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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

Thanks, world, for indulging me in a little bit of boo-hoo sorrow for that last post. It really felt good to spew some depressing, Oprah-Winfreyesque word vomit, but I feel better now (isn't that post-puking feeling the BEST?!?). Like a toddler who falls down on cement, I've wiped my nose on the back of my hand, and now I'm just sitting here contentedly on the futon, with Tebow farting directly on my thigh (no joke).

Before I reveal the meaning of our new KuKd word, let me admit that I was a bit over ambitious when I first put out the whole "KuKd Word of the Week" concept.

Probably a post I'd typed after several glasses of chilled Beringer white zinfandel (that always brings out the best posts, by the way), only to realize with great horror how ridiculously many weeks there actually ARE in a year. It was sort of like those occasional whims we all get to paint the living room some bold color. You get all excited and drop fifty bucks at the hardware store on paint and supplies, and then - nine hours into your project, still dealing with all that masking tape and paint on the floor and trying to get right up to those edges of the trim - you're like, screw this. I'm going out for a cheeseburger. Anyway, the weekly-word project has now turned into a whenever-a-word-pops-into-my-head project. Ya feel me?

Without further adieu...this week's/month's/whatever's KuKd word is...drum roll please...


Instigator of angst. That is, a person who tries to drag you down to their own level of sadness/dejectedness/anger, possibly in a subconscious attempt to make themselves feel better. Otherwise known as a gloomy groupie, a joy blocker, depresstigagor, a sadness starter (angstigational, angstigationatory, angstigate, angstigationally).

A related anecdote, to put this word into context:

Just last week, I was sifting through some old e-mails. I came across an exchange of messages I'd had with one of my dear, hoard-worthy friends this past year, very shortly after she'd gotten knocked down through miscarriage. Her message to me went something like this:

"Monica, don't worry about me. This was really early and I'm doing OK. I'm sure there will be ups and downs over the next few weeks. But for now I'm just fine."

Now, here's the part that got to me, as I scrolled down and read how I had responded to her, certain it would be something perfect, because now - having been through the Ultimate Shitty Event myself, I can SO empathize:

"Even though you don't have a baby to show for it, you were a Mommy (an excellent one, I'm sure), eating and breathing and living for two, and you suffered a loss. :-( I'm so sorry."

There I was, being an ANGST-IGATOR!!! Noooooo! Like, the depressed goth chick in high school whose best friend is acting all happy all of a sudden, and so I clamor to remind her of how bad her life sucks. Or, what my brother refers to as a cock blocker. Don't get with that guy - men are all scum and you hate them, remember? No no, dear friend, you're really not fine. You were a mom, and now you're not. You suffered a loss, and you're still suffering, dammit! Don't deny it! Admit it! Go look in the mirror and say it to yourself twenty times: "I. Am. Not. Fine."

What was I thinking, putting her in the surely awkward position of responding to such a blatantly angstigatory pity party. I actually later called and apologized for saying something ridiculous, and she told something I apparently said once, but no longer remember: "If someone really loves and cares about you, it doesn't matter how stupid their actual words are."

Agreed: it WAS stupid.

Then there are the many times that I've been personally angstigated by other angstigators angstigating angst. Like the e-mail I got on the anniversary of Zachary's DIRTHday:

"This must be a really, really rough time for you. You must be sadder now than you usually are. If that's even POSSIBLE."

Um, actually, that day I was eating a bacon double cheeseburger at Red Mill, special sauce dripping down my forearms, probably talking to Kevin what new bar we should try that night. Still, I felt pressured to respond in a similarly angst-filled way, something like, "Yeahhhh, dude. Totally sucks balls."

So there it is, angstigator! Now everyone go and practice on your significant other ("you know, it really bugs you that our kitchen is so small, so let's just go ahead and drop thirty grand to do that remodel"). Or that infertility forum where you've been camping out lately ("Don't think for a minute that this next IVF will produce results. You know it won't!")


sharonvw said...

bwahahahahahahaha! I love it!
I've been an angstigator and I've also been on the receiving end of that at well.
Oh hell!

'Murgdan' said...

Hmmm. I don't know. You could probably classify me as a bit of a pessimistic optimist realist---and I suppose the 'realism' might make me a bit of an angstigator. For example, when the conversation about IVF becomes entirely too hope filled and positive for me, I always feel the need to end the discussion with "that is if it works, which lots of times it doesn't, and we could just be throwing our money away."

I think I only angstigate myself.

Kristen said...

This post makes me laugh!

As one of the guest stars of this post, I have to reiterate that what you said was still supportive -- I knew where you were coming from when you wrote that and it was your support that mattered. (By the way, since you didn't remember saying that thing about support being more important than actual words, I'm going to stop giving you credit for it and pretend it is my own from now on.) ;-)

Oh, and I'm sorry I angstigated on the anniversary of your loss. (Maybe you don't even remember was a voice mail rather than an email. PHEW! No evidence!) But regardless, I imposed the sadness I thought you'd be feeling and probably just annoyed you.

Monica LeMoine said...

SHAZ: - I love that you wrote "BWAHAHAHAHA!" Sounds like a vampire on speed.

MURGDAN: Hmmm, self-angstigation. Kind of like self-mutilation. Hadn't thought of that.

K: That's write, you did angstigate me on a few occasions. I feel better now that the angstigational field is leveled somewhat.

B said...

you crack me up (B here, formerly BLOWL). finally started a blog about my own KuKd experience and have used one of your vocab words --- googlinating (dont worry I gave you the credit for the word). keep up the good work, I love expanding my vocab!

BB said...

You have a real talent for making words, M. I think we have to start using and spreading the word "monicisms" like "bushisms." Of course, I don't mean to imply horrifying embarassment for our country in this new term, as the latter does. Rather, it should bring to mind a silly yet insightful word-maker. I dropped the "a" becuase it added one too many syllables to the word and wasn't as catchy.

Don't beat yourself up over being an angstigator every once in a while. Sometimes you just need to do it and that's ok!

Rebecca said...

Oh my god!!! I am the BIGGEST angstigator that ever existed right now!!!! I was just skype-messaging with a work friend and she said, "I am rooting for everyone" and I wrote back, "I'm not. Not anymore." ANGSTIGATOR!!!

And boy have I been self-angstigating lately; thanks to murgdan for that observation as I will definitely be thinking about it a lot over the next few weeks!!

Michelle said...

I have definitely been the giver and the receiver of this. Sometimes Im just thinking anstigating thoughts. :)

I nominated you for an award. Come to blog to check it out.

Monica LeMoine said...

B and BB - this is interesting. I wonder if there's a "BBB" out there somewhere. BBB...where arrrreee youuuuu???

Rebecca, you know, I've heard there's a group out there for people like you. Angstigators Anonymous.

Michelle: Why thank you, dahling! I'll go over and check that out right now. I hope it wasn't for stinkiest feet in the blogosphere.