Welcome to my humble abode! This is my daughter Blahblah with her nannies, and this is Mikey, the "pool boy" and new man of the house. And let me introduce you to my hangover. Today on the podcast, we'll be baking Christmas cookies, swilling Chardonnay, wearing shoes, and talking about feelings! I just want to say that I'm having a bad day, a very anxious day. I feel very paranoid, very stressed.
Psychologists tell us that there are at most two feelings: sadness and happiness. Happiness is cool and all, but maybe sadness makes for better albums. It's okay to be sad, right Blahblah? ("Be sad, Mama!") Mummy might be smiling, but deep inside Mummy's sad: very really extremely sad. Every day I spend with you and the staff, I get more and more unhappy. It's like I'm trapped here with you, my little love. Why can't you do for me what your Daddy did? ("Sorry, Mama, I'll try.")
Okay, let's do a little exercise to help us deal with the stress, because I really am feeling very stressed. First curl up into a little ball. Then rock back and forth, sobbing. That's sadness you're simulating! Good job, Blahblah. I'd act like that too if that lazy fuck was my father. I love him so much, but now I must stand on my own, like strong women throughout history, like Boudicea repelling the Roman invasion of Britain, or Beyoncé telling her staff to go home and spending the afternoon ragging her asshole. Tell me, baby, can you feel the awfulness of my despair? ("I feel it, Mama. Everybody does.")
Now, pre-heat the oven to 400, and thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. I like to grind in some Zoloft, as well. I just wish you were old enough to drive me to rehab, Blahblah. Now roll out the cookie dough and get out your cutters. Most years, I make Christmas trees and reindeer, but this year I'm doing despair. What is the very shape of a despair cookie, you ask? It's the newly-svelte shape of me, Adele, or "Mummy” as I call myself. Admittedly, it's hard to distinguish cookies in the shape of despair from cookies in the shape of unhappiness, sorrow, dejection, despondency, or misery. So let's cover them all with brightly-colored sugar sprinkles eat them up!
Hey that works as a lyric, and as our delicious treats bake, let's go down to my recording studio in the basement and write a song (stomps down stairs, Blahblah and the rest of the emotional-support staff tumbling along behind). Here we are in my state-of-the-art home studio (nestles in at the piano). Together, let's bellow out that list of symptoms and synonyms. "Dejection, despondency, and despair! Desolation, gloom, and woe! Unhappiness, sorrow, and desolation!" Now if I can just get a melody, I'll pound the lyric as though I were a sledgehammer.
You know, songwriting isn't as hard as people think it is. Like, Taylor thinks she is so great. ("Taylor sucks, Mama!") That's right honey; she really does. When Taylor Swift wants you to share her emotions, she tells you a story about Jake Gyllenhaal, a drive upstate, and a scarf. That seems unnecessary to me. I'd just say, 'I'm so sad!' over and over for four minutes, or 40, or 400. You'll definitely get what I'm saying, whereas you have to be some kind of genius to follow Taylor's shite. If you're unclear about what I'm trying to say, which is admittedly extremely unlikely, I'll say it again next song. Because on the next song, too, I will be having feelings.
Oi, Blahblah, you don't love me, do you? ("Yes I do, Mama!).No. No one could love your Mummy except the great music-streaming public. Mummy has a lot of big feelings called sadness and a lot to learn. I feel so heavy in spite of the weight loss. I feel so invisible, though I'm the most famous person on the planet. Do you feel the way my past aches, Blahblah? I'm hanging by a thread. Save me! Fix me! ("I'd fix you if I could, Mama, but is that really my job?")
Now it's time take these cookies of misery out of the oven of unhappiness and enjoy! Join us next week on Adele At Home as we bake a Bundt cake. Of regret!
—Follow Crispin Sartwell on Twitter: @CrispinSartwell