You can’t say that on the air: Rudest Road Trip Ever

You can’t say that on the air: Rudest Road Trip Ever

This afternoon, while trying to decide if I could make it another 5 hours at work without a nap, I started scrolling through my camera roll and came across this little gem I took a picture of before I left for DC at the beginning of this month. It comes courtesy of one of our morning show prep services, but since we’re a terrestrial radio station in a pretty conservative state, there’s just no getting away with telling this story on the air. Like not at all, but my 15 year old boy sense of humor just couldn’t let this one go. So, for the 15 year old boy in all of us, here’s the story of the rudest road trip ever.

British brothers Magnus and Andy Tait recently took a tour of their homeland. However, it was no ordinary road trip as they spent six years mapping out a 2000 mile journey to the country’s rudest locales, from Fanny Street to Butthole Lane. The brothers also visited Titty Ho, Sandyballs, Cockermouth, Penistone, Shitterton, Lickfold, Fingringhoe, Slutshole Lane, Rimswell, and Wetwang. Andy dreamed up the idea after he drove past a place called South Gash , in Northern Scotland and couldn’t help but laugh at the sign. However, Andy said his favorite stop on the journey was Wilsford Cum Lake.

Yeah…that happened…and I laughed almost uncontrollably for about 5 minutes over this one, because as I’ve mentioned, I have the sense of humor of a 15 year old boy, and this road trip puts Utah to shame, where the best we can do to even compete with that is take a trip through the Fillmore Beaver area as we head to St. George, and the fine folks at UDOT have taken ALL of the fun out of that trip by removing Beaver from the road signs until you pass the Fillmore exits.

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Self Care on Steroids

Self Care on Steroids

Exactly how much can you get away with in the name of self care? Asking for a friend….except that friend is myself….and I don’t really care how much I can get away with as self care, because I needed it, and there’s literally nobody telling me I can’t..not even the fine folks at American Express.

My mental health has been a somewhat rapidly declining shit show for the past couple of weeks. I know what I could do to change it, but I also know that the change I REALLY want to make isn’t a feasible solution, because there’s that whole house I need to sell, job I’d need to find, and ridiculously overpriced new housing market, so really, it’d just introduce an entirely new kind of stress in my life.

Weekends are the absolute worst, because if I’m not out of town, I spend WAY too much time alone with my thoughts, and trust me when I say, this isn’t a pleasant place to be sometimes. So this weekend, I forced myself to go out in public and actually do something instead of sitting at home in a horrible anxiety cycle feeling sorry for myself. I went to lunch with some friends, snuggled a brand new baby, and had a delicious drink, then shared my pictures from my photo shoot I did in December with them, because they’re in my car all the time and they wanted to see them. I got my eyebrows waxed so I didn’t have to do it myself, bought an Italian soda, and had a pedicure and massage, all in the name of self care.

The problem was, I still had to go home, and that’s where all the solo self care in the world doesn’t help, because the whole being in public by myself thing is doable, but being home by myself is just so soul sucking lately. So, I did the only thing I could think of that would work, short of taking enough Benadryl to sleep until Monday, and texted my best friend a meme that said “If I tell you I need you, do not take it lightly. I do everything I can to never have to depend on anyone, to never show weakness, and if I say that I need you, it means I am trusting you to catch me when I fall.” And boy did he ever catch me, instantly, and from over 100 miles away. He momentarily fixed literally everything I tried to shop away in the name of self care over the course of an hour’s worth of back and forth text messages. (Yes, I know a phone call would be easier, but 1- I don’t use my phone for that, and 2- The kinds of things he was saying, are really best when you’re able to read them again, and again, and again, and again, because they’re the kinds of things a girl just needs to hear more than once.)

That text message exchange was the best “self care” I ever could have asked for, and I could have stopped there, BUT…I didn’t. The next day, I shopped again in the name of self care and bought a designer pen that I didn’t need, but hey, it was Ted Baker, and it was insanely affordable, so #selfcaresunday justification for that one. 3pm nap. Self care, check. Post work grocery store run for all of the sparkling water flavors. Self care, check. Ice cream for dinner… Self care, check…check…checkity check. But wait, there’s more! Monday manicure in the name of self care, you bet! Finally caving to the Easter candy section of the grocery store and then eating eggs for dinner…..Cadbury eggs that is. Sure, why not. It’s self care after all!

That’s a whole lot of self care justified shopping/pampering over the course of 72 hours, and I’m not about to start thinking I shouldn’t have done it, or that I didn’t deserve one bit of it, but now it’s really probably time for the hard part of self care. The part where I need to have a serious conversation with my doctor about my stress levels and mental health in the name of self care. The part where I eat the whole foods, and do the cardio in the name of self care. The part where I keep surrounding myself with people who are good for me, and let go of the ones who aren’t, all in the name of self care. It’s time for the real self care, not just the fun kind, because self care isn’t all massages and manicures.

Well THAT was a horrible idea…

Well THAT was a horrible idea…

Something you should know about me: I don’t do New Year’s resolutions….at all. I fully intend on remaining the same adorable smart-ass you know and love (or hate) every single year, without pretending I’m going to be a better person just because the year on the calendar changed. Something else you should know about me: a good friend of mine was not wrong when he once said “You and Paul (his son) are just too damn stubborn for your own good.”

I’m pretty consistent at following through with something, even if it was a horrible idea to begin with. Case in point: Operation Squatty Potty Body. No, you won’t find it on Google, because I just made it up yesterday on Snapchat, and then shared it to my Instagram, because I figured if I was laughing at my own stupid joke all day, someone else might giggle too.

So, what exactly is Operation Squatty Potty Body? Well, it’s absolutely NO reference to the stool that fits at the base of your commode and has a cult following. Yesterday, I decided it was time to start drinking more water, partly so I had a reason to leave my office several times a day, and partly because I really need to drink more water. I have also REALLY been missing my CrossFit family lately. I mean, I know I haven’t been there in like 3 years now, maybe more, but I REALLY miss it, and having the time for it, and every single thing that goes along with it, so I told myself “Hey, you should just do 20 squats every time you have to go to the bathroom!” Not too bad right? Drink, squat, pee, repeat….Operation Squatty Potty Body…get it?

Sounds like a great idea….right up until the time you realize that drinking over a gallon of water means a LOT more trips to the bathroom than usual, but I wasn’t about to give up. It’s my February thing after all, BUT I’m not entirely stupid either. I scaled it back to 10-15 squats each bathroom break, and I’ll just increase that number by 5 each week.

When all was said and done, in addition to the 30 or so flight of stairs I get to climb every day, I had done somewhere around 150 squats yesterday. This morning, my body said “everything hurts and I’m dying” but my brain said “don’t you dare quote Parks and Rec to me to get out of this” and since I’m “too stubborn for my own good” here I am, another 80 squats in to the day, sitting at my desk thinking “Would it REALLY be that bad to just pee your pants to avoid another round of squats?” I mean, I already know the answer to that is yes, it would really be that bad, because I’m 38 years old, and it’s far too cold outside to go home with wet pants, so 15 more squats it is, because I am an adult after all, and last time I checked it was frowned upon for able bodied adults to wet themselves. That, and there’s NOBODY at my work that would take one for the team Billy Madison style and tell everyone else all the cool kids are peeing their pants…

Just say no….to early morning texting

Just say no….to early morning texting

Once upon a time, I had a Samsung Galaxy S3. It had this handy little feature where you could set a delivery delay on texts, so if you hit send and then instantly realized that you added a picture you didn’t mean to, or sent it to the wrong person, or in my case, needed to correct a “smart” phone grammar error because looking like a moron is something that you don’t want to do, you could cancel the sending of the message and fix whatever you messed up. I miss that. I ALMOST needed that yesterday.

Do you happen to remember last year, late-ish February, when the Utah Bar Association made national news by sending out information about their annual conference? It’s not that the conference was so shocking that it warranted national news, but someone “accidentally” included a photo of a very lovely topless woman in the email that went out to every single member of the Utah Bar Association. Immediately after sending the email, another one went out that said in a nutshell “Hey, DO NOT OPEN THE LAST EMAIL THAT WE SENT YOU!” Of course this meant that the email was opened by probably every single attorney and judge in the state instead of sending it to the garbage like most of the emails sent from the Bar Association. Yes, every single attorney and judge in the state saw that email that according to an attorney friend of mine “Perked up an otherwise mundane Monday.” (You’ll see why this little story was important in just a minute.)

Here’s the deal. I finally narrowed down my pictures from the boudoir shoot I did to 25 out of the 100 or so that were sent to me. I wasn’t 100% sure those were the ones I wanted, but I also hadn’t changed them in a week either, so going with a gut feeling, those were THE ones. My sweet photographer also noticed that I had 25 images that sat in my favorite images for a hot minute, so she worked up the book that came with my shoot and sent me a message with the link to the proof yesterday morning. I LOVED it. All of it! And what do girls do with things that they love? Of course…share them with our besties. Here’s where it gets fun….

I had several text conversations going that morning, including one to the “perked up an otherwise mundane Monday” friend of mine a few minutes before receiving the link to the photo book. When I copied the link for the book, my phone automatically selected the last person I had texted, and me, thinking it was one of the Best Bitches trio, ALMOST hit send. Fortunately, in my not quite fully caffeinated state, I thought “Maybe I should check that text first,” and spared myself from sending it to my attorney friend, effectively submitting my 25 picture application for Ms. Utah Bar Association 2019.

So yeah…I don’t think I’ll be forwarding any pre-caffeine messages to anyone any time soon, because I’m not sure there’s a way to recover from that one, other than “Please forward my application to the appropriate member of the Utah Bar Association. Thank you for your consideration.”

Unnecessary Apologies

Unnecessary Apologies

“I’m sorry.” How often do you say it without even thinking about it? If you’re lacking a Y chromosome, I’m guessing you’re an awful lot like me and say it FAR too often. Why though? Why the need to blurt out those words to make someone feel better about the shitty things they do to you? 

I realized what a problem the almost immediate “I’m sorry” is for me this weekend. How? Well, it’s all because I had a little come to Jesus therapy session with one of the sweet phlebotomists at the American Red Cross when I donated blood this weekend.  Here’s the deal, she had an AMAZING color on her fingernails and I was heading out for a pedicure after donating blood and wanted to know where she got them done. When I commented on how great her manicure was, she said “Thanks. They messed up this part though. Look. It’s bubbling. I hate to be that person, but I just got it yesterday, so I called them and said ‘I’m really sorry, but this is lifting, and I’m a single mom who did this as a treat for myself for Christmas. Is there any way I can come get this fixed?'”

That’s right, she was literally apologizing for wanting the nail salon to fix their mistake. They had no reason to NOT fix it, and they did apologize and tell her to come in so they could take care of it, but she still apologized to them for their faulty work. So I asked her “As women, why do we feel the need to apologize for things that are CLEARLY not our fault?” She looked at me as dumbfounded as I imagine we would have looked if someone had said that to me. Because I didn’t want to sound like I was judging her, and I genuinely wanted to just bounce this idea off of another person, I told her what I had apologized for in the past 24 hours that was absolutely unnecessary. 

  • I’m sorry. I just can’t stay at work any longer today (after spending 50 hours at work during the week).
  • I’m sorry: to a co-worker complaining about their check when in reality, your check sucks because YOU didn’t work the hours you were scheduled.
  • I’m sorry: To the drive up employee who dropped my money when I handed it to him and had to wait while I got out of my car and picked it up. 
  • I’m sorry: to the bank employee who didn’t send me a receipt for my deposit, so I had to ask for it. 
  • I’m sorry: to the people who’s Christmas party I won’t attend if the person who sexually harassed me last year is there. 
  • I’m sorry: to the person who straight up ran in to me with their cart at Trader Joe’s because they weren’t paying attention. (related: Trader Joe’s is a special kind of hell on a Saturday afternoon. That is something I don’t need in my life ever again. That dill havarti of theirs is amazing, but TOTALLY not worth that crowd. And I forgot the portobello mushroom soup I went in there for in the first place!) 
  • I’m sorry: to my best friend’s sister who I dropped Christmas presents off to so he could pick them up from her house. 
  • I’m sorry: to the person who had to step back at the automatic door to avoid being hit by it because they were trying to go out the in door at the same time I walked up to the in door.

Seems a bit excessive doesn’t it? It doesn’t even end there. She rattled off some more of her unnecessary apologies, and before she was done taking my health history, we both decided that maybe, just maybe it was time to start a New Year’s Resolution right now. Enough with the unnecessary apologies! Why apologize when you’ve done NOTHING wrong?! There simply isn’t a reason, because the way I see it, when you apologize for other people’s shitty behavior, or just their mistakes, it doesn’t make you the “bigger person,” it just makes it easier for people to walk all over you. 

I’ve already had a chance to put that whole “no unnecessary apologizing” to work, and it’s killing me. You see….Last Monday, I made plans to meet with my person (My Meredith and Christina person, not my Meredith and Derek person….I’m still not convinced the latter exists) on Saturday. Friday night, he told me he forgot I was coming out, and made other plans, but he’d see what he could do in the morning. Cool….Friday night, I apologized to him for not reminding him that I was going to be out on Saturday. Stupid right?

Saturday morning: Crickets.
Saturday day: Crickets.
Saturday night: Crickets
Sunday afternoon: “Ugh. My phone was lost. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet up with you.”
My Sunday afternoon response: “I’m glad you found it. :)”

My new phlebotomist friend would be so happy that I didn’t cave on our deal and apologize unnecessarily. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, because my unnecessary apologizing behavior wants to send another text that says “I’m sorry it’s been radio silence the last day or so. My feelings were kind of hurt when you forgot that I was coming out and made other plans and I didn’t want to add my stupid girl emotions to whatever else you have going on.” Look, I already feel like I’ve accomplished something by not using the phrase “you hurt my feelings” and instead used “my feelings were hurt when….” The second version seems so much less accusatory, and just feels like a more healthy way to express disappointment. 

At any rate, I’ve been successful at the end of the year “New Year’s resolution” for 48 hours now, which is about 40 hours longer than I’ve ever managed to keep any other New Year’s resolution, so maybe the end of December is a better time to start with that nonsense anyway. I look forward to checking in with the Red Cross vampire in 55 days when I can donate again to see if we both still realize that you can be compassionate, sympathetic, and caring without apologizing for crap you didn’t do, or don’t need to apologize for. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (But not really…)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (But not really…)

The 4th quarter is my least favorite time of the entire year. Yes, it’s even worse than the 6 weeks of summer where I don’t get a single day off and am stuck in town for the long haul. I mean, I don’t HATE everything about the 4th quarter, but the parties for hosting, gay happy meetings, misteltoeing, and caroling out in the snow are just not my cup of eggnog. (Oh yeah, and eggnog is gross too.) I don’t watch Hallmark style Christmas movies unless I’m REALLY deep in to a self loathing cycle, and I could do without Christmas music in any form except classical until the day of Christmas.

“But Annalee, what kind of Christmas movies do you watch then?”

Good question! The Die Hard franchise, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Gremlins, and Bad Santa. Who needs feel good Christmas movies anyway?!

 But I digress, this isn’t an “I hate Christmas” post. Far from it actually. I love the excitement little kids have on Christmas, and I love the serving others part of the holidays. What I hate, is that after Halloween, the remainder of the 4th quarter is basically a whole lot of “Will you be bringing anybody with you this year” or “Hey, can I steal you from your family tonight so everyone will just question my sexual orientation instead of wondering why I’m still single?” Yep…It’s 2 full months of Valentine’s Day-like hell.

 I’m usually pretty good at avoiding this line of questioning really. It’s easy; I just hang with the kids. They’re usually more fun anyway. This year, however, one of my very oldest friends is getting married in the beginning of December. This guy has pulled me through some pretty rough times. Namely, when my parents got divorced, and he took it upon himself (with the help of his kick ass girlfriend at the time) to make sure I was eating and sleeping. I was the permanent third wheel in their relationship for at least a month. So he’s getting married, and I’m not even sad that I’m losing my “If we’re both single when we’re 45, we’ll just get married” back up plan. (Rom-Com plot…gross! Also, I don’t think it was 45 either, but we haven’t quite reached that age yet, so it works) Here’s what sucks about this. He’s getting married on a weekend. The ONLY weekend that I could fly to the PNW for a quick wedding weekend, and I don’t have a soul to go with me.

 I know what you’re thinking. I thought about it too. There’s only like 5 million Hallmark style Christmas movies with the same plot. I could ask a guy friend to go with me, or hire a stranger to come with me and pretend that we’ve been quietly dating for months. We’d go to the wedding, get snowed in during a rare Portland blizzard, and fall madly in love before we have to come home. Yeah, I just threw up a little in my mouth too. This is precisely the reason I won’t just ask a guy friend to come with me. I can’t turn my life in to the plot of a Christmas movie, especially when I’m absolutely certain those kind of Christmas movies exist only to make single people feel even worse about themselves during the time of year when everyone is coupled up and happily celebrating. So, even though I’m DYING to wear that black Michael Kors in a public setting, I’m skipping the wedding in favor of crashing their life for a weekend during the summer when we can all chill, instead of spending a week’s worth of wages to play dress up and hang out with a bunch of people I don’t know. It’ll be better weather, and there won’t be the winter season PLUS wedding weirdness that comes along with still not seeing anyone. As an added bonus, I won’t have to hear “You’re such a nice girl, I just don’t understand why someone hasn’t just snatched you right up.” At least I’m not alone in this though. You see, as I was sitting in my office throwing myself one hell of a pity party because I had convinced myself that I can’t go to a winter wedding alone, even though I really need some Jones brothers in my life soon, when the real reason is that 8 days prior to the wedding, the county I live in will be stealing all of my discretionary spending money in the form of a giant ass property tax bill, I received a snapchat from another dear friend of mine. It was a picture of the invitation to her office Christmas party captioned “Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets severe anxiety at the idea of going to a Christmas Party alone. I know I could take one of my girl friends, but I’m sick of going without a guy. I’m tempted to call up an ex and see if he’ll go with me just so rumors stop about me being a lesbian… Or so I don’t have to feel self-conscious walking in and sitting by myself.” You are definitely not alone…. Solidarity sister. This single shit is hard, but at least we don’t have someone blaming us when they’re the ones who burned the dinner beyond recognition, so there’s that.
The one with the regret

The one with the regret

I’m not the kind of person who typically regrets anything. I have a huge parenting regret though, and I didn’t even realize it until this weekend.

I’ve struggled with eating disorders since I was 13 years old. That’s just over a quarter of a century dealing with an eating disorder for those of you who know me and are doing the math. I WISH I was as fat as I was when I first thought I was fat. Mother eff…I REALLY wish I was as fat as I was when I was when I was 3 months in to post baby, depression fueled anorexia. If you know me now, you’ll see that I CLEARLY beat anorexia though. I mean, I’m not morbidly obese or anything (even if that’s what I see in the mirror…thanks to the eating disorder brain), but my body definitely says “loves tacos and tequila…and all the rest of the food.”

Here’s where this leads to the regret. I think it must be a universal thing that kids love the water. I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t love to swim, slip-n-slide, run through sprinklers, or anything that involves a swimming suit and water. I live by some amazing lakes, we can swim in the river, and we have a pretty kick ass rec center pool. Do you want to know how many times I put on a swimming suit and took advantage of any of those experiences with my kid? Aside from a year or so where I had someone in my life who was seeing me naked on the regular, so it didn’t really matter how fat I thought I looked in a swimming suit at the lake with him and the kids (his and mine, not ours), I can count them on one hand. That’s not to say my kid was totally deprived of all water experiences. I just didn’t experience them with him. I sat on the sidelines, like so many other moms, terrified of what people would think of me if I just put on the damn bathing suit and joined my kid in the water.

This weekend, my best friend brought his kids to the tiny town I live in. They stayed at a hotel, partly so they had their own space with no questions back home as to the sleeping arrangements at my place, and partly because it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve had a toddler in my house, and it is NOT a toddler friendly place. (That, and I don’t have TV, so I needed something to help with the cool factor that I would have otherwise been COMPLETELY lacking…) Of course, since there are no Hilton properties in my town, and I refuse to willingly spend any of my money on any Marriott property ever, I just picked the nicer of the 2 hotels near my house, and made sure the pool was in working order before I made reservations for them.

Because this friend is one of the few people in the world I feel 100% comfortable around, you can bet I joined them in the pool, and you know what? Those kids didn’t care one bit that I am without a doubt packing around a few thousand (slight exaggeration) extra pounds. They didn’t care that once my top was wet, it clung painfully and uncomfortably close to my food baby. (Alright, alright…it wasn’t PHYSICALLY painful and uncomfortable….but you guys…I have an eating disorder brain, and the mental struggle was real.) You know what they did care about? They cared that I could balance on one foot, while the 9-year-old stood on my thigh, counting to 3 before I pushed him as high as possible out of the water so he could come crashing back down in to it for maximum splashing. They cared that I could lift the 3-year-old out of the water and on to the side so he could jump back in to me, and make sure I kept his head out of the water over, and over, and over again. They cared that I could do that for 2 solid hours, two different times that day. ALL they cared about was that there was someone there, playing with them, in the freaking water. The sheer joy was infectious. I haven’t had so much fun in the town where I live in YEARS.

I missed out on the one and only chance I had to experience things like this with my own kid. I missed out on that kind of pure joy because I was too damn worried about what other people would think if they saw me in a swimming suit, and after this weekend, I regret the hell out of that.  It’s one of the few things I’d change if I could rewind and try again. So learn from me being soooooo incredibly stupid, and just put on the damn swimming suit and play in the water with those tiny humans of yours. They’ll never forget it, and either will you.