Monday, May 18, 2009

Happily Sad

Good news, bad news. Both require dealing with differently.

Good news - how happy should we be towards the person who's had the news? Dunno. We don't want to be too sycophantic, obviously. We want to express joy at thier news, but not jump in there in a way that suggests we hope they'll share whatever good fortune they've earned with us, cos that would be tacky, and a bit pathetic. Tricky. 'Congratulations' is generally the best way to start, I find. That's heartfelt, it's truthful, it contains no inherent jealousy (depending on how much sarcasm you lace it with of course, but sarcastic typing is a whole other subject). Assuming it means what it says on the screen, 'congratulations' can't go wrong as an initial reaction. What do you follow it with, though? That's where it can get sticky.

Please note that all of the reactions listed below are things I've said to others, not things that have been said to me, or said by people I know. The only fuckwit in this room is the one typing.

Told you you could do it - there are issues right there. 'I told you' - oh did you now, you patronising twat? How many other people did you say that to who didn't make it, eh? Just cos I found a way through the pile doesn't mean you're a prophet. Throw enough arrows, you're bound to hit the bullseye eventually. That's probability, not prescience.

About bloody time! - sounds both safe and friendly, and it mostly is. Sometimes, though, it means what it says, ie - thank fuck you're out of my way. Maybe I'll get a chance, now!
See you, you're a bit too talented for my liking, it can mean. Now that you've been scooped up I don't need to feel so inferior now.

If it was going to happen, I'm so glad it happened to you - means: It should have been me, ME, I tells ya!

But, that's all bollocks. It's meaningless. This post isn't about being sarcastic, that just happens to be my default mode.

I had a day, today, where I had friends get good news at exactly the same time as another friend got bad news. What do you say to bad news? That's my real question.

It went as well as it could have - eh

He won't be able to eat for 4 days - eh

He won't be able to speak for a few weeks - eh

After that, we'll see - eh

A person I care deeply about is in a hospital bed unable to speak, right now. And he's a mouthy cunt so I know it's killing him. I'm not a believer in prayers, but if you chose to send one his way I'd believe in that. And I'd thank you.


  1. and another...

    when I was offered my contract with Hachette I had a very interesting range of responses. From genuine pleasure to complete surprise that one such as I should achieve such a thing to the ending of a friendship (their decision) with a writing friend who had been at it for twenty years to a dear friend who was very pleased for me but said, "Of course I'm jealous, and I don't even write." I love her honesty.

  2. Sending many prayers. Hope things go well and give him my best. xxx

  3. many thanks, folks.

    Phillipa, that's so sad that a friendship actually ended, luckily I haven't seen that happen often.

  4. Well, friends show the strength of their bond at times like that. I always like to visit this blog - always a decent, well mannered place....a laugh, a pint and off home to bed

  5. Danny, I've only just seen this. I hope your friend is doing well.

    And I couldn't give a shit what you think about what you think I think I'm saying - I'm happy for your success and hope you get masses more. You deserve it.

  6. I know you didn't mean that, Lorraine.