I think I am nurturing a new neurosis. Previously, my neuroses centered largely around getting good grades, understanding philosophy, and not inadvertently insulting various authority figures. This neurosis took up a lot of time and distracted me from dwelling too much on questions like, "Are my shoes cute?" My education was supposed to inoculate me against such bougie diseases.
Now that it's over though, and I have more aimless time and money, I find myself wondering, "Are my shoes cute?" I look around at other women's shoes in downtown DC. I decide mine are lacking. And then I start shopping for new ones. Basically, my new neurosis is consumption, followed by guilt about consumption, followed by shame that I have nothing better to do than buy stuff and spend money. When I feel particularly bad about this, I try to distract myself by reading books, most of which make me feel even guiltier for spending money because their characters are always serious people with serious lives, whereas I live a life of aimless frivolity. I don't study, I don't write, I don't do anything to help anyone. My job is interesting and fairly time-consuming, but it still leaves a lot of hours in the day to consider how I am like a large and highly mobile parasite that only consumes and discards. It's a dismal state of affairs.
And it's not entirely clear how I should resolve this problem. No one seems willing to allow me to tutor at their school, I can't think of anything to write about, and the Greek class I was going to enroll in at the community college turns out to charge $750 to non-residents. This is kind of like being in Greece, where there was also nothing to do except eat, shop, and sleep on the floors of various ferries in order to go places where we could look at yet more ruins or lie on yet more beaches. Except at least in Greece, there were more people to discuss this anomie with, and at least one class to fail at any given time.
I'm pretty sure that, in order to become a real person rather than an updated version of Gregor Samsa (Kafka's Cockroach 2.0 perhaps), I need to overcome this problem and stop spending all of my leisure buying things. But I also need to stop worrying whether my shoes are cute in the first place, so that I will stop wanting to buy new ones. How am I supposed to accomplish this, short of moving somewhere out of driving distance from an H&M?