Funny People and Not So Funny Problems

No one likes when someone is normally funny and becomes depressed. The monkey is no longer dancing and starts to have existential thoughts. You find yourself at a party taking back shots when no one is looking, trying to overcompensate for your lack of creativity and lack of witty comebacks. It goes to shit. Every time you speak, silence fills the room. You sound like Jack Sparrow slurring through wordy punchlines. “Aaaand theen, I ffftold him to flick fuck off and…” You spill your drink. You’re no longer owning your one woman show. You’re only a disheartening opening act. You know, the type of opening act that discourages the audience so much, they begin to leave. It’s not even worth heckling. They close out their checks and throw back their drinks. Even the most famous people in comedy are sad, right? At least the good ones are. Anyways, at least they’re doing what they love, right? A depressed person who happens to be funny is far less romanticized than a professional comedian struggling with depression. At least they have access to the good drugs, right? Maybe depression and comedy are surprisingly correlated. Self-deprecation is prominent in three fields: porn/prostitution, the restaurant industry, and comedy. Look it up. It’s bound to be a statistic.

Depression sucks even more when you’re awkward too. The beauty of having a sense of humor when you’re awkward, is that your awkwardness is deemed as quirky or endearing. People rarely stop to think, “Whoa, what the fuck was that?” When depression swoops in and cradles you beneath its bad handmade quilt, your awkwardness starts to stick out like a sore prison tattoo. Was I reaching again? Good. I’m glad. That was the point. The “whoa,” eye-shifting moments begin to cascade from every social encounter, to every professional encounter, to every encounter with someone over the counter. You strike a nervous laugh and point out the awkward moment, but it doesn’t help. “That’s life, right? Hahaha.” A dead stare follows. You begin to feel like the girl from the Life on Mars song. You shuffle your feet from your job to the nearest train station wondering what went wrong. You ruminate about the night before when you pissed in an alley behind a Maxwell’s and said mean things to people. Too many thoughts cloud the mind to stir up clever banter. “Did I make that loan payment?” “Are you saving enough money?” “Do you have enough for booze?” “Is this job worth it?” And then you realize, you never made it to the train station. You’re in a liquor store with crumbled singles in your pocket. It’s like having too many apps running on your phone and your messages begin delaying. Yeah, comparing human error to technological difficulty is healthy, right? I’m not asking too many questions, right?

I clean my room, because it’s not that it is the right thing to do. I’ll do it so I can clear my head and might “accidently” run into a nostalgic relic buried in a drawer or closet or under my bed. I reach for my degree, brushing my fingers through the pressed ink. I find a picture of forgotten friends from high school. I’m wearing a joker smile with two thumbs up in between two girls who look familiar. I find a letter from someone who sounded familiar. I throw them back in the drawer, because one day it might hold value. Your heart races from the visual of a giant hourglass and you wonder, where does it all go? You log into your Netflix account and skim through the stand-up category. You end up watching Louie C.K. at the Beacon Theater for the fifth time. This seems familiar.

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Me the people: The story of how I quit my job.

hqdefaultI walk into my grocery store job. The setting—morbidly depressing as always. The employees are all slumped over their counter tops as the poorly mastered instrumental versions of 1970’s cover songs cascade against the sound of privileged 4-year-olds having temper tantrums over wanting chocolate covered pretzels. I punched in and put on my chef coat and apron almost as if I’m getting ready to prepare a gourmet meal. But I’m not. I’d get paid to chop up fruits and veggies in a cold prep room next door to the produce cooler. I’d maintain a salad bar and a sticky packaged produce wall that consisted of fresh-squeezed juice and over-priced platters.

I walked into see one of my naturally irate coworkers, who we’ll call Linda. She’s a pretty cool lady outside of work, but usually loses herself while at work. Linda’s a single mom in her 50’s who I’d occasionally smoke weed with and make really mean jokes with about our other coworkers. She’d liked to talk about the good o’l days. She’d school me on classic rock bands and how things used to be. I thought of her as a retired hippie who lost herself to corporate sexism and the over-paid millennials that bombarded the store. After the “hi’s” and “hellos,” she begins, “T, in all my years in the industry, I’ve never met someone who creeps me out as much as this guy does. He started talking about his nine marriages and how he was married to Madonna. He also told me he worked with…what’s that redneck band? Oh, yeah. ZZ Top! He also said he dated Selena Gomez. This guy has some screws loose!”

Disturbed, yet not surprised, I kept asking if he was joking. Without the slightest grin, she said no. She told me she hid the knives from him and complained to our 20-year-old department manager at the time. He told her that they had sent him to work in the back in our prep room because he “couldn’t be around people.” Squinting my eyes, I proclaimed, “How the fuck did he get passed the first interview?”

She left and I proceeded to take on what was my daily routine of playing my muffled rock music on my phone and packaging and cutting under a loud fan. The next day started off like the day before and the day before that—melancholic and repetitious. I walked into the slippery, cool room awaken by the stench of citrus and a nauseating smell of onions. To the far left side of the room was a tall lanky older man who looked like a cross between Woody Allen and a kooky character from an early Twilight Zone episode.

He glared at me, but remained quiet. I had been working there for so long, I didn’t care for introductions. I went over to my cutting boards and proceeded to do my job. He steps over to the label printing machine, not really making any progress though. He turns over to me and utters to me like some Bill and Ted character, “Hey, do you like rock and roll?” “Uh…sure,” I replied. “Do you like Nirvana?” “Uh…yeah…” “How much do you know about Kurt Cobain?” “Enough.” “Where was he born?” “Seattle.” “Nope, San Francisco.” “Uh…ok,” I said while raising an eyebrow in discomfort. “Who was he married to?” “Uh, Courtney Love.” “Wrong! That was his sister!” “Whoa,” I replied back with a look of over-bearing awkwardness and disbelief over the fact that I kept answering his odd questions, instead of jolting for the door.

It didn’t take a genius to discover that this was the nut-job Linda was talking about. I vented to my other coworkers about my awkward exchange and they all replied with, “Oh, I see you met ‘Crazy Mike.’” You can imagine how comforting it was to hear that people have already been accustomed to working with this strange man. (Insert sarcasm here) I saw that other people were back in the prep room, so I thought to myself, “Fuck it. Let’s go back and get this shit over with.” The regular closing juicer had finally arrived, which was a relief.

Crazy Mike just stood there asking the juicer really fucking odd questions and feeding him fables about being in different bands. Annoyed, he left the room and I was left with god damn Norman Bates. I was putting the pans that were in the sink away and I can see from the corner of my eye some sort of waving or jerking motion. I just assumed he was being weird by himself. When I finished, I still kept seeing it. I finally turned in his direction to see him staring at me while waving like some sort of escaped mental patient. I gave him a look of disgust, rolled my eyes, and walked away. The original juicer came back…thank gawwd. I think Crazy Mike thought that was space for him to come in my direction.

I had my music playing, while I was carelessly tipping the leaves off of the strawberries. “How do you do that,” he asked randomly. “Um…you take the knife and cut the leaves ooooff.” “Oh ok. I just want to watch so I can learn.” Then he went on a tangent on how he went to “flying” school at the age of nine, grew up on military base, and saved Sugar Ray from drowning when he was a kid. Not Mark McGrath, Sugar Ray. So I’m guessing he saved the whole fucking band. Anywho, I told him that there’s work that needs to be done and that he needs to get on that juice. He listened, thankfully, and just stared at the machine for the most part.

Some hours later, our 20-year-old manager, who we’ll call Mano, makes an appearance at our back room and asks how we’re doing as if his job was finally fulfilled. “Alright, guys let’s get some back up going,” he said ever so masculine with his hands on his hips. He had the face of a 27-year-old and the body of prepubescent boy. It was pretty fucking odd. It was like taking orders from a child who had Benjamin Button’s disease. Mano gets closer to me and mumbles, “Yeah, that guy’s kind of weird right?” “Kind of? How the fuck did this guy get hired?” “I don’t know.” And then in the saddest attempt at trying to sound reassuring, he advises me to hide the knives from him as if it were a normal task.

I couldn’t believe what I just heard. I felt as if I was stuck in the Twilight Zone or a less colorful Wonderland where Mad Hatter is dressed like a Mormon with an apron. I felt as if I shouldn’t have put any effort into my interview when I was first hired. I felt inadequate working there, like I was thrown into a mass group of special ed students. As insulting as that last sentence may seem, is how insulted I felt. I told one of my coworkers about the incident and that I could no longer work there for the sake of my sanity. I also went on a tangent on how working there prohibited my motivation and tampered with my spirit.
“You guys, we’re better than this,” I began on my stagnant preamble. “I can’t keep doing this to myself. I have to follow my dreams even if it means I have to starve a little. You have to start somewhere, right?” “You’re right. I think you should go for it. Fuck this place, man,” the juicer told me. With an extra voice echoing how I felt, I was empowered to storm up to Mr. Benjamin Button and declared my resignation.

“Sup, Mano. I’m putting in my two weeks. I can’t take it anymore.” “Wait, what? Why?” “I’m not happy here. I’m tired of being taken advantage of and I’m tired of picking up other peoples’ slack.” “Well, what if we give a level 2 position?” “I am a level 2,” I raised my voice in exasperation. “Oh, well how about a level 3?” “There’s no level 3 available. Linda’s a level 3. What are you gonna do? Rip it from her and give it to me?” “Well, nobody likes their job. I was working at Dominick’s for four years.” “Aaand how did you not blow your fucking head off? Period point blank I’m quitting and there’s nothing that you can say that’s going convince me otherwise, ok?” “Alright, just put it in writing and give it to me. I’ll give it someone up front.” “Sweeeet. K byeeee!”

I was on cloud 9. Yeah, I had a couple of jobs in line, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if any of them were going to work out. I couldn’t believe I stuck it to the Man…or lack thereof. I was working at this place for over two years. I had gone to shifts while having fevers, gut-wrenching hangovers, and two hours of sleep after finishing 10-page papers for class. I was the one who would take lead, while the rest of my coworkers wandered and took their hour breaks. And the cherry on top of this turd sundae was that my hours were getting cut. I was the only part-timer of my department who had any seniority and I was the only one to get my hours cut. Coincidently, it was after I confronted a level 4 for throwing me under the bus, while I was picking up his slack. Aaaand coincidently, he wrote our schedules. I felt like Thomas Jefferson, while writing the Declaration of Independence while writing my resignation note. Well, I didn’t know how he felt because I never met the dude and we’re about five centuries apart. Anyways, I gave Mano 2.0 my note and it was a rap. Two-weeks later I gave my goodbyes and I was out the door. Free at last.

Grad Expos and Stressometers

In less than two months, I will be walking across the stage in front of thousands of blank faces. I may recognize some of their faces from a class I may have taken two years ago, but that doesn’t matter today. I’m finally taking one more step into completing the gut-wrenching process we call higher-learning. Ok…so technically I won’t be receiving my BA until after fall semester when I complete the rest of my credits, but it feels nice to get the unnecessary stiff portraits, fees, and gaudy announcements out of the way. I still have no clue where I’m going on the stagnant road, which is now my life. The thought of making doctor appointments still gives me anxiety. Driving on highways still make my stomach turn. I still don’t know how to properly introduce myself to people and I still use the word “fuck” as a substitute for a loss of words. Fuck, fuck, fuck…Is there a field for those special skills?

Not too long ago, I seized the opportunity to check out a graduation expo at my school. The expo was crammed in what is normally the study/lounging area in the building. There were two rows of several different stations. Each spokesperson for each station looked anything but happy to be there…except for the woman in charge of guidance counseling. I wanted whatever she was having. I awkwardly walk amongst the tables slowly peaking at the brochures they had laid out. I would slightly grin every time they would make eye-contact out of nervousness and because I was still half-asleep and still not welcoming to social-interaction. I grabbed a couple of booklets. I grabbed a flyer for student portraits as the “woman/photographer bitch” tries to convince me to take a photo at the moment. Mind you, I don’t have an inch of make-up on my face and I was rocking a messy bun (not the nice kind either). “No, I’ll be back next time for pictures.” *Cues constipated smile. *

I literally walk across that ten foot aisle about three times, until the Wicked Witch of Degree Evaluations gets my attention. Although her position has some purpose at this moment, she gives me this Midwestern, simpleton vibe. As she asked me to have a seat, she wore this forced smile with a cheap raspberry colored lipstick for affirmation. “So hun, can I get your oasis number?” She proceeds to type up my information and reads off everything I completed. She kicks up her bottom lip and squints her eyes as if she’s cooking up away she’s going to piss me off the most. “Well, according to your profile it says you’re not even enrolled.” “I’m aware of that. I talked to my advisor about that due to a financial aid issue that I did not sort out on time. I fixed it and she told me I can still walk.” I tried to enclose my impatience with over-explanative babble, but this was the kind of bitch who takes that shit as a challenge.

She purses her lips and tilts her head as if she was disciplining a child. “Well I know when I was graduating; I wanted to finish all of my credits, so that way I felt relieved that I had finished everything. You’re going to get a letter in the mail that says that you didn’t earn your degree. And if you don’t believe me, you can talk to (whoever the fuck she pointed to).” “I never said I didn’t believe you. I spoke to my advisor thoroughly about this. I’m just trying to get the ceremonial process out of this way.” She basically reiterated the same scripted bullshit and I asked her if there was someone else I can speak with. She told me that she was pretty much the only person of authority I could’ve spoken to about my whole ordeal. She sounded so juvenile—like when a customer asks a clerk to speak to a manager and then the clerk lies defiantly and tells them that they are the manager. I smiled and glared at the floor. “Well, it was nice speaking with you. I have to go.”

I walked away from her table without looking back…because if I did, I would’ve thrown my 50 pound bag at her face like a javelin. I started walking up the aisle again trying to dart that woman from my mind. Lo and behold there was the guidance counseling table right in front of me. The woman in charge of that station had a warm smile and spoke like a yoga instructor. She was on the heavier side and she wore this bohemian, tribal patterned dress adorned with a thin matching overcoat. “Hi, how are you doing today?” And with that simple greeting she opened up a can of worms. I just started venting to her like I was a regular at a therapy session. “Welp, I just caught wind that apparently ‘I shouldn’t be graduating’ because I didn’t finish all of credits. I just talked to my advisor. I know what I’m talking about.” At that point, I thought I had officially lost my mind. She kindly empathized with my frustration and explained to me how the sessions work and that many other people, mainly seniors, are having the same problems. “Thank you. I’m sorry if I alarmed you.” I joked and told her that perhaps I would be seeing her this fall and finish the rest of my ranting. She smiled, handed me some booklets, and a “stressometer” card.

I was so upset from bantering passive-aggressively with the woman previously, I grabbed an Uber home. I didn’t want to deal with any other human interaction on the bus or train. Thankfully my driver wasn’t much of a talker. She was an older African-American woman with dreadlocks and asked who I was and how I was. I gave her rundown minus the aesthetics of the experience. During my ride, I was curious enough to play around with the stressometer. You were to press your thumb on a censored area for about 15 seconds. After you’d release your thumb, the censor would change color. Obviously if it was a lighter color, you were calm or happy. If it was dark, that meant you were stressed. And of course, there was barely any color. It was a silly thing to toy around with, but it’s like reading your horoscope or playing a game of mash. You know it’s not going to help you or reevaluate your life in any way. You’re just so damn lost, that your curiosity is so desperate for some kind of response. Sometimes I wonder if my curiosity can ever lead me to the right response…or my actions for that matter.

Epic Fails and So and So’s

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I feel like a failure and not in the sense of “they didn’t have the shoes I wanted in my size” failure, but I feel like one big epic fail. I haven’t found the motivation to write. It’s almost as if I woke one morning with a crippled left brain. It’s as if my creativity slivered into tiny fragments and wandered carelessly in debris. I am currently withstanding my embarrassing position as a grocery store clerk and a less than qualified server for a private women’s club I know I will never be welcomed to. Yeah, the people I work with are cool. Most of them are struggling “twentysomething” artists who have conversations about independent films I never heard of and books I probably would never dream reading. I like most of them. We can have discussions about female ejaculation without making the conversation go sour. (Pun intended.)

Anyway, I suppose being surrounded by struggle while struggling may not leave room for ingenuity. The urge to write is like a virus that stays dormant in my body. Unexpectedly, I show symptoms I’m a writer—my affinity to constantly respond in sarcasm, the ability to escape space and time and live in my mind, my undefying love for whiskey, and the need to find a better word for “deep” or “soul.” Not too long ago, I applied for my school’s newspaper. So yeah it’s not The Chicago Tribune or let alone The Red Eye, but it’s a nice little stain on the resume don’t ya think?

So fast-forward to mid-January, I receive a call from the associate editor that I had freelance position for the paper and to meet with her at the end of the month. Ah, it feels like I might be getting closer to collegial normalcy. I can finally get more shit published that doesn’t involve social media and millennial whining. But here’s the catch…you have to pay off last semester’s financial hold with the little money you have. The truth was, I owed over $2500 and it seemed like it took a lifetime to even have more than two stacks in my savings. With time, I cleaned my savings account with not a pinch left. I had to harass my mom for the couple hundred that was left. As anxiety fled my already stiff spine, I then find that I still have a hold and could not register the week classes began.

The financial aid office tells me some bullshit about an exit counseling course that would take 3-5 business days to be confirmed. Fuck…my…life. That same week I met with the associate editor. Her named felt familiar. I think I had a class with her. I think she may be snob. I think this may be awkward. It was awkward. I had work not long after, so I didn’t have the most organized thoughts and articulate comments. Lots of “uh’s” and nodding my head to let her know I’m a good listener, but not the best talker. There was no one at the front desk to call her, so I had to bombard in a computer lab filled with hipstery reporters with square-framed glasses and dated Dr. Martins. She finds me as I’m talking with the girl next her and apologizes.

In summary, if you have an awkward intro for an interview, the whole interview will be awkward. She had a yellow-paged notepad with all of her questions and notes. She gave me a rundown on how freelancing for the paper worked and her eyes would randomly trail off every time I spoke. And of course with an awkward beginning and middle, there had to be an awkward ending. I noticed on the sheet of paper she gave me, it said that I had to be enrolled with 12 credit hours or more. I only had 11 left to go. She told me she’d work it out with the head editor. After I ran out of small interjections and told her I’d e-mail her if had any further questions, she gave me a pause. A pause long enough to paralyze my body from discomfort. She shook my hand and that was that. I felt a bit weird, but happy from this small career step.

A couple days passed and my hold still wasn’t in the clear. I checked Monday morning to find that my hold was now clear, but of course there’s always something pushing me down the ladder of success. The last day to add classes was January 31st. It was now February 2nd. Fuck…my…life…TWO TIMES! I tried to surpass this by trying to get the Journalism department to help me enroll in classes that were still open, but “so and so” told me to speak with “so and so” and “so and so” didn’t have the answers! (In my Kanye voice.) The good news is that I can still graduate and walk in May and I’d either take classes during the summer or fall. But god damn it, I want it all now! I want my degree to be tangible. I want it to mean something. I want to be something…even if it’s not a something I’d pictured. This can’t be it.

Kissing Ass and Chronic Resting Bitch Face

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You know what they say? “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” 99.9 percent of the time, if you want to become successful in any field, you must be an expert in the art of kissing ass. Yes, nearly everyone on this planet has practiced, over time, their shit-eating grins, uncomfortable repeated nodding, and senseless schmoozing at job interviews and internships. Nonetheless, about 70 percent of the female population suffer from chronic “Resting Bitch Face.” Ha, yeah you didn’t see that plot twist coming! But, it’s definitely a real thing.

It’s the agonizing look of emotional defeat that comes across a woman’s face after a 12 hour shift or when she hasn’t had coffee or she’s about to crash from too much coffee. It’s when you come into work and your eyeliner is slightly smeared and every wrinkle in your forehead is deeply creased. And your asshole manager either asks if you’re tired, sick or blatantly says with a disgusted look, “You look rough today.”

People, men mostly, parade pass you telling you to smile in that slightly creepy, high-pitched voice like they’re talking to a fucking a baby. “How come I never see you smile,” they ask while I wreak of citrus-y garbage and pushing a cart of trash. I look up and refrain myself from asking, “Who the hell smiles while carrying trash and smelling like trash?” I promise this point will reconnect to the beginning of the post. Be patient. I’m getting there.

OK, back to resting bitch face. It’s the reason why other girls are afraid to befriend you, but then are relieved when they found out you hate the same people. Girl world is weird like that. I don’t know why, but it is. Not too long ago, I was a master at social pretenses and was determined to keep my eye on the prize(s)–ya know like a job or an extension on an assignment that was two weeks late. Now, I find myself without a filter and clue that I have severe “resting bitch face.”

I’m at a point in my life where I’m learning more about myself and other people. And that sometimes, people are just as strange and afraid as you are. As free as we think we are, most of us lock our inner-weirdo and inner-bitch into psychologically suppressant cages and then hate ourselves for it. No, I don’t want you to think I’m telling you all that you all can be egotistical, angry little pricks and tell your boss “to go fuck himself.” I’m telling you to like yourself enough to not get into the habit of being someone else.

In the words of Michael Moore,”Sometimes, you just got to say, ‘fuck everybody and what they think.” I’m not kidding. He really said this. Anyway, I guess the case of my “resting bitch face” is up in the air. I’m content with being myself (for the most part.) And I’m not afraid to be human. There’s too much pressure to be perfect and not enough pressure on not being fucking pressured. So, relax and rest the shit out of that bitch face.

Pending Potential…

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Ya know, sometimes I feel like Matt Damon from Good Will Hunting and some hot-shot Ivy League professor might discover my true potential. And sometimes I wonder…is it just potential? People constantly ask me if I’ve written lately. Who are you reading? Did you hear the news? And it’s all blur. My literary leisure time is reduced to Buzz Feed listicles and Twitter posts from the New York Times. Now…how fucking sad is that? It’s my fifth year as a journalism major and I have yet to figure out what the fuck I want to do with my life. As I lay in bed each night, the thought of student loans and tuition fees sprout into even darker places like…will I scrape money from underpaid part-time jobs my whole life to make-up for a wasted five years? If you asked me five years ago what I wanted to do with my life, I would’ve given you a list of what I’d expect my future resume to look like, the places I’d travel to and the cool artsy-fartsy people I had fantasized about being friends with. As trite as it sounds, it was the truth. Now I simply stall my ass off when I’m asked about my future. “I just want to write,” I’d begin. Then the interrogator would nod their head for me to continue. “For who?” “About what?” “Then what?” “How are you gonna get there?” Shit, I thought I was the journalism major. Last week, my teacher was asking people in the room (just for shits and giggles) what they wanted to do after they graduated. Out of unrelenting fear and avoiding a panic attack, I quickly left the room and jetted for the bathroom. Smooth. Very fucking smooth. I’ve been pondering on the idea, but I still haven’t even developed an answer that would even sound remotely believable. Dabbling two part-time jobs, doing school part-time, trying to figure out what day it is, and adapting to adult-hood while learning how to like myself is a full-time fucking job if you ask me…#FirstWorldProblems. Yes, I know I sound like some winey, clueless, self-involved Lena Dunham character, but not knowing where you stand in this opportunistic and capitalistic paradigm for success can drive you insane. The self-doubt ultimately becomes a certainty when you see someone from high school on a bus and they tell you… “What the hell are you doing on the bus? You’re working at a grocery store? C’mon, you were one of the smart ones in high school. You have so much potential.” Ah, that word will be the death of me. So, how do you like those apples?

And They’re All Made Out of Ticky Tacky…

When are you getting married? Do you plan on having kids soon? How long have you guys been together? These are questions that I come across almost daily. It comes from my mother, long lost family members who only ask to fill up awkward silences, co-workers, and I would say my friends…but 95% of them don’t care and the other 5% have A.D.D. What is the world coming to where your former fun friends settle for babies, marriage, and Grey’s Anatomy in their early 20’s? From what I learned about marriage, it is, in fact, settling. Now, I’m not bashing marriage in its entirety. It can be a beautiful thing..for the first couple of years. You add some kids in the mix, a high-pressure job, and you find yourself becoming as cynical as your 40-year-old co-workers. About a week ago, while downing a plate of deliciously greasy Chinese food and luke warm water, my mom, my sister, and I begin to have a conversation about marriage and my favorite topic…ADULTHOOD. And the question arises once again: “When are you getting married?” “I’m 22 years old. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Plus I don’t need a document or an expensive ring to prove I’m a worthy partner.” Yeah, I’m self-righteous like that. You can easily tell I’ve taken a class on gender and culture. “Yeah, it’s hard to talk to your father sometimes,” she began. “He doesn’t like to communicate and he doesn’t show much emotion. We’re actually very different.” Looking down while toying with my string bean and chicken with my plastic fork I ask, “Well why did you marry him?” Holding a forced grin she answered, “Because he was the only guy who was ever nice to me.” I can tell she was being genuine because hearing herself say those words scared the shit out of her. I can almost hear her heart thumping like someone just played Jumanji. I dropped my fork and stared at her for three seconds. “That’s an awful thing to say.” Defensive and contrite she struck back with, “but I do love him.” There’s always a “but” after we dish out the truth. We like to reassure whoever we’re talking to that it’s not as depressing as it really is.  Gathering my recollection of  thrown glasses, deleted messages from adherent affairs, substance abuse, domestic abuse, lack of passion and connection, objectification, and broken dreams I’ve seen in other marriages, marriage cannot be used as a bandage to hide a gaping wound or a confirmation that your future husband will conceal his sexual appetite for 23-year-old strippers. Nonetheless, there are people who do marry their best-friends…for better or for worse. They may settle, but they settle for each other and not marriage. I don’t want to end up in my thirties wishing I had traveled more, laughed more, or followed a dream…even if it may have been deferred. My disregard for marriage is not knocking down love, because like most people, I love love…in it’s masochistic nature and all. Hey, maybe I’ll even give Grey’s Anatomy a chance. I think what love really is…is socially acceptable insanity and being nurtured by another person’s madness. Marriage is like a Ritalin or Anti-Depressant pill the two of you take to pretend that you are normal while the urge to be two separate loving human beings passes away slowly until both or you are just ticky tacky.