Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gluckschmerz in Northern Michigan

So, here we are, at the cabin in northern Michigan where we spent a week in August last year, again enjoying perfect weather. The temperature is in the mid to high 70s; the sky is clear; the humidity is low, what could be more perfect? I'll tell you what could be more perfect. If the weather here were better than it is at home right now. For the last several weeks we have had typical central Illinois July weather. Temperatures in the high 90s, with humidity levels to match. The sweltering that makes farmers happy because the corn loves it.

So, I come in to the Pentwater library with my laptop this afternoon to catch up on emailing and internet news, and the first thing I do is check on the weather back home so I can feel sorry for the poor saps who are not on vacation in northern Michigan, only to discover the weather is just as nice there as it is here. Right now, the temperature back home is 80 degrees, the humidity is 44 percent and the skies are sunny.

There is a German word, "schadenfreude" which means to delight in another person's misfortune. I was all prepared to feel schadenfreude at the poor people back in Central Illinois this week; I was more than prepared for it, I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, there is no schadenfreude for me today, I'm feeling the anti-schadenfreude, the feeling of sorrow at other people's good fortune. Thanks to the internet, I found just the word, "gluckschmerz." I know, I know, I should be more mature and be happy for the weather fortunes of the good people back home, even if they didn't have to pay $4 a gallon for gas to enjoy their moderate temperatures and low humidity. Oh, well. They didn't get to see the sun set over Lake Michigan last night, and instead of the pine-scented breezes wafting through their houses, they're smelling the Kraft factory and the University's south farms. (I hope.)


Gnightgirl said...

Oh, Lord, it reeks of Kraft and South Farms in this berg, and how I wish I were in one of those quaint shops, buying a "Pentwater Hookers" fishing shirt. It sucks to be me, in Central, Illinois, this is for sure.

(loved the new words.)

Gnightgirl said...

Thought I was clever with the south farms note, but I see now that you already wrote that.

I really do love Pentwater, MI, though, and am green with envy.

Lydia said...

Heee! I once went on a date with a guy largely because he used schadenfreude in conversation. Such a great word - and now I have gluckschmerz to add to it!

Glad you're getting a fantastic vacation! If it's any consolation, it's been monsooning, hot and humid in Boston, so I've been Wishing I were there :D.