Beauty Call

Bath & Body Works is my jam. Especially their Eucalyptus and Spearmint Sugar Body Scrub. The directions instruct you to rub the mixture into your skin and rinse it off in 20 minutes, leaving your body feeling smooth and soft to the touch. The first time I tried this mess, I decided to rub into my skin until it dissolved. The process took 45 minutes total. That night I met up with a guy I was seeing and he likened me to the best candy he ever had in his life. This reaction gave me the go ahead to utilize this green slop every time I wanted to seduce, uh, I mean, go out with guy. Whenever I would emerge from my bathroom with the strong scent of eucalyptus wafting from the shower, my roommate would ask if I had a date. I say all this because I do not mess around with said sugar scrub, therefore I do not like to waste it on lame occasions like going to work or brunch. I would also like to point out at this time that it is never included in the quad-annual sale at the fragrance store, so it’s usually expensive. So when I wasted the last few scoops of my love potion on a guy who stood me up a few weeks back, to say I was furious would be an understatement.

Fellas, today I’m going to allow you to hear an honest, first-hand account of the worst kept secret in today’s society- the sick, underworld known as the “Female Beauty Regimen in Accordance to Permitted Male Touch“. When you come into contact with a woman, there are levels of physical preparation that you cannot comprehend and you will never fathom. For example, if my hair is in a messy bun, nothing is happening. But if I’ve spent all day in a salon getting my hair blown out, I want to be seen, even if its to parade around Publix. But it’s usually for a night on the town or on a hot date with you. But understand this- if a woman has accepted  a date, coffee meet-up, booty call, or your hand in marriage, she has already prepared for this occurrence well before you even thought about asking. The most important thing you need to take away from this expose’ is that you are never in control of how you close you will get to a woman, EVER. This is all determined by the amount of body hair she has maintained before seeing you ( among other things, but I can only discuss one huge topic at a time).

So, we’re diving right in. Here’s a quick guide to determine a woman’s willingness to let you near her, or allow herself to be seen by anyone for that matter, with reference to body maintenance:

Level 1- NO SHAVING: She’s wearing jeans on your date, and you are not staying over. You probably won’t even see the inside of her apartment. There will be no caressing of any ankles, and she’s half-laughing at your jokes. She may even be upset. In fact she may not want to see anyone, and wears pants to work for as long as possible. Lotion is a maybe.

Level 2- LEGS SHAVED, FROM ANKLE TO ABOVE THE KNEE: On top of busting out the skirts at work, you are permitted to go on a date with her, but that’s the only guarantee. She is wearing the new dress she bought at Nordstrom Rack because she thinks you might be worth it, and if you’re lucky, you might get a smooch. She legitimately cares about where this is going, and allows you to be within inches of her. Her moisturizer regimen is important, but she’s not necessarily busting out the Kiehl’s for you.

Level 3- ENTIRE LEGS SHAVED: Ok, so now we’re getting serious. She has now elevated the shaving process to the thigh vicinity (hey, before you get all weird, you have no idea what women have to maintain. Men and women are created equal, and this goes for the ability to grow body hair- just ask your momma). She is feeling kinda saucy, and really wants to wear a skirt that feels smooth on her legs. She has busted out the “Peach Bellini Rose Apricot Pineapple Splash” lotion she bought on sale at B&BW, which will last until you all at least have appetizers. But she is letting you know she cares. There is still no guarantee that your date/girlfriend/wife will let you all the way around the bases, but you are about 2 bottles of Rose’ away from her saying, “fuck it”, and not caring that you might come into contact with her fuzzy hip bone.

Level 4- HAIRLESS CAT ZONE: You might have picked the bar where you’re having drinks, but she determined the fate of your entire night at around 7am that morning. Whether she has spent $5K+ to laser her entire body, or she’s spent all day weed-whacking and letting a lady named Helga abuse her, she is the master of both your fates. She deserves an award, your complete attention, and a medal.

As mentioned previously,  since we control everything, the most egregious violation of a woman’s beauty routine is when it’s completed in vain. Remember when I talked about losing my last few drops of sugar scrub on a failed date? The first time it happened was a few years back, when I used so much of the scrub (along with achieving Level 4 on the Body Hair Scale), that I literally slipped off my bed, and into a deep depression and anger like I’ve never seen before. I was legitimately concerned at how upset I was at this fool who made me spend 2 hours getting all gussied (GRANDMA WORD ALERT) up, only to stay home and sleep on greased up, yet fragrant sheets.

You know our beauty routines are a wild, difficult mess. Yes, we hold your fate in our hands, but man, it’s a lot of work. Waxing things, plucking eyebrows, using paint-by-number to color our faces – we do it for a reason, and you’re one of them. Sure, we want to feel good in our own, sun-kissed skin, and the only love that really matters is the love you give yourself.  But you BETTER BELIEVE that if we never had to go outside or see you, we’d all be full-on Chia Pets, with messy buns and yoga pants on for all of eternity.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

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The Fake Confidence Project

How do you pretend to be confident when you tip the scales at the highest weight you’ve ever been? That the thought of going out on a date makes you nauseous because once he finds out the truth about them angles, he’s going to politely ghost you after your first date? It’s hard to keep hope alive at 38, when I’m not supposed to be single and receiving dick picks, but middle school daughter hormones and my husband’s knack for farting in his sleep. I try to pretend that I’m not depressed, because I cannot accept that diagnosis. So what a time to decide to confident, when all you want to do is sleep, eat fries, and lie in agony from said fry binge? Of course, it’s a great time to finally love yourself!

This is by no means a pity party, and not an invitation to check in on me (but please free and send money). I thought it would be extremely healthy to pretend to be the most confident woman in history since the first woman who drew her own eyebrows walked out of the house. I know what you’re all thinking- how can she be that hilarious, smart, and with such gorgeous hair and NOT be confident? Seems unfathomable, right?

But I worry about everything. And anything. And everybody. It’s quite disturbing. I mean, why should I care what the 10-year-old in the hot tub thinks of me when I decide to relax in my two-piece? But I do. Does it even make sense to secretly “investigate” the significant other of someone I’m not even in love with? But it has happened. In my quest to love myself, I’m still missing that golden piece of confidence. I have friends and loved ones who are extremely confident in themselves, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and fashion choices. So why in the world can’t I do it? Is it even possible to FAKE extreme confidence? Well, we’re going to try this week, because I’m super emotional, my hormones are raging, and nothing else has worked, so why not fake it until I make it…until I actually do?

I started the week off by reading an article online about “10 ways to boost your confidence overnight”,  because hey, my life needs to change by 12pm tomorrow. I tried my best to apply these practices all week, and uh, let me tell you how it went:

1. EXERCISE: Working out gives you endorphins, and that breeds confidence. Well, I do feel good right after I work out, so I tried to kick it up a notch. And by kick up a notch, I mean go to the gym more than once a week. Went to spin class, walked a couple of times, and I even color coordinated my workout gear. I plan to hike it up to 4 times a week, so things are getting pretty serious- as long as I stop eating the donuts.

2.  POSTURE & BODY LANGUAGE: I’ve always had posture issues due to Thelma & Louise. Most women would exude confidence having an ample bosom, but I’ve always tried to hide them. So I this week, I did give some serious thought to standing up straight. I just ended up feeling like a peacock, and folded the twins back into hiding.

3. GET DRESSED UP: On the first day, I got up early, washed my hair, shaved everything, plucked my brows, and even colored on my face. And people noticed. Mostly because I never care about my appearance, so most people asked if I had a job interview. And since I like sleep way more than my looks, I quickly retreated back into my IDGAF attire in order to enjoy my 30 additional minutes of slumber. But I’ll keep thinking about it dressing up… while I sleep.

4. SMILE: When I smile, it’s either a Chandler Bing situation, or an invitation to harass me. My resting bitch face is pretty stellar, so I tried to smile at everyone. The experiment worked in the office, so I think a few more people will hold the elevator door and offer me cafecito. Unfortunately, when I smiled in the streets, I was propositioned by a homeless man. The pros and cons of being nice in the city…

5. PUMP UP THE JAMS: I will say I was most productive this past week when I listened to my “Hardcore Workout” mix at work. Something about having 8Ball & MJG screaming in your ear while you write copy, allows you to flourish, feel good, and refuse to accept any further drama.

6. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: I’m a pretty kind person, so I decided to be nice to my enemies this week. Just kidding, I don’t have enemies, and neither do you. We all just have people we don’t like and who don’t like us. So I was super nice to people who kinda suck, and it did NOT make me any more confident. So I moved on to holding open elevators and getting a contact high for the sake of Jesus (I’ll tell that story one of these days).

7. LIST THE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF: I just realized I missed this one – what a surprise. So I’ll give you 3: 1- I spell better than anyone I know, 2- I’m pretty funny, and 3- BRUTAL HONESTY: I can’t think of a third, and those first two took longer than you can possibly imagine. Man, faking the funk is much harder than it seems. I feel like I need to change the subject for everyone feeling extremely awkward right now. Um, hey, LeBron is going to the Lakers and he still won’t win! HAHAHAHAHA…. feel better?

8. CHANGE YOUR “SELF TALK”: Epic fail. Fake it until you make can only extend so far, and I did give it my best effort. I applauded myself for not eating a 2nd donut hole the other day, then resumed my daily personal sabotage like my life depended on it. But this is definitely something that we all need to do, and I believe that if you tell yourself you’re the shit enough, eventually you will be.

9. MEDITATE DAILY: I cannot. Truth be told, I tried to mediate for five minutes with friends on Saturday, and it turned into a contemplation of a kidnap scenario, in which I would be able to escape the criminals by singing the Lord’s prayer over and over. All of that within a span of a few minutes. I literally cannot sit alone with myself and think of a peaceful scene, as my mind eventually turns to a possible murder scenario. I can’t get out of my own way.

10. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: I’m always aware of my actions and how they impact others, but I guess this practice made me realize how I don’t think of myself enough. Be kind to others, yea I KNOW, but it is so important to be kind to ourselves. And not necessarily in a way that means you throw all regards for self-care to the wind. Confidence definitely comes from within, and that’s where the mindfulness starts. Be nice to yourself. Treat yoself. To self-love. Because you are the bomb. Dot com. I just need to keep reading this to myself…

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

Hot Mess Mama Stuff

I’ll never forget when my mom tried to change my favorite color:

Mom: What’s your favorite color?

Me: Grey.

Mom: Ok, that’s nice. But what about pink? Blue? Yellow?

Me:

But that’s what mothers do- they’re always there for you, but also have a total disregard for your opinion. This is why we love them, right? I am so thankful for my mother, who inadvertently turned me into the hot mess before you today. How did she accomplish this? By being the exact opposite of me in thought process, lifestyle and fashion sense, all the while trying to get me to wear more makeup (to find a husband, of course). So, in order to celebrate her and all the moms out there who get on our last nerves (but we love ’em), I have compiled a list of ways my mother has shown her love. I’m sure your hot mess mom has violated you in the same way at some point in your life:

  1. PLAYING MATCHMAKER, HORRIBLY: I will never be able to shake the recollection of my mom’s plan to set me up with Ruben Studdard, via a handwritten note to Oprah. Because clearly Ms. Winfrey was the key to our love. She’s also tried to set me up with a coworker who took me to a Christian night club, as well as a gay man. She’s so in tune to what I like.
  2. TRYING TO KEEP PAJAMAS RELEVANT: Do moms not understand that pajamas are not a thing anymore? ABSOLUTELY NOT. In the last 3 years, my mother has given me pajamas as Christmas gifts, even though I’ve lived in Miami  for almost 20 years. I’m talking nightgown level, all the way down to my knees. She’s also given me a lovely shirt and pants combo, splattered with flip-flops so I guess she’s trying.
  3. JUDGING WITH LOVE: My mother might be the best at this. How else can I explain somehow getting a weave I didn’t need, because it was going to help my appearance? She tells me I’m cute, but would be prettier with makeup. Why don’t I get bi-weekly mani/pedis? First impressions always last, and no one wants to date someone with clear nail polish. All coming from a mother’s loving voice…
  4. ABUSE OF PHONE PRIVILEGES (IN THE NAME OF LOVE): If you don’t receive at least one horoscope, Bible verse, or glitter emoji from your mom on a daily basis, does she even love you?  The best experience is when you receive 4-5, sprinkled throughout the day, so that your mom can solidify her domination over the text machine. And there’s nothing like getting involved in a text exchange like the below (because who hasn’t?):

Mom: Love you! XOXOXO

Me: Love u 2

Mom: Love you more than you ever know!

Me: Thanks Mom 🙂

Mom: A mother’s love knows no bounds, and I am so blessed to be on this journey with you XOXOXO

Me: (Am I supposed to keep texting her?)

5. MASTERING THE SKILL OF SECURITY: I’m 38, and my mom still tells me to be careful at the end of every conversation, text, and email. Leaving work? Be careful. Going to happy hour? Be careful. Going to the grocery store? Be careful. Going to the elevator to get something out the car? Be careful. About have some pizza? Oh my goodness, be careful, sweetie.

6. THE ART OF PECULIAR GIFTING: When you were young, your mother had the innate ability to buy you all the things you wanted ( probably because you whined and cried about it). Now that you’re older? It’s as if she forgot that you lived under the same roof for 14 years. Don’t believe me? I don’t wear makeup, but she mails me  foundation kits from QVC (with the wrong skin tone). I don’t carry purses, but I have 5 Vera Bradley pieces. I tell my mom not to buy me clothes, but yet I get 10 XXL workout shirts for my birthday (have I gotten that fat??)

BONUS: The best way my granny ever showed me love was my cooking ground beef by the pound, freezing it, and sending it back with me to boarding school, thus revolutionizing the Ramen Noodle game for an entire dorm of girls in 1995.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

 

I Don’t Like Catfish

I hope you never have to deal with finding out the Italian, hunky guy you met online is really an old Asian woman. Yes, people are still out here trying to catfish people, ya’ll.

If you don’t know what “catfishing” is, you probably don’t know any millennials. The term derived from a documentary filmed years ago, by a handsome young man who fell in love with a beautiful girl online. You know, online? Where chivalry, decency, and morals go to die, but where you’re supposed to be open to finding love? Long, and predictable story short, the guy documents his journey to meet the love of his life who ended up being an older lady who changed her voice and had been using the photographs of a beautiful stranger to lure him in. So, not creepy at all. Although the star of the film, Nev, didn’t find love online, he turned his experience into a wildly successful MTV series entitled “Catfish”, where he chronicles the tales of other people thinking they found love online. Most of the episodes have a similar theme::

  • Optimistic, bubbly person has found ” THE ONE” online. The one is extremely attractive and has a lot of selfies online
  • An excessive amount of texts and phone calls occur over a period of 6 months to  a year
  • Person tries to video chat, Facetime, or Skype with their new boo, who seems to have a connection problem
  • Person tries to plan a meeting between the two, but something always comes up with new boo (money, jail, car accidents, etc.)
  • Person finally get suspicious and contacts MTV
  • Nev and team do proper recognizance and finalize a meeting between the parties- usually in Missouri or Idaho
  • They meet a the person’s house, and you usually find out it’s a girl. But you thought it was a man. And she plump, with a bad attitude and no regrets
  • Teaser for next failed love story rolls on the ending credits

You always watch this show and think, “I would never let this happen to me!”, but you also empathize with the people on there, because the end game is love. In the end, that’s what we all want, or at least I did when I still had hope. I have been in a self-induced, bitter/jaded stage, pretending to be ok with it for quite some time now. Yet, once again, my friends are the ones who still have hope. One of my besties convinced me to get online again, just to keep my options open. Knowing I was going to encounter the same crap, I hesitated, but since I haven’t been on a date since the Flashdance Incident of 2017, I acquiesced. I’ve been back on the Love Nets for about a month or so now, and it’s been about the same, except that I was catfished twice in the last few weeks, so there’s that. Apparently people are still trying to trick people- and the show is still on!

Have we not learned from our MTV victims? I would think that people on both sides would have learned by now. Potential victims would know that if your online boo’s web cam never works, it’s probably a weird dude in a basement somewhere. And the perps? They should know by now that no person in their right mind would “date” them for over a year, confess their love, and pay their phone bill without ever meeting. But this phenomenon is alive and well, and tried to get me, and I was not having it. So I’m here to give you all  tips on how to avoid getting into a messy online “relationship” with someone who you think is 35-year old Kevin from Boston, but who is actually 18-year old Kayla from Wisconsin with low self-esteem:

  1. They use WhatsApp or Google hangouts to communicate: You appear to have great conversation, a bit of a connection- great! So you don’t hesitate to provide your digits when they ask. But instead of calling or texting, they hop on of the above mentioned apps to chat. Now I’m all about saving on your phone or data plan, but I can confirm that every single person who has tried to catch me in their catfish net sent me random messages on these apps.
  2. They’re in the military: Apparently, a big scheme in the online dating world is to pretend to be a soldier, and to rope women into falling in love with your service. I was probably messaged by a dozen or more “soldiers”, who all seemed a bit suspicious. All texts were in Broken English, and everyone was always out in the war zone somewhere. Really, there’s a war going on in Galveston, TX? The first time I was catfish prey, I thought I was talking to a soldier when I encountered the high-pitched, slightly creepy voice of an 85-year-old Asian grandma. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
  3. A sudden work trip takes them overseas: Ok, we both live in Miami, great. I’m thinking coffee or drinks are in our near future. All of a sudden, your very important job has taken you to Dubai or Paris. You’ll see me when you get back, which will be in a month, but you’re not sure…
  4. They ask you obvious questions: My profile tells you my age, where I live, and the area of my profession. But you still ask me where I live? And I ask you what neighborhood you reside in ( since we’re in the same city), and you say Miami, Florida. Huh?
  5. They ask you for money: Why would you give money to stranger? That you’ve never met before, who never wants to talk on the phone? I barely want to split the bill at lunch with coworkers, let alone lend Fabio in France $100 bucks. If a person who claims to have a great job suddenly ran out of funds on their work trip, clearly knows NO ONE ELSE in the world, but kindly asks you to buy them an iTunes or Amazon gift card in their desperate time of need, don’t you dare scratch off the back of the card and send them a pic of the serial number.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

Hot Mess DMV

Before anyone questions my sanity, the ONLY reason I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles last week was because I realized my license was going to expire while being out of the country. That’s right, this hot mess is going abroad for her birthday to Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival!

You can tell I haven’t been anywhere because everyone told me I could just use my passport to leave the country. But I’m a worrier to the highest degree, and I assumed I needed a minimum of 15 additional pieces of identification. While longingly looking at my perfect bangs on my ID last week, I realized it was going to expire in the middle of me “wining” on some stranger in the streets of Trinidad. I needed a new license immediately, and it was too late to order one in the mail. As I began to panic that my trip was in jeopardy, my heart sank into my stomach, as it dawned on me what I had to do: I had to physically go to the DMV.

Going to the DMV is already an excruciating process, but having to do it in Miami is on WHOLE  ‘NOTHER LEVEL. It began with me having to take off work, because apparently you need vacation time to get a new ID. I decided to go with a half-day, because surely on its worst day, this DMV location should have me out in a few hours. My fleeting optimism at this moment is where my day started to go wrong. It continued as I realized my phone was at home and I couldn’t use Google Maps. How in the world was I supposed to find this place, when I can barely get out of my parking garage? With no phone, I actually to print out directions! I felt like one of the Goonies, looking for One-Eyed Willie with that tattered map.

My luck continued as I drove into the parking lot of the DMV location, which was situated in a place called the “Mall of the Americas”. It should have been named the “Mall of Confusion”, because it was impossible to find a parking spot amongst the hundreds of people trying to buy pretzels, Spanx, and shirts from the U.S. Polo Association. After finally finding a spot, I was extremely elated to see a line of about 50 people who were waiting to get IN LINE at the DMV office. Luckily, I was equipped with rations from my work husband, and hunkered down for a long afternoon. With no phone or book in hand, I decided to pull out my notebook and write. Here’s what happened:

1:30pm: I’m chilling in the line formed outside the office. A guy comes by, inquiring about the services we need. I wonder if I say “happy ending”, will he laugh? I decide not to, and state I need a license renewal. He looks at my license and says I’ll need to take a new picture and take a vision test. A new WHAT?! I was not prepared. Not only did I not wear any makeup today, I have one eyebrow, no bangs, and no Instagram filters to work with. This is going to be the worst day of my life.

1:34pm: In broken Spanish, I ask two ladies if they can hold my place in line so I can dip into T-Mobile. I inquire to the sales associate how I can communicate in Trinidad, in case I get locked up abroad.

1:44pm: I waste 10 minutes in T-Mobile, which is promising. However, when I returned to the line, I have yet to get inside the DMV. Also, the grannies who held my place in line have now multiplied to five.

1:50pm: Not only do I have no phone, but my FitGear watched just died. I can’t even analyze my calories or how bad I slept last night. Something needs to happen!

1:53pm: I overhear a mother tell a friend that her son will not be getting his license anytime soon, due to his behavior. He them tells her that when he turns 18, he’ll get on the bus, head to the DMV, and take the test by himself. He uses the Lord’s name in vain prior to referring to himself. They seem like really nice people.

2:00pm: I’m finally in the door! I probably have to stand up for the next hour, but I’m in!

2:06pm: Newsflash from Captain Obvious: The grannies have no concept of personal space.

2:08pm: A staff member walks by with a cop, counting people. I assume this means she knows that everyone in line may not be helped by the time this place closes at 5pm. Awesome. Oh, and I’ve seen about six cops in the office so far. What in the hell happens here???

2:23pm: The granny count has gone down to 3. They take turns going to the front of the line, complaining loudly, and then returning to the line to tell the others.

2:27pm: I get corralled into my section of the office where I renew my license. I hear number 343 called. I am number 421. I am going to die here.

SIDENOTE: Why won’t they allow me to keep this picture from 8 years ago? Why won’t they let me hold onto how good I looked back then? Have I mentioned enough that I had the best set of bangs? The government just won’t let me be great.

2:36pm: I have come to conclusion that this line system makes absolutely no sense. So I start to case the place like I’m going to rob it. We’re given a ticket number, and then this woman with a shrill voice has to call it out before you can get in the actual line to be serviced. She looks at the ticket numbers most of the time when people get in line, but not always. When you get to the teller, they don’t even ask for the ticket. So why can’t I slowly walk up to an open teller and say in a slow cadence “Please just help me get out of here. Take my damn picture, and don’t make any sudden moves.” Has any one tried this before? Before I declare myself the smartest person in Miami, I consider this may be the reason they have cops here…

2:50pm: Having no phone has rendered my useless. I start to snoop on the girl’s Instagram feed next to me. She’s looking at pictures of cheetahs. And cheese. I assume she is awesome.

2:57pm: Everyone is staring at a woman prepping to take her license photo. She brushes her hair. Bends over. Flips up, hair flying. Looks exactly the same. She is pleased with her work. Poor thing.

3:00pm: The lady in charge of the line has morphed into a school teacher. She tells us not talk too loud. Sit down. Move. No, move over here. Don’t sit there. Drink your juice.

3:20pm: I finally get called and jump in line. I get up to the teller. I try to reason with her by asking if I can keep my picture. She laughs and says get behind the line. I don’t sit long enough to register the flash that goes off. I can’t get a do-over, and I’m not able to see my picture beforehand.

3:35pm: I soon find out that I have to get in my 36th line of the day to pay for my license, because clearly it’s not a good idea to have the staff process your license and take money at the same time. I pay the teller, who tells me I now have to wait once more for the license to be printed. Maybe I should just get a job at this mall…

4:06pm: I’m able to leave! I walk out of the office, to people screaming at the police at the entrance that they can’t get in. I contemplate telling them they’d be better off with a fake ID or expired license, but decide against it. At this point, I’m too tired, so I walk out with my new ID, complete with cut off hair, one additional chin, and a Tupac hologram on the back. See you in eight years, fools!

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

 

 

 

 

Depression is Hilarious

When I finally admitted to myself that I was suffering from depression, I laughed hysterically. Then I cried so much, I had to do one of those “let me go look in the mirror so see how sad I look” moves, that only make sense in the movies.

I laughed because I could not believe I was amused at my own sadness. I laughed because at first, I did a self-diagnosis with an online quiz, which is NOWHERE near the “What Type of Princess Are You?” Facebook-variety. I laughed because I assumed I was being dramatic. I also laughed because I knew all the feelings you read about, all the symptoms people exhibit, was 100% happening to me, and I had no idea how to handle it.

No one wants to tell you they’re suffering from depression, for the same reason you don’t want to admit that you can’t fix a flat tire: you want everyone to think you know what you’re doing, but as soon as you admit that you don’t, they want to come in and fix it. I’ve known something was off a few years back when the thought of sitting in my car and eating McDonald’s while watching Grey’s Anatomy was more exciting than the prospect of going on a date. What was the point of going out with a handsome man when he was just going to realize I wasn’t worth the two drinks he bought? At least with Netflix and my car, there was comfort, plus the guarantee of french fries. The thought of going to sleep at night became the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning. I was becoming indifferent to dinner invites and pool parties, because I knew I would be the only unhappy person there. I knew something was really wrong when several of my closest friends noticed that I wasn’t “myself”. But I couldn’t tell them how I was really feeling. Even as a woman who prides herself on living a hot mess life, I could not come out and tell anyone “Hey, um guess what?  I don’t think there’s a point to anything I do and so why bother? And hey, are you ready for brunch?”

My first instinct after taking my sad quiz on http://www.depression.com was to see if I could get some help. As I mentioned before, I wasn’t ready to tell my friends, but I was a movie buff, and just knew there was a hot, English psychiatrist with a cushy chaise lounge for me to throw myself on, that would be the background for our eventual love affair, all sponsored by my employer’s fully funded EAP program.

What I got the on the first round was a lady from the JCC that made me sit in an office chair.  I saw her the proper amount of times before I had to pay her. She was nice enough, but I was new to this, and kept telling myself I couldn’t be properly healed unless I cried a lot and admitted some traumatic thing that happened in my childhood. Unfortunately, I left her with a new zest for to-do lists and the dumb decision to not do anything about my issues until the next time my insurance kicked in. Newsflash: you can’t pray depression and anxiety away, you can only pray you have good insurance with a flexible sliding scale.

This took me to Year 2 ( yes I waited a whole year), to a woman who specialized in EMDR, and she was NOT a DJ. This type of therapy involved rhythmic tapping, that has been successful in treating trauma. I was ready to give up on this fool until it actually worked. She revealed the source of my overeating to my insecurities about my body. See, I will admit that I had a pretty smoking body back in high school ( I know that sounds weird, but it’s true). During that time, I was sexually harassed by a staff member, which messed me up pretty bad. Through the therapy, I was able to piece together that I may be overeating because I no longer wanted anyone to bother me about my body, even though I still wanted to be seen as attractive. So thaaaaaaat’s why I go to Burger King in secret- sorry boys.

I tried therapy one last time, with a wonderful woman who specialized in eating disorders. I admitted that I knew exactly what I was doing, yet I could not fathom why I refused to stop. I told her I read too many inspirational Instagram quotes about treating yoself and eating the last piece of cake, and I found myself, 10 years later, fat, sad, and miserable. She was nice enough, but she could never get to the root of the problem, because that was my job. How do you explain to your loved ones that you’re doing damage to yourself, but you secretly don’t care? When I’ve casually brought up my insecurities to friends, they look at me like I’m crazy, saying that I don’t appear to have low-self esteem, as I’m always upbeat. But, that’s the thing with depression- I’m so frightened at the possibility that something is wrong, that I mask it with humor (as I’m sure many people do), because I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that I’m unhappy. But how in the world did I get here? How can someone who has such a blessed life be so unhappy? I have a roof over my head (with a killer view), a car to drive, employment, the ability to date dudes on the internet, and great friends and family who love me for some reason. But when your mind just isn’t in the right place, none of that matters. Instead of being positive about all the great things you have in life, you worry about trivial things that make no fucking sense. Did I really miss out on the love of my life?  Or does my gut tell me that would’ve been the biggest mistake I ever made since I cut my own bangs? Why in the world doesn’t my friend’s husband  like me, even though I have absolutely no reason to think that? Why does that keep me up at night? Why are all these people in the bar judging me because I’m eating this burger alone? How can I not of think of something else to keep me up at night, other than the constant worry that I’m going to get fired? Why do I insist on maintaining my bread box body with horrible eating habits, when my doctors say I could die? How am I ever going to admit to my loved ones that I often feel like my life means nothing, no matter how hard they try to make me feel that it is?

My depression is hilarious because it does borderline on the hysterical. I have to laugh at the fact that these thoughts are going through my head and taking over my life. I also but know this isn’t the end. In my case, Iaughter is the best medicine and along with my loved ones, 46 fans, and Cigna, I’m going to overcome this.

*I didn’t want to add some caveat to the beginning of this post, to cater to the people who might be up in arms about calling my depression “hilarious”. It’s a serious issue that many refuse to talk about in the open, but this is MY story. As I mentioned, everyone’s tale is not the same, but I know there’s someone out there who has some of the same weird-ass emotions that I do. And I hope you read this and realize that it’s going to be ok. Hit me up, and I’ll tell you about one of my awful dates, and you’ll feel better instantly (but if you need an objective ear, I’m here too, and I don’t charge). 

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

 

 

Hot Mess Resolutions, Version 2018

January 1st is the Holy Grail for procrastinators and optimists alike: it’s the biggest day to get your ultimate do-over; the perfect excuse to start all over again. Phrases like “New Year, New Me!” are scattered all across social media, under motivational pictures of waterfalls and women looking down at the ground in tight dresses. Plans are made to go to the gym, get in shape, create closer bonds to family and friends, and be open to love again. Sounds awesome, right?

Well now, it’s January 16th, and you ate a slice of pizza and said “fuck it”. You refuse a set up from a friend at work who “knows the perfect guy”. But you also keep getting up at 6am to go back to Lady Fitness of America. You’ve also grown closer to your cousin who used to beat you up when you were kids, and you make plans to go back home more often. Aaaah, good ‘ol New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t taken them seriously in recent years, because like a friend mentioned yesterday, there are still resolutions I’m trying to tackle that I made in 2005. At this point in my life, New Year’s resolutions are more of an opportunity to reflect on things I know I need to work on, should’ve done already, but can still be optimistic that I can accomplish, but not for another 24 hours.

This year, I thought I would switch it up a bit and let you all know what I will be leaving in 2017. I wouldn’t call these resolutions- they’re more like “things I’m too old to be dealing with for another year”. May you take inspiration from these proclamations, and create your own resolutions if you wish. Feel free to even write them in your brand-new notebook from the $3 bin at Target, with Live, Laugh, Love splayed across the cover:

What I’m Leaving in 2017

  1. All dating apps, along with the food-delivery service ones, too: Both impact my body and well-being in different ways, but they’re equally destructive for me. No more Tinder and China Food II.
  2. Additional “bless you” statements: After you sneeze once, I’m not saying anything else. Get yourself together and don’t make it weird.
  3. 32% of my current carbohydrate intake: Every little bit helps, right? I vow to eat more veggie pasta, and only the finest breads- whatever Oprah eats should be good.
  4. Body shaming: This applies only to myself, and a handful of animals (have you ever looked at someone’s cat and thought, what do they feed this poor child? Stop giving them bacon!).
  5. Turkey burgers: There’s no need for them in my life, or anyone else’s. Eat beef if you want girl, just not so much.
  6. 75% of my Fucks: No longer caring about nonsense feels so good, ya’ll.
  7. Fear of starting my own family: There’s a one-eyed, English bulldog out there that needs rescuing. My family will grow by the end of 2018…
  8. Terrible eyebrows: I will make it my life’s work to make sure there are two, even lines above my eyes, beginning tomorrow. I’ve been slacking since 2014.
  9. Not being famous: Me and Biggie Smalls ( my future dog baby) will be on someone’s magazine cover by the end of next year!
  10. Protection of your feelings: I’ve never been a mean person, but everyone knows I do not like confrontation. I like to keep the peace- like stopping fights between strangers and avoid telling someone I love they’re making a big mistake by doing that one thing. So if you ask me something in 2018, I’ll probably keep it extremely real. I just hope it doesn’t go too wrong.

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS