Friday, November 23, 2007

Start with a joke

Woody Allen addressing the camera as Alvy Singer at the beginning of the movie Annie Hall:

There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.

I think that my expectations for life were set unnaturally high at a young age. I don't only blame my parents for this; I blame television shows and books and movies about happy families living exciting lives. It really doesn't matter who is to blame. Nobody cares. Why should they?

I'm trying to pinpoint the exact moment when my life stopped heading in the direction of happiness. It was probably in high school. My parents should have done something. Ha! What a laugh. How grotesque of me to blame them when all they did was try to help me. All of those psychiatrist visits, constantly watching me for signs of improvement or deterioration. But here's what I would have done:

  1. Find out about Accutane and get me on it instead of taking me to the dermatologist every three to six months to get some new topical medicine or antibiotic that wouldn't work.
  2. Here's where the Ha! comes in. There was nothing else they could do. I needed to do the rest for myself. Maybe if I hadn't had the acne, I would have had the confidence to get in shape, learn how to dress, how to behave in front of people who intimidated me, gotten through math, into a better college...

Okay, so I can't blame my parents. And blaming the media is a cliché. So, can I blame my 14-year-old self for the person I am today?

If there is an answer, I don't think that I will ever know it.

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