Self Help.

27 02 2008

I am sitting on the orange couch, staring at the computer screen. Self is standing in the doorway in her underwear and tanktop, digging into a pint of Haagen Dazs chocolate cookie ice cream. As I continue to stare, Self looks up momentarily and with a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth, begins the following conversation.

Self: Hey.

Me: (staring softly at the blank wordpress screen in front of me.)

Self: Hey.

Me: Hm? Oh, hi.

Self: What are you doing?

Me: Nothing.

Self: Yeah, I can see that. Why are you doing nothing?

Me: No reason. I want to be doing something but I can’t figure out what I want to do.

Self: You mean, you’re trying to figure out what to write?

Me: Yeah.

Self: Write about your day.

Me: Ugh. No. It was terribly boring.

Self: So? Isn’t that what blogging is all about?

Me: Well, maybe. But it’s about writing, you know? Writing well, I guess. I don’t just want to jot down what I did all day because other than that awesome jello at lunch it was pretty uneventful. I have readers, you know. I want to give them a little more than jello.

Self: Write about Dennis. You said you got a sweet email from him today.

Me: (grinning.) Yeah, but that’s mine. I don’t want to share everything he says with the world because then there’d be nothing left for me to have for my own.

Self: That’s stupid. You should share everything.

Me: You’re stupid! And plus, I don’t want to share everything. Because once I share it it’s not mine, and there’s people out there who will roll their eyes at the things that light up my face and make me happy. And I don’t want anyone rolling their eyes at Dennis’ words.

Self: Oh. Good point. So what do you want to write about?

Me: Well, actually, I really want to write like Dooce. And like Damsel in Digress. And all those other blogs that write about grown-up stuff.

Self: “Grown-up stuff?” What are you, like, thirteen? What do you mean?

Me: I don’t know. I guess stuff like going out. And dating. And swearing.

Self: You want to write about swearing?

Me: No, I don’t want to write about it. Dooce swears. Lots of bloggers swear.

Self: You swear.

Me: Yeah, but not nearly as prolifically as others. I’m a teacher. Apparently I have to be perfect.
Self: True. So excessive swearing is out.

Me: Yep.

Self: And you can’t write about dating because you don’t date.

Me: I know.

Self: You’re in a long term relationship.

Me: Yep.

Self: And long distance.

Me: Don’t remind me.

Self: So writing about dating is out, too.

Me: Yep.

[pause.]

Self: What was the other thing?

Me: Going out.

Self: Right. Going out.

[long pause.]

Self: Gina, you don’t leave your apartment. Ever. How can you write about going out if you never leave?

Me: That’s not tr–

Self: It’s true.

Me: No, it’s–

Self: Just stop.

Me: (defeated) Well, I went out last night.

Self: Two nights ago. To your friend’s apartment one street over. In your pajamas. You don’t go out.

Me: Well she was sick!

Self: Give it up. Face it. You don’t go out. Game over. End of story. I win. You can’t write about going out. You’d be lying.

[pause]

Me: You make me sound so pathetic.

[Self is speechless, looking at me with heaping spoon of chocolate ice cream poised in mid-air, en route to her mouth.]

Me: I know, I know. I’m the one writing this. I know.

Self: Hey, you said it. I’m just standing here.

Me: (under my breath) Yeah, shoveling ice cream into your fat face.

Self: (with mouth full) Huh?

Me: Oh, nothing. Just thinking aloud. Keep eating.

Self: (chewing a cookie, talking with mouth full.) Mm. It’s really good.

Me: (under breath) Mm-hmm. Keeeeeep eating.


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