Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Monkeysphere

A few months ago I read an article about how people comprehend relationships, it referred to our social circle as a "monkeysphere," and it was hilarious. Although the article is hilarious, it is based upon facts, and is definitely worth a read.  The main premise is: as human beings we can only conceptualize up to 150 homosapiens as actual people, and the closer those people are to you in your monkeysphere, the more you would care if they died.  David Wong refers to the sanitation worker in your neighborhood- he/she isn't a person, but "the thing that makes the trash go away."  Particularly hilarious are references to our interaction in large groups versus intimate situations:

"Think about this the next time you get really pissed off in traffic, when you start throwing finger gestures and wedging your head out of the window to scream, 'LEARN TO FUCKING DRIVE, FUCKER!!' Try to imagine acting like that in a smaller group. Like if you're standing in an elevator with two friends and a coworker, and the friend goes to hit a button and accidentally punches the wrong one. Would you lean over, your mouth two inches from her ear, and scream 'LEARN TO OPERATE THE FUCKING ELEVATOR BUTTONS, SHITCAMEL!!'
They'd think you'd gone insane. We all go a little insane, though, when we get in a group larger than the Monkeysphere. That's why you get that weird feeling of anonymous invincibility when you're sitting in a large crowd, screaming curses at a football player you'd never dare say to his face."

The combination of the monkeysphere article and the earthquake in Japan (odd combo, I know), have led me to evaluate the people that I really care about in my life.  
I have come to the conclusion that if there is an earthquake in Utah, you know, the one everyone talks about- I only need four people to live: Ben, Braeden (my little brother), my mom, and my dad.  Do I care if other people that I love survive an earthquake? Yes.  Do I need my best friend to survive a natural disaster? Well, yeah...but if I am going to be honest (and you probably feel the same), the number of survivors that I need is small relative to the amount of people that I love.  I cherish my friends, family, even my ridiculous co-workers, and fellow students, but I really only feel like I NEED those four people.
    I might be a callous human-being, but I suspect that I'm not, and everyone has similar feelings on the issue.  All of these musings were recently exacerbated when Ben confessed that he has a lump in his ribs that has been hurting.  He then confessed that he has a lump in his elbow, and I found one in his pectoral (breast self-examinations aren't just for women), and it was in those discoveries that I realized how fragile my heart, and my monkeysphere truly are.  I cried when he showed me the lump in his elbow.  Three lumps must be cancer.  I am so happy, and now Ben is going to die.  My mind is a crazy place to live, and those were the conclusions that I jumped to.
I made an appointment for a dermatologist, and Ben just went in today.  The lumps are absolutely harmless, and he's getting the one on his ribs removed on Friday.  No big deal, the appointment lasted ten minutes, but when he called me on my way from school to work, and told me that he was fine, I cried.  It turns out, I love one monkey waaaay more than all of the rest.

I hope "the big one" hits Utah after I'm dead, because I can't imagine losing one of my precious monkeys.

No comments: