August 15, 2011:

"If we didn't already know her, she'd seem pretty unattractive."

OK. But. How is it that knowing her changes our judgment?

Aren't we saying: because we know her we invent a vocabulary of excuses, for behaviors we'd condemn in strangers? Or perhaps more precisely: we've internalized her own vocabulary of excuses?

We live inside her powerful field of attraction: her charm, her wicked humor. But also: her manipulativeness, her cynicism, her narcissism, her self-absorption. Her destructiveness, the trail of chaos and depression she leaves as she stumbles through her life and ours.

So that it's only when we escape her gravity that our vision clears, and we see what's truly there to see. A petty and dishonorable manipulator, a browbeater, a person dominated by envy, who'd rather deliberately damage those near her than see them succeed.