Me: I’m home!
Self: Where’d you go?
Me: To Happy Hour.
Self: Who were you with?
Me: Some friends from school.
Self: Have fun?
Me: Yeah, we had some laughs. It was a good time.
Self: But it’s early still!
Me: ‘Early’? It’s 11:40! (Congratulatory tone)
Self: Yeah. It’s 11:40. (unimpressed.)
Me: Hello, I’ve been awake since 5:48 this morning.
Self: (heavy silence.)
Self: Tell the truth.
Me: I’ve been awake since 5:48 this morning.
Self: I’ll give you one more try.
Me: (pause) 5:48.
Self: Your alarm clock went off at 5:48, after which you hit the “snooze” button until 6:43…
Me: And? So what?
Self: I wasn’t done yet. Don’t interrupt me.
Self: ….until 6:43 at which point you re-set your alarm until 7:06.
Me: (silence.) I don’t see your point.
Self: You’re an idiot for setting your alarm for an hour and eighteen minutes before you’re going to get out of bed. And you’ve been hideously dressed since then, too, I might add.
Me: What are you talking about? I came home from school, took a shower, ironed clothes, and got changed into a totally different outfit—-including high heels!!!—–to go out! I am not hideous!
Self: (sucking in air through clenched teeth and shaking her head.) You are, though. And you need to face it.
Me: I am not!
Self: Listen. You went out in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. The shirt is brown. I don’t care if you were wearing gold high heels and gold earrings, you were a hot mess.
Me: I thought I looked nice.
Self: You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto, or Connecticut either, where wearing long-sleeved shirts and heels are acceptable fashion. You’re in Brazil, my dear. You’ve got to show some skin.
Me: I don’t want to show skin. No one wants to see my skin. I don’t want people looking at my skin. No skin. None.
Self: You want to fit in, don’t you?
Me: Not really, no. I mean, it’s nice to feel comfortable, but I don’t need to be mistaken for a Brazilian. Especially if it means showing skin where I don’t want it shown.
Self: You’re telling me you felt comfortable tonight?
Me: (pause, thinking.) No. Not really.
Self: What could you have done to make yourself more comfortable?
Me: Besides wearing my pajamas?
Self: Oh Jesus. Bless this child.
Me: Worn better shoes, maybe. Maybe also a yellow shirt, or a shirt with grey, yellow, and white patterns on it. Or a black shirt. Black always works.
Self: Why do you say that?
Me: Because that’s what lots of other girls were wearing tonight.
Self: What else were they wearing?
Me: Well, one girl was wearing a grey back-less sweater and jeans and black heels. And another girl at the same table wore a black halter top. But actually, now that I think of it, I think both of them were trannies.
Self: Oh yeah?
Me: Yeah. I’m not sure it’s considered “in style” to wear one’s Adam’s apple that far out from the throat, or one’s g-string that high up on the hips. Like, above the jeans.
Self: Then you probably shouldn’t be taking fashion tips from those girls, should you?
Me: Probably not.
Self: I’m not impressed, Gina. I thought you’d bring more to the table than a long-sleeved brown shirt and jeans. I thought you were better than that.
Me: I accessorized! I had gold earrings! And my shirt was from Anthropologie!
Self: Not good enough. You are a wreck.
Me: Do you see?! THIS is why I stay inside! THIS is why I don’t like going out because I’m always the girl who puts on what she thinks looks good and then accessorizes in all the wrong ways and then ends up looking like she’s trying too hard! I just don’t get it!
Self: (shaking her head)
Me: THIS is why I read books all the time.
Self: (shaking her head.) You are a total–
Me: –Nerd. I know. You don’t have to say it.