Seasonal Affective Disorder Diorama

'Tis the season to be jolly!

“‘Tis the season to be jolly!”

Winter sweeps off the misty surface of Lake Michigan like a witch hanging ten on a devastating blank white tsunami.  She shrieks the veneer of cheer off all in her path, casting a shadow over all existence from which there is only brief relief.  Today, the sun came up at 7:11 AM and is estimated to flee in terror at 4:22 PM.   As I write this, it’s a “balmy 26 degrees”, to use the buck-up-buddy vernacular of the morning DJ.  I button my cardigan to my chin, crank the volume knob and drown out the dark, arctic dread within me with the Boston classic “More Than A Feeling”.  Didn’t the dude from Boston commit suicide not too long ago?  Freaked out, I kill the live-streaming dinosaur rock and turn on the space heater.

It’s Seasonal Affective Disorder time!   I’ve resisted formal diagnosis like a gazelle resists the jaws of the lion, but anyone who’s seen that Zoloft commercial could witness my annual transformation from spritely pain-in-the-ass to taciturn bundle of  sweaters and know the score.   Unconvinced that the pharmaceutical industry knows what’s best for my neurotransmitters and too poor to experiment with phototherapy, I’ve resorted to the following home remedies to help me evade the cold, deathly curse of the Winter Witch. 

  • “The Wizards of Winter” by Trans Siberian Orchestra: This is a Christmas comedy masterpiece.  You can keep your reindeer-trampled-redneck-granny anthem.  For me, it’s all about “Wizards” because, quite simply, it’s the Christmas song to end all Christmas songs.  It’s a heavy metal hammer of the gods, smashing the musical genre  like so many delicate antique ornaments, fragile icicles, and old-timey windup toys.  The strident power chords and swirling symphonics bring to mind a James Cameron shoot-em up, blow-em-to-hell holiday movie: “Christmas is back…and this time it’s personal!”  The only thing better than laughing at this song is laughing at this song in my car while synchronized LED lights dance a dumbass “Wizards” ballet around a suburban mini mansion.
  • The Heavyset Cheeseball: concealed within its toasted almond exoskeleton is a bacon-cream-cheese-mayonnaise-and-dill-weed bliss bomb, ten times more effective than any mood candy cranked out by Pfizer.  And aside from the risk of ass-fattening, there are no sexual side effects.
  • Sleep: sweet, merciful sleep.  In the winter, there’s much more nighttime than there is daytime.  I gladly take the hint.  When I sleep, I am warm.  As an added bonus: the North Wind can’t burrow under my blankets to  howl its death-scream through the emptiness within like it does during the day,  even when I’m sitting in my motherfucking cubicle.
  • The Interactive Snow Globe:  It’s old, it’s primitive, and I’m sure there are far more zippy interactive snow globes out there, but by Crom, this baby never lets me down.   The chipper little denizens of this holiday utopia go about their teensy routines with an irksome smugness usually demonstrated by those who make a point of stressing the “Christmas” in “Merry Christmas”.   Clearly, these little bastards need a shakeup and I’m just the disenfranchised dyke to give it to them.  I guess it goes without saying that as of late, I’ve been pretending that these tiny screaming people are gay haters for God.
  • Quality Time with Sylvia Plath:  Depression can and does actually kill people.  Nobody knows that better than Sylvia Plath, who returns from the great, unknowable beyond in this uber-creepy animated video to deliver a sort of “Cheer up or die” pep talk.   

The space heater sighs its warmth in a dejected sort of way, as if denied its higher calling as a hair dryer for a woman who doesn’t wear ski caps in the house.  I sort of feel sorry for it, as I do for anyone who has to put up with my surly ass these days.  But they’ll survive the experience and so will I.  The winter solstice is only a few days away, bringing with it longer days, fewer sweaters, and a renewal on my lease on life.  In the meantime, all I have to do is hold on and remember that one of the most important things that separates who survive Seasonal Affective Disorder from those who don’t is the conviction that it really isn’t more than a feeling.

6 Responses to “Seasonal Affective Disorder Diorama”

  1. Lesley Says:

    Sounds like we’re in the same place. I actually had a cheeseball last week. The next time you’re sitting on the couch eating a cheeseball, pick up the phone and call me woman!

  2. Kelly Says:

    Thanks for the plug!

    You really nailed the true spirit of the season here, Melinda. Just hilarious.

    I used to have a picture of the Zoloft Character ™ in my classroom. He was looking especially sad and had a rain cloud over him. I had the ZC saying “everything sucks” and then “except for art.”

    • hellraisin Says:

      I get all Doris Day about your blog: “I shout it from the highest hill/Even told the golden daffodil” about your food/funk/fun contribution to the blogosphere. In the words of militant oatmeal activist Wilford Brimley: “Right thing to do, tasty way to do it” (ad infinitum).

  3. Kelly Says:

    Although the ZC could certainly be a female or transgendered character as well.

  4. Sharonicus Says:

    Great post, Melinda. Last winter I found solace by reading “The Road” over break. This year I may dust off “The Bell Jar.” Oh, and “Bad Santa” is always heartwarmingly vile.

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