Sunsets and Annoying Phone Calls

While biking home from work today I did a lot of thinking about this rating system that has taken over almost every conversation I’ve had in the past three days. Whether it’s small references where my friends describe something using a number rather than an adjective, or continuous pushback on the scale, the norms, the consistency, and beyond the system, it has come up everywhere. So I can’t help but spend my own time in my head thinking about a lot of the things we’ve talked about.

The one that drove me insane on the way home is reality and our perception of it. I was thinking that what this system allows us to do is take things that are intangible (many of them anyways) and give them a real life value that can be described to others. It’s often said the best first step to a good diet is to write down everything you eat and do for at least a week, because it’s proven that in our heads we overestimate how much we exercise and underestimate how much we eat. So when we start writing down numbers of calories and grams of fat, in addition to minutes exercised and calories lost, we find that sometimes we were completing misleading ourselves. So we’ve found a new reality. The numbers can’t lie. That actually IS how much you’re eating in that day, or how long you’re exercising. So does that make everything up to that point no longer a reality, but instead simply our perception of reality?

This translates to my rating scale, especially when it’s used to rate feelings or moments. One friend questioned whether this wasn’t going completely against human instinct to just feel. We tend to describe things in words, such as ‘a lot’, ‘barely any’, ‘exceptional’. Well how many is ‘a lot’? How great is ‘exceptional’ versus ‘enjoyable’? OUr perception of a situation gives those words meaning to us. That is OUR reality. So, I find myself wondering if we’re all living in our own alternate universes where we prefer ignorance as bliss, because as soon as you attach a number maybe you’ll start to realize it wasn’t as great as you thought it was.

Enough of that. On to the ratings. (You didn’t think all that would stop me from actually rating did you?)

TODAY’S SUNSET: 6. Made the bike ride home more enjoyable, but wasn’t over a lake in Maine. That automatically takes off some serious points.

LOCAL BAR: 8.5. Anyone in Durham/Chapel Hill who hasn’t been to City Beverage (or City Bev as we affectionately call it) should definitely hit it up. There’s two sides, a jukebox, two pool tables and some pretty sweet drink specials. Plus the bartender loves the locals. And if necessary, it’s totally in walking distance of the apartment. Tonight’s service was an 8. Jave (?) is pretty awesome, and this picture is even more awesome. Katie’s beer was rated a 10 (by her, although I think her system needs a little work, since it was only a Bud Light) and my picture taking skills are a clear 8.75.

THIS DUDE’S POSTURE: 6. So this guy was sitting at the bar, alone, with impeccable posture. Seriously. Kinda freaked me out. I wonder if he was a ballerina in a past life…

REALIZING WHAT A SMALL WORLD IT IS: 7.5 At City Bev, had TWO randomly awesome encounters. First, we ask some guys to play pool with us since we needed more players and it turns out not only was one of them an ’04 corps member but he also happened to have lived in the SAME HOUSE and the EXACT SAME ROOM that I did my first year of teaching. Ridiculous. Then, we meet up with two other people who live in our apartment complex, and one of them went to AU for two years!!! Loved the Malt Shop (local dive bar) as much as I did and knew the bartender who I used to date. Can’t handle it. Clearly the encounter gets an 8 (which you can’t really see with these white numbers…)

ANNOYING PHONE CALLS AT 12:35 IN THE MORNING ON A SCHOOL NIGHT: 3. Sometimes you just wanna sleep and people insist on talking to themselves on the phone. Would be a 10 if they would call at a reasonable hour and not be annoying. Sweet.

Until tomorrow, living for those tens 🙂


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