Thursday, January 31, 2013

from the people who brought us schadenfreude

Introducing fremdscham!  I wasn't familiar with the word until today, but, oh man, have I felt it.  Defined as "embarrassment felt on behalf of someone else (often someone so ignorant to what they have done that they don’t know that they should be embarrassed for themselves); vicarious embarrassment."

If you're somehow unfamiliar with experiencing fremdscham, just tune in to any reality TV show and that cringe-y, creepy, "oh, honey, don't do that" feeling is fremdscham.  

I don't say this often, but thank you, Germany!

Monday, January 21, 2013

we are gone

...also known as "Closed." Maybe I'll try that on my next out-of-office email reply.  "I am gone."  Nothing more.

The city feels deserted this holiday Monday. I felt like a chump rushing around to do errands.  But we did get that 11-day weekend over the holidays.  You won't hear me complainin'.

At an intersection, I saw a car with an enormous, day-glo pink mustache affixed to its grill.  Why?  Then again, why not?  The car behind it was driven by a man with a cigar stub clamped between his front teeth. Windows all rolled up, I noticed.  No opinion on whether those two cars are traveling together.

Then, the man crossing the street on foot, going the opposite way, let out an exasperated sigh as he passed, having had to reroute his trajectory twice to avoid me.  It was as if he'd been forced to avoid me at every intersection and now he'd finally had enough.  SIGH.  Yeah, well, same to you, pal.