Breaking Down Social Anxiety

How social anxiety works:

1) Have a thought
2) Stress about whether to express the thought
3) Say the thought, usually against your better judgment
4) Stress* about how what you said was likely offensive, off-putting, stupid or just plain weird
5) Decide you should really just stop talking altogether
6) Lather, rinse, repeat

For the social media age, please add:

7) Stress about if you should post about this experience on Facebook
8) Post on Facebook, against your better judgment
9) Stress about looking stupid, sad, pathetic, or just plain weird
10) Decide you should never use social media again
11) Lather, rinse, repeat

*This stress will come back to haunt you at intermittent junctures for approximately the next 18 years

Advertisements

Trigger Warning Christmas Carols (as rejected by McSweeney’s)

‘Tis the season for the hashtag activists to remind us that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a ‘rapey’ song. Because no one ever played hard-to-get. 
article-2528451-1a4415a700000578-821_634x431

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lady Gaga perform a role-reversing rendition. Special guest star: Kermit the Frog. 

But what about all the other Christmas tunes that invade our mental safe spaces and offend our delicate sensibilities? 

 
To begin, “White Christmas” is obviously racist. It’s in the title. 
 
Perhaps the same could be said, less the title, about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” with the added element of affirmative action. Is Santa an equal opportunity employer? And while we’re on the subject of employment, is there a reindeer union? Do they get hazard pay? Overtime?? And what sort of harassment policies are in effect at the North Pole? Laughing and calling him names is just flat out bullying. 
 
I’m an old-fashioned lady, so my first instinct is to say that “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is a lament on infidelity, but my husband reminded me that no one cares about that anymore. It could be that the little spy’s parents are going to have to have a talk with him about polyamory and Mommy & Daddy’s open marriage, but without more evidence, we can only assume the little misogynist-in-training is just slut-shaming his poor mother. 
 
Mothers, and mother’s mothers, get a poor crack in Christmas music. If “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” isn’t about elder abuse, we should all eat our Santa Hats. Poor Grandma. She just wants a nice Christmas with her grandkids, and the little bastards are singing about her grievous injuries. Also, aren’t those fucking reindeer supposed to be flying? 
 
“Frosty the Snowman” exposes children to the concept of death. Just think about how traumatizing it was when Mr. Hooper died on “Sesame Street,” then add a carrot nose and a top hat. 
 
That “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” party is bound to bring up some feelings for the recovering alcoholics. And how confident can we be that every couple really wants to stop under the mistletoe? Is someone putting Spanish fly in the eggnog? 
 
“Santa Baby” needs no explanation beyond a single word: Capitalism. Eartha Kitt was the original Material Girl.
 
I don’t know who Mariah Carey was obsessing on when she wrote the lyrics to “All I Want for Christmas is You,” but there’s something stalker-y going on there. “I just want you for my own…” Imagine Donald Trump singing that and tell me you don’t feel violated. 
 
But that’s not the only Christmas carol that requires a harassment warning. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is basically about a guy who belongs on the sex offender registry. Or in prison. 
 
Finally, under the heading of self-interest, I’m going to demand that “Deck the Halls” come with a trigger warning for people named Holly. It’s a select group that knows what it’s like to go through the holiday season with musical callings to be hung up.
 
Please be sure to issue all appropriate trigger warnings and only sing holiday melodies in safe spaces, with full consent of all parties. Effects of global warming aside, ’tis the season for snowflakes. 
 
Falalalalalalalala.

Love notes

14379697_10154598205724637_477192657289405575_o

Above: Notes for my husband. Below, notes for (a portion of) the rest of the world:

Attention, Persons Who Have Active Uteri and Also Have Plumbing (actual plumbing) Issues:

My apartment’s head maintenance gentleman, and father of three young ladies, has informed me that feminine hygiene products are the culprits of my toilet’s semi-regular insistence on regurgitating all over the place.

If you too have this problem, particularly if you live in an older abode, you might consider switching to the “wrap and toss” method of disposal during that time of the month.

This has been a public service announcement from the People Against Being Toilet-Vomited Upon.

Kiefer Sutherland for President

Just saw a commercial for “Designated Survivor” that included the tagline (line breaks to indicate words shown on screen):

LET

THE POWER

GRAB

And then I had a horrific fear that the next screen would include the words “YOU BY THE…”.

 

2ec22a14c6c7766bbce728460eb17eaa

(The last word in the ad, just to reassure you, was BEGIN)

Mental healthcare — isn’t it ironic (don’t ya think)?

“Are you suicidal?”

 This is a question my doctor asked me during an appointment to get a referral to a psychiatrist for new medication. 

In the spirit of both eradicating stigma related to mental illness and avoiding bullshit, I have long carried diagnoses of anxiety disorder, major depression (as opposed to bipolar depression) and attention deficit disorder. So now you’re caught up. 

Trying to find the most effective way to treat/contend with my personal smorgasbord of crazy has been an ongoing project. And let it be known that the medical community does not make it easy. 

A goodly portion of mental health professionals don’t accept insurance, patients often have to see one doctor for therapy, another for drug consultations, another for prescriptions, you get the idea. Basically, people who are in medical need of less bullshit get a hit parade of overpriced bullshit dumped in their laps. Rain on your wedding day be damned, Alanis should have been singing about the mental health system in America.

So when my doctor asks “are you suicidal?” It roughly translates to “there’s not an actual rush to improve your course of treatment, right?” That is the standard: If you haven’t bought the gun, squirreled away the pills, sharpened the razor, written the note… You’re cool. 

To reassure any kind souls who might be concerned for my safety, no, I am not suicidal, nor do I self-harm. 

But the fact that that’s basically what determines whether someone is in actual need of help drives me to a different department of the nut college than the one I’m already attending. 

“Oh, you got slashed across the neck? Well, has your head actually fallen off? OK will if not you’re fine just put a Band-Aid on it.”
This is probably a poor comparison, because a deep enough blow to the neck with a sharp object could either result in the severing of a major artery or perhaps of ones spinal column, or something science-y like that. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. 

The point is the chronic and sometimes overwhelming exhaustion and pure bullshit, to use a scientific term, that accompanies things like depression are not only not helped but are often exacerbated by this lovely system that we call healthcare. 

And I’ll leave you to contemplate the irony of that particular title on your own.

kardashians, purity balls and cutting off hands, oh my

The following conversation just took place in my home:

A: Which cultures seem the most foreign to you?

B: Probably the ones in which punishment for petty theft is getting your hand cut off, or if a man is convicted of a crime, part of his sentence is the gang rape of his daughter, barbaric things like that…

A: Makes sense.

B: Then again, certain cultural practices in our own country are very foreign to me, like the idea of purity balls and pledging to ones parents to maintain virginity.

A: Or the Kardashians.

B: Yes, that too.

A: Did you hear about the Kardashian’s episode —

B: (disdainful stare)

A: Yes, not a good way to start a sentence… where the sisters smelled one another’s lady parts?

B: (even more disdainful stare)

A: Yes, exactly.

dfa5c49e93365d2a0578897de78ce437