If a national award for holding grudges were ever presented, Shelly Wilson would win hands down. Meanwhile, Andy Fogel wouldn’t recognize a grudge if it bit him on the toe. The world might be a better place if there were more Andys and fewer Shellys, but grudges are tricky little devils.
Take Shelly for instance. She spices up bromidic moments by amplifying the most minor slights and offenses. Her facial features harden, her voice quivers and she immediately begins collecting and storing every last insulting detail.
I’ve known Shelly Wilson (not her real name, to avoid the obvious repercussions) for over 20 years. In all other parts of her life, she’s bright and witty but there’s this little sliver of her brain that retains and polishes up grudges like other people collect salt and pepper shakers.
This keeps her from experiencing the full joy of life. It causes little pangs of pain and pity in those who care for her. Shelly continues to add to her “grudge tab,” citing that neighbor who didn’t let her finish her story, the colleague who was given a bigger bonus and the brother who missed her birthday. My hunch is that Shelly is troubled most by the realization that everyone around her appears to be accepting the ups and downs of life just fine.
And then there’s Andy Fogel. Andy has this wonderful notion that everyone is rooting for him no matter what’s going on. When a friend makes him the butt of a joke, Andy considers it a compliment. Last year, Andy was passed over by a friend for a promotion. He joyously took his friend out for lunch to celebrate. One time, I got big kudos for completing a mundane task that Andy had worked tirelessly to finish. He hugged me in sincere appreciation for letting him in on the job. God, I love this guy!
Shelly Wilson was born affluent, with natural good looks and an outstanding intellect. Andy Fogel was born with a consuming appreciation for others and a big toe that no grudge monster could penetrate.
Who has the most to offer? You pick.