Warning: this is an emo post – continue at your own peril.
Even though the Dota 2 challenge with D is over, I’ve been playing some bot matches with him, his friend OCD and Jal. The games are pretty relaxed, and it’s mostly just messing around, which is fun.
I’ve come to really appreciate how relaxed OCD is (despite the impress you get from the nickname I’ve given him). Absolutely nothing so far has phased him. Even in the official match, he was incredibly relaxed the whole time, and was very sportsmanlike despite his loss. That’s the kind of person I want to be friends with.
Before the match, I upped the stakes and said that if I lost, I would buy D dinner at this American BBQ restaurant that he seems to love. OCD asked if we can go together anyway, even though they lost, and the other players seem keen to go. We haven’t gone yet, and I’m incredibly nervous about meeting OCD. I really want him to like me, so that we can eventually become friends.
I found out that he likes cookies, so of course that meant I would bring him cookies when we first meet. After my near-loss to Captain in the choc-chip cookie bake-off, I realised that even though these cookies are my perfect ideal for cookies, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I set to work trying to improve them. I really liked how Captain’s cookies were a lot thicker. I know OCD likes soft cookies, so I had to keep that property, but I remembered reading about Alton Brown’s The Chewy, where he makes thick, chewy cookies by substituting bread flour for the plain flour and thought I might try the same.
Long story short, I baked a heap of cookies, with the plan to take them into the office and perform more A/B testing, with 6 batches. Bread flour vs pizza flour, and dark choc, milk choc and m&ms.
D sees the cookies in the kitchen and asks what weird thing I’m doing now. I explain about the quest to find the best cookies, and he says, “Normally it’d be creepy… but it’s you.”
I don’t know if I was genuinely saddened by that comment, or it’s just the grief finally hitting me, but I just completely deflated. I gave up on the experiment. I left the remainder of the cookies on a plate (though not before finding out the votes at that point – milk choc (11) beating dark choc (4.5) and m&ms (1.5)).
On the trip home, I thought about my past. I’ve jokingly referred to myself as a stalker, and my friends play along with it. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything maliciously, but as someone pointed out to me, it’s not about what I think is malicious, it’s how the recipient sees it. D and OCD are best friends, so I would expect him to be able to predict OCD’s reaction.
Some of the other things I’ve done could be classified as creepy, too. Taking someone’s photo, printing out a picture of their face, and then filming a James Bond parody is pretty damn creepy if you think about it. Asking a friend to look up a co-worker’s birthday on Facebook is pretty creepy. Recording people’s likes, dislikes, and coffee preferences is pretty creepy.
I think this part is the grief talking: I feel like I’ve lost my joy de vivre. My passion for experiments is gone. All the little ideas I had floating in the back of my mind for cheering people up have vanished. I spent an hour looking at ice-cream recipes today, and not one of them gave me any inspiration.
A thought occurred to me: Is the reason why I feel so compelled to do “nice” things for people because I want to hide the fact that deep-down, I’m a creepy monster?