Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Girl Walks into a Bar - And, Damn, It Hurt

Today's A to Z Swear Challenge word is only marginally a swear, but it's a very cool word nonetheless, and since hardly anyone knows what it means, you can use it any way you wish and who will know the difference? The word is...opisthosomal.

Way fun to say, too.
Opisthosomal means of or pertaining to the ass-end of something. And that is such a perfect segue into today's post. I'm feeling pretty opisthosomal today myself.

Would you like to hear about it?

Of course you would.

Because for all that I love to write about religion and politics and candy bars, I know that the posts my Drunkards really enjoy are the ones about me falling on my opisthosoma.

Segue achieved.
You people love to read about me getting kicked out of my own child's birthday party, or being drunk and lost in the woods, or ripping my pants open because of my industrial-strength thighs. And clearly I have a talent for doing these things. We are a match made in dysfunctional Heaven. I love you all.

OK, so last night I went out. Which was pretty awesome. I went to see a local band at a little neighborhood bar across town.  I was wearing a cute outfit and a new pair of shoes that are so adorable that - literally - strangers were approaching me to compliment them. I was among friends. I had vodka. I got to hear some incredibly talented musicians play, and I got to hug them. Win.

And then I had a meltdown.

Because...sure, why not?

It's OK, honey. It's what everyone was expecting.

I mean, I just lost my shit. Quietly, I'll say that. I didn't make a scene. I'm good at crying silently, from years of practice. Still, it ended up cutting the evening short, and I believe it monumentally exasperated the friend I was with. I mean, like I-super-need-to-make-amends-but-I'm-not-sure-that's-possible-at-this-point exasperated.

It's a cumulative thing.

But that's my problem. And I'm going to take the Scarlett O'Hara approach to solving it.

Back to the meltdown.

Here's the thing. I am not a social butterfly. Socializing is hard for me. Really, really hard. I'm very shy, and I have this deep-seated self-loathing thing going on that creates a massive force-field of inferiority when I have to interact with people and convince them I'm OK to talk to. It's freaking exhausting. I can just barely manage it in a familiar setting with people I know well. Put in me a noisy, crowded place surrounded by mostly strangers, and I start to...well, we'll just say I start to freak out a little.

But that's not what brought on the meltdown.

Here's another thing. When I'm drinking and I'm doing something freaking exhausting, I get - anyone? anyone? - that's right, I get drunk and tired. And then I get cranky. I'm not a good person when I'm drunk, tired, and cranky. The scientific explanation is that the containment field around my insecurities breaks down, releasing toxic waves of sulking and bitterness. Also, the filters that help me keep my many neuroses to myself go on the fritz.

I work something like this.

But that's not what caused the meltdown, either. This is a terribly petty thing to admit, but I was really bummed out by a fantastic piece of news I got earlier in the day. My buddy Jen over at Jeneral Insanity (which you should totally read because she's awesome) posted on her Facebook page that the Bloggess had just become a follower of her blog.

And while I'm really, truly happy that Jen got that recognition from maybe the best-known chick blogger on the planet - and I completely understand how stoked anyone would feel to know Jenny Lawson had read and enjoyed her writing - it made me nearly sick with jealousy. Because I'm a petty, selfish, insecure person, and it made me feel as if my nerdiest friend had gotten an invitation to hang out with the cool kids and left me in the dust.

I'm not supposed to feel that way. I know that every blogger is talented and dedicated, and that we're all a stroke of luck away from becoming Internet-famous. And we all need to support and promote each other, because that's what artists do. I mean, Stephen Stills must have felt like shit when he failed his audition for the Monkees and then recommended his buddy Peter Tork try out, too, and then Peter aced it and became a huge star. It didn't mean Stephen Stills wasn't talented - last I heard, he ended up with an OK career in his own right. But that's why you stand with your friends and celebrate with them when the breaks go the right way and commiserate when they don't.

Some people just wear the shirt better.
But that deal bothered me more than I wanted to admit. And it didn't help that whenever I watch a band play, I feel a twinge of that same jealousy - because besides a writer, the only thing I ever really wanted to was be was a singer. I love music, but deep inside me is a tiny little bitch who constantly reminds me that the real reason I listen to music is because I can't make it myself.

But even that didn't bring on the meltdown.

What brought on the meltdown - aided and abetted by the perfect storm of all of the aforementioned psychic quirks, of course - was Those Girls.

You know exactly who I'm talking about. They're always in bars and clubs and at concerts and sporting events and other social venues. They're pretty, and they're dressed in their best look-at-me clothes, and they have a few drinks and laugh and flirt and start dancing. And you wonder what they do in their daily nine-to-five lives, because surely they can't have some boring office job all week and then show up here looking just this side of slutty and acting as if the world is their party. Can they?

And they stand where everyone can see them, and laugh too loudly and drink too much and move around like cats in heat. And everybody watches them, and all the guys smile indulgently if they say or do something foolish, because acting like a fool is OK when you're one of Those Girls.

If you're not one of them, you know that you can't get away with acting like that. Those Girls are cute and irresistible, no matter what they do. But if you're not one of Those Girls, you're invisible. And if you're not one of Those Girls and have the temerity to adopt their ways, you're laughable.

I could never get away with this, is what I'm saying.
I am neither outgoing enough nor attractive enough to be one of Those Girls. Which ordinarily doesn't bother me one bit.

But last night I was drunk and tired and feeling insecure and jealous and shy, and Those Girls - who they were and who I knew I wasn't - pushed me over the brink. I ended up in tears. And I ruined a perfectly lovely evening out for completely irrational reasons.

Which is what a meltdown is, after all.

Spock understands.
 So yeah.

Other than that, I had a great time.

I believe Mrs. Lincoln said the same thing once.


  1. That was TOTALLY a Twitter picture! She followed me on The Twitters because I told someone that I'd adore her if she punched my teeth out and lit me on fire and I tagged her Tweeteroodle on there and then she followed me. If she ever even just clicked on my link on accident, my blog would explode from the sheer awesomeness of it all! OMGomgomgomgomg -- Now I feel like an ass because you were feeling sad about the wrong thing! I'm so sorry! I love you so much! If anything, I'm more honored that I've been mentioned on HERE more than once! You were one of the first people I started reading when I got laid off last year and decided to finally start my own. I heart you, and your face should find my face on FB so we can chat. I just changed my picture to this one, and I comment on your blogs FB all the time. Sometimes. Or something and stuff.

    On another note, I'm not surprised that you lost it. You're going through a lot right now with the "D word" looming about. I've been losing my shit in public lately too.

    Plus, you know, when you mix a hermit with vodka and Those Girls, something bad is bound to happen.

  2. You *really * don't want to be one of Those Girls. But you know that. Just be your authentic awesome self. And the D-word doesn't negate your awesomeness. Other awesome people will find you soon enough (IRL and in blog-land).

  3. Those Girls are ridiculous. You however, are full of the awesome!! As for the meltdown, well, I definitely know they happen, and I experienced one of my own last night... at least you had valid reason!! The perfect storm, so to speak. Personally, I just blame the vodka! ;)


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