Friday, February 8, 2013

Impulsive Compulsive

Fuckits, n.: the rush of yielding to temptation, esp. to behave in a compulsive manner; the flood of relief that occurs after permitting oneself to indulge (see: Case of the Fuckits).
Several years ago, a recovering bulimic taught me this word. She was describing the cycle of her disorder: the days of starvation and white-knuckled control; the inevitable momentary weakness; the first few bites of  cookie or pie, eaten in the certainty that moderation would be possible this time; and then finally, inevitably, the tipping point when her willpower gave way and a binge began (“OH FUCK IT!"). 
Recovery, she told me, was about never giving in to the Fuckits.
As it so happens, the Fuckits are mutual friends of ours. Like those "networkers" who talk to you for five minutes at a cocktail party and then immediately friend you on Facebook, they've managed to connect at one time or another not only with me and her, but pretty much everyone I know. 
They have a knack for appearing at the worst times in my life: after a stressful day at work, as I open a bag of candy corn; when I'm already 2 white wines in, contemplating a third; or when I'm staring at Burberry skirts on eBay, biting my cuticles. 
They can be lots of fun, but they can also be overbearing, controlling, profligate assholes. No matter how often you spend time with them or what you do when they're there, you always feel a little dirtier in the morning.
In recent years, some of my friends have stopped speaking to the Fuckits. Their lives are better for it. These are the addicts, the Fuckits' favored few. At one time or another, they have each faced a stark choice: stay away from these guys, or die prematurely.  

My relationship with the Fuckits is less dire. I am what you would call one of their subclinical friends. They come around fairly often, but not so much that they're ruining my life. My impression is that they're at about the same friendship level with the majority of women I know.
Wouldn't it make sense for EVERYONE to defriend the Fuckits? Even if they haven't ruined our lives, why do we want to keep such an unpredictable, irritating, unbalanced company? Is there any reason we're still listening to their crazy schemes after all these years?
For me, yes, there is a reason. They might be full of crap most of the time, but the Fuckits are kind of my heroes.
When someone I know -- or something I read in a magazine -- tells me to be more patient, submissive, practical, or pleasing, the Fuckits know just the right response. When tonight was supposed to be the night of a thousand laundry loads, but I'm just too interested in writing this article, they smile and tap me on the shoulder. If I hear again that no one could possibly procrastinate as much as me and succeed, they make like a Roman emperor in the arena and do a haughty thumbs-down.
The instincts that tell me to go ahead and eat the whole sundae, to drink until I'm drunk, to stay up all night and ruin tomorrow reading random articles on Wikipedia -- they are instincts of surrender, of desire, of just-because-I-want-to. They are hungry, ugly, primal. They would rather expose themselves to embarrassment and criticism than miss out on something delicious. 
These instincts, these desires for something more, are amoral. They run strong and quick, right past eddies of worry, in search of satisfaction. Like water, they will flow forward by any means we allow:  wide, shallow floodplains of cheesecake; deeper, more frightening rapids of change. 
I'm scared of the rapids. It's convenient to let my life clog them with inertia and self-loathing, or to build dams in advance by internalizing society's opinions about who I should be.
How often my desires have run toward a big dream, a needed breakup, a lavish and impractical adventure that sounds worthwhile only to me, only to hit an inner Hoover and divert for something shallower. And how wonderful it's been the few times the Fuckits happened onto the scene, drunk as usual, dressed for some reason like Venetian gondoliers, singing in jaunty straw hats as they hand me sticks of dynamite: fuck it, fuuuuuck that shit, dooo it anyway, fuuuuuck that shit.
The Fuckits are irritating. They are insane. The stakes of hanging out with them are high, and I need to start inviting them to better parties.
Happy Weekend Friends

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