Dear Kid,

“You don’t seem like yourself today.”

I’ve always wanted to respond, “Oh, really? Who do I seem like?” but I never have.

“Are you OK? You don’t seem quite right.” “Have you seen John today? He doesn’t quite seem like himself.”

What does it mean to be not yourself? Does it mean someone else has taken over your body? And if so, do you hope this new visitor will take you out for lunch and a haircut?

Do you get to pick who you are if you’re not yourself? I think I’ll be Donald Trump today…

When I was in college, I was often uncomfortable at parties where I didn’t know anyone. I’d pretend to be a friend of mine who was gorgeous and outgoing—it was easier to be her than to be me. I generally ended up somewhere between the two of us which was OK.

When people say “you don’t seem like yourself” I think they generally mean “you don’t seem quite as chipper as you normally do.” They never mean “well, you’re in a good mood for a change.”

And yet our less-than-chipper moods are part of us. We all have times when the unicorns and butterflies have grown fangs and gotten Goth tattoos.

Maybe when people say “you don’t seem like yourself today” they mean “is everything ok?” Maybe it’s a way of checking in without being too pushy or direct. Although it always seems fairly pushy to me.

Hope you’re feeling like yourself today. Whichever mood of yours that might be. Because imho, you are a great person to be. Whether you have unicorns have tats or not.

Love, Mom