2017: The Calm After the Storm

this too shall pass

For better or worse, this is the time of year when we begin to evaluate our lives. I noticed in my Facebook memories that I posted a lot of “Bye, Felicia” type jokes about 2016. The thing is, I feel way worse about 2017. Pfffft. I’m feeling very scorched earth if I’m being honest.

The last two years have been filled with divorce, shitty ass friends who chose to look the other way when I was going through something awful, and a near-psychotic devotion to my hatred for Trump. I have become Archie Bunker. A younger, more liberal Archie Bunker but still.

I live in Southern California and, while the weather is insanely gorgeous and it’s hard to not see God when looking at a sunset over the sand, I hate it here. I. HATE. IT. HERE. I’m a Midwestern girl who also enjoyed her time in Denver but is now stuck here due to divorce. I’ve taken to yelling in people’s faces for not replying to a simple greeting.

“Hello! Hello!!!!??? You do hear me, right? Because I can say “hello” in sign language too, you mute muthafucka!

I’m Kristen Wiig in the Bridesmaids scene when she freaks the fuck out at the wedding shower.

Kristen Wiig Bridesmaids

I’m Jack Nicholson in The Shining, coming through the bathroom door after months of writer’s block.

I’m Faye Dunaway and these SoCassholes are the goddamned wire hangars.

I’m Brad Pitt in the field with Kevin Spacey in the movie Seven. “What’s in the fucking box?” Is it your cold, dead hearts, former friends? Maybe it’s the brain of all the Trump supporters combined. It’d fit.

 Scorched motherfucking earth, people.

Allow me to regale with you a final story from 2017. When I moved into my new place (which is the only thing that has made me happy besides my boys in years), I got a nastygram from a neighbor. It had only been a week and yet there was a note about how I had the gall to let my dogs go pee out in front of our units. The nerve of me letting my dogs go outside! And it wasn’t a, “Hey, could you not…” nastygram either but a promise that video footage of this heinous offense would be sent to management if it didn’t stop.

For the last two to three weeks, I’ve marched my handicapped pugs out to the street so as not to offend this pissy neighbor and, on the few occasions they didn’t make it and peed out front, I’ve cleaned it with cleaner and boiling water. I’m cleaning the goddamned sidewalk!

In my Christmas morning reverie after getting to see my boys open gifts at my ex’s house, I was actually feeling pretty good. This is not a common feeling for me these days. I walked up to my unit and there was a petrified dog turd that was the size of a dime on a paper towel on my super jovial holiday greetings mat (Ho-cubed—get it?).

Folks, I’d had it. This was my epic Ralphie-in-A-Christmas-Story meltdown. I took that tiny turd, threw it in her faux bedazzled Christmas box outside her place, looked up at the video camera monitor and yelled, “Take that, you C-Word.” Only I didn’t say “C-Word”. Sorry, Mom.

I then proceeded to title a note to her, “To the Trump-faced Oompa Loompa overly bronzed fake-titted Lululemonated bimbo in Unit 3…”

Here’s where it takes a comedic turn. Her boyfriend replied back with a handwritten note that said, “I’m sorry my girlfriend is such a dick. At least you don’t have to live with her. Merry Christmas.”

I left him a six-pack of beer on his porch as a peace offering.

I sat there thinking back on my year. It was the year of shit and piss. I have a perpetual bed-wetter. I have a hopelessly ineffective butt-wiper. And I have a fecally incontinent dog who leaves a trail of nuggets on all my earthly possessions, including the passenger seat of my car. Yesterday, I smelled poop coming from the washing machine and dryer area and I thought, “Well, I officially give up. When the things that make your clothes clean and dry smell like poop, there’s nowhere to go.” A few minutes later, I found a tiny turd in the lint trap. This is a true story. I used to think skid marks were funny. That was when I thought I’d be dealing with skid marks and not a five-car underpants pileup.

Remember when that whole Oprah thing came out about The Gift? And it was basically about how you get back from the universe what you give. I see you, Universe, and I get it. I must have handed you a steaming pile of diarrhea last year while obsessing about how we have a guy who takes Golden Showers running our country. This year, I’m putting out a whole different vibe. Unicorns. Rainbows. And motherfucking puppies.

I wrote this the other day and was going to end the post here…

I hadn’t even mentioned my recent discovery that my best friend of 15 years has been stealing from me by using a credit card I gave her to use to keep her power on last year. Yesterday, I drove my ex-husband and boys to the airport for a Utah ski trip, where they were meeting a bunch of friends that ditched me during the divorce. I thought I was doing a nice thing but as I was grumbling about whether this was a Shitty Husbands Convention on the way to the airport, I realized that I might have stepped outside my comfort zone.

I came home and raged. And cried. And tried to reach the friend who owes me money. And obsessed about all the people who have abandoned me. And I blew my nose like a thousand times because I’ve had a cold for all of 2017. The tiniest sliver of hope is always there though. I can feel it, thought it’s surprisingly dim. It was this part of me that urged myself to call and schedule a massage. I haven’t had a massage in probably 15 years. I have chronic pain. What was I waiting for?

The thing is, when you’re in the grips of depression, sometimes making appointments can seem insurmountable. I set out for the massage on target for being 10 minutes late and the self-loathing was already creeping in. When I got there, I was almost in tears and told her that I’d understand if she needed to cancel. Instead, she welcomed me with open arms. She asked me how I’d hurt my back and she gave me a squeeze to let me know how much she thought that sucked.

You know what’s interesting? I was getting my nails done a week before and the lady held my hand for a bit afterwards. I really didn’t get it and it was just a brief moment but it made me almost cry. Human touch, people. I swear it could cure cancer. As this lovely woman worked on me yesterday, I cried. I cried and cried and cried silent tears as I let the physical and emotional pain go. I can’t remember the last time I felt that kind of peace, if ever. She hugged me so tight when I left and I promised her I’d come back. I don’t care if I have to scrape up money from the couch cushions. I’m going back.

When I opened my eyes this morning, I expected my old and faithful friend Misery to be on my left and his partner Bitterness on the right. It was almost 9 am (what!?) and neither of these things were there to greet me. I can’t say they won’t be back but even a brief respite has shown me that it is possible that everything is going to be okay after all. If you’ve had a year or two like me, I hope someone holds your hand (even if it is a stranger), gives you a meaningful squeeze, or does something else to let you know that this, too, shall indeed pass. We’ve got this.

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