Not being—and never having been—a 10-year old girl, efforts by whoever performs the (unnecessary) turn-down service in hotels and on cruise ships to please (?) guests are wasted on curmudgeons like me. The cynical part of me suspects that this is an effort to boost the chance of a gratuity.
These are the same "establishments" that claim to be doing everything to save the environment by using less detergent. They ask guests to accept their sheets and towels being changed less-frequently than daily. Of course, towels used for gimmicks must be washed, despite not being soiled by guests. In my opinion, these are a few animal species that do not need to be saved from extinction.
I am sure that this takes skill, but I do not appreciate the talent or the effort. Unfortunately, my wife (who was a 10-year old and still displays some of the characteristics) likes these “things” and does not appreciate my lack of appreciation and/or enjoyment. At times like this, when we return to our room and comment of what confronts us, she might mention how she cannot understand why she married me. I must, then, remind her how lucky she was!
Being a cynic, this piece in the Guardian caught my attention. I was happy to learn that I am not so awful as most peg me...
For those too lazy to read the piece, I have excerpted a few key lines:
“...one of our best defences against spin and manipulation.”
“...cynics can be happy, constructive, even fun to hang out with.”
“...cynicism is neither wholly good nor bad...”
“...cynicism is a greater force for progress than optimism.”
“...importance of distinguishing between thinking cynically and acting cynically.”
“...realists who know that the world is not the sun-kissed fantasy peddled by positive-thinking gurus and shysters.”
“...proper cynicism is not a matter of personality but intellectual attitude.”
“...only by being distrustful that we can distinguish between the trustworthy and the unreliable.”
“...intelligent cynicism, which is not so much a blanket negativity, but a searchlight for the truly positive.”
One of the all-time great book titles is: Alone In Bad Company. This was written by Ambrose Bierce in the late 1800's. Like his hero, H.L. Mencken, he was a newspaperman. I recall that he wrote mostly in California, probably after trying to flee as far west as possible. There were surely other early American cynics, but this guy wrote well and left a record.
Birce's cynicism was spawned on the fertile ground of Civil War battlefields. That carnage and suffering turned men into much worse. Of course, battlefield medicine has come a long way since Gettysburg. Today, a soldier wounded in Afghanistan will be treated by a doctor in Landstuhl, Germany, quicker than an unlucky Civil War casualty saw a harried sawbones pass by where he moaned in a bloody heap.
Nb. Bonus points to alert readers that can spot the historical error in the above text. Answer tomorrow...even if no one is interested. Unlike old AB, I like my own company. That's one benefit of being an introvert.
I am a cynic.
That sounds like someone's confession at an AA meeting. It is not. Unlike a desperate alcoholic, I'm rather proud of this trait. (Ironically, if one looks up the definition of cynic, one finds that one synonym is Doubting Thomas...another chicken/egg thing?).
My hero is H.L.Mencken. Although he lived in the last century, most of his observations and words of wisdom are apt in current times. Humans, especially politicians, do not change.
I have found that most people do not like to hear the truth. They ignore the obvious, often to their own detriment. If you point reality, you are labeled "negative". Cynics are disregarded by anyone afraid to face facts.
An optimist sees a glass as half-full; a pessimist sees it as half-empty. A cynic knows for certain that both are true: it's obvious.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.