Showing posts from April, 2016

That Narrative

I am cranky and hate the world.

Go on any social media site. Look for the lost and anxious souls. You will find quotes that look like they've been written on a typewriter about some indeterminate she, who without exception is sad and beautiful and mysterious. They always bugged me. Now I think I have the words for why.

Some people view everything as being in a narrative, which makes sense in terms of how we prioritise information and put it in certain sequences. Not prioritising and stringing together information in "normal" (read: socially acceptable) ways carries pretty heavy social penalties, which is partly because people can't understand you if you don't try to arrange your information in a sensible order. Anyway, it's the idea I'm going to be working with.

I don't know why it took me 20 years (yes, really) to realise the difference between narrativising and being narrativised. (Serves me right for doing a physics degree and having basically zero…

A letter to my 16-year-old self

Doing one of these things because I saw it done today and ended up reflecting on my life.

Dear Osnat,

It may not feel like it right now, but it's going to be okay.

You fretted over having a boyfriend a lot, and now you're finally realising that you don't need to fret and you're going to have someone truly amazing in your life anyway (that's a spoiler right there for you). You're going to meet him in person, after a couple of false starts because trains are stupid, and you're going to help each other grow and flourish. At first people will be upset that you're dating someone older than you, but they'll come around once they realise neither of you are going anywhere. (People are also going to turn to you for relationship advice. You will think this is weird.)

You will have a tough time with friends. You will lose several. Several close ones will leave and you will feel awful and alienated as you just find an endless line of cloned North London and Hom…

The Upsides of Ugliness

I'm not a good-looking woman. That's a fact. I'd say I'm ugly - not exceptionally so, but the fact remains that I'm not easy on the eyes.

I used to curse that. I used to be so upset and wish that I could be pretty and loved and worth something to men.

These days, I'm not so upset. I know ways to put in effort to look almost pretty, but it's fairly low down on my list of priorities. In fact, I'm almost pleased at being plain.

I still haven't quite outgrown my teenage misanthropic phase, which is a bit worrying, but the long and short of it is that I take a dim view of most of you. My friends are wonderful, beautiful people and have to put up with some utter fuckwits messing them around. I look like a trashcan, so the fuckwits don't touch me. Not as much, anyway.

Ugliness isn't just an external thing. It exists on the inside, as anyone with a basic understanding of humans will tell you. Now, if I were following a conventional narrative, I'…