Remember when a philanderer was just a philanderer? He was not a “Sex Addict” deserving of sympathy, a quickie appearance on the Tonight Show, and a 30-day covered stay in rehab.

Nowadays, whatever your character flaw, it seems that there’s a pill for that. Bitchy Resting Face might still be a joke, but a “mental health expert” is really trying to make “Rushing Woman’s Syndrome” happen. I admit that’s a pretty good one, but there are a few other syndromes I’d much rather see in the next edition of the DSM:

Big Box Store Fugue State: This disorder consists of temporary amnesia triggered upon entering a big box store. It is characterized by a return to consciousness in one’s own driveway, but with absolutely no recollection how a case of freeze pops, a bird bath shaped like a mushroom, and three pairs of cheap-but-on-trend shoes got into the car.

Landline Aphasia: Typically caused by years of telemarketer and parental intrusions, this syndrome is triggered by the simple ringing of a hardwired phone, thus becoming rather rare. Despite fully functioning caller ID, the patient panics at the wonder of who could possibly be calling and becomes utterly unable to either (1) answer the call or (2) engage in social niceties. Coincidentally, individuals with Landline Aphasia are excellent texters.

SVDD: In School Volunteer Ducking Disorder, the patient nonsensically takes extreme measures to avoid contact with school volunteers recruiting helpers for worthwhile and enjoyable school activities. The SVDD sufferer may, for example, arrive late to school events to avoid conversation, thus making a spectacle of herself and drawing the attention of the very SVs she seeks to avoid. Underlying causes may include aversion to wearing school mascot t-shirts and the inability to withstand hours-long discussions of snack policy.

Evite Paralysis: In this subset of “Analysis Paralysis,” patients with Evite Paralyis habitually fail to respond to Evites. Even when faced with the knowledge that Evite senders totally notice every single %^&* time she checks who has RSVP’d, the individual with Evite Paralysis will steadfastly maintain that the Evite must have gone to her spam folder. Mass outbreaks have been known to be triggered by Silpada, Origami Owl, and other jewelry party evitations.


Peyton Price is the author of Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches From Behind The Picket Fence. You can find her making pathetic excuses in social situations and at


  1. I may suffer from one or four of these! And HOLD THE PHONE – the person can SEE that I looked at the RSVP list?!?! Crap. Well just as long as they don’t call me about it on the landline.

  2. Um, I think I need to write a very “special” list of these just for Californian moms. Feel that coming on right about…now.

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