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Irish Social Stereo'types: No 66 - The Eternal Optimist

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Eternal Optimist cartoon by Eoin Coveney.

Eternal Optimist cartoon by Eoin Coveney.

Eternal Optimist cartoon by Eoin Coveney.

Disposition: Upbeat

Smile: Permanently affixed to face, as though it had been painted on at the moment of conception by some benevolent deity

Glass: Half full

Looks on: The bright side of life, despite overwhelming evidence that human existence is, in fact, the Biblical vale of tears after all

Intended effect on others: To comfort and cheer them up

Actual effect on others: They suspect she may have some form of mental illness

Reads: Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho, Norman Vincent Peale, biographies of stout-hearted figures like Winston Churchill, Twitter feeds which reproduce famous quotes on positivity that are mostly either incorrect or entirely invented

Such as: "Love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching" - Albert Einstein

Never reads: The news - much too depressing

Conversational skills: Can change the subject from gloomy to happy inside five seconds

Accompanied by: Brisk clapping and a tone of voice reminiscent of a playschool minder trying to jolly up the kids into tidying away their toys

Frequently used terms: Oh let's not talk about that; what's for you won't pass you by; there's no point in dwelling on it; sure, you have to crack on; no use crying over spilled milk; ooh, look, a kitten!

Often seems on the brink of: Hysterical tears

Holds them at bay: By reminding herself that Churchill wouldn't cry. And neither would Deepak Chopra

Likely quote: "Ah sure, it could be worse"

Unlikely quote: "Life is but a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"

Weekend Magazine