Le Chat Noir: You routinely post incredibly popular Buzzfeed articles to Facebook. “Laughed so hard,” you write as you share a post that has over 3 million pageviews and has already been shared by fourteen of your friends. You have no idea that some of your coworkers talk about this habit of yours. You have no idea that it is even a habit. “What’s the big deal if she does?” your cube mate finally asks a digital products manager who has been making fun of you all throughout an after-work drinks get-together that you weren’t invited to. “So she thinks they’re funny. So maybe she doesn’t realize we’ve already seen them. I don’t understand why you care so much.” The digital products manager will deny caring about it at all. “I just think it’s funny, is all,” he’ll say. “I don’t mean anything personal about it. I don’t care, obviously. It’s just funny.”
Trainspotting: You began smoking in college, part of you always aware that you would eventually, inevitably drift back to the cozy domesticity of your origins, no matter how many radical anarchist Tumblrs you followed or how often you failed to clean your own kitchen. The drift has already happened, but ten years on, you still smoke a pack every day, the only habit from those days that remains. You terrify yourself every time you buy a pack. Why am I still doing this, you wonder. Why don’t I stop. This is stupid. This is so stupid. Your throat hurts every morning when you wake up. You’ll be one of the ones who gets lung cancer at 40, you know you will. You don’t stop. You don’t even try.
Fight Club: You have never read a book by Chuck Palahniuk that was not Fight Club. You did own a centennial edition of The Fountainhead for a while, but it was mostly because you enjoyed seeing how upset it made your friends when they came over to visit. Even now, you often consider yourself a “devil’s advocate” and enjoy defending positions you do not actually hold during arguments.
Those two white lesbians in matching camisoles making out in bed: If you are a lesbian: You are the most popular shift manager in your restaurant. You spend a great deal of time worrying about internalized homophobia. More time than you need to. You are not kind to yourself in your own heart. If you are not a lesbian: You tip 10% as a rule when you go out to eat. You always calculate the tip before tax. “Why should I tip on a tax?” you ask rhetorically.
M.C. Escher’s “Ascending and Descending”: You enjoy Malcolm Gladwell and Sudoku. In college, you once engaged in a lengthy debate with two of your roommates whether or not Frida Kahlo was hot (it was agreed upon that she was).
“The Persistence of Memory”: You could, if pressed, name one, maybe two of Dalí’s contemporaries. You cannot, however, remember the actual name of this painting, often referring to it as “Melting Clocks.”
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Were you familiar with the word louche, you would enjoy using it to describe yourself. You, however, are happily unfamiliar with the word louche. You like to think of yourself as whimsically impractical, so the only things you keep in your fridge are bottles of champagne and restaurant packets of mustard. The champagne is always Veuve Cliquot, because that is the only brand of champagne you know. More than one of your favorite books and films are marred by wretched, hideous racist caricatures; you have never allowed this to diminish or inform your enjoyment of them in the slightest. “I know,” you laugh, only slightly embarrassed, “but it’s really good.” You are completely unreliable. None of your friends have ever asked you for a significant favor. You mistakenly believe this is because they are all remarkably self-sufficient; it is in fact because they do not trust you. You are incredibly good at wearing black eyeliner.
Turn-of-the-century absinthe advertisement: The worst thing you can think to call someone is “middlebrow.” Before that, it was “bougie,” but you like the way middlebrow sounds better. “Nothing’s wrong with it,” you say, trying to arch an eyebrow, “it’s just so middlebrow.”
Pink Floyd album covers drawn on backs of naked women: Every woman you have ever slept with has faked her orgasm without remorse or compunction. None of them considered for a moment doing otherwise. You have absolutely no idea.
Boondock Saints: Several of your roommates consider themselves tattoo artists. There are at least seven houseplants hanging from the ceiling in your kitchen; none of you have any idea how they got there.
“Beer…Helping Ugly People Have Sex Since 1862!”: You are fond of explaining that you go to the movies “to be entertained, not to hear a lecture, you know?” They know, the people you say this to. They know what you’re saying.
“Finish Your Beer…There Are Sober Kids In India”: You have never been to India.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny”: You have never once watched your thoughts, nor your words, nor your actions; not once have you given a moment’s reflection to how your day-to-day behavior influences who you have become. You have lost several decades-long friendships after getting into explosive fights over relatively unimportant issues. You have never once entertained the possibility that you were not the wronged party in every one of those cases; you never will.
“Nighthawks”: You were generally a B student in college. Your favorite book is The Catcher In The Rye. You have specific opinions about whiskey; whenever a woman orders clear liquor, you make some comment about it. Even if she already knows what you think of vodka, you want to make sure you remind her.
John Lennon wearing a white tank top and folding his arms: You find it physically painful to keep yourself from correcting someone else’s mistake, no matter how small or inconsequential, no matter whether you know them or not. Even if you’re not sure, exactly, that you’re right–really right, 100% right–you correct them so loftily, and with such certainty, that their entire recollection of your interaction is that of humiliation. Almost no one asks you what you’re up to on the weekend. This bothers you, but you cannot say exactly why.
Photographs of child models dressed as adults: You and your sister text each other every single day. You subscribe to more than 30 food-decoration blogs. You would describe yourself as reasonably happy, all things considered. You keep busy.
The Great Wave of Kanagawa: Your mother, who is not old–who is not that old–if you heard her age spoken aloud, without context, you might think of it as old, but in the context of your mother is not that old, because she is very active and looks ten years younger than she is and sometimes doesn’t return your calls for a few days because she doesn’t want to be one of those overbearing mothers–your mother who is not that old dies in her own house during a heat wave the summer you turn 45, which is truly ridiculous. You have air conditioning in your house. She could have come over to your house, if you had known, if you had driven over to get her. You didn’t even know how hot it was that week, not even when you read about the record-setting temperatures, not even when you heard about the fifteen elderly people who died from the heat in Chicago because your mother was not an elderly person and she would have called you, she absolutely would have called you, if she needed you, if she had been in trouble.
A black-and-white photograph where a single item is in color: You lie to your boss routinely about whether or not you have completed something she asks you to do. You blame people in departments she has never heard of when you cannot complete a task on time, and she always takes your side over these unreachable strangers. You tell her you have spoken to clients when you haven’t; you tell her projects are finished when they aren’t, when they clearly and demonstrably aren’t, when she could find out in thirty seconds that they aren’t even close to being finished. You have no idea why you do this. You almost never lie to anyone else, but you lie to her blithely and as a matter of routine. She has no idea what you really do, what you’re really like. If she ever finds you out, your career will be ruined. You lie, you lie, you lie.
Photograph of the Eiffel Tower or construction of the Empire State Building: You own multiple “World Music” CDs, purchased at various upscale grocery stores and coffee shops. Every summer, you take a cruise with your best friend. It is the highlight of your year.
Jim Morrison/Sigmund Freud/Albert Einstein: You never listen, not to anybody. You don’t even do a passable job of pretending to listen. You absorb nothing. You have made it through almost your entire life without ever listening to anybody. You sometimes worry that you are desperately, terrifyingly boring. You try not to listen to that, either.
Reservoir Dogs: You refer to everyone that you have ever dated as “crazy,” without exception. “Crazy,” you say darkly, whenever any one of their names come up. “Definitely crazy.”
Marilyn Monroe leaning forward in that poufy white tulle dress: You consider yourself a very sexually compelling person. This usually means you get more drunk than anyone else at dinner parties, then loudly hit on the only person there you don’t know.
Keep Calm and Carry On: You are perfectly harmless.
Tags: black cats
, german expressionism