The Ethiopian Definitions
Why do the ferenjie complicate things? Whoo-wai? eh-heh…passive aggressive… eh-heh… schizoaffective disorder…eh-heh… shared psychotic disorder. Yih albeQa silachew… wedih cyclothymic disorder megotet…wedia be-brief psychotic disorder metajeb!
ECH-eCH-eCH! We Ethiopians? "Intina wefefE new!" Iriff. If you are PC, when Intina's name is mentioned you exhale one long and one short "M'Ts" and then offer up one of many Amharic platitudes… "Ay ye sew neger" works for all occasions. AleQe. We leave the alphabetized and hyphenated disorders for the ferenjies to wade in. Abo!
However, we at SELEDA, public servants that we are (ay ye sew neger!), have ventured to define some of these 'isims to you, our dear readers, so that when your co-worker decides to hurl something about the boss having a "histrionic personality", you can do better than "M'Ts! Mechase esachew… dehnna sew nebeu" You can thank us later.
· Adjustment Disorder:
a) Qarria Tffi-ing your two-year old because he wet his bed. Back home: you get a "Gosh abat mallet." In America: you get two-to-four.
b) A.D. also occurs when, in trying to apply for a green card for your sister who is on a student visa, you realize you have to first divorce your cousin, marry your older brother and then claim your aunt EtEtE as your mother.
· Agoraphobia: (Anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing) When, as a grown man, you sit in silence as your mother tells a roomful of her idirteNoch the details of your debauched circumcision. (Acute Agoraphobia is when you don't bolt out of the room when mom says, "Esti asayachew".)
· Argophobia: Fear of the morning after. (a SELEDA in-house diagnosis).
· Anorexia Nervosa: What your aunt 'TiyE BrQnesh bitterly accuses you of when you tell her that you'll be passing on a seventh helping of the genfo-bulla-CH'CHbessa-frfr-QiTa buffet she prepped up for Qurss. "Mnew? AyTafiTm mallet new?"
· Antisocial Personality: Is an Ethiopian man who does not hit on a woman at a leQso.
· Attention Deficit Disorder: i.e "Esti antinQelQel" Syndrome: When you think 4:00 a.m. is a good time to go home after meeting your friends for a quick buna at 4 p.m.
· Avoidant Personality: You accept Gash Indashaw's proclamation that Ethiopia once encompassed half of Europe and all of Asia… "Hulum yeNa neber."
· Brief Psychotic Behavior: What half the Ethiopian Diaspora experiences when someone actually argues against Gash Indashaw's argument.
· Delusional Disorder: When you refuse to go back to Medihane Alem until they have a VIP section.
· Dementia: What all waitresses at Ethiopian restaurants get when you ask for the check.
· Dependent Personality: What you don't suffer from when you go to a museum in DC instead of Bravo Bravo for the umpteenth time; also when yet another Ethiopian man buys a leather sofa.
· General Anxiety Disorder: Default state of most Ethiopians in California.
· Narcissistic Personality: Prerequisite for becoming a SELEDA editor.
· Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior: (Also known as the Chiko Menchaka/ ye MuTiN Disorder'): What compels you to ask "Dehna neh?" seven times to be sure that your friend is alive and well.
· Paranoia: When you go to a psychiatrist under the pseudonym "K. Abede".
· Schizophrenia: Better known by its contracted form, Schizo, which is a phonetic translation of the word "iskyizew", a standard fret uttered by evil spirits in between jobs.
· Separation Anxiety Disorder: What you feel as you hand your wallet over to ye QEra gangster.
· Shared Psychotic Disorder: The leading source of bonding at Ethiopian discussion boards, other than obsessive-compulsive disorder.
· Social Phobia: Debilitating fear of eating at public places.
· Tourette's Syndrome: St. Joseph students after one beer.