My New Hat

24 May 2009

Kyle and I started day #2 of our three-day Memorial Day weekend at faire with the admission that we were tired and not really in the mood for yet another hot, rainy faire day.  Kyle said that he had had a conversation the day before (no doubt referring to dealing with a faire day in the muggy rain) wherein somebody exclaimed that they had misplaced their “give-a-shit.”  That made me chuckle.  Apparently, the colloquialisms continued around this circle of friends, with each member of the group chiming in with what they were lacking and one of them used the phrase “Joie de Vivre.” 

Now, just a couple of days ago, Kyle had uttered those words and asked me —as he often does about a word or phrase in French—what it meant. (I love the confidence he places in me, that I have somehow miraculously retained a tiny bit of my many years of French classes, despite the fact that these occasional questions from him are the only workout my memory gets on the subject!)  After asking him to repeat himself a few times, and dusting off the files in my brain marked “French vocabulary,” I came up with the meaning I remembered—-“joy of life” or “joy of living” and we talked about how needing to find one’s “joy of living” was in some ways akin to needing to find one’s “give a shit” or “motivation” or “caring.”  It certainly made sense to me in the context of the conversation he was describing.

Then, our conversation turned to the fact that once again, just days after learning a new phrase, he seemed to be hearing it over and over.  I told him “There’s a name for that.”  “Serendipity,” he offered.  And, I said, “Well, sort of, but that’s not what I mean.  “Serendipity” is less specific . . . it just refers to any good thing at the right time.”  I have now, also looked that up, and it is a little more specific that that, in actuality.  It is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.  And the related “synchronicity” actually refers to the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a supposedly meaningful manner. In order to count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.

But, I digress.  I told him I had run across a specific label for the phenomenon of learning something new, only to be confronted with it again and again, immediately thereafter. In fact, I’ve told him that before, but I’ve never been able to remember what it’s called.  Today was no exception and while I had to give up and feel foolish, he had to run to his booth at that point.  Since, I was still getting dressed,  I kissed him goodbye, and then sat down with Google.  And, after some searching, I found it again.  Not serendipitous, as I found exactly what I went searching to find!

It’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.  And because I am forgetful, Kyle will learn of this discovery of mine at the same time as all of our other readers.  I did not remember to tell him when I saw him next.  The article is well-written, enjoyable and even thought-provoking.  Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I experienced a resurgence in my “joie de vivre” today, because I have a new hat!  Our talented friend Kathel of Lionheart Hats came to me a couple of weeks ago with a new hat design and flattered me by wanting my suggestions and feedback.  We played with it, and talked about it, and she went away with a revised plan.  Yesterday, she showed up with the fruits of her labours . . . a handful of fabulous new hats, one of which she made in the colours I wear the most, with me in mind.  I handed her money without hesitation.  My photo shows it, and I happily wore it all day. (Kathel and I later joked about how bad business must be when you start making your product for specific people who haven’t requested it, and then hand deliver it to them, hoping they’ll want it badly enough to pay you!)