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I'm so glad I'm not a dentist. How many times does someone say, 'Oh, Doc, it felt so good when you were drilling my teeth'? Never. But when you give someone a wonderful cookie, you put a little of yourself in, and you see someone's face light up - that's immediate approval.
The three-year-old who lies about taking a cookie isn't really a liar after all. He simply can't control his impulses. He then convinces himself of a new truth and, eager for your approval, reports the version that he knows will make you happy.
I don't see my artist friends as any more neurotic or addiction-prone than the others. The roommates I have had who were into triathlons or environmentalism were just as crazy as the poets, just as prone to tears over gardening or air conditioners, just as ready to kite a cheque or binge on cookie dough.
In New York, if you weigh under 200 pounds and decline so much as a cookie at a co-worker's party, women will flock to your side, assuring you of your appealing physique. This is how skittish we are about the dangers of anorexia and the pressures of body image.
Remember, sex is like a Chinese dinner. It ain't over 'til you both get your cookie.