Thursday, January 29, 2009

joys of public transit

Things I expect to hear from sketchy people at the bus stop:

"Hey, how you doing? So, would a white girl like you ever date a brown brother like me? Most white girls won't date brown brothers because they racist. Are you racist, or would you date a brown brother like me?"

"And I said, 'No, I ain't loaning you another 20 bucks. You'll just buy crack, and it's not like you share with me neither.'"

"Hey, lady, wanna buy this boombox? I'll let you have it for real cheap."

"Yeah, he died five days before we were supposed to get married." "I'm so sorry!" "Oh, don't worry about it. That was like two years ago. We'd probably be divorced by now if he hadn't died."

Things I don't expect to hear:

"I don't think so, man. I mean, look at King Tut."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

life and economics

I've always been one to take the cost-benefit analysis into account when I'm making a decision. I weigh opportunity costs into this analysis, which is why, for instance, I'll measure prices by the number of Bollywood DVDs I could buy with that amount of money. "This is far too expensive. It costs 10 DVDs!"

A cost-benefit analysis also underlies certain relational decisions. After my sophomore year in college, where I spent the entire year griping about certain roommates without ever telling them why I was irritated, I decided that I needed to either tell people when something was bothering me or else stop being bothered by it. Being the extremely nonconfrontational person that I am, however, I will almost always decide that I just need to get over whatever it is -- that usually requires much less effort and stress than actually discussing issues with someone. I've really been much happier since I adopted this approach.

The cost-benefit analysis also explains why I often put up with the status quo even when it's not ideal. Since I hate making decisions, I frequently am of the opinion that having a problem fixed isn't worth the effort of making a decision as to how to fix it. This is why, for instance, I haven't taken any action since the hinge on my laptop broke several months ago. Sure, it's a pain to always have to hold the lid up or prop the laptop up against the wall, but if I don't do anything about it, I don't have to make the decision to either buy a new laptop (which itself involves several decisions) or attempt to fix this one (which would require the effort of figuring out if it's a fixable problem, ordering a new hinge or whatever is needed, and finding someone to help me repair it).

I know this laissez-faire attitude is sometimes puzzling to others, but life really is easier for me this way. Of course, I do feel rather bad when my sister comes to visit and I have to hand her a screwdriver to activate the shower, but I guess that's one of the costs of apathy.

In conclusion, I was going to come up with something witty to tie this all together, but then I weighed the costs and decided that it just wasn't worth it. So, the end.