Dustin Dunaway

Fine, but I’m like 90 percent sure I have a yeast infection. Like, I don’t know for sure, and my gynecologist keeps telling me that I don’t have a yeast infection, but, like, the standard of care for young attractive Asian women seems to be low. You know, health care disparities.

I don’t know. I guess it’s a suspicion that I have a yeast infection and not an actual yeast infection, but the fear is just as present in my daily life as if it were an actual yeast infection. For instance, the other day this boy was like, “Hey, Agnes, how are you doing?” And we were both in the street, and it was wet and miserable and lonely — when the weather is bad, I’m prone to oversharing because I’m wet and miserable and lonely. I mean wet as in damp from the rain, not wet as in vagina-wet.

So anyway this boy was like, “Hey, Agnes, how are you doing?”, and the first words out of my mouth were, “Fine, but I’m like 90 percent sure I have a yeast infection.” But I swear I didn’t mean them to be. I am not trying to be the quirky weird girl who invites near strangers to think about her intimate bits. Vags are misshapen purpley leftover flesh-bits, and I don’t even like thinking about my own.

Anyway Doctor Mary Helen Ross — my online therapist — thinks this fear results from locating academic stresses to specific sites on my body, but that doesn’t bode well for me either; I’d rather have an actual yeast infection than be the girl who locates the daily stressors of being a senior without a job or having to send mediocre work to her Pulitzer Prize–Winning Thesis Advisor every week into her vagina. But like, I guess I’m not one to poo-poo accredited and licensed therapists, so I’m wondering if we can reach a compromise.

Is it possible for someone to have a spiritual yeast infection?

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about Gwyneth Paltrow and success lately. Gwyneth is one of two children born by Blythe Katherine Danner Paltrow, who won two Primetime Emmys and a Tony. Nominated for a Golden Globe a couple of times. Blythe looks kind of harmless today, the way actresses who are remembered as being bombshells age into a more papery, somehow jollier version of their younger, brighter selves. (Gwyneth’s father was a TV/film director/producer.) With her mom and her face and body and the way her face and body connect to make that whole thing she has going on, who wouldn’t be Gwyneth Paltrow? Privilege begets privilege, right?

But then who can account for Jake Paltrow, Gwyneth’s less successful director/film/actor brother? He had that same rarefied childhood, probably. I don’t know a lot about their family, but I have a feeling that the Paltrows — or what the Paltrows represent — have a lot to do with my psychosomatic pus-ey fungal baby.

I’ll be graduating May 2019, and yeah of course I am ready to go, but I am also really really really really really really not ready to go. Have you ever tried to graduate from an institution that is bad, yes, but that has also sheltered you and fed you and tenderly held your hand for four years? It is bad and scary. I am not employed, and also I don’t know how to do my taxes or boil eggs and also I have a yeast infection. I’ve received this rarefied, privileged education, but am I Gwyneth or Jake?

Doctor Mary Helen Ross says I’ll be Gwyneth, but she probably also thought she would be Gwyneth, and now she’s an online therapist that can’t even diagnose candidiasis (that is the scientific term for yeast infection). I am scared and stressed out all the time, and it would be nice to have, like, one problem that can be solved with just some plain Greek yogurt. (You’re supposed to just lather it over your infected vag.) If you see me on the street, please do not ask me how I am doing.

Agnes Enkhtamir | agnes.enkhtamir@yale.edu .