Monday, August 30, 2010

snob snubbing

i'm jinxing myself when i say this, but my unemployment has yet to feel like anything other than a vacation which, frankly, is not the best mentality to have as far as, you know, getting stuff done. 
as of tonight the hardest thing, really, has been adapting my small talk because i had one of the most fun sounding jobs on the planet. it made small talk much, much easier because if (when) the conversation lagged i could shout out "i work at a chocolate factory!!" and then the people would oooh and aaah and then i'd toss my hair and say, "ya... it's not a big deal."
my people skills are suspect.
anyways, i was thinking about it and i would say that 95% of the time my job-related small talk followed a very nice, safe, formulaic pattern, meaning we either talked about oompa loompas, or how contextually thin i am best conversation topic ever!.

which reminds me of a story which, sadly, is not about one of those conversations.


this is the story about the equally formulaic 5 percent subtraction! of the time type conversation.
quite a while ago i went to this party where i didn't really know anybody and i wound up having a conversation with this guy who didn't seem to like anything or anybody and could not wrap his brain around the fact that growing up i never skied or went boating. i finally had to have this weirdly candid moment where i explained to him that unlike him and all his siblings (i'd gone to high school with revertigo!), i'd grown up in the (very slightly) less affluent part of town middle class! where people didn't own boats. and instead of ski passes, my parents wisely bought me braces and piano lessons.
it was the better choice.
considering the situation, i felt i handled things rather adroitly adroitly!. and by that i mean i never brought up my suspicions that he has money to spend on skiing because he still lives with his parents is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?.

and then the awkward silence fell. 

i'm sure you can tell that it was only a matter of time before i pulled out my safety topic.
"i work at a chocolate factory!!"
that's when i found out i was talking to a self proclaimed "chocolate snob." again i say the 5% conversation is just as formulaic as the 95% conversation. with the added chore of being super annoying. he talked very condescendingly about antioxidants. he talked about another local chocolate maker who is just, like, totally passionate about his product and you can completely tell, and it's all about higher end products and nobody who knows anything about quality chocolate would ever eat hersheys cue: me, lifting up the bag of hershey's kisses i'd brought to the party--- and i tolerated his little rant and smiled smirked politely but here's the thing, i've worked at a chocolate factory for 7 years, i've been to thirty bajillion trade shows where i have, at times been known to stalk food network "stars", i actually know and have worked with most of the local chocolatiers, and i like to think i've tried a wider variety of chocolate than the average person. this is why i feel i can say with confidence and perhaps even some authority that chocolate is good.
that's it.
it's good. it tastes good.
and i promise you that anyone who tries to make much more of the situation is selling something princess bride!.

i walked away from the conversation more bothered than i probably should have been because it was so indicative of what i've felt surrounded by the last couple of years, self proclaimed snobs. i'm tired of dealing with it in others and i'm tired of seeing it in myself. chocolate snobs, music snobs, grammar snobs... they're everywhere, they're taking over and they disdain me, what with my hershey's kisses, and my huey lewis, and my persistence in starting most of my sentences with "and!"
and i just want to ask, at what point is it okay to like stuff? unabashedly and nonironically? this isn't about having an opinion or stating a preference because that i love. it's about, first of all, defining yourself entirely by what you don't like and second, not just disliking something but disliking the people who like it.

first of all, yes, what i'm saying is that i dislike people who dislike stuff. 

second, since that party i've been trying to dial down my own inner snob by about a thousand... and it's hard... you know, because my default position is snark. it's basically a work in progress. i will say this, though, when i'm able to shut up my inner snob i wind up having amazing moments like this...

and i am so not being ironic.

Friday, August 06, 2010


my birthday is tomorrow and the prospect of turning 29 is bringing out my crazy.
it has nothing to do with getting older (seriously, bring on my thirties. bring it!). i just can't seem to shake the thought that this is the last year of my twenties (in my head, vincent price is saying it) and it's making me think.
and you know what happens when girls like me start thinking...

additionally, i'm right in the middle of an overwhelmingly busy few weeks. i put in my two weeks notice at work last week and somewhere around wednesday, the endorphin high wore off and now there's just panic. and darkness.
and really well-intentioned psychological monkey torture from all fronts.

it's great.

so, i have this mondo to-do list that has somehow morphed into a to-do loop. it's like the wyld stallyn paradox...

my to-do loop usually starts with me looking for a mac os x upgrade and gradually spirals into loopy madness. about 10 minutes later the only thing my brain can do to escape the loop is let the birthday crazy interrupt with something weird and random like "i should totally take tap dancing lessons!"
"taco bell! i should go to taco bell!"
"i'm going to get another dog!"
"how much does botox even cost?"

at this point, i'd like to take a moment to talk about what has happened to my analogy. from what i can tell, there is one side of me having a birthday related breakdown. this side of me finds it necessary to- in grand, mr. roper from "three's company" style- constantly burst in on the bill & ted, unemployed, other side of me and say something nonsensical.
uh hu. yep. sure.
i guess i just wanted you to know that i know that at some point in my rambling, something went very wrong.

i suspect everything will be fine once my birthday is over with and i'm done working insane, overtimey hours and i stop getting life advice from people who really don't think i am in any way a capable person.

you do know that our ability to find our own pain amusing is the only thing that separates us from the beasts, don't you?
and by "beasts" i mean "people on reality tv shows."