Optimist, Pessimist or Realist?
We watched a good movie today, but it frustrated me. Possible spoilers, though I try not to, if you’re a fan of thrillers you’ve been warned.
A married couple arrive at an old woodsy cabin owned by one of the spouse’s family for generations (that spouse will be referred to as “owner”). The owner shows their spouse the cabin (that spouse will be referred to as “visitor”). Among other things, the owner showed many hunting “trophies” and LOTS of weaponry.
So the couple hikes to a dangerous cliff. The visitor gets to the edge & turns to see the owner running at them at full speed. The visitor went over. The owner looks, sees the still & bloody body lying at the bottom & is satisfied. *BUT* the visitor is GONE when they get to the bottom of the cliff.
Next scene is the injured visitor. That stupid visitor is headed back to the cabin, even though there was no confusion about the owner’s intent. The only thing that isn’t stupid is the visitor uses the first aid kit.
The visitor was an optimist. Not only did they wait for the owner to return, but walked through every room calling the owners name! Seriously?! Saying “Yeah, I know you just tried to kill me but I wanted to let you know I didn’t die. I’m in here totally unprotected, conveniently bringing attention to myself so kill me any way you like from any different angle.” couldn’t have been more effective. Then they beg the owner to get help, and actually said “we can work through this – I promise.” There’s optimism and then there’s crazy. This wasn’t a ploy to buy time. This person was a zealous optimist (there were weapons & a nice Jeep out front – all accessible – before the owner returned).
Had the visitor been a pessimist? Really short movie. They’d have regained consciousness at the bottom of the cliff and thought “Well, I guess this is where I’m going to die.”
If the visitor had been a realist? The only thing they’d do remotely like the optimist is use that first aid kit – but they’d have entirely different agenda.
The realist would have gotten the rifle first, plus all other weapons and the ammo. No use leaving that stuff around to be used on them, right? Everyone knows “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me”. A realist would know they’d once loved this person, but that was then-this is now. They’d also know it wasn’t going to be left at attempted murder.
I am a realist. Today I was talking to the TV saying “The gun is RIGHT THERE!” and “Why aren’t you walking with your back to the wall?!” and “Does that jeep have keys, idiot?!”. My husband is so easy going and never gets too worked up (not even road rage!), that he didn’t get my frustration. I tried explaining using a tactic that DID NOT WORK AT ALL:
I said “Okay so if I needed to kill you in self-defense, and we’re in this room, plenty of opportunity. For instance, we’re a couple so I know about your bad knee. See this lamp – small at the top, heavy base at the bottom? I can swing at your head and knock you out or hit that bad knee, buying me some time. The heavy bronze picture frame? Same. The heavy candlestick? Same. All three of those things are in 3 different areas of the room, so no matter where I am I can get one and at least hurt you just enough to get out. So I’m saying anything can be a weapon – and that idiot is walking through an entire house with real weaponry.” The funniest part? Not only was he still confused, but said “Why are you talking about taking advantage of my bad knee and hitting me with lamps, candlesticks and picture frames?!” I said “Baby, only if you go nuts and try to kill me.” That seemed to work.
The moral of the story
There are optimists, pessimists and realists, yet none of the 3 types are perfect. Optimists are great – buy only to a certain extent. It’s a little sad to be a pessimist, but I suppose life is an unexpected surprise when it’s not handing them lemons. Yet of the three types, should you one day discover you married a PSYCHO who is trying to kill you? That’s when it’s best to be A REALIST.