Friday, October 13, 2006

Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder

A while back, Mandarine had suggested a good way to confront my addiction to such places as might be to design a little quiz of my own. This sounded like quite sane advice, and so I have. You can take this very short quiz to help you decide whether or not you suffer from Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder. Chances are, you don't. This is a rather rare disorder whose symptoms include, but are not limited to:

An inability to reconcile the rational with the emotional
An extreme dependence on "shades of gray" rather than "black and white" thinking
An abundance of conflicting stances and feelings about situtations and ideas, such as embracing feelings of both love and hate about almost every aspect of normal living (e.g. owning a home, working, family, etc.)
An abundance of examples of not living the way one intends, such as having a desire to be more organized while living a life ruled by disorganization and chaos
An extreme fondness for taking the "Devil's advocate" position

The following test should help you determine whether or not you may suffer from this disorder. Remember, this quiz is not a substitute for a clinical evaluation. If you think you may suffer from Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder, you should consult with a professional.

1. A Bombay Sapphire martini with extra olives, a frozen margarita with salt, and a fine bottle of wine:
a. are all wonderful things at the right time and in the right circumstances, but the circumstances are always right for a good book and a pot of tea. Of course, a good mystery with a gin and tonic in a hammock in the summer time is also a good thing. And then there's a nice glass of sherry with a good book of ghost stories by a fire on a rainy fall evening... (3 points)
c. are various lunch choices (1 point)
d. are fattening. Please pass a Diet Pepsi instead. (2 points)
b. can't hold a candle to a McDonald's milkshake. (o points)

2. Packing to go on vacation:
a. starts as soon as you decide where you're going. Books must be chosen with meticulous care, and you need to take as many as possible, because if you only take one or two, what happens if you're stuck sitting on the runway for 12 hours and you finish them? Or what if you discover you've chosen one you just can't possibly get into? Somewhere, you'll manage to find space in the suitcase for a bathing suit, a couple of pairs of shorts, a toothbrush, and the credit card you'll need to pay for the books you'll be buying while you're away. (3 points)
b. starts as soon as you've decided where you're going. You pull out your worn copy of "How to Pack," make sure you've got everything on the checklist, order what you don't have and need, check to see that your passport is up-to-date (even if you're traveling within your own country. You never know what might happen), get your traveler's checks, make sure you'll be able to use your A.T.M. card wherever you're going, stop by AAA to get your maps, oil all the wheels on your suitcase, and have your car tuned up (even if you're just driving it to the airport). Three days before you leave, you've got all your clothes, your first aid kit, your Swiss army knife, emergency phone numbers, 2 carefully-chosen lightweight paperbacks, and all your toiletries neatly laid out on the spare bed for packing. 2 nights before you leave, you've got them all neatly packed in such a way as to avoid wrinkles (even though they're all supposedly wrinkle-free, because you'd never dream of traveling with something that wasn't), along side your travel iron. (0 points)
c. is something you'd never do. You hate to leave the comfort of your own home, and the idea of going to unfamiliar places is way too scary. (o points)
d. means online shopping. You absolutely must have a brand-new, color-coordinated wardrobe suitable for your intended destination and some new books to take with you. (1 point)

3. A bath:
a. is a complete waste of time. Why wait around for a tub to fill up and then sit around in it when you can be in and out of a shower in five minutes? (2 points)
b. is one of the most decadent luxuries first-world countries have to offer their residents, especially when they've got lovely-scented bubbles in them and are in a huge tub in a warm bathroom, comfortable enough for the bather to lie back in and read. That is, as long as you weren't absolutely filthy when you climbed into it, and as long as you don't allow yourself to think about what might be floating around in there with you. (3 points)
c. is for dogs and children. A shower is the most effective way to clean yourself and to apply and rinse all your hair care products. (o points)
d. will do in a pinch without a shower, because you absolutely can't go more than twenty-four hours without washing. (1 point)

4. Food is:
a. one of those great pleasures in life, given to us to counterbalance all the horrors and disappointments we have to face. It's meant for experimentation, savoring, sharing, loving, comforting, oh yeah, and providing sustenance. What else can do so much? (2 points)
b. a pain in the ass when you're doing something truly fun and absorbing (like riding the boat from one scuba diving site to another), suddenly realize you haven't eaten in five hours, forgot to bring a sandwich, and there's no source of food to be found for miles around. (2 points)
c. the enemy, enticing you into its trap and slowly killing you when you eat too much of it.
(2 points)
d. all of the above, depending on the day, time, and circumstances. (3 points)

5. You're in New York City where three different friends have called you at the last minute to invite you to three different events tonight, all on their dimes. The first one has spare tickets to go see "A Chorus Line" on Broadway and would like you to join her. Another one called to tell you he's got tickets for an Alfred Hitchcock festival at one of the theatres. A third has invited you to an author reading and book-signing at Barnes and Nobles with Anne Lamott. You:
a. go see "A Chorus Line" (2 points)
b. go to the movies (2 points)
c. go to the author reading (2 points)
d. want to kill yourself. Why are you always faced with these sorts of dilemmas? Why is it that you go months and months and months with nothing to do, and then all the best-sounding invitations for the past five and probably next ten years in your life always happen on the exact same night? How can you possibly choose from one of these three to-die-for options? (3 points)

Scoring: each answer has a number in parentheses at the end of it. Total up the numbers for your answers. If you scored:

0-5 points: You have no need to worry. You don't even have a remote chance of developing Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder. (I have no idea what's attracted you to this blog, though.)

6-10: You have some characteristics of those who display classic cases of Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder. However, everyone, from time-to-time, is known to exhibit some symptoms. Unless you find yourself answering questions with, "Yes. No. I mean yes. Well, maybe all depends on...and did you think about..." you are probabaly safe. You may find this blog a fun place to hang out from time-to-time.

11-15: You're an excellent candidate for my Conflicting Emiliosis Disorder support group, whose handbook and meeting place are conveniently all rolled into this one blog.


Anonymous said...

I share the same fondness for shades of gray and adverse viewpoints and I love your blog. I am disappointed to find that I score only 5 or so. Maybe it's because there is not a hint of conflict in my disorder.

BikeProf said...

Hmmm... I just might have CED. I wonder if that's covered by my insurance.

Rebecca H. said...

13!!! Now I know why I haunt this place so much ... :)

Emily Barton said...

Charlotte and Dorr, it's that unlucky 13! But so glad to see I'm in such good company, along with you, Hobs. If your isurance doesn't cover it, it should. Mandarine, we'll let you be an honorary member of our support group, since your heart is so obviously in the right place.

litlove said...

I just love this!! How funny. I shall have to think of a literary quiz when I am feeling less brain-dead. Incidentally, I knew I'd have it before I even did the quiz, so no point in counting for me!

Emily Barton said...

Ahh, Litlove, I suspected you might be one of the unfortunate few. Can't wait till you're feeling less "brain dead."