Does taking care of oneself require skill?
I’m asking for a friend, because she’s caught in this perpetual cycle of self-hatred and self-acceptance. Sometimes she wakes up and she looks in the mirror and she smiles at herself and thinks not bad kiddo and then an hour later, after she’s scarfed down two plates of waffles covered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce, she feels like life is no longer worth living.
She sits a lot. She’s sitting all day long, actually – in the car, at her desk, in the car again, on her couch, Indian-style on the floor while she dangles things in front of her cats. This is her life. A series of seats.
She smokes, too. She was in Canada two weekends ago and she bought a pack of cigarettes. Have you ever bought cigarettes in Canada? It’s terrifying shit. There was this giant picture of a grisly-looking eyeball on the cigarette pack with a scary-looking font yelling RISK OF BLINDNESS! at her. Undeterred (but maybe pissing herself a little bit, I can’t remember) she ripped open that pack of cigarettes and found the most horrible picture of a skinny bald person and the scary font yelling at her again: THIS IS WHAT DYING OF LUNG CANCER LOOKS LIKE.
So she lit up a cigarette to calm her nerves.
I don’t know if there’s any one skill she needs to work on that will fix her up and make her give a shit. I imagine some combination of work ethic and dedication would help, but those aren’t really skills so much as they are characteristics or personality traits – traits that she is sorely lacking.
Maybe I’ll tell her to wait it out, keep on keepin’ on or whatever, and hope that one day some revolutionary new medical procedures will be developed and a hot young state-of-the-art doctor will hook her up with a new pair of lungs and a new knee and, if there’s some sort of buy-two-get-one-free deal, a set of washboard abs?
Never say never.
Hello and welcome to my residence! Today I am going to take you on a virtual tour of my apartment. Please excuse the mess. It has been 17 days since
my last confession I last tidied up.
Here in the kitchen you will see dishes in the sink from earlier this week. As you can see, Sean and I had roast beef and potato wedges for dinner on Wednesday. That pan there on the left is probably not salvageable. You can have it if you want. I’m sure you can scrub it clean with a little elbow grease.
This area here is our dining room, but it generally functions as a catch-all for mail and other items that have no home within our home. Like that hockey stick there on your right and the stethoscope that belongs to a doctor friend.
Watch your step, friends! Up next is the cat play area, situated in the most inconvenient spot imaginable here between the dining room and living room. That snake attached to a stick isn’t real, so there’s no need to freak out. No, seriously, calm the fuck down. It’s just a toy.
Here in the living room we keep things in tip top shape! Oh, those are Sean’s boots on the floor. And those are my boots. And my sneakers. And those are Sean’s work shoes. And that’s the gift bag left over from our little Valentine’s Day celebration. Would you like a chocolate truffle? I think there may be one or two left.
Oh, the bedroom! The bedroom is wonderful. I just woke up a few moments ago, so that’s why the bed is unmade. Really, that’s why. Stop looking at me like you don’t believe me. I know it may look unorganized, what with the various laundry baskets piled high with unmatched socks and Christmas presents we have yet to put away, but I assure you there is beauty in the breakdown.
You might be wondering about the little tufts of cotton all over the floor. That’s not cotton. Our little buddy Braddigan sheds like crazy. It’s all right, though. He’s sterile. I promise. No, I swear. Just go ahead and pick the hair out of your chocolate truffle and eat it. It’ll be fine. OK, if you’re not going to eat it, I will. You’re missing out, though.
You will be very impressed with our bathroom! Sean just cleaned it earlier this week. Walk this way, through the hallway here, and I will show you. See? Oh, shit. I forgot about the dirty clothes on the floor. Sorry. Those aren’t usually there. I mean, sometimes I leave them there because Kane likes to curl up in them like a little bird and take a nap as I’m showering, you know? He likes the steam. I’m just being a good pet owner.
And that brings us to the end of our tour! Can I get you some coffee? How about another truffle?