So. Henry has found a rebound girl.
“Henry?” My father scrunched his face in confusion when I first referred to my ex by that name in conversation. Yes, I explained. I’ve begun calling him Henry in commemoration of Henry VIII, because of the way in which his entire character so unmistakably, strikingly recalls that of the illustrious megalomaniac. My father continued to scrunch his face as he considered. Then his face screwed around differently in cynical amusement. “You’re right. They both fall passionately in love with someone, and then they want to kill her.” Indeed, my ex shares everything with the infamous king from his power complex, to his grandiose, yet fragile self concept to his unchecked extravagance to his consecutive appropriation and then disposal of women like worn-out pantyhose with indefatigable efficiency. Even the portraiture is echoed in the present most eerily, in the same wide-legged, imposing stance of a self proclaimed alpha male that you see in the still-relevant portrayal painted back in the 1500s: The profile of a bloodthirsty narcissist evidently looks the same now the same as it did 500 years ago.
Over the course of this past year, while I wasn’t bothering to write in my blog, I somehow managed to meet, fall in love with, and marry someone who is, incredulously, as reclusive and neurotic as me. It’s been pure bliss. As I grew up in a non-Christmas-celebrating household while he did, that meant our first Christmas together was also my first Christmas, with the family. His family, but now my family too. I would finally get to experience for myself the alluring secret I’ve always watched from afar since I was I kid: the glimmering lights, the rich scent of fir needles hovering in front of your nose, the cookies, the tiny little gingerbread houses covered in icing, the benevolent angels. The warm cheeriness and utter feeling of contentedness, that everything is beautiful and just right.
I originally composed these instructions for life and love and human compassion more than a year ago, and posted them on Facebook, back when I had an active Facebook account. Within a few months of joining the Zuckerberg Empire I deactivated my account and now log in only occasionally and briefly when I feel the shameless and irresistible desire to pour over the mundane and intimate aspects of the lives of all those who I loathe, lust, and rabidly, resentfully envy. (And, as a self-proclaimed social media profile voyeur, I sincerely view as a genuine disgrace and a disappointment the degree to which most people have shrewdly put their profiles on tight lockdown in today’s age of Facebook user empowerment.)
Anyway, when I first posted this below list as a “note,” it was a big hit. All of my “friends”–all 19 of them–immediately reacted with either shame or exultant solidarity depending on where they identified themselves with respect to the “things.” I’ve dug the note back up now because I am bemused with the bitter and disgusting irony with which it is still relevant today, more than a year later, after I have given up the good fight of job searching altogether and have moved back in with my parents. In other words, I have followed the recommendation and fulfilled the virulent prophesy of #17 on the list, which is reposted in its entirety below. Continue reading
I encountered a moment of profound self-awareness and introspection earlier today when I glanced up and saw my reflection of myself consuming the contents of a tube of Pringles on the blacked-out screen of my laptop. One cannot experience a more evocative and startling instance of personal revelation.
My first reaction when I glimpsed into myself mindlessly gorging the fat free fried potatoes was, Shit, I can’t throw this up. I’m not bulimic anymore.
My next reaction was despair over my helpless lassitude as I contemplated just how long I have been tinkering about, snacking and woolgathering inside the caverns of my mind before my computer screen inevitably fell asleep and went black: Shit. I have done…nothing…at all today.
Maybe you’re wondering what a recovered bulimic is doing with a tube of Pringles to begin with, even if they’re the kind that are fried in that fake fat. It’s not actually my tube of Pringles. It’s my parents’ Pringles. I’m sitting in my parents’ house rummaging through their pantry. Because I moved in with my parents last month. Several years, two degrees and three cities later, weary, derelict, defeated, bedbug bitten, at the close of my youth, I have come back to the household from whence I came. Continue reading
I’m getting really sick of those goddamn emails you regularly dump in my inbox telling me about “Jobs I May Be Interested In.” I once really did apply for one of those jobs. Three days later I drove 110 miles to find myself at some too-hip-for-you consulting firm run by some too-cool-to-comb-his-hair megalomaniac sociologist who apparently thinks that surprise group interviews allotting 10 minutes to each candidate are a responsible way to hire people. They sent the rejection email before I even finished swerving my way back the 110 miles under the influence of my job interview-strength dose of tranquilizers. I don’t find your juicy-looking fraudulent job ads that you spam out to me to be very credible anymore.
And why don’t you stop flashing a bunch of “People I May Know” in my face every time I sign into my account. Yes, I do in fact know all those people. But you know what? I really don’t want to know that the flakey classmate who never even showed up to two seminars in a row now manages the grants at Big Fat Important Foundation That [supposedly] Saves the World. I don’t want to know that the pompous classmate who sat in the back of the room and snickered the time I flounderingly taught a class to the undergrads is now a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. I really, really, REALLY don’t want to see blinking back at me the profile of the former internship supervisor who had the gracious generosity to tell a reference checker that I’m “on the introverted side.” Continue reading
Today was another day without a call from the staffing agency. So, at around 4 pm I decided to force myself to change out of my pajamas and head over to the local library to return the near-due batch of books I had taken out. And go browsing for more. The library is one of the few places in which I feel truly comfortable and unthreatened. It is the only public establishment that I can think of where I’m off the hook as an agoraphobe. For me, it’s a temple to the soul. In a library, I am protected by compulsory peacefulness and privacy: You’re not allowed to talk to anyone. You get to conceal yourself within a silent forest of towering folios, rows upon vacant rows of comfortingly shadowy foliage. And, what’s more for my deprived soul, is that you are free to pluck voraciously from the shelves with impunity. Anything and everything marked with a call number is up for grabs, no fees, no calories, no obligations, no strings attached. And picking and sampling is both condoned and encouraged. Likewise, it is perfectly acceptable to loiter around aimlessly perusing for hours. The library is beyond the realm of the mythicized candy store: it’s the Garden of the Hesperides, on steroids. Continue reading
You might have noticed—and you didn’t, because no one reads this blog—but I had a crisis of the blogging spirit and went AWOL for the last few weeks. I had a pseudo-destructive impulse and took my blog offline (To be fair, if it were a truly destructive impulse, I would have completely deleted the blog). It was the result of an ongoing case of Blogger’s Block, and of the disturbing fact that after writing and posting three shitty blog entries, I still derive absolutely no pleasure or inspiration from writing for every Googler and WordPress-er to see. And, this fact is in turn derived from my tendency to constantly remember the reasons why I make a Really Shitty Blogger, whenever I consider writing a blog entry. The reasons are qualities about me and particularly my writing style that affront every sacramental principle of the present-day blogosphere. In particular, Continue reading