Friday, May 07, 2010

Threat Level Orange!

I am definitely a social phobic.

My fiancĂ© refuses to believe this – meaning he either is blinded by love for me or I hide it well through a complicated set of compensation and protective measures. Probably the former.

I’ve never been too nervous about public speaking or giving presentations. However, situations that involve unscripted interaction with actual humans (i.e., 89% of daily life) fill me with a anything from mild fear to abject terror.

It’s often difficult to explain exactly HOW scary social situations can be to those of you who gleefully walk up to strangers and begin chatting like old friends.

However, I’ve found that most people can empathize with being afraid of things that present actual, physical threats.

Therefore, to bridge the communication gap, I have created some helpful side-by-side scenarios that compare social situations with physical threats that would objectively inspire the same level of fear in any reasonable person.

To make it both EVEN CLEARER and EVEN MORE COMPLEX, I’ve also tacked on a threat-based, color-coded system, adapted from the Department of Homeland Security scheme that we ignore every day. This will help you understand the protective measures a social phobic like myself will often apply.

Time for the scenarios:

Fine. Not so bad. Now we begin to get wary ...

Feel the heightened sense of fear ...

Raw terror ...

Based on recent experience, I would place this nearly at the top of the scale:

Sometimes, it's wisest just to give up:

Thursday, May 06, 2010


It's a sad, sad day when I'm trying my hardest to focus on a task I need to finish but in the past hour have gotten heavily distracted by googling pictures of hyenas.

And by discovering that this pops up at the top of the page when you google "kitten."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Raptor: A Love Story

Even with my vast expertise in shopping, at times I become obsessed with non-practical purchases.

But this is not one of those times.

It began with an auto show I went to at the Convention Center this winter with my fiance and his brother.

I’d never been to an auto show, but I always thought that people who went to them enjoyed big American pickup trucks, NASCAR, chewing tobacco, ketchup, and deviled ham. Often at the same time.

(Please note: Perhaps I should have thought about this more carefully, as my central beliefs include the following:
  • Deviled ham is delicious on soft white bread with the crusts cut off
  • It will eventually be revealed that Biblical references to “manna” are code for “ketchup”
Anyway, without the benefit of introspection, and because my fiance's brother was paying, I went in.

I was less than thrilled to discover that the entire upper floor was American cars. I may have been whining about why there weren’t any Audis when I saw it.

The Ford F-150 Raptor SVT.

It was bright orange, and I was in love. I struggled past the pack of men to sit inside.

Right then (or possibly after googling) I knew. I would need it in Tuxedo Black, and definitely in the 6.2 L version, as the 5.4 L would be unacceptably slow for my purposes.

Like any good romance, this one seems a bit star-crossed at first blush, particularly by arguments about practicality.

So ... consider this the definitive response to those who question me.

No, haters. I don’t live in a desert or even within 100 miles of an unpaved road, and no, I don’t race trucks in Baja. But whatever. I might someday.

To further my case, I offer you a sampling of uses relevant to my daily life.

There is the obvious:
The less obvious but just as critical ...
And then there’s always my favorite ...