I suddenly remembered this guy I used to hang out with a long time ago. Circumstances threw us together in a new culture and it seemed obvious that we should spend a lot of time together. That was also the time my roommate and I were into cooking (well, she always was, I was initially just being encouraging and then got very enthusiastic myself, though I was always the apprentice). Of course our abilities to consume were not commensurate with our *ahem* cooking abilities, so it was good to have this guy around, with his seemingly infinite capacity for eating.
But after a point it just got irritating. We never figured that he would turn out to be so damn needy. Heck, we should have seen it coming, but we were too busy thinking up recipes and inhaling fumes of elaborate cooking I suppose. So then we were really annoyed with him and at our wits end to get rid of him (he had become somewhat of a shadow). Cruelty, like refusing him food for example, was not our forte. At least I had my distractions. I would say, okay folks, I am checking out, its the weekend, and here is my husband coming over. (Oh yes, we were married but still living apart, it was absolute craziness already in my life). So my poor roommate had it worse. She was battling a hundred things in her personal life, and writing up her thesis and what not, and this guy like a limpet getting on her nerves.
In those days, when we could, we could discuss, hey, this guy, whats wrong with him? He has everything going for him, I mean, compared to us. His parents are super supportive, and can even afford to get him stuff so his financial worries are minimal. He barely needs to cook cause we feed him all the time. He is doing real well in his studies, and his professors love him and are not cruel to him. Whats the problem then? Just don't understand, we would say to each other.
And here, she, had just lost her father, mine was super sick all the time, her thesis advisor was emitting funny vibes, much like mine, we were slogging at work. At least my stipend was assured but she had to do lot of extra work to earn hers. We both had siblings who had babies that we wanted to see and perpetually missed, like an ache over and above everything else. I had my long distance thing going on and no clarity on when I would manage to finish up and we would get together. Actually it never occurred to us to think that perhaps, our problems will seem trivial to others, who are battling bigger demons!
So we would agree that some people will complain and crib and be all crying no matter how many good things are going on. They will only see the bad things they have to deal with. I mean to others, these things might be trivial, but to them, in their mind, they blow it up so much that its the end of the world. Finally we might even have put that lens to ourselves and figured it out. I think we learned a lot from that experience. That everyone is different. That everyone has a different capacity for crap. That what is unsurmountably painful for you is a small fly I can swat off. I think we learned to look on the bright side, make mental lists of good and bad. To absorb the pain and make ourselves stronger.
Heck yeah, there are all sorts of strange people in this world. And this disgruntled bear of a girl who complains incessantly about her very routine existence (and really stupid little challenges that life throws at her), is just as strange as that bean-pole of a guy who used to sit at the doorstep and cry saying he missed his mum.