Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can I love television without being obsessed?

I just wrote out a laborious post about watching "As Time Goes By" this weekend (British TV series with Judi Dench about a middle-age couple falling in love) and being somewhat ashamed about it. After further reflection, I realized I wasn't ashamed at all, and I truly love that show, and I can't wait until next weekend when I have some time to finish watching all of it. So there. Thanks Mom, for introducing me to the greatness that is British humour. Yes, I spelled that with a 'u'. Yes, I've been thinking in "British-speak" to myself for the past two days. And yes, schemes have crossed my mind as to how I could move to London and develop an English accent, even though I've lived in America for the first 20 years of my life.

This leads to another thought I've had recently. I don't feel like I watch that much TV. I watch "30 Rock" regularly, but that's about it. I've been watching earlier seasons of "Scrubs", but have kind of fallen off that bandwagon. And now I've watched 7.5 of 9 seasons of "As Time Goes By" this weekend, but that's about it. Not to say I don't just veg out sometimes, watch a lot of HGTV and "Mythbusters", occasional sporting events, but I always categorized "heavy" TV watchers as someone with two or more shows that they would die before missing on Thursday night, or whenever. Oh, can't forget that my guilty pleasure is Rob Dyrdek's "Fantasy Factory" but it's not in season right now. Again though, in my defense, I watch those online a few days later, it doesn't really dictate my life.

Despite all of that, in everyday conversation, I bring up TV often enough to make me look like a couch potato. Perhaps I just relate things in life to abstract sources really well? Perhaps I like the shows I do because they relate so much to real life? (I really don't believe that one...) I personally think it's because I only tolerate TV I find funny or genuinely interesting (so I'm not sure why I watch HGTV...subconsciously want to be a designer? I'm not sure) and you can always inject funny or interesting comments into conversation. Or so I thought. The more it happens, the more I realize how silly it makes me sound. It's like talking about Facebook in real life, something that has become fairly common place, but I still try to hide it by saying "Someone emailed me" instead of "Someone wrote on my wall/sent me a message". Perhaps it's not as taboo as I think it is, but it's always true that it's never as funny during the second retelling. "Mythbusters" came in handy in my physics class actually, we were discussing pressure so after class I emailed my teacher a link to the episode where a scuba diver's air line gets cut and his whole body is compounded into his helmet because of the water pressure. Great stuff.

All in all, I'm not really sure. I've been making a conscience effort to not talk about TV too much, and an even harder effort to not let it become any sort of importance in my life, but what can I say? I've always been a big fan of music playing in the background, hilarious set-ups, and wrapping up problems in 22 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A shadow of the older me

I feel like the subject of my post is a) usually a rant from women older than myself, so I hope this doesn't exasperate anyone and b) is written at 9:30pm on a Friday night, so yeah, I guess I am behaving like 20 going on 45, but whatever.

I'm in the double digits now, of cashiers that call me "ma'm". Really, folks, really? This doesn't bother me, I'm not offended, just confused. This wouldn't even warrant a post if it were in regular places, like Best Buy, or the grocery store. In fact, I'm sure I've been called "ma'm" at those places many times, but that's just polite customer service, so it isn't even memorable. No, what really puzzles me is that I am called "ma'm" at the BYU Cougareat (pronouned: cougar-eat).

For those that don't know, the Cougareat is the small collection of fast food places that have set up shop in the student center on campus. There's a particular favorite of mine if I had to skip lunch and feel like a large dinner and am stuck on campus, called Tomassitos. It pretends to be Italian, about as much as the Olive Garden, but it's filling, as cheap (expensive) as every other place, so why the heck not. Plus, I can get broccoli there, so I feel a little bit better about the whole experience. Not to mention, they are one of two places that have Fresca at their fountain drink machine, which also makes me feel better about myself...I know, I'm sick.

So what's wrong with calling me "ma'm" at the Cougareat? All cashiers at the Cougareat are students, i.e. the same general age group as myself, and I'm pretty sure they are aware that 95% of their clientèle is students. There are non-student (i.e. adult) workers in the Cougareat, but they are managers, that aren't dishing me up and charging my card. I mention Tomassitos because they are the greatest perpetrators of this "ma'm" business. I don't think it's ever happened at Taco Bell, probably never at the burger place, maybe once or twice at the wrap place, probably never at Subway, and those are pretty much the only places I eat there.

As I write this out, perhaps this is a distinction of classier eateries within the Cougareat. Perhaps these cashiers are trained specifically, "we're classier than Taco Bell and Subway, so you better call all polite customers ma'm!" Which also makes sense in relation to the wrap place because they're classier than Taco Bell and Subway too. That leads to the conundrum, can you call anywhere in the Cougareat classy? Probably not, but I've lost sight of those true standards, dining on mainly fast food for the past three years. And really, the wrap place is the classiest (whatever that means) and they call me "ma'm" less than Tomassitos. Maybe they're trying to appeal to a younger crowd because wraps are hip now...I have no idea, I'm getting lost in a world of Cougareat classification theory.

Anyway, to wrap this up (bah!), Tomassitos, what the hay? I'm 20 years old, and am probably younger than all of your employees, really.

Puzzled in Provo