Competition: Give me your tips on how to be utterly and completely miserable and win a prize!

Today is officially the most depressing day of the year – you probably haven’t noticed, because as far as all of us who don’t have birthdays in January are concerned, the entire month is packed with a grim succession of unrelentingly depressing, bleak days during which our only entertainment is limited to wringing out our shirts when they become overly-sodden with bitter tears.

I have long thought that there is a compelling argument for us all to go into hibernation on January 1 and not come out until Pancake Day. And, incidentally, that Pancake Day should be moved to June.

I see no way that today can be my most depressing day of the year – for a start, I’m not at work, secondly I’m not planning to leave the house all day, thirdly I just found £5 in a coat I haven’t worn for months. In fact the most depressing thing about today might well be the realisation that my worst day of the year is yet to come.

It might be tomorrow. It might be the next day. Considering my company is downsizing in March, it might be backdated until Spring.

If only misery could be scheduled into your diary for when you’ve got enough spare time to wallow in self-pity, rather than it biting you on the arse when you’ve got a million and one other things to do. Just what is our preoccupation with being happy all the time, anyway? Surely one cannot truly appreciate the sun without having experienced the rain?

With this cheery, positive thought in mind, I’m thinking of planning a truly terrible day so that when genuinely miserable things do happen, they’ll seem like a walk in the park by comparison.

If you’re keen to follow suit (and why wouldn’t you be? Who doesn’t enjoy a hell of their own making? What do you mean you didn’t spend half your teenage years in a darkened bedroom listening to The Cure and writing poetry?) I’ve compiled a handy, cut-out-and-keep fast-track guide to guaranteed desolation. I know: I spoil you lot.

1) Go into a mobile phone shop and ask for something really simple, like a mobile phone. Set the timer on your watch and observe as an hour of your life drains away while a teenager called Glenn drones on about contracts, talk-time, ‘free’ text messages which you pay through the nose for and then, inexplicably, gives you £15 of your own money back as ‘cashback’ when he could have just deducted £15 off the bill in the first place. Leave with a phone which cost you three times more than you intended to pay.

2) Take your children shopping to the supermarket. Enter into as many pointless rows about what you will and won’t buy as possible.
Try and include the phrase: “I don’t care what (insert name of child’s friend) x’s mother lets them eat” regularly. Leave in a cloud of shame as your offspring sob pitifully – and loudly – at the lack of Dairylea Lunchables and/or 2ft Lindt chocolate Easter bunnies in your trolley.

3) Decide that today is the day that you will get on top of your finances and sort out all that paperwork you’ve been avoiding for months. Read through all your old bank statements, circling all the purchases you made which were an utter waste of money and which brought you only spiritual hollowness and financial penury. Realise that you have spent £514 at Thresher in six weeks. Realise that your car insurance direct debit has mysteriously disappeared and that you have been driving illegally for the past nine months. Realise that your financial future involves queuing up at soup kitchens and carrying your bed in an Asda carrier bag. Spill tea over several vital documents. Go back to Thresher.

4) Clean the oven. Make sure you start less than 30 minutes before you have to go out and that you wear something white.

5) Try and get a cat in a cat basket. You may want to pick your day to be truly miserable on the basis of when you next need to take your cat to the vet. If you don’t have a cat, borrow the least friendly one you can find. For full effect, ensure that you forget to lock the cat flap and that you are wearing something flimsy and sleeveless as you attempt to force a formidably large cat into a formidably small basket.

6) Google all the hobbies, pastimes and vices which make your life worth living and realise that everything you do is killing you, in a really horrific way. Do not allow yourself the luxury of marvelling that you’ve made it to your grand old age without succumbing to heart disease/cancer or a whole host of stress-related illnesses – they’re in the post.

All together now, stop being so bloody chirpy and join me in a mission to reclaim misery for ourselves. And there’s a prize* for whoever comes up with their own top tips for being utterly desolate – put the meths down, wipe away the tears and leave me your comments.

* Terms and conditions apply and will be made up on the spot by me when I find a winner.


11 Responses to “Competition: Give me your tips on how to be utterly and completely miserable and win a prize!”

  1. 1 brucehood
    January 19, 2009 at 9:57 am

    You utterly brighten up my day with your wit and humour!

    And sod BBC Breakfast presenters…they’re the ones that make me miserable with their fake personalities or worse real personalities…. sod them anyway


    • 2 womaninblack
      January 19, 2009 at 10:49 am

      Why thank you Bruce, although technically by making me more cheerful you have FAILED.
      And as for BBC Breakfast presenters, yes – let’s include those smarmy gits. The interview with Jamie Oliver this morning couldn’t have been any more fawning if they’d fallen to the ground and started licking his old-school trainers while presenting their rumps tattooed with I Heart Jamie to the great British public. And I hate it when they pretend to have watched every film or TV show/read every book of every guest that arrives on the sofa. If they did, they’d never sleep. God, I hope they do and they do actually NEVER SLEEP.

  2. 3 Thomas
    January 19, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Here are two additions to make your day even more miserable:

    – Google your old ex-girlfriends, find out they’re leading far more interesting lives than you are, sob.

    – Go to trapland.com (nsfw), do the test, find out you can’t even see the difference between men and women, then question your own sexual orientation.

    As for me… I suppose I’m the only person in the world who actually enjoys January. It’s a great month for workaholics 🙂

    • 4 womaninblack
      January 19, 2009 at 10:53 am

      Ah, Inspector Google I had forsaken thee. Thanks for these, Thomas, I had forgotten the horror of discovering your ex is really, really happy.

      Every bloke I dump goes on to be 100 times more successful than they were when I had to support/bankroll/mop their tears of frustration on a daily basis. And I mean REALLY successful. My only grain of comfort is that I know I have ruined them for all other women. By which I mean I am fantastic, not that I have castrated them or anything. Although never say never!

      Am off to trapland.com.

  3. 5 brucehood
    January 19, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Now I am going to make you more miserable as I have added you to my weird and cool sites.

  4. January 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Drinking gin on a cross-channel ferry whilst listening to Radiohead…

    Sorry I can’t go on, I just got dangerously close to topping myself during writing that sentence.

  5. January 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Read lifestyle magazines like Heat and Hello regularly. Aspire to be like these ‘celebs’
    Read women’s magazines like More and consider the diet and fashion tips.
    Eat a kilogram bar of chocolate and spend at least an hour feeling ashamed.
    Become a Catholic and practice guilt.

  6. 8 brucehood
    January 20, 2009 at 6:54 am

    What inane simpleton is in control of BBC Breakfast???? I had to be physically restrained from putting my boot through the Barack Obama piece this morning where some complete air-head interviewed “Americans” in front of a card cut-out. WTF? There is no children’s tv slot anymore… It’s all children’s tv.

  7. 9 womaninblack
    January 20, 2009 at 8:04 am

    It must be an internal struggle for them…they realise they HAVE to cover Barack Obama’s big day, but simultaneously think that if viewers have to watch anything political for too long they’ll fall into a coma due to lack of regular updates about Victoria Beckham’s hair.

  8. 10 Zosimus the Heathen
    January 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    If all else fails, there’s always the old favourite of running round and round in circles for hours on end with broken glass in your shoes and a sackful of bricks on your back: something that has the added advantage of preparing you for that pointless task you’ll no doubt be compelled to perform for all eternity in the afterlife.

  9. 11 womaninblack
    January 21, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Zosimus, I commend your attention to detail in devising a misery programme that continues for eternity. Even thinking about your idea makes me miserable – therefore you are, at the present count, winning this competition.

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