Thursday, January 31, 2008

Drama Queens - and Kings - Need Not Apply

With as many medical problems as I have, drama is never in short supply. I get so much of it, in fact, that I no longer watch movies that are dramas -- entertainment is supposed to be escapism, and the last thing I find entertaining is dedicating two hours of my life to watching fictional problems.

If only ridding myself of exposure to excess -- and even unnecessary -- drama in real life were as easy as turning the channel or popping out a DVD.

Lately I’ve been going through one of the phases in which my tolerance for other people’s drama is at a low point. Don’t get me wrong -- I’ve not become a jerk when friends or family face real problems. There is, and always will be, plenty of sincere compassion to share with those who face troubling times.

What’s pushed my tolerance point to breaking is the artificial drama generated by drama kings and queens. The royalty of misery come in two forms: people reacting way out of proportion with the size of the problem they face, and their more sinister (and trying) cousins -- people who work themselves into frenzies over problems that they don’t have. For some reason, there’s been no shortage of either around me lately.

The over-reactors are easiest to find in people who are sick -- especially men. Give some people the slightest ailment and they act as though they’re in the final stages of plague. Some people I’ve shared a residence with will be quiet when they’re sick -- until they know someone is listening. When that happens, they start in with enough moans and whimpers and grunts to qualify as a messed up opera, and the end up with a dent in their lips because the thermometer takes up semi-permanent residence in their mouth.

But the worst of this crowd are the drama vomiters. This is also a guy thing. Every man I have ever known, starting with my father and ending with my husband, can only throw up if he gags, retches, coughs, groans, and spits at full volume. This is, by far, the fastest way to turn off any genuine sympathy I have for how bad you feel.

Fortunately, the drama sickees have been in short supply lately. Instead, my cup runneth over with the dramatist wannabes -- those folks for whom a crisis and pity are as essential to their . If they have a progressive disease, they start freaking out over the absolute worse happening to them on day one. If their current level of illness isn’t dire enough to satisfy them, they go shopping around for a doctor who will give them the serious diagnosis they crave, and get angrier and angrier when they are old that their condition just isn’t that severe.

I just don’t get it. And you know what? I don’t want to.

Real problems, those I understand. So unless you have something real going on, keep your drama to yourself, please. And if you’re really eager for some, feel free to take some of mine -- I’ve got more than enough to go around.

No comments: