I sometimes wonder if I should measure my happiness index by the number of my LLI posts. Just 24 in twelve years might suggest that with an average of two a year, I must generally be content with my lot.
The truth, of course, is that there are lots of things in life that irritate me and that number increases the older I get.
Posting about them would only embarrass me by demonstrating my growing intolerance and testiness, but sometimes I can’t help myself and have to give in to my inner grouch.
And the thing that irritates me at the moment is self-congratulatory applause. You see it on quiz shows: a contestant gets an answer correct and they applaud themselves. Another on a talent show gets a good review from a judge and they put their hands together. Why?
Whatever happened to modest acceptance of appreciation for a job well done? When we did school plays etc when we were young, it was understood that it was the audience’s job to give a round of applause at the end of the performance, even if it was only in relief that the thing was over, and ours to murmur a thank you in their direction, take a bow and get off before the acknowledgment petered out.
And if called upon to answer a question in class, we most definitely were not expected to whoop and holler ourselves hoarse on the off chance that we got it right.
So when did all this self-congratulation begin and, more importantly, where will it all end? At this rate we will have newscaster high-fiving it at the end of each bulletin and the weather
men people running round the studio pulling their shirts over their heads for a forecast well-done.
Of course, we’ll have to make an exception for politicians for whom unwarranted complacency and self-satisfaction is part of the job description.