Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gettin' Hyggae Wit It

One of my favorite words, aside from serendipitous ... or Paris ... or sunny Saturday morning ... or fireman ... (don't worry, I'll stop) is "hyggae."  It's a Danish word that, when loosely translated, means cozy.  However, hyggae is much deeper than that.

Hyggae refers to a sense of intimacy and comradeship.   The long and dark winters of Denmark mean plenty of food and wine filled evenings amongst friends and family.   Instead of being stressful, fussy dinner parties,  they're actually quite the opposite.  Homes are lit by candles in order to hide the dust and people come around to relax, drink, eat and enjoy each others company.

I like to think of it as how family dinners should be  ... if families weren't so INSANE.

Never before did I know how important a sense of comradeship was until after I slid backwards down the icy hill of death yesterday.  I was hovering between absolute fear and the sheer comedy of that particular 30 seconds.  Kind of like when you see someone trip and then start jogging to cover it up as if they fully intended to go for a little run in the middle of their workday.  While wearing a suit.  Maybe they pull it off in the end, but you saw that split second "oh SHIT" moment in their face.  I can only imagine my "oh SHIT", frantic steering, braking, "I'm going to TOTALLY!  HIT!  THAT!  BMW! face probably looked like the funniest thing anyone has ever seen.  Myself included.

Anywho ...

My neighbors called yesterday afternoon and asked if I wanted to come over for dinner.  "OHMYGAHYES!!!"  I screamed into the phone, grateful after MONTHS of no human contact (or like 3 days).  I traipsed lightly on the ice, while Fisher ran slipping in circles around me.  "Whatever you do, DON'T make me break this bottle of wine or you're going straight back to the Humane Society."

Wine was poured, candles were lit and we were commiserating over the ice and having to stay home when one of my neighbors busted out with "I killed a tree today."

"Wha?" I asked, confused.
"I tried to drive down the hill and totally slid, running SMACK DAB into a tree."
"Oh my god!  Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, but I feel like such a jackass, I'm from Chicago!  I should totally know how to drive in this!"
"THANK GOD!"  I responded and raised my glass.

I, in turn, told them about my day, my ditched car, the look on my face when I thought I was going to crash into a BMW and how I had to walk uphill, slipping the entire way, past a crew of construction workers.  We all cracked up, clinked our glasses in a show of non ice driving solidarity and had a great dinner.

As I was walking back home, I noticed the warm glow of my neighbors windows, the quiet snowy streets and twinkly white Christmas lights on outdoor trees.  And I realized there is no need to be anywhere else when you've got hyggae right in your own 'hood.

(P.S.  That was, until Predo had to go and post pictures of MEXICO on his blog.  I am now going to jump off my roof.)


Lys said...

That is awesome that your neighbors are cool like that. The weather sometimes has a bit of "We're all in the same boat" mentality for people. I know I saw a bit of that when all the neighbors had to go through the hurricanes.

But Mexico - now that sounds like a REAL good option now...

Predo said...

Mexico is for drinking and laying in the sun until you smell bacon frying! I think I prefer your diner party to the scent of my own sizzle!

Good for you, and Fisher got to go too!!!!!

"malted" is my verification word, and uhm, now I need chocolate!!!!

belladella said...

It sounds wonderful. Now I am not only jealous of snow but of neighbors too! Darn you :) Have you made "muffins" yet? said...

That Predo is always having to out-do us with his hot pictures of half neckid men.
Way to go, Predo!

Frita said...

Bob do you read Alex's Hyggae blog too? Love it! Have you retrieved your car yet? We got another 4-5 inches today. I don't think Mr. bob is heading to working tomorrow.

Mr. Bob is with me now and is worried about you in the snow/ice. He hopes you are ok...

Cool Breeze said...

I am glad you are seeing the beauty in it all, or was that just because of the wine?

Big Hair Envy said...

My New Year's resolution will be to create Hyggae in my 'Hood:) Perhaps it will become my mantra.

When does our flight leave for Mexico?

Living on the Spit said...

What a wonderful evening to share with non family related people. I completely get you on that sentiment. I am hoping that the weather turns safer soon...although your depiction of the scenes is wonderful!

Love ya!