The tiny niggle of dissatisfaction

Thank heaven the etymology of "niggle" seems to bear no trace of eels. Eels give me the willies. The word is probably late-16th century Scandinavian. My big red American Heritage Dictionary is atop one of the heaps of books on the floor, and so the verb niggle, -gled, -gling, -gles, is 1. To be preoccupied with trifles; worry over petty details; fret. 2. To keep finding fault: complain trivially; carp.

The adjective niggling leads to fussy via 1. Excessively concerned with details. Niggardly seems akin to stingy and miserly.
Upon first googling niggle: Syllabification: nig·gle Pronunciation: /ˈniɡəl/ I find the verb meaning Cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety: a suspicion niggled at the back of her mind, and the adjective niggling aches and pains.

The pea under the mattress of this whole niggle was the shortage of illumination provided by the golden globe hanging lamp over the breakfast table. Fritzi was always crabby if there wasn't enough light at the dinner table. The golden globe is an ugly retro piece that goes with the apartment. It never provides enough light to read while sipping coffee or other beverages, and it makes me almost as crabby as my mother.

As I wanted to finish the 95% delightful novel by Patrick DeWitt, Undermajordomo Minor, on my day off, the slight but persistent annoyance grew into a giant beanstalk of a plan to do a major reorganization of my apartment without the help of seven dwarfs whistling. 

Home Depot had no hanging lamp globes to replace the golden one. Target lacked cashiers, so I walked away from a cart of organization housewares spruce-ups. If Target goes belly-up, you will know why.

My week's reading of Michael Cunningham's The Wild Swan plus Undermajordomo Minor is the most fun following bread crumbs trails I've had since The Tiger's Wife and Night Circus. Tom Stoppard and Tom Robbins seemed to ride in my bindle on a stick. 

The apartment is still in upheaval, but I feel much lighter.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

No comments: