Wednesday, December 15, 2004

In Case of Emergency

I just realized that my favorite tea, Tazo "Passion," is not named after passionfruit, but rather the state of emotional arousal. Add this to the list of foods I feel stupid ordering. Can I have a hot Passion tea? How could Tazo have let me say that in front of so many strangers at Starbucks? It's entered the ranks of B-g n' T-sty, or M--ns Over My H-mmy, or any of the other abominable food names I can't bring myself to say. This one isn't so much that the word itself grosses me out; it's more my fear that ordering a tea named after the chief emotion of Victorian poetry will turn me into one of those women who wears sticks in her hair. From there I won't be able to stem the tide of embroidered vests and large wooden beaded necklaces. I'll have to buy a cat, and I will have no choice but to name it Ani.

I know I can be somewhat neurotic. Before I dropped "The Psychology of Personality" last year (which qualifies me as an expert, I know) I took a bonafide psychological inventory that scored me in the highest possible neuroticism bracket. This seemed a little high at the time; I really believed I wasn't that neurotic. However, today is definitely one of those What If days, which I am beginning to think may be the manifestation of my psychic imbalance.

For example: Today on the train, I was almost asleep when we stopped at Croton Harmon. I was sitting by myself, and my eyes were closed and my hood was up when someone sat down next to me, so I couldn't see who it was. I immediately began thinking what if it's a guy, a really weird middle-aged guy with a moustache, who I definitely don't want to talk to, and he only sat down with me because he saw a girl asleep and vulnerable and alone on the train, and dammit, I left my bag slightly open on my lap and I should move my wallet from the top of my bag to the bottom because what if he wants to steal it after I wake up and catch him trying to touch me inappropriately and he settles for taking my money instead of copping a feel and sprints off the train at 125th street with not only my money but my credit card and my MetroCard and my train pass so I'll be stranded in the city with no way to buy a ticket home, but now I can't move my wallet because he thinks I'm asleep and it'll look fishy if I "wake up" just to move my wallet to where he can't get it, and besides, I don't even know if this is a guy or not, what if it's some nice old lady who'll be offended by my thinking that she wanted to steal my wallet in the first place?

Which started off a whole different chain of what if the old lady next to me falls asleep and starts leaning towards me and her head is going to touch me, which is gross, because what if her hair gets on me and gets stuck in the fur on my hood, or God help me what if she gets gross eye stuff stuck on the sleeve of my jacket?

I'm beginning to understand that not everyone maps out escape routes off of public transportation in the event that it crashes and lands in water and the electrical systems go out and you can't touch any of the metal like in that one Lassie episode. Most people just look out the window.

(Which is removable if you rip off the rubber seal, and since rubber isn't an electrical conductor, you'll live.)

Today is my office Christmas party. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but it starts at four and I'm aiming to stick it out for forty-five minutes if it's really bad. That way, I get my socializing bonus points and I can still make my ususal train home. God, please, please let someone get rip-roaring drunk and start making inappropriate passes at co-workers.

Wait. Please, please don't let that person be me.

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