- Mental Health
Weirdest Thing I've Seen In Las Vegas ~ A Lady Wearing A Gas Mask To A Buffet
Maybe She Has A Phobia... Or Something Else.
We've Seen Some Pretty Strange Things... But This....
Living here in Las Vegas can be a real lesson in human foibles, odd activities and strange behavior. This place just seems to attract those who like to "live on the edge" a little bit (or a LOT). It brings out those who are just a bit... eccentric.
I've been here for just over a year now, and have seen sights like a guy coming out of the Bellagio Hotel dressed in a Spiderman TUTU. Yes, a TUTU like a ballerina wears. Ok, so we chalked that one up to "must be a bachelor party, and he is wearing it because the guys he is with are MAKING him wear it!"
We saw a bunch of girls carrying an inflatable GUY "doll" while wearing feather boa's on their shoulders strutting through downtown Las Vegas on the strip... hmmm... must have been a Bachelorette party! If the guys can have a good time, so can the girls! And we could tell they had been drinking, too. A bunch of girls out having a good time, I'm cool with that. Kind of like the movie "The Hangover" starring girls instead of guys!
We've been in various places all over Las Vegas and have seen men, some tall and pretty hairy guys too, dressed up as women. They stand on streets and even go into ladies bathrooms and most people don't give them a second look. The more I get used to seeing things like this, I tend to do the same thing. You find yourself thinking "that's just Las Vegas!" Pretty much anything goes. Then you just go on with whatever it was you were doing.
We've been sitting in hotel lobbies and have seen people from every corner of the world, dressed in every type of clothing imaginable from long robes to pajamas to... oh yeah! I almost forgot!
Not long ago there were young girls dressed and walking around in public wearing some very skimpy lingerie (we saw that during a music event here called the "Electric Daisy Carnival") They were walking all OVER the Luxor and Mandalay Bay hotels dressed like this! They were catching taxi cabs at the strip hotels and going out to where the Electric Daisy Carnival (an outdoor music festival featuring "electronic" music) was being held.
Now where in the world was I going with this? Oh YEAH! We were at the buffet the other day at a local casino and my husband who is sitting across from me says "don't look... BUT, there is a lady in the buffet line wearing a gas mask and ear protection!" Ok, so how in the WORLD am I NOT supposed to look when he says that? I mean, really?
You see all types of people here, but a woman in the buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection? I mean the type of ear protection people wear at the shooting range and in other very loud places. It is never usually very loud in the buffet, even when it is busy. The hostess seated her and a couple other people who were with her. No one said a word to her in any kind of a questioning way. Everyone tried to act as if it was the most natural thing in the world to go to a buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection.
Maybe this is the latest "style" and I just didn't get the memo?
Seriously, though... at first, my reaction was concern and maybe even a little bit of fear. And I know that my reaction stemmed from the recent absolutely horrible news of the movie theater gunman in Aurora, Colorado. I had a twinge of fear when I first saw this woman. But the way hostesses and other buffet workers were acting, it seemed as if she had been there before. This evidently was not the first time she had been to the buffet wearing a gas mask and ear protection.
Curiosity And Trying To Figure It All Out
My husband and I were trying to figure things out at the buffet, why would someone come to a public place, an innocuous place like a restaurant, wearing a gas mask and ear protection? My husband thought, maybe the reason is a phobia?
After looking into it and "googling" phobias, and being absolutely fascinated by the literally hundreds of phobia's that people can possibly have, I think I might have found out the reason someone would wear a gas mask and ear protection in public (when they are not out to harm anyone).
Did you know that there are phobia's, one is a "Fear of Body Smells" known as Bromidrosiphobia, and another one is a "Fear of People Who Smell Bad" known as "Autodysomophobia"? Well, neither did I! But both of these phobia's really do exist.
The first is a more generalized fear of body smells and it applies to the way your own body smells as well as those of other people. The second is more of a fear of being stuck around someone that smells terrible with no escape. The second phobia is actually more common, and can be triggered by things like living in a highly urban area, things like riding in elevators with someone who smells, riding in public transportation with no way out with a person that smells bad.
People that suffer from this phobia may develop fears of people of certain ethnicity's, due to things that they eat that later come back out through their pores. Spices used in ethnic foods like garlic, curry and ginger can come back later through pores on skin when people sweat, and in the way their breath smells. Another fear is the fear of vagrants because of the way they smell.
I really don't know if either one of these phobia's is even an explanation for the gas mask this lady wore that day. We noticed that she would wear it to go get her food, walking between the different food stations. Then once she was ready to begin to eat, she would remove the mask. The ear protection stayed on though.
So, we tried to figure out why someone would need ear protection, and you guessed it, there is an app... I mean a phobia for that, too. It is known as Misophonia, and is a fear of the sounds that people make when they do things like eat. Sounds like smacking, chewing, crunching on something, or even other sounds like other people breathing, coughing, sniffling and the like can trigger this phobia. These common sounds annoy certain people, and in some cases make them angry and agitated.
It is believed that people who suffer from Misophonia have abnormally sensitive and stronger than normal connections between their limbic and autonomic systems in their brains. And no, I am absolutely NOT making any of this up.
These are very real phobia's and fears, and are often misdiagnosed as general anxiety disorders or even mood disorders and in some cases, OCD disorders. So, playing "armchair psychologist" I could take a guess that any or all of these phobia's were to blame for this lady's strange behavior, or maybe it was something not even related to phobia's.
Did you know that there are groups of people who simply love to wear gas masks? They love the way the inside of the gas mask smells, that rubber smell, and they love to hear their own breathing. Yep, there are groups like that right here on the Internet... I clicked out of that message board pretty quickly. It was just a bit too... QUIRKY... for me!
I guess one lesson I learned from all of this is not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Like they say, try to walk a mile in another person's shoes, unless those shoes smell.....
Oh great, he wants to go to the buffet again. Now, where did I put my orange fur suit, purple wig and my fishnet stockings and my high heels with spikes coming out of 'em? I have an appointment over at the buffet. I just don't think anyone will even notice....