Want to kill that tendency to drool? Just buy into a little ‘essenschmerz’

Weltschmerz is a nifty German word describing a certain world-weariness. You know, that overweening sensation of just being pissed off with everything that is happening around you. I like it. It works.

At one time there was a fear that the barbarians were at the gate. Well, they still are. But they have been joined by a legion of assholes. Any perusal of a newspaper will tell you that.

However, I am going to go a little more prosaic in the ‘schmerz’ department and say that in this household we’ve found ourselves suffering from essenschmerz. The word refers to a weariness with food.

I like dropping in references to foreign languages because it’s pretentious as hell, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Other people are pretentious and I believe it’s my turn. But, that’s not the point of this essay. This is the point:

Each morning the story is the same. “What do you want for dinner tonight?” “I dunno, what do you want?” “I dunno, that’s why I asked you. What’s in the freezer?” “You’ll have to check. You’ll probably find something.” “I hate rummaging in the freezer. My hands get cold.” “Aw, poor baby. I think you can handle it.”

And on and on it goes. Of course, we ultimately find something that’s tolerable and that’s what we end up having. The debacle is over until the next day.

The gist of these discussions leads us to feel guilty, what with half of the world starving and all, but essenschmerz is a kind of pervasive thing here, regardless. It’s silly, really. We’re both good cooks and we share culinary tasks. But what it comes down to is we’re both tired of food and the preparation of same.

This isn’t the same as what I call the Denny’s Syndrome. You know, that thing that befalls you when you’re on a vacation road-trip and by the third day the thought of one more fast-food-shit meal makes you want to barf. This is more of a just plain apathy about grub and its preparation.

Maybe it’s an age thing. Seems like most things are. You know, we’ve both been eating all our lives – including a lot of exceptionally fine meals – and it’s all gotten old.

“I can see,” Wendy said a while ago, “How they find those old people suffering from malnutrition because they’ve been subsisting on tea and toast.”

Mmm, thought I, going into a Homer Simpson drool, Tea and toast! That’s work.

“We just can’t go there,” she said. “We like to eat healthy and we’re going to damn well continue to do so!”

“Want spaghetti tonight?”


“Excited at the prospect?”

“No. But at least the sauce comes out of a jar and gives a boost to Newman’s kid camps.”

“See, from food weariness some goodness comes.”


10 responses to “Want to kill that tendency to drool? Just buy into a little ‘essenschmerz’

  1. I second that schmerz – sometimes cereal looks good and I don’t even like cereal…..

  2. I like to cook…but the sheer relief when The Men go off to work on the house and I can cook, or not, what I choose as I choose.
    It’s the routine of it all that gets me…..the lack of excitement…

  3. When just thinking about opening the fridge seems like too much work… Pizza? Hm. If I have dinner alone, there’s always air-popped popcorn with all the fixings…

  4. I’ve been suffering from that for ages. I find eating so tiresome. I wish I could just take a nutrition pill and be done with it. Part of it is our gas grill died and I can’t cook out and part of it is that it’s just so repetitious. Maybe I should start watching the cooking channel again for some inspiration. Ideally I would live next door to my favorite Mexican restaurant. How about ennui des aliments?

    • ‘Ennui des aliments’! Jazz would thoroughly approve. How did something that once so cherished become tiresome? But that’s what it is. Grilled stuff is good, usually. Even hotdogs.

  5. Like Geewits, I’d love for there to be a pill (shades of Soylent Green). And I’m not even the cook at our house…

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