The Sweet Ennui

Back in the 70's and 80's, when I was growing up my mother and my grandmother both watched soap operas. (Their "stories".) As a prepubescent teen these shows seemed so glamourous and exciting and decadent to me -- Beautiful people doing bad things! Sex on every free surface of the house! Evil twins! Murder plots galore! And all in the middle of the school day? Epic greatness. As I got older I started to enjoy soaps for an entirely different reason -- comedic gold. I loved how these people all walked around in their own homes fully dressed to the nines, drinking mystery liquor from lead crystal decanters and fancy schmancy highball glasses. I reveled in how they would say ridiculous things out loud that you would never say out loud in a million, zillion years without being committed or slapped in the face (which also sometimes happened, tee hee!). I waited with baited breath for them to replace an actor mid-episode with an ominous voiceover right before their first line. It was unapologetic overly dramatic drivel and I gleefully, happily embraced it for what it was-- pure escapism. It's the very same reason that we all scour the internet now for the juiciest bits of celebrity gossip,  hold our collective breath waiting for a royal baby we don't really give a crap about to be born, and openly revile Miley Cyrus for acting like a classless (always nude) buffoon in the name of shameless self-promotion. It's also part of the reason we love to hate the Twilight books, made a household name out of Fifty Shades of Grey, and care more about what happens to Walter White than our actual real-live friends (who are infinitely less cool, let's be honest). We exist fully in this perfect little cocoon of ennui. Things are happening out there in the world, we know... bad, bad, horrible things (I'm talking to you Syria!), but we're just removed enough to care more about what potential good thing may be out there waiting for us around the corner, something impressive and life-altering enough to snap us out of the apathetic everyday malaise. We are not unhappy per se, but we certainly aren't jumping out of bed every morning when the alarm goes off with a shit eaten grin on our face ready to conquer the world. We aren't starving but we're still hungry. We ain't broke but we certainly ain't entirely fixed either. We have it just good enough to be desensitized to our luxuries, but not so great that we can choose not to... well...drudge. Ennui; the great equalizer of the modern middle class. The reason, I think, that a few soap operas are still clinging to life to this day. It is also exactly the reason that I write what I write. I never aspired to be Shakespeare, or Hemingway, or even a Pulitzer Prize Winner (although I would never kick the Pulitzer out of bed, if you know what I mean.). I don't aim to change the world with my thought provoking, cutting-edge political views or sad tales of woe. I just want to help people get out of their own heads and forget about reality for a bit, because that's what I want for myself. I am here too. She is me. And a little escape from the sweet, sweet ennui would be very nice right about now.