Abstract Academic: Finding a cure for Saduary-itis

If you haven’t already noticed, you’ve been feeling pretty blue this week. Don’t worry; it’s not your fault.

What? You say you’ve been doing OK? Your new workout routine seems to be working?

No. That’s incorrect. You see, scientists have definitively proven, via a complicated system of tests, algorithms and talking to people (which is generally a difficult thing for scientists to do, so you know it must be important) that the second half of January is typically the saddest part of the year. It is, and there’s no argument. They have lab coats and official-looking name badges, so just go along with it.

Most people are reporting strong cases of “the gloomies,” as well as intermittent groans and unsatisfying yawns. If you’ve been feeling fine, you may actually be reeling from the side effects of Saduaryitis, which is what most highly intelligent newspaper columnists — and probably all those non-creative science-y folks — are calling this disease.

Saduaryitis™ is a very real, if only recently made-up, illness. Those who are sick may report being annoyed at the very existence of days like Monday, Tuesday and also Wednesday through Thursday, with many retail workers also complaining of intermittent weekends and busy holidays. Some studies show patients complaining of daily employment, citing bosses who craft all e-mails in a heavily imperative tone and put “URGENT,” “MANDATORY” or “PLEASE REPLY!!!” in every subject line.

Other symptoms may include talking too much about the bad weather (e.g., “We had 23 inches of snow last night in our driveway!” “Well, if you think that’s bad, I had 26 inches!” “Oh, yeah? Well, in Layton, we had . . .”), planning mandatory meetings just to make everyone feel more overscheduled (without trying to sound like a “Dilbert” panel, does it ever feel like meetings start to schedule themselves?), and the premiere of “American Idol”(“now featuring famous judges with big personalities! What a twist!”).

Some sufferers are rumored to experience indications of several almost-but-not-quite snow days, depending on which school they attend (hint: all of them), which only leads to waking up earlier than normal in hopes of an uplifting “CANCELED!” message on Twitter. Which, of course, is never there, and now it’s 5:30 in the morning, and you’re supposed to be up in a half hour anyway, so you may as well put the $#@& dog out, and of course the $#@& dog steps all over your bare feet with her pointy little claws in her hurry to get outside, and then she won’t come back in, because playing in the three feet of snow is way more fun than sitting inside, and she thinks she might be smelling that ball you threw for her last September, the one that rolled under the porch, you remember(?), and you have to run out there in slippers and a bathrobe and pretend to be really excited to be up to your thighs in powder, calling the $#@& dog to come back inside and play with a stuffed parrot, and then you just give up and hope whoever finds your border collie is a more patient owner than you are, and (this sentence will end, we promise) you sit down with the shivers and eat some disappointing Pop-Tarts.

Scientists are even claiming to know which day of the month will be the absolute saddest, though their calculations seem to be different. Some are saying Jan. 17 is the saddest day of the year, though this is probably not true, because certain columnists celebrated this day by having their first baby boy (though it may have been a rough day for the baby and his mother). Other experts say that the third Monday in January, otherwise known as “Blue Monday,” is the guaranteed saddest day of the year. This year, of course, that fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day which many scientists didn’t have off from work. A little bitter, maybe?

For those experiencing advanced levels of gloom, or for anyone whose Saduaryitis™ sticks around for more than four hours, please contact your nearest medical professional/science-y person/newspaper columnist for treatment. Though Saduaryitis has no known cure, gloom management can be effectively handled with a prescribed regimen of Milk Duds, Diet Coke, reruns of “Downton Abbey” (but do not watch the really sad episodes!) and the return of your border collie, who finally found that ball and really just wants to snuggle.