Octopus' Garden

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Is the word of the day on Dictionary.com.

Chagrin \shuh-GRIN\, noun: Acute vexation, annoyance, or embarrassment, arising from disappointment or failure.

Just this week I learned that one of my list poems, "Things That Cause a Feeling of Chagrin," will be appearing in Cream City Review's Memoir Issue. It is an exceedingly long list.

My friend P., also a poet, says that "chagrin" is one of her favorite words to say aloud. It is a good saying-out-loud word, indeed. That disarmingly chiffon-like soft "sha" at the start, followed by the hard "gr" in the middle snuffing out the silky "sha" somwhere back by the molars. I like how the "grin" at the end also introduces a subtle top note of either rueful humor or rueful bravado.

Notes for a hypothetical sequel . . . Chagrin II or perhaps Son of Chagrin!:

Spending an entire week recasting a short story in present tense (because one can then simply sidestep the nerve-jangling aggravation that is the bete noir of the plus parfait) and painstakingly recrafting the sentences to best accommodate the tense shift, only to, at the end of the week, realize that it was all a horrible mistake, then having to revert back to past tense, but since one is now wedded to some of the rewording/recrafting, one can't simply go back to the old draft, but now must repeat the entire process.

Realizing in retrospect that one might have behaved more rudely than a given situation actually warranted.

Current State of Domestic Sluttiness = Chagrin


Completely forgetting a very dear friend's birthday.

Message left on friend's cell phone at 2:00 a.m. earlier in the week: Do I sound really drunk to you? I forgot to eat dinner and I'm definitely drunker than I'd planned. So here's the thing. I'm going to need you to call me back tomorrow and tell me exactly how drunk I sound, okay? That way, I'll know precisely how to calibrate the settings on the Chagrin-o-Meter.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 1:58 PM


Ah, but have you ever been to Chagrin Falls, OH?
Anonymous Jill Smith, at 8:50 AM  
Jill, having lived in Ohio for four years, I have, on occasion, been near Chagrin Falls, but always thought it wise not to actually go there, because I might have had to move there and take up permanent residence.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 11:18 AM  
Well, I don't think residence is mandatory for those feeling vexation and mortification.

Though I have to say, blogger's latest piece of artillery against comment spam for those of us not wanting a blogger account is causing some vexation. If only they would make like Typepad and have a permanent login!
Anonymous Jill Smith, at 3:22 PM  
I've felt as if I've taken a long-lease on a place in Chagrin City just lately...
Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones, at 4:47 PM  
I spent a few years as a tyke in Chagrin Falls. The photos testify that I was in kindergarten with Bill "Calvin & Hobbes" Watterson, but I don't remember him.

I subsequently put chagrin behind me permanently. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do that with fuckwittage. And *definitely* not with domestic sluttiness.
Blogger meg, at 8:49 PM  

Add a comment