June 30th, 2009

red panda eating bamboo

conversations with thought balloons

Have you ever had a conversation like the ones in comic books where you are saying one thing and thinking something else, and the words are in a smooth round balloon with a pointy bit hanging down and the thoughts are in a different font, in a bumpy balloon with three circles hanging down?

I had some of those today. My Prius's driver side headlight was out so I took it to the dealership for replacement.

Service advisor thought balloon: Oh dear, all my customers bitch about how expensive headlights are, so I had better do this song and dance about how other kinds of headlights are even more expensive, to distract her.
Service advisor says: "You're lucky that you don't have the blue high definition headlights. They cost several hundred dollars to replace. This type of headlight is on the cheaper end."

My thought balloon: He's trying to distract me. Shit, this is going to cost a bundle.
I say: "Cheaper is good."

Service advisor is printing out estimate. Thought balloon: I'm siiiinging in the rain, just siiiinging...
SA says: "Did you know that on Mercedeses and Lexuses, it costs $1500 to replace the headlights?"

I say: "People who buy Mercedeses and Lexuses are paying for the privilege of paying more."
My thought balloon: This is a real Busby Berkeley special

The estimate is for $125. I sign it and leave. Several hours pass. The SA told me the car would be ready by 1pm so I call at 1:10pm and after being put on hold for five minutes I am informed the SA is out to lunch and the car isn't ready. I go home and take a very long nap. When I wake up there is a voicemail.

SA voicemail, timestamp around 2pm: "The car IS READY. I apologize that I didn't have a chance to call right when it was ready, but I was doing something else and I wanted to let you know the car IS READY."
SA thought balloon: Eep, I fucked up. I had better use my special 'patronize the middle-aged lady voice'.

I go to the dealership. When I enter the service area to wait for my car to be driven up, I see the SA across the parking lot. He holds his arms out and shouts
SA says: "Did you get my voicemail?"
SA thought balloon: Maybe I can make her think it's her fault for not returning my voicemail.

I hold my thumb up.
My thought balloon: Of course I got your voicemail, that's why I am here, isn't it?

SA comes closer and says: "Yes, they told me 'your customer called!' and I was out, yada yada."
SA thought balloon: Commencing 'confuse with lots of words' mode.

I say: "It would have been convenient to pick it up at 1pm, but after that I had some things to do, so yeah."
My thought balloon: Why were you out precisely at the time you promised the car for? And why did you lie about when it would be ready? It's not like I asked for the car to be ready at 1pm. I just wanted to know when it would be ready.

At least I got a sorely needed car wash into the bargain.
red panda eating bamboo

Comment on loneliness, and on the theoretical existence of people who "want to be miserable."

Comment I made in this post at living400lbs about loneliness. (Someone suggested that some people choose to be lonely because they "want to be miserable and 'play the victim'. I suppose people like that might exist but I don't think I've met very many of them. Most of the people I know who are persistently unhappy don't seem to be deliberately choosing it, but seem to have health and life challenges that are creating difficulty. Some such people might be able to learn better coping skills and change their loneliness or unhappiness, but that still doesn't mean that their unhappiness is chosen.)
I get lonely under two conditions. If either of these conditions applies, I will feel lonely whether or not I am around other people.

1. I am tired. (I was happy when I figured that one out. If only everything were fixable by having a good sleep!)

2. I am depressed. In which case it might seem from the outside that I am choosing to be lonely, because I tend to act cranky and cynical, which drives people away. But I am not choosing. One way that depression manifests itself for me is that I have a lot fewer behavior choices.