Welcome back to Awkward Situations! In this Episode: The Kid

Picture it: first snow in the city, you just bought your Christmas tree, schlepped the thing home, and now you’re popping back out to go to the pharmacy to be ready when the holiday cold hits…

And as I’m walking home from the pharmacy, going through my mental list, suddenly I hear, “Hello.”

I turn round, see no one, look down and see a kid.

It’s a girl child of about 8, 9, maybe 10… I’m shit with ages, anyway, this thing is underaged and it’s talking to me. No adult in sight. I awkwardly say Hi, and proceed walking. Kid walks along. And it starts walking in my direction. There’s some sort of daycare on this street and about a million schools all around, so I’m assuming she’s from there. Kid complains she forgot her gloves. I tell her to put her hands in her damn pockets.

Meanwhile, inside my head: Who are you? Why are you talking to me? Do I know you? Do you think I know you? Are you in trouble? Do you need help? You seem pretty unperturbed, I must say. Are you in need of social contact? Did your psychologist tell you to build up self-esteem by talking to random strangers? Are you even old enough to have a psychologist?

She asks me if I live around here, like, very detailed. I tell her the building and that’s it. I mean, what if she’s a spy? What if her parents are professional robbers and she’s spying potential ‘customers’?

Meanwhile, inside my head: Okay, now you’re just being silly.

I ask her if she lives around here somewhere. She goes yes (actually lives up the street from me) and proceeds to tell me about snow, and how she likes snow, and how she never writes anything on snowed-on cars like her friends do…

Meanwhile, inside my head: Bish, that’s fun, tho! I do that, and I’m pushing thirty!

… and how she hopes the snow will stay for a bit, and how we got snow for Easter, wasn’t that weird…

I ask her if her mother or father are home and she says not yet. I mean, not unusual, it’s barely 3 pm.

Meanwhile, inside my head: Okay, so what the hell do you want? Do you need a babysitter? A tutor? What? How do I ask a small human if they’re in some sort of trouble without sounding weird?

Kiddo tells me about snowboarding and how she’s getting a new snowboard for Christmas. We’re at my building now, so I try to stir the convo into goodbyes and hope she doesn’t want to come up to my place. Kiddo tells me her hands are so frozen she wonders if she will get her apartment door open. I tell her, atta girl, you can do it. Just kick the door in. (What? I don’t know what to do with that information!) I look around and no one’s followed us so far, street’s as empty as can be, so I guess she’s not going to get kidnapped as she ambles along the thirty or so metres to her building. I keep an eye on her until she’s out of sight anyway.

Meanwhile, inside my head: Strange kid. Should I make sure she’s okay? What was that about? Didn’t seem scared or worried. Just a weird whim what struck her? Oh god, what if she finds out where I live? Please don’t show up randomly!

Up in my apartment I lock all the doors and barricade the windows. Okay, not really, but somehow I feel shaken. Which I don’t get, because literally that was a kid, probably not a miniature ninja assassin who could kill me in my sleep. New level of awkward: can’t even talk to a fucking child. I have a hard enough time talking with adults, but kids are much more preceptive than adults. How do you handle someone with a working bullshit filter?

So I proceed to do boring household tasks at home when suddenly a string of thoughts strike me.

What if she somehow locates me and then I have to find her parents? What if she’s from the future? What if she’s my child from the future? What if she’s a ghost? I mean, it’s getting mighty close to Christmas, that’s a prime time for ghosts. What if she’s the ghost of my potential child from the future which I won’t have through some bizarre  turn of events in which I changed the future accidentally by not eating waffles the day before? Please don’t haunt me, small future ghost!

But seriously, should I call someone? Child protective services? Dog catchers? Anyone? I don’t know what to do, this wasn’t in any of my scripts! Do people these days no longer tell their children not to talk to strangers?

Welcome back to Awkward Situations! In this episode: The Shopping Expedition!

So while the world keeps riding a roller-coaster to hell, life still goes on. Which in direct consequence means I still have to deal with the nitty-gritty, wibbly-wobbly, wishy-washy nonsense that is life among other people. I think we can all agree that we hate people sometimes. Not me, though; I save on postage and hate them always. Honestly, I’d almost prefer a zombie apocalypse. Hell, I’ll be first in line when they’ll hand out the zombie virus. Lurching around without being aware of anyone that’s not food, sign me right up! At least as a zombie you don’t get accosted by salespeople.

In the course of these human events it became clear one day that I needed a new computer chair, because for some reason this old back is not getting any younger and all the yoga in the world is not helping. So, new chair it is. Can’t do anything about the chair at work, so I’ll have to get one for home. Only problem is, to find out if you like a chair you have to sit in it. Physically. Because they don’t have 3D scans you can do from home. So I need to actually go to an actual store. Any store have any good ergonomic chairs? Yes, Ikea and some other place, both stores at opposite ass ends of nowhere. Actually, one ass end of nowhere is now a huge shopping mall because we’re becoming globalised over here. So I lurch (actually take the tram, then the subway, then another subway, then a ten minute walk) to that horrid place full of shops and people and children and beating-heart zombies who can’t look up from their phones to watch where the fuck they’re going. And apparently despite my obvious discomfort at the multitude of smells, sounds, and visual input, I still look like I’m up to buy a 30 EUR hand cream.

A guy from a booth in the middle of the way suddenly calls me over and first I think I must have dropped something, but no. That guy hands me a soap sample. Out of total brain confusion caused by sensory overload I thank him in English. And then the gates to cosmetic hell open up.

The problem is, despite my best efforts and biggest dreams, and the way I yell at my computer, I’m not exactly a fire spitting bitch, but a nice, mild-mannered person whose greatest regret at the end of life will be that I didn’t tell enough people to get all the way out of my face.

No. No, suspiciously touchy-feely salesman. Thanks for the soap sample, but no. But I’m feeling okay, like, not in full on fight – kill opponent – flight mode, so maybe I can flee by doing my usual routine of pretending I’m not from here? No, not working. Dude’s making small talk, still in English. Asks me where I’m from, tells me where he’s from, tells me all about this nail file, then about this cuticle oil, then about the hand cream… all the while rubbing stuff into my hands and I’m just there like…awkward-girl-meme

Trying to answer the age old question of how to politely tell a person to fuck off, while orchestrating this huge lie about being a grad student from Milton Keynes (no, I don’t know what was thinking when I thought of that!) and I’ll only be here for a year. And he just keeps going. Like, I know you need to make a sale, dude. You were probably spying on me from behind the fake greenery as my directionally confused ass was trying to locate the furniture store, and the vision of a commission was dancing in front of your eyes. I know your kind can smell a tenner a mile off. Or blood. One of the two. But, but, but… I’m not shelling out 30 for a hand cream. I tell him so. I tell him I’ll think about it while buying my new office chair. He says if I have an Austrian boyfriend I could rub it all over his body. I say I don’t think said boyfriend would like that. I make a joke about maybe I’ll ask my boyfriend to get me the stuff for Christmas anyway. He asks me why and I’m just… well, just so. Didn’t he get the joke? He didn’t get the joke. And suddenly he launches into a mini tirade about control within relationships and how back where he comes from they have these men’s/father’s rights groups who restore order within families when there’s problems and at this point I’m like…

target-lady

Someone get me the hell outta here! Somehow the conversation ends with my usual marketer spiel of “I’ll think about it, byyyyyyye….” and I flee. Making a mental note to find another exit from the mall so I don’t have to walk past him again. Text my small scale trauma to my actually existing boyfriend because WTF.

And then the furniture store doesn’t have the chair I wanted to try on (try on? try out? One of those). They miiiiight wanna put that on their website. Like, if they haven’t had that thing for a week, you know. Might be useful to change the little sign that says ‘in stock’. Because at this point it’s a barefaced, clean shaven, bold font lie.

Whyyyyyyy?

It’s the little things that confirm my hatred for most of my species. Milton Keynes me also hates people. Everyone of my fabricated personalities hates people. I’m just not made for the public.

Also, please tell me I’m not the only one pretending to be someone else when faced with a situation I can’t handle.

Also also, an hour later when I was finally home I discovered that cream gave me a rash. My usual 2,59 hand cream doesn’t do that.

And now I have to retreat to my bedroom, draw the curtains, shut fair daylight out, and make myself an artificial night in which I can ignore the world. Cheers.

Abominable Blatherer Strikes Again! Who will save the city? Not me, I’m on break.

I’m going to name my first stomach ulcer after this guy.

Remember this guy? No? How ’bout now?

I don’t even know where to fucking start. He’s no longer satisfied with talking us to death, now he has upgraded to utter nonsense that, if this were a job in the so-called real world, would get him fired and thrown out on the street so fast his ass would leave cracks in the pavement.

Does he show up to any meetings? No, he cancels five minutes before. Does he show up for his assigned hours? No, he cancels without informing anyone. The work related thing that he absolutely wanted to do and whined about for weeks, does he do that? Nope, never shows up. Does he do any kind of work assigned to him? No, he’s got so much academic commitment, he’s busy, he just didn’t get around, and anyway, that’s your job! He’d much rather do this and this and this because that’s more important, that’s what’s really going to get this team working!

He’s acting completely on his own “authority” now. Going so far as to offer internships to high schoolers without so much as a by your leave, team! We do not offer internships. We have neither the authority, permission nor competence to employ interns. The higher-ups would be most displeased. We can’t issue certificates. Also, the Blatherer (who offered the kid an internship with him, not with anyone else, no, just him) does not work nearly enough for the kid to learn anything substantial. So I wrote the high schooler sorry, mistake, can’t do it, but maybe you can become a full-on team member once you graduate, and if you’re looking for internships herehavesomelinkstoplacesthatactuallyofferinternships! I was nice! I was personable!

In comes the Blatherer and e-mails the kid to disregard everything I said.

No, you don’t understand, he literally said ‘disregard’.

So then other people get on him and tell him not to pull shit like this. Definitely not without asking if it’s okay. Definitely not without asking if that’s even legally possible, Mister We-need-to-propose-motions-and-act-on-democratic-principles!

And what’s his argument? “Well, we never said we didn’t do internships!”

This is why common sense stipulations should be a thing. Like, a thing you have to sign once you turn 18, otherwise you won’t be recognised as a legal adult. ‘I hearby declare that I will use my brain before I do anything‘. Something like that.

And then he goes, weeeell, such and such official department said I could do that!

I e-mailed them today. Let’s see. I have the sneaking suspicion the truth content of this statement is comparable to “Yes, I read the terms and conditions”.

I just don’t get this guy. What does he want? Control? Power? Does that get him off? First he contacts a photographer without anyone agreeing; then blows up in the face of the computer department because they were trying to double check some data we sent them; now this. Also, he decided we should have a new team member! And he’s coming by tomorrow! Because!

No one of the other ones knows this guy. There’s no e-mail contact, nor phone call, nor nothing. Just because the Blatherer invited him without telling anyone. We have no way of telling the guy we can’t meet him on such short notice and without even knowing his name. The only thing we know is that the Blatherer apparently promised this young man to help him get his father from Syria (!) to come to this country. Which… how? We could pay the young man even nowhere near the amount he’d need for travel expenses for his dad. Civic participation and all… but we can’t do it. We don’t have the means! We don’t have the budget! We just don’t!

So now everyone’s pissed and the chairpersons are tearing at their hair and trying to come up with a solution. I already talked to the Blatherer a month ago about how he can’t pull shit like this. What did I tell him about unauthorized and unilateral decision? I told him not to do it! This should be easy enough to understand for someone who’s in his twenties! So now I say, let him crash and burn. Let him have his bloody intern, if the highers get his ass, that ain’t my problem. I tried being nice. I don’t give second chances.

Uuuuuuuggghhh. I’m so fed up. I’m so done. I was having fun, and then along came this guy. What am I being punished for, was my life too easy again? Someone please hit him with a rubber chicken, that’ll show him!

Act V, Scene II: In Which I am Really, Really Depressed and Vent mine Angst and Frustration

This post is not going to be funny because I’m at my lowest mood-wise since a long, long time. I’m having a bad week. Actually, the bad week started back in March. It’s the bad week of the year.

Nothing bad has happened. No one died. Well, no one I know. I’m sure someone died somewhere. Shit, now I feel guilty. Anyway. Nothing bad has happened but I’m miserable as hell.

Somehow I got roped into having a friendly talk with the Blatherer, and I think I got some points across, but who knows how long this will last. And all because no one else will open their damn mouth. Why does the not-people-person always get tasked with the someone-might-shoot-the-messenger quests? In other words, I’m no good with people, usually I just yell and threaten physical violence, so why do I have to go and talk calmly and reasonably to someone I really just want to throw a brick at? Read my lips: I. Am. Not. Friendly. I’m the worst at being nice. I wish I was nicer. I wish I still had it in me. But then people take advantage of my niceness. So I’m rather a really evil bitch. I’m really good at being a really evil bitch. Somehow I can deal better with people not liking me than people liking me for what they can get out of me. I dunno. I could just cry, but my tear ducts haven’t been working right for months now.

I’m good and ready to quit this sodden job thing, but I keep telling myself, two more months. And plenty of uni work to distract myself, what with a thesis, the theoretical base of which will just not shape itself. Okay, so I’m trying something new. I could have gone with an established theory like marxism, throw three novels together and I’d be fine. But I have to go and make life complicated. Also, that workshop thing didn’t work out so well, because even after all these years, speaking in public makes me nervous. Yes, yes, practice makes perfect and all. No! The inner perfectionist will not be satisfied with a less-than stellar performance! That’s the problem with me, I have to be perfect on the first go or I lose all faith in myself. Can I at least blame that one on my mom?

I don’t think I could hate myself more if I suddenly and inexplicably slept with any ex of mine, is what I’m trying to say. I’m at a point where the Camelot song from Holy Grail can’t cheer me up. I would jump off a bridge if it wasn’t so damned cold outside. Few things are worse than having your suicide go wrong in April, you end up having to drag your drenched ass out of an icy river and you come home cold, wet, and even more miserable. So not worth the effort of getting out of bed.

I just don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone for a week or five.

Also, those bitches from my side hustle won’t pay me until May. Christ, I worked for you in early March, gimme! I need a substance abuse problem badly and I can’t afford one if you fuckers won’t pony up my cash!

The Return of the Abominable Blatherer!

So I’ve been keepin’ busy. Our apartment building’s been getting new windows in and Tuesday it was our turn, and I can still feel the dust in the air. I can feel it because I’m allergic. I haven’t stopped sneezing in days. And no amount of airing and vacuuming will get it out.

I’m also preparing a workshop. I’ve never lead a workshop before. Safe to say I’m a nervous wreck. Never been more nervous in my life, in fact. I want this to be good, you know? I want to distribute knowledge amongst my students-for-the-day. I want them to walk out of that room at the end of the day going, “Jup, that helped.”

Somehow this master’s thesis is also not writing itself and I need to go see my supervisor sometime soon.

And the last thing I need in between all of this… is this guy.

I feel like Jack Nicholson in that old Batman movie: I’ve given a name to my pain, and it is Batman the Abominable Blatherer. Now, if my problem was Michael Keaton, I’d be overwrought with joy. Because it’s Michael Keaton. Instead, I’m settled with… this guy.

So last year, before he was here, the team decided against putting pictures of our faces on the website. Because seriously, the team is rotating so much you’d have to switch out pictures ever year. Like, I’ll be gone come summer. Also, some of us are very concerned with control of our images on the web because by damn did we learn from American examples. Then internet is no longer our own private hidey-hole like it was in the early 2000s, now it’s a public place. No, we don’t even put pictures of us partying on facebook. No, not even if our bosses can’t force us to facebook friend them. No, not even if it’s illegal for our bosses to even ask us for our facebook name (we don’t even use our real names! And all our profiles are set to private! Because!). European millenials know how the damn internet works, so we like to keep our faces to ourselves until we get a real job, thank you very much.

I mean, look, it’s one thing to ask a question if you don’t know there was already a decision on this. It’s one thing to ask again because after all, we do have some newbies as well who may or may not want some pictures of themselves. That’s all fine.

But the Blatherer went ahead and contacted a professional photographer and got an estimate for group and single pictures. Mind, he did that literally five minutes after he said “Hey, we should have photos!” and literally three days before he thought to ask the twelve other people on the team about this. And now he keeps going on about it via e-mail. “I don’t understand why we can’t have pics!” Because the rest of us said no last year. Just because you are here now doesn’t change the minds of everyone else. Also, money. Why should our collective fund go to something only one of us wants and which is no use to our target audience? Hell, I even offered to lend out my old reflex camera if he absolutely wants a damn picture of himself so badly. But nope, it needs to be professional!

Now there are about 30+ e-mails in my inbox of people going back and forth and trying to get him to accept a solution that does not cost more than a hundred bucks. Does anyone beside me realise how much this guy is trying to run the show? Is anyone else tired? Is anyone else losing their motivation?

Also, we need an emergency meeting to discuss the new statutes he’s drawn up.

Someone should talk to this young man. But why me? Don’t we have people to deal with this? Like psychologists? Or HR? Or hitmen? Anyone?

The Amazing Adventures of the Abominable Blatherer!

Okay, so, I’m breaking a bit of a codex here. I made pact with myself that I wouldn’t talk about work. More precisely, that I wouldn’t talk shit about my colleagues. Such pacts are all well and good until your gorge rises and your heart speed is suddenly in the three digits area.

Do you know those people who talk… but they’re not actually saying anything? Like, they just talk? And talk? And talk? And talk? And no matter how often you tell them to shut up they just won’t? Even if they’re labouring a moot point? Even if whatever they’re complaining about was already resolved? Even if whatever they want just makes things more complicated and less efficient?

I have one of those at my work place. It’s getting ridiculous.

Usually, we’re quite an informal group. Things get discussed, pros and contras are brought in, and decisions are made via a simple majority of raised hands, or just a round of ‘yeah, sure’s. Also usually, we’re unanimous because most of our plans are sensible.

And then there’s this guy.

He’s not against anything, per se. But he’s trying to turn us into fucking parliament. We can’t just make a suggestion for a project or something, no, no, no, we need to propose a motion. And to show us how this works, he puts forward a motion that we sponsor a fund-raiser for a history related project he’s doing. Problem being, the way our place is set up, we’re not legally allowed to take in money from people. Don’t ask me, it’s complicated legal shit. All we can do is ask for donations, but we can’t, like, sell tickets or something. So we discuss this, because we all think this is what he wants us to do, and we go back and forth for ten minutes, with him yelling in between about democracy, until we finally arrive at the conclusion… all he wants is for us to promote the project and fund-raiser, which he’ll organise himself, on our homepage and social media.

Okay? Why didn’t you just say that? I mean, the project is interesting enough for our target audience and it’s for a good cause so why all this legal mumbo jumbo about motions and compliance audits and applicable documents? Just send us your shit and we’ll do it!

Somehow, though, he’s convinced that our team has dire troubles with decision making and general leadership, never mind the fact that we’ve all been rather happy with the way it’s been. But no, we need some really strict guidelines. And we can’t just have simple majority when we vote on something, we need to stick to three-quarters majority. And why are there never any abstentions, eh? Is everyone being pressured into casting their vote on something they don’t want by our evil chairpersons?! This is not how democracy works, we need to act according to democratic lines, what we really need are decent statutes that list in detail how we vote and in which order topics are dealt with, and which kind of projects receive aid, and how we propose motions and how to carry a motion and how to reject a motion…

Meanwhile, we’re all over there like

And if we want him to stop talking we should just propose a cloture, a motion to close debate, which I do, because fuck him, let’s get a laugh out of this, and we got a three-quarter majority on that particular motion and yet somehow, he keeps going.

You know? That kinda person who keeps coming up with all sorts of rules which apply to anyone but him?

I leave that particular meeting early. Because fuck it, I said I got two hours time, I’m not getting paid anyway, so two and a half hours is all you get from this bitch. And I’m not in here to get yelled at about democracy.

Look, I’m all for trying new things and better solutions and faster processes, and I respect the guy’s dedication to order. The problem is, he’s entirely inefficient, and efficiency is the thing I’m dedicated to. He’s slowing everything down with his inability to shut the fuck up. He’s making everyone resent his ass, thus fucking up the work climate. He’s actively blockading any decision. Just because he’s so in love with his ideas about motions. Like, didn’t he notice that parliament doesn’t exactly run smoothly? And that the number one complaint in this country is the mass of bureaucracy you have to wade through just to get a simple thing done? Like repair a bridge that needed repairing for the last twenty years? (But that’s a complaint for another time.)

But this dude just doesn’t realise that this particular three-quarter majority is so not on board with his suggestions. Because he’s not making suggestions, he’s flat out telling us that everything we do is wrong because he says so, because obviously he’s the expert in all things conduct and guidelines and law and politics. To me he’s sounding like he’s using democracy and bureaucracy as a shield to mark the beginning of a personal dictatorship which he will achieve by talking relentlessly until we all just give in to make him shut up. I’m so not here for that.

I’m also wondering what his sex life is like. “Motion to receive oral pleasure!” – ” Motion denied.”

Next time I see him I’ll just toss jelly babies at his head while shouting, “Hold it! Objection! Take that!”

And before any of you come in here like, “Yeah, tough gal, how ’bout you tell all that to his face instead of talking shit behind his back?”, I have. I have, multiple times. Multiple times over the last half a year he’s been here. I tried it nicely. Then I tried it not so nicely. Then I started yelling because he gave me a headache. Do you honestly think that type of person listens? And certainly not to me. Jelly babies it is!

Rant Day! First Complaint of 2016, Wooo!

Item 1: Despite my best efforts, I gained even more fucking weight. I’d be seriously contemplating a gym membership if it wasn’t another drain on my financial resources. But I can’t keep ballooning up! I’m too damn broke to buy new pants!

Item 2: Now what’s this? What’s the object of all this white stuff outside? Is it an enormously large group of enormously large polar bears? Is it spilt paint? Did a cocaine truck fall over? No? Then what the hell is all that white stuff doing there? Just fancy frozen water? And the government’s doing nothing, it’s a fucking disgrace!

Item 3: Okay, so the local drug store is giving away this woman’s magazine for free. I take it in hopes of recipes. And every time I am severely disappointed because the trends of women’s magazine recipes seem to be a constant oscillation of roasted savoy cabbage on one extreme, and some high fashion something that involves 14 well-timed steps on the other. I know we’re all panicking about meat now, but can we have some normal food?

Item 4: Speaking of food, is anyone else baffled by this Paleo food trend thing? Eat like cavemen… except for the fact that you don’t because if you’re trying to eat like 50,000 BC you will soon find you can’t. I’m mainly annoyed with the word. Paleo. Paleolithic. I just…. This is not accurate! The Paleolithic age lasted for over two million years. Lots of things happen in over two million years. I mean, didn’t you notice the lack of mammoth and giant stag everywhere when you came up with that? Are we still hunting glyptodon? I dare you to google gylptodon. We should have tamed that thing because it’s awesome but humans weren’t on to the domestication trend back then. So what are you eating? meat. Beef. Pork. Chicken. While I’m all for eating meat, I’d like to point out that cows have been domesticated for 10,000 years, pigs for 13,000, chickens for some 8000 years. So… not really Paleo, is it? More like Mesolithic, get your facts straight, go visit a museum once in a while. I mean, you shun potatoes, which have also been cultivated for some 10,000 years as being ‘not Paleo’. Yet you’ll eat broccoli and kale which have only been cultivated since around the fifth century BC. Might as well skip the beef and chicken, too. Go hard or go home (to your cave)! And anyway, all evidence points to ‘cavemen’ eating literally everything. If you gave a caveperson a cupcake, they’d eat it. And maybe your hand, too, because you know what’s very Paleolithic? Cannibalism.

Also, if you think you can cheat death by going back to the roots or somesuch nonsense, I’d like to point out 1) neither in the Paleolithic nor in the Mesolithic age did humans live as long, on average, as they do now, and 2) that archaeologists have found evidence of bone cancer in a 120,000 year old skeleton. So you know… eat your cupcakes while you can. Just give up and change the name of your fad diet, it is not accurate and that’s bothering me! 

Item 5: What happens in Cologne does not stay in Cologne. So I wonder… if one of the women assaulted in Cologne on New Year’s had shot her assailant, would the police still not have heard or seen a thing? Just throwing that thought out there.

Item 6: My new bag is great, but extremely heavy even without anything in it. I could club someone to death with that thing. Which, given the recent outbursts of gender motivated violence in my city and nearby ones, is probably a good thing. If someone come at me, they gon’ eat handbag.

Yeah… try as I might to write it off as a joke, the new year so far has been a bit rough. It’s hard to be funny when you want to scream. Stay safe out there.

Late Rant Day! Things That Were Driving Me Insane, Sep 26 – Oct 4

Item 1: I had my first taste of working sort of full time this week and now I can’t feel my feet anymore. The job thing required my presence exponentially this week, why, because no one else had time so I just had to deal and put in six hours every day. I suppose I could get used to this after a month or so, but this week was just confusing torture. When do I go eat? What do I go eat? Should I pack my lunch? Probably, because I’m pretty broke. Do I actually pack myself lunch? Nah, those couple sandwiches won’t hurt. When do I clean? When do I do anything?! How do people deal with this without a million lists? Why am I suddenly three pounds heavier, I barely ate anything?!

Item 2: No, seriously, how can a human being gain two kilos in a week where said human being is eating normally and running around all day and doing pilates four times week? It thought being active made you lose weight, not the other way round!

Item 3: You know those weeks when suddenly there are Things Happening? Like, you got work, you got deadlines, friends call you up, parents call you up, events are happening in town, and you’re just over here like, There’s not enough caffeine in the world to get me through this but hey, I’mma try? Yeah.

Item 4: This is the last fucking time I drink whole milk. I really can’t drink whole milk anymore. I just hope I remember this the next time I order at Starbucks. My stomaaaaach!

Item 5: Is this what getting old feels like? I can’t drink whole milk, I have to take eye drops three times a day, I can barely walk for three hours, my back hurts, my neck hurts, my hip hurts, is this really going to get worse?!

Item 6: Aaaand I’m sorta ill again, will this ever end?

Item 7: Look, good friend, you should know by now that I’m not the kind of person who likes crowds. In fact, I’m the kind of person to see a crowd and flee screaming in the other direction. When I agree to go to a crowded event it’s because I want to spend time with you. I’m willing to brace my discomfort just so we can hang out. Which by extension means…. don’t leave me hanging, goddamnit! Make some actual plans with me! Not this “Maybe we’ll see each other there”. I’m too old fashioned for this maybe-maybe-not culture. Especially when faced with a place full of people.

Some positive things: I had a burger this week. To quote Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction, “This is a tasty burger”. I also made a lot of people laugh this week. Maybe I should work up a stand-up routine.

Risky Business, Also Known as Daily Life

As a slowly recovering sociophobe (ignore your spell check, it’s a word), I take chances every damn day.

I mean, I guess the biggest chance ever to take was to get actual psychological help, which did not work out at all. But that’s a sad story and I’m not feeling it today.

So instead let me regale you with the fact that sometimes I get up, get ready, get my stuff, open the door…

… go “Nope” and head back inside.

Some days leaving the house is just not happening. I mean… people. Construction workers. Children. Parents with children. Dogs. Birds. Social interaction with cashiers and ticket inspectors and random weirdos and those elusive beings called acquaintances. Hundreds of thousands of people being carried through the public transport system like so much cholesterol in an American’s bloodstream. The noise of a million grunting voices, crying, yapping, tapping on their phones, the irregular tick-tock of two million shoes going in every direction and at every pace, all while you are trapped in the enormous body heat of a stuffed subway car like you were travelling through the bowels of some huge alien creature. Smells like it, too. And you want me to partake in all this? Nah.

So some days, I step outside, decide that ‘literally, I can’t even’, and go hide in my bedroom.

I’m absolutely convinced this is where this dreaded phrase comes from. You’re so paralysed with fear you can’t even finish the sentence. Your brain just shuts down from sensory overload.

But sometimes, you do have to go out. Yes, even me with my thorough calculations of how long I can put off buying toilet paper. There’s university, and grocery shopping, and going to the drug store for tampons, and visiting relatives, and a billion other things you just can’t avoid. And then you just have to brace yourself, give yourself a good mirror pep talk about how you are a kind and loveable and entirely normal not-at-all-weird-or-awkward person, and go.

And then your brain puts on the next horror show. Did I lock the door? better go check again. Did I close the windows? There’s scaffolding all over the place, anyone could climb in, better go check again. Did I lock the door again after I checked on the windows? Better go check. Wait, did I check the kitchen window? Wait, did I turn off the stove? Should I really leave the dryer running, I heard that can cause a fire. What if someone starts a fire in the basement again? What if I lose my keys? What if I lose my phone? Wait, where’s my pepper spray even? Wait, where’s my list? What if it rains, should I take an umbrella? What if it gets cold, should I take a jacket? Wait, what if someone breaks the windows and steals all my stuff?! Maybe I should hide everything I own real quick…

And all this just to take a ten minute walk to the post office.

I took a huge chance today by going to a job interview. Do you want my inner monologue?

Oh my god, they answered so quickly! Wait, does that mean they’re desperate? Does that mean their last assistant quit suddenly? Did someone die? That’s why you can’t ask why the position’s free, no matter what they tell you in those get-ready-for-your-job-interview articles, because it’d be super awkward. Wait, how many other candidates are there? Oh my god, I really don’t have much experience, what if they hire me and then I can’t do it? Oh my god, what do I say when they ask why I want this job, I can’t say “Because I’d be getting paid”! But literally, that’s the reason. What if they ask me what my dream job is, I can’t say ‘billionaire heiress’! But literally, that’s the truth. Oh my god, what if they don’t like me? What if they’re mean? What if they make a joke they think is funny but is actually really hurtful and/or offensive? It’s going to be 90 degrees out, what am I going to wear? What if they don’t have AC? Ahhhh… blouse. Okay. Should I do pants? I can’t do my suit pants, too hot. Should I do a skirt? Great, now I look like I’m going to boarding school. What are they wearing on their website? Is this more business casual or business professional? What if that’s just for the photos and they’re really like super relaxed? What if I look odd? What if they don’t like my nose? Or my voice? Or my accent? Oh my god, I can’t do this. You need a job, though. I can’t do this! You need a job, though! I’m not half as good as I don’t even think I am! You need a job, though. Okay, so I’m here, and they are super relaxed about clothes. And it’s a group interview. Aww, all the other girls are so much prettier than I am! And they’re younger, too! Argh, Jesus, there’s no way they’re going to take me, not with that girl over there, she’s probably perfect. Argh, why can’t I pretend I’m a smiley, happy person, why is my strict organiser showing?! They want an organiser, though. Who cares, no one ever cares how efficient I am because I’m not a pretty smiling-at-all-hours sort of person! I’ve resting bitch face! It’s my natural condition! My masticatory muscle is cramping from all the smiling, this is the worst thing ever! Actually, this interview wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was. Wasn’t. Was. They seemed to like you. Didn’t! I said a stupid thing. I said a lot of stupid things, actually. Argh, why did I even go? Because you need a job. What I need is being a normal person!

So, yes, I’m definitely taking chances. Chances of going absolutely insane. Thank you and goodnight, I’ll see myself in.