12 Days of Christmas and Imposter Syndrome

Okay, so I don’t talk much about the former president anymore, because fuck that guy.

But y’all, did you see his recent major announcement? The digital trading cards? For only $99?

What an embarrassing time to be a supporter of the former guy. I can just see them, all huddled around waiting to see what major announcement their lord and savior would make that would part the clouds and bring glory to their sad existence and it ended up being trading cards. Not even real ones you can hold. Digital ones.

It’s like Ralphie in A Christmas Story with his secret decoder ring. “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!”

But that isn’t what this is about. Not even a little. It’s just that I was convinced that it is no longer possible to feel surprise that an orange bag of grifting gas still has millions of supporters. Turns out there is still surprise to be found.


So, I started a new social media account on Mastodon. My user name is @[email protected] if you want to follow me there.

I feel like Twitter is gonna wink out of existence soon. I mean, I could be wrong, but it’s really weird there these day.  Space Karen is acting more and more like tfg with every passing day.

I have pretty many followers on Twitter, so it’s been kind of fun starting over with something new. I think I made it a week before someone was  condescending to me.

I feel like I should bake them a cake or something since they gave me a gift.

I’m going to back way up, all the way to 1998. I was chatting with people on a message board and made a joke about Sappho being one of the Marx brothers and was told that “ignorance disguised as wit is never funny.” I knew of the poet Sappho, and while I’m not a scholar, I’m not completely ignorant. It was just a joke.

I remember feeling embarrassed and defensive. I have no idea if I responded or not. I probably walked away from the conversation and did something else while berating myself for thinking I should ever make a joke.

Fast forward to last week.

I posted this on Mastodon. Fully aware that I do not know the origins of the 12 Days of Christmas and fully aware that I could get this information if I wanted to.

When are the twelve days of Christmas exactly? Is the 13th of Dec the first day of Christmas and the 25th the 12th day of Christmas? I have issues with this song. And if this is how it works, then my true love will get me nothing for the first day of Christmas because I don’t believe the 13th is a traditional gift giving day.

A few people explained the Feast of the Epiphany to me and one person asked if I ever considered giving up math and sticking with English (due to my math being off by a day, should have been the 14th, not the 13th) which was fair and a little funny.

So I responded.

That seems like a good idea, but I’m a computer programmer, so I have to stick with math at least a little. Thank the STARS, I don’t have logic issues. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Because who doesn’t love a little self-deprecating humor?

They responded with “What about Dunning-Kruger issues?”

I did not know what Dunning-Kruger issues would be, so I looked it up.

You all, they were not being very nice to me.

In case you were unaware, here is basically what the Dunning-Kruger effect is:  The Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe they are smarter and more capable than they are. Essentially, low-ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence. The combination of poor self-awareness and low cognitive ability leads them to overestimate their capabilities.

So, after educating myself, I responded.

I assure you, I don’t overestimate my abilities. One of my strengths is the ability to sustain a healthy imposter syndrome. I’m a great big ol’ ball of self doubting insecurity.

The conversation ended there and I realized that I wasn’t the slightest bit embarrassed. Not by my ignorance of the Feast of the Epiphany, not by my little math error, not by having to read up on the Dunning-Kruger effect and not by being condescended to.

Okay, perhaps “not the slightest” bit is an overstatement, but not by much.

In any case, it was freeing. In fact, I’ve found that I’m going out of my way to make jokes about things I am ignorant of. It’s been fun. My latest one is “I don’t know what a substack is, but it makes me want pancakes.”

I should have made a Freddy Kruger joke to the person on Mastodon.

I wish you all a very happy 13 days of Christmas that begin the opposite direction of the more traditional 12 days of Christmas!

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  • The person who claimed they didn’t like the Sappho joke was just annoyed they didn’t think of it. I’m pretty sure this is the case because I’d be annoyed if it didn’t make me laugh so much. But I’m gonna confess that I didn’t get it at first. It’s what I call a depth-charge joke. It sinks down while my brain processes it and suddenly it explodes. I swear depth-charge jokes are the smartest and funniest kind of jokes because they keep coming back.
    Anyway isn’t ignorance the basis of humor? Most humor comes from seeing the familiar in a new way and you don’t have to be ignorant to do that but it helps. And what’s funnier than finding fault in ourselves? Because finding fault in others is frequently not funny–just assholish.

  • Ha, ha! Great post – love, love reading your thoughts and reflections. For me, the resigned acceptance of my human frailties is increasing with age. Oops! is my chosen response. As a native of Cincinnati, I can say that you present a welcome standard of accurate and incisive observation. Keep being great!

  • For the thirteenth day of Christmas the jury gave to me, thirteen years for the TFG.
    Paul Krugman calls crypto “Dunning Krugerrands.”
    Space Karen just got voted off of the island, let’s see if he really leaves.
    I spend time on Twitter reading the feeds of folks I like and respect, but have never had an account, so the only difference I have seen there is that I’m allowed to read whole feeds again, not just the first page.
    Actually, that’s not true, the biggest difference is all of the people I used to read who have bailed in the last month. Joe Seiders (drummer for the New Pornographers) Kelly Hogan, Juliana Hatfield, Nora O’Connor and a few others have left. The announcement yesterday that links to other platforms were banned would have chased away a few more who mostly post links to their Instagram.
    Space K shoulda stuck with the rockets, Now he has become a full-blown right wing troll. I knew I didn’t like him when he called the rescue team that didn’t want his submarine pedophiles.
    Sappho Marx is fucking hilarious. It is most definitely not ignorance disguised as wit because you have to know what it is for it to be funny.
    You’re the real deal, Michelle, anyone who reads you can see that.

  • “Maturing is realizing how many things do not require a comment or your energy”.

    We need at lot more “maturity” in the world today.

By Michelle

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