All right, look, I’ve watched The Secret, I’ve highlighted inspirational quotes in self-help books; I’ve even enjoyed visiting quotelady.com and thinkexist.com for famous words of wisdom (and still do sometimes). And yes, there was even a time when I enjoyed watching Oprah and reading her magazine (it’s a good magazine and I’m not writing that because I’m afraid of her). But when I opened my mail yesterday and saw an issue of O magazine with my name on it, I felt a burning sensation of rage.
Now I know how satan feels during an exorcism. The dude just wants to be left alone with his misery and his mischief. You can’t cancel a subscription if it’s a gift from someone!* (You know, kind of how the devil can’t fight against a crucifix.)
Who would violate me like this? My mother. She’s always trying to push self-help literature on me. Some of the reading material she’s left in my room or in my bag over the years: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man (Steve Harvey), The Essence of Attitude: Quotations for Igniting Positive Attitudes, and for my recent birthday, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be (Paul Arden). So basically my mom thinks I’m a negative, unambitious, lesbian. Does she give this crap literature to my brother, the married surgeon who gave her grandchildren? Nooooo. Just leave me alone with my misery and my mischief! I’m happy being a malcontent. Honestly. It’s a safe space. Do you get that, Jesus? Mom? (Um, Jesus, if you’re reading this, I do love you. I truly fear you just like a good Catholic girl should.)
As for you mom, I love you too. But here’s the thing: Yes, I’m jaded. I’m cynical. I can count the people I trust and truly love on one hand (fine, almost two). And that’s OK. I have best friends, I’ve found the love of my life (it’s a man!), and, well, I kind of have a career (freelance doesn’t mean unemployed, no matter what dad thinks). And the truth is I don’t care to be the greatest or the best, I just want to keep my job. Books aren’t going to teach me how to be in a relationship, my boyfriend will. And I don’t need inspiration. I do what I gotta do and that’s great enough. So, please, cancel your 12-month subscription to Oprah in my name because I don’t want to live my best life according to Oprah, or you, or to anyone else.
And because all of my posts need to end on a musical note:
*But you can change your address and have the magazine shipped to the gift giver instead, mwah ha ha.