The world is a layered place. By age 32, I think I’ve come to terms with that.
It’s mostly good. If things were too simple, they’d get boring. I’m a total lover of multi-faceted, complex things, but I also really dig single use utensils and niche words. We all contain multitudes, right? One of my favourite things about the English language is just how many words there are, while simultaneously, I appreciate other languages’ ability to craft meaningful but convoluted signifiers of an experience. Schadenfreude being a prime example. What I’m proposing, is that English needs more evocative and specific words to really level up. Without further adieu, valid elements of the human condition that could do with their own monikers:
- The simultaneous tension and excitement of sharing media that resonates deeply with you, with someone you care about. You know, like watching a film that’s always meant something to you with a prospective partner. What if they hate it? What if you realise in retrospect that it’s super flawed and hasn’t aged well? What does that reflexively say about you? Will they feel differently about you if they don’t like it?
- The joint relief and concern when nobody takes the seat next to you on transit. Hey, it’s awesome that you don’t have to share space. It’s way more relaxing that way. At the same time, is it because you look weird? Or unapproachable? Do you have a gross habit or smell you haven’t yet noticed?
- When you desperately, desperately wanna get messy and leave the house on a Friday night, but there’s nothing happening that fits your desires.
- When you have a free night with nothing to do, but you don’t wanna dip into your rainy day activities backlog in case you won’t have any left the next time you have a night with nothing to do.
- When something during sex sends you over the edge, but you’re not ready to reverse engineer why, because you’re afraid of going down a weeeeird rabbit hole.
- When you’re given a gift you don’t want from someone with good intentions, and you’re trying to work out how long you need to hold onto it before you can throw it out.
- When something tastes odd, but you can’t stop yourself from eating more.
- When you realise that what you’re currently saying won’t land well, but you can’t do the mental gymnastics in time to change your sentence, so you just say it anyway.
- When you can’t stop listening to a certain song on repeat, then one day you just don’t like it anymore.
- When you’re dreading doing something, then it turns out better than you’d expected and after it’s over you’re still waiting for the axe to drop.
- When an actor you despise is great in a film and you don’t know how to process it.
- When you want something to be better than it is, so you create internal reasons why it was, even though deep down you know it wasn’t.
- When you spend hours trying to remember something on principle, when you know you could look it up on the internet and figure it out in a matter of minutes.
- When you stalk your exes online for reassurance that they’re doing well.
- When you’re on a first date with someone you know from online, and you feel like you have to ask questions you already know the answer to because it would feel weird admitting that you’ve both stalked each other’s profiles.
- When you connected deeply with someone at a party and talked for hours, but forgot to ask each other’s names.
Hell, I’d settle for an adequate way to describe a partner’s ex who you’re both still very close with.