Quit Leaving Yourself Behind, Dammit

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Okay, it’s easier said than done — not leaving yourself behind, that is. This post will act as a prelude to my much-advertised post about female friendships, and it also will be very real & unedited.

How does one leave themselves behind — one might ask. Great question. You are quite brilliant. I was talking to my therapist yesterday — breaking the stigma, by the way, because of course, I have a therapist, if you haven’t read any of my other posts — about how exhausting it can be to get my (male) partner to do anything. If he needs a new pair of glasses, I have to find an eye doctor, pick out the frames, make sure the prescription is correct, order them, and then he goes to pick them up, and then he goes, “I did it! I used my car and drove to the place and therefore I did the glasses thing.” It’s exhausting.

My therapist then says, “yes, that’s a common complaint among heterosexual women.” My first thought, “MOTHERFUCKING WHY IS IT LIKE THIS.” Then I calmed myself because I was in a public place.

I had the same conversation with one of my closest friends last night, too. She was noticing how drained she is by the end of the day because of this dynamic between her and her husband.

I won’t speak for all straight + married, or coupled-off women, but I know that I’ve put way more energy into making sure his life is on the right trajectory than figuring out my own. That, my friend, is leaving yourself behind. The mental load of having to take care of every single detail of not just your own life, but the life of the one you love is absolutely exhausting.

A lot of wonderful scholarly articles have been written about women’s invisible labor and mental load (which doesn’t only include housework or emotional labor) and how it affects their ability to take care of themselves, progress in their careers, and maintain a stable mental health.

One of my favorite published examples of this is actually not academic in nature, but it comes from a wonderful writer who crafted a comic entitled, “You Should Have Asked”. Please, check it out: https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/

Now, some examples of my very own:
“Honey, I’m going to do the grocery shopping so that you don’t have to this week! Just tell me everything we need in the form of a detailed list and make sure your phone is on in case I forget the list and need you to tell me everything to get as I walk around the store.”

Who can relate? Many of you, I am sure.

Another good one:

Me: (feeling sad)
Husband: What can I do to help?
Me: I’M FUCKING CRYING. IF I KNEW WHAT TO DO TO HELP, I WOULDN’T BE CRYING ANYMORE. JUST DO SOMETHING. I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT TO DO TO HELP ME, TOO.

I have a lot of academic responses to this kind of dynamic in a partnership and the mental load that women often take on in partnerships with men. I have radical feminist theory engrained in my bones from my undergraduate years. However, for the purpose of this blog post, I want to focus on day-to-day strategy. What small things can we, women, do to protect ourselves? Avoid marrying a man at all costs? Not necessarily. If you aren’t attracted to men, then definitely AVOID AVOID AVOID. But, if you are, let’s think about self-care for a minute.

Self-care is essential, especially if you are a straight, coupled-off woman. Your partner is (usually) not trying to drain you of every bit of energy from dawn until dusk, but he most certainly is draining you. I have put a lot of energy into my relationship because I love my husband, but I often have trouble taking care of myself because he rarely returns the favor. (If he does return the favor, though, he wants praise for weeks on end. Oops, did I just say that out loud? In writing?) I leave myself behind on most days. I panic most days. I cry most days (I cry at everything, though, to be honest).

So, self-care can be anything from reading your favorite fiction books to calling a good friend on your lunch break at work to drinking your favorite cup of tea for the 45 seconds before your kids come running in the house with muddy feet. It can also be taking a vacation by yourself to Italy for 2 weeks, and leaving your husband at home to tend to his own fucking needs. That sounds great, actually. Think about that one, guys.

So, self-care is great, if you’re good at it. If you aren’t good at it yet, the recipe then calls for maintaining strong female friendships. Your friends do not — I repeat: DO NOT — allow you to leave yourself behind. Good, strong female friendships help you maintain a schedule of self-care. So, don’t let your female friends fall by the wayside when you are dating someone new, getting married, partnering off, whathaveyou.

Throughout this post, I am, of course, speaking in generalizations. Same-sex couples can have these issues: a woman could be having these same issues with her wife; a man could be having these issues with his husband. A man could even be having these issues with his wife (though, the research shows this is very rare, so don’t get all excited, Men’s Rights Groups). You could be having these issues WITH some of your more toxic female friends! So, take this with a grain of salt.

But, I was feeling for some of my friends who have left themselves behind lately, who need pick-me-ups from time to time. I know I certainly do. So, my post about the importance of female friendships is coming next. This is a stream of consciousness post. Take it lightly. Laugh. Cry. Whatever. Then go get a fucking massage + watch Bad Moms XMAS.

Peace,
Banana Peel Kelly

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Data update

Don’t you DARE think I’ve forgotten about my no-pants-count. If you’re new to this, and thinking WTF is going on / why isn’t she wearing pants / what kind of blog is this / I’m regretting reading something about a girl who wears no pants / oh dear god, Ryan Gosling 😍 /, then refer back to a post called, “I’m Looking for Data, Guys”, and then come back.

I haven’t worn pants (I wear leggings, gosh) since April 27th. That is 175 days without pants.

Or:

That’s it. Cheers to no pants! Have a good day — even if you are wearing pants!

Xo Kelly

On why I spray spiders with Febreeze instead of being normal

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agoraphobia

[ag-er-uhfoh-bee-uh]

noun, Psychiatry.

an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas, sometimes accompanied by anxiety attacks.

Trigger Warning: Blueberry

The above crying kitten is an exact representation of me every time I must leave my house and/or exist around humans not in my immediate family – which, by the way, started with blueberries. My origin story – the story behind my fear of panic attacks, or agoraphobia, or Agorie (its pet name in my house) – is about blueberries. I’ll elaborate in a minute.

I avoid leaving the house as much as possible. I’m really not a recluse; I like people. I just have horribly overstimulating anxiety that is triggered by every aspect of the world outside my couchland. Let me just say, too – my family members, the humans who raised and shaped me, are all fairly resourceful humans. They can solve problems and exist in the world – put on khakis in the morning, earn a living, pour their wine without spilling. Me: I try to kill spiders by chasing them around with a bottle of Febreze. My house smells like lavender in the end, but the spider and his ever-growing family lives on.  When the apocalypse comes, though, you all know I will already be locked away in the basement, making music videos for songs by The Cranberries. So, the joke is on all of you functional members of society.

The Deets (Remember Lizzie McGuire?)

Right now, I am not in my house. I am writing at a coffee shop that is 11 miles from my house, and it is making me extremely anxious. I am also not in the most comfortable spot in this coffee shop. I hope one of these stupid hipsters (I am also a stupid hipster) puts away their Beats by Dre and exits their seats promptly so that I can steal a nook. I think I have magical antisocial powers because a dude just left. Hold on, I am going to sit in said cozy spot.

I am now slightly less anxious.

I like to think that Banana Peel Leggings is a safe space to apply zero sugarcoating on the not-so-glamorous aspects of my life. This post is about my agoraphobia, self-love in the face of severe anxiety, and laughing about parts of it because what else am I going to do?

I’ve been thinking about the term agoraphobia lately because I’ve noticed the internet is suddenly obsessed with jokes about it. About never wanting to leave the house; about wanting to wear PJs all day; about not wanting to talk to people after a long day. This is all very normal, apparently. It’s like trending agoraphobia. The socially acceptable version of severely anxious behaviors as we all try to ‘adult’.

I have all those same feelings, except add on the sensation of some intense skin crawling. I remember my skin crawling at age 6 when my class went on a field trip to see the Nutcracker in Boston. Everyone else was excited about sugarplums, and I wanted to throw up. I can usually remedy this pukey-feeling by wearing large sweatshirts (like a human thunder coat), finding cozy nooks anywhere I go (I used to love timeout nooks in preschool), and if I must go somewhere new, I try to bring people I trust. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life who help me with this, and for that I am grateful.

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Other than the bougie stuff, like feeling highly uncomfortable in my skin while writing at coffee shops, Agorie has affected my career, relationships – both platonic and romantic –and my health – both physical (autoimmune disorder for the win) and mental (so much self-doubt). So, it’s not exactly a laughing matter, and I say this especially for readers who might be suffering from the same affliction. For these folks: I see you, and if you need someone to have some real-talk with, talk to me!

For now, though, this blog is supposed to make you laugh. I’m a comedy writer because I’ve felt chronic sadness for most of my life & adding a layer of humor always adds a layer of hope. We can’t get lost in fear, anxiety, desperation when we start with hope. So, here are some funny examples of living with my agoraphobia. Enjoy, please.

Origin Story

It has been said that blueberries are a natural anxiety remedy. I have never known this to be true. Blueberries, in fact, are the source of my first panic attack. Allow me to explain.

I was seated with my family – my mom, dad, and Lars – at a restaurant. I was about 5 years old. We had finished eating dinner and it was time to consider dessert. As we glanced at the menu, a certain treat caught my mom’s eye: a slice of blueberry pie. For some reason unknown to me, which I have learned after years of reflection, it became clear that while my mom wanted to eat this piece of pie, she wanted me to be the one to order it. The pressure was on. I DIDN’T LIKE BLUEBERRY PIE. I was full of Ranch dressing and chicken fingers.

I was not only satiated but also not someone who ordered her own food. This was a point in my life, which continued for another decade, when I would ask my dad to role play when the server came to the table, a ruse where the server would ask if we wanted any appetizers and he would say, “Kelly, do you want a salad?” knowing full well that YES I wanted a salad but I wasn’t going to speak up about it. I was in no state to take the fall for this piece of the pie. At this point, I blacked out. All of a sudden, all I could see was the blur of her face, hovering over me, repeating, “DO YOU WANT BLUEBERRY PIE? WHAT ABOUT BLUEBERRY PIE? BLUEBERRY PIE? BLUEBERRY PIE?” It was pure terror.

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Three Hours of Art Camp, or Basically a Stay at the Overlook Hotel

Summer was always a confusing three months for me. The structure of a school day (which used to feel like a safe pillow box of love) was gone, but at the same time, I hated going to camp, which would ultimately give similar structure. I was never sent to overnight camp, but if this post were about fear of overnight camp, I wouldn’t seem like such a loser. So, thanks a lot, Mom & Dad. I was afraid of daytime camp. Like – Mom drops me off at 9am and picks me up at noon.

First, though, circa the summer of 1996, my mom signed us up for a full-day camp. I vocalized my fear, but mom convinced me that Lars could be my panic pillow if necessary. I still use Lars as my panic pillow, by the way, which I’m sure he appreciates. As soon as we arrived at camp, those sneaky counselors SEPARATED US INTO AGE GROUPS. I was in the 6/7 group and Lars was in the 8/9 group. Why they didn’t separate us into groups based on the mental health status of little sisters, I’LL NEVER KNOW.

I conceded to this camp’s fascist rule, and we settled into our age groups at around 9:15. By 11am, I had the pukey-feeling. Playing Monopoly, eating goldfish crackers, and making glitter crafts were making me TOO nervous. Because, like, this glitter is not the glitter from my school OR my house; I will not play games with these STRANGERS, and I guess the goldfish were fine. With the lack of proper glitter and proper Lars, I stomped my corduroy-overall-wearing-self over to my camp counselor, Kate. “KATE, YOU NEED TO CALL MY MOMMY.” I vividly remember making the 2-finger gesture for the phone – one finger on the ear, the other over my mouth. I was in shock and I needed to remind her what a phone call looked like.

Kate called my mom, they chatted, and together they decided I could join the Big Kids Group with Lars and do Big Kid Things.

This change was helpful. I spent most of the day grasping onto Lars for dear life. I’m sure that was his favorite part about camp. Still, mom had to switch me to the camp’s half-day schedule because, even with Lars, she was getting calls from my counselors several times per day about my traumatic experience of seeing a bee, Lars having to go to the bathroom so often, and/or using unfamiliar crayons. Needless to say, the summer of 1996 soured my mom’s aspiration of having 2 normal children.

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The Girl [Not] at the Rock Show

I once read that the reason adolescent (straight) girls find androgynous boys attractive is that they seem less threatening – because their slight frame and eyeliner subconsciously reminds them of another girl. This struck me because I was DEFINITELY one of those girls in high school, but that really did not make me any more normal around those delicately framed dudes. Also – it’s not like masculine dudes intimidated me. They made me feel nothing. They seemed about as appealing as a cork board. Moving on.

At 16, I was short, flamboyantly weird, and I wore the same skinny jeans & black hoodie for days on end. Weirdly, I didn’t have very many suitors. I had a crush on this guy with dark hair, tattoos, a baby face, and my favorite — he wore a rolled-up bandana like a headwrap. This, by the way, is the only way you can wear a bandana and not look like you are about to rev up your Harley and ride into a Kentucky sunset. He was in a punk band (because of course, he was) and had a rather large ego (because of course, he did), and he kind of liked me, too. So, by the rules of hetero relationships, I had to attend his shows.

He invited me to a Saturday show (I was square & would never go on a weeknight), and that was exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Oddly enough, my attendance to said Saturday show didn’t go very well, and I didn’t want to talk to him Monday morning. But, there he was anyway, at my locker like a jerk who couldn’t read my mind.

“Did you come to my show last weekend?” He asked (because texting as a main form of communication was not really a thing yet! Can you believe it?!).

“Blerg. Yes, of course, I did. I wouldn’t miss your show.” I responded, while not knowing what to do with my hands. Lean your elbow against the locker? Sure. Seems completely average.

“Where were you? How come I didn’t see you?” He questioned while flipping his bangs effortlessly to the side, covering his left eye completely.

“I’m very small.” That was just kind of a lie. It is a fact that I am small; I just didn’t totally answer the question.

LOOK, he didn’t see me because it was TOO LOUD and there were TOO MANY PEOPLE and because being agoraphobic is essentially being a grandma. I took my best friend with me to feel about 1% stronger than a grandma. We stayed close to the back where a quick escape was possible, and where he was ultimately unable to see me in the crowd (again, because I am small; I am no liar). We escaped the scene after about 10 minutes because LISTEN — his affections were not worth this INSANITY. If he wanted to hang out with me, he could knit with me in a quiet corner of a library. This is something my husband now does with me, so I won this round, bro.

I’m not necessarily afraid of crowds or loud noises in every situation. While I do love libraries and knitting quietly, it’s not that I need to be in quiet places – at least all the time. My Agorie (Gor-Gor) presents itself mostly as fear of having a panic attack. So, if I feel safe, I can leave the house comfortably.

I say this because I loved going to crappy punk band shows in high school. I would layer on the eyeliner David Bowie-style, pop on my completely worn-in checkered vans, and head over to whatever emo band was playing in Boston that weekend. That didn’t stir up any fears. It was the insecurity of this crush that made me feel really unsafe and panicky.

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Let’s Just End this Thing with a Few Lists

Okay, that was quite a lot of sharing and probably a lot for you to digest. Let’s wrap this up Buzzfeed style with some quick-witted lists and brief commentary from those close to me.

Things that Just Make Me Want to Puke Just Thinking about Them

  • Blueberries
  • Driving somewhere that is more than 20 minutes away
  • Talking to cashiers at the grocery store
  • The line at the grocery store
  • Arriving somewhere either late or on time
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • Having a typo in an already sent email
  • Seeing someone I know at the grocery store (I have a lot of grocery store fears)
  • Phones
  • a very cold room
  • a very hot room
  • HOT YOGA — how the fuck do you guys do that?

Some Weird Habits I Have that Probably Have to do with Anxiety

  • Knitting in libraries
  • Having at least 3 books with me everywhere I go
  • Having headphones with me everywhere I go (so I can exist in a separate universe if necessary)
  • Watching YouTube videos of people describing what they bought at Goodwill
  • Covering my face with scarves
  • Owning several couch-only comforters
  • Listening to Taylor Swift to help me write
  • Googling serial killers
  • I do a great impression of a dolphin

Quotes from Lars (bro) + Alyssa (girl bro) + J Ross (another girl bro) about my anxiety

  • Lars: “You would always lie with your butt in the air (leggings on the butt) and watch TV in 5-hour blocks. Timmy Pickles was your best friend. The tv was the best thing we had. Only breaks were for Oreos and cheese, which you made me fetch for you.”
  • Alyssa: “I always have to pet your bangs,” and “You wouldn’t be as funny if you weren’t so severely anxious.”
  • J Ross: “sometimes you just scream really loudly at not very scary things. It’s funny & also loud.”

Anyway, overall, I am truly okay with having anxiety. It’s all I know, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. And like Alyssa said, my crippling anxiety has given me the gift of comedy, awkwardness, and a litany of stories. Cheers to that.
Xo Kelly

On my habit of being a small person who screams at everyone

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I probably shouldn’t start this by saying ‘I hate people’, as I’m assuming if you are reading this, you are a person. Also, one of my cats is eating something off the floor that will inevitably make him choke, and he won’t let me help him. So, it’s probably not just people that I hate.

Being small & being from Massachusetts

To start, I will say this: I’m from Massachusetts, and so it can be difficult to gauge whether I have an official Anger Problem, or if I am just used to yelling, “you call this coffee?!” and/or getting the finger from someone with a coexist bumper sticker on their car. Today, for instance, I shouted out my car window, “dipshit!” to a driver who was legitimately being a dipshit. Does that make me have an anger problem? MAYBE. I DON’T KNOW. I’m not a fucking doctor.

The other thing that I am, however, is small. So, when my frustrations come out, they seem especially large and uncalled for. However, this seems utterly discriminatory. Large Bostonians can scream & I am left to bottle my emotions? Discriminatory, I tell you.

I don’t know that I’ve always noticed that I am an angry person. I currently live in the Midwest – we moved here a few years ago when my husband got into a good school out here. So, I live in a progressive & cosmopolitan city in the Midwest, but it is still the Midwest, where everyone is nice, for some reason. No one complains about the shitty coffee in a downtown bodega; the streets are mostly clean because no one angrily spits in the street; people say hi to each other; humans driving cars with co-exist bumper stickers don’t typically give the finger. So, this environment has led me to believe that I may have an anger problem.

On Sunday night, I had these two conversations with two separate people, which made me start to wonder:

1.)

(Talking to my sibling about an attempt to return something)

L:  What did she say when you asked for a refund?

M: Well, honestly, she wasn’t the nicest person I’ve ever yelled at.

2.)

(Watching an episode of Black Mirror with husband)

M: What’s that loser doing? If someone was harassing me on the internet, I’d tell them to fuck off!

J: Well, he’s just a teenager. He’s still young.

M: Bullshit. I’ve always screamed at people.

So, I’ve been curious about my anger recently. Maybe you can help me decide if I should enroll in anger management courses based on this blog post. Also, if you have any other memories of my anger, don’t fucking tell me. (Just kidding. Maybe go ahead. It might be necessary.)

My catch-phrase

Something else might be important to mention, and it is that as a stubborn & unreasonable child, I had an inadvertent catch-phrase. Do you guys remember Michelle from the 90s series, Full House? She had a catch-phrase, too. Hers was cute & agreeable since she was a small child. “You got it, dude!” was the cutest thing on TV.

Mine, you ask? Mine stemmed from my dad’s pathological mansplaining. Let’s go back in time, perhaps 1995, to one of my brother’s soccer games. For context, the referee just had made a bad call, and I reacted.

Me: What?! Come on!

Dad: You see, in soccer, there are rules, and when players break those rules, there are penalties.

Me, 6 years old, without the ability to explain why he’s an ass: THAT’S YOUR OPINION, DAD

Eventually, the catch-phrase transformed into something that made more sense.

Mom: Water is healthier than apple juice. You need to drink more water.

Me: THAT’S YOUR OPINION, MOM

It still didn’t make much sense. It was just my way of communicating dissent. I asked my mom to comment on my catch-phrase. She said, “Well, I think you didn’t want to be swindled.” When asked who was trying to swindle me at age 6 or 7, she responded, “Well, no one. But, you were ready just in case.”

Clutter & also my husband

joey cleanThe post-its read: “JOE. The cleaners were here on WEDNESDAY. Pick up after yourself. Dishes and laundry, too. BYE. Also, fix the handle on the drawer. You will probably do none of this if I don’t leave a ❤ <3.”

I can scream through post-it notes!

Airport Fascism

Last year, my mom flew in from Boston to visit us for Thanksgiving. Nice, right? Family time. Lovely. Driving to the airport to pick her up, there was no traffic, so I was optimistic that the airport pick-up would be a breeze. Then I met a stocky, no-nonsense woman named Linda.

Linda was responsible for directing traffic AWAY from the pick-up area. Linda was being paid to shoo cars away and force them to continue to circle around the airport until their families are given the OK to jump into an open window of said moving cars. Still circling, Mom. Just jump right in. It’s fine.

After the first time I circled around, my mom called & told me that she was standing outside the terminal, waiting to jump into my moving vehicle. I pulled around, and I had to pull my car up to a spot slightly out of my mom’s view, but I could see her from my rearview mirror. Because my mom didn’t immediately see me, Linda stomped over to my car, told me I had been stalling for too long, and that I needed to move.

“No,” was the first word that came out of my mouth. It was not the last, though — let me tell you!

“Excuse me?” Linda blurted out, stunned that someone was standing up to her airport fascism. These sweet, continuously circling Midwesterners were letting Linda walk all over them.

“No. I’m not moving. I can see my mom from my rearview mirror. She’s making her way over right this second.”

“If she’s not already in front of your car, you must circle around again,” she shouted, foaming at the mouth.

“No, I don’t. I’m waiting,” I shouted back. Linda went red in the face.

“MOVE YOUR CAR.”

“FUCK YOU, LINDA. FUCK YOU.”

Still, my mom didn’t see my car, and apparently didn’t notice me screaming at an old lady, so I ended up having to give in to Linda’s freakish demands & move my car again.

As I started driving away without my mother, Linda bellowed maniacally, “happy thanksgiving”.

I stopped my car in the middle of moving traffic.

“HEY LINDA.” She looked at me, and I quickly took her picture. “I HAVE YOUR BADGE NUMBER, LINDA, AND I AM GOING TO GET YOU FIRED ON THANKSGIVING. HAPPY FUCKING THANKSGIVING, LINDA.”

When my mom finally got in my car, and I told her my story about Linda, she laughed, thinking it was a little quirky, but she said I ultimately did the right thing. She would have done the same, she said.

And that’s how Bostonians do holidays.

2016

I want this last bit to have less to do with my anger. I scream a lot, as you have read so far. But, I’m also quirky! I can scream + be quirky at the same time. Let me show you how!

So, I was a bit of a basket-case throughout 2016.  I was screaming at people on the internet quite a bit, and I did scare away a 300-pound Trump supporter at a grocery store one time. But, that’s a story for another day. The quirkier side of 2016 was my dramatic screaming as a reaction to the constant twists & turns of that wretched year. For example, when Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race, I was terrified.  My sibling, Lars – thinking my terror was funny — posted our conversation on Instagram. And by conversation: I mean me typing a lot and Lars not doing that.

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So, I had decided that my terror felt like my body was falling out of my skin; later, as Trump continued to gain popularity, it became just that my skin was falling off.  I still have skin and a body, but it was really the only way I could adequately scream about how I felt. See? Screaming can be quirky. Screaming can be about skin falling off.

I ended my post this way so that you wouldn’t recommend anger management.

Did it work?

-KM

On my t-shirt collection, weekend pants, & the grateful dead

pet-hoodies Listen, I don’t have a lot going on right now (other than constant panic), and therefore, I’m going to tell you about my t-shirts. Let’s be real, though, the existence of this blog is hard evidence that I rarely have a lot going on, so you can expect more posts just like this one. You might, then, ask yourself: is this person a recluse? What does she mean she doesn’t have a lot going on? I’m here to tell you, though — I’m not socially awkward (emphasis on socially), I just have no real interests, so I’m unbearable to have a real conversation with. I love chatting with people, but I can’t say the person on the other end feels the same.

You’re lucky I give myself several days to write these posts. Otherwise, reading my innermost thoughts would be agonizing.

Rambling, and now moving on (see what I mean about listening to me?).

Genie in a Bottle

From the moment that my mother (mistakenly) decided that I had enough sense to dress myself, I’ve had a t-shirt problem. And by problem, I don’t mean it in a superficial way — where I have too many t-shirts. The problem isn’t inherently a shopping problem. (Although that is true — I do have too many shirts and a shopping problem — this is not quite where the problems end for me.)

Let’s start at the beginning. The point when I was given the ultimate responsibility in choosing my own outfits. Let’s travel back to the Mickey Mouse Club days of 1995.

Um, there was a time when belly shirts were acceptable attire for ladies (and sometimes on men, re: backstreet boys). But, in 1995, before Britney made it popular (circa 1999; & yes, I do know every useless fact about 90s popstars), I mysteriously found myself staring down a girls’ sized belly shirt in my closet. This closet shirt remains a bit clandestine because my mom did NOT want me to wear this shirt.

(Looking back, the situation truly begs a series of questions: who bought me this shirt? Did my grandma buy me this shirt? Did she think a belly shirt would look nice on her granddaughter? Was it an uncle? Why would he do that? How did this happen to a 6-year-old?)

Anyway.

Back to staring at the shirt in my closet. The shirt of my dreams was white with very thin & airy fabric, and it tied into a bow in the front, just above my belly button. A bare belly button seemed so appealing.

My family was going out to dinner, and I was told to change out of my play clothes and put on something nice to wear in public. Obviously, I came downstairs, proudly wearing my belly shirt with a pair of polka dot leggings – the outfit I decided was just flawless for public viewing. I was a 6-year-old genie in a bottle.  A perfect outfit, and my mom was horrified. I was cute, and she was mad.

She, of course, told me to take it off and change into a regular shirt for dinner. I screamed until she gave up on trying to be a good mother. Since I was insufferable to reason with, we went out to dinner, and I wore the belly shirt.

Here’s the thing, though: after about 3 minutes in the restaurant, I became very cold. It was June, and the jerks who owned the restaurant thought air-conditioning was a necessary & welcomed treat for all patrons. How wrong they were. And considering how insufferable I am to reason with, I refused to tell my family that I made a bare belly button mistake during dinner. I sat in silence with a cold belly and barely touched my dinner.

As the night went on, I couldn’t contain my feelings any longer. After dinner, my belly button felt like an ice cube. Subsequently, in the parking lot, much like an afterschool special, I put my hand on my mom’s arm, and she stopped to look at me. I looked up at her.

“Mom, I should have listened to you. I’m… still hungry.”

I couldn’t enjoy my chicken fingers at all because of the belly button draft. I deeply regretted not being able to enjoy those chicken fingers.

I won’t give you the gory details into each t-shirt escapade I’ve endured throughout my life. I will, though, give you a brief synopsis of a few more ridiculous ideas I’ve had about shirts, outfits, and clothes in general.

Weekend Clothes

Later in life, I bought a hideous tie dye Grateful Dead t-shirt that I wore on the daily; the phase moved onto wearing only t-shirts that were long enough to cover my butt (even though I was around 10 and had no butt), which was a stark contrast to the bare belly button phase; then, weekend pants.

Weekend pants were puke green athletic pants: flared at the bottom with a stripe down the side. I have vivid memories of wearing my weekend pants while on my scooter and only on the weekends.

They were exclusively called weekend pants, without an article attached.

“Mom, where in the world are weekend pants? It’s almost Saturday!”

My sibling, Lars, had these two things to say about his memory of weekend pants:

  • “She never washed them.”
  • “They smelled like the dickens.”

Oops.

My family is still uncertain how these puke green pants became the only pants I would wear on the weekends. They were comfortable, but I only wore leggings on schooldays, so I don’t know how much more comfortable they were than leggings. At this point, though: who’s to say? They were called weekend pants, and that’s who I am.

-KM

On My Failing Personality Quiz Results

cat-wearing-shirt

Guys, I took this Personality Factors quiz (mistake #1), and I must share my results. First, though, let me explain the quiz itself. This quiz is set up to ask you a series of questions about your personality traits, and the questions change along the way to adapt to the personality traits that continue to show up in your answers.

The point of the quiz results, as the website advertises, is to answer the question: How Does Your Personality Impact Your Life? I have visuals for you below if my explanation doesn’t make any sense (which is likely).

Does it make a bit more sense with the visuals? Okay, we can move on.

A few of my friends took the quiz, too, and I’m going to share their results before I tell you about mine. The comparison is essential.  These are the results of three of my friends who also took this quiz:

  • Eloise: Intellect 94%
  • Anna: Complexity 88%
  • Jonathon: Warmth 82%

Basically, the quiz determined that, for example, Eloise’s intellect impacts her life 94% of the time; complexity impacts Anna at 88%; and, Jonathon is affected by his warmth at 82%. These all seem typical. The answers do reflect their personalities quite well, in my opinion.

Now, onto my results.

space jam

Drum roll, please.

The image below is my personality graph. You see the little box? That’s my result.

Anxiety: 100. Percent.

 results

This quiz determined that out of all my personality traits, the only one that truly puts a dent in my daily life is anxiety. One-hundred percent of the time. One hundred.  Not 82%, not even 97%.  Within my 100% anxiety results, it also includes 75 different personality traits having to do with sensitivity.

See, that one I get. I am sensitive. My husband does this thing that he thinks is funny (he is wrong), where he preemptively tells me he’s going to scare me to get my limbic system prepared, and then he makes a loud noise, and I flinch and scream. I cannot be prepared.

Anyway, I get that one. After finding out these results, though, I took another quiz (mistake #2) solely about anxiety. (Mind you, all this quiz-taking was being done after midnight on a weekday.  A good way to spend my should-be-sleeping time.) How Anxious Are You?  I don’t know the full numeric scale, but after a score of 38 (selecting 38 anxious answers), you are considered to have severe anxiety. My score? 53.

GUYS, I’M A 53. By the way, this is completely counterproductive for someone with anxiety because now I have anxiety about my internet quiz diagnosis.

I asked my brother to comment on my 100% anxiety lifestyle, and he said, “Her favorite way to relax is to watch Holocaust documentaries.”

I should have seen this coming.

-KM