One year. 100 articles. So we're having a Reader's Party. Come along to Upsidecrown.
14 December 2000
Oh God no, not that. I really don't think you should. But, let's face it. No matter what I say, you're going to do it anyway. I know that. Advice never works. So don't ask for it. You don't want it and you're not going to take it. Let me tell you what you do want.
You want me to tell you that the boss is going to love that sales report of yours; that he isn't going to notice that the figures are down on last year; that the coffee stain on the dog-eared cover offers a witty commentary on the material exhaustion of modern society; that the strength of your performance will clinch your promotion to the upper echelons and set you on your way to inevitable world domination. I can't do that.
And when you contemplate a torrid affair with the boss in order to boost your prospects you want me to tell you that it's a great idea; that he really will leave his wife for you; that you won't lose the remaining iota of respect from your colleagues; that it really will be great when his kids move in - you always wanted to have some yourself one day in any case; that it could prove to be a positive learning experience. I'm soooo sorry. That's not possible.
You've just been shopping and you want me to reassure you about your new outfit. You want me to tell you that you're not flat-chested; that your panty line isn't visible and that your arse isn't the size of Alaska; that your double chin gives him something to hang on to; that the bags under your eyes will disappear if you stick slices of cucumber on them and have a good night's sleep. It's not gonna happen, bitch.
Basically, "you can't handle the truth". But that's a good thing. Because if none of us were deluded people would never take risks. Nothing would ever be achieved. Truth is all very well as an ideal pursuit, but it never did anyone any favours. Deny the truth and you have aims and objectives, self-esteem, fantasies and phantasms which may or may not be realised.
Be unafraid. Be very unafraid. Feel fine making a fool of yourself. I will collaborate in your insanity. And while you fuck up your life and everybody else's, I will be your conspirator, because I don't have the heart to tell you:
that you've tucked your knickers into your skirt; that your painted nails are sluttish; that your t-shirts are too tight; that you've already lost your allure; that the bags under your eyes are inherited and therefore permanent; that all that make-up makes you look like a drunk doll; that the self-mutilation does little to attract admirers;
that you're in a dead end job; that you don't have to prostitute yourself to get ahead; that the boss is already knocking off the redhead in Personnel and has his eye on your little sister; that marketing is hardly brain surgery; that your self-confidence if misplaced.