This is my last semester of college. Like, ever. By December, I'll have a degree, a real life, and a heart attack. What do graduates do? When does their year start? When is their summer? Do they ever buy five-subject notebooks? Do they still eat a whole package of Oreos in one sitting?
To commemorate my career as a writing student, I thought I might start posting some of my more entertaining* class assignments. I'm currently taking a course on the personal essay-- talking about yourself, trying not to sound obsessed with yourself, being obsessed with yourself-- you know, essentially this blog. For our first assignment, a short essay about one or more of our pet peeves, I was too bored to be honest, so I decided to write it from a slightly exaggerated, not-exactly-real version of myself. It's not a masterpiece, but it was fun. I hope you enjoy.
At this point, my biggest pet peeve is a little too big to fall under “pet” status. This peeve is more like an overweight son in his mid-twenties who won’t move out of your basement and get a job. This peeve has been nagging me to some degree my entire life, and it just gets uglier and heavier and peevier as the days go by. People tell me, “Get over it! It’s a fact of life! Junk food makes you fat!” I tell people, “Yes, and that pisses me off.”
The thing is, I understand why unhinging your jaw like a pelican and cramming a dozen mini cupcakes down your throat would, in theory, make you gain weight. We’re decedents of chimpanzees who spend most of their afternoons gnawing fruit and trying to crack nuts open. Anything that strays too far from naked grazing on an open meadow is bound to be unhealthy. But shouldn’t evolution have solved this problem? Shouldn’t evolution have looked around, noticed that I spend my afternoons sprawled on my crumb-covered bed, elevating my chin just high enough to see my computer screen? Science really ought to have abolished calories by now. If I were science, I’d be like, “Wow, humans invented onion rings? That’s freaking incredible. We should get our shit together and let them eat onion rings. Free of charge. Go forth, my children.”
But my peeve isn’t quite that simple. I’m almost able to accept the conditions: If you want to look good, you can’t be happy. This has been proven so many times, by so many blonde celebrities holding Starbucks cups on their way out of rehab, that nobody with the E! channel needs me to elaborate further. My second-biggest peeve emerges when someone inevitably tries to defy this law. For every two McDonald’s patrons this country has to offer, there is at least one vegan surfer who takes B12 supplements and does yoga on purpose. I really don’t know which is worse. On the one hand, all the leading causes of death in the US involve eating yourself into a blob. On the other hand, screw vegans. (I can say that. I am one. Because I hate myself.)
I just want to let you know, chick wearing a handmade sweater made of organic yarn, that everybody hates you. Not for real, but symbolically. We see you picking at your cup of spinach, staring straight ahead with a dead-in-the-eyes smile as you attempt to gnash raw leaves between your molars, and you remind us that we’re Jolly Rancher-ing ourselves into a downward spiral. It’s your prerogative to eat granola, but at least have the common decency not to do it in front of me!
Above all, though, I’m peeved with myself. These ten pounds that I lose and gain and lose again, every three months like clockwork, keep me constantly yo-yoing between worlds. I have duel citizenship in Fatass Town and Pretentious Pseudo-Nutritionist Who Says Shit Like “Holistic” City. I’ve been that person at the party whose enthusiastic cry of “Let’s make more brownies!” is greeted with silence and shrugs, and I’ve also been that person holding out a Mason jar and crooning, “Do you want some of my quinoa? I can never finish it.” Get with the program, past self! Your brownies make everyone feel like shit, and your quinoa tastes like it. But until I get a grip on reality (never), I will remain militant against all other eaters worldwide. You with the cheeseburger? You’re pissing me off. You with the agave nectar? You’re pissing me off.
I guess what I’m getting at-- after all the “Can I see a dessert menu?” is said and after all the Pilates is done-- is that food stresses me out.
So yeah, that's basically how I'm using my multi-thousand-dollar education. If you're not completely sick of me yet, I posted a video on my second channel a few days ago, and I have a new hayleyghooover video coming out tonight. I hope you all have a lovely day! See you soon, guys.
*Keep in mind that "entertaining" is a relative term, and that these essays are pretty much only entertaining in comparison to 10-page papers about what the color green means in The Great Gatsby.