“If you don’t want to know my theory, stop reading now.”
“Good. Here it is.”
This is an excerpt that I read today from “One Day” by David Nicholls. Now I’m only page 43, which is where this ends, so if you want to hear more on the novel then I suggest you read this review. Knowing me, or at least a few things about me (hence, from this dear blog of mine), then you’ll understand why this except resonated with me this morning and the reason I felt the need to share it with whomever reads my blog. So again, here it is:
“I think you’re scared of being happy, Emma. I think you think that the natural way of things is for your life to be grim and grey and dout and to hate your job, hate where you live, not to have success or money or God forbid a boyfriend (and a quick discersion here- the whole self-deprecating thing about being unattractive is getting pretty boring I can tell you). In fact I’ll go further and say that I think you actually get a kick out of being disappointed and under-achieving, because it’s easier, isn’t it? Failure and unhappiness is easier because you can make a joke out of it. Is this annoying you? I bet it is. Well I’ve only just started.”
I should probably mention that the speaker (or writer since this is in the format of a letter) in a male- who is drunk at the time- named Dex(ter).
“Em, I hate thinking of you sitting in that awful flat with the weird smells and noises and the overhead lightbulbs or sat in that lauderette, and by the way there’s no reason in this day and age why you should be using a lauderette, there’s nothing cool or political about launderettes its just depressing. I don’t know, Em, you’re young, you’re practically a genius, and yet your idea of a good time is to treat yourself to a service wash. Well I think you deserve more. You are smart and funny and kind (too kind if you ask me) and by far the cleverest person I know. And (am drinking more beer here- deep breath) you are also a Very Attractive Woman. And (more beer) yes I do mean ‘sexy’ as well, though I feel a bit sick writing in down. Well I’m not going to scribble it out because it’s politically incorrect to call someone ‘sexy’ because it’s also TRUE. You’re gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of Confidence. Either that or a scented candle.”
(Men. How can you not love them?)
“I know from your letters and from seeing you after your play that you feel a little bit lost right now about what to do with your life, a bit rudderless and oarless and aimless but that’s okay that’s alirght because we’re all meant to be like that at twenty-four. In fact our whole generation is like that. I read an article about it, it’s because we never fought in a war or watched too much television or something. Anyway, the only people with oars and rudders and aims are dreary bores and squares…”
I’ll just leave it at this, with hopes that it strikes a chord with you as well. And maybe even provides you with some comfort (in some ironic form- as it did for me) and desire to be your own best friend rather than your worst enemy.