Schadenfreude: The Backyard Edition

May 5 2011

schadenfreude – (noun) pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune

Every now and then, I like to share something “as is.”  Something that hasn’t been prettied up for you.  Something that keeps me honest.


I do that every day?

“STOP, Beth!” the crowd cries.  “We can’t take any more honesty from you!”

Nevertheless, I press on.  Because I have bad judgment, and I find this freeing.

Like the time I didn’t wear my undies to school, and I thought the perfect compliment to no undies was a dress, and it was “Flip-up Friday.”  Stupid elementary school boys and their stupid elementary school games.  And also, stupid monkey bars for being upside down.

See?  Bad judgment.  Freeing.  And yet, I just won’t learn.  (Which should answer your question from 30 years ago, Mom.  The answer’s never.  Sorry about that.)

All of which leads me, in a very roundabout fashion, to a little backyard Schadenfreude for ya.

I’ve titled this photo “My Perfectly Manicured Lawn.”

Isn’t that gorgeous?

Happy Schadenfreude to you.
Happy Schadenfreude to you.
Happy Schadenfreude, dear reader.
Happy Schadenfreude to you!


Here’s another, in case you want the long view.

Aw!  It’s so pretty.  Don’t you want to lay down in it and take a nice, long nap?  Especially with my adorable little dog gamboling along the fence line.

To clarify, that’s the same adorable dog who drags our garbage out to this very yard for the purpose of shredding and eating it.  And, by garbage, I mean even my bathroom garbage with its various potty-scented treats.

Mmmm.   I can see why Chip can’t resist.

Um, and by “gamboling along the fence line,” I mean he’s running rabidly and barking at people walking by; people who are trying desperately to mind their own business and tune out the yapper.

“You’re welcome, neighbors.  Just another friendly service we offer.  Yard inferiority and yappy dog.”

In other yard news, four of my kids are digging for lava in my flower bed.  Because they learned on TV, the Source of All Knowledge, that lava is buried deep within the earth, and they think that’s cool.

Since, by “flower bed,” I mean rock, clay, and three-year-old barkdust, I’m OK with the excavation.

My older kids are especially enjoying Lava Archeology, since it gives them the opportunity to freak out the 4-year-olds by saying, “HERE IT COMES!  THE LAVA IS GOING TO EAT YOU ALIIIIVVVVE!”

And my big kids laugh maniacally as my preschoolers trip over the yard garbage in their haste to run inside.

Which means I get to hug, kiss and snugly comfort them.  So, does not stopping my big kids from the Great Lava Scare make me complicit?  Or imply I have bad judgment?


I’ll think about that right after I’m done tidying up the yard.

In the meantime, dig on, kids.  Dig on.


P.S.  If you’re looking for more Schadenfreude, like, oh, say, something to explain your car’s signature odor, or your lady facial hair, or even just Mondays, I’ve made you a big, huge Schadenfreude tag under “Things I’m Jabbering About” to your right.  Because if you feel better about your life because of my insanity, then my insanity has meaning.  And I thank you for that.  Sincerely.