It’s not pessimism, it’s optimism.

Pessimistic optimism. Or optimistic pessimism.
That’s what I call it.

I expect the worst, and I am delighted to be pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t happen. Since my expectations are so very, very bad they are almost never met, and have never been exceeded. I can’t help but be pleased.

For example: if I think the half empty glass on the bar is going to shatter and slit my hand open when I pick it up, I am unfailingly thrilled to find that not only did the glass not shatter, and I have I not cut my hand at all, but in addition the glass is HALF FULL of tasty tequila. Wahoo!

I live in a constant state of cynical joy. Which would be a great name for a band.

See, the thing that people are wrong about is attitude. Pessimists are not necessarily dour and prissy. Some of us are pretty cheerful. Whimsical, even. Practically optimistic. OK, let’s not exaggerate. We’re cheerful, but still pessimistic. Pessimism with a smile does exist.

Of course, maybe I’m not really a pessimist. Maybe I’m more of a cynic.

No. I’m definitely a pessimist. Ms. Downside. I’m also a cynic. On the other hand, I’m not a fatalist, and I don’t think you should just let bad things happen. You should work towards a desired goal even if you don’t think it will ever happen.


Because even if what you wanted to happen doesn’t (and let’s face it, it probably won’t) it’s still very likely that something equally good or possibly even better will happen instead. It will. It always does. You just have to be happy with what you get instead of getting your pants in a bunch about what your expectations were.

For instance. I made sure I got excellent grades in High School so I could go to a sort of fancy college. During my first visit home from Fancy U, I burned my arm badly and was never able to go back. I finished college right at home in Oregon. Disappointing? Yes. However, as a result, I ended up taking some classes I wouldn’t have taken at the fancy school which lead indirectly to spending several years in France. If I’d stayed at the fancy school, I might have ended up as a chemist or something. Who knows.

I might be a different person now. That would be distressing.

To me.
It would be distressing to me.
You might like me better, I will grant you that.

I’m pretty cool though. Maybe you wouldn’t have liked me as much as a chemist. A chemist wouldn’t be writing this crap though.

I might be less charming than I think I am.
That’s unlikely–as a pessimist, I don’t think I’m charming at all.