Crying in bars with boys
POSTED: August 19th, 2011
I already know I’m going to be a fantastic mother because I have successfully cried during every Pixar movie ever made.
If I can empathize with ants, birds, and dragons, then there’s really nothing left for me to learn about feelings. When my future child gets so worked up one day because she picked out this great chic backpack to kick off the second-grade school year only to discover that her individuality has been shattered by other girls with the refined taste to make the same purchase, I’m not going to be like, You’re an idiot. This doesn’t matter. No way! I mean, maybe I’ll be that way after she goes to bed, but until then? I’m going to be there for her. Her devastation will be my devastation, and beyond that, I am going to be so thrilled that she can spot a hot trend without any influence whatsoever.
I’ve always kind of had a thing for being weepy. I don’t even mean to do it; it just kind of happens to me. Some days, it’s like I was destined to cry, and fate is a close relative of human behavior at music festivals — you just have to go with it.
One thing I don’t like to do, though, is cry in public. One thing I really don’t like to do is cry in public with my boyfriend. Then it looks like the couple at Table 27 is totally breaking up, I can feel the amused speculation of the table next to us, and I’m just trying to tell him about this horrible story I read on the internet that morning.
Alcohol tends to present a somewhat “enhanced” version of us to the world, and my version teeters on the unstable side. I mean, I’m more confident (duh!), a better dancer (unsure how this is humanly possible), and supremely emotional. I could be having the best night of my life (which I actually hope really never happens because if the best night of my life occurs in my twenties at a bowling alley bar, then I don’t want to live anymore), but I’m sure I’ll find a reason for a lone tear to roll down my cheek as I discuss something that would only elicit an eye roll from anyone else.
Anyway, if you ever see me sniffling in a dimly lit dive bar corner, I’m fine. My boyfriend isn’t cheating on me. I’m just recapping the last movie I watched while my tear ducts rebel against me. You can stop staring now.
POSTED: August 13th, 2011
It’s Saturday night and I’m a twenty-something with a lot of impulse-purchase dresses, so it would only make sense that I should end up accepting one of many (two, if anyone’s counting) requests for my presence and do something equal parts wild and fashionable with my night.
But I can’t, because I work in the morning. I mean, I always work in the morning, but I work in the morning. Like, my first alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m., a time when I’m sure that multiple someones in a five-mile radius are still working on their fourth “last beer” of the night. I always work Saturdays and Sundays. I can’t figure out if this is me paying my dues, or if this is me inviting torture into my life.
The result is that my mid-week behavior is easily taken out of context and to an outsider, I’m sure I look like a trainwreck.
I typically have Wednesdays and Thursdays off from work. Last Tuesday, once I had finished my 5:30 a.m. to TBD masochistic workweek, I slept. And then I slept. And then I just kept sleeping. I went to bed at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and woke up closer to noon than I’m comfortable admitting on Wednesday. Then my boyfriend took me out to lunch, where I caught a healthy buzz off some drink I can’t even remember and bopped around on my side of the booth until we made the mutual decision that I shouldn’t be in public anymore. We finished the night with a sense of normalcy and played a round mini-golf. (P.S. All things considered, do you think seven strokes on a par-two course is above average? The things that you need to consider are that I have the motor skills of an advanced two-month-old and I don’t know how to make synthetic grass work for me.)
I don’t even know what I did on Thursday. I know that I curled my hair to go bowling, which seems like a lot of effort for absolutely no reason, but when you have my kind of schedule and have more or less accepted that you’re going to look like absolute shit every day in exchange for an extra thirty minutes of sleep, any chance to remind yourself that you’re not entirely unfortunate looking is something you leap at. That’s my sole memory of Thursday: curling my hair for gutter balls.
To recap, that’s seventeen or so hours of sleep in one sitting, one glass too many refilled at lunch, terrible putting efforts, and blacking out for no reason except for a brief recollection of primping for a bowling alley. It looks like a trainwreck, but when you’re on the inside, it’s understandable, right?
I just want a job that doesn’t ruin my manicure and lets me drink when everyone else in my time zone is drinking. Also, a pony.
The plight of sympathetic pukers
POSTED: August 2nd, 2011
I have this problem where I really feel for everyone around me to a fault. Sometimes, it’s like I am them. I mean, unless I’m in an argument with them — then I obviously feel for myself. If you’re not looking out for #1, who is?
Sometimes, these feelings get in the way of… how I actually feel. I don’t know how it works either. When there’s so much going on in here, it’s like a little war takes place within me and I’m powerless to stop it.
If I see someone crying, I start crying. If I see someone angry, I get angry. If I see someone happy, I feel happy. If I see someone talking in a southern accent, I start talking in a southern accent. I know southern accents aren’t really a feeling, but I’m just trying to prove how susceptible to my environment I am. And when I see someone puke, I puke. It’s just the way it is.
(To be fair, I have a weak stomach to begin with — I once vomited over the memory of a cup of coffee and half-and-half I left in the corner of my bedroom for too long.)
It’s gotten to the point that it’s starting to ruin my life. Sometimes, all I can think is: are they going to puke? Am I going to puke?
If I’m out at the bar and I think a friend of mine might have had too much, my anxiety begins to swell. Not for them — as long as they’re not driving or dying, I really don’t care how many shots they feel like doing — but for me. Because I just know that if they run to the bathroom with their hand over their mouth, I’m going to be dry heaving into the street moments later.
If I’m at an amusement park and people close their eyes and look pale and expressionless on rides, I look away and try not to lose my lunch.
If someone tells a disgusting story or joke and other listeners start putting their fingers down their throats in response, I take deep breaths and will my stomach to obey me. We are fine, I tell it soothingly. This too shall pass.
If I find out someone is pregnant, I congratulate them and then sadly inform them that this is actually terrible timing because I’m actually going to be out of the country for the next nine months, so I’llseethemlaterokaybye.
If I make someone a drink at work that I normally pretend doesn’t exist (decaf non-fat extra-dry cappuccinos with Splenda, sugar-free syrup, and an extra shot readily come to mind), I start gagging almost as soon as I start concocting. And God help me if I witness them actually drinking it — it’s all over. It’s gotten to the point where anticipation of vomit makes me want to puke.
Anyway, this is why I have to cut off all human contact and fulfill my longtime dream of becoming a horse. Not only do horses have great eyelashes, but they also lack the ability to puke. These two things are all I’ve ever wanted out of life.
I have a tip for you, too: Stop being such an idiot when you go out to eat
POSTED: July 28th, 2011
There’s something about working in restaurants that makes you quickly come to loathe everyone who has never worked in a restaurant before. To be fair, you will eventually bloom into a full-fledged misanthropist and no longer discriminate when allocating your hatred on the basis of people’s previous careers, but for a moment, it’s just the people who have never worked in a restaurant before that ruin everything.
A mere two hours into my shift last week, I began having intense visions of sugar-plum fairies fluttering through the front door and dropping explosives on every table in the cafe.
When I spill two-hundred degrees of your English Breakfast tea on myself, don’t tell me you’re in a hurry. I apologize that my burning legs have kept you an extra minute and a half from your tight Tuesday schedule. I’ll be sure to make you a new one on the way to limping to the first-aid kit. Don’t worry.
When you cover your pancakes in the entirety of the syrup pitcher, don’t tell me they were “disgustingly sweet” and then inform me of your diabetic condition like it’s my fault that you ordered pancakes and then proceeded to give them a sugar bath.
When you ask for a menu item and then attempt to substitute or remove over half of the ingredients and create your own dish, you are confusing our cafe for your kitchen. Also, your meal is going to be terrible. Our kitchen knows how to cook our menu. Our kitchen will never be able to recreate “this great little omelet” that you had “at a place kind of like this, but in Vermont” last fall.
When you place an order to-go and then tell me that I should just bring it out to your car — “the white SUV over there” — when it’s ready, I will glance at your check total ($7), glance at your tip (except I don’t see one anywhere), and glance at the million other things I need to do that don’t include car service for someone too lazy to wait five minutes for his bagel sandwiches in order to give me enough time to reword my initial response (“Are you fucking kidding me?”).
When I tell you the breakfast specials and you tell me you want “the second one,” to which I clarify, “The spicy breakfast burrito?” and you agree, do not look at me in bewilderment when I deliver it to your table and say, “This is not a scramble.” I am aware. Furthermore, don’t tell me that you would “never order a burrito”, because you just did. And when I offer to either replace your plate or take the meal off your bill even though all I want to do is throw it at you, pick it up off the floor, and throw it at you again, do not be a martyr and in between mumbling how “ridiculous” this is, send me on several missions back to the kitchen to retrieve various things that you need to somehow make this edible.
When you and your family come to the locked door at 4:05, five minutes after we close, and I open it to apologize and inform you that we are, in fact, closed, I did not — contrary to your expression — just slap you in the face. “Do you mean to tell me that just because we’re a couple of minutes late, you’re going to turn away a customer?” you ask. Yes. “I’ve never been treated like this in my entire life!” you exclaim. “I’m never coming here again.” I sympathize, as it must be difficult for forty-five years of your life to pass until you finally realize you are not a princess. Bye now.
And when you place an order at the counter that comes to $8.49 and you hand me a ten and some change — which I count in front of you — that comes out to 32 cents and I give you back $1.83, do not wave your hand at me and tell me, and I quote, “I want two dollars back.” When I look at you in bewilderment and try to explain that I cannot pay you, don’t sigh irritatedly and then tell me, “That’s why I gave you the change. I don’t want coins. This is ridiculous.” Indeed, this is ridiculous. When I tell you that while you did give me change, it was a few coins short of the 49 cents that you would need to receive two dollars, do not dig your hands into the barista tip jar and make up the difference with our money. Are you completely fucking insane? Where has this ever worked for you before?
I don’t understand where society took a wrong turn. We all went to kindergarten together, didn’t we? We learned how to say please, excuse me, and thank you. We learned not to be selfish. We learned right from wrong. So what exactly happened between kindergarten and now that caused half of the population to become needy, whiny, and cheap lunatics with a slew of social disorders the second they cross the threshold into a restaurant?
It’s a really good thing I’m not single
POSTED: July 27th, 2011
Underneath my innate rock star exterior, I am but a delicate butterfly wing of a girl. I’m just trying to make a lasting connection in this world. Do my best to appreciate people, but slightly more importantly, be appreciated, am I right? Know that all hope is not lost, and that the kindness of the people is as alive as my love for Fleetwood Mac, the beautiful incestuous parade of betrayal and dysfunction that they are.
But sometimes people thwart my mission, intentionally or unintentionally, and it hurts. I mean, it’s nothing a warm bath won’t fix, but it’s still not really a feeling I strive for.
Like when I sign on Facebook chat and start typing a message to someone and hit send only to discover the recipient has conveniently just signed off. Are they avoiding me? Excuse me? I’m a delight. I mean, I told myself I was a delight when I was drunk one night and wallowing in my own misery, but a drunk mind speaks a sober heart — there was absolute truth to that thought. I know it’s just my dad I was trying to talk to, but come on.
Or when I take the time to write a fun text message, peppered with quips and observations carefully selected solely for their amusement, and then my phone beeps and my eager eyes are met with their reply: “K.” Or — even worse — “k” with no capitalization and no punctuation. I’m sorry, k? That’s the best you can do? I asked, among many things, an open-ended question that “k” doesn’t even begin to answer.
And what about when I’m trading e-mails back and forth with someone, mere minutes between each exchange, and then suddenly there’s no reply? Did I say something wrong? Is my banter suddenly unwanted? I know that realistically something came up and they’ll get back to me when they can, but what if they hate me now?
Is technological social anxiety disorder in the DSM yet?