The deluded optimist

The deluded optimist was drinking from a glass half full, while dispensing unwanted advice from a half-baked motivational book, written by another deluded optimist who stated that ‘you cannot analyse love, it just is’ with patronising voice, while another deluded optimist turned off the T.V while proclaiming ‘there’s too much bad news on the telly’ like it’s just on the telly, while another deluded optimist sucked down a fowl tasting placebo from the placebo shop and stated ‘it must be good for you if it tastes this bad’

deep breath

some other deluded optimists were heard to say things like

the seas can’t rise and the temperature has always been variable
she’ll be right mate
I’m sure there’s an explanation for the bruises, we don’t want to upset the parents
we’ll love each other forever
he just drinks this much when going through a bad patch, it’s been that sort of year
I know he killed the cat but he must have had a good reason
Father O’Riley would never do that!
we have too much legislation, companies will do the right thing
he’s been brought up well, good kids don’t do drugs
you can’t go to jail if you’re not guilty
my grandfather smoked ’till he was 90, never did him no harm


she smiled at me with that yellow sunflower type of smile that makes you want to vomit and said ‘I’m a glass half-full kinda person’.

‘Yeah, I wouldn’t drink that shit if I was you,’ said the pessimist in me.

38 thoughts on “The deluded optimist

  1. This is great, love anything that disabuses blind optimism (except for the smoking until you’re 90, I choose to hang on to this one).

  2. One of the more poignant poems I have read in a long time..just a brilliant bit of writing…thanks ever for sharing this…too many emotions to discuss…just excellent!

  3. Hmmm, where to start? Optimists are not always delusion. A realistic optimist will always lead a happier life than a deluded optimist, and a pessimist never lives a happy life, even when they’re right, they’re facing something bad.
    I’ll go on being my happy smiling self, watching out for crap but not expecting in all the time. Good things truly do happen! 🙂

  4. Gabe,
    absolutely great. “the deluded optimist” !!! so many runs around. i like to play it also once in a while, though i think i rather be the cynical person in the corner; trying to open the eyes though they seem to be glued

  5. “with a patronizing voice” “smile that makes you want to vomit” i love the way dashes of spice give a twist to the flavor so to speak. and the last line is a real kick. and its a subject that sort of lurks but is rarely addressed. very cool. and i wouldnt drink it either, its been sitting out on the picnic table next to the trash with all the flies
    all day

  6. Without a smidgen of the darkness I harbour in my soul, this life of mine would have no damn colour. 😉 Seriously Gabrielle, you’ve made an important social point with this: People like you’ve described are dangerous because they are do nothings. I just left one about two hours ago, which is why this hit me like a brick in the head when I read it. I so love your writing Gabrielle!

    1. dangerous is true Val – rose tinted glasses that hide the worst of human nature and which allow children to be abused etc., we should just admit we are not civilized and move on, instead of this great pretense that humankind is so fantastic and evolved. What sort of evolution and ‘progress’ involves it’s own destruction. Ranting now 😉

  7. Just to be sure I sometimes google translate some words. Deluded optimist=optimiste illusion. it is not a correct form but it is good!
    I know a lot of “optimiste illusion” too, and with the same yellow sunflower smile, great piece Gabe.

    1. yes you are right Crafty Green Poet – I only became aware the backlash to positive thinking recently. As a psychologist I have always had an interest in the self help ‘industry’, but I felt there was something missing – which there is of course, with the focus on the individual and the internal rather than then systems within which we live (the social, political, economic etc;,)

  8. Such a wise poem! Yup, the deluded optimist buries his/her head in the sand just as the dead pessimist is, well, dead. 😉 Myself? I like a middle way: realistic optimism, sprinkled with both rationalism and idealism.

  9. I so needed to read this today. I sometimes get sick of that positive at all costs lobby. If something is shit, it’s shit. Deal with it. Someone actually said to me today :’At least you’re not dying of cancer.’ I nearly committed murder right there and then.

    You are a wise and beautiful woman. And I think I love you!

    1. What a sweety you are Selma – I think I love you too 🙂 It’s funny you should say that about the cancer because I was just reading a story today about depression (the Getup campaign which I’ll blog about soon) and this girl was chronically depressed – she said to her mother, I wish I had cancer instead, because then people would at least understand. So sad. Everyone has different challenges and it does little to compare them – it’s like saying that celebrities of rich people shouldn’t be sad because they ‘have it all’ but who knows what a person has to deal with on the inside.

  10. It hurts to laugh that hard.
    I wish I couldn’t identify with that last line so well.
    I have a lifetime membership to the “half empty” camp.

    A lawyer’s client was charged with a series of small crimes
    one of which was “open container of alcohol in a vehicle”.
    The police record stated his can was half empty.
    The lawyer questioned the officer very sternly about the fact that the can was in fact “half full”. He had the whole courtroom in his back pocket from that point on and his client got off pretty easy.

    forgive my rambling ,after I got over laughing so hard I remembered this.

  11. This is great Gabe… I need to read this to my dad, he will absolutely love it! It’s funny, I don’t see this as a knock at optimism at all… delusion yes… and there is such a major difference between the two. I feel that optimism is a healthy human trait and I spend my days trying to instil it in all of the teachers and young people I work with… I also spend equal time addressing some of the more delusional (and at times funny as this poem so brilliantly illustrates) outlooks that people choose to adopt. It is truly, all about the balance…

  12. i thank you for writing such a splendid poem tackling optimism, and your witty dig about it. you are at your best dispensing sarcasm, i have noticed. brutally fun.

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