Letting Go Of The Let Down

Some of you might have noticed that I disappeared last week. On Friday February 4, I was in a very bad car accident. I won’t go into the details but  I would like to send a mental hug to the creators of the modern day  seat-belt (Roger W. Griswold and Hugh De Haven)  as well as the creators of the airbag (initially John W. Hetrick and then modernized by Allen K. Breed). So, I wasn’t here last week because I was recovering from my injuries- aka laying in bed somehow comatose and somehow high on pain meds. I’m going to be on crutches for a while. I’ve decided to name each of my crutches- the left one I call Franklin and the right one I call Brewster. I like first names that are last names.

Anyway- one of the results of this accident is that I have to postpone some very exciting changes I was planning for my life. And that’s disappointing. And my beloved car Germain was totaled. And that was really sad because I have loved that car unceasingly since it was presented to me when I turned 18 and we have been through a lot together. I feel like I lost a friend. There was just a lot of disappointment resulting from this accident. And it wasn’t anyone’s fault (unless you can blame Mother Nature and her icy blitzkrieg on the city of Austin) so I don’t have the satisfaction of being really mad at anyone. I just have to let go of the let down. So, that’s what I’m trying to do. And it’s gotten me thinking about other let downs in life that may seem less serious but are nonetheless disappointing and how I let them go.

When friends bail– I actually have assigned my friends bail-out percentages which is the percentage of likelihood that they will bail-out on our plans. It helps cushion the disappointment when they do bail on you.

When someone you have a crush on doesn’t have a crush on you– This is an easy one for me. I just keep my feelings to myself (i.e. Flirtation Failure) and then it’s just a matter of pretending to myself I never liked them anyway. It might be crazy. It might be unhealthy. But it works.

When the left-overs you’ve been looking forward to eating all day are gone when you get home– This is a tough one. When it happens to me, it’s difficult not to lash out at whomever ate my left-overs (just ask my sister). BUT- I now employ yoga breathing to calm down and then promptly begin trying to convince my stomach that it really wanted a grilled cheese anyway. The grilled cheese always tastes a bit like lost hope but it fills the belly.

When that new haircut just doesn’t look quite right– Headbands and bobby pins are lifesavers. And there is hope in knowing it will eventually grow out.

When you want to eat Mexican but everyone else you’re with wants Chinese– Hey, Chinese food is also delicious. This one is easily shrugged off. Besides, you can always eat Mexican food tomorrow.

When you really wanted that promotion and it went to someone else– This one hurts, I’m not going to lie. I like to curb my disappointment by making up hexes in my head and  directing them at the person who got the promotion. Unless they are like, a really good person. Then I just eat my feelings. Mmmm, emotional binge eating, the food tastes so good when it mixes with my tears…..

Unfortunately, none of these methods are very helpful in letting go my present let down so I’ve had to create a new method. It’s called “one day at a time” and basically it means I’m just going to deal with all of this one day at a time and hopefully I will get back to a place where I can plan big exciting future things. Fingers crossed.

How do you let go your let downs?

Men in Women’s Restrooms- I Don’t Support It.

Men's and Women's Toilets
There are separate bathrooms for a reason. Like this one.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the Women’s bathroom at my office and found myself facing a man. I froze. Usually, I’m not lost for words but this one had me befuddled. My first reaction was embarrassment for walking into a Men’s restroom. That would be so like me. My second reaction was indignation because I knew I hadn’t walked into a Men’s restroom- I was definitely in the Women’s- and how dare this guy make me feel embarrassed about walking into my own genders restroom. I mean, I really loathed him for a moment. My third reaction was like, uh, now what happens? Do I tell him he is in the wrong place? Do I just turn around and leave? What is happening here??!!!

We stared at each other like each of us was seeing an alien. It was seriously awkward and surreal. Finally, he says “I’m just checking the toilets.” and then he walked out of the restroom while I was still standing in the exact same position with my mouth wide open and my hand somehow pointing toward the door as if to say “One of us should be walking out of that door but I’m not sure which…” Then, I just started giggling like a little girl and went about my business.

I accepted his “checking the toilets” excuse at face value at first but then all the facts of this mystery started coming together. 1. He was a Man in a Women’s restroom.

2. He was not wearing a uniform of any type.

3. He was dressed business professionally.

So now I’m thinking that there is no way that guy was “checking the toilets”. I mean, why would you wear slacks and a button-down shirt to check a toilet? I don’t think you would. Even if you took your toilet-checking job very seriously I still don’t think you would dress that nice. I mean, what if the toilet didn’t work and then it exploded all over your nice clothes? It seems like an awful waste of a button-down. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that Mr. Man was in the wrong bathroom. Maybe it was an accident. Or maybe it was something more sinister, like he was installing cameras for a yucky fetish website or he was like personally trying to spy on Women using the potty, or maybe he finds the sound of Women urinating comforting. I don’t know. No matter what, I really can’t support  his reasons. The whole incident made me very uncomfortable. I would like to be really progressive and say that Men and Women using the same restrooms is no big deal but I just can’t go there. I like having separate bathrooms. I’m sorry Mr. Man, I hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings, it’s just  this experience was very unsettling for me and I don’t want to repeat it.

Also, the stall he was walking out of when I walked in was the very first stall, which happens to be the stall I typically use. Never again. I will never ever use that stall again. I just can’t. Thanks a lot dude.

Whatever I Did, I’m Sorry.


ACL Austin City LimitsAustin City Limits is one of my absolute favorite things. Every fall a ton of gifted musical acts gather to perform for three days in Austin, Texas. It is magical. This is something I have been attending for years. It has all of the talent of SXSW without the pretension and annoying people walking down the middle of Congress acting like they don’t know there is a line of 100 cars waiting for them to move so they can continue driving. Anyway….I really love ACL.

I have done something terrible though. Something that ACL will never forgive me for. I’m not sure what it was but it had to have been really really bad. How do I know I did something really really bad? Because Austin City Limits has loved making my musical life unbearably difficult for the past several years by scheduling at least two of my favorite acts at the same time. They are obviously trying to get back at me for something. They want to hurt me. They are succeeding.

This year it’s M.I.A. and Muse on Saturday night. Same time. It hurts to write it. I have loved both of these acts for years. When I saw the line-up for this year and bought tickets I never thought I would have to choose between them. How can I? I’m so sorry for whatever I did ACL. I really am. Please, please forgive me. I am literally down-on-my-knees begging you to reschedule. I need to see them both. I might die if I have to choose. I absolutely will die if I have to choose. I mean, whatever I did to deserve this can’t have been so bad that you would wish for my death. Right? Right!?

Last year I had to choose between the Kings of Leon and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And it really hurt me. Hurt me deep. I went with Kings of Leon and they were brilliant. Beyond amazing but I will always feel a little bit sad that I haven’t seen the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live. I mean, they probably had an amazing set at ACL. I don’t know. I will never know. And even if I see them live somewhere else, I will never have seen them live at ACL. You can probably hear the violins playing in the background of this post- and also the thunder-like sound of my heart breaking. You like that kind of music ACL? How about tears? You like the sound of those? Because I am planning on calling you and leaving you lots of messages that are comprised of nothing more than my ugly sobbing. I am your psycho ex-girlfriend ACL. The more you hurt me, the more I stalk you and send you dead roses and maybe set fire to your house- I don’t know- it all depends on how bad you continue to try and hurt me. I can’t be held responsible for my actions. This is on you ACL. And no jury would convict me. Probably.

I digress. What I mean to say is I am so sorry. I am so very, truly, deeply, sorry for whatever I did that made you want to hurt me this way. I will literally do anything for you to reschedule Saturday performances, please don’t make me choose between M.I.A. and Muse. Please. Pretty please. Remember all the good times we’ve had over the years? Remember how faithful I have been in attending? That has to mean something to you. Think of all the good times ACL- think of the good times and reschedule.

The Dory Theory

I have a theory on life. It’s really brilliant. It’s called the Dory theory. It goes a little something like this- “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

If you didn’t get the Finding Nemo reference then I don’t know why you are reading my blog. You probably don’t belong here if you haven’t seen that movie. Or maybe you do. Maybe you need my blog for that very reason. Who’s to say? Go ahead and keep reading.

In life, you just have to keep swimming. If you stop swimming you will die, like sharks. I don’t know how you you feel about it but I think dying like a shark is probably in the top 10 of worst ways to die. I mean, they can breathe under water and they still drown- and then they just float there and then killer whales eat them and then killer whales poop them out and then fish eat the killer whale shark poop and then those fish poop out the shark poop and plankton eat the shark fish poop. Dreadful. And sad. Poor sharks. I’m sorry to get so graphic but I really wanted to emphasize how important it is to keep swimming.

Dory Finding NemoMaybe, if you are a mermaid this doesn’t seem like such a hard thing to do. Touche mermaid- you have a point. For those of us who aren’t mermaids (and I’m just guessing here but I think the majority of us aren’t mermaids) we have a harder time of it. I think what makes it so hard is that it doesn’t involve actual swimming- I mean it could if you were like shipwrecked and in the middle of the ocean because you would definitely need to be literally swimming in that scenario- but what I mean really is to keep going. Keep living even when it seems impossible and you are overwhelmed by everything. I guess my motto could be “just keep living” but that sounds lame and isn’t metaphorical and doesn’t have a song associated with it.

And sometimes things are really awful and you just want to stay in bed all day watching reality TV (which, let’s be honest makes everything worse) and eating ice cream. But you can’t do that. I mean sure, maybe if it’s like a weekend then it would be ok but on Monday you just have to start swimming again. Why? I don’t know because that’s life. Because I said so? Maybe. Not convinced? Yeah, I’m doing a pretty bad job of explaining it.

What I mean is that if you keep swimming- keep living as best you can- then things will get better. I promise (in a non-binding sort of way). That isn’t to say nothing bad will happen, I know bad things happen all the time and sometimes they happen to me but I just sing the just keep swimming song to myself and carry on. Because at the very least, when things suck, you at least get a song out of it. In fact, maybe I should change my motto to “just sing a song.” That works too.

Ok- so to recap, you should just keep swimming and sing songs. This may be the best life motto ever. And I’m giving it to you for free. Which I think makes me qualified for sainthood when I die.

Catholic St. Dympna
Saint Be A Lifehacker.

Really this is Saint Dympna. Patron saint of the mentally ill, incest victims, and runaways. I may go to hell for this.

Appropriate Pedicure Behavior

Pedicure

I had a pedicure today. It was wonderful- except for the part where the other people in the nail salon were behaving inappropriately. This made it clear to me that I must, must, compile a list of pedicure etiquette. Because ya’ll have bad manners. Really bad manners.

1. Do not speak on your telephone when there are other people in the chairs next to you. I don’t care about your life. Actually, I do care about your life, just not when I am getting a pedicure. When I am getting a pedicure I want to relax. I don’t want to hear about your stressful week. I had a stressful week as well- which is why I am getting a pedicure, duh. Zip it, please. Seriously. Zip it.

2. I love kids. I really do. When I am getting a pedicure, however, and they are running around the nail salon and stealing my nail color, and yelling/crying, I don’t love kids. I want them to go away and I want my bright pink nail polish back. Right now.

3. Don’t be rude to your pedicurist. If you want something adjusted then ask politely- don’t be a pompous ass- as if you know you could do it better. You couldn’t. Be nice. It’s just common human decency. Common human decency is when you don’t say things like “Listen, I don’t know what country you went to nail school in, but here in America, we don’t tear people’s feet up.”  That statement is the opposite of common human decency.

4. If your feet are funky tip your pedicurist extra. This also falls under common human decency.

5. Usually there are TVs on. Usually they are on some type of news channel.  This does not mean I want to talk politics with you. I don’t want to talk about politics with you. I didn’t choose the channel. If it were up to me, the TVs would be showing Audrey Hepburn movies. It isn’t up to me though so they are all on news stations. Please read the ticker to yourself and voice your thoughts at a later place and time. I mean it, I do not want to talk about politics while I am having a heavenly foot massage. Also, why do you?

6. That pale yellow polish just makes it look like you have toe fungus. Accept that.

That is all I’ve got right now. Do you need more? I think I pretty much covered it, though if anyone else has any other pedicure etiquette tips please feel free to share. Pedicures are about relaxation and proper foot care. Enjoy pedicures and let those around you enjoy theirs. That’s all.

Will Not Be Tarnished

The Nile in Uganda
Beautiful, Peaceful- This is My Uganda

Yesterday, a place I love was attacked. Yesterday, people of all nationalities were killed while watching the World Cup Finals in Kampala, Uganda. One of the places that was bombed was a place I know well. In 2008, I sat in that very same rugby club and watched the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with people from all over the world. Everyone cheered as their respective nations walked around the stadium and I will always remember how happy I felt at that moment. They served good food, they had comfy couches, everyone who came there had a smile on their face. That night in Kamapala, Uganda at the rubgy club was one of my happiest. And now that place is gone. In the last ten  minutes of a thrilling match the world split apart for those in my favorite rugby club as well as those at a nearby Ethiopian restaurant.

I don’t understand this kind of disrespect for human life. I simply can’t comprehend this type of hate. Honestly, at this point I don’t care who perpetrated this attack and why- it won’t change what has already been done. Later, I will wonder and speculate. Today, however, I just want to remember that place as it was and send all my thoughts and prayers to those who are in hospital recovering and the families of those 74 who will never recover. Today, the attackers will not occupy my mind- they don’t deserve first thoughts- first thoughts are reserved for those whose pleasant and happy night was brought to an abrupt and violent end.

One of my favorite Ugandan hang-outs is gone but I won’t ever forget the way it was. My memories will not be tarnished by hatred. I will not be afraid to travel back to the place I love, the place where I have found some of my most joyful moments and experiences. Despite last nights events, Uganda will remain in my mind as one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. A place where I not only witnessed peace, but where I found my own.

How To Tell Your Friend Her Boyfriend Is A Douche

It seems like I have so many friends right now who have other friends who have boyfriends that are complete douche canoes. Some of these guys keep promising marriage proposals and then putting them off until the next year, or until they graduate from underwater basket weaving school, or until their brothers/sisters get married first, or until Jesus comes back (because Heaven is really the best place to have a wedding). Other guys berate and turn otherwise strong intelligent women into weeping masses of “He didn’t mean it.” and “I know he loves me despite that fact he just called me a stupid cow.” Others are just controlling, manipulative, charming, smooth talkers who can finesse their way out of any lie and make their girlfriends apologize for catching them lying. What has happened to these women? These beautiful, wise, witty, brave, compassionate, brilliant women who we became friends with years ago because they were so unarguably fabulous? Where are our friends of yesteryear? I don’t know. I truly don’t. But I can’t tell you how much I wish I did.

I know we as the friends are getting more and more tired of the drama and tears. We all want to be good friends but their tumultuous relationships are emotionally draining to us as well. We are exhausted from giving really quality advice and then having it ignored and then the same problem happening over and over again. We are heartbroken and frustrated to see these formerly amazing women reduced to being someone’s pathetic girlfriend. And they are pathetic- and that kills me to say. Why aren’t they listening? What can they possibly be gaining from this toxic relationship?

I also know that we must absolutely stick by them through this. Even if we are throughly sick of it. If we are their friends, their best friends, we have to be there for them no matter what as long as they let us. No matter how much we loathe their boyfriends very existence and want to take a time machine back to the day of his conception and make sure his Mother remembers to take her birth control- we have to support her. Even though I’m sure we would feel a lot better if we could just take a sledgehammer to his crotch, we have to refrain (and if you do end up doing that please don’t say you got the idea from me). We don’t have to keep our mouths shut though. We just have to be delicate about the way we approach the subject of her boyfriend being a douche. Although, we probably shouldn’t call him a douche in front of her. We can, however, mention the changes we have seen in her and the way we worry because she doesn’t seem as happy as she did before. These are valid feelings. She needs to know we have them. We shouldn’t feel like we have a gag order on us just because she is dating an awful person. We also shouldn’t let our friend treat us poorly just because she gets treated poorly. If she isn’t there for you when you need her, or she forgets plans you made, or she hasn’t called you in ages because she is so wrapped up  in the soap opera that is her love life, then she isn’t being a good friend to you. You have to call her out on it. Nicely. In a calm way that doesn’t immediately put her on the defense. And she might hate you. And she might not want to be friends anymore, and she might turn the entire thing around on you and make it all your fault. She might do those things and that sucks. Actually, she probably will do all those things and again, that sucks.

I also think it’s important to (delicately) let her know how you feel because she is an adult and no matter how much we want to blame him for who she has become, it wouldn’t be fair because she has always had a choice. She chose to let him treat her that way, and she chose to wait around for him to change and while they may be poor choices, we can’t ignore the fact that they were choices nonetheless. It’s his fault he is a douche but it’s her fault for letting a douche in her life. It’s not an accusation or condemnation (seriously, we have all made bad choices before) it’s just an acknowledgment. She needs to acknowledge her boyfriends (or hopefully ex-boyfriends) douchebaggery and she needs to acknowledge that she tolerated that douchebaggery.

And maybe this is all terrible advice but I just couldn’t/can’t not say something when I see this happening to a friend. Realize, please, that if you take this advice there is a chance that she may hate you for a while or forever. Don’t say anything if you don’t want to take that chance- but it’s going to be hard not to say anything. This is a very precarious place to be in a friendship and what happens next will show you how close you truly are. I just have to say something, I tell my friends who are asking my advice on this to say something, but I don’t know if that’s the perfect answer for you and your friend. You know, you know what’s right for you and your friendship. I just wrote about this today because it seems to be a very prevalent topic of conversation amongst my friends and I these days. The moral of this post is if your friend is in a relationship with a douche then tell her that, nicely and also maybe don’t say douche (even though he is one).