This Is A Thing That Happened.

I was recently (and very belatedly) diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD if you’re nasty. It’s a diagnosis I’ve put off for a while. Mostly because I was having anxiety attacks about admitting that I have anxiety attacks (which is how wormholes are created). Finally, after encouragement and support from my family, Grace, and Kate, I decided to go to the doctor and talk about “it” and “my options”. My doctor, who has been my doctor since I was 11, was absolutely wonderful about it. He was the perfect combination of compassionate and clinical and when I burst into tears, he handed me tissues and didn’t once look at me with pity or condescension. Instead, he listened to me. He talked with me not at me. And he created a plan for treatment that gave me relief and hope for a time when my day wasn’t measured by how many attacks I had.

Most important to me, is that for the first time, I’m able to laugh at my anxiety. Laughter is my trusty coping mechanism (sorry denial, you’ve been good to me, but not as good as laughter) and finally being able to rely on it again has made all the difference. Now, when I have a thought like “This plane is going to crash.” I’m able to prevent myself from falling down the rabbit hole that leads to me having chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, and the certainty that if I move at all, I might die. How, do I prevent myself from falling down the rabbit hole? I laugh. I laugh at what I’m thinking. Immediately after “This plane is going to crash.” I think “Yeah, it’s going to crash because there’s too many motherfuckin snakes on this plane!” And then I laugh because, c’mon, snakes on a plane? That’s hilarious. And then maybe I don’t fall down the rabbit hole because I interrupted my anxious thought with a funny one. And before I was never able to do that, but I can now. And it doesn’t always work but it works more times than it doesn’t and I’ll take it. I’ll take it.

And I guess I’m posting this because I want everyone to know that this is something I’ve struggled with and am now dealing with and it’s a thing that happens. And it happened to me.
– Mae
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Modern Technology Kind of Makes Me Want to Hurl

As a rule, I’m not a fan of time travel. Sure, it would be fun to have cocktails with Zelda and Scott, but there are dangers to consider. Lack of antibiotics/deodorant, time-machine malfunctions, raptor attacks, accidentally erasing the existence of Ryan Gosling – these are things that legitimately concern me. However, there are days when I would happily brave a quick trip back to ye olde smoldering plague-ridden London, if only to avoid sending a text message.

Y’all, I hate my iPhone. It makes me a crazy person. Sure, it always knows where I am and can look up movie times instantly, but it’s also ruining my life. At any moment, my phone can beep out a demand that I talk to someone about my feelings. I’ll just be going about my business, watching Harry Potter and eating chocolate toast, when – BOOM! – someone wants to know if I got an invite to my ex-boyfriend’s wedding.

This stresses me out. I like face-to-face conversations just fine. E-mail is my jam – though, admittedly, this is because I can take time to draft a perfectly worded message. But the phone? Oh, God, the phone is the worst. Except with a select group of people (namely: my mom, Mae, and Kate), I am awkward as hell on the phone. There are unnerving silences, blurted out sentences, and nervous laughter. All of this is magnified if we’re talking about something important. I just really want to see the person I’m talking to, you know? How do I know how that accidental slip of calling Professor McGregor “my boyfriend” went over, unless I actually see his silent scream of horror?

Y’all, I’ve just now gotten to the point where sending the dear professor a text message doesn’t take 10 minutes. The first three months of our relationship were spent analyzing every word typed, to ensure the proper mix of intelligence and charm. Do you know how hard it is to convey “I am so charming, but also self-effacing and cute!” in thirty-word bits of text? It takes talent, kittens, of the sort I do not come by naturally.

Sometimes, I think we’d all be better off without modern technology. A three-page love letter, delivered by an actual mailman, takes more thought and carries more meaning than any text message ever could. A planned phone call on a land line would surely go better than an out-of-the-blue “I’m just sitting in traffic!’ cell conversation does.

Maybe I’m just a Luddite, readers, but the old ways don’t seem so sad and misguided, as they do sensible. I want a chest of letters to keep, instead of a file to save! I want to not worry about missing a flirtatious text message, while watching a movie! I want to not have experienced that awkward first phone call with Professor McGregor last night that has me writing this blog! Zelda darling, you may want to make space at the table, because I’m revising my opinions about cell phones and time travel.

– Grace

This Is a Load of Schick

Y’all, I have a confession. This one is really embarrassing, so brace yourselves.

I have hair on my legs.

Also on: my arms, stomach, and lady bits. That’s right, I am covered in hair! HAIR, I SAY! This is, obviously, not acceptable. Women are delicate, nice-smelling, and totally bald everywhere except on their heads, where they have lush, flowing Disney princess locks that sway majestically in the breeze and never get frizzy. Everyone knows this. Why do I suck so hard at being a woman?

Oh, right. I don’t. I have hair on my legs, because I am both a woman and a human. Humans, it turns out, have hair everywhere because it keeps us warm. Back before we relied upon ASOS for their super cute swing coats, people just ran around naked, wishing for more hair to cover their bits and pieces from the elements. Why, up until the 1920s, women never shaved their legs. It was only with rising hemlines that society decided women should be less furry. However, now, hairlessness is considered the Right and Natural Way of Things. In less than 100 years, we have gone from being okay with the actual natural state of a woman’s body to reviling it.

What the hell? We’re not fooling anyone. It’s not like men don’t know we have hair. Unless you’ve lasered ever follicle on your body, chances are a man has felt stubble on your legs. If it’s even remotely cold outside, I can shave four times a day and still not stay smooth. My legs want to be warm! Yet, I keep investing in razors and fancy shaving creams. Last week, in a quest to go more than a day with smooth legs, I even tried the infamously smelly depilatory cream, Nair. It both smelled and burned. It was like I rubbed aloe-scented battery acid on my poor calves. Worse, it wasn’t even worth it! Despite all the itching and redness that really told me something scientific was happening, the hair still came back the next day.

So, what’s the point? Why do we add an extra ten minutes to each day, just to get rid of hair that will come back anyway? We are wasting so much time, kittens. If I’d shaved every day since I was eleven, that would be 40 whole days spent on depilation.

Of course, I haven’t shaved every day for sixteen years. Some boyfriendless winters, I’ve gone weeks without picking up a razor. Such is the glory of wearing tights or jeans most days. I’m only complaining now, because a winter without that option is unfurling before me. Despite how apt I am to shout “Vive le revolution!” and throw out my razor, I still give in. When I’m making out with Professor McGregor, I don’t want to worry about the forest on my legs and whether he’s making any judgments about it. So, I shave. So, I grumble.

One day, perhaps I will have the courage of my convictions and stop this ridiculous farce. Until then, let me just say: this sucks. Now, pass me that damned razor.

– Grace

I Really Like You and That’s Okay(ish)

Professor McGregor, we need to talk.

It’s recently come to my attention that I like you. A lot. In my standard dating life, I struggle to get past the initial attraction phase. Something will happen – an untimely burp, the revelation of a whack-a-doodle political opinion, the donning of a pirate costume – that clicks the emotional lever in my brain from He’s so dreamy! to Please don’t kiss me. Ever. It’s quick and irreversible, like I have a wee guillotine in my heart, where other people have sunshine and rainbows.

And yet…here we are. It’s been two months, neither of which was really-just-an-extended-weekend February. We’ve been to concerts, eaten lots of Mexican food, and spent an inordinate amount of time making out on your couch. By all rights, I should be less excited about everything now. Kissing you should be old hat. Instead, I’m somehow more thrilled with your every glance. For example: last Sunday night when you kissed the top of my head during that movie we both didn’t like? I almost swooned. From a head peck! My dear professor, you have done a number on me.

This – surprise! – completely freaks me out. I’m suddenly way too attached to my iPhone and have caught myself daydreaming at inopportune moments. Worse, I’ve also crossed over into that magical place called The Land of Emotional Vulnerability and Increased Potential For Heartbreak. Professor darling, I do not enjoy this place. This is not somewhere I want to spend an extended holiday! Here there be dragons and bears and self-doubt.

This is exactly why I’ve never understood serial monogamists. How do people stand doing this over and over again? It’s like having your heart pounced upon by wolf cubs, torn to shreds, then promptly volunteering to adopt a baby lion. Surely it would be safer to stay away from beclawed creatures for a time, right?! As you well know by now, I am a danger-avoiding soul. I do not jump from cliffs into murky water or taste cookie batter. So, even though I’ve never been attacked by baby lions before, those micro-claws still make me nervous. Biology dictates they won’t stay small and cute forever! Eventually they will be killing machines! Do not purchase baby lions!

Oh, crap. My analogy has jumped the shark a bit, it seems. Moral of the story: all of this scares me to death. Anything could happen, Professor. You could decide to become a monk or I could get an offer to move to Djibouti. I’ve passed the point where a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a weekend of moping will make those things okay. If this goes sour, I’m going to be really, legitimately, end-of-Atonement-style-sobbing upset. That’s terrifying. However, even worse would be not seeing this thing through.

So, here it goes: I really like you and that’s okay. I’ll try not to be such a coward, if you promise not to sic tiny lions on my heart.

– Grace