You’re prettier in your profile picture.

You’re prettier in your profile picture.

Welcome to a day in the life of my “other messages” folder on Facebook. I give this guy the slightest bit of credit for not just saying “Hey” or some other equally creative greeting, but just the slightest bit…

Inbox stranger: You’re prettier in your profile picture.
Me: Um….weird opening line from a complete stranger, but OK. Tell me something I don’t know.
IS: Seriously, you’re way more of a knockout in your profile picture than you are in the picture with the bald dude in yellow.
Me: Cool. I paid a small fortune for the profile picture. I had hair and makeup done by a professional, and the picture was taken at a strategic angle in warm lighting, using professional equipment being operated by a highly skilled professional. I’d be disappointed if it didn’t look better than the one taken on my Samsung Galaxy after being at work for 12 hours.
IS: You should do your hair and makeup like the one in that picture more often.
Me: Look….I’m sorry I can’t be viewed with perfect hair and makeup in warm lighting at a strategic angle at all times. I’m quite upset by this too, but I’ll always be the girl who would rather sleep for an extra 30 minutes than wake up at 4am to do hair and makeup.
IS: I’m just saying, the picture with the bald dude isn’t as flattering.
Me: Obviously.
IS: So, do you wanna hang some time when you’re out here?
Me: I think I’m going to pass.
IS: Why? Is it because I said you weren’t very attractive in the picture with the bald dude?
Me: You’re going to have to try MUCH harder than that to insult me. There’s literally nothing you could say about my appearance that I haven’t already said to myself. I’m passing because you don’t realize the bald dude is the Lieutenant Governor of the state you live in, and you couldn’t read that in the photo description. I’m passing because you clearly don’t realize the significance of having the opportunity to meet the Lieutenant Governor and his wife in a one on one setting. And I’m passing because the next time I’ll be anywhere near you with free time will be for a campaign event for the Lieutenant Governor, and you’re the last person I would want to take as a plus 1.
IS: Seriously?
Me: I’m also passing because you think the best way to “pick up chicks” is to insult their appearance. So there’s that. Best of luck in the next inbox you slide in to.

†

You guys….I wish I was making this stuff up, but alas, this weirdness actually happened….and is happening on a strangely more regular basis… Oh, and since you’ve spent the last 2 minutes reading about the profile picture versus the one with the bald dude, here’s a little side by side for reference. Of course the one in red looks better. Thank you Captain Obvious.

Advertisements
OK, I’ll Play

OK, I’ll Play

Last year, when the weather was still “Why the hell can’t it be spring already” crap outside, I went to brunch with this super cool guy. While we were chatting up a storm, he asked me “how often do you get hit on by complete strangers because of your job?” I told him “It literally never happens because I have a face for radio.” Then we laughed and moved on. What I didn’t know at the time, was that damn question jinxed me and random strangers have been sliding in to my DMs and being all extra AF on Tinder lately, so thanks a lot counselor.

Let me tell you about the latest person blocked from my Instagram. A few weeks ago, I woke up to a million (slight exaggeration) Insta notifications from someone who had started following me and liked almost every single one of my pictures. A little creepy, but no big deal. Then last week Senior Creeper sent me a super creative direct message, “Hi,” which I ignored because I’m 100% uninterested in messaging someone who has an Instagram account that is like 4 weeks old and is sliding unannounced in to my DMs.

Fast forward a week or so and I had COMPLETELY forgotten about the rando from the Gram when he commented on one of my pictures “ANSWER YOUR MESSAGES.” OK first of all, you can stop yelling at me with your all caps, and secondly, you’ve caught me in a moment of feeling sorry for myself, so I guess responding to some random DM wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Then this happened…

Instagram dude: Hey, thanks for finally answering my message.
Me: You’re welcome.
IGD: Why did you ignore my message?
Me: Do you make a habit of messaging strangers and then chastising them for not responding immediately?
IGD: No, I just think you are very beautiful.
Me: Thank you. I had a team of professionals making sure my profile picture was amazing.
IGD: What are you doing right now?
Me: Laundry
IGD: Why?
Me: I need a new maid because the current one sucks, and also she is me.
IGD: If your maid does not do her work you should get a new one.
Me: (already bored with this conversation, sends a picture of the meme this very joke was taken from) It was a joke.
IGD: Proceeds to ask random questions in idiot’s English, repeating questions as if they’re new, irritating the ever loving hell out of me, then says “Give me your number. I don’t like messaging in Instagram.”
Me: I don’t think so Tim.
IGD: My name is not Tim. Can you message in Hangouts then?
Me: I don’t think so Tim…another joke….from a 90s sitcom. Why is messaging in Hangouts any different than IG?
IGD: I just prefer it.
Me: Ok…

Then the conversation moved to Hangouts, where Instagram dude started right the hell over with the very first question he asked in my DMs. My response “Do we really need to go over all of this again just because you wanted to switch messaging platforms?”

IGD: I am going to ask you 10 questions so we can get to know each other better OK. And then you will ask me questions.
Me: Whatever floats your boat.
IGD: Proceeds to ask the typical “girl on a blind date trying to figure out if you have money” questions. What do you do for a living? What do you drive? Do you own your home? Blah, blah, blah.
Me: Waits longer than 30 seconds to answer because I’m actually doing laundry, and my phone is charging NOT in the laundry room.
IGD: Why are you not answering me? How many other people are you talking to on here. This shows you are online, but you are ignoring me.
ME: Wow. Calm your tits buddy. I already told you I was doing laundry, and responding to this message is not my priority.
IGD: Why are you online if you don’t have time to talk.
Me: Starts answering Sir Creeps-a-lot’s questions.
IGD: I see you are typing but nothing is coming through. Why is it taking so long for you to answer my questions?
Me: Hits send, realizing this conversation is only continuing for the purposes of this very post.
IGD: Those are good answers. Now you must ask me questions, and if you want the same questions I asked you, you have to type them yourself.
Me: Ok…controlling much?
Me: starts typing questions
IGD: Hello, you need to ask me questions.
Me: Annoyed AF sends the following:
If you only had one week left to live, how would you spend it?
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from past relationships?
If you found a magic lamp, what would your 3 wishes be?
What is your favorite place you’ve ever been?
What is your biggest regret?
What is the best book you’ve read this year?
IGD: Those are very good questions. I would wish to be rich, and wish for more wishes. I don’t read books. My biggest regret is my ex.
Me: If you don’t read books, what do you read?
IGD: I don’t read at all.
Me: I don’t think I have time to talk to you anymore….ever.
IGD: I think you would be perfect for a serious relationship.
Me: You’re 100% right, but you’re not the other half of it.

I deleted Mr. Overbearing from my Hangouts contacts right after that ridiculous encounter. 3 days later I received yet another message on the Gram. It read “Why did you quit talking to me on Hangouts?”

Me: I think I was pretty clear when I told you that I didn’t want to talk to you anymore.
IGD: I thought we were getting along just fine.
Me: You thought wrong
IGD: But I’m moving to Salt Lake in September.
Me: Good for you.
IGD: I want to start a business and make lots of money.
Me: Best of luck to you.
IGD: You’ll wish you were nicer to me when I’m rich.
Me: I’m going to block you now. Best of luck finding someone who is in to the controlling type. A word of advice though, you may want to delete your fancy “talking about business” post and redo it with a phone that has the cords in it that go to the handset and wall. Attention to detail might get you a bit farther in your next scam.
IGD: You’re kind of a bitch.
Me: Bye now. Buh bye.


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.

It’s not always who you think it is.

It’s not always who you think it is.

DIkVL_hXkAEUPBc.jpg

If you broke a bone, people would want to sign your cast. If you had a cold, people would offer all kinds of tried and true home remedies for that. If you had cancer, the sympathy and help would pour in. We are 100% OK with helping people with visible illnesses, and that is amazing.

Collectively, we suck when it comes to acknowledging mental illnesses and struggles though. We think that telling someone “you just need to snap out of it,” or “it could be worse,” or “it’s all in your head,” or “there’s more to life than….” is all it takes to magically “fix” people when they just aren’t OK. MAYBE hearing something like that is enough for a few people, but honestly, it’s more likely to just make someone feel even worse, and isolated, and alone.

Monday (9/10) this week was World Suicide Prevention Day. Worldwide, the suicide statistics are pretty damn alarming. Every 40 seconds someone in the world commits suicide, and for every one of those people, it’s estimated another 20 people attempt suicide, or have serious suicidal thoughts. Every 40 seconds. Every. Single. Day.  It goes without saying that we should ALL check on our people, and often. Touch base with your freaking friends and family once in a while, and not just the ones that you think might be depressed, because the truth is, depression looks a whole hell of a lot different than you think it does.

Hollywood depression is easy to recognize: sad, withdrawn, never socializes, cries a lot, sleeps a lot, wears a lot of black, maybe drinks or uses drugs excessively. You’ve seen it in the movies and on TV; you know what I’m talking about. Hollywood depressed is easy to be concerned about, but it’s not all Hollywood depression.

Depression also looks like this:

  • Working 70 hours in 5 days every week to try to stay on top of your finances and having absolutely nothing left to give at the end of the day.
  • Not sleeping at night even though you’re exhausted because it simply takes too much effort to shut your brain down enough to sleep.
  • Spending an ungodly amount of money (that you should probably put towards your own debt) to help someone else survive because at least this way it feels like you’re doing something good for someone.
  • Always feeling like you need to be the “fixer” for other people, because you know what broken feels like, and you don’t want other people to experience that.
  • Being the funny one
  • Buying new clothes even though they absolutely are not in the budget, because the thought of doing laundry is just far too overwhelming.
  • Throwing your dishes away and buying new ones because the kid “cleaned” his room and brought 6 million dirty dishes to the kitchen and left them for you to do.
  • 2 naps on a Saturday because you don’t have anything better to do, and that mess in the house will still be there tomorrow anyway. Besides, you worked 70 hours in the 5 previous days, so it’s not like you don’t deserve to relax.
  • Avoiding church activities so you don’t have to answer questions about your personal life, or complete lack thereof.
  • Spending all the time with the kids because they adore you and you just need someone to think you’re worth it, even if they are 3 years old.
  • Being the one who is constantly there for everyone, no matter when, and no matter what they need, all while wishing someone would just want to do for you even 1/10 of what you do for other people.

Obviously that’s not an all-inclusive list. The point remains though, that depression looks different for EVERYBODY. Some people handle it differently than others, and obviously some people have a much more difficult time with it than others. Just because someone seems like they have everything going their way, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling.

There’s a reason you often hear “I had no idea they were struggling until it was too late.” Life is unbelievably difficult, and the strong ones need support from their people every bit as much as the people they are always working so hard to make sure things are OK for. Check on your people. Yes, even the strong ones. Especially the strong ones.

 

 

Eight years ago today

Eight years ago today

It was 8 years ago today, I know because Facebook memories told me so, that I took my kid, and the girl who I had spent the previous 7 years as her “other mother” (a name given to me by her own amazing mother) to a music festival 3 hours away. It was Friday during the first week of school, and I picked them both up as soon as it was over and we took off to a town 3 hours away so my kid could see the band he wanted to see the most, Finger Eleven. I was the meanest mom in the world for not letting him skip the 3rd day of school so he could make sure he saw all of his favorite band, but that was quickly forgotten as soon as we arrived at the festival, and again when we went back for the second day.

Not that it had anything to do with the music festival, but that was also probably the last year that my kid didn’t actually hate me. I don’t mean the “You won’t let me play with my friend, you’re making me do homework, I can’t have McDonald’s for dinner for the 4th time this week,” I hate you either. The kind of I hate you that I was getting thrown at me was the “It’s your fault I don’t have a dad at home, or someone who wants to be my dad, because nobody can stand to be around you, you never do anything for me, I’m practically raising myself because you’re always at work, it’s your fault I am not doing well in school, we never do anything fun,” kind of hate. You know, the mean, spiteful kind of hate. The punching holes in my walls, breaking everything in the house, underage smoking and drinking, kind of hate. It’s the kind of hate that has left me crying in the shower on more occasions that I will ever admit, wondering where I went so horribly wrong as a parent.

This weekend, I had the chance to talk to another friend of mine, and was completely blown away when I heard that they were having similar problems with their oldest. I listened for 3 hours as this person told me about all of the problems and trials they were having with one of their children, even though the family background couldn’t possibly be more of a polar opposite to the family background at my house. This child was raised in a 2 parent, affluent household, with FAR more conveniences than my kid had, and with the added benefit of one parent working, and the other at home, able to be there for the children at any given time of any given day. This family shouldn’t be having the same problems with their kid as I am with mine. It just doesn’t make sense…at all, right?!

Towards the end of this 3 hour conversation, I realized that we had so much more in common than I ever thought we could. Both of us felt like we had failed at some point as a parent, and couldn’t for the life of us figure out where we went wrong. Both of us saw our value as a person tied directly to how these humans we had raised turned out as adults, and as the conversation wrapped up, we realized we had BOTH come to the conclusion (her through professional counselling and me through boozy conversations with my best friends) that we both gave our children all of the tools we possibly could to be decent humans. They were loved. They had all of their necessities taken care of. They each had plenty of opportunities for the fun extras. They were safe. They had seen first hand how they SHOULD treat other people for their entire lives. How they chose to use these tools was not a reflection on how they were raised, rather it was a reflection of who they were choosing to be, no matter how heartbreaking it was as a parent to watch them turn in to little assholes who didn’t care about anyone but themselves.

So be kind to people you meet; you never know who’s raising teenagers, and in the stolen words of one of the coolest people I’ve met this year, “Hug your people y’all.” (Seriously though, those people raising teenagers who are being assholes for no apparent reason definitely need your hugs.)

20180827_173734.jpg

Confessions

Confessions

These are my confessions, just when I thought I said all I can say…. Just kidding…I’m not Usher, and I have no chick on the side that’s got one on the way, but I do have some random confessions from the past few weeks nonetheless.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I had THE best weekend at a music festival with one of my favorite humans. Coming back to the reality where I don’t get to hang out with this guy every day, live in a hotel, eat pho, go to kick ass concerts, and other unmentionables was mother f-wording brutal. My mental health took one hell of a hit when I had to return to being an adult.
  • After a week of adulting bullshit, I hit a local bar with one of my very oldest friends. She wanted to go, I didn’t want to be around people that I know, but I shut that anxiety ridden portion up with a quick shot of tequila.
  • This weekend was the first time in my entire life that I didn’t have to pay for any of my drinks at a bar, and not just because my friends were paying this time. Total strangers paid for most of my drinks. I had to turn drinks down because I was the one driving. So, this is what it’s like for pretty girls. Not a bad feeling. I’m glad I could be an imposter for the night…although I could have lived without the “I just did a shot with the chick from X94” declaration…
  • One such stranger decided to hang out with us all night. I’m 100% unsure on the etiquette surrounding someone who drops $5 on a vodka soda for you because he’s trying to get in your friend’s pants, so we just chilled with the dude and some other random people until last call.
  • I felt ZERO shame when I wouldn’t let vodka soda dude physically drag me out on the dance floor, listened to his comments about how surprisingly strong I was, and then left him in the dust when the DJ dropped the Cupid Shuffle. C’mon….it’s like the Macarena…one doesn’t just stand around when that’s playing. You get your ass to the dance floor.
  • Met some guys from Texas….momentairly broke their hearts when I asked how they manage to live in Utah without Whataburger. Made up for it by offering to make fun of their enemies on the air.
  • Refrained from laughing when vodka soda guy tried to get me to drink more so he could take my friend and me home. Yeah….sorry friend. My liver is a champion, and 4 drinks over 4 hours isn’t leaving me stranded in a bar. Did you notice how I kept funneling your drinks to my BFF? It was my night to be the responsible one, even if those goosebumps were proof that my body betrayed me when you decided you were going to grab my ass and pull my hair.
  • Decided I felt a little too old and had an equally old friend play Jr. High with me. Good news…the boy I had her talk to for me is single. Bad news….in this stupid backwards state, “Do you want to grab a drink with me” apparently means “I love you and we should get married tonight,” and not the “hey, we should just get a drink and catch up” that it means in the rest of the civilized world, so yeah….that probably won’t go anywhere, but it was fun to be 14 years old again for a minute.
  • Met (OK….matched on Tinder, whatever) a ridiculously cool guy and had some pretty amazing conversations with him for about 4 days. The guy challenged me mentally. That’s a difficult task. He also knew the damn difference between your and you’re, which is apparently a lost art. He told me he hated me for where I live, so that’s where that went. (Don’t get pissed at him….It’s a valid concern!)
  • A freaking meme I saw on Facebook made me realize I tripped in to some feelings. That hit me like a ton of damn bricks. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I keep trying to brush them off, but they’re like glitter and they get freaking everywhere. Wanna know what it said? Here it is: “I have to be honest with you. I think about you a lot. All the time actually. In the morning, at night, in the middle of the day. It’s you. It’s just always you.” Shit…. Also, it’s not about the recent Tinder guy. Yeah, I know I live in Utah, but unlike the vast majority of the state, I am perfectly capable of having coffee with a guy without thinking that means we’re now in a committed relationship.
  • The kid is back home. I have no idea how long it will last, but I just about lost my shit when I told him to take the trash out and he told me “I worked 13 hours today, and I don’t need your attitude.” Um….excuse me, but last I checked, this was my house, and for the record, I worked 16 hours, so take the effing trash out and pick your pants up off the kitchen floor. (One of us may die, and my life insurance policy is worth more, so if I come up missing, y’all know what happened. Joke’s on him though; he’s not listed as the beneficiary!)
  • Did you notice the kid told me he worked 13 hours? Yeah….one of my friends took pity on him again. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up. I’m running out of local friends; especially ones that might take pity on the lost soul that is my kid…
  • I managed to make it 10 days without washing my hair. I didn’t need dry shampoo at all. I only washed it on Sunday morning because I smelled like the bar. I still am not certain whether it was the shitty mental health, or the 16 hour days at work that made the task so daunting. I’m also 100% unclear whether I should be impressed that I didn’t need to wash the green mess for that long, or if should be a little concerned that I was OK waiting that long to wash it…
Build your ideal partner

Build your ideal partner

Memes other people post provide me with endless entertainment on social media. Yesterday’s most memorable: Ladies, you have $5 to build your ideal man. Here are the options.

  1. Good looking $3
  2. Funny $1
  3. Smart $1
  4. Great in bed $2
  5. Faithful $3
  6. Wealthy $3
  7. No kids $1
  8. Tall $1
  9. Great body $2
  10. Romantic $2

People’s responses in the comments were cracking me up. (For the record, almost all of them were liars who said 10 and 5 were all they needed.) My response: It’s a good thing I manage money better than your average girl, because 1-5 are non-negotiable. This response garnered plenty of laughing reactions as well as a message telling me once again that I’m too picky and will never find someone who fits my impossible standards.

Laugh at me all you want; it’s part of my profession after all, but don’t tell me I’m too picky. Can I “build” something I’ll settle for within the limits of the game? Sure, but the game didn’t ask what I’ll settle for; I was asked to build my ideal partner. So in life, as in internet memes, I’ll continue to not play by the rules, or settle just because “it’s time for you to settle down with a nice boy…or girl if that’s what you’re in to.” Life is too short to settle just because everyone thinks you should, and options 1-5 truly are non-negotiable.