Boredom: See also weariness, ennui, apathy, unconcern, restiveness, lethargy and so on and so forth. I always liked the German word Weltschmerz (world weariness). It somehow seems to capture the feeling and should be accompanied with a huge sigh.
Hey, this is getting kind of boring in itself. And BOREDOM is the topic of this screed. So here we go and I shall try to keep your interest. In my opinion boredom arises from two sources: 1) the subject is not that interesting by its nature or 2) excessive familiarity has bred contempt and a desire to be rid of the matter. I have also found that boredom with any situation can be thwarted by bringing in one or both of the following elements: humor or sex. Otherwise you are stuck with tedium.
I also harken to the case of the late actor George Sanders who, in his suicide note, attested that he offed himself because he was bored.
OK. What aspects of daily living are boring in their essence?
Grocery Shopping: I have an ongoing nightmare of being stuck with my wife in the yogurt section. Well, not so much a nightmare. It’s yogurt, for heaven’s sake. What’s to ponder incessantly? It’s yogurt and it’s disagreeable stuff, in my esteem. And it has to be in my esteem since I am writing this thing. I don’t even remember yogurt existing when I was a kid. I don’t think my mother bought any. She mainly bought gin, but that is an entirely other matter and I will cede that excessive volumes of gin are probably less healthy than excessive volumes of yogurt. Which is why all those old Balkan people who use the shit live to 200.
Almost as boring is the produce section. I mean, I eat my veggies but I don’t need to linger in those aisles. A carrot is a carrot. I like to conserve my energy for the meat, cookies and cake sections.
And the worst aspect of grocery shopping, especially with my dear wife, is price-checking. You’re buying good stuff. Why do you want to spoil it with finding out that this brand of canned corn is more expensive than another?
Some other things that can be excruciatingly boring:
Waiting for an airplane departure: You sit in that stifling lounge where you have been sitting for hours. You’ve read the magazines you bought to read on the plane. You’ve scoped out the people who will be on your flight, including the squalling babies. And the time goes on and on and on. Eventually the boarding call comes and you feel your little heart go pitta-pat. It will be soon, no?
First the call is for the Biz Class bastards who will be going to the plush seats and guzzling champagne and scarfing steaks. The the something or other club members, and then the aged and infirm, and then folks with kiddies, and a few other sub-categories that get to go on before you. And then they call for the steerage passengers (ie you) and thousands of people seemingly stand up and shuffle to the boarding spot. You hope for an upgrade. Upgrades never happen for the envious. And the process has been just as stressful as last time and you rue the fact you stopped drinking a few years earlier. Being blitzed would just make it so much easier.
Being stuck in a traffic jam: You are merrily cruising along on the open highway and then you no longer are. It’s all at a dead stop. Far-far up ahead you see flashing emergency vehicle lights. You know it isn’t going to move for ages. What can you do? Furthermore you realize that the coffee you had at Starbucks or Timmy’s is having its revenge and your urge to pee is the most dangerous it has ever been.
Church: I have visited many of the great cathedrals and even little parish churches of Europe and the UK and have rejoiced in their ecclesiastic antiquity. Wonderful. Just don’t plunk me in the place for a service or a sermon. I honestly cannot recall having been in such a situation without agonizing with boredom. Thank God for the odd hymn to break the tedium. Personally I think (especially after having seen and heard the wonderful Harlem Gospel performers a few years ago, that that is the sort of church that would ease my boredom “Black God rules!” as Bart Simpson once said.
Now, for fear of boring you, I shall end this treatise.