taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, December 16, 2002

My friend Mattie lives in LA, which seems like this oceanic dreamworld of non-jobs, of idle occupation. They all work at night or work temp out there, whatever. It makes me feel kind of pedestrian and ordinary, with my three-bedroom house and my dog and my fussing, my pleasure in having a nicer house than the neighbors', or my dismay at the ladies in carpool line who cut ahead with their minivans. As though these ladies, butting in line, matter at all when there are oceans to be faced.

Of course, I have many other irritations too: the fact that, when I log onto my email at Yahoo, they feed me nothing but weight-loss ads, from one ill-considered visit I made to e-Diets, months ago. I weigh 125 pounds. The weight loss ads make me ill. They make me feel in bad health, anorexic, starving. Their before-and-after javascripts flash across the top of my email like a taunt: no one but no one can tell you're thin, no one is thin, everyone is fat, you must be fat too. Why did I ever visit eDiets to begin with? What was I hoping to accomplish?

Luckily Mattie is thin too, which is evidently only to be expected in LA. It's fortunate that she's thin, because many other things are difficult for her: her brother and sister, who are distant and resentful; her work, which is transitory and involves mostly food-and-drink; and her lack of parents, which is to say that she's an orphan. If she were fat, on top of all that, who knows what might become of her?


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