You’re Doing it Wrong

The language of self-help has changed the way we speak to each other.

Adeline Dimond

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John Biglin in a Single Scull, Thomas Eakins, 1873 | Metropolitan Museum of Art, Open Access Program

The other night I visited my mother at her assisted living facility. She rejected the dinner of corned beef and cabbage (too spicy), and I took it home in a styrofoam container. As I sat in traffic on the 10 freeway, I reached over with one hand and popped chunks of corned beef in my mouth. Then I did the same thing with the potatoes.

This did not align with my goals, one of which is to be less fat. But I was starving after a full day of work, taking my mom to the doctor, returning her to the facility, where small talk with the executive director almost killed me.

I wiped the grease on my pants and my raincoat. When I got home I tossed them in a pile of other clothes that are supposed to go to the dry cleaner, someday.

I didn’t tell anyone about this night. I knew if I did someone would inevitably lecture me that I should just keep a bag of unroasted, unsalted, organic almonds in the car!! For crazy moments like these! And I would want to slit that person’s throat.

People give me advice and I bristle, because I already know. I know about the fucking almonds. They know I know, but they can’t help themselves. They still have to give me a tiny lecture. This phenomenon is getting worse lately…

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