Typology of Love: Spoiled

There are these people who are so popular with the representatives of the sex that interests them that they become very spoiled and picky. Nobody is good enough, everybody is somehow flawed, no one deserves their attention. This candidate’s ears are funny, this one has an annoying laugh, that one has a weird shirt in his closet. Never mind that s/he doesn’t wear the weird shirt. Who needs a person who is capable of owning such a piece of clothing? There has to be something tragically wrong with them. The Spoiled type will disregard every wonderful thing about the admirer to obsess about some insignificant little detail. This is one of those cases where too much choice is a bad thing.

However, if Spoiled meets somebody who manages not to annoy them for the first couple of weeks and avoids providing them with a reason to end the relationship, Spoiled will be so stricken by this novel feeling that s/he will elevate this unusual partner to the category of special people s/he considers herself to be part of and will worship them forever.

People interested in Spoiled should try to be as silent and evasive at the very beginning as possible. Once the trial period is over, Spoiled will become unbreakably loyal forever.

A Surprising Realization

I’m shaky, I’m anxious, I drop everything, I feel overwhelmed by every little task. There seems to be so much to do, yet I flail between tasks like a headless chicken, accomplishing nothing. The idea of getting myself to a departmental meeting on Thursday is daunting. It looms ahead like a formidable task of terrifying proportions. I try answering student emails but can’t formulate a single sentence. The need to choose what to make for dinner scares me. When I imagine that starting next Monday I will have to get up, get dressed, put on make-up, and go teach my classes gives me a panic attack.

“What is it?” I ask myself. “What’s happening to me?”

I vaguely remember reading about this. All of my symptoms sound very familiar.

Finally, it hits me: I have the “housewife syndrome”!

I’m not even a real housewife. In these past four months, I worked a lot. I taught my online course, translated, worked on my research. Still, being at home, away from the structured environment of the workplace, the hierarchy, the network of daily professional relationships has turned me into this indecisive, unproductive, disorganized creature who is daunted by the simplest tasks.

The year I spent writing my dissertation produced very similar results, only they were more intense. It took me almost a year to get fully rehabilitated and reintegrated into the workplace.

If anybody has any advice or suggestions on how to get myself together, I will appreciate that.

Broken Record

Have you noticed how the Republican approach to this year’s presidential elections is the exact copy of the one four years ago?

A presidential candidate who is not much loved by his party and who barely manages to get the nomination chooses as his running mate somebody he has no reason to adore, somebody who is rabidly anti-abortion, has very extreme views and a very schematic understanding of the economy, and who will only appeal to a very small group of population because of how radical s/he is.

We’ve all seen this before. This strategy failed when opposing a young, inexperienced Barack Obama. Now that the “lack of experience”card is gone, replaying the strategy that has already proven to be a losing one makes very little sense. And the last time around, we at least saw a moderately charismatic candidate and a very charismatic running mate. This time, both candidates would be pressed to find an ounce of charisma between the two of them.

I think what we seeing is the classic case of a party being so spoiled by 8 years of being in power and doing whatever it wanted that it still can’t get out of the “why listen to what people want?” mentality. Four years haven’t been enough for the Republicans to recognize that the absolute majority of people in this country wants abortion (albeit with some restrictions), in vitro, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, Planned Parenthood, and Social Security. Most would prefer to see the Pentagon budget cut than their Medicare taken away (which is a policy that Obama pursued and his opponents denounce). People have been awakened by a major recession and promising them to take away all these entitlements they have been used to because politicians have messed up and the Treasury is empty will not satisfy the voters.

Of course, as long as the Republicans are stuck in this broken record mode, they will keep losing Presidential elections.

I don’t think we need to worry much about the upcoming election. If the President manages to avoid any “Polish death camps” statements, if the economy doesn’t implode for whatever reason, and if Israel avoids hitting Iran, Obama has this election in his pocket.

Everybody who can vote, should still go vote, though.

And what do you think of Paul Ryan and his contribution to the Republican ticket?

A Riddle: The Fifties

I’m watching a Russian TV show. A very young woman says, “Nobody wants to be a housewife these days and men hate them, too. It was fashionable to be a housewife in the fifties, but not any more.”

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know why this is hilarious. You will also be able to figure out what cultural phenomenon is behind this statement.