My C+ in self-improvement

In my first post, I explained this blog would serve as an outlet so that I’d stop whining so much about my quarter-life crisis.  Out loud, anyway.  I also declared that I would give up complaining for one week, in an effort to win a free all-you-can-eat all-you-can-drink brunch.  As a refresher, I competed against Beth and Ted – he gave up swearing, and she agreed to pack a lunch and work out daily.  Loser(s) buy brunch for the winner(s) when Beth is done with Lent.  But I never mentioned how it went!

Ted was favored for last place.  The competition started at midnight, and we figured he’d be out of the competition at 12:01 am Day 1.  This is probably a good time to set the scene: we all currently work and live together in corporate housing in India.  India has a lot of stray dogs.  K, we’re all caught up.  That particular Saturday, a new guy had arrived from the U.S.  The guys took him out and drank copious amounts of whisky.  I stayed in, but woke up at 2am to Ted screaming from the balcony below mine, “SHUT UP YOU DOGS!!!  JUST SHUT UP!   I’M SO SICK OF ALL YOUR STUPID BARKING!!! YAHHHHHHHH!”  I found out later that he threw apples while yelling.  Ted was so drunk that he was throwing half-eaten apples at stray dogs, pleading with them to be quiet and yet no swearword was uttered.  I began to worry – clearly I’d underestimated his resolve.  I watched him closely, every day growing anxious yet still believing that he’d break if we made him angry enough or he started quoting Chapelle again.  Then one day, the three competitors were walking to coffee and out of the blue he screamed, “God damnit!” Just like that, it was over.  I never did learn why. Maybe he realized his shoe was untied.  Maybe he was hot.  I didn’t have the heart to ask.  He lost fair and square.  He was so sad and we were enjoying non-swear Ted so much more that we said he could continue to compete, on a three-strikes-and-you’re-out basis.

Beth was doing OK… depending on how rigidly we apply the rules.  One day early in the week she packed lunch, and then we all walked to McDonalds in the afternoon for an ice cream cone snack.  This is still within the rules of the competition, it made no mention of snacks.  The next day, she packed her lunch again and walked to the food court with us.  She asked if getting french fries counted against the competition, since she had packed a peanut butter sandwich.  Did it? I don’t know.  Really what’s the difference between getting French fries at 3pm and French fries at 1pm?  Slippery slope, slippery slope.  But then Saturday came and she didn’t work out – so she kinda lost.

For myself, I didn’t exactly complain but I wasn’t exactly positive either.  The rule was I couldn’t complain about anything work-related.  And I didn’t. Sorta.  When I say I didn’t complain I mean I didn’t go on any hour long rants about work.  It’s really hard to determine what’s complaining and what isn’t.  Someone would ask me why we weren’t able to work on something, and I’d explain, “Well as usual, the Midwest didn’t give us access to the files…[eye roll]”  Within the scope of the competition, that technically was not complaining.  Technically I was just responding to a question.  But it’s pretty damn close.  If we consider tone of voice and frequency of eye rolls, I lost.

In the end we decided that we all kinda lost kinda won.  We lost in that none of us actually succeeded 100%.  We won in that we all tried to better ourselves for a week.  We will all be buying our own brunch.  Stay tuned for pictures.

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