My Super Power? Finding The Negative Side Of Everything, Even Good News

In second grade, Sister Lynn Michelle taught us that everyone had something special to contribute to the world. In current-day Twitter parlance, she was talking about super powers.

And I have a few.

First, I can spot a Hannah Andersson outfit on one of the Costco tables from across the warehouse.  If you don’t think that’s a super power then you have never been to Costco or you don’t know the retail prices of Hannah Andersson’s pj’s and leggings.

Second, I always have a pony tail holder on me.  ALWAYS.  On my wrist, in my pocket, in my purse.  Should the urge to throw back hair ever strike anyone near me, I have the situation covered.

Third, and most powerful, I have the ability to find the down side to absolutely anything.   I used to think it was a curse or a bad habit. Now I see it as a super power.  Spiderman has his webs; Wonder Woman has her truth lasso thingy; and I have my uncanny, never-failing, negative thoughts.  When I found out my rank at law school was pretty good, I cried because I was sure I would sink below average the next semester.  When I got pregnant, I worried about miscarriage nonstop until the baby was born, when I quickly started worrying about SIDS.  Win the lottery? Don’t forget those pesky taxes and the fact that lottery winners are more miserable than people disfigured in fiery crashes.  If you need the negative side to the great news is your life, Tweet me, I’ll set you up with a five-point list.

For a slightly longer and perhaps more stimulating example of this super power, check out my post over (here), where I lay out how getting my kids into a dream school made me feel sad because their excellent education will take them far, far away from yours truly. (Fourth super power: Making every single thing about ME ME ME.)

Also, I am not sure if I mentioned this yet, but I got a new job.  Did you hear? Seems like I can’t shut up about it. Wanna ask me about it? Go ahead, but maybe check here for my piece on the Huffington Post about the question that I hate being asked now that I am back to work.


28 thoughts on “My Super Power? Finding The Negative Side Of Everything, Even Good News

  1. Here’s the spin I’ve been trying to put on my own super down side finding powers lately: good fiction requires tension, conflict, and obstacles to overcome. People who play out these scenarios in their minds are usually ahead of the plotting game and can then use their super powers constructively. Bam! I can relate to this post so much though. It’s better than my usual Eyeore rationalizations, “expect the worst and be cautiously surprised when things go well.”

  2. I have the same superpower, but my son is the master of negativity. I always say that he can find the dark cloud in front of every silver lining, that he could win a million dollars and still complain because the check was signed in blue ink.

  3. First off, YES!!!! I also have this super power. We could get together and be like the avengers.

    Second, I am so glad you wrote that return to work post. I know plenty of women who I’ve worked with who say that working is so much easier than staying at home and they come to work to get a break. So you’re definitely not a bad mom for not missing your kids more. Sounds like you have a healthy attachment.

    And finally, what’s the negative side of getting published all over the Internet?

    • People will say nasty things about you and you will want to die of shame. So there’s that. And you will feel pressure and people will hate you got being successful.

  4. OMG has any of that happened!!! and forget all that negativity… you’ve got positive stuff coming out the arse (grandma word). i am ICESCREAMMAMA!! I brain freeze your negative thoughts with creamy yumyum goodness.. .you can only think in rainbow sprinkles from now on! Done.

  5. I really love your return to work post. I was talking about this with my sister last week (pregnant with her second), and she said that even though it was hard at first, she loves going to work. She thinks that getting out of the house during the day makes her a far better and more present mother, and being a mother makes her a much better, and more productive, employee. So you are definitely not alone here.

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