How to write a letter of complaint – or not…

This weekend I was tagged in a meme by Hari at Thank You For The Days, asking me to write a letter of complaint. How it works is this – I have to write a letter, complaining about something (natch), and then I tag some other people, thus triggering a ripple of whingeing across the blogosphere.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? A nice simple meme for a sleepy Sunday evening. The twist is that it has to be about something true. Now I’m not saying my posts are normally outrageous lies – I’m not really a single fifty-year-old northern man or anything. Nor am I claiming that ‘I’m just not the moaning type’ – cue regular readers snorting with disbelief. Now that really would be an outrageous lie.

The trouble is I think that when directly asked to complain about something, when given free rein to whine and moan to my heart’s content, I find myself feeling strangely positive. ‘But my life is just dandy,’ I protest, glancing contentedly at the glass of red wine on my right and the half-eaten packet of Oreos on my left.

I really want to write a post packed full of witty complaints, but all I can think about is the smell of baking bread coming from the kitchen. Who can fail to be anything but cheery when there are things baking in the house? I could complain perhaps that it’s just bread – not double chocolate muffins, but that would really be petty, especially as I have currently have one half of an Oreo biscuit slowly disintegrating in my mouth.

I’ve heard plenty of times that the key to happiness and contentment is to regularly count your blessings, to think of things every day to be grateful for, but to be honest I’ve always found the gratitude diary a tricky one to master. It normally ends up having a negative twist – ‘Today I’m grateful that the car didn’t blow up on the way to Sainsbury’s, that we weren’t late for school and that no one threw up.” I don’t think I’ve quite got the idea.

Being actively invited to complain however seems to be having to opposite effect – when specifically requested to moan about something I am at a loss to pick fault with any aspect of my life. It must be the part of me that seeks to always argue the toss, even if I’m only arguing against myself. I feel strangely serene and content.

I reckon I’m onto something. Stuff the gratitude diary, I’m going to start a complaints journal.

I’ve clearly done a rubbish job with this meme – can anyone else do any better I wonder? I pass the baton of complaint onto Mr Shev, Got Your Hands Full, Cafe Bebe, Marketing to Milk and My Shitty Twenties.



  1. 17 May, 2010 / 7:51 am

    My whole blog is a complaint.

    What do I have to do? Write a letter to the gas board?

    • 17 May, 2010 / 8:17 am

      That’s why I thought you might be good at it!

      Unfortunately I have set a terrible example. If you click on the link back to the blog that tagged me you get a better idea I think.

    • 17 May, 2010 / 1:02 pm

      I know :-(

      I’m usually so good at complaining. That woman has NOTHING to complain about!

  2. hilly
    17 May, 2010 / 8:53 am

    i guess the thing about writing a great complaint letter is that it has to be written with the venom that is at the pit of your stomach when you feel totally outraged by something. if you’re not feeling it, it won’t happen.

    • 17 May, 2010 / 1:02 pm

      You’re totally right, and my stomach was full of biscuits, not venom.

  3. 17 May, 2010 / 1:50 pm

    How very odd… I seem to have no trouble whatsoever finding anything and everything to complain about. But then, have you SEEN the cretins that run the council round here? And that park, don’t get me started. Then there’s ASDA, the price of petrol, tv schedules, milk, blogs, eggs, birds, dogs – yes, I need an entire post to complain about bloody DOGS… or maybe that should be their owners.

    See, it’s easy!

  4. 17 May, 2010 / 5:53 pm

    Made me lol. Funny how it is when we are “forced” to do something we normally do, we can’t seem to do it.

  5. 17 May, 2010 / 6:14 pm

    I’m the same with money – I get a sort of shopper’s block if I set out to spend money and can’t find anything I like.

    I wish someone would sit me down and demand I eat a packet of biscuits every day…

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