Don’t Squander Your Complaint Quota

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website:

Now, on to my blog:


Complaining—ah, we all love to do it.  Some do it very little, and others more so. Then, there are those who have honed it to an art form. They seem to complain frequently and obsessively. This constant default position can render their targets weary, ditsy, spaced out, and generally down.

It’s hard to confront the expert complainers about their behavior, because their logical comeback is, “well, you complain, too.” How do you get it across that it is a matter of degree, and who sets the rules on where the line has been crossed? That’s a tough one. Who am I to say that my amount of complaining is correct but yours is not?

To solve this conundrum, I’ve developed a philosophy that works for me; feel free to use it.  It goes like this: we are all born with a given amount of complaints available to us, sort of like a woman is born with a given amount of eggs that she ovulates monthly until they are used up. Some people spread out their allotment of complaints over their lifetime while others use them up long before the inevitable final bell.

Once you deplete your allotment of complaints, you cannot complain anymore. If you try to do so, those of us on the receiving end are justified in simply walking away, hanging up the phone, or otherwise ignoring you. You may get mad, posture, yell and scream, profess you don’t understand, and all other manner of push back, but that’s it—no more complaints from you.

So folks, and especially the serial complainers, guard, hoard, and care for your allotment of complaints. It is not infinite.


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Photo credit (modified by user): <a href=””>AstridWestvang</a> via <a href=””>VisualHunt</a> / <a href=””>CC BY-NC-ND</a>


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7 responses to “Don’t Squander Your Complaint Quota

  1. Sheila Sauber

    Hi Lee Gale, funny….the Rabbi mentioned This topic in his sermon today!! Try giving Up complaining for 24 hrs for Rosh Hashanah Like when you give up food for 24 hrs on Yom Kippur. Have a sweet, healthy, and fulfilling year. Love, Sheila Sent from my iPhone


    • That’s pretty funny. The rabbi and I must be on the same wave length. The problem with his exercise, however, is that the ones who need it the most have no clue that they are the ones who need it the most:-)

  2. Great visual! One could be allowed a week of grouchiness per month, ie menstruation?

  3. Roger Trammell

    …a good one LGG. It made me stop and think whether or not I’ve used up my allotment of complaints. I think I’m pretty close to the edge. Do we get a supplemental allotment if we’ve passed a certain age? It seems fair, since we’ve had a longer time to go through them. :=)

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