The only path is party
Why be a joy vampire when you can practically sweat positivity?
I sat in a room with more than 100 marketing professionals, and the misery was palpable, like a wet, mucousy sneeze. Don't get me wrong—not everyone in the room was a sad sack. Why would they be? We're well-paid and have great work-life balance.
Rather, the contagion was being spread by a mere three or four people. Heads down, swearing under their breaths, they took the fact that our two-hour meeting had taken a detour into a discussion about reality TV. Maybe they had better places to be. Perhaps seeing the prospect of leaving before 5PM slip away offended them on a profound level.
I don't know.
What I do know is that having to listen to their whining when I could have partaken in joyful banter was starting to affect me. As much as I pride myself on embracing the joie de vivre—a virtue in which I often fall short—their attitude was contagious. In other words: I found it hard not to give a fuck when these people were tossing them about with reckless abandon.
Normally, I'd put in headphones, or go somewhere, anywhere, else to avoid letting negativity get the better of me. But from this there was no escape.
People, partying is the only path. Before you think I've been listening to too much Andrew W.K., let me assure you that I'm not that into his music. I admire the man and what he stands for more than his brand of pop-metal. It's the musical equivalent of a breath mint: it tastes great going down and leaves a nice impression that fades all too quickly.
You have every right to be negative—this is America, after all. The stars and stripes were sewn in the thread of freedom. But don't be a joy vacuum, especially when no one in your immediate vicinity can escape your toxicity.
It sucks for us. It's unhealthy for you. Be the party, even when there's no music or booze to be seen. Because those things are party, but you don't need them to throw one. The party's all up here.
(You can't see me, so just pretend I'm pointing to the old noggin'.)