I’m not surprised you’re feeling glum this time of year. I read that something like 20% of adults suffer from seasonal-affective disorder. That’s why there’s an entire market for household products that can help. It’s understandable that you want to spend a chunk of your paycheck on an expensive mood-enhancing lamp.

The only hitch is that I’m not one of those lamps. I’m literally just a lamp. Staring at me is not an antidote to the dull grey sky outside your window. Sure, the attention’s nice but it’s also a ton of pressure. Since the move into your bedroom, I’m the first thing you see when you wake up. You turn me on even before you look at your phone, which is flattering, but kind of stressful too.

I need to spell this out: I am a $17 lamp that can provide illumination and a modern accent to a home office. I do nothing for seasonal-affective disorder caused by lack of sunlight. I do not emit vitamin D.

Not sure where you got this idea that I’m therapeutic. Was I on the shelf beside one, and in your SAD haze you accidentally grabbed me? Or did you just misread that Lifehacker article and think it was about all lamps? I don’t want to bum you out more than you already are but, again, I’m not one of those lamps.

How have you not realized? You’re only getting worse. You leave the house less now because you think my light’s better than the light outside. Not true! It’s not at all “the difference between riding a horse and driving a Tesla.” I’m no Tesla. Outside light is much better, and being outside, seeing friends, family, or just baristas, isn’t a bad idea either.

And here’s some more unsolicited advice from your regular everyday lamp: pump the brakes on the Netflix. I wish they hadn’t put every episode of Friends up because at the rate you’re clicking PLAY NEXT EPISODE even if I were one of those magic lamps, I wouldn’t be able to help. Let me say this in a way you might understand: could I BE any more just a lamp?

Part of me wants to flatter myself and think that even without FDA approval I work as a mood enhancer for those susceptible to the depression that’s a result of shorter days. I’ve got this neat adjustable neck and all it takes to work me is tapping that button on my base, which is less stressful than fumbling in the dark under a shade for a tiny knob. And stress causes more depression, so by decreasing yours I’m helping in some way with winter blues.

But then I see your face, and, ugh. You look at me the way you should be looking at a psychiatrist, if your health insurance actually covered one. You know what your plan does cover? 60% of the purchase of a mood-enhancing light! If you’d read the fine print on the pamphlets they send you, you’d know that. So when you purchased me you’d have learned that I wasn’t eligible for that discount.

Because I’m a regular lamp.

I was really hoping to avoid this speech. I thought you’d figure it out when my bulb burnt out. The special lamp bulbs either never burn out or replacing it is some drawn out process that if you’re depressed you’d never get around to anyway, like replacing the carbonation canister on your Soda Stream.

Maybe doing that would help. Remember when you first got that thing and you’d make all those fizzy drinks, have dates over and turn the overheard light off and it’d just be me, you and your date enjoying vodka sodas with soda you made? They were impressed, I was impressed. We had great nights back then, in the living room before we both spent all our time in your bedroom.

Maybe your first step should be moving me back there. The room’s lighting is way better for my mood.