Monday, December 5, 2011

A Tip of the Hat: MISS PISSED or Hyperbole And A Half

Ever have one of those moments where you realize that the situation at hand calls for an emotional reaction of, say, a 4 or 5 on the ten scale...but you, for some reason, are clocking in at a solid 8?

It starts simply.

Like with a parking lot.

Just drivin' around, lookin' for a space.

A minute later, slightly flustered, still drivin'. Appropriate irritation level: 2. Erin's personal irritation level: generally a 4.

Five minutes later, STILL driving, finally spot a space. Appropriate elation level: 5. Erin's elation level: akin to world conquest.

Go to pull into said space, douchebag in a Chevy Cobalt whips in. Crooked. Appropriate emotional response: 6.5. It involves yelling. Some fist waving. Perhaps a rude gesture. Erin's emotional response: Erin cannot come to the phone right now. Erin is too busy horsewhipping a mother who, having just parked at the neighborhood Kroger, was attempting to unbuckle a child from the rear seat of a Chevy Cobalt.

Yes, yes, yes.

This kind of thing happens to me all the time. And usually, my response remains static: "The situation obviously called for action. Good thing I brought along my pick axe..."

But lately I fear the horsewhip and pick axe may be lashing and hacking the prospectus of justice (yes, it now comes in the form of a convenient, pocket-sized leaflet) a bit too often.

Like at my bathroom sink. Which WILL NOT, despite all attempts to the contrary, flow without shuddering so violently that the reverberation knocks over that basket-thingy that hangs from the shower head. Appropriate emotional response regarding the clunky fall of my soap from the hangy-thing dish: 3. My actual emotional response: I'll let you know once I've finished tearing the 106 year old sink from its wall mount.

You see, it's not that I'm insane per se. It's really just that I feel things more deeply than other people. And I should know. My therapists, my parents, my teachers, my bosses and the voices in my head have confirmed this on several occasions.

And the Saint John's Wort doesn't help. Neither does the Prozac, the Zoloft, the Lexapro, the Wellbutrin, the Effexor or any other SSRI, MAOI or any other anagram the market has to offer.

You go out of town for two days? Normal "miss" factor: 4. Erin's "miss" factor: add a coupla zeros to the end.

You say something insensitive? Normal "pissed" factor: 7. Erin's "pissed" factor: ask me as I leave your stupid ass at the 7-11.

Choose to leave my life forever, claiming any number of whiny, woe-is-me excuses? Normal "miss/pissed" factor: 9. Erin's "miss/pissed" factor: I may not like loud noises, but when I'm pissed my hands are steady. When I aim, I DON'T MISS.

Wow. That got negative in a hurry. Actual scale of negativity of last statement: 10. Level of negativity necessary to drive point home: 6. Thus making me at a current Overreaction Scale level of +4.

Not bad for a Monday morning.

Aw, for heaven's sake. Come out from under your desk, you big baby. I'm not going to shoot you. Damned thing's not even loaded anyway...

But I am gonna cry if you go away for a few days. And I am gonna laugh louder than anyone else in the room at a joke that clearly only rated a 5.6. I will take it personally and seriously when it was meant with a wink. And I will wink inappropriately when you wish to God that I would, "straighten up and take this seriously."

If it calls for a 3, I will give you a 6. Which, I guess, means if you're needing a 6, I'll give you a 9.

There goes that inappropriate wink again...

Guess you could say I'm just programed this way. Maybe I am Hyperbole And A Half.

1 comment:

  1. Just went to the kitchen. Poured a bowl of cereal which, upon inspection, contained NO FREEZE DRIED STRAWBERRIES. Irate, I returned to the kitchen, fished one out of the cereal box, and plunked it in my bowl. Suck it, Special K.