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"The Hygge Paradox" by Mileva Anastasiadou

He says we’re stressed, exhausted, I say that’s true but that’s life, he ponders, I don’t like life, he says, while he loves life, but not this life, the life we live, I tell him about hygge, where do we buy it? he asks, you don’t buy hygge I say, he seems relieved but also suspicious, I google it and it says hygge costs nothing but a minor effort, so we start by cleaning the house, to make it hyggelit, no time to hygge this time, and we need candles, so we go shopping, buy some cheap candles, which smell like the house’s on fire, we throw them away, go back to the store, buy an ocean smelling candle, that hygge thing ain’t cheap, he says, we sit on the floor, try to relax and hygge, dive into the moment, but the floor is cold, we need soft carpets, he says, we can’t afford them, I say, we look at each other, we think, think, so we work overtime, save and starve, let’s go buy hygge, I say, and we buy that fucking carpet, we clean again, how do they do it? he asks, we may be too stupid, I say, or too poor, he says, let’s give it a try, just this once I mean, cause we know we’ll never be those who renovate bathrooms and display them and show off, those who have time to cook fancy meals, or travel to favorite getaways when bored.

The floor is shiny, the candles lit up, we order a pizza, we don’t argue, don’t even speak, we play it safe, we’ll watch a movie, we’ll chill, and finally we’ll hygge, the way to hygge is to not try to hygge, to not think about it, only we’re too tired to hygge properly, we fall asleep, we dream of hygge, which is the most hygge thing we’ve done so far, but then again dreaming of hygge is easier than the real thing and probably the closest we’ll ever get to hygge at all.


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