A while ago, I subscribed to a daily email service from Word Genius. Every morning, I get a “word of the day” email. Sometimes the words seem completely random, and other times, like today, the word seems to be picked just for me, naming a feeling I’ve been thinking about but couldn’t quite describe appropriately.
appetency (noun, Latin)
1) a longing or desire
2) a natural tendency or affinity
I’ve got a lot of appetency right now! I have an appetency for grocery shopping. Real, honest to goodness grocery shopping. Not this war-zone, “get in get out don’t stop to think about it” stuff like we have now. Grocery shopping is an activity that, for me, normally engages all my senses. The visual appeal of all the brightly colored produce we have always been so fortunate to have access to here. The smells of freshly baked bread, freshly squeezed citrus juice, whatever is cooking to be distributed as samples. I select apples and bananas and other produce by feel as well as smell. At my regular grocery store, there are always bites of new seasonal produce to “try before you buy.” Finally, I love to listen to the banter behind the butcher or fish counters and the random conversations that happen in the aisles. Even the music playing in the background always seems to fit the time of day and time of year. I love it. All of it. The whole experience.
But not anymore. I did my best to plot out potential meals for us for the next couple of weeks and did a very good trip to the store. That was smart, as we don’t have to go to the store every day, or even every other day, which is what I’m used to doing and generally enjoy. But now, when we do have a need for something and can’t avoid making a quick trip, that’s all it is. Wipe down, hold your breath, go straight to what you need and get the heck out of there as quickly as possible. Wipe down again, get in the car, wipe down again, come home and wipe, wipe, wipe. It’s something that now fills me with dread instead of anticipation.
I have an appetency for a nice, leisurely, relaxing trip to the grocery store. When I feel like I’m a member of a club of people like me who are careful and particular about the produce they select. When I have time to ask the fish guy how he’d make a particular kind of fish that I haven’t tried before, or to have a chat with the funny butcher who always greets me with a smile and says, “whatcha makin’ tonight, hon?” When the lady in the wine section says, “I know you you don’t need my help, but let me know if you need me to find something for you.” In a weird way, the people at my grocery store have become extended family. I miss them. I miss our banter. No one has time for that, now.
It’s Friday afternoon, and a busy week of work is winding down. I know how fortunate I am right now to have a job that can still be done and needs to be done during this quarantine. But Friday doesn’t have quite the same feel when there’s no plan for the weekend to get together with friends, or to attempt a labor-intensive dish that takes too much time during the week to try, and that would only highlight the fact that we can’t invite others over to share and enjoy it. It’s Palm Sunday weekend, which usually means I’d be preparing for my mom to come visit for Easter. That’s not possible this year, and I finally relented and cancelled her plane ticket this morning. Oh, I knew a few weeks ago that she wasn’t going to be able to visit, but I just held off, hoping against hope that there’d be some sort of miracle.
Even before “appetency” showed up in my inbox this morning, I was feeling it.
Maybe that’s why this word, appetency, struck such a chord with me today. I’m longing for the way things were and the way that I hope they will be. I desire real physical time with my family and friends. I don’t have an appetency for uncertainty or fear or drama. I don’t have an appetency for arguing about models vs reality. I don’t have an appetency for feeling like I have to justify my need for social contact. I am a social being.
Most days I wake up and think I’m doing ok. Other days, not so much. Today, not so much. I have too much appetency for other things. Like optimism. I have an appetency for optimism! So, tomorrow is another day. I’ll take it! Maybe I’ll organize my pantry.