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Tomorrow, Vanity Fair will be publishing an article by Monica Lewinsky, all about her affair with President Bill Clinton. Now, I don’t believe that old Hillary-is-a-frigid-bitch narrative, but if my husband’s former dalliance was a public figure who managed to get in the pages of Vanity Fair, I would also be a little frosty.
This is surely a tough situation to maneuver, even for the second-most charming politician still living. (First, of course, is the current VP. I had a dream last night that I ran into Joe Biden in the White House and he said, “’Scuse me, darlin’,” and kissed my hand. I woke up covered in sticky sweat and seriously considered breaking up with my boyfriend for the first three hours of the day.)
So what do you do when your former mistress—or, at the very least, the woman you ejaculated on nearly 20 years ago and literally everyone knows about it—comes out to tell her side of the story? If you bring it up with your wife to apologize yet again, it might upset her. If you don’t, she might think you’re being insensitive. How do you get away with acknowledging that you did something terrible a very long time ago, that you’re sorry, but also that you don’t really want to talk about it?
Yes, Bill Clinton is pretty fucked, but there’s an important lesson to be learned here: before you cheat on your partner with someone else—someone you work with, someone who works under you, someone you could take advantage of, someone you can’t really trust, someone who might open her mouth to Linda Tripp—don’t.
And if your shameful past finds a way to creep up on you, don’t overthink it: just behave yourself, keep your head down, and devote every waking moment to silently and diligently working on her 2016 presidential campaign.
Onto your problems.
Hi! So, how do I give up the Internet? Like, I see a therapist weekly, and this is one of those deeply rooted issues that is proving difficult to overcome. Like, hello, where is my discovery? So, I feel pretty good about asking a lady on the Internet how to break my dependence on the Internet. Give me some tips, girl. Shake me from this hypnotic trance.
Did you hear about this guy who wants to marry his computer full of porn? He’s in Florida (obviously) and says he has fallen in love with his computer and would rather have sex with it—more accurately, the porn on it—than real people.
Which doesn’t actually sound so bad. Why would you ever want to quit the Internet? It has literally everything. You can watch people touch each other’s butts, you can order food, you can upload your own crippling depression onto your blog, you can argue with strangers over the definition of “literally.” All the Internet fails to provide is unconditional love, which is overrated if you have a) money, b) stuff bought with that money, and c) a way in which to ejaculate using the things you bought with that money. (Not all installments of the column will be so ejaculation-heavy.)
Since I am not so convinced that liking the Internet is a big deal, I asked Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet, to help instead. “I feel that there are direct parallels with food,” Sieberg says. “We all have different metabolisms and lifestyles that mean different ways of choosing what to eat. But we don’t mindlessly graze on unhealthy foods.” Speak for yourself, Sieberg.
But if you’re committed to curbing this addiction, there are a few things you can do. First, maybe take Sieberg’s Virtual Weight Index to figure out exactly how much of your life is being run by your various gadgets. “I’m not perfect and I don’t know anyone who is,” Sieberg says, again, not speaking for me, “but it starts with a belief that we can all control our online indulgences and creating a strong sense of priorities.”
It’s tough to say what will succeed in getting you off the Internet and maybe talking to some real, live, fleshy humans. “I love the Internet! I love technology! But I don’t love them unconditionally,” Sieberg says, suggesting that you start by not charging your smartphone in your bedroom, or giving yourself the hour after you wake up and the hour before bed as time to be completely offline. “It’s about recognizing the quality of what you’re doing without sacrificing your livelihood or family life or sense of identity.”
Seems sensible: try setting yourself up with some activities that don’t involve Firefox or your phone or any iteration of Candy Crush. Give yourself small goals and be realistic. It’s not so hard. You may even find you enjoy life outside Internet’s embrace.
That said, do not stop reading Hazlitt under any circumstances.
My body temperatures are always through the roof! I can’t stop sweating. I’m constantly feeling like I just stepped out of the shower. Steamy footprints and assprints are common in my life. Please, it’s a matter of life and sweat… help me.
- Sir Sweatsalot
Seeing as I am not a licensed physician, it is difficult and possibly illegal to diagnose this particular affliction. Still, 50 percent of advice is plain ol’ guessing, so let’s just do that.
During these fits of sweatiness, are your hands sometimes affected? Especially when it’s warm out? Sounds like a blockage in your lymph nubs (the part of your lymph nodes where all your cancers are). When you run, does your face get extremely warm, and your sweat begins to smell like sweat? It is almost certainly the twin that didn’t develop while you were in utero, trying to fight its way out of your midsection. And when you sit in a sauna, does your whole body get really, really warm? I hate to be the one to inform you, but this sounds like a bona fide case of fish syphilis. (It is when you get syphilis from a fish.)
All of which is to say, what am I, your mother? Go to the doctor, dummy. (Seriously, though, it’s probably just lupus.)
I really want to dye my hair. More specifically, I really want to bleach my hair. The trouble is, I am a man in his mid-20s with an office job and the ability to feel shame. I know that if I take the leap and bleach my hair a fun shade of piss, my friends will laugh at me and my co-workers will lose what little respect for me they may have had. My heart wants to take the plunge, but my head says, “This is a stepping stone to being that 40-year-old dad who pierces his ear, much to the chagrin of his children.” Help!
- Blondes Have More Fun
You didn’t actually have to specify that you’re in your mid-20s. As soon as I read “I really want to bleach my hair,” that was enough to tell me that you probably spend a lot of time drinking in parks and have one of those Hitler Youth haircuts everyone is getting and think having an open relationship is “cosmopolitan” rather than “twice the work.”
I don’t know if you’ve been inspired by Dolph Lundgren or Adam Levine’s stupid new dye job, but here’s what I can tell you: if you came to the Hazlitt offices with bleach-blond hair, I would make relentless fun of you. I would make fun of you until you burst into tears and fled the office, the bleach in your hair running down your face like thick, burning tears. It is very hard to take someone seriously when they have purposefully made themselves look like Draco Malfoy, even though Draco Malfoy is super hot.
Just keep in mind that you want to do a thing that Adam Levine just did, which means that the kind of person who would approve is the same caliber of person who likes Adam Levine. That basically limits you to sexually confused teens and my mom, who really likes “that ‘Grooves Like Jaguar’ song.” Look at your life. Think about your choices.
If that doesn’t change your mind, there’s nothing I can do for you.
Unfuck Yourself appears every Wednesday. Got a problem? Send it here.
Main image by Alan Jones