Friday, January 31, 2014

Agita aka A Bad Case of the Grrr's

ag•i•ta (ˈædʒ ɪ tə)
n.
1. heartburn; indigestion.
2. agitation; anxiety.
[1980–85, Amer.; < Italian, <agitare < Latin agitāre agitate], courtesy http://www.thefreedictionary.com/agita

Agita. I'd never heard the word until a few years ago, when my friend from Long Island introduced me. It perfectly describes what I'm feeling today, a deep level of unease. Dis-ease. A teeth-gritting, muscle-clenching day when everything and everyone gets on your last nerve. Of course, I know it's not them. It's me.

Agita. I found this excerpt from an article by David Giacalone upon googling the word. The highlights were supplied by me.
"...I discovered a fuller and fun discussion of agita at The Word Detective, which includes: You won’t find “agita” in most dictionaries, although it is a quintessential Italian-American slang word. Strictly speaking, “agita” is a stomach upset or heartburn. But “agita” can also mean that special kind of existential dyspepsia of the soul you get when absolutely everything goes wrong. Comedian Jackie Mason has explained “agita” as “when you have been aggravated to the point where it feels like you have a serious migraine headache throughout your whole body.” “Agita” is thus more or less the Italian-American equivalent of the Yiddish “tsuris” (”misery”), an equation not lost on Woody Allen, who made a song about “agita” the center-piece of his 1984 film “Broadway Danny Rose.” ~ David Giacalone 
Strange word, agita. One you don't hear growing up in the south. But it's one of Those Words. Once you know it and experience the feeling, you think, "Yeah. Exactly. Agita."

So like it or not, I've got the grrr's. Could it be the fallout from Flurryopollis or whatever Jon Stewart called it? Seeing nothing but white for three days running? Being on high alert for thirty hours, watching Facebook's newsfeed, helping pray family, friends, clients and other's loved ones home safely?

Or maybe it's the inner manifestation of an itchy rash I've developed from a new sensitivity to latex and spandex. Which, by the way, is in every bra ever manufactured, including the camisoles to which I'd resorted.

Whatever the cause, the best thing to do with a person afflicted with agita is: RUN. Or duck. But for heaven's sake, don't try to fix, or understand it. Just go away. Leave us alone. Hope tomorrow's better.

Of course, if you, like me, are the one suffering from agita, you're screwed. I can't run. I can't hide. I can't duck. I'm stuck. With an anxious, irritable me.

So here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

5 comments:

Karen Walker said...

Oh I have spent so many days like this lately, I feel your pain. All I can tell you is at some point it lifts. Hang in there.

A.T. Post said...

I thought it was called "ennui."

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Karen, bless you. And thank you. Here's to no more agita!

A.T., yes, ennui could work. It can be as excruciating as agita, especially to one in need of constant stimulation. Aren't words fun!

~ Olivia J. Herrell

Donna Hole said...

I think this is my permanent state of being since start my new job. I hope its all better for you soon Olivia.

......dhole

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi Donna, hope it's settled down by now!

~ Olivia

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