Monthly Archives: April 2014

Still waiting for “2nd-hand embarressment syndrome” to become the diagnosis of our generation

Most people I know have at some point jokingly suggested that I’m on the spectrum, but I’m pretty sure I’m a bit TOO empathetic sometimes. Or what do you call it when you have to close your eyes and cover your ears when something embarrassing happens to fictional characters on TV? I got told off yesterday by my boyfriend who yelled “No! You have to watch! Seriously, you can’t be cripplingly embarrassed by an animated children’s movie!” Well, yes I can and yes I was. I find comedies terribly hard to watch for that reason. I know some people mute the TV during the scary bits in horror movies, and that’s basically what I do but with rom-coms or pure comedies instead.

And what is that thing called when you subscribe feelings to an object incapable of having feelings? I feel really guilty when I forget to water my plants. Sometimes I move my stuffed animals around in the flat “just so they have something fun to do”. I also feel bad when I think of how every terrible thing my mind can come up with has probably, statistically, happened to someone at some point. My empathy is haywire. I’m probably confusing the word empathy with sympathy again, but it’s too late in the evening and I’m too lazy to look it up.

I like doing personality and IQ tests so I took the Baron-Cohen empathy-systematizing test just for fun, and then I made my boyfriend do it. Some of the questions were really weird or stereotypical, but it could be that they’re dummy questions. Anyhow, I was amused to find that we received nearly identical scores. I think he got 22 and I got 23 on the empathy test and we both got 31 IIRC in the systematizing bit. It’s not really a result I’d humblebrag about on Facebook, but hey, we’re well-matched in our deficiencies.

In the end I’m not too fussed, seeing as I can enjoy this chocolate frog without feeling like a horrible human being:

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Here’s a tidbit of truth that I realized today: I think I would be really bad at saving money if I wasn’t so picky. I think most things are ugly or useless, which keeps me from spending too much money. The things that I don’t find actively ugly, I usually find too bland and boring to buy.

Another reason why I don’t buy more than I do is that I don’t buy more than one of the same item, unless I have a VERY good reason to. I remember saying to a friend when we were in college that I was tired of dragging a suitcase of items back and forth from mum to dad every weekend and she asked “Why don’t you just keep one item of each at both their places?” and I don’t think it had ever occurred to me before. I think it led to me purchasing an extra alarm clock. This is the direct opposite from my boyfriend, who I often make fun of because he has like three kitchen spatulas, when I would probably be quite happy with just owning one spoon, one fork and one knife.

Reading that you might get the impression that I’m very frugal, which certainly isn’t the case. I’m not very good with money, I just know I would be even worse if my personality was different. I spend far too much on food and going to coffee houses, for example. Most of the clothes I do buy are a bit on the expensive side. I don’t buy high-fashion brands, but I buy shirts for somewhere between £20 – 50.

I don’t think I “get” fashion, I think high-fashion is the most ridiculous and absurd thing on the planet, and plenty of the designer brands out there are just awful. The worst brands I know is Marc Jacobs and Ed Hardy, but the latter is so universally hated and mocked that it’s not fun to make fun of them anymore. Marc Jacobs is in comparison inoffensive, but their jewellery looks like it belongs in H&M yet it costs ten times the price. I dislike Burberry’s plaited clothing and accessories, the other stuff is OK even though I hate preppy fashion on men (at least the trend with orange/red/green jeans).

I think the only thing more annoying than badly designed, but expensive brands is #normcore. I added a hashtag because it feels like it fits with the generally try-hard-ness of the term and the people who subscribe to it. So you basically dress as ugly as you possibly can and commit every fashion crime in the book; that’s just unfortunate, it’s not a fashion style! Or maybe that’s extreme normcore, since regular normcore is basically… just dressing really blandly like everybody else. But on purpose and for some special snowflake reason. Done ironically, it is at the very most mildy amusing, but more often just sad and offensive. Is this really the best next fashion trend that we can come up with, 2014?? Is it??

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A fashion rant + so #normcore! *vomits*

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No more egg jokes, please!

And I’m not eggsagerating! I’m getting tired of all the yolks!

My biggest fail this Easter was trying to replicate something I saw online, namely painting eggs by using spring flowers and onion peels. I only had the pictures to go from, so instructions were scarce. The first problem was keeping the flowers in place as I pressed a piece of onion peel on them. The second problem was keeping all the peel from falling off as I tried to bind the eggs together. I imagine this bit would be significantly easier if I had used the peel from larger, white onions. Using smaller onions meant that I had to use several tiny pieces of peel that kept breaking or falling off. I tried to cheat by using a bit of tape to get everything to stick together, and I experimented with covering one of the eggs with aluminium foil. The egg covered with aluminium foil actually came out looking the best, even though that egg was far less nice looking than the ones in the instruction photos.

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Fail eggs.

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Sunny Spain

I just got back from a holiday with my family. We went to Alicante in Spain, where my dad recently bought a flat. It was great, the weather was pleasantly warm and the sea was warm enough that we could go swimming without TOO much painful hesitation. I imagine the water was around 19c/66F. I brought a video camera and tried to make an old-fashioned family holiday movie; you can expect some horribly shaky footage to be posted later. Today has been pretty hectic so you have to make do with a few photos until I get time to post some more:

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I went into town and did some shopping today. I ended up spending £1, but received stuff worth £13, which is not really typical for my shopping days! The explanation is that the last time I shopped at Victorias Secret, they gave me a complimentary voucher for £10. I had planned to use it to buy underwear, but the underwear they had was not my style and quite frankly not very nice-looking, so I used it to buy an £11 body lotion instead. I’m not sure if the girl in the register was impressed or embarrassed on my behalf, but hey, almost-free-stuff is awesome. I also used an O2-offer and got free chocolate from Hotel Chocolate. Sweet!

This is the body lotion I bought:

While in town, I walked past St James Park again. It’s a very nice park but it was packed with tourists today, it was horrible. The pelicans had decided to lay down in the middle of the walk way. Eventually they stood up to stretch their wings, and no one dared to walk past in case they would lash out and bite. I got by fine. Google isn’t really helpful on the topic of pelican bites. When I typed in “does pelican bites hurt” wikianswer replied with “maybe”… thanks.

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Group of people who stopped for the pelicans:IMAG3499

Cheapskate shopping and pelicans

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Fox paws – the funny brain

… or faux pas. I’ve heard it both ways >_>

I’ve been thinking about how confidence changes pretty much everything in a social situation. That’s hardly an original thought, but I’m starting to think that people easily fool themselves into thinking that their perception of themselves is the right one, but everything about that self-image is based on confidence, or the lack thereof. I’ve been thinking about a really simple, harmless situation that happens to me quite a lot. It goes like this:

Quentin (talks fast with his head turned away): Ophelia, could you go down to the office and tell Gary that the tramumble mumble photocopier in five minutes?

Ophelia: Sorry, what?

Quentin: Gary, in the office.

Ophelia: Sorry, I didn’t catch-

Quentin: Gary, the guy with dark hair and glasses.

Ophelia: But what was the last bit?

Quentin: Tell him the transport to fix the photocopier will be here in five minutes!

I hate not understanding what people are trying to tell me,- who wouldn’t? I think it’s incredibly embarrassing to have to ask people to repeat themselves several times. It happens to everyone, the only difference is how confident we are. Bear with me on this:

If Ophelia has low confidence in her social ability she will probably perceive the misunderstanding as her fault. She thinks it’s embarrassing that she couldn’t hear what Quentin was saying, and to make it worse she thinks she phrased her following utterances wrong which made Quentin believe that she wanted him to clarify a different part of his question.

If Ophelia has high confidence in her social ability, she will probably perceive the misunderstanding as Quentin’s fault. How embarrassing of him to fail to communicate a simple question, and to make it worse, he interrupted her and misinterpreted her questions for clarifications twice!

Obviously, it’s a made-up situation and it doesn’t really matter who’s “fault” it is. I don’t think anyone thinks twice about it when someone else makes the “error”. What matters is that the interpretation is different depending on the level of confidence. I feel like it’s damn near impossible to break the pattern, because if you have low confidence in general, you’re always going to perceive situations in a way that conforms to the idea that you are less than good. To make matters worse, as soon as you take on the “responsibility” for the faux pas, people pretty much accept that it was your “fault” too and strengthens that belief. And vice versa, although if you have a sound confidence you can probably accept that you mess up every once in a while without thinking too much about it. Speaking from personal experience, I can think about situations like that in a completely rational way, but there’s always a part deep inside of me that feels ashamed and embarrassed no matter what. It’s the same part of me that says “They’re lying”, “Oh, he’s just being nice” or “I’m an imposter” when someone gives me a compliment.

I think the only true way to overcome social anxiety is to stop giving a fuck what people think, or view life as a great social experiment. I’m not sure if it works but at least it makes things more interesting!

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We’re having a noodle off

Who made the best noodles?

We used this recipe for egg noodles (yeah it totally looks like pasta. tasted alright tho).

Exhibit A)

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Exhibit B)

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if you cream i’ll kill you

I woke up the other night by my boyfriend screaming “CREAM! CREAM!” at me.

Apparently I scratch myself so intensely in my sleep that I wake him up and he thought this was an appropriate way of telling me that I need to moisturise.

Life is surreal sometimes. 😛

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