Doomsplaining, bleh

30 January 2010

Last night I had a Dark Night of the Soul about all the work I have to do: currently so much of it that I am not able to do things that are also work but do not make money quite so immediately, like, you know: writing; reading other people’s books (which is part of my job as well as my pleasure); reading other people’s screenplays (ditto); watching a DVD without also watching the clock. I ordered pizza last night because I couldn’t face cooking a whole meal; in fact, I entertained brief notions of dumping all our skillets into the ravine and forcing my sweetie to live on Thai takeout and baked potatoes and tuna sandwiches forever and ever and ever, or at least until our personal Fairy Godmother Chef comes along.

But all the skillets would be washed out to sea and… well, rust and leach heavy metals and poison the little baby fishes or something, so I guess that plan is out. I am not that self-absorbed quite yet, although one of the effects of fatigue is that I become more persuaded of my own Special Snowflakeness with every passing minute. Because of course no one else in the whole big world/long spread of human history has ever had too much to do before! No one’s evah been as tired as me! Me me me me me…

I am really boring. I think I will stop now and suck it up and do some work and bring some structure to my life that allows me to Get Things Done as opposed to Freak the Fuck Out and Lie Around All Night Feeling Special and Doomed.

For reasons I don’t quite understand, this post by Justine Larbalestier about mansplaining and whitesplaining really cheered me up. It was actually reading this post that made me get over myself today. I have no idea why, but thanks, Justine. I think I will stop doomsplaining to myself and instead recall my extreme great good fortune in a) having work, b) being happy, c) being ALIVE.

And now I am going to go make another cup of tea and get on with it. I wish all you other busy, alive people a very good day. You are truly special, you know, in the non-Snowflake way, and I look forward to being back among you.


14 Responses to “Doomsplaining, bleh”

  1. Jennifer on January 30th, 2010 9:52 pm

    Hey, I I didn’t know the word for it, but I’m familiar with this doomsplaining thing. (I also had my fill of mansplaining today.)

    You are not boring.

    I’m thinking that sleep (someday when I get enough) will improve my outlook dramatically. And until that happens, I’m just writing down all the good things that are happening and carrying the list around in my pocket to remind myself of what’s real.

    And yum. Pizza and/or Thai takeout. (Sounds good to me : ) )

  2. Alexa on January 31st, 2010 3:25 am

    Cup of tea is a brilliant idea. :)

    But I’m with you there. This dark night of the soul business has taken up my entire month. It’s funny how new calendar decade does not automatically bring visionary focus and foresight. It’s still just an ordinary chilly January day in the world of hypercapitalism. And yet things have got to change, although I don’t yet know how or will I be able to make wise choices. Question of everyday work becomes a question of legacy, of art, of life, of happiness, of ethics, of war. In fact I think this tiredness is somehow new decade specific.

    Still, these are exciting times, and your good fortune will support you in getting things done. Slowing down and saturating your senses seems like a good idea. My plan would be go to a park and touch as many surfaces as you can find, then wrap your fingers around a warm teacup and hug your sweetie.

    Big hug from across the world. x

  3. Mark Tiedemann on January 31st, 2010 4:42 am

    Getting it out of one’s system is good, though. I occasionally do “pretend” interviews with myself in which the “interviewer” asks the truly fatuous question, “So, what happened to your career?” I get to go on at length about, you know, cosmic injustice and so forth, and sometimes I feel really good afterward. I just have to remember never ever to give these answers to a real live human being. : )

  4. Zack on January 31st, 2010 2:50 pm

    Power naps can really help. Will yourself to get as deep as you can, even if you only have twenty minutes. The brain can be trained to reach REM sleep within five minutes. Take five minutes to get down to REM, get restorative sleep for ten minutes, then gradually wake up for the last five minutes. It works wonders and is well worth the effort it takes to learn.

    Driving and singing, even just down to the convenience store/whatever and back, can be rejuvenating too.

    And if you already knew that, forgive me for mansplaining : P

  5. Mary on January 31st, 2010 5:47 pm

    Not to tell you about your own terminology, but it seems to me that there’s a bit of a difference between throwing yourself a pity party by proclaiming (or acting out) that “no one in the spread of human history has ever been as doomed as me”…and the totally irrational feeling of “I’m doomed, my life is over, the world will end in five minutes”. One’s a way of appropriating attention, like mansplaining and whitesplaining…the other is mistaken in its conclusions but genuinely felt and really no fun at all. The latter often take the form of irrational 3 am night terrors, which I rescue myself from by remembering a line from Desert Hearts:

    “Everything’s falling apart!”

    “It’s the middle of the night, it’ll be together by morning.”

  6. Kelley on January 31st, 2010 10:12 pm

    @ All, thank you for being so sweet and kind.

    @Zack, hah. I know about the singing, but that does not make you a mansplainer (grin). For whatever reason, I am remarkably unsuccessful at napping.

    @ Mary, no, you are right. It’s a different feeling, but the thing is, I’m tired of feeling that I am helpless at 3 AM, and this post is part of my way of finding the path to… well, maybe to a good night’s sleep. I will remember the Desert Hearts line.

    @ Mark, it’s okay, we are all just pixels here and you can tell us whatever you like (grin). That’s part of the deal.

    @ Alexa, thank you, and hugs to you too.

    @ Jennifer, Thai food is easier to share when you’re in the same zip code (grin). Drive safely.

    I am now (grinning) because I am tired of all the smiley faces screwing up my formatting. Good lord, the details…

  7. Mary on February 1st, 2010 7:15 am

    Re: the 3 am night terrors, I’ve found that acupressure sleep bands ( are surprisingly helpful, along with an anti-insomnia regimen. I don’t think that night terrors are related to insomnia…well, hell, what do I know, I’m basically talking out my butt here, I don’t have insomnia…but my own experience is that if something else is disrupting sleep, that provides a chink in the armor for the night terrors, which then terrorize you far out of proportion to their actual seriousness. Warm milk power!

  8. Alexa on February 1st, 2010 11:58 am

    “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

    said Oscar Wilde. Not to feed the Special Snowflakeness in everyone, but perhaps as an alternative to the Desert Hearts line.

  9. Zack on February 1st, 2010 7:35 pm

    Glad I’m not guilty – but it begs the question, does one have to be genetically male to mansplain or is mansplaining subject to genderbending?

  10. Sly on February 2nd, 2010 12:08 am

    I don’t really have any advice for not being able to sleep, it’s something that’s haunted me since my first foray into working graveyard and somehow carried on in my life so that I don’t even hardly notice when night turns into morning.

    I sleep better in the daytime when the world is about making noise so it’s not always sleep I get. I’ve learned to live without a lot of sleep, though when I do sleep for several hours in a row I wake feeling as though I missed a bus or a trains departure that I was supposed to be on.

    Maybe it’s the lack of other living things where I live that I don’t live a normal routine shrug isn’t it all what we’re used to or if you’re not used to these forays into the night maybe it’s aging, your body changes as it ages. The needs change, you may find yourself saying things like I wish I could have been like this when I was younger and could enjoy it more.

    Napping comes later, much later. I was never a good napper, no wait I couldn’t nap at all, too busy, busy, busy. Now napping is essential made easy by the nodding out thing. But then I’m no one to go by, I keep very irregular hours.

    Meant to tickle not offend…I do truly hope you find a way to something that works for you.


  11. Sly on February 2nd, 2010 6:56 pm

    I’m waiting for an answer to your question Zack, I’m totally mystified by the whole splaining thang whatever the prefix. Much Love to all, going to watch a movie now.


  12. Zack on February 5th, 2010 7:40 pm

    This is hilarious (I think) if you like cats and need a laugh-break. . .

  13. Kelley on February 5th, 2010 9:31 pm

    @ Zack: …does one have to be genetically male to mansplain or is mansplaining subject to genderbending?

    I have been thinking about this, and I think it’s not about biology, it’s about actual gendering. Boy biology is certainly different to girl biology, and biological men will respond in some ways differently to the world based on brain chemistry and hormones and exposed testicles and whatnot. But I don’t think mansplaining is a biological function. I think it’s socialization and gender, and, like whitesplaining, a particular expression of privilege. Which is why I don’t think it works in reverse.

    PS — I do love cats so much. Ours died about 18 months ago and I am still devastated. Thanks for the link. I must say that our Zack (his name) had a great life and was very rarely able to complain of no treats (*sends love to kitty Zack through the spirit internet*).

  14. Zack on February 6th, 2010 4:16 pm

    That makes sense on the mansplaining.

    I’m so sorry about your Zack. I don’t know what we’d do if we lost any of ours. We have a 10 yr old tomcat, Orion, a 1.5 yr old female cat, Bliss, and an 11 month old female kitten, Sara. The tomcat we rescued – he was a stray in the neighborhood and the teenagers liked to pee on him (what is it with guys and peeing on things? I’ve never understood it), put Vick’s vapor rub on his nose, and throw him in the dumpster. Charming children, they were. The girls came to us via the rescue clinic – Bliss was found in a dumpster when she was 5 wks old and Sara was abandoned in the clinic lobby when she was 5 wks old. We adopted Bliss because she acts feral around strangers (read as: rushes them and attacks, and for some reason PetSmart would not take her). We adopted Sara because Bliss needed a playmate — Orion was not amused at Bliss’s attempts to play with him. He’s far too dignified, y’know — except that he plays with both of them now when he thinks no one is looking : P.