A friend told me about the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The author has come up with names for those obscure types of sadness that we all experience at some time, where a simple word like “sad” just doesn’t cut it.
I really enjoyed reading it and identified with most of them, but I like the idea of something similar for those nameless positive feelings. Often, they’re so bittersweet that “happy” isn’t right. Here’s a few that I thought of. If you have any, please let us know and we’ll add them to the list.
n. The painful, but nonetheless welcome, cramping of the abdominal muscles following a lengthy session of hearty laughter. Often experienced after spending time with friends, but can also be induced by a good night in front of the TV.
n. The moment of recognition when someone perfectly reproduces a look or mannerism of a loved-one who has died. The realisation that, while it’s a cliche, they really do live on through us.
n. The feeling of putting on brand new socks straight from the packet. Closely associated with the pleasure of newly-washed sheets. But not with newly- bought sheets. They smell weird.
n. The slight loss of appetite when a recipe turns out so well that it seems a shame to spoil it by eating it. Thank goodness for instagram – grab that camera and tuck in.
n. The feeling of connectedness when you confess your darkest innermost thought and discover that other people feel the same. “You mean, you’ve imagined strangers suffering accidents so you can show off your first-aid skills too?”
n. The palpable, slight anxiety of feeling the bass of loud music travel up through your feet straight to your heart. Particularly common while queuing for fairground rides and waiting outside night clubs.
n. The realisation that thoughts and feelings that once overwhelmed you no longer have any power. In fact, some of them seem quite funny from a distance.