Chasing Amy


amy samyI’ve got to say that iPads are great for depressed people. Instead of having to sit up, switch a light on and expend energy to actually turn a page, you can just lie flat on your back in the darkness, and swipe a finger across the screen. And so it was this morning when I woke up, reached for my iPad and, in a lame attempt to feel connected with the world, checked Facebook to see what my friends were up to.

One of them had posted a link to a site about the apparently now infamous Samy and Amy Bouzaglo. Since I don’t have a TV, I was unaware that this couple, and their restaurant, Amy’s Baking Company and Pizzeria in Scottsdale, Arizona, had been featured in the season finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Their claim to fame is that they are the only restaurant that Ramsay has ever walked out on, saying that both of the restaurateurs were too difficult to work with. Now, I think that Gordon Ramsay is an arrogant, narcissistic bully, but, well, he definitely has a point. See the craziness for yourself (this might be the best TV you see all year!): Part 1 and Part 2.

Not content with humiliating themselves on TV, Samy and Amy had a massive Facebook and Reddit meltdown in which they decided it would be a good idea to respond to trolls using poorly spelled and punctuated rants written in crazy-people capital letters and filled with cuss words – well, except for when they were referring to themselves as “children of God”.

facebook meltdown

There can be no doubt about it – Amy and Samy Bouzaglo are both bat-shit crazy, but it seems that Amy is the one who has received the brunt of the online attacks. OK, OK, I admit that it’s hard not to hate on a woman who miaows like a cat to express her love for her feline “children”, and who verbally abuses and fires staff on a whim. However, what about Samy Bouzaglo? He nearly gets into an actual physical fight with a customer he’s trying to eject from his restaurant. He’s every bit as fucked-up and crazy as his wife but, as usual, people prefer to take a pot shot at the “crazy bitch”.

Amy and Samy are both adults, so it’s fair to say that they are responsible for their own actions, and the consequences that ensue. Their antics make for great TV because it’s entertaining to see two people who are so comically and tragically lacking in self-awareness and self-control.

Once I’d stopped being amused, though, I realized that we’re really just laughing at two people struggling with a mental illness. God knows what’s wrong with Samy and Amy, but, hell, there’s something wrong with them. If you stop laughing for a second, I think you’ll see that there’s genuine pain and fear in Amy’s eyes. She can’t handle Gordon’s criticism because she so desperately needs to believe in the very flimsy “self” that she’s created for herself that he’s trying to tear down.

Amy’s story has affected me because I grew up with somebody really like her – my mother. And, oh, I know somebody else she reminds me of – me. We’re all bitchy, fucked-up women with mental health problems. Just a few days ago, I was wondering to myself whether you could call my mother a “nice person”. My gut instinct was to say “Hell, no!” but then I realized that I can’t tell which part of my mum’s personality is really “her” and which part is her mental illness. I think that, deep-down, she is a sensitive, vulnerable person but there is so much shit piled on top that any good inside can’t get out. All you see is the “crazy bitch”.

I doubt you’re reading this, Amy Bouzaglo, but if you are, I want you to know that there is one person in the world who doesn’t hate you. I hope that you get the help you need because it surely can’t be fun being you.

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4 thoughts on “Chasing Amy

  1. xul May 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm Reply

    As someone who also has parent issues, it’s sometimes hard for me to sympathize with the negative behaviors. I find myself vacillating between the notion that they can’t help the behaviors because they are disordered and the fact that they are willful and deliberate in their actions and can damn well choose to behave the way they do.

    I think that there comes a time when you have to make a conscious decision about your life. Yes, I had a screwed up childhood. Yes, I had my own disordered behavior. Yes, I reached the point in my life where I no longer wanted to be that person and I’ve done the introspection and self-work that it took to be better. It’s still a work in progress. It’s hard for me to give a pass to someone else when I’m proof positive that change is possible.

    I have faith that you will be better. You have already started working on yourself. Don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t happen over night. We Western folks like quick results but this is most definitely one of those things that’s not going to happen in short order.

  2. Pandora Viltis May 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm Reply

    I watched that episode and thought of my mother too. I kind of think Amy is the crazier one — Samy seemed a little afraid of her at points. Plus she was soooooo delusional, talking about the imaginary “haters” whereas Samy just nodded, but didn’t really seem like he thought people were out to get him. Amy seemed psycho to me whereas Samy came of as a bullying asshole.

    Btw, I love the movie Chasing Amy.

  3. M. May 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm Reply

    I thought Samy was a minor monster in the scenario and much in reaction to his wife and keeping her from coming at him with one of those knives. . . Seriously, I think he’s scared of her. A jerk himself, but mostly whupped.

  4. SemcoStyle (@SemcoStyle) May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am Reply

    Amy and Samy likely both suffer from (varying degrees of) OCPD – obsessive compulsive personality disorder (this is not OCD). The OCPD condition is an emotional trauma caused by a childhood without ANY affection but frequent criticism for your mistakes. You are raised to believe that you are an “unfit human being”. Basically, people like Amy have extreme low self-worth and try to project themselves as “good people”, setting high standards they cannot meet. Failure to meet such standards triggers a lot of hatred. As an adult this forces people like Amy to develop a self-defense mechanism, namely lashing out verbally with a “God given right” to defend her self-worth. She mentions God a lot, this is not surprising: Amy has to be right all of the time, just like God.

    There is no cure. The worst thing she could do was to go on television. Her only possible cure is for people to LEAVE HER ALONE. I know, I have the same condition, but I am self-aware. I can hide it from people, but the overwhelming feelings of ineptness and violent hatred of critics are still there. Please leave Amy alone, please. The internet is killing her.

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