I have a nemesis. There exists in my home a powerful creature that has the ability to change my mood and alter the very way that I think about myself. This creature is completely insidious. To others it appears a simple object with no more innate power than a toaster or a clock. They do not perceive the evil that lurks beneath the benign exterior.
My nemesis and I had a show-down of sorts this morning. After months of avoiding his poisonous presence, I approached him directly and challenged him to attempt to exercise his mind-controlling abilities. I looked him straight in the eyes. "You want a piece of me?", I drawled. He remained expressionless and didn't reply. "What's this?" I queried. "Don't you have anything to say?" By this time, I was feeling like the more powerful one. I interpreted his silence as an admission of defeat. I walked right up to him and stepped upon him. "Show me the number and don't try to make me feel worthless! It's just a stupid f-ing number, you jackass!", I shouted. "This number doesn't mean that I am stupid OR ugly!"
My nemesis displayed the number quietly, his cocky self-assurance gone. I looked at the number. It was pretty much exactly what I thought it was. Funny. My nemesis, the bathroom scale, had lost his power. Oh, it can still display my weight to the nearest 1/10th of a pound, but it cannot make me feel worthless. It cannot make me doubt my intrinsic value as a beautiful, powerful, smart human being.
My nemesis made a quiet, whimpering noise. I took another look at it, lying there on the floor. Maybe, just maybe, in time, we can grow to be friends.