The Test

Have you heard the one about the Eastern European, the gay guy and the Japanese girl who walk into a -


No? Well, I don’t know the punchline yet, because this morning I was invited to a beautiful, outdoor spa with pools, saunas, and hot tubs – rawr!

This is a test of psychological proportions. I mean, come on. I’ve had pie with ice cream for the last ten days in a row. 

My partners-in-spa – if I accept this challenge – will be two men. Errrr…ummm…

After about 15 minutes of my brain freaking out and then stopping (to hyperventilate), I said I would go.

I pledge to myself that I will not make fun of and/or apologize for, in any way, my body or anything having to do with my appearance. Perhaps I will channel Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jack Black, or anyone who says loud and proud: This is Me! Except I will forego the meat dress and I won’t name my nonexistent future baby Blue Ivy (I prefer Green Envy).

Okay. Jack Black, it is.

If I get thrown out of the spa, I will blame Jack. If I get thrown into the psych ward, I will blame myself. And my other self. Or my third self. Whichever seems the most guilty.

See you at the end of the story.

Dr. Funk and the Head Spinners

A skunk’s funk lingers when it sprays its junk. It takes a while for the air to clear. I use this as a metaphor for the stank that lingers on me from the not-so-great happenstance that recently occurred.

I told myself I was fine, but I’m not. Not completely. I didn’t even feel like doing any online shopping after Thanksgiving. Pretty shoes at 50% off? Blah. Who the bleep cares.

I don’t know how long it will take for me to clear myself of the stink. But I know I have to do something to neutralize it, not just let it keep stinking me up. I might get used to it and then where would that leave me? A person who knows how she smells and does nothing about it because she’s in too much of a funk to care.

Yes, this is how my brain spirals and forms its thoughts.

Speaking of my brain, a few years ago I went to see a neurologist for an issue I was having. Fortunately there was nothing (medically) wrong with my brain matter. However, I was slightly insulted to see “unremarkable” used several times in my test results. I brought this up with Dr. Ron, who simply laughed as if I were joking around. He also tapped my spine like a Canadian tree and the fluid was clear, which meant it was fine. If syrup had come out, that would have been problematic, as you can imagine. Wait – you’re thinking about pancakes right now, aren’t you. Ah, go ahead. Do it up. Waffles, french toast…have you ever been to an IHOP after a late night out with friends? I never order any of that stuff when I go out for breakfast, but for some reason, it’s freakin’ delicious after midnight.

Back to Dr. Ron the Neurologist. He was young and funny, and during my last appointment he scribbled down a prescription on his medical pad, ripped it off and handed it to me.

His prescription? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

I wish I had kept that slip of paper to prove that’s what he wrote. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. I admit that I didn’t fill the prescription at the time, but I’m finally going to heed his medical advice now (with a few more videos I picked out):

The Evolution of Dad Dancing

The Chickeneers Sing “Ho Hey”

Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell Announce the Nominees for Best Actress at the 2013 Golden Globes

I so needed that.

Stink temporarily neutralized.


I adore Nick.

And I still adore him, even though we both agreed our relationship wasn’t working for either of us. As endings go, it’s the most mature and least awkward ending I’ve experienced thus far. But I still cried. I honestly hadn’t expected to do so. I started to say to him, “You’re the first person I have been with since…”

And that’s when it happened. Emotions swirled in my stomach and into my chest, traveled up my throat and poured out of my eyes.

“…my last relationship.” I managed to squeak out.

This statement revealed nothing new. I had told him this before, but that was when I was getting to know him. Saying it at the end held a whole different kind of weight. Vulnerability, you son of a bitch…but thank goodness you still exist.

In many of my posts I tend to come up with morals to the end of my experiences. I like to think that all of the lessons I learn must be making me a better person. And then I read an article by Robert Holden on He wrote the following, which opened my eyes and for once, I am letting someone else have the last word:

“Self-improvement usually starts with the belief that something is lacking in you. Thus, your ego sets about working on itself, proving itself and making itself into ‘a somebody’ that wins admiration and applause. The problem with self-improvement is that you are trying to improve upon a self that you haven’t really gotten to know yet. Self-improvement causes you to overlook your true nature. No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptanceself-improvement is full of musts, oughts and shoulds…Self-acceptance helps you increase your overall trust in life. The more you accept yourself, the more you trust your innate goodness, wise heart and natural intuition.”


“I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time and thinks I’m the best person in the world and wants to have sex with only me…And I don’t really see you hearing me and I don’t really see you changing, so. I just summed it up for you, and I’m sorry that I didn’t figure it out sooner…But consider it a testament to your charms, because you might not know this, but you are very, very charming. And I really care about you. And I don’t want to anymore, because it feels too shitty for me. So I’m gonna leave.”
- Hannah Horvath to her sometime lover, Adam Sackler
“Girls” (HBO)

When Leah Dunham’s character uttered those words (that she scripted herself), I had to go back and listen to her say them again. I can’t relate to a lot of what goes on in the series, but I totally got what she said. In that episode, Hannah doesn’t leave. Seconds after giving him that brave speech – which I shortened – she and Adam start making out. I don’t know how they continue as a couple since I’ve only seen a few episodes of the show, but I know that I should be smart enough to leave because -

I have been feeling shitty.

Ever since Nick and I parted at the airport two months ago, I’ve been inside out and upside down. These are the things I cannot deny but obviously have been trying hard to deny:

(BB: Before Boston; AB: After Boston)
BB: Endearments, compliments, “you’re on my mind constantly”; AB: Not so much
BB: Equal amount of calling, texting; AB: I call and text more
BB: SexyTalk/Text; AB: Less than minimal
BB: Urgency to see me; AB: Seemingly none

There’s a reason I haven’t written too much about him. I’ve felt optimistic, then discouraged. Happy, then disappointed with him. And myself. That’s the worst.

I was doing that thing, you know, that thing that puts women, actually any individual at a psychological and emotional disadvantage: making excuses, doubting myself, not being treated the way I deserve to be treated, ignoring the signs. I completely hate admitting all of this. Really hate it. I should know better. That’s the ironic thing about making mistakes: sometimes we know better even as we’re making them, yet we still forge ahead down the wrong path.

A long distance relationship sucks if both parties aren’t equally committed to it. Well, any relationship, no matter the distance, can suck without shared commitment. I can’t really blame distance, can I. I don’t think I’m well-suited to this type of undefined togetherness. Casual dating I understand; you have to date to get to know a new person. But this sort of “I’m committed to you, until I’m not…let’s see how it goes” kind of casualness makes the planner in me feel like I jumped into this whole thing before checking to see if my parachute would open. I usually double- and triple-check this kind of thing, but I wanted to take an exciting risk and I sure did. However, I probably shouldn’t have tried to make it last longer with a guy who essentially is not really right for me.

So what the hell do I want?? My friend M said, “It’s obvious what you want…you want a relationship.” It’s true. I can’t begin to construct a solid one – and I have to be solid first – if all of the pieces aren’t there. I do want to share those “couple” moments, those connections:  sharing unspoken looks, sex and love, caring for one another, cooking, and completely cracking each other up. Preferably while in the same room.

I’ve had moments like this. I remember how it feels.

So yeah, I went the wrong way once again. It happened because I wasn’t being true to myself. Things get a bit messy and off balance when this happens. Sometimes you can careen off course. I woke up from a nightmare a few weeks ago in which I backed my car into a neighbor’s house. I couldn’t seem to figure out when to stop going in reverse and started heading towards the house, my foot on the gas pedal. The sense of inevitability, of being the driver yet still feeling out of control woke me up gasping for air. Uh, I’m sure the symbolic meaning has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m feeling in real life.

I was doing some organizing and found this among my papers. It’s a comment made by my teacher from my 5th grade progress report:

5th Grade Progress Report

I believe that our good qualities can have bad aspects if you lose yourself and sacrifice who you are. For example, being understanding is a wonderful quality, but understanding to the point where you get taken advantage of and stepped on? No. Not good. So, when I was ten years old, my teacher observed a quality in me that as an adult, allows me to connect to others in an important way. But it also hurts me as an adult when I forget to be good to myself – not in the ego-stroking way but in a respectful way.

Sing it, Aretha. Good and loud, please. My hearing hasn’t been so good lately.