‘Oddly satisfying’ is a phrase you’ll often find more often now in Internet-land. It’s a sort of catch-all for short videos of things happening that have an intangible quality of flow or symmetry or smoothness or just ... something that gives your a brain a little dose of Yessss! As in: “This video of someone slicing watermelon/an iceberg calving/a fascist getting slapped is oddly satisfying.”
The problem is that these are located on the internet and while being oddly satisfied there, you could find yourself being distracted and dissatisfied by something else.
So why not look for the odd satisfaction in daily life. The audience is smaller but the rewards are far higher. Here are a few of mine:
A thing being where it is supposed to be:
It has taken me about 20 years of adulthood to know exactly at any point where the Sellotape is. Don’t wait so long. Assemble a list of the small handy objects which enrage you when you can’t find them: Stapler, scissors, a funnel, a measuring tape, batteries, matches, etc. Pick a place for them. Kill anyone who doesn’t return them. Next time you need a birthday candle, it will be where you expect it to be. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Having stamps: Go out and buy a book of stamps. This is not just for Christmas. We are so out of the habit of writing letters, that when you have to post something you can be gripped with a sort of inertia about posting it, as if buying a stamp were like finding a magic bean. So go out now while you don’t need one and buy a rake of stamps so at some point in the future when someone asks: “Have we stamps?” you can reply: “We do”.
The leftovers fitting into the yoke you have for putting leftovers in:
Picture the scene: There’s been an outbreak of cooking. A big pot sits on the hob. The stuff in it is delicious now, but will be even nicer to tomorrow, but will soon taste like a medieval tannery.
It’s time to tupp your game and pack the leftovers away before you’ve even had your ice-cream and wafers. And this is where the potential for odd satisfaction happens: The leftovers may fit perfectly into the container. As in, nano-precision. As in, OMG LOOK AT HOW WELL IT FITS. Punch the air; you’re the best version of you you’ve been for a long time.
Throwing things into other things:
We all throw things into things: Paper into the bin, socks into the washing basket, sweets into a loved one’s mouth. There is nothing quite like the swish of a perfectly executed throw. The graceful parabola of the children’s toy/banana skin/spoon through the domestic stadium into the thing it’s been thrown at. I specialise in less obvious ones like lobbing something onto a shelf or spearing a toothbrush into the disgusting toothbrush glass. Take any opportunity to throw a thing into a thing. If you fail there is no one to see but when you succeed the spirits of your ancestors applaud you.
Avoid the M7 widening between junctions 8 and 11:
It is a hellscape and a grave of hope and happiness. When it’s busy you will inch forward for what seems like most of your prime. When it’s a little quieter you will drive four inches away from trucks on one side and a barrier on the other as your windscreen looks like the inside of a Nutri-bullet after making a no-fun smoothie with kale and grubs. You don’t need to see a better Santa in Dublin than the one who is in the local parish hall and is actually yer man who delivers the oil. You don’t need to go to Kildare Village to a get a new Thing. The one you have is fine. Leave the M7 until 2020. You won’t miss anything.
I hope you’ve found this useful. Or perhaps satisfying. It’s more than likely odd.