A couple weeks ago I experienced the weirdest bathroom that I’ve ever been in. I seem to have a lot of stories about bathrooms. This makes me a little uncomfortable and anxious over whether or not you’re judging me, but I also bet that you have a weird obsession with Cabbage Patch kids or something embarrassing and creepy, so fuck any of you Judgmental Jerrys out there.
This bathroom had a mirror directly across from the toilet. I’m sorry, but this is creepier than people who have a mirror above their bed. For the record I think the mirror over the bed thing is annoyingly narcissistic and an indicator of a budding or full-fledged sex addict. At least make the mirror thing strategic and less obvious, like if you happened to look towards your right you might see a mirror on a closet and happen to see yourself in the act. This is far less obnoxious.
I digress, though. There is never ever ever ever ever ever ever (I can’t type ever enough times, it’s so therapeutic) a good reason to have a fucking mirror across from a toilet. No good could possibly come from that. I wrote a post about pee anxiety earlier this year, and this was just another terrifying moment that sent me spiraling. I kept making awkward eye contact with myself while I tried to pee. It was like having another person in the room with me, only that person was myself, and she was definitely judging me. I knew she was judging me because I wasn’t reading her mind, I was her mind. When you begin judging yourself, that’s when you’ve hit some sort of terrible emotional rock bottom of fucked up. The experience of making awkward and judgmental eye contact with myself while peeing has left emotional scars that may never heal.
It got me thinking, though. Is it really possibly to judge yourself? All jokes aside, if you’re the one choosing your actions, can you actually frown upon yourself? If you really protested so damn much, it seems like you would just change your behavior. But that’s where the self-loathing comes in, the ability to be multiple people at once inside of one person. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am 100% capable of judging myself. I play multiple roles in my head—friend, enemy, the feared and loathed Frenemy, mother, caretaker, coach, personal trainer, therapist, etc. These various roles argue with one another over my head while I sit here like a chastised child waiting for them to reach some sort of conclusion about my decisions.
“Law school? You can’t handle that,” the Mother Me says confidently, “you need something less stressful, something relaxing like baking cupcakes all day.”
“Fuck that shit,” Sassy yet Encouraging Friend Me retorts, “you’re being retarded. She’s going to save animals and do something more important than baking cupcakes.”
“Baking cupcakes all day would just make her fat and miserable. She’s only going to have a happy future if she’s skinny in it. I know her. She needs to not be around cupcakes.” Frenemy rests a hand on my shoulder and smiles at me encouragingly, “You’re not going to get fat, honey, you can just get lipo if you do. It’s totally fine. Being skinny isn’t everything, but it’s sort of a lot.”
“She isn’t doing enough.” Personal Trainer Me chimes in, “She should be at the gym an hour a day, reading policy blogs, getting As in all her classes, and studying for the LSATs at least two years in advance. Maybe take some dog training classes on the side. Maybe some business stuff too. Just in case. Lose ten pounds by next month and get back to me. Oh and cultivate some friendships and crap too, I guess. I played the Sims once and they got depressed when they weren’t social enough.”
Enemy Me puts down the magazine she’s been flipping through and rolls her eyes, “Can we all just agree that she sucks and be done with it? Like why are we even trying, can someone just explain that to me?” Sometimes I appreciate Enemy Me because she has really nice nails and hair, and she is super bitchy and hilarious. If only we could just get past our differences and be friends.
“She’s perfect just the way she is,” Annoyingly Optimistic Friend Me yells, “she works really hard and tries a lot, and that should just be enough, okay guys? Just lay off.” But everyone just ignores her because she is useless and lame and gets nothing done. Friend Me always defends my behavior and tries to be understanding and kind when really she’s just denying the fact that I fuck up, and I fuck up hard.
So in that moment of watching myself pee, it was weird and uncomfortable and seeing a part of myself I just never see, a side I never want to see. We only exist inside our heads and only ever catch ourselves in the mirror in passing or to preen. We don’t see how we look when we tell someone we love them, or when we cry, or when we fuck up really really hard. I don’t know if I’d judge myself more or less if I could see myself in those moment, like an out of body experience, instead of being trapped inside my head where everything can be rationalized or debated by my inner set of Me’s.
This is kind of reading like a Sex and the City or Grey’s Anatomy voice over narrative, but I love both of those shows, and if you don’t, whatever. Sassy Yet Encouraging Friend Me thinks that I can like whatever the hell I want because I’m awesome.