Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pavlov, Brain Chess, and Oreos

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian psychologist.  Pavlov is best known for his experiments with dogs. In these experiments, he would ring a bell every time he fed the dogs and he would measure their saliva. He found out after a while that the dogs would start salivating just when they heard the bell.

IT may seem farfetched that this could happen to humans, but it’s true, because it happens to me. Let me explain:

A lot of my friends are getting married right now, and whenever I get there wedding invitation I put it on my fridge. And I’ve noticed that whenever I see these friends outside my house I get really hungry. And you know that blank stare that you have when you look in the fridge because you’re deep in thought about the meaning of life and whether or not that casserole is still good? That’s the face that I get when I see my married friends. I look at them deeply and go, “How’s life? Do you have a burrito?”

And when you go to the reception the “food-marriage” connection is further reinforced in your mind; because over here are people getting married, and over here are some brownies.


"You will get married. Here's a cookie."

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know if that empty feeling inside me is hunger or loneliness. And every time I eat a brownie, I realize how alone I am.

So, I started keeping the wedding invitations in my car. But this made matters worse because I would get road rage while waiting in the line at the reception. “MOVE IT ALONG! WHAT’S THE HOLD-UP?!?  THEY GOT MARRIED? WHO CARES? I’VE GOT AN APPOINTMENT I’VE GOT TO GET TO!”

I thought I could use this impulse for something good, and I started putting the wedding invitations on my treadmill. But every time I go to the weddings now I just throw dirty laundry on top of the groom.

So as you can imagine by what I just said, I don’t date that often. And I've learned how to do things by yourself. Have you ever played chess by yourself? Because I have. I’ll tell you what got me started playing chess by myself. At my high school there were tryouts for the chess team. So, there were people who would try out for the chess team and not make it. This meant that in the popularity rankings  of my high school, there were people lower than the chess team. The social ladder was all the other groups on top, then the chess team, then the people who didn’t make the chess team. I was one of those people. I didn’t even have people to play chess with.

Playing chess with yourself is weird because you have to decide who wins. So you have to split your personality into two different parts to play against themselves. And you choose different characteristics of yourself for the different colors. For example, white will be “my sensitive side and the part of me that has no self control” versus black which is “ the part of me that finds fault in others.” And I have to decide who I’m rooting for at all times. And I have to make justifications for making moves in the game, “He eats too many Oreos so you should take his Rook!” and the white part is going “ He knows I’m sensitive about the amount of Oreos I eat! What a jerk! Let’s take his Queen!”

And in a game of chess by yourself there is never a winner. All you end up doing is finding more and more faults with yourself, and eating way too many Oreos; because those are white and black at the same time.

Oreos slogan should be: "Milk's favorite metaphor"

1 comment:

Neil said...

At this point, we should all just acknowledge we attend receptions for the food and the food alone.