Wednesday, April 7, 2010

As someone who worked as a hostess in a busy restaurant, it was weird for me to play Diner Dash, a game in which the user plays as a waitress who has to manage her time serving customers. I had the same sort of obsessive compulsive desire to serve the customer as quickly as possible to get points/tips, and I had the same feeling of relief when I had a few seconds with no immediate tasks at hand. It struck me as a weird way to relax and have fun.

The idea of waiting as Soderman describes in his paper reminded me of the tendency to pull out a cell phone while alone in public, perhaps during a lull at a party or when waiting for someone to meet you outside. To deal with the discomfort of being seen alone in public I often find myself looking at my cell phone even though I do not have a new text message and am not particularly expecting one. As professor Chun said in class, the state of waiting is both vulnerable and free. You're not tied down by any specific social obligations and you can move around freely, but there is also the insecurity of being alone in a public space, perhaps being seen as unsocial or not cool. That's why its common at parties to see people (and it seems to me that the majority of the time it is females who do this) "deny the emptiness by filling it. Those who wait treat the emptiness as an opening into possibility, a clearing in the dense forest of modernity where one sets up camp and lies in wait for what may arrive." Looking at one's phone is a perfect example of one opening up possibilities - perhaps someone they know is going to come to the party, or they may be texting about another party elsewhere.

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