Internalize Everything!

Unlovable women are like rotting fruit: They make great cocktails.

Remember that closet organizer store called “Hold Everything”? Well, now that we’ve decluttered and Kondo-ed ourselves into empty rooms, it seems like there’s nowhere to put our emotional issues without cluttering up our spaces with imaginary baggage. No wonder “Internalize Everything!” has become the reigning mantra of the day. If it hurts, it’s all your fault. Eat it. If something goes wrong, you probably fucked something up. Commit this mistake to memory forever. If it feels personal, IT PROBABLY IS PERSONAL. Collect every mundane rejection. It all adds up the same picture: YOU ARE UNLOVABLE AND YOU ALWAYS WILL BE.

Which brings us to this week’s Ask Polly, a real case study in building a case file against yourself, using every single disappointment and rejection. It reminded me of the solid decade of my life when everything I saw or thought or did or smoked made me feel unlovable. Is it any coincidence that my main goal at the time was to be lovable? Paradoxically, that’s how it works. Women and girls are taught that their value lies in how lovable they are, and then they’re told, repeatedly, that every single thing they do from the cradle to the grave makes them less and less lovable. It’s like the whole world is punking us from the moment we’re born. 

It used to make me sad, but now that I’m evil it strikes me as hilarious. And we’re all being graded cumulatively, of course. There is no bell curve, because everyone is flunking except the human lifestyle brands, who are only visible through a heavily filtered and retouched haze. Ultimately, your choice is not between becoming lovable or unlovable. Because you will fail at your goal to be lovable no matter what you do. Your choice is between being good and kind and generous (like my drippy sister) or being an evil, delightful, exciting, special kind of an abject dickhead like me.

Oh and by the way, you’re getting less and less lovable by the second. 

“It’s all downhill from here,” I said to my best friend at the ripe old age of 23, accurately assessing how fucked I would feel for the next decade straight. “I need to get a boyfriend before I lose my looks!” 

“Where are all the boyfriends?” my friend squealed, which made her feel even less lovable. “We’re like fruit rotting on the vine!”

Soon every person, place, or thing becomes a vehicle for delivering the same message: Men disappoint me therefore I am unlovable. Cupcakes are often overbaked therefore I am unlovable. The earth is round therefore I am unlovable. 

Wait, why are you looking at me that way? That look on your face verifies that I’m unlovable. Please stop making that face! You’re making me feel so unlovable!

These dirty clothes on this chair in your apartment prove to me that you don’t think I’m good enough to clean up for. If you loved me, you would’ve straightened up before I got here. Of course, if I weren’t so unlovable, you would’ve cleaned up by now. 

The last guy I dated was exactly the same as you. He had a fish tank that was filthy. I was like “That tank is making me feel unlovable.” He said “You clean the tank.” So I cleaned it and I did feel a tiny bit more lovable when I was done, but then one of the fish kept giving me the stink eye. The fish kept looking at me like, “Yuck, do something with your hair. Does that concealer really match your skin tone? When was your last pedicure? You didn’t even try to look nice for me and it’s making me feel unlovable.”

“No you’re the one who’s making me feel unlovable!” I screamed at the fish. Screaming made me feel even more unlovable, so I started crying, which made me feel extremely fucking unlovable, so I grabbed the fish and threw it on the floor.

OK, writing this is making me feel too unlovable, so I’ll stop now. The point is, I have to agree with my idiot sister this week. When you’re a lady, the whole world is an enema, performed without anesthesia. You can grab ankle and take it, or you can be like me: Unrefined, unkempt, sinister. 

How do I spend my sinister time? I make very good drinks. Last night I made up this drink and it’s so good that I want you to enjoy one, too. All of the ingredients are expensive and hard to find, because fuck being accessible. I was easy and friendly and cheap for long enough. Now I’m high maintenance and difficult and overpriced and probably not worth the effort at all. That’s how I like it. I like frustrating people. I like disappointing them. When I disappoint others, I feel even more lovable.

Anyway let’s have a drink, shall we?


  • 2 oz. bourbon

  • 1 oz. chartreuse liqueur

  • 1 oz. ginger liqueur

  • 1 lime (juiced of course)

  • 2 oz. peach juice

  • 5 shakes of cardamom bitters

Put all of this stuff in a shaker with ice. Shake it up until your hands are very cold. Pour it into a chilled coupe glass -- that’s the tiny round glass that looks like it was made for a baby doll. My friend who said the thing about fruit rotting on the vine always had those around her house when we were in our twenties because she grew up with money and she was pretentious and fancy. I used to hate those stupid tiny glasses. “I need more booze than this!” I would shout at her, taking it personally that her glasses were so small, and I would reach for one of the beers from the six pack that I’d already put in her fridge like the country cousin I was. I didn’t know much back then, because sipping strong booze out of teensy tiny coupe glasses is actually The Only Way to Drink. You get a very strong buzz from exactly two drinks and then you stop for the night and that way you’re not an abject drunk who pours beer into her face (to make herself feel more lovable) and then fucks boring men until the sun comes up and then goes home and feels unlovable all over again. 

You also won’t be nearly as hungover. And you’ll learn how to say outrageous, obnoxious shit when you’re sober instead, just like a normal dickish adult who isn’t a drunk and isn’t ashamed of herself and isn’t convinced that every single stupid thing about her is unlovable.

So that’s MY advice of the day, ding dongs. Drink better booze but don’t be better. Be worse. Internalize nothing. The whole world is punking you. You can’t win. Lose with a smile on your face instead. 

Tired of grabbing ankle? Write to askmolly at protonmail.