Oh! I have spent an entire day reading Cat Marnell and about her, and it’s all very striking. I understand that particular rabbit-hole better now. I never smeared lipstick during my first (and most recent) extended stay in NYC, but I did lie inside for days upon end sleeping and sleeping and wishing to become very small, grateful for not having a phone. I don’t smoke or drink and I’ve never tried adderall (though people have recommended it to me, saying it sounds like my ideal drug what?), but I empathize with Marnell, even if I think Camille Paglia (whom Marnell calls her “hero”) is a dingbat lunatic. Even if I think Marnell has her feminist politics up the conflicted whazoo; even if Marnell is clearly speaking for the 0.0000001%. It’s impressive to me that her specific problems nonetheless resonate so widely—to a spread of girls addled with perfectionist aspirations, because they think that’s where to begin to be even merely good enough. If you’re not sparkling with achievement, then, you might as well be failing brilliantly. Being wise doesn’t just mean being level-headed and rational, because even Henry James wanted us to be kind, kind, kind. And he was often just terrible to his female protagonists, as well as to bff Edith Wharton. Surprise, you might speculate and trace it back to mommy and daddy issues, though it does makes me laugh that Marnell resorts to Freud more than her critics do. Reading Marnell is a test in compassion, and maybe I’m lucky (or NOT) in finding that compassion so quickly bubbling up. You know how Marnell would often end her xoJane pieces (less so with Vice now)? I don’t know! I’m so confused! What do you think? I hate that, I love that. I hate that, I love that. They’ve placed us in quite an impossible position.