RL363 - Butler of Sadness

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: An emotional response is not required, referring to the fact that as a depressed or bipolar person you don’t want to have any emotion attached with everything you do and most things don’t even require an emotional response.

The show title refers to the fact that everything John does is emotionally attended by a butler of sadness (see Problem above).

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

Twitter canoes, adding too many people (RL363)

It is early. John got up a couple of hours ago because of this whole daughter thing, he looked at the Internet, he muted a guy, posted something on Instagram, did the important work of the day. You have to stay connected because it was Cyber Monday. The guy he muted didn’t really do anything bad, but he just @-included John on a tweet that was just a mild-criticism of him and muting him felt good. He started out with a little praise and then he came in with a little bit of a wake-up criticism. He will never know he was muted and he is probably tweeting at John right now.

Merlin has a lot to say about that, but he was going to save it, but John told him this podcast is a safe space. It almost all comes down to the fact that everybody uses social media differently. Merlin hasn’t done this in at least 8 years, which is to create a Twitter-canoe, which is a term from back in the day when @-responses first became a thing and people started creating things like ”Anybody else having a problem with iCloud syncing, @person @person @person” and you would get dragged down into a canoe and had to paddle along even though you never asked to be in the canoe. They also have these on Facebook all the time.

For the longest time Merlin felt like there is a difference between the human being and the Twitter handle for a variety of reason, and that might not be true for everybody because a lot of people who think the handle is the person or more than the person. They would never think of using someone’s name if they can use their handle, especially if you are trying to hail them. To Merlin when you use someone’s Twitter handle, you are asking them to participate and respond. All the regular people’s Twitter is all hashtags and handles, like this soup of ”Bleh!” because they are there for the medium. ”Hashtags and Handles” would be a great 1970s Disney film.

Merlin’s Twitter handle (RL363)

John wonders what Merlin’s life would have been like differently if his Twitter handle was @merlinmann. Merlin was one of the original users when it was twttr and it was SMS messages only, he was one of the very first users outside of the people in that building. It had very limited functionality and it was intended to be this way to send little things to your friends. Merlin woke up in the morning one time and had gotten this feed of blahblahblah sent to @merlinmann in his SMS inbox and he emailed Jack and all the people and put them on blast and said: ”Please take me off of this service at your earliest convenience! This is no way to live!”

At the time Merlin was That Guy and he tried to be careful what inboxes he invited to his life and this was a very low-value inbox over which he had very little control. Merlin was talking to people on his shoe at the time, he was Merlin Mann. He doesn’t love being on all these mailing lists from his kid’s school, but he got to be to find out where they are selling brownies today. He has enough inboxes that he already doesn’t want. At that point it freed his original @merlinmann handle into the wild and when he decided to pick it up again in ca Feb 2007 that name was taken. He learned since then to deactivate things rather than abandon so you don’t have that kind of thing. He needed a name and used an old name from a book he likes that he has used on other services: ”Oh, my valve!” It is such a good book, but his kid would probably not appreciate it.

Merlin likes the idea of having a handle that is not his name, he changes his bio often, but he never changes his handle, his name or his picture. It is always the same. His background image is still green from his solidarity with the Arab Spring, well, ”read a book! It is about Teheran! We freed Teheran with out tinting!” Merlin uses Twitter to publish funny bits and to occasionally talk to his friends and he doesn’t need to be in a canoe. Some people find it very bewildering that when he does choose to respond to somebody who made a little canoe, he un-clicks all the people that don’t need to be in that response, which they don’t make easy, especially if he knows somebody who is included in that canoe is somebody who likes to toss and tussle and go back and forth, because now Merlin is involved. If somebody has a good question, then Twitter is a perfect place to ask it and he is happy to answer if the answer makes sense in the number of characters.

A long time ago, some famous guy took John on on Twitter about some shit and started a fight with him and then a bunch of other people climbed into the canoe. After a while the guy said: ”Take me off of this thread!” and so John made a super-duper point to include him in every single tweet that had anything to do with this bullshit fight that he had started until he was screaming into the void: ”TAKE ME OFF THIS THREAD!” - ”You will get taken off this thread with your cold dead handle!”

John choosing his band name, Merlin’s band name ideas (RL363)

When John first started The Long Winters, before it was even The Long Winters, he was talking to the great John Vanderslice of San Francisco, wondering if he should just call the band The John Roderick Band, and go as a solo artist, but Vanderslice told him not to do it because his biggest regret was that when he went solo he didn’t have a band name. He was in MK Ultra and then he was John Vanderslice and he said that everything is more difficult when the brand and the product and the company are all the same as your name. Everything is on you in that case and everybody working for you doesn’t feel ownership, they don’t feel ”I’m in The Long Winters” or ”I’m in R.E.M.”, but you can’t be ”in John Vanderslice”, or you don’t want to be at least.

John took that to heart, The Long Winters was not some band name that he had bouncing around in his head for 15 years like Artwork by Elephants, which is good but doesn’t really roll off the tongue. Merlin writes down his dreams and his band names and lyrics for songs that he might write some day (around 12:00).

  • Pump Kevin
  • Craig’s Fist
  • Webelos Badger
  • Litterbomb
  • Apostle Pall
  • Abandon Shit
  • Sex Dodgeball
  • Hedge Doctor
  • Frank Buns
  • Felch Porridge
  • The Done That’s
  • Fan Service Dog
  • Le Sir Peebreak
  • Emoji Stain
  • Banned Obsolescence
  • The Fuckpants
  • Proud Gary
  • Darth Vapor
  • JFK-Hole
  • Freudian Slippers
  • Bitch Buckets
  • Slot Gobbler
  • Prince Prince
  • Jack Offal
  • Bees, So Very Many Bees
  • The Punch Erics
  • Bread Carpet
  • Fuck Bunker
  • The Opposite of Regret

When John thinks of a good band name it is always in the context of regretting that the didn’t name his band that, rather than name it The Long Winters. Almost every good idea he has is always connected to a feeling of regret that he didn’t have it earlier, which is so on brand for John and it is one of the reasons why John doesn’t listen to his own music because all he can think of are all the things he would do different about it. John doesn’t know why because he otherwise seems fun and that was one of the first things Merlin thought about him.

The Opposite of regret, negative emotions (RL363)

What is the opposite of regret? Total contentment with your decisions over time? When you are little kid you are learning about white and black or up and down, all those Sesame Street Distinctions (which is also a good band name), wet and dry, close and far, like that Alan Parker movie. Merlin is a little word-drunk most of the time and he likes a word that is more precise than the other word, and the opposite of Love is not Hate, but Indifference, which is a very interesting idea. Negative emotions are fairly easy to identify because they create a strong emotion. You are fucking mad or disappointed or anxious or depressed, which is a snap-to-grid emotional response. You don’t always trace your steps from how you got to there.

Not to be all Anna Karenina, but happy can feel normal or good and the negative emotions are so easy to identify that there is this ineffable quality to how the path we took to get there. The opposite of regret can be six different things because regret is where you land, but how did you get to regret? You could be coming from curious, excited, or hopeful, there could be so many things.

It could be not noticing anything in that moment. The opposite of so many negative emotions in some ways is not having an emotional response. Merlin has been taking medication to deal with what he thought was anxiety but what might actually be depression, he fell off of it because it was making him nauseated, but in the last couple of days he hasn’t felt much at all and it has been great. How do you pin that to your bulletin board? ”I didn’t feel fucked up today!”

It is the classic thing that people who feel depressed are terrified to hear because at least during the last 20 years it has been characterized as ”the opposite of your feelings is no feeling and you are going to lose everything and sit like a zombie and stare out the window” You won’t be able to make anything and you won’t care and you will never have another boner. If you get to where you don’t feel like you are out of your God-damn mind and you start losing friends, if you fix that you will never feel again, but you are a dead man walking after that.

The reality is that a lot of time an emotional reaction is not required. You are just trying to get the peanut butter on the bread, listen to The Long Winters, get your child off to school, or chose a shirt, and not have every one of them have attended by a butler of sadness. For whatever reason the way John is wired everything does and as a result of that everything has gotten turned to some very version of that little color wheel of emotion that is all the same temperature, like: ”Bleh!”

Left to his own devices, Merlin’s mind will seek out the negative in things. It will keep running its radar at 100% until he finds the thing that could be negative about this, which is at odds with his personality in so many ways of how he thinks about himself or his life. That is the source of a lot of pain, because Merlin is really fun otherwise, although his family doesn’t think so.

John playing a Neil Young benefit show (RL363)

John had fun the other night at the Neil Young benefit show and what set it apart in a crucial way was that he never once felt like an outside the entire night. He didn’t wish he had made better or mode music, or that he shouldn’t be here or that he didn’t belong in this group or that everybody was better than him, he didn’t even say the thing he normally says when he is around Dave Matthews, which is: ”If only I had grooved more!”, but for whatever reason he lucked out that night and just flew through the evening, feeling good about every encounter.

John can’t account for it because in so many of those types of situations he is micro-analyzing any encounter, it is just his nature. Whatever his perceptiveness is, it is like a race car that is tuned not for reliability. The gain is turned up way too much and you don’t need that signal to be that loud, but you also need other tones, not just gain. You want to be on the neck pickup, not the bridge pickup.

Jack’s BBQ, John trying Jack to remember him (RL363)

John was downstairs at this event where the food was being catered by Jack’s Barbecue, which is a guy from Austin who bought the old bar on Airport Way called Bogart’s which used to have a Humphrey Bogart theme and it was a place you would go to drink during the day. The Bun Family Players played at Bogart’s several times, they would just clear the tables out and you would set up on the concrete floor in the middle of the bar, it was great and a big earner! Jack turned Bogart’s into Jack’s and started serving Austin-style barbecue. In Austin he would just be one of 100 people who was doing this, but in Seattle he is the only one doing it. He is tall and handsome and speaks with an Austin accent and he got that friendly Texas gentleman vibe to him and he only hires Southern girls to work as servers who talk to you in a drawl and you and it makes you feel like you are getting the real McCoy.

John went to Jack’s really early on, he enjoyed it, he introduced himself as his father would have done, and the next time John came in and said: ”Hey Jack, it’s me!”, but Jack didn’t appear to remember him. ”I was in here the other day” - ”Oh, year, hey man!” The third time John came in he was wearing the same hat as before and: ”Jack!” - ”Yeah, hey!” - ”Remember, I have been in here before” - ”Oh yeah, hey!” John continued to go to Jacks and say ”Hello!” to him and he continued to not be recognized, although Jack is very smart, he is making millions of dollars there, but there was something with the way he was an enterprising person where he did not recognize people, and that was fine.

At one point a tech millionaire hired John to play his birthday party a few years ago, and John saw it as an opportunity to throw a number out that would be a super-duper ”Fuck You!” because John doesn’t want to play this guy’s birthday party, but he would do it for this amount of money, and he came back and said: ”Great!” It was at Jack’s BBQ and John showed up with a guitar and an amp. He is upper-level at one of these companies that you hear about in the newspapers, and he has invited 50 of his closest friends to come to Jack’s BBQ and John was the band who has been asked to play solo for 30-45 minutes.

It was immediately clear that the only person of the 50 people in the room who cares about John or music in general is the birthday boy who was standing in front of John, singing along, dancing, and trying to get his friends to engage, but his friends who are tech people were standing around, talking and drinking, doing that thing that any musician has experienced: People are trying to talk and you are making it impossible for them to talk, and you can’t blame them because they don’t know you and they don’t like music.

John did the thing that he wouldn’t have had the guts to do before and turned his amp up and the microphone up until he was giving this man a very loud Rock show right at his face, while everybody else in he room just had to suffer because it was only going to be 30 minutes and John scorched earth this situation, not trying to give him what he wanted, and he was thrilled. Everybody was drunk, too.

During the course of this event John interacted with Jack a lot and this was the point where he not only had been there 15 times, but this time he was the guy with the guitar and Jack doesn’t usually have music in there and John was playing there too loud for Jack, and he was going to put a name to a face. Jack is about John’s age and height, but for the two years after that every time they met he still didn’t seem to remember John.

Now at the Neil Young show at the theater, Jack’s BBQ catered it and as John came downstairs he saw Jack himself, not just five Southern girls, but Jack himself was standing behind a ramekin, a tray of barbecue. John got a plate, he walked up: ”Hey Jack! Are we getting some BBQ” - ”Yeah man, you are first in line!” Some of his Southern girls were in the middle of a conversation about whether or not they should have name tags and Jack said he should have a name tag that says ”Ched” on it because then people will call him Ched. John said: ”Hey Ched, hurry up with the barbecue!”, but Jack didn’t like it. John was just playing along, but Jack opened the barbecue up and gave John one small rib at the end of a rack of ribs that was about 2.5” long and a slice of brisket and he did it in a very Southern gentleman kind of way. A Southern gentleman never breaks the politeness, but the politeness just gets more and more intense.

John took his little tray, moved off to the side, and the guy behind him walked up with his plate and Jack said: ”Oh, you are a big fellow! Let me heap it on for you!” in a Southern gentleman politeness way like one last hit on John as he walked away. This was the one thing at this whole event where John otherwise felt very warm and embraced and loved and beloved: Down in the basement Jack was there, the legendary Jack, and now he was mad that John had called him Ched. In the three years John tried to get Jack to remember him, was this the thing he was going to remember, like: ”This is the guy who called me Ched and I am going to give him half a rib!”

Eventually John was going to go down and get seconds, trying to get him back on his team and trying to get another bit of ribs and brisket because he didn’t need to skimp on it, it was some sort of Southern attack, but John never made it back there and at the end of the night when he finally ran down there with his paper plate Jack had already packed up and gone. If John were a less sensitive person he wouldn’t have noticed any of that, but he wouldn’t have been Dave Roderick-ing Jack for 4 years either and he wouldn’t have made the Ched joke and wouldn’t have been cajoling up to him in the first place.

John can’t develop a grudge against Jack’s BBQ either because he is the only one who is doing it. He can’t go in and have Jack whisper to the waitress: ”Give him the small rib!” and who knows if he does remember John at this point! Should he just go in like a regular customer and not greet Jack anymore? Jack doesn’t seem to be a big rememberer of people and that interaction might have been just as memorable to him as every other interaction. That is hopefully how it is going to turn out.

The thing is that John was on the neck pickup all night long and suddenly he flipped over to the bridge pickup. Because he was on a Telecaster and hadn’t waxed these pickups and was going through a high gain stage situation through a RAT and a tube screamer into a triple rectifier and it is just howling, John can’t get any tone out of it. ”Fuck you, Ched! I am never going to your fucking restaurant again!” We all use life differently and we can all be a little bit sensitive sometimes!

People critiquing other people on the Internet (RL363)

What John never does is go online and offer any critique of someone’s work, he doesn’t correct people online, and why would you? Merlin worries being misunderstood by his friends, let alone by strangers, and it is particularly perplexing to him on a molecular level. Your first interaction with Merlin is going to be a way too familiar joke, in the way that you are way too familiar with him, maybe it is a played bit and it is a bit mean spirited, that is not a great opener! It might try to signal that you and Merlin are tight, but you just Ched-ed him pretty fucking hard!

There is that, there is the ongoing blight of the fucking ”Bring your own joke” response, and it also cliché to say: ”Who says the devil needs an advocate?” Do you really need to come in here and do this fucking left-handed shit-fingered compliment? ”I am usually not a fan of anything you do, but you did this one thing that didn’t suck so hard!” and Merlin has standard responses for these in TextExpander. One of them that Merlin picked up from Max Temkin is: ”That you for your message!”, Todd Vaziri uses: ”Okay!”, but that gets tainted with the ”OK Boomer” thing. Merlin also likes to say: ”I just want people to be happy!” and then he mutes the thread because you should always mute all the threads.

It is not on brand for John to want everybody to be happy. Merlin’s most well-known shortcut is SDI, which expands to: ”Sorry, I don’t argue on the Internet!” because nobody will remember who wins the argument, but they will just remember that you were an asshole who argues on the Internet. John worries about that a lot.

One time before the last election (the one where Trump became president) there was a time when John felt pretty confident about how this election was going to turn out and he was pretty dismissive of people who didn’t feel the president was going to be who John thought the president was going to be. There were people on all sides who had different ideas about how it should go and what crimes were being played out. John was on there with people coming at him all day left right and center and he would get a bunch of @-replies. At that point in time, John’s response was: ”Hey, go fuck yourself!” and he took a page out of the old Merlin Mann, phrasing it: ”You think you are better than me?”, ”Are you sure you want to do this? I am going to compose an entire poem while I beat your ass in the theater!”

John got a tweet from a middle-aged dude who said: ”Listen, I see what I am trying to do, but you are alienating a lot of young people” - ”Hey, go fuck yourself!” and he was really disappointed in John, crossed his arms, tisk-tisked and said: ”This isn’t how we are going to educate a new generation and how we make the world a better place!” Eventually he said: ”I admire you and this is a really bad look” - ”Go fuck yourself!”, but later John reflected upon it and thought what Merlin just said earlier: Nobody remembers who wins, but the only thing people remember is that that guy is an asshole.

John realized he was out there, just throwing fucking haymakers at everybody, but for what? It didn’t accomplish anything! Merlin never regarded Twitter as an ephemeral medium, but most people and the company do. It used to be easier because it was a small world. Today you don’t have to look any further than the people who are using Tweetdeck or doing manual searches, but there are people who want to toss about the things they are pissed off about and they are looking for every thread that says that. If you have a fetish for ladies who are seat-belted into the backseat of the car you are going to spend a lot of time on Flickr looking for that. If you want to argue about but her emails (Hillary Clinton’s emails), you are going to be there.

For John it is not ephemeral, he is working on an archive all the time, the halls and halls of your tweets is your legacy. Somebody asked John the other day where to get a copy of Electric Aphorisms and John remembered he had made a book of tweets, but who wants that? They were probably a completist or it was a fetish item, but back then it felt like they had to get these tweets into book form fast because this was some top-shelf content.

Merlin being in a Wired interview about Inbox Zero (RL363)

Merlin got an interview this week with UK Wired about Inbox Zero, which he is so excited to be talking about. It is a legacy platform now. He had written this one blog-post about it six years ago and people are still asking him about it. The idea of somebody going big with a big media strategy of explaining why they have been misunderstood for a decade is not a good look. Merlin doesn’t have much to say about it, he is not defensive about it, he is done with it and only very rarely does he ask himself how to balance this. If you read the thing and find it useful, that is good, but Merlin doesn’t want to get wound up in the misunderstanding of it because he doesn’t actually care about it, but it is the being asked about it that bugs him, the ongoing ”What about that?”

Every once in a while, if you find out that Ronan Farrow is going to be doing an article about you in The New Yorker you have to think really carefully. It is like being called in by the DO: You have to either totally lie or totally tell the truth and accept the consequences of each one of these. If somebody at that level is going to do this, then Merlin would like to have his say and get a couple of bon mots in and she seems cool and Merlin responded to her very nice email to schedule a day, but just so you know, there is this blog post he wrote about it how he stands about it today and that would be the context of this discussion.

In life you encounter people who have their reasons for wanting to talk to you and they will sit on the phone until you say something that is close enough to what they need you to say for the pull-quote they wanted. If you have ever been interviewed for an article about a car accident, you know every article in every publication has a handful of obvious errors and at least one big lie, which sucks, but that is how it goes. You have to really weigh how much you want a quote from you on something that could be a gross perversion of what you believe and what you actually said.

This was what was so hard about being in a band back in the day where the only way your message got out was if you were interviewed by the local alternative newspaper Indie Rock Reporter and you hoped they would write a feature on you, but it would then be such a garbled mess and their bad writing would reflect on you. Especially in Pitchfork, it often is so much about the writer and their project than whatever they are writing about, whether it is Travis Morrison or John Roderick. It is about them getting noticed for this wild article because they have fashioned themselves as Dave Marsh or Hunter S. Thompson and they need to get noticed for how whakadoo their article is and you just become journalistic canon fodder.

They will just move on to the next project, but you will have to live with the bullshit they said that is not accurate or misrepresentative or silly or misspelled. Every bad apostrophe hit John like a knife in the gut, especially when they would quote you and use bad grammar in their quotation of you and the transcription of what you are saying seems illiterate. Merlin is going to tell a very quick anecdote about John Roderick that Cap’n Marm has probably heard, but one time John was interviewed by a dingeling who was doing a bad job about it and John said: ”Look, let’s call this an end to the interview, I will write this article for you and you will publish it under your name!” and it was actually a publication people know of and it ended up being a pretty good interview.

Arguing on the Internet (cont)

John and Merlin offer their opinions of things to the world to whoever wants to listen to them, but nobody is required to listen to them and nobody they know of is forced to do so. This is a world full of opinions and everybody got a fucking opinion and a lot of people have nobody listening to their program, so they feel like because John and Merlin are putting their opinion out there that all their opinions are equal because they live in a democracy and that is what democracy and freedom of speech means. The feeling people have is that John and Merlin’s opinion need some corrective, maybe they didn’t read all the books that they should have, they are very smart, and they don’t have a venue, so Twitter becomes their venue.

People don’t understand that the feelings they talk about are real, which is the Mike Squires innovation, he came to John one time in the 1990s, grabbed him by the shirt and said: ”John, feelings are real!” and John has been living by that credo ever since, although he doesn’t understand it. 80% of what he says is horse shit, but 20% is like Zen Koans: ”Did Mike Squires just say something meaningful? I am not sure, I can’t tell because there is ketchup all over his face and I can’t take it seriously!” He is a Marine who has just politely asked to leave the Marines. John doesn’t thank him for his service, because it was John’s tax payer dollars who paid him to sit and drink Kers Light.

Why would you ever go to any lengths to hurt somebody’s feelings for no reason! Merlin has to remember this all the time because of his own brokenness inside, but if somebody is talking about something in general they are probably not talking about you in particular. You are the one who decided that it was about you! Often online social media stuff becomes arguments or wars about preference. Everybody is so mad about Martin Scorsese not being into superhero movies, the man who was most lauded for working outside the studio system and wanting to make small films that played against the mainstream of his time in some ways. That same reason why everybody loved him in the 1970s is now why everybody yells at him because he harmed their feelings because he was not as laudatory as you wanted him to be about fucking superhero movies.

Do you wash your legs every time you take a shower? How can you possibly do that, it is insane, but everybody uses life differently. There was one of those funny little onion ones that said: ”The lower half of your legs content with whatever soapy water dripped down across them once again for the 10.000th day. Every shower John takes either begins or ends with a bath. Merlin sometimes does a bath before the shower when he wants to do an apple cider vinegar bath or a lavender bath, but there is no rule about that! Merlin recommends John to do that and put more in than they tell you, it is very liberating.

John doesn’t… ”what I want…” is to live in a world where he is beloved and appreciated and where he doesn’t have a negative emotional association with almost everything. A lot of people tell him to yoga or to meditate or to walk, but he has also read book, not maybe the same books, but he read some magazines about it. To whatever degree that Merlin is helping John and John is helping Merlin, and by that they together are helping people, if there is anything that makes John feel like the Long Winters music doesn’t need to all be re-recorded and that calling Jack Ched was a one-way ticket to short ribs, there is a path somewhere here! Money is its own reward, but the helping is also a reward and you put those things together and get yourself a stew.

Giving your kids an allowance (RL363)

Merlin does not really give his little rug rat an allowance. They have been back and forth, but they need to get back on that. Sometimes he asks her to give him $20 if she wants him to buy any more mine coins. John’s daughter has some chores, they have a little chore chart, and she does do them because she is motivated by the stars on the chore chart and John wanted to start introducing money into her life because when it was introduced into John’s life it was a watershed moment (sure referring to when his 3rd teacher gave them fake money into a little bank book) and it was never the same.

They always put Gold Ds under her pillow when she looses a tooth, which is a Sacagawea dollar. John asked her the other day if somebody were to give her $5, would she want 5 Gold Ds, 5 $1 bills, a $5 bill or 20 Quarters ($0.25) and without hesitating she said she would want a $5 bill, which was sophisticated. It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that John wouldn’t want it in the denomination that would make it look the largest.

John has introduced the idea of an allowance. She has not achieved the requisite number of stars on the chore chart to have activated an allowance. By the time John was 8 years old he was given money. You have to ask yourself why you are doing this. Do you want them to complete chores or do you want them to get better at budgeting money? Before one dives into this… because when you and the kid get frustrated about it you have to get back to first principles and know why you are doing this. John definitely does not want to tie this chore chart to an eating disorder. A lot of emotional tumult plays out at meal time.

John only wants her to grow up healthy and happy and without any of her father’s emotions or his sister’s emotions or his mom’s emotions, but some other family’s emotions. She is going to get a nice contrast of emotional disorders based on the distinction between John and her mother because they bring such different things to the dinner table. John also doesn’t want her to feel that emotions aren’t real because they are real and that is what they are working on. Maybe, like a lot of people from John’s economic strata and social class, is going to just tie money to emotion, just get an early start. There is no reason she can’t also turn that into an eating disorder. Maybe he could weigh her plate when she is done and let her know whether she was bad. ”You don’t eat those Brussels Sprouts? No Ds for you!” No stars, and stars turn into Ds and Ds turn into love. Dadilo loves you when you eat or don’t eat!

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