Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.

I have this really great new excuse for cutting myself some slack:  I turned 42 last month.

I had a similar excuse around this time last year.  It was called “I turned 41 last month”.

If you’re older than 42, you’re thinking, “Shut up, skank.  Talk to me when you’re 70.”  I totally, totally get that because:

1.  I am actually a skank, so kudos on your spot-on assessment.

2.  In the grand scheme of things, 42 is still young.

I realize that there are plenty of people who still scale Mt. Kilimanjaro who are also on Medicare, but let’s pretend they don’t exist for the length of this blog, if for no other reason than those people make all of us look bad by comparison.  They’re blowing the curve with their “active senior lifestyles”, which I think is pretty selfish of them.  Did you go skydiving for your 90th birthday?  I don’t want to hear about it.  At least not while I’m googling padded toilet seats, anyway.

The problem is that I cannot be trusted with any amount of slack.  I just can’t.  If you give me an inch of slack, I won’t even take a mile.  Instead, I’ll call someone up from the couch and say, “Hey, can you go pick up this mile of slack for me?  Some fool trusted me to just take an inch.  No, no I can’t go get it myself.  I’m busy.  Just leave it by my front door.  Thanks.”

Then I’ll return to watching Major League for the 150th time and wondering aloud at what age, as the spawn of Martin Sheen, one would have to decide whether to go by “Sheen” or “Estevez” professionally, and then wax philosophical as to the various pros and cons for choosing one over the other, because that is literally the kind of bullshit I spend time wondering aloud.  How Bobby keeps from smothering me with a throw pillow is completely beyond me.  The man is a saint.

And I would choose Estevez, for obvious reasons.  Perhaps I’ll write a post that details those exact reasons in somewhere around the 1,200 word mark, and then you will finally give up on me for good.  You can do better, people.

I especially like to use age as an excuse to cut myself some slack when I’m too lazy to push myself to work out.  Cutting myself some slack with regard to exercise, by the way, means I tell myself that I don’t have to exercise at all.  Usually something along the lines of, “I should probably cut myself some slack today.  I don’t want to be one of those people who works out so hard that they need knee replacements before they’re 50!”

Then I breathe a sigh of relief, sit down on the couch with a Ziploc bag of loose chocolate chips, and start watching The Golden Girls, thankful that I’ve saved myself from all the potential joint damage.  Not working out?  That’s about staying safe!

Luckily/unluckily, when I was 35, I discovered this wonderful form of exercise called “Pilates”, so it’s difficult for me to make excuses and still be able to look myself in the mirror.  Never in my life did I dream I would find an exercise regimen so perfectly tailored to me, but there it was:  An exercise regimen that requires you to LIE ON THE FLOOR to do it.

Pilates were invented by blah blah blah…you had me at “lie on the floor”.

Is it hard?  Absolutely.  I would dare any Crossfitter in those weird toe-shoes to attempt a Pilates core-workout and not start crying and shaking uncontrollably even two minutes into it.  Pilates workouts are horrific, awful, torturous things.  They feel like a sorority has been unleashed inside your torso swinging pillowcases full of soap bars.  Pilates are brutal with a capital “I fucking hate this”.

I can withstand them not because I have abs of steel, but because I am doing an exercise that allows me to lie on the floor.  My mental and physical toughness increase exponentially in any situation if I know I get to lie on the floor the whole time.  No matter how bad it gets, I just say, “You could be standing doing this exercise right now. Standing!” and that’s enough motivation for me to keep going.

Every now and then I get an annoying little bee in my huuuuge bonnet about needing to add cardio to my workouts, usually right around the time that I can’t pull my skinny suit-pants on Monday morning without using a shoehorn.  Then I remember all the hot pretzel-eating from the night before and go, “Ahh.”  That’s because the night before, while looking at the hot pretzels on the menu I said, “You turned 42 last month!  You’ve earned the right to eat hot pretzels whenever you goddamned feel like it!”

This is all fine, a hot pretzel isn’t exactly a whole birthday cake or anything, but when your excuse is “I turned 42 last month”, it can end up being one hell of a slippery slope.  Before you know it you’re doing MILF porn in a van parked outside a Denny’s in exchange for an order of Moons Over My Hammy because “I turned 42 last month.”

Also, I aged out of the possibility of MILF porn on the day I turned, like, 25.  At 42 I’d be in the Old Lady Circus Freak category.  Now I’m concerned that typing the words “MILF porn” into this blog entry this many times is going to bring a whole new readership to the blog that I will regret for the rest of my life.  C’est la MILF.

Seemingly well-intended types can get super pissed when they see you not cutting yourself slack and will go to great lengths to encourage you to stuff a pie into your face, or have that fourth drink, or lie around on the couch all day.  I assume it’s because those are the things they actually want to do and they don’t want to be the lone loser in your circle of friends.  They saw what being the lone loser did to Ross Gellar on Friends and they don’t think they can handle it.  And they can’t.  If Friends had happened in reality, Ross would have been tossed off the top of a skyscraper decades ago.  By me.

I might be willing to actually cut myself some slack if I hadn’t spent ten years between the ages of 25 and 35 where my entire life consisted of cutting myself slack, which means I ate like a wild hog with a gland problem, chain-smoked cigarettes, drank lakes of well liquor, never slept, never worked out, packed on forty pounds, and felt like crap all the time.

Trust me – I’ve had plenty of years of my life where I was a slug who stuffed bacon cheeseburgers and pie into my mouth like they were on that candy factory conveyor belt on I Love Lucy.  Plenty of years where I spent upwards of 100 hours a week watching television.  Plenty of years where I was too lazy to shower for weeks on-end.  Trust me – I am not suffering for lack of slack in my previous life, so don’t tell me that everyone needs to cut themselves some slack on occasion.  I’ve cut enough for twenty lifetimes.  Don’t encourage me.

The only way to keep myself from ending up living in the ditch outside a Hardee’s wearing a trash bag as a muu-muu and eating old garbage french fries out of an upside down road cone is if I allow myself zero slack.  I know that I can’t start the slack engine without immediately crashing the slack car.

Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today.  I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

The Diabetes Hustle

The second most humiliating drinking story of my life starts with me getting my first real job.  The first one can be found here.

My sister Bonnie had been working as an inbound-sales telephone rep at a well-known contact lens replacement company.  Their corporate headquarters were in South Florida at the time, and they had a humongous call center and shipping warehouse attached to the building.

I was 18 years old and, besides cleaning doctors’ offices at night with my friend’s mom when I was 12, I had never held a job before.  My mom had forbidden me from having a job while I was in high school, because she was afraid that if I realized that I could be making money at a job instead of sitting unpaid in school all day, that I would quit high school and run off to a mall job at Sanrio Surprises (who wouldn’t want that sweet employee discount on all things Hello Kitty?).  She was right, too.  I totally would have.  Thanks for the high school diploma, Mom!

Bonnie had landed me a job interview with the manager of the contact lens place, a guy I would find out was, appropriately, named Lucifer.  Okay, it wasn’t Lucifer, but it was something similarly evil.

Bonnie had told Lucifer this was going to be my first job interview ever, so I arrived for it prepared to be handled with semi-kid gloves and wasn’t particularly nervous.

I walked into his office to find that Lucifer looked like every terrifying Eastern European/Eurasian villain from every action movie you’ve ever seen.  He had that sort of jaw that looked like he could crush rocks with his face, his tattooed muscles were nearly bursting from the semi-see-through-ness of his white dress shirt.  He had gel-spiked hair, wild eyes, and framed pictures around his desk of his many kickboxing championship wins.  I wondered how a man who appeared to be a cross between a pterodactyl and Ron Perlman ended up with such a cushy office.  He was firmly Cobra Kai.

Lucifer shook my hand, nearly crushing it, and invited me to sit down across from him.  I didn’t even have a resume’ in my hand, because there would have been nothing on it, and my high school grades were average at best, so I didn’t bring in a curriculum vitae, either.  Besides, come on, this was essentially a telemarketing job.  I figured if I showed up with one functional ear and a speaking voice that didn’t sound like Scooby Doo, I would be a shoo-in.

I sat down and Lucifer swung his chair to the side, leaned back in it, and put his hands together, but just at the fingertips, like he was in deep contemplation.  He stared out his mini-blind shielded window into the corporate office park.  I looked around to try to figure out what he was staring at, thinking maybe there was blood dripping through the ceiling or something, because it totally should have been, given how goddamned frightening this guy was.

He eventually, after approximately an eternity, said, “Tell me about…”

More silence.

I was now openly making a confused face.  Another full ten seconds went by.

“Tell me about…”

(Count it off – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

“…sales.”

This was a baffling request, seeing as this was my first real job, and I had no college degree, nor did I ever purport to have any sales experience.  I told him as much, as politely as possible, and told him I was there to learn how to do sales, seeing as this was my first job and I knew they had a training program.

He pursed his lips together in an exaggerated smirk, rolled his head on the back of headrest to face me and condescendingly said, “What?  You, uh, never sold Girl Scout Cookies or nothing?”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.  Was this guy seriously trying to play hardball with an 18-year old girl applying for a stupid telemarketing job?

I made up some shit on the fly about being persistent to get a sale, and added as many pauses as possible to make it look like I was thinking really hard, since I had no freaking idea what I was talking about.  Lo and behold, he hired me.  I guess he just wanted to establish from the get-go that it was his job to be the scary guy and my job to be the girl who was scared of him.  Mission accomplished, guy.  My training would start the following week.

Bonnie decided to take me out to celebrate with my new coworkers.  She drove me to the nearby bar where everyone hung out after work.  It was your typical working-class watering hole for South Florida, lots of fishing paraphernalia on the walls, friendly people and good prices.  I was so jacked up and nervous after that freakshow of an interview, I hadn’t eaten at all, but Bonnie told me that since it was happy hour, they would have a decent amount of bar snacks out.

Nobody at the bar seemed to notice that I was underage.  I was dressed semi-fancy for a job interview and in the company of a group of regulars, so the door guy didn’t ask me for ID when I entered the bar, and Bonnie and her friends were buying, so no bartenders asked me for ID, either.  I sat down with a group of about ten of my soon-to-be coworkers, and Bonnie brought me a beer.  I snacked on some carrot sticks and pretzels from the happy hour mini-buffet.

Everyone was super friendly to me, and shared funny stories of the kind of customers I would run into on the job, and it sounded legitimately awful.  I was so shy, I knew the last thing I would ever be good at was sales, but I had no work experience and this was the only way for me to get any.  They told stories, I drank.  They told more stories, I drank more.

After about two hours, I had around three and a half beers in me, which for me on a mostly empty stomach was roughly the equivalent of 150,000 beers.  My vision blurred, and I could tell that hurling was imminent.

I didn’t want my new coworkers to see how sloppy drunk I’d gotten on so few beers, so I got up from my bar stool and whispered for Bonnie to point me to the ladies room.  She pointed across the room, and I staggered my way towards the ladies room, trying to keep myself in a straight line as best I could.  I probably looked like that guy in the Jamiroquai video for Virtual Insanity.  I was walking at a full sideways slant.

I was halfway to the ladies room when something whacked me on the back of the head so hard that I thought someone had pulled one of the wooden oars off the wall and attacked me from behind with it.  Everything went completely black.

I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the ceiling.  I hadn’t been hit in the head by an oar wielded by an angry fisherman.  As it turned out, I had passed out drunk while actively walking to the ladies room, and the crack I felt on the back of my head was my skull hitting the wood floor.  Good and hard, too.  I went down in one sharp motion, like someone had pulled a rug out from under me.

Bonnie and my new coworkers (great band name possibility there!) jumped up from the table and ran to my aid.  Bonnie got to me first, thank god, because what happened next was the best hustle I have ever come up with on the fly in my entire life and, thankfully, Bonnie loves a good hustle as much as I do.

Still lying on the floor, I motioned for her to come close to my face.  As she leaned down, I grabbed her by her shirt and whispered desperately, “Tell everyone I’m diabetic!”

Bonnie did as I had begged her to do and yelled, “She’s okay!  She’s just diabetic!”

I figured nobody would make fun of me for being a lightweight teenager who couldn’t hold her liquor if they thought I was having a “legitimate medical problem”.  I was right, too, but had forgotten two crucial problems with this diabetic play.

First, if you’ve ever been around a diabetic who’s suffering from low blood sugar, then you know what’s coming next.  Mia, one of the coworkers, yelled to the bartender, “We need a glass of orange juice here right now!”

Knowing that I had been teetering on the brink of hurling to begin with, I said, “No!  I’m fine!  I just need to get into the ladies room!”

The bartender ran around from behind the bar with a glass of orange juice and gave it to Mia.  She said, “You have to drink this, honey!  You have to drink this NOW!”

She put the glass to my mouth and tipped my head back.  Bless this woman, she thought she was trying to help a poor diabetic girl instead of a drunken teenager who was too afraid to admit she was drunk.

She poured the orange juice into my mouth.  I responded by immediately projectile vomiting.  All over her and my new coworkers.

Bonnie and my new coworkers (band name – seriously!) dragged me out the back door of the bar, where I continued to ralph up orange juice, carrots, and Budweiser in the bushes for the next thirty minutes or so.  When Bonnie decided that my stomach was empty enough that I wasn’t going to throw up in the footwell of her sweet-ass mid-1990s Ford Probe, they loaded me into the front passenger seat and belted me in for her to take me home.

I slur-apologized and went on and on to everyone about how embarrassed I was over the whole incident.  One of my new coworkers, Rachel, knelt down next to the open passenger door and said, “Oh sweetie, you have nothing to be embarrassed about.  It’s not like you’re some kid who got shitfaced.  I mean, you have an actual medical problem.  You’re diabetic!”

Second, I started work with all of these people the following week, which meant that I then had to spend every single day of my employment there pretending I had diabetes.

Kickstart My Face

Have you ever had an old car that you’ve driven forever and then had this conversation with someone when they went to drive it for the first time?  

“Okay, so before you get in, you have to kind of toggle the door handle up and to the left, then pull, then push, then open the door.  When you put the key in the ignition, wiggle the steering wheel side to side while slowly kickstarting the gas pedal five times as you turn the key.  Then take this screwdriver from the center console and tap it on the crescent-shaped notch on the steering column, pump the brakes eleven times, then you’re good to go.  Oh my god, I forgot to mention – do NOT try to start the engine with the air conditioning on or the entire engine will melt onto the tops of your feet through the holes under the dashboard.”  

When did your car become so difficult, and why hadn’t you noticed?  Ten years ago, you didn’t used to have to do anything special to make it start.  Then after a couple years, you had to do one thing.  Then a few years later it was five things.  By the time you get to the ten year mark, you have to do the Electric Slide to get the damn door to even open, and give a voodoo handjob to a Michelin Man doll to keep the tires from exploding when you drive over speedbumps.  It just all happened so gradually that you didn’t notice it.  It takes so much work to make it work these days. 

This is an analogy.  I am old.

When I was 21, in order to get ready for work in the morning, I would oversleep, drag myself out of bed and touch-up the $3 eyeliner that I had slept in, brush my teeth, and go.  The men-folk swooned.

This morning:

I woke up two hours before I had to leave for work.

I took off the sticker that I wear on my forehead overnight so that I don’t get those unsightly “11” lines between my eyes (Frownies).

I showered, using three different kinds of soap (Ocean Breeze in toasted coconut, vanilla body wash, Noble Zinc face soap), the shampoo that I use specifically on Fridays (Redken Color Magnetics), the deep conditioner that I specifically use on Fridays (Everpure Hair Mask), and the hideously expensive but highly effective rechargeable sonic cleaner device-thingy that I use to wash my face (Foreo Luna in Normal/Sensitive), because nowadays I can assure you that when you see a electric device on my bathroom counter that is pink, made of silicone, and has raised, vibrating nubbins on it, it is a device that is used strictly on my face to reduce the amount of gunk in my pores.

Then I got out, dried off, sprayed canned French spring water on my face (La Roche Posay, Thermal Spring Water), and let it soak in while I use my special detangling brush for the first brushing of my hair, to be followed by the second brushing using the round brush.

Then on go the face serum (Ole Henriksen Truth Serum), first moisturizer (Ole Henriksen Transform), second moisturizer for redness relief (La Roche Posay Rosaliac because fucking hormonal rosacea), and eye cream (Avon, current free sample).

Then I use a refrigerated de-swelling iron on my under-eye area – the kind that they use on boxers when their faces are all swollen from being repeatedly punched in the face.  That is to say, I have to shop at specialty sporting goods stores in order to find products that will make me appear “awake” in the eye area, because I am so puffy that it appears I have been beaten up by Buster Douglas in the middle of the night.

Then flossing and toothbrushing.  Then, after the hair air-dries about ¾ of the way, I spray hair serum on it (It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum), brush it through, and blow-dry it using the round brush.  Then the pomade (Glossier The Balm.com, actually a skin and lip treatment, but works great on hair).  Then the hairspray (Old school L’oreal Ellnet).

Then the face gets concealer (Benefit Boing Moisturizing Concealer), eyeshadow primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion), foundation with SPF 50 (It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair), four colors of eye shadow (miscellaneous brands), eye liner (Revlon Colorstay liquid in dark brown), eyebrow pencil and tinted brow gel (L’Oreal Brow Fantasy) , two coats of mascara (Maybelline Falsies in Black/Brown), contouring powder (Cargo), blush (Tarte), shimmery highlighter (Benefit Dandelion Twinkle), and a touch of pressed powder on the corners of the nose (Maybelline FIT). Then lip balm (Tony Moly Liptone), lipstick (miscellaneous brands and colors), and lip gloss (same).  JESUS CHRIST.

You have to go easy on the gloss, because it will seep upwards above your lip line, and you will frighten small children with your horror shitshow face.  The clown from “IT”, will be like, “Seriously, you need to tone that shit down.”

The foregoing routine does not include the non-daily items, like shaving, tweezing, dealing with foot callouses, nails, cuticle work, scrubs, acid masks, mud masks, and snail slime masks.  It also fails to include the olive oil that I drink every morning as a beauty supplement, and the black currant oil that I take at night so that my eyeballs don’t dry up and white-over like a dog turd that’s been left on a dewd’z carpet for a week.  It also does not include my fitness routine, where I have to work out TWICE a day in order to keep from looking like Rodney fucking Dangerfield.

This is the part where you tell me that I am high maintenance, that I have bought into the beauty industrial complex, and that I would probably look “just fine” if I didn’t engage in all this rigmorole.  If that is the case, then this is the part where I respond by giving you a glimpse of what I look like without all of this stuff:

Imagine that this emoji is a photo of the Crypt Keeper from HBO’s Tales From The Crypt ——————–> 😐

I assume that in another ten years, my beauty and grooming routine will take so much time that I never get to actually leave the house for the thing I’m getting ready for, which will be bittersweet, because it will also mean that I never have to put on pants again, which is clearly the ultimate life goal.

Happy Friday, you high-maintenance bitches!