There are people out there who hate enthusiasm. I've met a good number of them. They hate anyone who shows real excitement and passion simply because they find emotional outbursts annoying. I've met those people. I know those people. They also find loud noises to be irritating. They're quiet by nature. They're often easily jarred and agitated by bustling city streets or the honking of a traffic jam. I have no problem with those people—so long as they truly, genuinely, and inherently hate enthusiasm. The people that drive me to drink are the folks who bash enthusiasm because they think it's uncool to be enthusiastic. Why do they think it's uncool? Because as people they're not comfortable being honest about their emotions. They're afraid to be judged on what they really think. Their worst fear is that someone will call them out on their shit and they'll be made to look dumb in front of a crowd just for being honest. They don't really hate enthusiasm as much as they hate people who are secure in their opinions. Of course, the flip side to that are the people who offer fake enthusiasm and who are just as bad, I guess. I've been mistaken for one of those people before.

I remember a time when I was helping a customer in the store and he asked me for my opinion on a specific whisky; I can't remember which one now. When I got really excited about it he said, "OK, let's bring it down a notch. You can be honest with me." I remember thinking to myself, "Huh?" and I just kind of ignored him and kept going. But then he interrupted me again and said, "Dude, you don't have to sell me so hard on it. I'm going to buy the bottle." It hit me then that he thought my passionate and heart-felt description of this particular whisky was an act—a ruse that I concocted out of thin air meant to sway him over to the sale. That's when I realized that some people believe my hyperactive personality to be an act. But, of course, those who have known me for a while understand that I'm naturally wired to be loud. There's nothing I can do about it. When I was in elementary school I got my name on the board every single day for talking in class. When I was in high school, I was the one promoting the illegal underage boozefests on the weekend. If I was a character in a suspense film trying to silently hide from a masked killer, I would be the first one to go. Enthusiasm and energy bubbles from within my soul. Even if I wanted to do something about it, I couldn't.

So don't hate on people like that. Unless you're one of those people who pathologically cannot stand loud, enthusiastic people. In that case I totally get it.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll