Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday – Personal Neuroses Edition

Starting a new segment today called Show and Tell Tuesday. It probably won’t be every week, or even on Tuesdays, and we may do other things besides showing and telling. But anyway, this is where everyone gets to share something embarrassing about themselves, or, if you’re shy, about one of your “friends.” Or, for the writers, your “characters.” It doesn't have to be elaborate, just humiliating.

Today’s topic is Personal Neuroses. Here’s mine:

Sometimes when I’m standing in line at 7-11, or pumping gas, or walking through a parking lot minding my own business, I’ll glance up and notice a guy dressed in a dark suit and dark sunglasses looking right at me. It’s never the same guy. But I always immediately think: Shit. There’s a secret agent. The fuck did I do? Should I run for it? Or just play it cool?

Then it occurs to me that maybe he's not surveilling me at all. Maybe he thinks he knows me from somewhere, and any minute now he’s gonna walk over and say something like, “It’s Hopkins, right? Remember me? Samuelson. Guatemala. '85.” Then I’ll be forced to play along, like I know what kinda shit went down in Guatemala. And I'll have to decide whether to reply with something vague, like, "Yeah, those were the days," or something cryptic to throw him off balance like, "Of course, only the rabbit lived to tell about it." And at the same time I'll have to be plotting my escape in case he suddenly realizes his faux pas and decides to disappear my ass for National Security reasons.

And then I think: Wait a minute. I'm wearing a dark suit too. And dark glasses. And I'm looking right at him. What if he's just a regular guy, and I'm giving him some paranoid delusional complex? But he must've done something if he gets worked up that easy. Maybe I should follow him and find out what he's up to.


ChristineEldin said...

I have a fetish for hair. I just came out last week and it feels good. Long hair, male or female, it doesn't matter.

I'm becoming more aggressive in my mid-life years. For example, this lady in a 7-11 is getting her coffee and she puts the carton of half and half up to her nose. Gets a good whiff. WTF! I always use half and half. I'm pissed, because how rude is that? So I follow her around the store, planning my confrontation. I almost chicken out, when I find myself waiting in line behind her. I have nothing. She has what should be my sniff-free coffee. I tap her on the shoulder, "Don't you know it's germy to put your nose on the milk like that?" "I was just seeing if it smelled bad." "Did it?" "No." "Well, what am I going to do for coffee?" Sniffing lady grabs her change and bolts out the door. I take a few steps forward to freak her out.

My neurosis is public germs.

blogless_troll said...

That's awesome, Chris! I'd like to say maybe she'll think first next time, but people like that never change.

Robin S. said...

My neurosis is dumb-ass drivers.

Probably made worse from my weekday slog through traffic into DC and out.

I'm tired of hearing about how bad bad bad bad ggressive drivers (like me) are, when I'm here to tell you, many of us have minute-to-minute provocation from the stupids surrounding us making, you guessed it, stupid decisions.

I said this on my first "About Me" last year - but I can't stand meandering drivers who fuck up the driving flow around them, or, who don't even realize a flow exists to driving.


Assholes in the passing lane that we all have to pass on the right, because said assholes are stupid.

Assholes who don't get over to a merging lane until the very very end, precisely because they feel strongly that deserve to move on more quickly than everyone else. Guess what, baby, not if I'm even close to your sorry ass, because I will block your ass with my last fucking breath. And I'm damn good at it, quite frankly.

Any stupids in DC get near a black Mercedes with a woman behind the wheel, I'd get the hell out of my way if I were in their shoes. Or cars. Whatever.

I could go on, but I'm working...
so, in a sort of a conclusion, let me say that a large percentage of drivers are stupid, and shouldn't be driving. That's my neurosis, and it drives me nuts on a daily basis.

And don't tell me to go all Zen about it. I'm Irish. We don't do Zen.

Robin S. said...

By the way, BT, you in a suit and dark glasses, huh?

Wow. That's the next pic we need.
You in dark glasses, lookin' all Men in Black.

Sheri said...

Wow Chris! I'm impressed! We always WANT to speak up, but most of the time, at least I, chicken out, afraid the person will turn out to be psychotic and kill me.

So neurosis aye... Where to begin... you don't become a writer because your - ah-hem - normal!

This might be a tad boring... but you see I have this set of dishes and mugs. They have folk art looking pictures on them of a farm scene through-out the seasons, you know, summer, fall, etc. So my mugs have to go in seasonal order. So in the first row (front to back) are all the summer mugs, next row fall, etc. I get really pissed when someone puts them back out of order. Sometimes when my friends are over and I am not looking, they will mess them up on purpose to play with my head.

You'd think after sharing this, that I am Felix Unger (I know I just dated myself - but they were re-runs. Really!) Anyway, I am not. The rest of my house, especially my office, has piles I need to file, throw out, sort, yada, yada, yada...

So what's up with that? Why my dishes in a cabinet no one can see???

pjd said...

BT, have you ever considered that--perhaps--there might be mirrors or reflective glass nearby when you're at 7-11 or pumping gas? Just a thought.

Robin, I am a recovering aggressive driver. I used to tailgate those assholes who go too slow, and I used to pass on the right often and sometimes even change lanes frequently to get a few car lengths ahead. But the last time I drove to Vegas (my mom lives there), I saw a ton of aggressive driving and it scared the bejeezus out of me with traffic going from 70 mph to 10 mph without warning. So I turned into a defensive driver that day, leaving annoyingly large gaps between me and the guy in front of me. And you know what? Near the end of our drive, this is what one of those aggressive drivers did. I never hit anyone, but my car was still totaled. And thank goodness my kids and wife and I were unhurt. I'm not trying to be preachy--in my experience aggressive drivers typically pay more attention and are more aware of their surroundings--but it's something to consider when you see someone driving like I do now. Perhaps they were just in a near-disastrous collision and didn't really enjoy the experience that much.


There's no way I would every share my real neuroses in a public place like this. But a safe one to share is my disgust with excess. Specifically with Happy Meals. McDonalds now insists on serving Happy Meals in these overgrown cardstock box things, and more often than not the toy is a useless garbage licensed character which has only one purpose: to take up valuable landfill space. These things truly piss me off, and I want to take all that excess packaging and shove it in the manager's face, or collect it and dump it in the parking lot at McDonald's headquarters or something. Imagine all the McDonald's restaurants around the country, each one serving hundreds of Happy Meals a day. And now imagine that they stop handing out useless, wasteful garbage that goes straight into the trash cans before you even leave the building. I'm hyperventilating with rage just thinking of the environmental impact of the production, shipping, and disposal of all that useless packaging.

Same thing with most toys nowadays. They are over-packaged, and I wish environmentalists would focus as much effort on that issue as they do on auto emissions (though that's important too).

blogless_troll said...

Robin...I would never have guessed you were an aggressive driver...Ha. Kidding. I used to be, but I don't drive as much anymore. The more I drive or the longer I sit in traffic the more aggressive I get.

Sheri, thanks for stopping by! I don't mean to be rude and laugh at you right off the bat, but that's hilarious. Thanks for sharing!

Whoa, pjd. Mirrors, you say? That would explain a lot...

I completely agree about the Happy Meals. I blame Disney. They're the pioneers of kid's meal marketing. And what really hacks me off about toys nowadays is for some reason they all need to be secured with 57 wire twisty ties. Don't want the plastic truck dinged up, but it's OK for parents to have swollen bloodied fingertips.

Robin S. said...

"The more I drive or the longer I sit in traffic the more aggressive I get." You said it, BT. I've gotten meaner, living up here.

(I thought my sweet and docile disposition would've made it nearly impossible for anyone to guess I'm an impatient driver. Hmmmph. Go figure.)

Pete, sounds to me like you're part of the 'good flow'. You don't have to be fast to be part of the
good flow, you just have to know how to drive. Bet you do.

Oh Sheri, they shouldn't do that to you, girl!

Sheri said...

BT - mission completed then! Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself (or at others) then life would only be sad. So go right ahead and laugh - I can take it!

McKoala said...

So many neuroses...where to start?

Talcum powder. It freaks me out. Smells great, looks pretty, feels like...and that's where I lose it.

Sarah said...

Aggressive driving? Moi? Actually I started realizing I was killing myself yelling at the stupid drivers out there. I also realized it ain't a race and the winner doesn't get a prize.

What helps me is listening to Harry Potter on CD while I drive the L.A. parking lots known as freeways. Then I don't care much how long it takes me to get there.

My neurosis? Hm. Landfills, clean air, all that, but probably the worst one for me is the one I don't let myself indulge in - saving all the animals in the shelters. Yep. I'd be one of those old ladies with the house full of cats.

ChristineEldin said...

PJD, I'm with you about all the waste from fast-food places. It's sickening.

Blogless, I'm with you also, laughing at Sheri's. Feels good to laugh at someone else for a change!
heh heh!!:-)

The drivers in Dubai are scary aggressive. And it's not like you can say "Those damn Brits or Japanese or Scots or whatever." they're all aggressive. Most of the accidents here end in fatalities. And since there's so much construction here, good luck finding a clear path to a hospital. One of our neighbors from two years ago had a party at his house. His wife was pregnant with twins. He dropped on the floor having a heart attack. The ambulance took over an hour to get to the house, and even longer to the hospital. He died of course.
Sorry for the tangent. I'm scared of the traffic here.

Robin S. said...


That IS scary- having fast drivers with no brains or consideration that are the problem - and, I'm guessing the traffic laws and implementation thereof are suspect as well, from your description.

They remind me of example #2 in my little neurosis/rant. Stupid and selfish - a lethal combination.

Phoenix said...

Hi BT. I wanna play!

I can't remember names and faces. If we meet, I will not remember you the next time I see you until you re-introduce yourself. It will be that way until I have seen you in person at least 10 times. Looking at photos of you doesn't count. When I see someone captured on America's Most Wanted, and they show the photo they put up on the show the week before next to the person they've captured, I always say, "WTF?" They are never the same person, and I can't understand how anyone can recognize the bald man with a mustache in the photo as being the same person as the long-haired, clean-shaven guy they've captured. It just isn't possible.

I once spent 15 minutes in a restaurant chatting with someone who called me by name and spoke about things that only a good friend or close co-worker would know. But I didn't recognize her, didn't know her (and I was WAY too embarrassed to admit it!). To this day, I have no recollection of who that person was. And because I don't remember now what she looked like, I'll never know.

My neurosis is that I will be in a public place, perhaps grocery shopping in the small town near where I live, and a neighbor I won't recognize will say "Hi." For that reason, I never, ever make eye contact with anyone while I'm out in public. If they don't think I see them, I can get away with ignoring them...

Chris: You're not being aggressive. You're being assertive.

Robin: Ditto. Sounds like you, too, are assertive, not aggressive (well, regarding driving anyway...).

Mck: You, um, scare me.

blogless_troll said...

Ha-ha! Mc-aye!

Yeah, sarah, I used to tell myself it wasn't a race. But I really didn't want the fucker next to me to win either.

Hi Phoenix. Thanks for playing. Wow. You are weird. No, kidding. That's hilarious!

McKoala said...

Hi Phoenix. It's me? Remember me? How could you forget? Right, that's it, I'm never speaking to you again.

What's so scary about a talc phobia? Don't get me started on tissues. Those people who spit on tissues and scrub their kids clean. Cannot do that. Cannot even think about putting a tissue anywhere near my mouth. It's the dryness that bothers me I think.