06 December 2005

companions for melancholy

If I am feeling down in the dumps in that pre-menstrual, oh-I’d-like-a-good-cry sorta way, I might cozy up with a phone call to my parents. Or I’ll make a peanut butter sandwich—my ultimate comfort food—and watch a movie about the Holocaust.

Tonight, I decided to make grilled cheese—another comforting choice, particularly if it is cut into triangles. And though I had a Holocaust movie on the ready, I decided I wouldn’t try to just trivialize my glumness by juxtaposing it with actual tragedy. I thought I’d try to lift my spirits with comedy.

Note: Do not use The Best of the Improv,circa 1989 to shake melancholy. It will inspire too much snarkiness that you will be compelled to share on your blog, and it will do nothing to massage your despondency.

Instead, you get to see a gheri-curled and sun-scorched Brad Garrett (the giant of
Everybody Loves Raymond) seek glory through imitating Rainman. Apparently, David Spade needed fame, SNL or at least a coke-addled, fat sidekick to be funny. If he was famous at the time, we could have forgiven his choice of jeans—a large Bugs Bunny plastered on the left thigh. At least Janeane Garafalo was somewhat funny, even though she was wearing culottes.

Sometimes you have to embrace the gloom, not fight it—especially not with outdated stand-up comedy. I don’t hanker to watch sad or depressing movies when I’m happy, and I don’t always want to give up a melancholy mood. There’s things to be learned from it.

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