positively negative


You piss me off with your enthusiasm.  I don’t want to be positive or force a smile because studies prove that belief follows behavior, and if your brain feels a smile, it will feel happy.  I don’t want to be happy.  I want to sit in bed all day and mope, and eat bad foods, and complain that I’m fat.  I want to tell my sister I’m miserable and lazy and don’t want to leave the bed because she’ll understand.  She’ll tell me, Yeah, go ahead.  Order in fries and dip them into a milkshake and go watch FEDS.  Then fart and smell up the room and stay in bed for too long so you can complain that your back hurts.  I don’t want to get the pedicure or blowout that will look like I’m enjoying myself.  I want a sick day where I’ll have bad breath and knotty hair and no more remnants of mascara even.  I don’t want you to sing your song about how I should be positive or how it’s not healthy to mope, how my body will start listening, how I have to fake it out by going through the motions.  I don’t want your smile or wave or happy dance trying to cheer me up, to hear that I look pretty today.  I have a double chin; I am a pimple that even when I pop it, it keeps coming back.  Conceptually, I want to go to the gym and just walk and stretch, but my gym is too far away.  I want an apartment with a gym in it, so I wouldn’t have to go out in the cold.  I’d only have to put on the clothes, the leggings and sweat socks.  And I wouldn’t have to disrobe there or remember a locker combination because when I finished, I could just take the elevator home to my shower. Now, from your place, even if you offered to buy me the right clothes, the gym would still be too far away, and then I’d have to find the membership card and hope it still worked, and then make sure my iPod was charged, and that a not too annoying playlist was on there where I wouldn’t constantly have to look down for the next track button.  So instead of ever making it to the gym, I’d probably try to make that not too annoying playlist for the next time. 

I want to play monopoly on my cell phone until it hurts my eyes, and then I want to complain about how no one ever plays monopoly anymore because it’s a boring game and takes too long.  I don’t want to have to reciprocate or ask you what you think or how you feel.  I just want to be miserable until I can’t take it anymore and I decide I want to go shopping or go somewhere for something fun, but at this moment, I don’t know what fun would look like.  Fun used to be amusement parks and rides that made me so dizzy I’d want to vomit.  Fun was the grown up rides where you had to be tall.  Then it was shopping, buying a new handbag or finding Manolos on sale at Saks Off Fifth.  Accessories always fit.  Shopping isn’t fun anymore when nothing fits and everything looks wide.  Fun isn’t anymore.  Not even food because it makes me feel tired and lonesome and pissed off at you for waving and singing the stupid be positive song where you changed Lou Reed’s words from The Power of Positive Drinking to Positive Thinking.  Positively stop that and know that I never want to die because I won’t be able to complain if I’m dead, and one of my greatest joys in life is complaining, which is what you hate most about me, which makes me the most me, which makes me nervous that you can’t possibly love me because you hate this thing about me, but somehow, I know you do.  It’s the one thing I cannot complain about because I do know, without a doubt, that you love me.  I just wish sometimes you wouldn’t do it so close to me.  But if you stopped, I’d just complain that maybe you just don’t love me as much anymore.  So you can’t win… which is fun.


  1. Go back to bed, eat some chocolate and watch a chic flick that will make you bawl, Ms. Cranky Pants! :-P

    I love that you dare to write exactly how you feel. My condensed version to Mr./Ms. Positive would be to tell them to go piss up a rope. Effective, yes?

  2. You so crack me up. Even when you complain! No, scratch that….because you complain!

    I know I'm not your sister, but order fries and dip them in a milkshake. McDonald's fries and a thick, vanilla milkshake work best! With extra salt on the fries. Or just drink the shake, using the straw to dip up big globs of it, and dip the fries in mustard instead.

    Okay, now I've made myself hungry. Mickey Ds, here I come.

  3. I usually wallow with chocolate chip pancakes, 2% milk I've almost frozen until it forms that crispy ring, and hours of emotionally infused Sundance Channel movies. Your post reminds me of those days.

    Here's to hoping no one tries to cheer you up. I hate that too.

  4. Stephanie you're a stich! Been away for week and started catching up by reading you. Came right down to the comment section without reading anything already posted (as I always do;lets me stay focused). Have you stopped taking your medication again? You need some chocolate, because I know your problem (if it is a problem) is chemical. Thanks for cheering me up. Maybe you'll feel better tommorow, but then again maybe not.

  5. Sounds like a good time. Add a small roll of Pillsbury cookie dough and a spoon, and you could be me.

  6. You're headed for a tough life luv cuz unfortunately for you, your life is going great and there are less and less things for you to complain about. I guess there's always the weather and stupid people and slow drivers in the left lane and people ordering a 'small' coffee at Starbucks and bad movies and…

  7. Ditto, on the crack me up. You make my day, inside out, upside down, any which way you can! You are one of a kind… please stay that way!

  8. "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got". Ring a bell?

    Loll about for a while, and might I suggest a good bottle of wine and some Godiva chocolate?

  9. here's some advice on the lovely farting bit, try and waft the odor up your way with your hand after doing the disgraceful deed.

    when i'm in a badboy mood I find distinct pleasure in smelling meself at me worst. and then getting a stupid chuckle from it .

    of course after the chukcle I am horrifed and feel ornery and foul again for being so distasteful

    its a perpetual way to keep that bad mood going until it runs itself out of gas…..

  10. Your best post EVER! Seriously. I think we may be living parallel lives. Either that, or you have a video camera installed on my life right about now.

    If this is how you truly feel–believe me, it's the seasonal affective disorder that everyone has at this time.

    The gym is way too far, even though it's right down the road. The iPod is sometimes a pain in the butt to charge, and getting out of bed can be the biggest task ever.

    I had back pain for one whole month. My chiropractor told me it was from 'emotional stress'–or depression. Anxiety/stress leads into depression. No, I'm not diagnosing you (ha–imagine "me" diagnosing anyone) but I think I know what you're going through.

    I hope you feel better. You're in my prayers! Remember—our best 'work'—(writing/art/music) is done when we are at our most emotional state. Thank God we have partners who love us—unconditionally.

    Excellent read!

    (Feel better!!!)

  11. You people need Prozac. Some of you need Lithium. Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the people closest to Stephanie. It really is called Prozac or Zoloft. Or maybe you are already on medication.

  12. I love "bad breath and knotty hair" days. I may have to email this to my sig other, because he is the positive singing kind and I am not. It amazes me that people can still love those that complain so much. Thank goodness they do.

  13. Somedays it's just necessary to go all out and have that pity party.

    Come to think of it, I think I'm due to have one myself soon.

    Hope you're smiling again soon.

  14. Girl – you read my mind. I've been so grouchy this weekend I can hardly stand myself. Thankfully, I've been totally alone and have wallowed magnificently. Cheers to a better week ahead!

  15. disorder? i think what she means is sometimes its ok to be in a bad mood if you know you're being in a bad mood and are ok with that. disorders are when people are in a state of mind they cannot control.

    controlled negativity is a way to explore ones mind. like ever revel in playing in a mud puddle?

  16. Loved this entry. Especially the part about the gym being too far away. With all of the snow on the ground, I don't want to walk and I am the worst driver, which is why I don't want to take a car. What can you do?

  17. Stephanie,
    You're a spoiled brat. You don't even have to show up to the office every day like the rest of us. You act like taking a sick day isn't par for the course. You have an exceptional life. Why not go down to New Orleans and volunteer with the cleanup? You'll see how great your life is and maybe you'll put some meaning back into your own. It sounds like that's what's missing.

  18. You funny clever girl. I had a sick day yesterday and have been complaining to my coworkers about what a waste it was. There laughing and think I am being funny but I'm complaining. I want to throw a greasy cheese steak at them.

  19. good day, huh?
    i spent the entire day in jammies in paris…eating bread and ginger ale with nasty hair and room service guys saw me looking like this.

  20. Sorry about the wallowing. Sometimes you just need it though. Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much I love reading your posts. I'm absolutely hooked! :-)

  21. I have no problem with people having down days, I think it is natural. But maybe, just for fun, check with your local temple to see if they need someone to volunteer, just to keep things in perspective.

    But I don't like the gym comments, I take that personally. If the gym is too far away, walk around the block 10 times, that's maybe 2 miles. Go home and do 50 situps and 20 pushups. Then take a shower/bath, give yourself a facial, maybe get a massage. Or not. But at least if you did the walking, etc., you can go get yourself a treat wihtout it adding to the negative vibes.

    Whatever treat a person likes, they are always a lot better if you do something positive prior to indulging, imo.

  22. Holy crap, I think any sick day taken during the holidays by anyone with a job should just be called "stay in and bitch day"..why the heck are we all on the same page here? My problem is I want to hit the fast-forward button and just get past the holidays, but I'll feel this yucky in January – and have no pretty decorations around to cheer me up.

  23. Oh, have I had a few of these days lately, sans somebody who loves me. So I trump you!

    The don't-shave-your-legs, wear-pjs-till-evening, eat-ice cream-from-the-carton, drink-oj and vodka-for-breakfast, turn-off-your-cell-phone and refuse-to-check-your-email days.

    Love 'em.

  24. Everyone needs stay home and bitch days. Boys should just leave us alone when that happens. It's a no-win situation.

    Chin up doll – life is pretty sweet when you think about it.


  25. Catch a cheesesteak in your mouth! Extra points if it's extra-greasy! Get yer cheeeeeeesesteaks heeeeeere!

    It's officially winter…

    Oh, and if I could add one complaint to your litany thereof, I'd take that "conservative" Prius and that "sensitive" hybrid Land Cruiser and see how far I can shove 'em up those two freaks' asses from that Toyota commercial. She might be all about saving gas and the environment, but she's got hair flowing from her pits long enough to be braided. And the guy — the "sensitive" guy — he's about as in the closet as it gets.

    Let 'em ALL eat cheesesteaks…extra greasy, o' course.

  26. Man, you are a pretty ungrateful person. As somebody previously pointed out, not only do you not have to get out of bed everymorning to go into work like the rest of the world, you completely take for granted that you are in a financial position to treat yourself with Manolos, pedicures and blowouts. Maybe you need to leave New York for a while and gain some perspective, because the rest of the world does not live life like its an episode of Sex and the City. Then maybe you would realize how good you have it. While you may have cashed in on a big book deal by living this type of freewheeling, self-indulgent lifestyle, what good is it really, considering that you don't appreciate your good fortune?

  27. Oh yesss – sometimes its just so damn hard to get out of bed and get dressed in the winter, let alone get myself out of the house. Some days I just can't bear the burden of makingmyself "presentable", and having to act presentable as well. By Friday I truly end up resenting that I have to do it at all, and end up staying in my jammies half of Saturday as long as the kids have no place I have to get them to. And, I nearly spit coffee all over my computer screen at "So you can't win. Which is fun." Hee.

  28. Stephanie…I hesititate to say this. Don't want to be too forward, but you sound soooo miserable. Stop by my place for a smile next time you're "not fit for human consumption." :)

    Ciao for now…


  29. I really think you should give the whining a rest. Instead of thinking about the things that suck, focus on the good. Like your mid six figure deal that any writer would give an appendage for (a lot of them literally would. The fact that you don't live in New Orleans is another. I remind myself of that every time I start to get on the pity pot.

    Man, you remind me of Nicole Richie. Lots of people get messy divorces, but you got a book deal out of it. Lots of people are adopted like Nicole, but she insists we have no idea how hard her life has been. Well, it would have been a lot harder if she were put in foster care instead of adopted by a super star. And yours would be a lot harder if you didn't have supportive friends and family, a home that is still standing, tv appearances and tons of awesome press, and of course, a mid six figure deal.

    Sucks to be you.

  30. you know, don't you, that all the people who say you don't deserve to "enjoy" a bad day here and there because you have such a great life are wrong, right? i mean, they're right that you have a great life, but the key word there is "you"–it's yours and you can live it as you see fit. and i totally get that people can love the hell out of you, but if you're not feelin' it for yourself, you're not. give yourself some space, and don't worry about defending it. if people don't get it, that's their problem. and it's true–it's true! at least for me–that it's easier to love yourself when you're five pounds thinner and don't look like a proactive "before" photo. it just is. you'll come around again. that's the important thing to remember when you're doing dutch ovens with yourself in your bed at 4:00 p.m. in 2-day-old jammies. also: don't let them guilt you into happiness if you're not ready. we understand.

  31. i think the problem here is that no many how many things head in the right direction in stephanie's life, she still finds something else to complain about. commenter missy hit the nail on the head.

  32. I am posting a retraction to my previous post. I'm a writer trying to work her way into the publishing world (obviously unsuccessfully as of yet) and most of that was sour grapes. And that time of the month. Lisa above me was right, it's your life, and you do have the right to feel how you want to. Everyone does, that's one of (few) things that's good about living in this country. I do still feel we should all be greatful if we escaped the tragedy of Katrina. At least I'm PMSing in my warm house. Anyways, please accept my apology and sincere congratulations on your phenomenal success.

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