“Structural Dissatisfaction”

“Structural Dissatisfaction:  Returning to circumstances that once pleased you, having experienced a more thrilling or opulent way of life, and finding that you can no longer tolerate them”

(Egan pg. 81 “A Visit From the Goon Squad”).

Hmmmm. Sometimes this is so true.  These are such incidents that come to mind for me:

1.  After visiting Disneyland and viewing the fireworks complete with Tinkerbell flying over Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the fireworks at the county fair just don’t seem quite the same.

2.  Heated car seats.  I will be in a perpetual state of grumpiness all winter if I have to give up this luxury.

3.  Taking the bus.  It seemed as though I LIVED on the Grey Hound when I was at university.  Taking the bus was the only affordable way  I could come home for a visit.  I couldn’t afford a car or a plane ticket so the bus it was.  Hours and hours and hours I will never get back even though I tried to fill them with fulfilling tasks (and this was a time before iPods and laptops!).

4.  A good red wine.  Remember the time of “Baby Duck”?  Do they still even make “Baby Duck”?

5.  When I was a kid my mom used to by a generic, low-cost shampoo…in bulk.  One time I even remember her scrubbing my head with Lifebuoy soap on a rope.  I must have been around six years of age but I’ll always remember the smell of the Lifebuoy.  And I was the talk of the neighbourhood with the level of static that resulted.  No, now that I’m older  I appreciate an alternative to generic.

6.  Owning and downloading my own books.  Growing up county kids weren’t allowed to take books out of the public library.  This policy changed once I was in high school and since my hometown didn’t have a bookstore with an extensive selection of literature I was ever so grateful for the library.  Then…I started purchasing my own volumes. And I fell in love with the crisp new pages and that new book smell.  I love the fact I’m the first one to crack open the spine and read the words printed on that specific page.

…and I’m sure there are more examples to add to my list.  What about you?  What “thrill” or “opulence” have you experienced that has caused you to sigh heavily when returning to your reality?


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