So, first off, it’s my birthday week. I know that most people choose to acknowledge just the day of their birth as their “birthday” and like to call those people amateurs. Why blatantly use your date of birth against others on just one day when you can realistically get away with it all week. As of tomorrow, I have literally every night this week and weekend taken up by others celebrating my birthday. Tomorrow is a date, Wednesday is a birthday dinner with my friend from high school, her boyfriend and one of his friends that he is bringing along (it’s basically a double blind date but she ensures me that he is hot so I am ok with it….plus she is taking me out for dinner and drinks so who am I to complain that an attractive dude is also sitting with us). Thursday some of my loveliest co-workers are taking me out (this is the actual day I was born if anyone wants to send extravagant gifts my way). Friday and Saturday are nights out split between some of my closest friends and then Sunday my parents are in town to take me out for dinner and hopefully shower me with gifts. That is how you work a birthday! I also use the birthday card with myself. Every time something good happens I find myself saying “happy birthday to me”. Like tonight, I was in my local Shoppers Drug Mart, spending money on things that I don’t need and I thought to myself “What are the chances that my ridiculously-priced razors are on sale?” (I buy the expensive razors that have the moisturizing bar on them because the whole shaving cream step is just far too exhausting for me. Quite frankly, I rather pay a stupid amount on razors than be inconvenienced by slathering on shaving cream. Priorities). To my delight, they were $4.00 off and I was very tempted to over-stock. Then I thought to myself “It’s effing cold out now….you know your shaving percentage goes WAY down during these months. One pack is enough.” Anyways, this was a situation where I said aloud “Happy Birthday to Me!” (yes, saving $4.00 excites me that much). I use my birthday when things go wrong too. Like how my iPhone has started doing two really awesome things lately. The first is that the volume randomly goes full-blast without me touching it. My eardrums were nearly shattered on my walk home tonight and I probably looked incredibly insane when it happened and I stopped dead in the street, threw my hands over my ears in pain and shouted “F-ck Me!” I am also slightly surprised that I was not propositioned, but that’s beside the point. The other lovely new feature my phone has given me involves text messages. For some reason, I will be replying to a text and it will be like I am not typing anything, so I try it again and again until it finally shows up and I hit send. Thing is, as it sends, all the things I have typed suddenly pop up. For example:
Dude: “Are we still on for tomorrow?”
Me: “You bet. You bet. You bet. You bet”
Dude: “You don’t have to pretend you are THAT excited. I can take it”
Me: “I’m not that excited. Stupid phone”
Me (immediately): “I didn’t mean I wasn’t excited….I just…you know….You know it’s my birthday week right?”
This is the situation that makes me think “WTF Universe, don’t you know it’s my birthday?”
The second part of this post is actually a guest post by my lovely, lovely Russian friend Anastassia. It should make everyone feel better about their lives….it’s why I hang out with her. Enjoy!
As a university-educated, semi-attractive (actually, who are we kidding, I’m gorgeous), employed woman in her mid-twenties, I have a lot of problems. I don’t want to diminish anyone’s issues, but being me is like, really, really hard. By the way, none of what I just said was meant to be sarcastic. Being me is like, way harder than being Nicole. Even though majority of what Nicole writes here would lead you to believe that she is a greasy, awkward, basement-dwelling troll who survives on KFC skins, cheap beer and like, Gravol tablets, it is simply not so. You may think that her life is just a series of awkward events punctuated with binge drinking, it’s really not that bad. When she gets into an awkward situation, it’s like, almost charming. I have seen her do and say things that are quite frankly not socially acceptable, and yet everyone acts like she is just doing the cutest thing they ever did see. It’s like watching a movie with that girl with awesome bangs that all the hipsters like, except for Nicole is way drunker and a lot more obscene.
Her awkward situations are just so cute, you know? “Oh someone tried to sext me and I was wearing an adorable pair of socks!” “Someone thought I was a hooker! How charming!” For the record, I have been accused of being a hooker more times than I can count. That’s what you get for looking Slavic, wearing a shit-ton of makeup and a fake fur coat. It’s called FASHION, you degenerate hillbillies, and for the record a twenty would get you nowhere!!! Maybe, like, a handy, but only if I was still 16, really drunk and single. But, I digress, so back to Nicole. “I proceeded to spew hate speech at my cab driver and he reacted with gentle humor!” It’s like, bitch you don’t even KNOW what it means to do something awkward.
I know awkward, mainly because I have absolutely no idea about what is considered socially appropriate. That leaves me in a lot of situations where I say and do things that are not necessarily well received by those around me. At the beginning of this, I mentioned that I’m employed, which means that I have sweet benefits. I think you can see where I’m going with this. Can we say unnecessary doctor visits?
One day, after a particularly trying commute where I was essentially assaulted by an octogenarian (seriously, the she shoved me out of her way with a strength of ten thousand men, ran over my foot with her little cart, and proceeded to roll her eyes at me like it was my fault), I realized that I just can’t go on like this anymore. Like all normal people, who don’t want to deal with the inconveniences in their lives, I decided that my only answer is seeing a psychiatrist. Now, I’m not the kind of person who just goes to mental health professionals willy-nilly. But, what’s the worst that could happen, right? Best case scenario: I moonwalk out of there with some sweet prescription meds. Worst case? I can sit around for an hour and talk about how everything in my life is the fault of others while the kind doctor validates me. Clearly a win-win, situation.
So, off to the psychiatrist I went. Oh, I also forgot to mention that I had to take half day at work, which is totally another bonus*. I had to fill out a bunch of forms, pertaining to my childhood history, my relationships and all that other junk. After carefully answering every single question in such a way that showed the doctor that I am smart, misunderstood and unhinged just enough to warrant some sort of a narcotics prescription, I was led into a room. I was so excited! Finally, I would have a psychiatrist of my very own. I really felt like I arrived. I felt so grown up, so cosmopolitan. I just knew that within days I would totally be one of those sophisticated women who wash their Xanax down with white wine spritzers and pass out face first on their silk sheets. I even made a mental note to stop by Walmart and buy a set of the finest polyester blend they had. For that brief, five-minute wait, I really felt like I was on my way to being somebody.
Finally, the doctor came in. He looked a little disinterested. But, that’s totally okay, I mean, he doesn’t even know me yet, I rationalized. He started looking at my forms, the same way one would look at the back of shampoo bottle while on the can. All of a sudden, he furrowed his brow and looked up at me. This is my chance, I thought, to say something witty and cement myself as his favourite patient. I opened my mouth, and the first thing that I said (loudly) was, “So, give it straight to me, doc. Do I have Down syndrome?**” “I beg your pardon,” said the doctor, clearly confused. “Do I have… down syndrome?” I asked, much quieter this time. Clearly, he wasn’t getting the joke. He stared at me, with a slightly perplexed and worried look. “No,” said the doctor. Seriously? What do I even say to that? If I was feeling like a sophisticated patient of a real-life psychiatrist a mere five minutes ago, that feeling was now gone. “Oh, I don’t actually think I have it, I just thought it would be funny to say, like a joke, you know?” He looked at me, for what felt like an eternity. “Oh,” he forced a laugh, “You don’t. You don’t have down syndrome.” “I know,” I said.
I’m not going to go into the rest of that hour, because I don’t remember what we talked about. I kept thinking about what I said. Did he actually think I was serious? Was my joke so inappropriate in this context that he refused to acknowledge it? Did I commit a serious faux-pas, as they say? Should I just stop interacting with people until I learn how to behave myself? I walked out of there feeling defeated, and a little bit like a bad person.
I needed to talk to someone, so called a few friends, who laughed at my story, though no one assured me that I’m not a bad person. Whatever, my friends are assholes anyway. Like they would even know what a good person is. I told a few coworkers, who sort of laughed and looked uncomfortable. Now that I think about it, they were probably just being polite. And also in retrospect, it was an inappropriate story to bring up in our weekly team meeting. I see that now. I told my boyfriend who, even before I finished the story said “Well, babe, I didn’t want to be the one to tell you, but you were going to find out eventually.” He then rolled his eyes at me.
I know this has been a very drawn out story. You may ask what the point was. Well, there is no point. Except for the next time you are feeling a little maladjusted; ask yourself “Have I ever asked a mental- health professional if I have Down syndrome?” Chances are, the answer is no, and you are probably a very charming person. Congrats!
*I don’t actually abuse the doctor visit privilege at work.
** I legitimately feel bad about saying that. I wasn’t thinking.