Sarah was smart. Very smart.
“I am very smart,” Sarah would say.
Sarah was so smart that she went to Wellesley College.
“I am one of those girls who is so bright that I was admitted to Wellesley College,” Sarah would say.
Sarah did very well at Wellesley College.
“I am on the Dean’s List every other semester, or so,” Sarah would say.
Sarah was pretty.
“I am not just pretty,” Sarah would admonish.
Right. Sarah was smart and pretty.
“No,” Sarah would say. “Sarah is very smart and very beautiful.”
Well, beauty is defined often by classic bone structure, wide eyes and soft hair.
“I have classic bone structure and wide eyes and my hair is soft,” Sarah would say. ‘I am a classic beauty. And very smart, don’t forget that part. I am an exceptional girl.”
What about modesty, they would inquire.
“No need to be modest when you hold all the aces,” Sarah would say. “People do not expect modesty from a girl like me. They know I have earned the right to tell the truth.”
Why do you call yourself a girl and not a woman, if you have all those attributes, they would inquire.
“Oh, posh,” Sarah would say. “As a post-feminist very smart classically beautiful girl I have no need to pander to the dictates of nomenclature and other people’s idea of political correctness, behind which they hide to justify their own lesser intelligence and mundane appearance.”
So how do you define yourself, they would ask.
“I am the kind of girl who has even trained herself to omit the word ‘like’ from my speech patterns. Unlike, well, you for example,” Sarah would say.
You still end each sentence with a rising inflection as if asking a question, they would say.
“Yes I do,” Sarah would say, “but since I am so accomplished in every regard, as we have already established, that is fine for a girl such as myself. Sarah is above caring about such things.”
You talk about yourself in the third person, don’t you think that is affected, they would ask.
“No I don’t,” Sarah would say. “In my world, that is fine. But since you seem intent on parsing myself, Sarah would like to know what words, in your judgment, best describe Sarah.”
We’d rather not answer, they would say. It would be an embarrassment and besides, we do not mean to give offense.
“Posh,” Sarah said. “But since you are all so shy, let me suggest a lexicon for you to consider. One might describe Sarah as cool, although that is so old-fashioned. Reeks of calling someone “neat” or like “swell.” I prefer “Stone Fox” because I am so dope.”
There is nothing they would say as they did not want to tell Sarah that she thought herself smart while calling herself a dope.
But Sarah sensed their confusion and allowed herself a superior sigh, as a prophet might express mild exasperation when disciples, as is often the case, are lagging several thoughts and logical leaps behind their guru.
“Look,” Sarah said although there was nothing to see, “let’s start with ‘cool’ as like that seems all you can handle. I am like clearly cool in the classic smart sense, plus I am cool because I am so ‘hot.’ But I am so down, like it’s I don’t know how to say it or whatever it may mean but I think I am dope; or it is dope; or I am surrounded in my world with my own dope-iness.”
Sarah, they then asked, if you are so cool, hot, down, dope, smart, and let’s not forget classically beautiful, how come when you are excited you revert to interjecting the word ‘like’ in your sentences.
“Posh,” Sarah said. “I do not need your bourgeois criticism. If you even existed in Sarah’s world you would, like, never say a hurtful thing like that. Do you know that, aside from Wellesley, I was admitted to Smith, Yale and Radcliffe?”
Radcliffe doesn’t exist anymore, they would say. Perhaps you are mistaken, they would suggest.
“Enough of this,” Sarah said with finality in her tone, her aquiline nose crinkled, her brow with one neat discrete short furrow, her cheeks reddened slightly by the effort to be kind, her soft blondish hair swishing softly as she turned her head to leave. “I do not need to suffer your scorn. I am in a safe place and I received no warning, no spoiler alert that this would deteriorate into a personal attack. I am, like, going back to my dormitory room and fix the dust ruffle on my bed.”
And as Sarah turned and began to leave, she might have heard someone mutter “What an asshole!” although, as Sarah came to think of it, that was, like, hardly possible in Sarah’s world.