Schadenfreude: The Backyard Edition

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.

What?

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?

Probably.

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.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
8 comments
  1. […] in a Starbucks by the Golden Gate bridge on a crystal clear, cold day in San Francisco while my next door neighbor, Monica, attends a physical therapy appointment for her partial knee replacement. I’m here […]

  2. […] extremely excited to report that my yard isn’t the heinous mess I thought it […]

  3. ps: ‘Schadenfreude’ is actually my second favorite German word In.The.World! (my favorite one being ‘Schmetterling’, which means ‘butterfly’, mainly because I think it’s such a horrible sounding word for such a lovely animal… silly Germans 😉 How’s the rest of your German? Did you learn any while you were there?

    1. Here’s my German… I wanted to put this on the back of my car while I was there, but I never got around to it:

      Entschuldigung. Ich bin Amerikaner.

  4. No kids who’ve mastered the art of lawn mowing yet? That’s so on our ‘to do list’ for this year! 🙂 (actually I kinda like mowing the lawn, don’t think I have as much of it as you do, but still, it soothes&comforts me… I feel like this is the point where I should say ‘Hi everyone, my name is Carina and I like mowing the lawn, and then you all reply ‘Hi Carina’ 🙂 hahahaha )

    1. No grown-ups who’ve mastered the art of lawn mowing yet, either. 😉

      Or weeding.

      Or pruning.

      Or… I’ve got nothing. That’s all I know about what happens in a yard. Which probably pinpoints the problem, yes?

  5. You are one of the best highlights of my day. I’m sitting here cackling and my daughter runs into the room to ask what is so funny. I tell her, “Schadenfreude” to which she gives me an inquisitive look then goes back to her own business.

    I think you and I have pretty much the same lawn except yours is greener than mine, and much much bigger. So yeah, I guess I’m a bit jealous. But we don’t have the yippy dog. So I’m one up on you there.

    TGIF!

    1. Holly, I know that look your daughter gave you! I get the same one. Poor kids with their crazy mamas. I feel for them. I do.

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