Brain Candy (The Burden of Intelligence)

I was in a local cafe this morning, getting my usual double espresso (used to be a macchiato, but try getting the hunchbacks at the espresso machine to understand the concept of a dollop of foam), when I noticed that my waitress was absolutely stunning. Perfect bone structure, creamy caramel skin, a hip-to-waist ratio that would make Hugh Hefner cry himself to sleep–she was perfect.

Naturally, I made every necessary assessment about her person that comes with such incredible beauty. She was stupid, gullible, vapid, and worthless. Even taking into account my usual distaste for conversing with people who work in the service industry, I was even less interested in talking to this woman. She certainly had nothing to offer me, and moreover, the idea of her opening her mouth and sharing actual thoughts would ruin her aesthetic value. She is to be seen, and not heard.

That being said, I cannot say that I don’t understand her plight. Surely the knowledge that we as a society are bound to hate her and mistrust her for her incredible genetic gift must be depressing, but she should take comfort in the knowledge (assuming she can read) that those of us who are just as blessed in the intellectual department feel the same sting of judgment.

Yes, I, too, have been the victim of the teeming, unwashed masses who subvert their jealousy of my intimidating mental capacity into grammatically-incorrect vitriol. I know what it feels like to see life as a never-ending series of obstacles constructed by my own incredible genetic luck. It is a bleak, sad, often frightening world when you realize that you may simply never overcome the most positive points of your personality.

People see me, see my veiny, pulsing forehead, almost bursting at the seams with knowledge and cunning that they will never posess and they immediately do everything in their limited power to make me suffer for my gifts. They glare with jealousy at my pale, sallow skin–knowing that my complexion no doubt stems from hours spent in rich mahogany studies, gathering morsels of truth and insight to which they will never be privvy. They assume that I must be evil, that I am insincere, that I don’t know how to have a good time. Although I can’t blame their assumptions on malice, as I would probably deal with the world in such simple terms, as well, if I didn’t understand it so well–they sting me nonetheless. I am a human, too. Look past my IQ, look past my Doctorate in applied mathematics, and you will see the soft, fragile, beating heart of another human being!

I know it can be distracting when I wear the wooly, rich cardigan and stoic glasses of a learned person, when I flaunt my superior mind in the most humiliating of ways, but don’t take it personally. I was given this gift by God (I’m using “God” here in a way to convey the awesome truths of the creation of the universe and its translation from the Big Bang all the way down to my personal conception in a way you will understand), and I only have a short time on this planet to appreciate it to its fullest potential.

So I looked at that physically perfect specimen setting my little cup and saucer down on my table, I briefly met her eyes in the most achingly real exchange of humanity, and I nodded my head slightly in acknowledgment that the world is difficult for me, too. She smiled, dimpling her cheek and putting the tiniest sparkle in her perfect blue eyes, and my heart nearly burst with compassion. I leaned in towards her, I breathed in slowly, I gathered up all of my most dear sentiments as I said, gently, “I ordered a double espresso, this is clearly a cafe creme–how hard could this job possibly be?”

I am so glad I am one of the smart ones. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Anon

    Obvious troll is obvious

    That said, well played.

  • clacecl

    She did it on purpose.

  • weltschmerz

    This makes up for that other shit you wrote. Brilliant

    • Kristina

      Weltschmerz: She actually didn't write the other thing.

      Hilarious article, btw

      • weltschmerz

        Yeah, I meant that one that got deleted a while back.

  • SewingSchatzi

    Ha! I smiled the whole time.

  • frontmatter

    This article is more self-effacing for the author than informative or entertaining to the reader. It is a sad and pathetic display of ressentiment, embodied in the painfully transparent musings of somebody who clearly oscillates between fits of self-loathing and narcissistic outbursts.  Why would I want to read something like this? It reinforces stereotypes, contaminates the other and homogenizes people. It also presupposes that there is some type of objective standard for beauty and intelligence, and whats worse- a hierarchy of sorts.  I really am beginning to dislike you and find you brutish, Chelsea Fagan. Go away and get some counseling.

    It IS possible to beautiful and intelligent. Everyone gets the face they deserve- maybe your attitude is your problem

    • Vep

      ur dumb

    • My BIG WORDS destroy you

      ur really really dumd. self-effacing ressentiment embodied oscillates homogenizes presupposes objective standard

    • Dumby

      it's satire.

      you ain't smart or pretty honey

  • frontmatter

    Chelsea Fagan should not be allowed to write for this publication, especially after the Slut Walk incident.  Really, her articles are contrary to the essence of this web site. Get rid of her.

    • Fasdflkasd

      Put down your pitchforks and let it go. Chelsea Fagan is probably the favorite daughter of TC because of all the traffic Slut Walk brought. It's doubtful she's going anywhere.

    • Oliver Miller

      Allow me to rebut:  Chelsea Fagan is really fucking funny and therefore should write for this “web site” — as you call it — forever.

    • Fast n' Bulbous

      Simmer down there fascist, whatever happened to freedom of speech and the open exchange of ideas?

  • Tpm

    “Naturally, I made every necessary assessment about her person that comes
    with such incredible beauty. She was stupid, gullible, vapid, and
    worthless. … I was even less interested
    in talking to this woman. She certainly had nothing to offer me, and
    moreover, the idea of her opening her mouth and sharing actual thoughts
    would ruin her aesthetic value. She is to be seen, and not heard. “

    That's so simple, stupid and as vapid as yu think that women can be, seriously, it's disappointing to read stuff like this nowadays

    • FoundThisFunny

      People who don't understand sarcasm shoudl not be allowed to comment for this publication.

      • brandypass


    • Like Duh

      I second Found this Funny, clearly this is a mocking riff of yesterday's piece by that chick who complained about how hard her life is b/c she's “universally considered beautiful.”  Duh.  Even if you didn't know that, clearly the piece written in a satirical tone.  How thick are you?

  • Amy

    The voice you used in this reminds me of Ignatius J. Reilly (from A Confederacy of Dunces).

  • Vep

    You laugh, but I've met people who actually think like this. They usually start out majoring in something like physics or philosophy and switch to information technology after failing the intro courses.

  • Sharif Youssef

    I used to blog constantly about my conflicts with baristas. I hope there's a special mug in hell where the devil stirs the incompetent ones into low-fat molten lava.

    • Luke Bourassa


      • brandypass

        Jesus, no kidding.

      • Sharif Youssef

        A problem is a problem.

      • Yes

        i love you

  • ryan chang

    was your misdefinition of 'machiatto' intentional or genuine; it means 'marked' or 'stained,' not dollop. that's all.

    • ryan chang


    • Jelly Roll Morton

      also, when I worked at sbux, everyone showed me eleven different ways to make it. she needs to pipe down and have some GeeDee humility.

      • Jelly Roll Morton

        oh, whoops, I hadn't read the whole thing.  it's a joke, I guess? Well done, but I can't really see what it's driving at. can you, jelly roll morton?

      • Jelly Roll Morton

        yes, as a matter of fact. she seems to be pointing to the duality of womanhood – in which woman are treated on the basis of an illogical maxim that, in women, intellect and beauty are mutually exclusive!

      • Jelly Roll Morton

        wow! how insightful you are, JRM!  it kind of reminds me of  Robert Browning's “My Last Duchess” for some reason.

    • guest

      hello jimmy chen :|

  • Luke Bourassa

    I read this with a male's voice, not reading the author's name till after. It seems less jerky knowing the author is a woman. That, in itself, is an interesting social experiment.

    • Sharif Youssef

      It seemed less jerky but a lot bitchier.

      • Briana


  • Lim Yan Yun

    It would be helpful if there is a flashing red “SARCASM!” siren.

    • Luke Bourassa

      Then what fun would that be?

  • Oliver Miller

    Aw, hells naw!  Shit just got real…  TC-style.

    • brandypass

      Ok now follow me around and say the same thing.

    • Jelly Roll Morton

      don't be stupid, Oliver.

  • brandypass

    Just read this and after the comments “The Slut Walk” article.  Liked that article. Glad you were brave enough to say those things.  And no publicity is bad publicity, as they say. It's not easy to write and be subjected to harsh criticism (been there, myself on TC) by people who are usually anonymous and say unintentionally  funny things like “u r dumb.”  Keep it up.

    • zara

      did she write the article against slut walks?! HELL NO IF SHE DID, 

      Also to chelsea: what is your problem with people who work in the service industry? You are ignorant and rude, I am studying at university and work in a cafe part time. Just because i serve people coffee doesn’t mean i don’t have a brain! I work there to earn extra money, but you are obviously too above that. Get over yourself please

  • Guest

    Please don't write about how hard it is to be intelligent if you aren't. Thanks

    • sidebar

      Uh please don't write.

      • Sidebar


  • Killswitch

    Hahaha, excellent rebuke! to :

  • Duke Holland of Gishmale


  • Kyle Angeletti

    Haha well done. The hours spent in rich mahogany studies (where I'm sure reside many leather bound books) were well spent.

  • Jordan

    Sarcasm and sattire ya'll, read up on your TC canon.  I'm digging your stuff as of late Chelsea!  Great word choices here.

    • Spbw

      i mean this is fine but it's not really a satire of anything. including that other article

      • Jordan

        Now I'm not being ornery, but are we differing on the definition of satire or the effectiveness of the piece?  It's pretty obvious she took the other article and is using it in kind yet mockingly.  I could be wrong but I would think that's satire.  And I'm only asking because I don't want to be someone who, for example, uses irony at all the wrong places like lots of people…

      • Awc

        since we're splitting hairs this is more of a parody; she's just making fun of something everybody already knew was ridiculous. nothing new is really being pointed out here.

      • Jordan

        Aha!  I'm with ya.

  • salem

    glorious. you are amazing.

  • laflorencia

    I couldn't focus on anything else but this: “with knowledge and cunning that they will never posses”.
    If you're going to write about the burden of intelligence, please use spell check.

    • Fast n' Bulbous

      Well she is a cunning linguist…

    • anon

      Also privy is definitely spelled with one v, not two. I was stuck on that.

  • Aaaasssss

    Reading this makes me want to punch you in the throat. Take that as you will….

  • Aelya

    lol @  people not understanding this is a knock at Eye Candy 

  • Nataliescavuzzo

    Haha well I have to say that it wasn't until half way through that I picked up on the sarcasm. You had me grinning by the end.

blog comments powered by Disqus