do you?

a young woman’s lament

Do you?

Do you love walnut pie, even though you’re allergic to walnuts and eating them gives you a terrible headache?

Do you watch films and decide they’re stupid because you understood and enjoyed them?

Do you blow off plans with people because they’re lame enough to have time for you?

Do you decide that your favorite band is really an aimless bunch of bathroom singers once you fall in love with them?

Do you hesitate to learn French because you find yourself unworthy of Baudelire?

Do you think people who smile at you are actually smiling at someone more attractive behind you?

Do you dislike the way you look but make no effort to change the way you eat or how much you exercise, because what’s the point?

Do you regularly rethink the stickers on your laptop? Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman deserve better.

Do you contribute to a conversation and then spend hours agonizing over how stupid you sounded? You almost definitely either made an irrelevant point or said it in a voice that was too deep or too squeaky or maybe you were both too deep and too squeaky.

Do you chastise yourself for crying because you don’t deserve feelings?

Do you suspect that every airport employee you’ve said, “You too” to when they said, “Have a pleasant journey” remembers your name and face?

Do you have travel anxiety because of this?

Do you twist your fingers together before flights take off even though you’ve been studying physics for six years? (You know how Bernoulli’s principle works. It doesn’t depend on you squeezing your eyes shut and praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.)

Do you not speak to your best friend for months because she definitely has better things to do with her time? She obviously hasn’t called you because school has caused her to realise you’re an overly-attached emotional leech.

Do you have a single room and feel like you’re not worthy of the luxury of walking around in your underwear but also feel like no one should have to endure you as a roommate?

Do you leave lunch dates early because you’re scared you’re wasting the other person’s time and they’re too polite to tell you?

Do you accuse people who find you interesting of being dullards?

Do you regularly wonder why you make the choice to use words like “dullards”?

Do you find yourself attracted to people who don’t know you exist and then lose interest when they showing the faintest signs of potentially reciprocating your interest?

Do you wonder why members of your family invest time and energy into their relationships with you?

Do you think your friends are idiots because they’re friends with you?

Do you wish you knew more people, but make the choice not to talk to people on an hourly basis?

Do you find yourself constantly agreeing with people who are inconsiderate of what you want? “You’re right! It is insane for me to want to spend my life teaching just because education is the one thing in the world I really care about.”

Do you realize that this is the first time you’ve written about disliking yourself? Are you crushingly disappointed that it’s a string of questions?

Do you disappoint yourself in questioning your creative choices?

(*Don’t cry! the salt and water in your body deserve better, you meaningless congregate of atoms!*)

Are you looking for a community filled to the brim with the self-loathing you often find your loved ones lacking?

Join me for dinner on Thursdays to discuss how fine we both are, 20 minutes before which we can both bail on each other.