Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Brevity

Saturday, September 27, 2003 By , No comments

Boyfriend and I are lying on my bed, talking. He's relating a story that seems to have no point, and yet goes on for hours.

Me (with mock exhaustion): God, I've had dates shorter than this story!
Boyfriend (poking me with his finger): You're about to have a relationship shorter than this story if you don't shut up.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Hairless Monkeys

In abnormal psychology, we were often asked to evaluate the behavior of a videotaped subject. The members of the class would give their opinions on what the behaviors signified, if anything. I am convinced that there is a whole universe, somewhere, where the stars have been replaced entirely by psychological diagnoses which have no merit whatsoever, besides getting their "discoverer's" name in the DSM. Chief among these, in my mind, are the "personality disorders," which are not recognized as having bio-chemical, genetic, or traumatic origins. They are defined as an inflexible pattern of inner experience and outward behavior that deviates significantly from the expectations of one's culture. They often (but not always) result in unpleasant experiences, and may cause psychological, social, or occupational pain. Mostly, however, they cause pain, discomfort, or irritation to people other than those experiencing them. Finally, according to the DSM, it is possible to have more than on personality disorder, or "just a touch" of one.

Me (to professor): So, it's not like these are classified as mental illnesses, is that correct?
Professor: Yes, that's correct.
Me: And, this behavior isn't caused by a correctable chemical imbalance, or a traumatic experience in someone's life, or by bad genes?
Professor: Yes, that's correct.
Me: And, the disorders aren't the same across cultures, like depression, psychopathology, or schizophrenia?
Professor (with a look of "Aren't I patient?" on his face): No, they aren't.
Me: And, usually, the people themselves don't receive the brunt of their personality disorder? I mean, the people around them are the ones disturbed by it?
Professor (now he has a cautious look on his face): Yes. What are you getting at?
Me: Well, is it possible that what we have here is just a list of 10 different ways that people can act like jerks?

The entire class turns to look at me. A couple of people grin. Most of them roll their eyes. One guy is asleep. The professor pauses for a moment and looks around the class.

Professor: Yes, that's certainly possible. Can anyone else think of another explanation?

No one raises their hand. In their defense, this particular professor is extremely intimidating. It took several weeks before I had the courage to speak up in class. But now he can't shut me up. I raise my hand.

Professor: I think we've heard your theory, Stacey.
Me (feeling retarded): No, I have another one.
Professor (deciding that he would have to indulge me before I will shut up): Okay.
Me: Well, it occurs to me that these classify about all the people in my high school who were outcasts (ha ha. Like me. Look up Borderline Personality Disorder). The onset for a diagnosis to be rendered is adolescence. This sounds like social ineptitude.
Professor (looking at me like I have two heads): Then why classify these behaviors as a disorder?
Me (suddenly much less sure of myself, but still with the verbal diarrhea): Because conformity is encouraged in school. Students who can't get along are considered "troubled," and a lot of these behaviors are attention-getters. Dramatics, histrionics - I mean, what is a conduct disorder? Who decides what conduct is an actual "disorder," and what conduct is just "disorderly?"
Guy across the room: That's just semantics.
Me (okay, now I'm pissed): I don't think so. A disorder carries the stigma of an illness, of being sick or unbalanced. Acting "disorderly," that's just breaking some relatively harmless policies.
Girl in my row of desks: Oh, so bringing a gun to school is relatively harmless?
Me (Did I SAY that?!): No, nor is using hyperbole to make an argument. They're both stupid, and neither is condusive to addressing the real issue. Which was, I believe, whether or not these behaviors should be in the DSM in the first place.
Same girl (scoffing, probably because she doesn't know what "hyperbole" means): You can't just take things out of the DSM.
Dee, who sits right behind me: They did it with homosexuality.
Hyper-religious Man, who thinks that if he can relate something to a biblical quote, he's made a good point.: Yeah, and that IS a disorder.

There's a moment of silence in the classroom. I, personally, can't believe he thinks that. Well, I can, but it's just alien to me. Dee snickers suddenly.

Dee: Well, since it really only bothers OTHER people, it's just a personality disorder.

Damn. That was good, Dee

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Vanity, thy name is "me"

Saturday, September 13, 2003 By , No comments

Weird Religious Guy (getting ice for his table's drinks): Good grief, girl!
Me (swiping a credit card to take payment on a check): What?
Weird Religious Guy: Your teeth are inordinately white.
Me (I've never thought my teeth were white): Really?
Weird Religious Guy: Oh, don't act like you don't know.
Me (I hate it when people think you're pretending not to know something): Okay, whatever.
Weird Religious Guy: Oh, puh-leeze. You get up every morning and look in the mirror and say, "Wow, my teeth are SO white."
Me (laughing): Well, not recently.
Weird Religious Guy: You do. I know it. I saw you putting on lipstick the other day. Do you even know how vain you are?

I pause and look at him to see if he's serious. I can't tell. I go back to finishing the check.

Me: I don't think putting on lipstick makes me vain.
Weird Religious Guy: You were doing it AT WORK.
Me: I forgot to put it on before work.
Weird Religious Guy (mockingly): SUuuure.

I decide to do my work elsewhere.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Social Skillz

So out of the blue the other day, one of the new guys at work comes in the kitchen, where I'm prepping a tray of drinks for a table. It's loud, noisy, hot, and mid-shift - which means that it hasn't been long enough to forget about the stupid tables you've served, plus there are stupid people you have yet to serve. So it's a little stressful. And without preface, he strikes up a conversation.

New Guy: So, do wear, like, bathing suits and stuff?
Me (hoping that I misheard him): What?
New Guy: Do you wear bathing suits?
Me: What - like, just around?
New Guy: Well, I mean, I be looking at you, I admit it. And you seem like you'd look good in a bathing suit.
Me (taken aback, I don't know what to say. I'm always at my most eloquent then): Uh, yeah?
New Guy: Yeah.

There's a moment where we just look at each other. I don't know what he expects me to say, but it's clear he expects a favorable response. But it's just so inappropriate.

Me (as I leave with my tray): Well, you're wrong, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Huh?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003 By , No comments

Manager (holding a mid-rare filet mignon): Stacey, do you mean table 44 or 45?
Me (confused...and yet so very articulate): Huh?
Manager (looking at me with derision): Where. Does. This. Steak. Go.
Me (more confused): All of my tables are already eating.
Manager (getting pissed that I'm taking up so much of his time with my utter nonsense, he finally pulls the recook ticket out of his pocket): Yes. This is the recook. The first steak was too done.
Me (looking at the ticket): Oh, this isn't mine, I -
Manager (interrupting, and raising his voice): Then why is your name on the ticket?!
Me (looking at him steadily): [Name deleted], this ticket is two hours old. It's for a ribeye, not a filet, and the side item should be a loaded baked potato, not a sweet potato. This is not my steak.

Manager throws the item back in the kitchen's heat window and stomps off.

Me (quietly, and to no one in particular): How is that my fault?