The importance of whine

by Lorin Michel Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:10 PM

I think of myself as a fairly positive person. After all, Live It Out Loud is about celebrating something every day. For 150 posts, 150 days, I’ve done just that, and it’s usually easy because I have a good life. I have a husband I adore, a dog who’s adorable – both of whom have an uncanny ability to make me laugh – a son who makes me proud, a family that is fairly normal by family standards, and friends who are amazing. I love what I do, I love the written word and I’m lucky enough to be able to write every day and get paid for it. I work out of my home, I work in shorts. I get to wear flip flops every day if I want. I blog.

But sometimes I need a really good whining session. A bitch, to complain, cry, moan, go emo, gripe, annoy, nag, nag, nag. Whining, as annoying as it can be, can also be cathartic. It’s human and real. I like to think it’s even useful. It allows negative emotions to escape from the confines of the body and dissipate into the atmosphere. I’m tired becomes I’m so completely exhausted. I’ve never been this tired in my life. I really hate being this tired. I’m just exhausted. Why am I so tired? And I don’t feel good. My throat hurts. I can’t go to bed and I can’t take a nap; I don’t have time. Waaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaa Can we order take out?

See what I did there? I turned a whine into an excuse not to cook and to get Chinese instead. Therefore whining made my life less complicated.

My husband might not necessarily agree. My whining makes his life more complicated because he has to listen to me. It’s a form of torture called whine boarding according to the urban dictionary. It entails being forced to listen to someone whining incessantly about any give topic. It’s high pitched and cat-like in sound. He has been whine boarded numerous times throughout our relationship. But that’s love and commitment. For better or whine.

The Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology recently conducted a study on the most distracting sound on the planet. Volunteers were asked to try to complete a set of math problems while wearing headphones. In the headphones they heard a variety of sounds: a toddler whining, a baby crying, baby talk, two adults in conversation, a screeching table saw, and silence. Which sound caused the volunteers to complete the fewest problems with the most mistakes? Whining. The researchers – Rosemarie Sokol Chang of SUNY New Paltz, New York and Nicholas S. Thompson of Clark University in Massachusetts – say that further information needs to be gathered to decide whether the particular melody, rhythm and speed of whining is inherently distracting to humans, or if it is a learned response.

According to Ms. Chang, a whine is “telling you to tune in. Nobody wants to sit around and listen to a fire engine siren either, but if you hear the siren go off, it gets your attention.” It’s the same with a whine. It’s saying pay attention to me, I need you to listen to me; help me, I need you. With a really annoying voice or cat-like sound.

I’m not a psychologist but I know enough, intuitively, to know that we need to indulge the whine inside every once in awhile just to know we’re human.

Yeah. That’s why. Really. Waaaaaaa. Waaaaaaa. Waaaaaa.

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live out loud

Comments (2) -

7/22/2011 1:56:07 PM #

I like to whine for Chinese too!

Pam United States

7/22/2011 1:56:51 PM #

AND I don't cook.

Pam United States

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