Who says there’s no cure for the summertime blues? I mean, besides Eddie Cochran … and, okay, fine, Brian Setzer. But besides those guys? No one. Because there are plenty of cures for the summertime blues. Among my favorites is the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows—a compendium of invented words written by video editor John Koenig. Per his website: “Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.”
This aligns well with my extrapolation of Jacques Lacan’s thesis that the unconscious is “structured like a language.” Or, as I like to say, “If you name it, you can blame it.”
Ergo, I blame “midding” for my behavior at summertime get-togethers:
v. intr. feeling the tranquil pleasure of being near a gathering but not quite in it—hovering on the perimeter of a campfire, chatting outside a party while others dance inside, resting your head in the backseat of a car listening to your friends chatting up front—feeling blissfully invisible yet still fully included, safe in the knowledge that everyone is together and everyone is okay, with all the thrill of being there without the burden of having to be.
— The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
For many of us, the definition above is our MO at backyard barbecues and birthday parties. At my brother’s recent celebration, I found a shady recess in his backyard where I spent quality time quietly midding with some redwoods. Then, my similarly weird friends joined me to do the same, thus mooting my midding.
Sorrows of Summer
You’ve heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that often afflicts sufferers in winter—or anytime in Seattle? Perhaps the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will include SUN (Summer Unsociability Neurosis), for those who find sunshine and blue skies reasons to avoid people. As of yet, there is no cure, but there are often appetizers and beer, which can help. I even called my congressman and he said, quote: “I would like to help ya, son, but you’re too young to vote.” So, yeah, maybe there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.
Daedalus Howell is at DaedalusHowell.com.