Monday, October 28, 2013

Hubris Will Bite You in the Ass

First, let me address the title of this piece. I was trying to show off and use a Big Word, but I confess that I had to look it up first. You know, to be sure I was using it correctly. So that's a little embarrassing. But here's what Wikipedia says:

Hubris /ˈhjuːbrɪs/, also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. Hubris is usually associated with the "simple-minded". 

I'd like to call your attention to this section of the definition: Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality

Ummm, so, yes, I WAS using it correctly. If anyone's in doubt, there's also THIS:

Hubris is usually associated with the "simple-minded". 

Now that we've got that straight, on with my post! I secured my pants with a giant paper clip today. You know, one of these:

I know it's not a paper clip, but I'm too lazy to look up the proper word.
Why did I use this not-a-paperclip to fasten my pants, you ask? It wasn't because my zipper broke or the button fell off my pants. It's because the pants were so damn tight that I couldn't stand it anymore. So I hunched in my cubicle at work, unbuttoned the top button (OKAY, FINE, AND LOOSENED THE ZIPPER A BIT TOO), and used the clip to adjust them to a more, errrr, accommodating size. Fortunately, I was wearing one of my old wardrobe staples -- a baggy, forgiving shirt -- so I was fairly sure the freakish-looking shape that was now jutting out of my abdomen like the darling baby alien from "Alien" wasn't obvious.

It's a boy!
I didn't feel spectacular about wearing these particular pants today but I was in a rush, so I figured they would do. The pants are made of some bizarre linenish-but-not-remotely-natural material. They're gray and crinkley (bonus! No ironing required; they're SUPPOSED to look like that!). They're also kind of a "slim" fit. I'd jettisoned them from my wardrobe around the same time as my muffin top reared its grotesque head.

In case you needed a refresher...
Without doing anything resembling exercise, I've shed a few pounds. Maybe it's the Swank Diet? A raging case of terminal cancer, more likely. Whatever the reason, I vividly recall the moment I triumphantly welcomed the gray pants back into my wardrobe. I was tired of the same three pairs I'd been wearing. So, just last weekend, I eased open the closet door and gingerly took out the gray ones. I slipped them on, trotted over to the mirror, and -- no ghastly bulges. I turned around. No giant wedge!

"Welcome back to the rotation!" I said out loud, addressing my pants. No, really, I did. I said that to my pants in the mirror.

Clearly, I was feeling mighty pleased with myself. Clearly, I'd forgotten every single horror movie I'd ever seen (except for "Alien.") You know -- there's always a scene when a stupid character bellows: "Things couldn't POSSIBLY get any worse!"  or sighs, "Thank's over!" after tossing the gun/knife/hammer aside, and you just shake your head because the person saying it is so stupid. Of course things will get worse (duh), and no way are they over.

So, yeah. That was me. Tempting fate and displaying a helluva lot of hubris with my smug little comment. It didn't matter that no one except Squeaky and Capt. Nap (and the pants) heard me; Fate heard me. And my comment came back to bite me in the ass.

I know what you're hoping. You're hoping I have a picture of myself crammed into these pants with the unsightly alien-like protrusion that you will secretly enjoy noting is TOTALLY obvious, baggy shirt or no baggy shirt. Nope! Sorry, friends. I do have a shred of dignity left. You'll have to be content with this:

In case you forgot, the pants are supposed to look that wrinkled.
I've left the clip right there on the hanger as a reminder for the next time I start feeling a bit too pleased with myself. It's also there for the next time I want to wear the pants!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Top 4 Most Annoying People at the Movies (and How to Avoid Them)

As my name suggests, I am easily irritated. I'd like to share my thoughts on an entertainment venue that has enormous potential to be irritating: the movie theater.

Okay, to be fair, it's not the venue that's annoying, it's the people IN that venue: my fellow moviegoers. Presumably, we're all there to sit quietly and enjoy the film. That's why *I'm* there, anyway. Not so certain others in the audience. In a movie theater, I gain special powers. I become an Annoying Person Magnet (APM). I would much prefer to become an Annoying Person Repellent, but we must play the cards we've been dealt.

What does an APM do, you ask? Well, quite simply, regardless of the movie or what time it's showing, irritating people are drawn to the seats next to, in front of, or behind me. You're probably thinking, "Gee, Ms. CrankyPants, sounds as if you are quite a curmudgeon. Surely it's not that bad." Here's what I say to YOU: No, I'm not* and yes, it is.

I've come up with a list of the types of annoying people I regularly encounter at theaters and have thoughtfully provided the few ways I've managed to outwit them.

1. The Rude Teenagers Putting Their Feet on the Seat in Front of Them: You know who I'm talking about. The ones who, while the lights are still up and people are shambling around with their buckets of popcorn and gallons of soda looking for seats, sit there in full view, legs draped over the seats in front of them, staring balefully at the grownups. I'm not ashamed to admit it: teenagers frighten me. A lot. I don't want to sit in front of them and turn around to give them a Pointed Stare (which they'll ignore, naturally) or, worse, a stern talking-to. That's because the instant I were to turn back around to face the screen, they'd be throwing popcorn and jujubees in my hair and chortling gleefully. The only way to avoid these rude teenagers is to get to the theater good and early and stake out the back row. I've forced many a friend ("I don't CARE if you forgot your glasses, we're sitting in the back!") to hike up to the very back row and squint for 2.5 hours, just so I don't have to confront a teenager. (Note: in the aftermath of an especially bad relapse, when walking was hugely challenging, I clenched my teeth and made the Mt. Everest-like climb to the back, clutching the railing and gasping, ignoring the people staring at me. I realize not everyone with MS can do this. There was a mercifully brief time when I could not walk at all, so I try never to take it for granted, and I certainly do not mean to offend anyone with this post.)

2. The Kicker: Typically, these are young children (although they might be rude teenagers too) who are accompanied by an oblivious adult. Solution: same as above -- secure a seat in the back row. It's your only defense. Ha HA, would-be seat kicker! Can't kick my seat now! In your FACE!

3. The Bag Crinkler/Soda Slurper: Okay, sure, part of the movie experience is shoveling in treats. I get it; I do it too. But I try to get all of my noisy bag rustling done during loud parts of the movie. And, if my movie treats are crunchy, I try to not chomp loudly during quiet, heart-tugging parts of the show. Few things are more distracting than trying to listen to someone's dying words over the CRACKLE, ROOT, RUSTLE, CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH of a nearby person groping around in his bag of popcorn. Or, and this actually happened to me very recently, someone trying to suck out the last molecule from their cup of soda. This activity involved lots of ice-shaking, slurping, more ice-shaking, violent sucking, and, FINALLY, the dad grabbing the huge cup of soda out of his kid's hands. Bless that man. I was about to do it myself. (HAHA! Not really: children frighten me only slightly less than teenagers.) Unfortunately, apart from moving seats, there is no remedy for this one. Back row doesn't prevent the Bag Crinkler/Soda Slurper from parking him- or herself directly in front of or next to you.

4. The Chatters: These usually fall into two groups: children and old people. I can sort of understand children. I mean, they don't know what's going on, so they ask questions. Often, and loudly. Okay, fine. I can deal. Old people, though, come on! They've been around long enough to know how movies work. You pipe down and enjoy the show. Unfortunately, the problem usually results when the old person can't hear well and missed some dialogue or a plot development. "Mildred, who is that man? What did he just say?" "Harvey, that's the main character. He just said he's going to drive to the grocery store." "Mildred, what did he say now? I missed it." "Harvey, that's because you were talking." It's an exhausting process. Here's the only solution I've found: switch seats. A tip that may allow you to avoid moving seats: when you arrive (early, remember!), scan the crowd. Avoid all areas that have clusters of kids, teens, and old people. These are Trouble Zones. If people are talking loudly during the previews, there's an excellent chance they'll keep up the chattering during the movie too.

So, there you have it -- my list of annoying people in movies and ways to avoid them. As we wrap up here, you may be wondering: Why do I subject myself to movies when I often find them exasperating? A fine question. Yes, indeed. When I figure out the answer, I'll get back to you.

*Maybe it's slightly me being a curmudgeon.