Monday, April 25, 2011

My social disorder is assuming that everyone else has social disorders

It's no exaggeration when I say that I am probably one of the most judgmental people I know. B claims this is because I'm an asshole. But really, he's just jealous it takes him so much longer than me to decide that someone sucks. Within five minutes of meeting someone I usually know whether or not I will ever bother to speak to them again. Could be the way they talk, the Tea Party sticker they have on their car, the fact that they wouldn't share their ice cream with me or laugh at the Honey Badger video, or even that stupid Ed Hardy t-shirt they're wearing. And once you're on the Bridget Don't Care, Bridget Don't Give a Shit list, you're pretty much fucked.

But before you get there, I have a rigorous judgment process that ultimately places individuals into one of more of the following categories:

1) I LOVE YOU PLEASE BE MY FRIEND
2) I Like You, Let's Have a Beer and See What Happens
3) Annoying But Generally Harmless
4) Can't You Tell I'm Ignoring You?
5) Come Near Me Again and I Will Punch You in the Head

Once you've been judged, it takes a long time to climb out of whatever box that I stereotyped you into. On one hand, if you've been placed in category 1 or 2, you're probably going to have to stab me in the neck with a pencil and make out with my dad before you can ever get out of said categories. Even then, I'd likely chalk it up as an accident and promise to buy the next round. I totally understand that you fell into my dad's mouth. It happens. I understand. Once I like you, it's hard to get rid of me. Like that stray dog you threw a scrap of your sandwich to while on vacation in France who then followed you around for the rest of the day. I will swim across the Atlantic for you or die trying.

If you're in category 4 or 5 though, good luck and godspeed 'cause it's going to take a miracle to get you out of there. Transgressions by people in these boxes are totally unforgivable. Piss me off at any point and I'll probably throw a drink in your face and shove you down the stairs.

A friend and fellow judger and I recently had a conversation about how not only do we tend to decide upon a person's personality within an absurdly short amount of time, but we also typically decide if that person has a diagnosable social or psychological disorder within that same time span. Because, hello, doesn't everyone? On a related note, I cannot wait for the hate mail that comes with this post.

To be perfectly clear, there's nothing wrong with having any or all of these disorders. There should be no stigma and no judgment. But if society and pop culture have taught us one thing, it's that no one is just plain old awkward anymore; everyone has "social anxiety." Too shy to talk to girls? Social disorder. A bit too slovenly for modern society's tastes? Social disorder. Aren't too keen on making eye contact? Social disorder. And you know what's the most fucked up of all? All these kids are being medicated for their awkwardness. There are children running around on Xanax! If anyone needs a Xanax around here, it's totally me. Whenever I showed any sign of worry as a kid my parents told me to pull my head out of my ass because there were children dying in Africa. And you know what I did? I occasionally pulled my head out of my ass.

My friend and I chat for hours about family members and children and people we work with. According to society's new standards, just about everyone has Asperger's. Except us, of course. If I'm walking down the hallway and say hello to you and you do not say hello back, I'm just going to go ahead and assume you have some form of a social disability. If you do not make eye contact with me when I try to smile at you, disability for sure. If I'm running past you and give a wave while you quickly put your head down, low self-esteem.

There's a man who I see on a daily basis. He wears a bow tie ... every day. If you're going to be so bold to include a bow tie into your wardrobe on a consistent basis, I'm going to be so bold as to assume that you are awesome. Only really fun people and grandfathers wear bow ties. Both tend to know how to make a great cocktail, go for the awkward butt grab in public and are generally overly friendly while they call you things like "sweetheart" and "doll baby." It just so happens that I'm a sucker for both really fun people and grandfathers.

I've come to the conclusion however that this man is neither really fun nor a grandfather. He seems to be a few years younger than me, so that probably rules out the grandfather bit. But every single time I pass him, I give him my friendliest, smiliest hello. In return, he points his head towards the ground, mumbles something incoherent and strides as fast as he can away from me. Every. Single. Day. Now, I'm used to people running as fast as they can away from me, but not people in bow ties. People in bow ties usually like me. Conclusion: social anxiety disorder. With a thing for bow ties.

I'm fairly certain it's a blatant sign of egomania that I assume that the only reason someone would not want to socially engage with me with is because they have a disability of some sort. Why else wouldn't you smile at me? I love smiling. But this is New England, after all. New Englanders hate smiling. So what we have now is a girl in her mid-20s stumbling around Boston smiling at everyone and becoming increasingly agitated when no one smiles back.

Conclusion: everyone else in Boston thinks I have a social disorder. I'm beginning to understand why the gynecological nurse didn't believe me when I told her I was not on anti-anxiety medication.

Prescription: 4,000 mg of martinis and 2 cc of WTF. Discontinue use if there is vomiting or key throwing.

11 comments:

Becky Mochaface said...

I'm almost too nervous to ask which group I fall into.

Kels said...

That was hilarious and I totally agree. I'm a Bostonian, born and raised. I never knew how unfriendly we could be until I moved to the south. We're assholes through and through.

Bridget said...

@Becky BE MY FRIEND.

@Kels yeah, you guys are just plain mean. MEAN.

Stacie Jean said...

I'm in love with this post and it has me written all over the place. My categories for friends are identical and I judge people like hella fast.

Becky Mochaface said...

I forgot to add that when I worked at the Starbucks on the corner of Boylston & Berkeley, people visiting Boston would often comment about how nice I was and they were surprised to find someone nice in Boston. When I told them I was actually from Texas they always said Ah, I get it now. Every single time.

black tag diaries said...

totally just found your blog... and i might be a little bit obsessed. i just peed in my pants reading this post... your theory on bowties is beyond perfect... love your writing style.

ps... you should probably just move to the south... we like to smile down here... we probably all have some type of social disorder... but completely beside the point.

Kim @ Say What?! said...

This is without a doubt the funniest thing i've read in a while. My husband and I are proud judgers, but we don't want people to know that, lest they judge us. Also, on occasion I try to reform myself into a non-judger and berate my husband for his comments - usually this involves a comment about social disorders: " you shouldn't say that, I think he has Asperger's. What if our children end up having Asperger's? How would you like people judging them?".

Kim @ Say What?! said...

This is without a doubt the funniest thing i've read in a while. My husband and I are proud judgers, but we don't want people to know that, lest they judge us. Also, on occasion I try to reform myself into a non-judger and berate my husband for his comments - usually this involves a comment about social disorders: " you shouldn't say that, I think he has Asperger's. What if our children end up having Asperger's? How would you like people judging them?".

Bridget said...

@Becky Ah, I get it.

@black tag diaries AND I hear it's warmer in the south. I'm on my way ...

@Kim Clearly, I will be punished by having an entire flock of awkward children with some kind of disorder. It'll happen.

Bridget said...

@Stacie Jean bitches say what

Wendy said...

Awesome. You just described my life. And probably one of my social disorders.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin