Denglish 57: A German Method for Stress Management

My wife and I have been through some stressful times. We’ve experienced the logistical nightmares of a long-distance relationship and the heart-wrenching uncertainties of being an international couple attempting to plan a life together. We met up in New York for a romantic tryst, which resulted in both of us acquiring a now legendary case of food poisoning. We arranged a year-long work visa for her in the States, during which we both worked full-time, shared one car, supported each other through family health crises on both sides and planned our own wedding simultaneously.

Needless to say, our stress levels have known some impressive heights. At times, we were so stressed out we had tearful meltdowns, trouble falling (or staying) asleep, and our skin broke out in pimples unseen since adolescence. However, with my blind, American optimism and my wife’s depressing, German pragmatism, we managed to turn our stress into something we could joke about by personifying it as a little red devil-creature — one which grows fatter the more stress we feed him. At times he has been emaciated, and at times he has been obese, but he will always have the name my wife gave him when I asked, “This stress demon of ours… what should we call him?”

THE WIFE: “Alberto Fummelotz.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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25 thoughts

  1. That little Stress Devil would SELL! Can’t you just see him hanging from racks near airport checkout stands, fork at the ready? How about an artfully stacked display in the windows of all those Brookstone Stores that market the most sophisticated-looking useless gadgetry in all the world? Link him to Barnes & Nobel’s exuberant collection of self-help, manage-your-stress, balance-your-life tomes! Without further embellishment, he’s made to order for Halloween! Put a small fleece Santa hat on him, & he’s a Christmas Stocking Stuffer! Write a children’s anger management or “balanced life” book, attach him as the “free” plush toy, and he manages even childhood stresses & strains! I’m tellin’ ya: Little Alberto Fummelotz is a marketing goldmine waiting for pick-axes! And the GERMAN populace might just love him most of all!

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      1. True, our hard headed German brain works differently. Trust me I get to hear that at least once a day ;)
        And yes I know German is not easy to learn. One way to practice German is to sing German songs. Do you like to listen to German music?
        That reminds me I wanted to look for karaoke songs …..

        Schönes Wochenende :)
        ~Anja~

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      2. So hard headed… and downers! You Germans don’t realize it, but you’re total downers! Of course, we Americans tend to be blind optimists, but hey, at least we’re smiling! :)

        As for German music, I did translate Du Hast for all my friends. :) Does that count?

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      3. I know I know and that’s the reason I’m glad to be here :)
        Rammstein – I see. Are you able to sing it as well?
        As a teenager I wanted to be able to sing the songs of my favorite UK (pop) band ;) It helped my pronunciation of English words for sure.

        LG

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      4. I can sing it while playing Rock Band. :)

        And I will consider singing some other German songs. My wife keeps trying to teach me a primary school song in German… something about, “Can you hear the earthworm coughing? *cough* *cough* ”

        It’s totally for little kids, so it’s perfect for me. :)

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      5. Wow, cool! I’m impressed.
        I have to admit I never liked any children songs from back then.
        German songs in general were not very popular until the past 15 years. Until then there were only a few, that stood out and remained popular over the years. Marius Müller-Westernhagen; Nena; BAP; Die Toten Hosen; PUR; Söhne Mannheims, Xavier Naidoo; Herbert Grönemeyer; Falco; Die Ärzte; Die Fantastischen Vier; Jan Delay; Die Prinzen … My advice: Find a song you really like and start to practice :)

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  2. Im in a very similar situation, I am in Germany and my partner is in the US. Thats why I wanted to ask how could you arrange that year-long work visa?

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