Because reality blows.
Yesterday, I ate half a jar of Nutella with a spoon. I could use this next paragraph to talk you through the phases of guilt that comes with consuming nearly 1000 calories as a snack, how I kept the lights off even as the sun went down because I couldn’t bare the look of my jiggling thighs and that I might have slipped into a diabetic coma for a few minutes. Instead, I’ll tell you what I did next:
When the dark, the sugar overdose and the magnitude of my binge became too much to handle, I rushed to my bedroom, changed into a socially acceptable outfit (sweat pants and my brother’s t-shirt weren’t going to cut it for the mission I was on) and pretty much power walked out the door. I drove like a maniac to the nearest supermarket, power walked some more through the aisles and grabbed as many fresh vegetables, lean meats and sugar-free drinks as I could. Basically, I spent around 200LE on a salad and a Diet Coke for dinner. In other words, I spent a spent a substantial amount of money on denial, desperate to reverse the damage I’d done with that gorgeous, chocolatey, hazelnutty, jar of heaven earlier.
Am I the only one who indulges in this kind of denial? Don’t we all pretend not to be obsessed with reality shows? I can’t be the only one who cries watching The X Factor and acts offended at the commercialisation of music and the pre-packed pop star. Sometimes I spend the whole weekend watching reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and convince myself that I hate them when in reality, I broke down when Rob broke down, I squealed right alongside Kourtney when she was giving birth and I’m as in love with Kanye as Kim is.
When shopping, I convince myself to buy the S instead of the M, try on the 10 before the 12 and go home with heels that I can barely stand in, let alone walk. I tell myself I deserve another pair of sunglasses and that you can’t go to the mall without having ice cream (because all that walking must have burnt, like, an inch off my waist). On the way home, I reassure myself that I can afford this splurge because I’ve been working really hard lately, and I’m sure to get a raise any day now. When my card gets rejected, I kick up a fuss that it’s the store’s machine and not me that’s broke.
“It’s going to be so much fun,” I tell myself (and anyone who will listen), when some big party is going down and I’ve managed wangle an invite. I know full well that a ‘fun party’ in Cairo is not much fun at all – especially if the words ‘invite-only and ‘exclusive’ are attached. But even after queuing up like cattle to get in, and my shoes start to hurt, and someone spills my drink, and everyone is refusing to dance, I’ll convince myself (and anyone who will listen) that I’m having a good time, as my feet swell, my top is soaked in sticky Sprite and the DJ is playing abstract sounds, not music.
When I scratch my car, I blame the other driver, the backwardness of Egyptian traffic rules and, sometimes, the inanimate object I bumped into; it couldn’t possibly be my fault. I pretend it’s really funny and not mortifying when I fall over in public (“forgetting” about it awfully quickly) and that I’m alright with being the third wheel to my friends and their partners. I don’t want a boyfriend, anyway. When I do like someone, it’s not stalking that I’m doing, it’s research. When I text a guy six times in a row, it’s because I have something really important to say, not because I’m obsessed. When he doesn’t text back it’s because he’s super busy, or sleeping, or because he just likes me so much he can’t even put it into words.
Our delusions might get us through the day, but how far do they get us through life? Half of my clothes don’t fit, half of my career goals haven’t been met, half the guys I know don’t answer my calls anymore and half a jar of Nutella is begging me to eat it (I did have salad for dinner, after all). I guess denial is just river in Egypt.