2nd Order Vanity

2nd Order Vanity Rick Vigorous is a very jealous finance and pays his therapist, Dr. Jay, to find out everything Lenore thinks. Rick believes this is helping him in his relationship but it’s actually causing conflict and loss of money. This is the typical case of jealousy doing more harm than good. Rick and Lenore are engaged. Rick is 18 years older than Lenore, is divorced, has a son, and is also CEO of Frequent and Vigorous, where Lenore also works. The two met at Dr. Jays.
Rick is extremely jealous of Lenore and believes that any unmarried man is a threat to his relationship. Rick continues to see Dr. Jay because he tells him everything Lenore confides in him. Rick is so obsessed that when Lenore doesn’t immediately show up for work he writes in his journal, “Lenore, come to work, where I am, remove yourself from the shower and come to work now…”(32). The weirdest part of all is that when Lenore isn’t sleeping in the bed with Rick, Rick will have a dream about sexually pleasuring Queen Victoria with a tortoise shell hairbrush.
Rick suffers greatly from second order vanity. “A second order vain person will sit up late learning jokes in order to appear funny and charming, but will deny that he sits up late learning jokes. Or he’ll perhaps even try to give the impression that he doesn’t regard himself as funny at all”. Rick may not try to be funny but, he will use Dr. Jay to get info on Lenore and then try giving the opposite impression that he is simply using Dr. Jay for professional help. Rick attempts to hide his obsession with Lenore from her.

Even when Lenore gets suspicious of Dr. Jay and Rick working as a team, Dr. Jay goes so far as to lie for Rick and deny the accusation. He also writes about trying to have sex with one of Lenore’s shoes… “I will confess that I, once in a moment of admittedly irresponsible degeneracy, tried to make love to one of the shoes, a 1989 All-Star high-top, when Lenore was in the shower but failed to be able to bring the thing off, for familiar reasons. ” (Wallace 59). He also believes that Dr. Jay is secretly in love with Lenore; Dr.
Jay just tells Rick he is insecure. Another example of Rick’s insecurity is the way he acts when he meets Wang Dang Lang in the gay bar. He notices that he hasn’t peed once after drinking so many beers. Rick thinks that this is manly and admires Wang for that and decides he won’t pee until Wang pees, or else that will show weakness. Rick ultimately comes up with an excuse to use the bathroom. He tells Wang he wants to see if his initials are still carved in the stall from when he went to college. Wang Dang Lang follows behind him.
Rick even admires the way Wang Dang Lang takes a leak and aims for the deodorant. Rick and the guy who suffers from second order vanity act like they’re not trying to hide their insecurities in the first place. This is something people suffer with daily. Lenore is just a kind person with some insecurity, but not nearly as much as Rick. She is a little lost trying to find her place in the world, which is why she sees Dr. Jay to help her with identity struggles. Lenore has a successful father with lots of money but she chooses to work a minimum wage job at Frequent and Vigorous.
Her grandmother Lenore, who she visits all the time, is MIA and her brother LaVache has a fake leg with drawers for hiding his weed. Lenore suffers from hygiene anxiety and Rick estimates she showers about 5-8 times a day. She spends most of her time with Dr. Jay discussing hygiene anxiety, which basically means she feels dirty in stressful situations. Dr. Jay just wants Rick and Lenore’s money and will do anything to get it. For example: betraying Lenore’s trust by telling everything she talks to him about to Rick. Then when Lenore tells Dr.
Jay she’s out of money and can’t see him, Dr. Jay advises her to come back as soon as she gets money because he is “here for her”, and to” get Rick to give her money”. Dr. Jay is a quack and a con artist! All Dr. Jay talks about is the smell of breakthrough. Lenore calls Dr. Jay, “the worst psychologist of all time”. She pays him roughly 2/3 of what she makes and still continues to see the guy! In the story about the man who suffers from second order vanity, he goes to enormous lengths to hide his vanity from his beautiful girlfriend which whom he lives with. This is just like Rick.

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