@Buffybot 2000 @gimluck I get what you guys are saying and upon reflection I think that what got to me was not Polly's advice per se but rather her tone as I perceived it. It seemed like she was going for the "tough love" approach, which is not something I usually see in her advice. To me, she's normally a lot more understanding. And since "tough love" makes me want to curl up and cry because I'm so weak, I reacted strongly and negatively.
That is, of course, the problem with written advice columns. You can't tell a person's tone of voice, and you can't clarify or ask follow up questions or say "you're making me feel X."
I thought Polly was way to harsh on this girl. No one wants to stay frustrated and depressed, and telling depressed people that its their fault their depressed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Depression is a disease like any other, and I don't see you telling cancer patients that they want to stay filled with cancerous cells. And likewise, telling someone that they can choose happiness is also incredibly destructive. If happiness was a choice, wouldn't we all choose to be happy? Who in their right mind would choose otherwise? People who say that happiness is a choice need to check their mental health priviledge.
If it all seems like I'm taking this a little too personally, that's because I am taking it personally. I have very similar problems to this girl, though to a lesser degree, and I'm sick of being told, "you have control" like it's my fault that I'm not happy.
"When you strip away a person's ability to dignify himself through rational means—educational attainment, fulfilling work, etc.—you leave him flailing to dignify himself through irrational means, like buying a certain brand of shoes or sleeping with a certain color of woman." THIS is what I need to tell people.
@Bryan Keller Mine three.
Oh my god I love Motherless Brooklyn and Jonathan Lethem and this is the best thing to ever happen on The Awl waaaaaaaaaahoooo (runs flailing with arms akimbo)!!!
9 to 5 is surprisingly subversive!
@Deirdre McCluskey@twitter Mary Stewart classic trash?
I have so many positive feelings, but the only one I can verbalize is: I love The Haunting of Hill House and Shirley Jackson!
It's too late, so no one will see this, but here goes (big breath):
Whenever it gets too hot out, which--in DC--is often, I always think/say out loud to myself, "For years Man has yearned to destroy the sun." Also, if you guys are into weather I can't recommend highly enough Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen. It's about weather and love and doppelgangers. What could be better?!