Friday, August 31, 2012


There's a line in a movie, the quoting of which instantly places me in the group of those who grew up in the 90's.

In 10 Things I Hate About You, two girls are seen walking along their high school campus. In order to illustrate the vapidity of these particular teenagers, one is shown asking the other:

"I know you can be underwhelmed. I know you can be overwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"

To which her friend answers, "I think you can in Europe."

Punch line aside, this line has been on my mind for a day or two now. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am entering a new world now, one of being a full-time grad student while also working part-time and attending a five-week fellowship. Even though the grind doesn't technically start until Tuesday, this week I received quite the little preview of the workload to come, plus a few other worries added in a heap.

These range from the instructions to familiarize myself with the files and systems I will be needing all year before my next workday, to men drilling outside my window all day long, to worrisome health symptoms of someone I hold very dear.

But my point is, I've come up with the definition of whelmed.

Actually, defines to whelm as: to submerge, engulf, or overcome utterly. But there's no real condition of being whelmed. So I've discovered one.

Being overwhelmed is being so consumed by stress that you can no longer calm down or concentrate. I'm way past that right now. I was overwhelmed before I went to my job training and before my bedroom window broke out of its pane on an especially mosquito-ridden night.

Now, I done been whelmed.

I would define being whelmed as already having been broken. As having far reached the point of handling anything more. You've already had your nervous breakdown, dropped your coffee mug, yelled at your friend or had any number of outbursts. You've already been led from the room by a caring person, given a cup of tea, and cried out your stress. You've calmed down a little bit. You're ready to tackle the day, or at least, you know you have to just do it already.

And then your window breaks. Or your cat pees on the couch. Or your work is returned as unsatisfactory. Or someone asks you for one more favor.

At that point you're just like, sigh... whatever.

Fine. Just throw it on the pile.

And you done been whelmed, my friend. You've been whelmed upside the head.

You may be wondering. "Aliza, if you're so whelmed already, why are you wasting twenty minutes by making these cartoons and writing this post about it?" I'll tell you why, though the artists out there already know. I'm doing it because drawing funny pictures and typing are therapeutic.

Here's to something getting resolved, here's to at least one objective being crossed off the to-do list before another is added.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. 1) This is really great blog post; Profoundly spot on. 2) I'm going to begin incorporating "whelmed" into my vocabulary. 3) This post should definitely be linked to urban dictionary! 4) Favorite line: "'s to at least one objective being crossed off the to-do list before another is added."

  3. So what happened to the cat? Is it alright?

  4. The title reminded me of this clip: