Skip to main content

Point of View: Schadenfreude’s Losing Its Charm

Wed, 07/12/2023 - 18:16

It’s hard to revel in schadenfreude anymore when one’s closest relatives live within the places, such as drought-ridden California, sizzlingly-hot Florida, and smoke-clogged Ohio, that we’re glad we don’t live in.

Inevitably, something awful lies in wait here — we can’t dodge climatic paroxysms forever. Mary’s already tracking hurricanes, which, of course, usually bounce off North Carolina, but, as we know, it only takes one. There really is no place to hide, no place in which to say, with a certain degree of self-satisfaction, how lucky we are to live where we do. The traffic, of course, is insufferable — even more insufferable, everybody’s been saying, than ever. But if that’s the worst to befall us, I’ll take it. (I still find, by the way, that other drivers remain cordial when it comes to letting me join the cortege.)

Julie Ratner’s always said that on a Sunday morning in August you can zip from East Hampton to Southampton Hospital for Ellen’s Run, and I found that still to be true this past Sunday on my way, at 7 a.m., to the Firecracker 8K at Southampton’s Lake Agawam. With Route 27 practically to myself — I’d allowed more than an hour to get there — I was at the County Road 39 intersection in 20 minutes!

Yet later that day, we couldn’t find a parking space untaken in Sag Harbor, where we’d intended to see a movie. And so, having achieved enough catharsis for the day, we turned around and headed home.

I would simply stay at home and cultivate my garden were it not for the ticks, which, I learned this week, leap — a feat that in human terms, if I recall, is the equivalent of jumping three or four stairs.

Then to read that because of the constant draw-down of the Earth’s water, the planet now wobbles through space like a misthrown Frisbee. And don’t mention giant black holes, which, as you know, suck. The universe doesn’t seem so tidy anymore. Complaining of the traffic here seems almost pedestrian in comparison.

Thank you for reading . . . 
...Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.