Since about 75% of the people I know have, in the last month, decided, en masse, to call me a curmudgeon at every opportunity, I’ve decided to write up a small guide detailing how you, someone who has optimism that has not yet been crushed by the world, can care for (read: bear to be around and/or kind of but not really understand) the curmudgeon in your life.
Remember that your curmudgeon probably had hopes and dreams at one point. Yes, much like yourself, your curmudgeon once aspired to make his or her living by working full time in the arts, but, upon realizing that doing so would take either an inordinate amount of luck or a willingness to live with parents, decided that just getting a job and pursuing art outside of that would be easier. The curmudgeon is a sort who has wired him or herself to look at the world not through rose-tinted glasses, but through extremely dark sunglasses. Doing so allows the curmudgeon to function in a way that sort of mimics normal human behavior, but also still mine day-to-day life for ideas to fuel their art. When discussing jobs with your curmudgeon, be prepared for cynicism brought on by endless reading about labor exploitation, the increasing wage gap, decrease in middle-class jobs, increase in workplace automation, and any number of other topics that are constantly bouncing around in your curmudgeon’s brain. Above all else, don’t respond with exasperation, because that will just lead to another rant about how no one’s bothering to pay attention to the economic collapse that’s surely coming.