In the early days of my blogging "career," I was jealous of those who were asked by another blogger to do a "meme." I used to ask myself:
"Why wasn’t I asked to do a "meme?" Am I so unloved? Doesn’t anyone want to learn more about me?"
I was ecstatic when I got my first meme. Finally, somebody cared!
Until then, I never had trouble writing a post. But with the meme, I stared at the screen for an hour. It was difficult for me to do. It was like writing an essay for college admissions.
Since then, I’ve been offered other memes. I’m hoping no one has noticed that I never actually do them. I’ve only done that first one. I hope you don’t think me snobbish, as if I’m too proud to answer your question about what type of underwear I wear. I love reading your memes. I love learning more about you. But when I try to do one, I just break out in hives.
I’ve thought about my reasons, and I’ve concluded that I have a "fear of memes." I’m afraid of memes because they require that I answer questions about myself.
And in all honesty, I don’t know myself very well.
Here are some typical meme questions:
What is my favorite movie? It really depends on my mood or who I’m watching it with. Sometimes I watch a movie I thought I loved, like Star Wars, and the movie seems incredibly cheesy.
If I were a fruit, which fruit would I be? Do any of you actually think about this shit? I may have once harbored a fantasy of fucking the Chiquita Banana lady, but I’ve never dreamt about being the banana.
What’s in your bedroom closet? I stuff my closet with dirty laundry. I never open the doors.
Maybe I need to force myself to do these memes. Maybe they will make me understand myself better. Maybe I can use these memes as a cheap way to get some therapy.
A few years back, I did see a therapist. It was, in fact, Sophia’s therapist. At the time, Sophia was seeing Doris, a sixty-ish woman, a former schoolteacher, who always wore tweed, which is odd-looking in Los Angeles. Sophia suggested that I see my own therapist. I told her that I had no idea on how to find a therapist. Soon, Sophia was seeing Doris on Tuesday and I was visiting Doris on Wednesday.
Seeing the same therapist was a disaster. Sophia and I would complain about each other to Doris, and then press this poor women to tell us what the other one had said behind his/her back.
"Whatever Sophia told you, was a lie," I used to tell Doris.
Our arguments at home grew more intense:
"I don’t care what you say. Doris told me that I shouldn’t cave in to you. That’s I’m too passive with you."
"Oh, well, Doris told me that I should stand my ground. And that you manipulate me with your guilt."
"Why don’t we just call Doris and find out who’s lying?!"
Eventually, Doris said our arrangement wasn’t working. She dumped me, since Sophia was her client before I was. Doris suggested that I see her son-in-law, Josh, who just graduated from UCLA and was doing his "required hours" to become a licensed therapist.
My time with Josh was worse than with Doris. I was his very first client. He looked twenty years old. I had this feeling that he had never been on a date before. How was he going to give me any marital advice?
Like many inexperienced people trying to fake it, he overcompensated by doing everything by the book. He sat there silently and wrote notes, like he must have seen therapists do in the movies. I would get so bored just talking to him, like I was on a really bad date. Sometimes, I would try to coax him into conversation:
"Surely you’ve had this same problem with women. Right, Josh?"
He always gave the same stock answer.
"We’re here to talk about you, not me."
Because I did all the talking, I became anxious that I wasn’t interesting enough for him. On the way to his office, I would jot down little notes and jokes, hoping that I would somehow amuse him. But he never smiled.
One day, I was in an Italian restaurant in Westwood, and I saw Josh, eating alone at his table. I started going over to say hello, but he turned away from me, ignoring me. Later, he explained that it wasn’t a good policy for a therapist to interact with a client out of the office.
Gradually, I began to question the sanity of my own therapist, especially after I found out that he was visiting a therapist himself five times a week. Not only that, but it was a lot of work to come up with new material to entertain him all the time.
I hope this gives you some insight into why I have a problem doing those memes. The questions are too difficult for me. I just never had a good therapist and still don’t know who I am.
But please continue sending them my way. I really do appreciate it — even if I never do them.