I always thought I whine a lot because I'm Jewish. But in recent months I've realized that I actually whine and sigh so much because I'm of Eastern European descent. How did I come to this revelation? By listening to my very Romanian, very NOT Jewish cleaning lady.
"Claudia" is her name, and she announces herself every-other Monday morning with a huge sigh and a laundry list of woes (invariably the weather and the subway). She is very sweet, though not a terribly talented cleaning person, and I often find myself sighing at the dust that remains after she's gone. I like her personally ... and would so even more if I didn't work mostly from home.
Imagine my surprise this week when I cracked open New York Magazine's cover story on the newish discipline of Happiness Studies. Here is the line that resonated with me the most:
... And every survey [of the geography of happiness] agrees on one point: That the people of Eastern European nations – Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Latvia, Belarus and Bulgaria – consistently rank themselves the least happy...
So you see. I come by it honestly. My great, great, greats were surely world-class whiners like me. And of course I now consider Claudia my soul sister. Maybe I'll give her a raise.
Nah ... she'd only complain it wasn't enough.