Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head–Esther Lederer
Yes, it’s true. The phrase “living rent-free in [someone’s] head” was coined, not by the late Rush Limbaugh–who probably did more to popularize it over the past two decades than any single individual–but by a petite Jewish woman born in Sioux City, Iowa just before the end of World War I, who later became a writer for the Chicago Tribune, and who is better known as one of America’s favorite advice columnists, Ann Landers.
It’s a ubiquitous phrase, in this third decade of the twenty-first century, probably best exemplified over the past six years by the outsized personality of the forty-fifth President of the United States whose every utterance, no matter how anodyne, turns those-who-call-themselves-journalists rabid, tech gurus censorious, and politicians of all stripes incandescent with rage. I wish the man had better impulse control myself, but I can’t deny that having him on the national stage, and watching so many come unglued at “every breath he takes,” at the same time as he managed to get a few things done while in office has been hugely entertaining. I’d prefer he didn’t run again in 2024, and that someone with Conservative principles, equal energy, and less baggage take up the torch, but my bunker is stocked with, among other things, about half-a-ton of popcorn, just in case.
Do you live rent free in someone else’s head? (I don’t expect anyone who’s made it to the middle of their seventh decade on this earth has gotten there without picking up a few hangers-on along the way.) I know that I do, and that it’s a source of constant mystification and amusement (mixed with a sense of pity, because after all, I’m human) to see them incessantly circling the mental drain. Poor souls.