Ettie Newlands

So, these 52 years later, we’ve had all the conversations there are to have, my once 21-year-old husband and I.

Which is why we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the glass half-full/glass half-empty controversy.

He is convinced it’s all about optimism vs. pessimism.

If you’re a positive, optimistic person, as he is, you see the glass as half full.

If you’re a negative, pessimistic person (read: realistic with an acute awareness of the situation), as I am, you see the glass as half empty.

(I have always been a firm believer that the glass was, in fact, half empty, and would momentarily fall off the edge of the table and break.

I would then step on the broken glass and get an infected foot.

My foot would not heal and would have to be amputated, and I would get a prosthesis that would never fit properly. Therefore, because the glass was half empty, I would be miserable for the rest of my life.)

But revelation came during this particular conversation, and I was sure – I was positively, optimistically sure – that I knew the absolute, objective answer to whether the glass was half empty or half full.

It depended, I told my now 74-year-old husband, on how the glass started out.

If it had been full and half the contents was now gone, it was now half empty

If it had been empty and someone filled it halfway with contents, it was now half full.

That should have ended the discussion.

Instead, he responded with, “But if the glass falls in the forest and there’s nobody there to hear it…”

Sometimes, I don’t know why I bother.


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