago and asked how I was doing, I replied back “I can’t complain… more than normal.”

I had written that item on my list because when anyone asks my Dad how he is doing, he says “Oh, I can’t complain.” I’ve always liked his response, as it sounds so casual, so laid back and cool. Obviously,  life’s been a bit of a mess for me so I added the “more than normal” for good measure but it didn’t sound read as cool as I thought it would.

Now, this wasn’t my first attempt with using this response; the first time didn’t go very well either and left me a bit dumb founded. I decided to try it out on an older man I used to work with. He is about my Dad’s age and I thought for sure he’d recognize the phrase and be impressed with my maturity.

He didn’t blink an eye and just said without a thought, “What’s the use, no one listens anyway.”

It kind of set me back when he responded, I had never heard anyone say such a thing to my Dad before. In fact, people usually respond to my Dad with something like “good, good, blah blah blah” or something along those lines. I chalked it up as my co-worker was having a rough day but was curious if I should ever use the phrase again. I’d rather not open up a window of negativity, ya know?

Months later, when the chance came to use the phrase again with my sister, her reply was “good, yada ya” and I felt better but wondered if it was because she is used to hearing the phrase? Would other people respond to me the same as she or would they take the older grouchy guy approach? I also wondered if she thought I was a dork or cool like my Dad.

Yes, I wonder aboout these things.

I figured out that there is a 50/50 chance in response and have decided that I will no longer be using that phrase for a few reasons:

    1.  It could potentially trigger a negative response, which is not what I’m looking for
    2.  I have plenty to complain about and anyone who knows me would mark me a liar
    3.  I’m just not cool enough yet to pull that old casual phrase off

My Dad, however, rocks it and should continue to use it as it works well for him.

As for me, I will stick to the old school words of dang, icebox, and my ever favorite, dry up and bust, which always sound cool. 


9 thoughts on “I Can’t Complain. A Kind of Complaint

  1. Whenever anyone asks me how I am I simple say ‘Great’! Whether I am or not just saying it with a smile makes me feel good! I do change it to ‘terrific’, ‘good’ just so I come across more real than scipted. And do I think most people really care how I feel? Probably not!!

  2. I have a friend who always replies to how are you with
    Katter khair alla

    and that translates into..
    God has blessed me with SO much…

    I love her responce..even in the worst of days..that is her steady answer

  3. I like ‘cant complain’. To me it feels like you’re saying ‘there are good parts of my life and bad parts of my life, sometimes one wins, sometimes the other does. Everyone has issues and I dont want to dwell on mine in this simple exchange’, (now thinking I’m another one who thinks too much about these things)

  4. Seems like you had a run-in with the weirdest people around when using that phrase. I would have never given such a smitten response like that old guy did, to be honest. Maybe it’s also a combination of situation and how you intonate your response…lol okay, sounds too complicated to actually do it.

    I like to answer : Fantastic! Because occasionally I get a confused blink from a person or two. haha

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