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Stupid-Ass Things People Are Proud Of
by Bayard Russell

People bolster their self-esteem in the most pathetic ways sometimes.  I'm not talking about the usual objects of ego-bolstering like expensive cars, fancy clothing, trophy wives, Grammys or the like:  we all know that these things really do show the worth of a person.  But there are plenty of odd things I've seen people be proud, snobby, and condescending about, and I'd like to bitch about a few of them that disturbed me greatly.

Their dump-to-being-dumped ratio
I've heard people brag about how many people they've dumped.  Evidently it's important that you've dumped more people than you've been dumped if you should count as "a good catch."  If the ratio's about 1:1, that's reasonable, but people are damned proud if it's 2:1 or greater.  Look, failed relationships are failed relationships, regardless of who was the first to reject the other in the end.  If you've got enough failed relationships to have a DTBD ratio, you've got nothing to brag about.

The resolution of their computer monitor
There's no snobbery more strange than geek snobbery.  I once had this guy look at my computer monitor and say, "That's hideous!  What resolution are you using?!"  I told him I was using 640x480 because the larger type gives you less eyestrain, and he turned up his nose.  "How can you stand having everything being so huge?  There's no desktop space to work with at all!"  I asked if he was used to 800x600, and he said, "Oh God no, I only use 1024x768."  I told him that his insistence on higher screen resolution was compensation for you-know-what.

How oppressed their minority group is
I once had a conversation with a black man and at some point we got on the topic of race.  I said that I was a minority because I'm half-Chinese, and he replied, "You're not really a minority because you're not really oppressed.  Chinese people are all smart and hard-working and rich."  He insisted that his minority had it way tougher than my privileged one.  The last thing I want to do is get in a competition with someone about whose minority group is more oppressed.  There are plenty of rich white gangsta wannabes that would love to be in your shoes.  On a side note, I think poor white trash are the most screwed people out there.  They get all the "benefits" of a minority group without any of the political perks.

How much more screwed they are
Every time it rolls around to finals time, I seek out my fellow classmates for support and sympathy, only to find brutal one-upmanship.  When I whine about how much work I have left to do, they say, "Oh, that's nothing compared to the work I have left.  I am soooo much more screwed than you are, believe me."  What the hell?  Is there a sick Protestant work ethic pride thing mixed with sleep deprivation masochism going on here?  I find these people almost as annoying as the people that like to tell you they don't have any finals.

Being picky eaters
Some people are incredibly proud of how picky they are when it comes to food.  I can understand how some people's digestion problems can give them certain diet restrictions, and I can even understand how one's ideals can put severe limits as to which foods are kosher:  after all, being a Satan worshipper I'm pretty much limited to goat's blood and rice.  But some people don't eat most types of food because they don't think it's good enough for them.  They won't eat generic-brand food, they won't eat most vegetables, they won't eat weird bread with seeds on them or meat that's not de-boned, bla bla bla.  It's like they think their lips are velvet ropes at Club 54 where only the select few may enter.  These same people then have to take vitamin supplements to compensate for their imbalanced diet.  Broaden your taste horizons, baby, I've got a sausage here you might like.

 Choosy moms choose the index