Madame Peniston

Madame Peniston

“The dinginess, the crudity
of the average sector of
womanhood…past sallow-faced
girls in preposterous hats, flat-
chested women struggling with
paper bundles.”
—Edith Wharton,
The House of Mirth

I knew it was me—I was “Lily Bart.”

I knew it from the minute I opened your Novel.

I might as well have been cloned by the first page.

I’ve had my beads read—but then never by an Expert.

A professional Snarkenfreude Sister like you, my dear.

“largely unanticipated delight
in the suffering of another
which is cognized as trivial
and/or appropriate.”
—Theodor Adorno

Snarkenfreude was definitely your style…

Just like the Urban Dictionary defines it:
“Derived from snark (a word that comes from the combination of snide and remark) and schadenfreude.
Snarkenfreude means not only do you enjoy someone else's suffering or mishaps but you quip—usually within the sufferer's earshot—snide comments at their expense.

"But Mr. Vice-President," asked the reporter, unable to dampen his snarkenfreude, "doesn't a pace maker require the presence of an actual heart?"

How snarkaliciously you caught my attention in Grand Central Station—with that poor snide snarkling Selden the Snarkdook. Talk about a snarkabratory Snarkdook creep—slithering thru the Novel so full of sanctimonious unrequited love until the very End when it’s much too late.

Not as bad as Madame Peniston though—the ultimate snarklepuss Douchebag in the whole cast of characters in The House of Mirth. Talk about snarkity Snarkhole—she be one haughty Witch. She reminded me of several Broomstick Snarkbags I’ve known in the Past.

We all have our own personal Madame Peniston’s to deal with—mine was Miss Smirk in the First Grade. She knew I was gay the minute she met me—and it was all downhill after that. Funny how some people know who you are and what your are better than you do. Especially when you’re young and gay—but don’t know it yet.

Miss Smirk let me know every day I was gay—it was just awful. It was like being Dorothy shivering every day in that cold depressing tawdry dingy classroom with my Ruby Slippers—held captive by evil snarky Margaret Hamilton the Wicked Witch of the West. And I do mean wicked…

How wicked? I’d come home crying tears—having wet my pants I was so scared. Each day was a snarky Nightmare—who needed to go see Dracula and Frankenstein movies? Fuck, I was living them everyday.

“Oh it’s sibling rivalry,” the nutty fruitcake Doctor said—“he’ll get over it.” But I didn’t—I got a peptic ulcer from all the Snarkery—I almost bled to death one night. I ended up in a hospital—dropping out of school and never going back. I hated the snarky evil Witch—just as much as she hated young Fags. It was my first experience with such Evil Snarkopathological Snarkanism—and it wasn’t my last.

So, dearest Edith, that’s why your Novel is so simpatico with me—I identify with Lily Bart. I have my whole life—I just didn’t know it. Lily’s snarky Journey thru House of Mirth—how should I say it?

It gave the dreary limbo and dinginess of my Lily Bart boyhood some meaning now after all these years. And as I thumb thru the chapters—each character it seems as if I’ve met at one time or another.

I look forward to reading The Age of Innocence.


Sincerely yours,
The Boy Who Wasn’t There

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