I am (generally) a very chirpy, cheery kinda person. I am not easily deflated. I am also remarkably immune to people’s negative views about me. (Well, that’s not entirely true. I have cultivated immunity to people’s negative views about me, though I am still aware of it and sometimes, it hurts. Mostly, it makes me angry. Anger is a very useful emotion, tethered right.)
A minor event made me whimper a sad little oh inside my heart:
I printed off a comic to add to my pin-board.
When I went to the printer to collect my print-out – above – I showed it to my two workmates. Neither laughed, nor was a smile even raised. Rather, a perplexed look and then a, “Sorry, I know I should know what schadenfreude means, but I don’t.” Me? “Oh. Um it means the experience of being amused at the misfortunes of others.”
One bit of me is sad that they don’t know what schadenfreude is, because I thought they both would. One of them is rather partial to schadenfreude. Another bit of me feels a little bad that they might think I was being overly intellectual, showing off, flashing my superior knowledge in their faces.
At work, I am already viewed as The Intellectual One because I get excited about cases, I talk about books, I don’t watch TV and I know the names of Russian authors (a skill that helped our firm’s team win a quiz night). I had only read one of the Russian authors whose name I knew – it was just a process of elimination to get the answer right. Not Dostoevsky, I know all most of his works and have read some. Not Solzhenitsyn*, I keep buying his books second hand and then not reading them. Not Tolstoy, eveyone knows what he wrote and I have not managed to finish either of them (are there more than two?). Therefore, Turgenev. Simple. No, there are no other Russian authors.
* I ain’t so clever that I did not have to google ‘Gulag Archipelago’ to get (one of) the correct spelling(s) of the author’s name.
I wasn’t showing off. I honestly thought we would have a connection, but we didn’t. It made me ‘oh’ sadly inside, and ‘oh’ suprisedly outside. Maybe they experienced some schadenfreude to see my face drop at their non-amusement at the comic.
You’re amused, right?