Piss off...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Best Part of Schadenfreude

I’ve always been all about schadenfreude. Or so I thought. The problem is that while I’m always happy to see someone get what they truly deserve – think of a swell in an Escalade passing on a double line, swerving back over and getting stuck behind a sewer truck – I can’t really wish true ill on anyone, even that swell in the Escalade.

But I’m still an asshole, and taking part in a suffering collective has always defined me. Gallows humor, and all. My rogue gallery of degenerates and I have always found that the cure for pain is embracing it, talking about it and laughing it out. You’re on Zoloft? Well I’m on Zoloft AND Lexapro! We’re all FUCKED! This camaraderie has been incredibly healing over the years, in a Ramones-ian “One of Us” kind of way.

BUT I’m really all about trying to be good, doing good deeds and taking care of people. I’m never happier than I am cooking for company, having a house full of laughs, giving a good present…definitely no schadenfreude there.

So yeah…schadenfreude light?

No, Benevolent Schadenfreude. Yes, a seeming contradiction. But as the phrase popped into my head while meeting with my substance abuse counselor tonight, it became official articulation of the guiding principle of my life. Doing good, but enjoying it greatly when someone not doing good trips up and falls. Snark and bitchery, but with affection in the spirit of solidarity and commiseration.

It’s not much in the grand scheme, but it’s great to finally have a phrase to describe my ethos and life mission. It all makes sense now…


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