Anyone Else Becoming as Unhinged as I Am Lately?

The past few weeks have seen me having more melodramatic breakdowns than usual, and it’s a problem. One second I’ll be all balanced and happy and zen, and then the next I’ll be spiraling into a black hole of fury: arguing that working forty hours a week is bullshit, telling myself that I’M THE SMARTEST PERSON I KNOW, and randomly IMing my friend Steven with nonstop pictures of Mariah Carey alongside her various love interests throughout the years.

Like, the other day I saw this beautiful passage on Louise L. Hay’s Facebook. Basically it’s all about how if we use a tomato plant as an analogy for creating the lives we want, we can be happy. Because we trust tomato plants to grow, and so when our personal tomato plant starts to sprout, we shouldn’t get angry and ask, “WHY AREN’T YOU BIGGER AND BETTER?” but rather we should keep watering it and say, “Woohoo! It’s on its way!”

I read it and thought, That’s how I’m going to live my life from now on.

Then this IM conversation happened after I randomly went off on a tangent to Steven about how I wish I had a year off to eat, pray, love, and finish the millionth third draft of my book:

  • Steven: i feel like you’re on the verge of a breakdown
  • me: dude it’s true
  • Steven: i can feel it
  • Steven: coming in the air tonight
  • Steven: i FEEL it. when your messages get short and sans caps and punctuation and proper capitalization
  • me: there’s just gotta be more to life
  • me: than chasing down every temporary hiiigh
  • Steven: oh god you’re breaking out the Stacy O
  • Steven: every time you do that, you have a crisis of faith
  • Steven: and then you throw shit and start crying
  • me: and the worst part is that I’m lucky to be employed where I am
  • me: and yet
  • me: WHERE’S THE MEANING?
  • Steven tomorrow you’re gonna be all, “we must reach for the stars with our highest energy and smoke our own poz toxins and look out of our third eyes and be the best versions of ourselves”
  • Steven: followed by quoting some zen writer I’ve never heard of
  • me lmao. true

Later that day…

  • me: the issue is simple
  • me: I just need to hold on through this rough patch
  • me: and continue to strive toward creating the life I want
  • me: I’m just getting so fucking impatient
  • me: like… fucking.. WHEN
  • me: but I mean, I know we mustn’t attack our tomato plants
  • me: WHY AREN’T YOU FUCKING GROWING YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT TOMATO PLANT WORTHLESS FUCKING PIECE OF GARBAGE
  • Steven BAHAHA
  • Steven: I’m dying
  • Steven: I think you need to work toward being your best self
  • me: I’d like to be handed everything on a silver platter
  • me: WHERE’s my platter
  • me: omg I’m a fucking abomination
  • me: that’s negative
  • me: I’m a radiant expression of God’s love
  • Steven: I. Am…Dead

So, I don’t know. I guess the one lesson, if any, I’ve gleaned from this whole thing is that if you’re lucky enough to have a tomato plant, don’t be an asshole. Be grateful. Be graceful. Let it grow. And then go make some marinara sauce, maybe? Or: schizophrenically unravel via IM and then blog about it later. That always works too.

tomatoplant

 

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My Day as a Psycho Celebrity-Spammer on Twitter

So, let’s talk about CELINE FUCKING DION. (You’re welcome.)

This story starts a few months ago, when some literary agents were telling me that my author platform wasn’t strong enough to warrant a book deal in today’s sure bet-driven marketplace. Which, in other words, means that I don’t have enough Twitter followers. Which, in other words, means that I’m not popular enough. Which, in other words, means that the publishing industry is basically Mean Girls and — Oh my God, Danny DeVito I love your work!

The fucked up thing about it is that if I actually did have a hundred thousand Twitter followers, I’d probably be one of those entitled, douche-y assholes who’s all, “Duh. Get with the times. Of course I have a huge platform; what do you think I am? A loser?

So maybe I’m a hypocrite, it’s fine.

One day in March, coming off the bitter sting of a fresh rejection, I was IM-ing with my friend Kaci.

  • Nic: Ugh. Still not popular enough
  • Nic: How do I get more followers on Twitter???
  • Nic: Maybe I should just start harassing celebrities in hopes that they’ll retweet me?
  • Nic: Which ones, though?
  • Kaci: Celine
  • Kaci: obvi
  • Kaci: I need to start getting cats and committing to dying alone
  • Nic: That’s it!
  • Nic: I’ll ask Celine to adopt a cat with me

And then a monster was born.

1

RE: the whole “Aegean” thing: basically I just Googled “cat breeds” and then chose the one that I felt would read most elegantly within the context of a tweet to Celine Dion. But apparently my elegance didn’t matter, because Celine ignored me as if I were a creepy Internet weirdo or something.

But then! I figured out why:

2

Still nothing. So then I moved into the anger stage and was all, “Fuck Celine! I’ll branch out to… Martha Stewart.”

3 4

DROP G’S! I thought it was brilliant. But Martha clearly wasn’t amused, as she ignored me too, forcing me to wonder if maybe my Internet fame wouldn’t be best found through middle-aged divas (one musical, one domestic) catered to the daytime-TV-watching crowd, so I went after the Jonas Brothers.

5 6

BUT NO LUCK THERE. (On the kitten or the marriage.)

So then I went back to Celine in a final, desperate attempt to get her to at least adopt something with me, but for some reason by that point in the day I became an incoherent mess who required three tweets to finish a thought and close a set of parentheses:

7 8 9

Celine continued in her staunch dedication to not acknowledging that a crazy person was spamming her on Twitter, which made me frustrated.

Frazzled and feeling like if I didn’t get at least one celebrity retweet by day’s end that I’d NEVER GET PUBLISHED, LIKE, EVER, I proceeded to do this:

10

By the end of it all, I reviewed my timeline’s activity and felt highly, highly ashamed of myself. Who does shit like this? I wondered. This is pathetic and embarrassing.

But then my thoughts wandered into a more gratitude-y place — feeling relieved that, well, at least I didn’t have a hundred thousand followers watching.

 

I Finally Met an Awesome Guy, and He Doesn’t Call Me Fat

Remember that time a guy named Lou called me fat and it left me scarred for life but I survived?

Well, I recently ran into him at Target while I was busy drooling over nutritionally evaluating a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread (because of course I’d have a loaf of sugary-basically-a-muffin-bread in my hand when running into the guy who called me fat) and it was awkward yet liberating.

Seeing Lou in real life for the first time since August made me extremely happy about the fact that I have been ignoring his requests to hang out for the past two months — because we really have nothing in common. And he is kind of a horrible person. Because you just don’t call someone fat. Especially when they’re NOT FAT – a fact that I had somehow let slip away from me on account of my existing body image issues and a single unsolicited opinion from a vapid gym addict who clearly has lower self-esteem than even I did during this whole debacle.

Looking back, I think I tried to excuse him at the time because one of my straight guy friends was all like, “Dude, what’s the big deal? I call people fat all the time… and so do you. Didn’t you call me fat last week?”

  • To which I responded, “You’re right, and I’m crazy,”
  • but should have instead responded, “Yes, but that’s all in good fun and I’m not trying to marry and/or raise children with you. If I were, I would never call you fat, and you calling me fat would certainly be out of the question… Don’t you have any gay friends?!”
  • To which he would have responded, “…,”

to which I would have responded, “Oh.”

I write all of the above after having spent much of the past month with a pretty awesome guy whom I have embarrassed myself in front of multiple times and who still somehow thinks I’m as awesome as he is.

Case in point:

A few weeks ago, he made some vaguely fat-related comments (including the jocular phrase “no one likes a fatty”) via text message that were rendered difficult to analyze by my low self-esteem and ridiculous neuroses. After reading them over about a hundred times like a crazy person, I considered all of the following possibilities:

  • He thinks I’m fat and was trying to make me get the hint that he’s not interested in seeing me anymore.
  • He thinks I’m fat and was trying to subliminally inspire me to go to the gym before we commit to seeing each other again.
  • He thinks I’m fat but not fat enough for him to not sleep with me. (In other words, he is Lou 2.0 and God hates me.)
  • He genuinely doesn’t like fat people and thought that I may also share in that prejudice. (The silver lining of this possible scenario was that it carried the implication that he doesn’t think I’m fat, which I found momentarily comforting.)
  • It’s not about me at all, as he was facetiously commenting on the three cheeseburgers he ate over the weekend and how mitigating the damage at the gym on Monday morning might not be a bad idea. (In retrospect, this is clearly what he actually meant.)

Because all of the above started to make my head hurt, I decided to just lay it all out on the line by saying this: “I should be frank… If a few extra pounds would be a deal-breaker for you, then this will not work out. I love beer too much.” (Go me, right?)

Then he called me skinny and said that even if I were fat, he wouldn’t care because I excel so much in the personality department. (GO HIM, right?)

His response made me contemplate whether or not replying to him with a straight-up marriage proposal would be considered apropos, but I ultimately decided against it because he’s currently in law school and probably wouldn’t have the time to go into full wedding-preparation mode without neglecting his studies, and I’m supportive of his career goals – so I just responded with, “Phew.”

__

P.S. I think the best thing about this whole saga is that my body dysmorphia had intensified so much that I actually not only came to believe I was truly fat, but had moved beyond my discontent with the situation and into the full-out acceptance stage – to the point where I went all “I’m fat and you can take it or leave it!” on a guy.

P.P.S. I think the actual best thing about this whole saga is that if things work out between [Awesome Guy Who Still Needs a Proper Fake Blog-Name] and me, I have documented proof that he won’t leave me when I gain those inevitable ten pounds this holiday season.

P.P.P.S. Did I mention that I’m crazy-smitten with him and he’s friends with Tom Brady? Well, okay, they’re not friends – but they totally went to college together. Fine. That’s pretty much a lie too. They did not technically go to college together. But they did go to the same school – just not at the same time. Still, it’s entirely possible that [Awesome Guy Who Still Needs a Proper Fake Blog-Name] once sat on a chair that was once sat on by Tom Brady – which is definitely something that friends do.

P.P.P.P.S.– I think these P.S.’s were longer than the actual post. Is that normal? Also, is a P.S. with four P’s even a thing?

P.P.P.P.P.S. I totally bought that loaf of cinnamon swirl bread.

        I dare you to toast a slice of this bread and not get aroused from the aroma.

 

My Real-Life Version of ABC’s Hit Primetime Drama Nashville 

Y’all. (And I do mean y’all.)

Can we talk about how obsessed I am with the new ABC drama Nashville after having seen just two episodes?

Yes? OK, good, because this ex-Nashville resident is hooked. (Yes, I refer to myself as an ex-Nashville resident even though I only lived there for a single summer.)

This brilliant series has inspired me to reflect on the real-life version of the show that I lived through just a year and a half ago.

For anyone who wasn’t reading during that era of Keychanges – here’s what went down:

This blog was actually created in Nashville after I moved there for a summer of meetings with various music publishers to explore a potential career as a country songwriter.

After being validated by music executives in the sense that I was great but not great enough to cut the forty-thousand-aspiring-songwriters-trying-to-make-it-in-Nashville line, I got all depressed and started Keychanges (does the name make more sense now?) as a way to work through the pain of being told that I’d have to pay actual dues in the music business.

(Fun fact: to create a vague sense of anonymity, I originally added a “K” to my name and blogged under the incredibly ineffective pseudonym Nick. Clearly, that desire for anonymity was never very strong, and has since gone out the window entirely — but Nick kind of lingers on in other areas of my life. In fact, the other day I had an IM conversation with a coworker about the spelling of my name and I was all like, “You know, I was just thinking about how stressful it’s going to be to pick out what my engagement party banner will say, because of all of the potential spellings of my name! Like, do I want ‘Congratulations _____ and Nic,’ or ‘…and Nick,’ or maybe, ‘…and Nicolas?'” and then she was like “Oh! Are you engaged?” and I was forced to respond with, “No… I’m totally single,” and then she thought it was hilarious but I was kind of offended by the fact that she thought I was the kind of person who would be engaged and choose to creepily withhold his fiancé’s identity from her by putting a blank where his name should be in a hypothetical engagement party banner scenario — but I didn’t say anything about it because I didn’t want to come off as confrontational and/or inadvertently create a hostile work environment.)

I realize that was the longest tangent ever, and I sincerely apologize. Back to Nashville.

After a few weeks in town, I started frequenting Nashville’s (two) gay bars and realized that I’m a total prude.

Then I realized that I had unintentionally led my new found blog audience to believe that I was a virgin, so I felt the need to clarify that I would totally sleep with an ER doctor if the opportunity presented itself.

Then I started watching Heroes on DVD and blogged about how Hayden Panettiere almost makes me feel like a straight man. (Freakin’ crazy because that’s now happening again on Nashville… Full circle, anyone?)

Then I read a few books and reviewed them, which led to the revelation that I’m basically just a Mormon gal trying to find love in the Big Apple.

Then I got hit on by a drunk guy fake-named Charley and tried to quell the awkwardness by telling him a totally false, convoluted story about how I’m Jewish and sober and spent two months on a kibbutz in Isreal and couldn’t sleep with Charley because I have a Jewish boyfriend, and the whole situation somehow led to the discovery that maybe I didn’t hate New York after all.

Then I left Nashville but couldn’t find a new apartment in the city, so I lived with my mom for a month and had a severe emotional meltdown after finding a box of condoms under the bathroom sink.

Wow. Where the hell was I during the series development stages of Nashville?

Because this is all pure gold.

 

Food, Football, and Love

Every time I write an angsty rant about why men suck, I always question the decision later. Like, if only I had watched He’s Just Not That Into You for the thirty-seventh time while inhaling frozen chicken wings and a case of light beer before opening my laptop, last week’s post could have probably been avoided entirely.

But then again, it was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from women far and wide — so at least my anger was able to cultivate some kind of sisterhood united against noncommittal a-holes. That’s always good.

In any case, I’d like to bring some positivity back up in here by presenting you with a photograph of a mural-sized rendering of the tattoo I’m strongly considering getting inked between my shoulder blades:

                                           This piece of wood just gets me.

Or, if we want to be a bit more specific — a combination of:

  • two hot dogs,
  • a cheeseburger,
  • three grilled shrimp skewers,
  • approximately fourteen steak tips,
  • eight pieces of marinated pork,
  • a quarter of a rack of ribs,
  • probably a bag of chips,
  • too many Coors Lights to tally up, and
  • another cheeseburger

is love.

Because that’s what I ate on Sunday throughout the course of tailgating and attending the Patriots home opener, and it was definitely love in its purest form. And/or its most obese form — which is fine, because I’m totally over those body image issues, Lou. Because really, unlike a gay bar, Gillette Stadium is something of a judgment-free zone.

I don’t know what it says about the world that I’ve come to associate gay men with rejection and ostracization while I associate NFL games with love and acceptance, but the irony is not lost on me.

                                     I’ll take “fat” over “douche bag” any day.

As far as the game itself, we couldn’t have sucked more. But I’m getting over it.

And yeah, as far as the men I’ve dated this summer, they couldn’t have sucked more. But I’m getting over that, too. Because — when it comes to both dating and football — it’s early.

And there’s always next week.

 

Purposeless Dating: A Big Waste of Time

When it comes to how I feel about dating, my nineties television soul mate — Ally McBeal — says it best:

“The truth is, I don’t actually date. Not for the fun of it, anyways. I more like audition potential husbands. And if I don’t see any potential, I don’t waste my time.”

This woman. She gets me.

This is why I’ve had approximately thirty-nine and a half first dates this summer that ultimately went nowhere. Because if we’re on a date and I learn that you are:

  • closeted,
  • of an unkempt appearance,
  • humorless,
  • a Jets fan,
  • shorter than advertised on OkCupid,
  • averse to beer-drinking, or
  • incapable of having a conversation about anything other than the gym,

then I will not waste my — or your — time.

I kind of have a non-existent biological clock that requires my husband and I to adopt our first potentially international baby when I’m between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, and I’d like for us to have been happily gay-married for a good five years before that happens. So, according to these calculations, I have a maximum of six years in which to find Mr. Right.

While I realize 2018 isn’t the most immediate deadline, I have no desire to spend the rest of my twenties reliving my slutty college years months (I was monogamously coupled for ninety-percent of my undergraduate experience).

In short, I hate wasting time.

Unfortunately, because the universe clearly hates me, the majority of this summer’s guys that I did see husband-potential with seem to love wasting time. This is evidenced by the fact that they waited until the second, third, and even fifth dates to tell me that they “aren’t looking for anything too serious,” but “still want to hang out” — and then had the nerve to suggest we still sleep together.

Pardon my naïveté, but it truly blows my mind that men can effectively say, I’m afraid of commitment but I do kind of enjoy your company, so let’s just have no-strings-attached sex, and expect it to be received with a glowing air of understanding acceptance.

I’m sorry, but the whole reason I went on those multiple dates and took the time to get to know you as a person was because I ultimately want those effing strings (maybe not with you, but if things were to work out, then, yeah — strings would be the end goal). And frankly, I’m pretty damn sick of feeling like I’m some kind of crazy person because of it.

Maybe I do need therapy.

But honestly, when did wanting a relationship go from being an obvious implication of participation in the dating scene to being some kind of rare psychological disease that signifies my desperation, neediness, and obesity?

After days of contemplation, I’ve yet to figure that one out.

I have concluded, though, that perhaps the above-mentioned men of my summer aren’t all being honest. Maybe the ones who “don’t want anything serious” are liars who may or may not just think I’m fat. Or maybe they are being truthful. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for my future that I keep meeting men who could be described in either of the following two ways:

  1. They honestly aren’t looking for relationships, and are therefore douche bags — douche bags who all deserve to be stuck on trains with burrito bowls and no forks — for allowing chemistry to develop between us over the course of several dates, and then telling me that they’re commitment-phobic.
  2. They’re lying sons o’ bitches. They actually are looking for relationships, and the “don’t want anything serious” line is their seemingly-less-damaging way of telling me that somewhere along the way in our sequence of dates I scared them off by saying that I “truly believe Taylor Swift is the Joni Mitchell of our time… except deeper.”

To the number ones: Grow a pair, and learn to keep it real. And to the number twos:

…Grow a pair, and learn to keep it real.

With this in mind, I’d like to proclaim the following to all potential suitors:

Be aware that I’m looking for something serious. Who the hell knows yet if I’m looking for something serious with you, but if I agree to multiple dates, then it should be interpreted as me acknowledging that I at least see potential with us. If I eventually decide that we may not be a good fit, then I will tell you that — probably by saying that I see us more as friends (who never hang out).

Please reciprocate.

Don’t waste my time; don’t waste your time.

 

 

Someone Called Me Fat — and I Survived

If you’ve ever read a blog post of mine, you’ve probably noticed that I sometimes like to write about how I seem to love feeling inadequate — especially when it comes to potential husbands. As a result, I’ve been confronted by a few close friends for being too hard on myself and putting myself down too often in my writing.

I usually respond to this criticism with, “But my low self-esteem is what makes me me! Without it, I’d be totally worthless.”

(Please let that remark simmer for a moment so you can fully appreciate the irony.)

Let me assure you, my low self-esteem is admittedly exaggerated in this blog (I swear I don’t hate me). Still, I do sometimes have to remind myself that the gallon of ice cream I guzzled the other night doesn’t make me entirely unlovable. This is why I have these strategically-placed post-its in front of my desk at work:

                                   Repeat out loud in sets of five for best results.

When not convincing co-workers that I’m weak and emotionally fragile, these affirmations can be a huge help and are highly recommended for anyone else who occasionally guzzles ice cream and feels unlovable.

Speaking of ice cream, let’s discuss the sole source of all my issues — my fatness. (Note: I am referring to gay-fatness, which is its own, effed-up scale. Straight people often tell me I’m thin, which, coming from straight people, unfortunately means nothing.) This fatness (along with my body image issues in general) has been the main focus of my life for the past several days — mainly because this was said to me last week:

“I mean, you’re not that fat. I still wanna have sex with you, or else I wouldn’t be here.”

Seriously, that happened.

It was during a conversation between myself and Lou — a guy I had been spending time with over the past month in spite of the fact that on our first date he openly admitted to only wanting a casual friendship with benefits (something I think we all know I’m incapable of by now; see: any past blog post).

I think I ignored my better judgment with Lou because he’d kiss me affectionately and feign an interest in my feelings every once in a while, so I was at least able to pretend that he cared about my well-being on some distant level.

For the sake of my mental health, I’m going to refrain from recapitulating the entire fat conversation. I’ll just say that it started with Lou helpfully suggesting that I stop drinking beer on a nightly basis, eat healthier, and start going back to the gym. It ended with the above-quoted declaration of my fat-but-not-fat-enough-to-be-rejected-for-sex-by-Lou status.

Because my work post-its clearly weren’t enough to combat the severity of this situation, I went into full self-hatred mode and actually went to the gym with Lou a few days after the incident.

I’m still sore from that workout (both physically and emotionally).

Here’s a tip: If you’re ever craving a traumatic experience, simply go to the gym with your super-in-shape non-boyfriend and allow him to coach you through various weightlifting exercises while you cry on the inside and fantasize about him getting killed in some kind of freak bench pressing accident.

First of all, Lou was lifting about three times as much as I could. This added a horribly quantitative element to how much better than me he is. Secondly, whenever he’d spot me, I had this whole how-many-reps-until-I’m-good-enough-for-you?! thing going on in my mind. (Answer: Infinite.)

Despite the trauma, though, I woke up the next day feeling better about myself than I have in a while — and I couldn’t help but wonder if Lou is some kind of evil genius.

By doing what he did, he has provided me with the following revelations:

  1. I got called fat — something that I’ve lived in complete fear of for all of my gay years — and I survived. The world kept spinning. No puppies died, I didn’t fall out of a window, and Manhattan didn’t burst into flames or sink.
  2. My diet kind of was crap. While I made healthy choices whenever possible, there’s no getting around the daily beer consumption and penchant for buffalo wings that Lou unabashedly called me out on.
  3. At some point in my crazy-busy life, I stopped going to the gym altogether — and I did feel less healthy because of it.

Thanks to Lou, I’m now more motivated than I have ever been. I’m eating healthy and being the most active I’ve been since before I went to grad school and gained twenty pounds. It’s kind of awesome — and I swear the impetus behind it is not to gain the approval of a gym-obsessed gay man; it’s to feel better about myself and maybe decrease my odds of heart disease down the line.

So in the end, despite the fact that I wanted to cry hysterically and stab Lou in the eye at the time of his fat comments, I’ve come to realize that — even though he was being insensitive — he was not being intentionally malicious. He’s just a health fanatic with a hot body who couldn’t help but comment on the fact that I am not living up to my healthy potential.

That or he’s just a judgmental prick — which might be okay, since I love feeling inadequate anyways.

 

I’ve Found Love in a Hopeless Place

It’s official. The perfect relationship exists, and I’m in it.

Are you jealous?

Don’t be, because my significant other is a commercial chain of burrito restaurants. That’s right.

You may have heard of my boyfriend — his name is Chipotle?

I know that in my epic last post, the happy burrito bowl ending was really just a way of saying that eating your feelings can be all it takes to recover from a self-esteem-demolishing, non-air conditioned train ride home next to a hot guy who has rejected you via the Interweb (because who doesn’t that happen to?) — but it has now grown into a full-blown relationship that is two-sided and very real.

How did this happen? Well, Chipotle read the post and has clearly decided that I’m husband material.

                                         Basically a marriage proposal.

Take that, Hot Guy Who Rejected Me.

I don’t know who Joe is, but it’s very likely that I’d be willing to bear his children if the opportunity presented itself.

                                               Definitely a marriage proposal.

Many happy returns. If a guy I slept with ever said that to me after sex, I’d legitimately think it was romantic.

And this might be why I need therapy.

(But I’ll probably just keep eating burrito bowls instead.)

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