Dad was never much of a hockey fan, although he liked to comment on Foster Hewitt’s play by play when the rest of us were glued to the tv on a Saturday night, cheering for the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.
“What number is that fellow, Abandon?” he asked us once.
“Everybody is always skating down the ice with Reckless Abandon, if you can believe that announcer, and I don’t know, I’m wondering if maybe he has a younger brother at home called Wild.”
We stopped arguing which favourite player was better, Frank Mahovlich or Davey Keon, to laugh at the idea of the Abandon brothers making all the assists.
But then “He shoots…he SCORES!!”popped it right out of our heads.
Today is excellent timing for a day of rest. Yesterday was one of those crazy work days that made me bone tired. Only two of us working, no time for lunch breaks, lots of appointments, the requisite number of idiots to appease, amazing sales, and at the end of the day all I could think was – so what. That’s tired.
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
So today I am officially withdrawing from my cares. Oh well, who am I kidding? I do this every day possible even without any cares to withdraw from.
It’s also time for our Canadian Olympic athletes to sit back and relax and bask in how proud we are of them.
Here’s to all the medal winners and all the participants. Just getting there is also amazing. Apparently bars in some cities opened this morning at 5:00 a.m. We’re all crazy.
So I imagine this is how many people will be feeling tonight –
“My head aches, my eyes burn, my arms and legs have given up, and my face in the mirror has a grayish cast. The bed, across the room, calls in its unmistakable lover’s croon, Come to me, come, only I can make you truly happy, oh, how happy I’ll make you, don’t resist, remember how you moan with pleasure the instant we touch…..
― Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Fatigue Artist
Ha – I love it. Someone else who is madly in love with a bed.
Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.
Okay! Time to laugh at all the bad shit that happens to other people! I know, that’s not very nice, is it? It’s an unfortunate human emotion and one that I like to think I rarely experience – but of course you won’t believe me if I tell you that, so I guess I’ll go with the truth instead.
Here Are Some of My Own Personal Instances of Schadenfreude:
1. Watching Mr. Bean. Because, let’s face it, who has more misfortunes than this poor guy? He’s a walking disaster. And yet his misadventures and crazy debacles never fail to make me laugh. He’s a moron with bad luck. I don’t know why that’s funny, it just is.
2. Proving an arrogant know-it-all wrong. The key word here is arrogant. Some know-it-alls are very humble and don’t feel the need to convince everyone around them of their brilliance. It’s the ones who are blatantly deluded about their superior intelligence having some of the arrogance knocked out of them so that they must admit to not actually knowing everything after all, that afford me some kind of smug satisfaction. I guess you could call that pleasure, however fleeting.
3. Driving by a speeder who has been pulled over by the cops. HA! YES! And now you’re even MORE late, you jerk. You could have killed somebody. And I’m also very happy it’s you and not me who got caught.
4. Watching a hockey game where the Oilers win. This one happens so rarely, perhaps I can be forgiven for thumbing my nose at the other team.
5. Witnessing Karma first hand. Seeing someone who has been mean and vindictive and just plain nasty have her actions come back to bite her in the ass. Okay, we seem to have come back full circle to smug satisfaction once again. I am a horrible person.
Instances In Which I Don’t Understand the Schadenfreude of Others:
1. Funniest Home Videos on tv. This is the worst show ever. I can watch the whole thing without once cracking a smile. If I don’t leave the room in disgust first. Because in most of these ‘funny’ shots some poor sod barely avoids serious injury and maiming being an idiot on a trampoline or a skateboard or flying off a slippery dock. I don’t get how near death experiences are entertaining.
2. Traumatic things happening in the lives of celebrities. I wonder why we care so much about the rich and famous, and why we are expected to take such delight in the fact that things can go wrong for them. And why we’re so obsessed with their weight gains and losses.
3. The Three Stooges, and slapstick in general. Getting bonked over the head or slapped or kicked or being made to fall flat on your face or your butt is all stuff that I don’t find particularly funny. Also violence in cartoons. I want to cry for Wylie Coyote.
4. Bullying. What strange satisfaction does a bully experience by inflicting pain? When there is no self-regard, there is no regard for others. How incredibly sad, if this is the only way a person can experience pleasure.
5. Internet Trolls. Posting inflammatory, derogatory messages, purely for the purpose of eliciting an emotional response. I don’t understand how creating unnecessary drama and feelings of outrage in others can give the instigator pleasure. How desperate does someone have to be for attention to stoop so low?
Most feelings of Schadenfreude are probably accompanied with a great sigh of relief because whatever misfortune someone else suffered has not happened to us. It’s not that we’re joyful about it, so much as satisfied and complacent and feeling lucky to have been spared the same disaster.
It’s not a lasting pleasure simply because feeling it usually exposes our own lack of self-esteem. Someone else has to be worse off than we are for us to feel good about ourselves. Much better to work on the opposite of Schadenfreude, which is Mudita, the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being. Better that happiness makes us happy rather than misery and bad luck. Let’s delight in the optimistic, feel good stories with happy endings, and pay less attention to all the pessimistic doom and gloom.
This is what we saw in the field across the road today – this is not my picture because they were too far away and not this clear even with binoculars. I was excited to see the wild turkeys that are always lurking around nearby, but sandhill cranes is a first for me and even better.
We also had a little visitor today for a couple of hours after school, so I got to watch Bambi which I’ve never seen before and will have to be forced at gunpoint to ever watch again. The wandering cat has wandered off. We finished our painting and varnishing. Watched the Blue Jays win and the Pittsburgh Penguins lose.
Did I mention anywhere that we’ve also watched Mama Mia and It’s Complicated and while Ann works away on her little knitted comfort dolls, I’ve been making bizarre things out of yarn just to keep her company. We’ve laughed our way through all the episodes of The Vicar of Dibley and that has reminded us of our bus tour of the UK. When we were somewhere close to where the series was filmed, our tour guide played DVD’s of some of the shows.
I think I’ve watched more tv in the past week than I’ve done in the past year. Early in the morning tomorrow we’re going for pedicures, babysitting all afternoon, then off to see a psychic on Friday and our big “Easter” dinner is Saturday. The time is speeding by! W. informs me he’s all set up now for satelite radio. And that perhaps he’ll still be home when I get back. I have no idea how he’s filling his days of leisure, but, so sad for him, it’s not likely with psychics and spas and sandhill cranes.
We’re a whole week into April already! I hope by the time I get home everything will be as green there as it is here. Today was lovely and sunny and warm, (impossible to even imagine snow) although they are predicting some rain in the next few days. Which is perfectly okay since that’s what keeps things green.
This morning we had coffee and a chatty visit with my brother and his wife. It’s perfectly amazing how well he’s getting along and how much he’s doing. They had some yard work planned and were considering going out for a game of golf in the afternoon. I’m not even going to try to keep up with him! My sister and I went shoe shopping and out for lunch at the Walker House and then to the Southampton Market to browse. I love that place – I’m sure I’d fill my house up with their beautiful unfinished wooden things if I lived any closer.
And then spend all my time staining and varnishing and painting. They say there’s two acres of shopping in the place, so wandering around in there for the afternoon was probably great exercise. And I only spent twenty dollars. You don’t need to know what I paid for two pairs of shoes before that.
I’ve watched more baseball and hockey since I got here than I have all year at home. It’s kind of embarrassing that my neice knows everything about the Edmonton Oilers and I have no idea what she’s talking about. Today is her third day following her tonsilectomy and probably the worst as far as pain and discomfort go. Starting tomorrow things should steadily improve.
We’re very close to the lake out here and I can hear geese making an incredible racket although I can’t imagine what they’re up to in the middle of the night. Honking at the full moon maybe? No matter, they won’t keep me awake for long. Instead of traffic and sirens I’ve got country and crickets. It’s kind of a pleasant change.
When I asked for help in keeping these orange beasts sorted out, my sister told me that Harry is the one who always looks pissed off. And it’s true, she does. She is the only female and the only mom and she has the stupidest name, so who can blame her for her ill tempered little face.
Last night I met a delightful little girl for the first time, got a tour of a beautiful new home, and am now able to put a face and a place together. We are so happy to have her as part of our family and hope this little while can turn into forever. It’s a process I’m somewhat familiar with and know that these things take a long and agonizing time to resolve. Fingers crossed – we’re hoping for a happy ending.
This morning I had my hair trimmed because it was starting to look a little ragged around the edges. And I did promise that I would get myself to a professional when I got the urge to start hacking away at it myself. This time it was blown dry first and then cut – I must say there are fewer surprises doing it that way.
And today is the day my neice had her tonsils out. She’s not six, (she’s over twenty six) so of course she’s heard all the horror stories about what happens when adults undergo this procedure. So far she’s doing very well, dozing on and off, taking her meds, eating freezies and jello and ice. We all watched the Blue Jays game on tv. And watched and watched and watched. All sixteen innings of it, which they finally managed to win over Cleveland.
So baseball season is open before the hockey playoffs begin. Even the weather is confused. There was a huge dump of snow in Edmonton this morning, so some of that crappy weather may be coming this way. W told me the furnace is in and running at last, and his satelite radio has been delivered, so there’s really nothing to keep him home now except perhaps the snow. That won’t hold him for long when the island is calling his name.
And last but not least, I have to confess that when we left the house this morning I closed my bedroom door to keep the cats out of it. Several hours later we came home to discover that I had shut Harry inside of it instead of out, which caused her to be even more indignant than normal. Sorry Harry. But I know you had a lovely long undisturbed nap on my pillow, so if I’m not sounding as remorseful as you’d like, that would be why. So please stop glaring at me, I’m not falling for it.
Are you staying here for a long long time? I have to tell you something! I need to show you some stuff! Are you going to be here all the way to Christmas? Do you promise? I can’t get my seat belt on! I need help with my boots! And my zippa!
Today we went on a fee-wod twip! We saw a play! And after that we went to Booger King! No, not Booger, BOOGA! Are you going to watch me play hockey? Do you play hockey anymore? How come girls didn’t play hockey when you were a little girl? When you were a little girl was your name still grandma?
Read a story! Tuck me in! Come and snuggle with me! Will you be here in the morning?
Well, that’s a considerably condensed version of yesterdays beautiful sounds. Give me a few more days of ‘grandma grandma grandma grandma!’ and the combination of four little voices all clamoring for attention probably won’t be my ABSOLUTE favorite anymore.
I do love the sounds of silence. But also the rumble of thunder, the call of the loons, rain on the roof, wind chimes, birdsong, the chattering of squirrels and tree frogs, and a train whistle in the distance.
Still none of those, and nothing else that I know of, can compare to the delightful music of a child’s laughter.
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