Thursday, September 23, 2010


Forget that in the past month I've started classes, aced the GRE (um, well, verbal, not math), painted my living room, written an acclaimed (only by my T.A. but whatever) short story, gathered four job recommendations, and finished my application to Hedgebrook. Biggest all-time unemployment achievement: I'm now an approved commenter on Gawker.

Here is the story of my struggle.

At first I didn't know you had to audition to comment on Gawker, so I wrote kind of a stupid comment about oleanders being poisonous. Oh, how I cringe thinking about it. (It was meant to be funny but the story is too long and involved.) After that initial humiliation, I didn't comment for a very long time. And in fact, I've blocked out my second failed attempt so I can't even recount it here.

But my third. My third was a piece of genius. For an article about how a New Republic editor said that he wasn't sure Muslim-Americans deserved the privilege of free speech, I wrote, "How many Muslim-Americans can name all ten amendments in the Bill of Privileges?" That's like the best joke I'll ever make -- which should indicate to you that you need to begin smoking a lot of weed in my presence if you haven't started already.

Anyway, they despised my third attempt. They didn't even respond. (Hey, it occurs to me that now that I'm approved I could sneak back and post it just out of spite. Coolness.)

I wasn't going to make a fourth attempt. I planned to always remind myself that I could never transcend my bill of privileges moment so I should never waste time trying. But then they posted an article about school anxiety and, well, er, I've been pretty emotional what with all this statement of purpose crap I have to do for grad school apps, so before I knew it I was pouring out my heart to the overworked hipster editors at Gawker.

And they liked me! They really liked me! They didn't roll their eyes or anything (or maybe they did because sometimes they post stuff sardonically just to rile people up, but I'm so happy I don't even care). Three separate people replied nice things to me. It's not necessary to point out that probably hundreds  were too polite to tell me they hated me and thousands more were too bored to register any emotion about me whatsoever. Three people were nice!

Which means: I now have a lifetime-until/unless-banned approval to comment on Gawker. It's like living in Brooklyn! It's like wearing baby bangs and red lipstick while going to parties in Brooklyn. Really, it's exactly like that, annoying and obnoxious in just the same way. Reality check: I'm nowhere near approved to write for Gawker. I'm only allowed to comment on Gawker, which really should be a right guaranteed to all Americans.

But whatever! Tonight I wanted to post about Mr. Snuffleupagus and I did, without anybody's permission. Tomorrow, if I feel like writing about my Obama sex fantasies, I will. Someday I might even go off topic, dare to dream.

The real lesson in all of this is that acceptance came only after I allowed my true self to be known. That or else they thought my true self might inspire enough snarky comments to be entertaining.

Or maybe the real lesson is that I need to spend more time looking for a job.

No comments: