When you’re little, your parents tell you that you are special. You’re the prettiest, smartest, funniest, cleverest person in the world. This is okay, because this is what parents do when they love their children. When you grow up, you soon realize that while you may have been your parents’ special little snowflake, now you’re just, to quote my dear friend Barbra, “a freckle on the nose of life’s complexion.” You are not the prettiest, or the smartest, or the most hilarious — to veritably the whole world, you’re just another spoiled millennial who thinks they deserve everything and should work for nothing. A perfect job, a perfect relationship, the perfect apartment, just ‘cause. Who do we think we are?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Are you listening? Okay. Here it goes.
I do deserve everything.
I deserve a perfect job. That guy that relentlessly made fun of me in high school for being a chubby dork who only ever studied, never dated or blacked out at parties? I deserve to relish in the schadenfreude that is his newfound weight gain. I deserve to love the fact that he failed out of college, that he never left Philadelphia. To me, looking at the Facebook profiles of assholes who peaked in high school are my Olympics and their Hunger Games, and I volunteer as tribute. I worked my ass off, quite literally, to get to where I am. I lost 80 pounds. I applied to enough jobs to warrant getting an NJ transit monthly pass. I was brave. And now, I am doing what I love. I genuinely enjoy going to work every day, and I know this makes me an anomaly. And I deserve that. I earned that.
I deserve a perfect relationship. A Sunday at 3 PM kind of relationship, where the two of you are too hungover to get out of bed, but you begrudgingly toddle your way toward the deli so you can get bagels and go back home to watch movies. I want to order a REAL bagel, not a stupid flagel to seem dainty, because I can be myself around this person, and flagels are just plain bullshit, really. I want a guy who will buy my tampons and let me pop his zits – the gross human things that mean you love someone. I want to sleep touching that person, even though I truthfully sleep better alone, and I want to hold their clammy hands even though they make mine slimy.
I deserve to feel beautiful. Want to know how much makeup I own? I bet you don’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I own a shitload of makeup. Primer, foundation, loose powder, blush, bronzer, eyelid base, palettes of eye shadow, liquid liner, gel liner, kohl liner, mascara, eyebrow enhancer, highlighter, contour. It takes me 50 minutes every morning to apply this circus paint so I don’t look like an extra on the set of The Walking Dead. I resent when women, or men, say “Girls look better without any makeup on” or “Real girls are all natural.” I’m sure there are girls that look great without makeup. I am not one of those girls. And I should not be made to feel less beautiful because I could singlehandedly bankroll the Columbus Circle Sephora. It makes me feel good, and I deserve that. PS, all girls are “real” girls, you dillweeds.
I don’t want to shrivel up like an old walnut. I don’t want to get old and realize that somewhere along the way, I let my soul die without even realizing it, let me slip away from me. Knowing what you deserve is the hardest part. Admitting what you want is the second hardest. It’s okay to think you deserve everything. In fact, you should think this way. You should want all the things. I deserve to live, dammit. And so do you. We deserve the perfect lives.
The trick is, you have to work for it. If only to prove everyone else wrong.