Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Blah Inferno

In the opening line to Anna Karenina, Tolstoy writes, "Happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Blah sufferers are both unique and alike (for many, this is part of the source of their blahs). Some need to be coddled or forgiven, others to be spurned. Here is one typology of people with the blahs (deepest apologies to Dante, and Tolstoy too, while I'm at it):

The Circles of the Blah Inferno

Circle 1: reserved for dilettantes with petty, flickers of blahs. People who broke a nail or spilled white wine on a brown rug.

Circle 2: for those who are in the way of an ill wind, not of their doing. People who get rear ended. People whose dry cleaning comes back scorched. People who as kids were the last to be picked for softball.

Circle 3: for those who puff out their cheeks and blow a stinky wind that messes up other people's hair. Those who pretend not to know your name when they really do.

Circle 4: residing here are the pathetic -- those who have clumps of misery thrown at them and just can't seem to duck in time. People who keep spraining the same ankle. People whose tire goes flat on a rainy day (and whose cell phone battery just died).

Circle 5: here dwell the blah feeders, those who turn toward the blahs like a sunflower shifting to follow the sun. People who pick a life partner assuming that they can change his or her annoying habits. People who tell the unpoliticized truth at the office and wonder why they are not promoted.

Circle 6: for the worst blah sinners of all who deserve no empathy or chocolate. These wretches not only sneak around gathering blahs, but they wear their blah like a diamond pendant that commands recognition and even admiration. People who collect medical specialists like trophies. People who say, "I'm too old for that."

Circle 7: You decide. Who belongs here?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why a Blah Blog?

I did go to yoga class this morning. That was something. But my downward dog was a bit feline; my lord of the fishes was soggy; and my corpse pose felt really good, too good. When I arrived home to an empty house, a wave of blahs rushed out to greet me as soon as I cracked the front door open. (Richard, my sweetie, had gone flying to Chatham with a friend who has his own plane. This is the opposite of the blahs).

I did that wandering from room to room thing searching for some object that would demand something of me. A stack of newspapers that wanted to be recycled. Dishes heavy with congealed breakfast gunk begging to be put in the dishwasher. The odd black sock coiled on the stairs yearning to be re-paired with its mate. Nothing called out to me. I confess, I did hear a few chirps from the laundry in the dryer in the basement reminding me that it was folding time if I didn't want any wrinkles, but that was two flights downstairs, and therefore beyond my resources at the moment.

I sat down at my computer and stared at an inbox with no unread email. "How could I have let such a thing happen?" I wondered. What could I do now? I opened a new tab and started clicking on the StumbleUpon (a tool that brings up random websites) button like a weary mouse knowing there is no cheese but still clicking on the lever out of habit, not hope.

The phone rang. I could tell it was a telemarketer. But even in the grip of the blahs, I could not permit the degradation of engaging in a conversation about a sweet deal on a New York Times subscription or cable TV services or a new phone provider.

Then my best buddy Tom called. He asked me how I was doing. Like a bottle of cheap champagne left to chill in the freezer for too long, before I knew it, my cork popped. I blathered on about my blahs -- I lost my biggest client, I wanted a dog but Richard didn't, I'm supposed to start taking Prilosec, we have only a few more episodes of Battlestar Galactica to watch and then it's over, forever, I'm so far behind in Lost, I'm lost, I get hat hair really bad, blah..blah..blah...

Tom said, "Why don't you start a blah blog?"