Other Peoples’ Misery


For those of you not fluent in either German or SAT words, Schadenfreude is the term used when deriving pleasure from from the misfortunes of others. I’m pretty sure this coin was termed by a German stay at home Mom – but I gotta admit, its a fancy way to feel good about yourself when shit goes wrong for someone else for  a change.

So here they are, my Top 5 Schadenfreude pleasures:

  1. When one of the “put together” moms, pushing an overly expensive stroller with a one syllabe name like “Pram” or “Bob” completely loses her mind over her kid’s behavior. I’m careful to relish in these moments, because I know that Karma is real and she keeps count. But you just gotta love when someone so obsessed with labels they have to buy a stroller only to impress her frenemies on Lincoln Road gets poop on her Prada and goes nuclear.
  2. When a former student of mine complains that their new teaching job is 24/7. They can’t believe the audacity of their students to try to friend them on Facebook, or a parent that e-mails them at 2 a.m. and wants the situation handled before school starts the next day. Usually, this former student is the one that e-mailed me at 4:30 a.m. the night before the test/project/final to explain their car/parent/dog/girlfriend situation and why they needed an extension. And probably the same person that asked for a recommendation letter – sent out – tomorrow. Yeah. Suck it.
  3. When one of my bi-lingual friends pronounces something in English completely back-assward. Yes – you. Yes, I chuckle AT you, not WITH you. And you want to know why?? I’ve been trying to speak Spanish for the last 15 years and I still suck. You speak 8 languages naturally. I will laugh. Deal with it.
  4. When someone on American Idol – or any other singing show – forgets the words. Yeah, it’s harder than you think, ain’t it Colton, or whatever your name is? There are 32 new songs in the Music Together song collection for this semester. And I have to know each-and-every-single-one-of-them. From memory. Sung a cappella. With the starting pitch checked on pitch pipe.  All while smiling. And believe me, all of it, takes practice.
  5. A man with bleeding nipples after a long run. Listen, I had my kids back-to-back, and was still breastfeeding one when I got pregnant with the second. So if a 2 hour, 15-miler makes ’em bleed, imagine having that glorious feeling for 2 years. Two. Straight. Years. I’m pretty sure my areolas are scarred for life. I can’t look at a cow being milked and not feel the  of a sympathetic sense of camaraderie. During those years I would cringe if anyone looked at my cleavage too long, much less had a careless elbow in a tight elevator. And don’t think I’m not tempted to go up to one of these Spartan-esque boob-warriors, rub their chest and whisper a stupid cliche like “I bet you’ll never admit this secretly turns you on?” And when they wince in pain I just want to scream to every Y-chromosoned hominid within earshot “THA’TS WHY!”

Ok, now back to enjoying happy things, like chocolate, guitar solos, and beer….

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