I find myself having the most bizarre inner monologues every day. Like while I was on the bus yesterday, I sat in the elderly/disabled section because it was empty and there seemed to be no one around fitting those descriptions. But then as the bus filled progressively with each stop, I started wondering, at what point does it become offensive to offer someone your seat on the bus? How old do they have to look? Because if they look old but aren’t actually that old, your attempt at being polite ends up backfiring. Is it best to just not offer your seat unless someone is BLATANTLY like on the brink of death? Also, what if you mistake someone for being disabled who isn’t actually? Is “disabled” even the politically correct term?
I also consistently wonder, what does it say about me that I buy toilet paper in bulk? That I’m prepared? That I like to think ahead? That I require a lot of toilet paper?
And the other day, I went to the post office to buy stamps. They had Rosa Park stamps, and the clerk was black, so I wondered if it would be offensive to NOT buy the Rosa Park stamps. And then I thought, is it offensive that I’m wondering if that’s offensive?
Also, do you ever notice how the women in ice cream or chocolate commercials, or just food commercials generally, don’t actually eat? Like you see them and go, “I know that bitch isn’t eating a Magnum bar” or, “Yeah, that nondescript model eats at Carl’s Jr., and I’m fucking Michael Jackson” (get it?? He’s dead, so it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to be fucking him. And even if he weren’t, I’m too old for him HEY-O SELF-FIVE for that one). Unless it’s for like, Stouffer’s, of course, and then they have to make it appeal more to middle-America. So it’s always a chubby housewife in a stock, solid-color, most likely pastel, cardigan and khaki capri pants, wearing practical sandals and serving a lasagna to her perfect family.
Also, I would LOVE to be under house arrest. Are you kidding me? To not be able to leave your house, and just watch TV and eat pizza all day in your pajamas? That’s what I do already. So to have it be a mandate would just be amazing because then I’d have a justification for it and it would look less weird.
Besides random thought streams like those, I also have other weird, more aggressive, thoughts and reactions, specifically when it comes to other people. I just, hate, people. Like I was seeing this one guy, and when I realized he was a clingy narcissist and quickly got over him, I didn’t just stop there. I went on to develop and nurture a fiery, vehement hatred of him. On Valentine’s Day, after I’d already ended things with him, he sent me the following text message: “Happy Vday Alex. For the record I still think you’re gorgeous”……………………………… Let’s unpack that. First of all, when he said Vday, it just made me think of vaginas, frankly. So Vday was his first mistake. And then saying, “For the record, I still think you’re gorgeous”—how dare he? Don’t put me in a box! Don’t label me! You don’t get to define me! Stop imposing your judgment of my physical self on me. When I got that text message from him, all I wanted to say in response was, “I hope you die.” I had such a violently angry, disproportionate reaction to it. To recap, when someone tells me they think I’m gorgeous, I wish death upon them.
I react to people with this sort of disdain all the time. Like, the other day, I was in line at Starbucks, and the two girls in front of me were chattering relentlessly and incessantly. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I tapped one of them on the shoulder and said, “Hi. I was wondering if you could just stop talking. Like, could you just—the way your lips are moving right now, could you just stop all of that. A cessation of your lip movements and the noises coming out of your mouth would be great.”
And don’t get me started on people who take more than the allowed number of items in a grocery store express lane. As a general rule, people in lines are the worst. Once, I was in line to see a DJ at a club (so I was already in humanity’s cesspool), and one of the guys behind me had an accent that kept shifting between douchey American and douchey British. He was calling other people assholes even though he was blowing cigarette smoke in my face. And he had this creepy moustache, so I turned around, pointed to it and said, “How’s that working for you? You pick up a lot of kids with that?”
When I finally got inside the club to meet up with my friends and some of their friends whom I hadn’t met before, I decided I didn’t want to drink because not even alcohol could salvage this experience. But they asked me 400 times why I wasn’t drinking. They looked at me like something was severely wrong with me and went, “You’re not drinking?? Why?” After attempting to politely decline several times, I finally just said, “I don’t know, you’re just like a fucking D.A.R.E. ad right now–or one of those poorly shot films they showed us in middle school about the perils of Jimmy, clad in Jenkos and a supremely precise bowl cut, succumbing to peer pressure and binge drinking in the basement of his best friend Tom’s mom’s house, not to be confused with his dad’s house because they’re divorced, which also has a basketball hoop in the driveway in the cul de sac because every good suburban home does. Never have I been so turned off by alcohol–in fact, usually it’s the only thing that brings me happiness, so thanks, you’ve ruined the one good thing in my life.”
And of course they asked me about the tattoo on my chest by groping me so they could get a good look at it. I told them it’s my grandmother’s handwriting, and they gave me the pity look, (interestingly, the same exact look they gave me when they found out I wasn’t drinking), and said “Aww, did she pass away?” I said, “First of all, we’re in a club. You can say die. And yeah, she’d kill me for getting this tattoo, so good thing she’s already dead!” I laughed heartily at my own joke, but they looked at me like I had just said that Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t deserve his own holiday and we should give it to Hitler. Oh, that’s the line? Suddenly I was the line crosser? But it’s ok to invade the physical boundaries of someone you’ve just met and mercilessly push alcohol on them. Glad we clarified that.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, everyone in the club was humping each other, so I was forced to just watch the sex that was happening in front of me. When I finally escaped and was walking to my car, I passed one of those sausage vendors who sells mysterious, albeit delicious-smelling, meat to drunk idiots in the middle of the night. He said to me, “You look hungry.” Oh that poor man. Little did he know.. I launched into an inquisition: “What is that supposed to mean? Are you calling me fat? Are you saying I look fat person-hungry or skinny person-hungry? Explain yourself!”
And it’s not just line people, or club people, or sausage vendors who are horrible. Coming full circle, bus people are even worse. That person who sits next to you on the bus even though there are plenty of empty seats. That guy. He has no sense of personal space. He makes loud phone calls and constantly just expands his body. I encountered one of those over Thanksgiving while I was on a bus to San Francisco. So it’s safe to assume he was visiting someone for the holiday. I thought to myself, “I can’t believe anyone loves this person. Or would have him as a guest.” And then you do the passive aggressive thing where you stretch your arms to bump against his, thinking that will give him the hint. Not this guy. I did that move at least 14 times and not once did he budge. I think it actually gave him strength because he just kept expanding and invading my space more. It’s like me asserting myself by stretching my arms was his food, his nourishment. And then you’re doubly mad, because not only did asserting yourself backfire, but also by doing that, you’ve just gotten his nasty body germs on you. And now you need to immediately wash your sweater when you get off the bus. The next time I’m on the bus, I’m going to leave my bag on the seat next to mine, and when someone asks, “Is someone sitting there?” I’m going to say, “Not you.”
Also, I know I started out by describing all of these thoughts and reactions I have as abnormal. But I actually think they’re totally rational. I just preface them by saying they’re weird or crazy, because I know you’ll all think they’re crazy, and would think I was even crazier if I didn’t say they were crazy. So that probably means I’m a sociopath. But, would a sociopath be self-aware enough to know she was a sociopath?
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