Shiny Happy People

Hey-o! I know it hasn’t been long at all since we chatted last, but I have two reasons for posting again so fast. Number 1: I read my last post before bed last night, and I realized that I should have titled it “Manic Panic” – wow, that was really all over the place! Sorry for panic rockin’ peeps, I guess I am feeling a bit untethered at the moment. I’m restless, I’m irritable, I’m jumpy…that all came across pretty loud and clear I think though so I’m not going to beat that horse any longer, pretty sure it’s deader than a doornail.

Reason Number 2: I saw a bumper sticker yesterday and I literally thought about it for hours after. This is my real reason for writing today; I just can’t get it outta my head (sorry, I’m still a bit stuck on the soundtrack thing – once you admit it, it becomes really noticeable) and I want to talk about it. I also want to redeem myself a little and prove that I can stick to a topic that makes sense. Mostly though, I just want to talk about the bumper sticker.

We get it Manda, you saw a bumper sticker – go you. What the frig did it say already??

Jeez Louise, I thought I was impatient. Ok, what it said was this “Happy People Are Hiding Something”. Ta-daaaaa! My big reveal. Real exciting stuff happening here today!

It got me thinking though, for pretty much the rest of the day. Whoever came up with that simple little expression is definitely a pessimist, but also kind of a genius. You can attach a lot of depth to those five little words and, although this could just be the obsessive part of my personality talking, they really are cause to stop and ponder. The sticker creator could also just be a colossal jerk who hates happy people, or they maybe just thought it was funny and catchy. Maybe there’s a “Bumper-Sticker-O-Matic” somewhere in the factory and no thought whatsoever went into the making of that particular sticker. I guess I’ll never know. What I do know is that I’m getting distracted again. Focus.

Although I hate to admit this, the first thought that went through my head after reading it was “got that right mofo” and then I spent a few seconds reveling in my newfound knowledge that I’m not the only rhymes-with-witch out there who thinks things like that. The thing is, although I may think things like that from time to time, I don’t usually say them. Except to my husband; He has the dubious honour of being privy to the majority of my innermost thoughts, and he still loves me. That man is a saint I tell you. So after I basked in the glow of my meanness for a second or two, the guilt started to slowly creep it’s way through the antipathy with all the grace of a two-storey house falling out of the sky, and the Wicked Witch of the West inside me began to shrivel because I actually do have a conscience and deep down I’m generally a not-mean person.

As that all began to happen, I actually started feeling sad because I realized that that stupid sticker is actually probably true. Happy people are almost definitely hiding something; in fact, we’re ALL almost definitely hiding something. Nobody is truly an open book; that’s why our psychic abilities diminished as we evolved, we all need a secret place to hide (I love conspiracy theories and out-there ideas btw, I may try to market a line of tinfoil hats one day but that’s besides the point here).

How many times has someone asked how you are and you’ve responded “Fine, great, awesome, amazing” and then, if you have even a superficial relationship with said person, gone on to mention some things that are going true to your words? I’m gonna guess pretty damn often, cause I know I do and I’m basically the Eeyore of my circle lately. Close friends may get the more real-life answer; you’re unhappy at work, your kids are making you crazy, your hubby left the seat up again, etc., but what about when things are really bad? Are you going to sit there and bombard every person who asks how you’re doing with the downer thoughts and perceived injustices you’ve been squirreling away to chew on when you get a minute to stop and think about it? Probably not. You’re probably just going to say “Fine thanks, and you?” and save all that other stuff for a box of wine and your bestie, or your cat…cats are great listeners because they just don’t give a fuck.

But what about those people who always seem to actually be fine, great, awesome, and amazing? What’s their deal? Well, some people actually are happy – some people are optimists by nature, and some people are exactly where they want to be doing exactly what they want to do. And even though you may sometimes want to high-five those people in the throat with your fist, save the throat-punching for actual assholes, because I guarantee even those happy people have something going on somewhere and emotional jealousy is not a valid reason for throat-punching. This is the part where I really started digging in…because I thought about all the “happy” people I know, and realized that I did feel kinda jealous and there’s a fine line between jealousy and resentment.

The thing is, those happy people might actually be miserable – they just don’t advertise it. Then I started getting anxious; What if my happy friends have problems that I don’t know about? How can I help if I don’t know? What if they feel like they have nobody to talk to? Oh God, what if I have a happy friend who’s actually lonely?? Hang on a sec, I need to go hyperventilate into a paper bag for a few minutes…

Okay, I’m better now. Realistically, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve answered “Fine” and meant it. And that’s probably being very generous. I don’t feel like that’s even an odd thing; everybody does it.

The reality is, we can never really know whether or not someone is fine unless they tell us. And if they aren’t, and don’t want anyone to know, then all we can do is be there when or if they ever decide they want some company to go along with their misery. Imagine if we all just went around incessantly bitching about everything…how exhausting. All that negative energy would probably cause the universe to explode or, at the very least, all of our heads. I just got a mental picture of a simultaneous worldwide head-explosion. Eyuh.

I’m glad I saw that sticker. It really made me stop and think (obsess) about the fact that happy people might need help sometimes too. We all have our “things”. It also made me stop being a bitch for five minutes and appreciate the happy people in my life. Do I get jealous sometimes? Sure. But I usually feel better after spending time with a glass-half-full person. Most of the time it helps me remember that my own glass is more than half-full. In fact, it’s overflowing. I have an amazing family, fabulous friends, and more support than I can ever even hope to utilize. My anxiety and depression make me forget that a lot, and at the end of the day that’s what I truly resent. I resent not fully enjoying what I have, because there are so many people out there who have it way worse. And some of those people can still find it within themselves to see the good things. I applaud those people. You are amazing. Truly.

So thank you, happy people. From the bottom of my heart. The world needs you, and you are appreciated more than you probably know. You probably don’t even realize the difference you make to others, and how your positive outlook can really put things in perspective for those of us who struggle with that sort of thing. And please don’t ever feel pressured to put on a happy face if something really is wrong. Maybe that’s just your nature and you can’t help it, but don’t ever feel like you can’t drop it like it’s hot if the need arises. People will be there for you, just like you’re there for them. Unless you hang out with dickwads, and in that case, get yourself a better entourage; you deserve it.

Happy people make the world go ’round (magnetic force does too but let’s give happy people some credit), and without them we would be a pretty miserable species. Everyone has problems, some people are just better at making the best of things. We need that. So work your magic on us happy people – that’s some hocus-pocus we can all believe in, no tinfoil needed.

Love ya peeps,

M

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…

Wow, I feel like I have so many things to talk to you about today. I know they say nobody likes a Chatty Cathy, but I’m pretty sure that’s the general point of blogging…right? I got a new phone, I’m trying (mostly unsuccessfully) not to eat meat or dairy (pie doesn’t count right?), the weather is…I can’t even talk about the weather, what is this, a first date? Anyone in North America knows the weather is drunk and needs to call it a night ASAFP. Possibly other parts of the world too, I dunno…I don’t sit around watching the Weather Network so I’m hideously uninformed about what’s happening in other parts of the globe, weather-wise.

So I broke down and started a Facebook account, a page, and a Tumblr account. I’m on a roll. I’m fighting with Facebook already because they won’t let me name my page after this blog…apparently the title isn’t an accurate reflection of the page contents. Um, what? Ok, so maybe I don’t strictly confess stuff in the most true sense of the word, but I think I admit to a fair amount of nonsense online, and I think I should be the judge of whether or not I’m a basket case, and I most definitely am middle-aged. So what’s the issue here? Maybe I should just spam my own page with actual confessions about all the weird buffoonery I get up to, maybe that would make Facebook happy and boost my follower base; I’m not handing over my “payment info” anytime soon, so I gotta figure something out. I feel like I need to tread a bit carefully though, since Facebook pretty much owns the universe; Marky-Mark and his Techie Bunch can probably figure out a way to collapse my house of cards just for saying the word Facebook without proper authorization. And for calling him Marky-Mark. GULP! Stay tuned peeps, I feel like shit’s about to go down. And by that I mean that I’ll probably just post a few random confessions and then passive-aggressively accept my fate when The Book says I still can’t have my page name…

🎶…makes me that much stronger…🎶 ok, maybe jumping the gun a bit there. I like to pretend that my life has a soundtrack; I don’t think I’m alone in that either so don’t give me that look.

Hey! I have a crazy idea – maybe y’all can join me! It feels good to get stuff of your chest…and people must like doing it because, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I don’t think that the hashtag #basketcaseconfessions was a thing until I “hashtagged” it and now it seems to be getting some use so…wow, I feel like a pretentious ass saying I created a hashtag…is there a non-asshat way to say that? Sadly, I don’t think there is. I wouldn’t say it if I wasn’t pretty sure about it though…just know that I know that I sound like an ass. Anyway, maybe if you guys mosey on over to my page(s) and “confess” some of your own shenanigans, you could help me fight the good fight…what do you mean, I’m unabashedly plugging my own social media accounts? For shame!

Ok fine, maybe I am. Sorrynotsorry. So what else is new and exciting? Ummmm, well I got a new iPhone…I’m actually not overly thrilled about that to be honest. I was so excited because I thought that I was going to run out my contract for once and not have to pay an upgrade fee because I’m impatient and can’t go two whole years with the same technology, and then I dropped my phone with less than 5 months to go. Now a cracked screen I could deal with for a few months, but whatever happened to the phone when I dropped it messed up the inner workings too. It wouldn’t connect to my home wifi, and it would pretend to be connected to the cell network but wouldn’t actually load anything. Considering the number of social media accounts I now have to keep up with, that just wasn’t gonna work for me. So I had to early upgrade again, and there were no current promotions to get a zero-dollar iPhone 8 or X, so I had to settle for the 7 Plus (which is still technically an upgrade from the 7, but not the significant upgrade I was looking forward to). Wah, wah, wah right?? Po’ baby had to get a new phoney-woney and it wasn’t the one she wanted, boo-freakin-hoo.

Anyway, for those of you who may be wondering, the Plus line is HUGE! For reals. The phone’s like Sputnik; It’s a virtual planetoid – has its own weather system! Okay, okay, I’m done, I’m done. Ah, I kill myself…don’t let my shrink hear that, I’ll be back in the bin faster than I can say “Orange on a toothpick”. Now that was offside wasn’t it? I’ll be crying myself to sleep tonight on my huge pillow…seriously though, it’s ginormous. I have small hands, so that doesn’t help matters – no, I don’t smell like cabbage – okay! I said I’m done! I’m actually LOLing right now, if you guys find me even half as funny as I find myself then I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my calling.

So the phone is very big, it’s taking some getting used to. I like that it has a better camera, and the speakers are definitely louder. I’m struggling to figure out what to do with it when I’m out…I stopped carrying a giant sack of a purse some time ago, I’ve been surviving with a small clutch and my pockets but my pockets can’t hold this beast. How many dudes say shit like that; I actually mean it though and I’m a chick. Bazinga.

So I guess that brings us to my no-dairy, no-meat, no-fun lifestyle change and my raging success with that. That was sarcasm, in case you missed it. Heavy sarcasm. I did pretty well until the weekend…it’s dance competition season, so weekends can be pretty hectic. I found out the hard way that trying to be vegan on the go is no easy feat – kudos to all the real vegans out there who can actually make it work. I’m going to stick to using descriptors like “plant-based” and “mostly”; I feel like I’ll be much more authentic that way. It didn’t take long for me to tire of asking about vegan menu options and non-dairy dairy replacements – it only took me until my morning tea actually, because tea with almond milk is gross* – and we all know that I’m about as energetic as a sloth, so preparing ALL my meals beforehand and dragging them around with me just isn’t going to cut it. And so we’re back to “mostly”. I can’t tell you if I feel better or not because all the meat and dairy slugging through my system from the weekend is definitely clouding my judgement, coupled with the crushing guilt from my horrific failure to last even one whole week, and adding frustration from the colossal effort it takes to plan even one meal that’s not just a fancy salad. Throw all that together and I can’t say with any amount of honesty that I have even the foggiest of ideas what it’s like to actually be vegan. Other than endlessly disappointing. I am trying though, for serious.

🎶…give me tiiiiiiime….🎶Nah, I’ve already realized my crime. Snubbing meat and dairy. That’s my crime. Don’t worry, my digestive system is already punishing me. So I think that’s it for today, I wasn’t planning on such a massive information dump but maybe my brain is taking it’s cues from my intestines…

🎶…it’s my potty and I’ll-

Ew.

Fine I won’t. Ok I’m gonna go now, while I still have a semblance of a following – shout out to my Mom and Hubby – plus it’s getting late and I have to figure out how to make spaghetti without pasta or meat. So basically like a hot salad in the form of a sauce. Ge’ in mah bellay, Ah can’ stop eatin’. Ah eat because Ah’m unhappy an’ Ah’m unhappy because Ah eat. It’s a vicious cycle….FACK, sorry. Seriously, I’m done now. Muahaha.

Eat well peeps,

M

*If you have to use a milk replacement for hot beverages, I recommend oat milk. It’s the closest one to actual milk, in my humble opinion. Besides, nut milk sucks – it’s milk made from nuts, whaddyou expect??

An Electrifying Experience

Hey y’all, how goes it? I’m getting lazy, can you tell? I’m halfway through my third ECT round, and I guess I should just be glad that I even remember you at all…the first two rounds erased my memory for over an entire year. I have a very strong feeling that that is not supposed to happen. Every time I tell a medical professional they either look at me like I’m insane (whaaa-?) or like I’m trying to say the most desperate thing I can think of to get maximum attention. I would much rather they think the former because I couldn’t give a rats fat ass about attention. In fact, if everyone would just pay a little less attention to me I think it would solve at least half of my problems.

But you’re a blogger/vlogger/social media-er…doesn’t that mean you want attention? Yes, indirectly; I would like to share my experiences semi-anonymously with strangers. It’s different.

I do care about having my memory erased and nobody being overly concerned about it. I’m telling you simply to share my experience, and maybe to give a bit of a heads up to anyone considering it. Memory loss is a real thing, and people will not believe you. Just throwin’ it out there cause I love ya peeps. Also I’m inexplicably grumpy and I keep holding this post for review until I’m in a better mood but I don’t see that happening anytime soon so you get to experience grumpy-bear-Manda firsthand. Lucky you. I did say that I was going to be myself here, so I guess that means you get all of me – the good, the bad, and the indescribably bitchy. Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

So how does the whole shock-your-brain-into-submission thing work? Well, it really depends on where you go. My first two rounds, I had to travel a bit and go to a hospital for the criminally insane because my local hospital was taking a break from scrambling brains. I must say, it was a model of efficiency – props to you prison system – and it paved the way for some serious culture shock when I had to start going locally to a regular old hospital.

So, you go in, hungry, thirsty, anxiety off the charts because no meds the day before or of treatment. They snug you up with a warm blanket, poke you full of IV lines, and take you into a private theater for the actual procedure. Two deep breaths and you wake up in recovery with a killer headache and a vague memory of something you were supposed to do today. They give you a juice box, and send you on your way. I don’t know what happens during the actual procedure, I’m asleep, duh, but I know my jaw hurts like a bitch after and my brain screams to be put into recovery mode for the rest of the day so I mostly just sleep. (I actually do know because we’re all aware of my serious information addiction by now, but I want to stick to the actual experience). If you came here for an in-depth look at the mechanics behind ECT, you’re in the wrong place. Google can help you with that, I’m just sharing my thoughts m’kay?

So, the jail is very good at what they do. They have a system. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, and I felt like my brain was in good hands. Then my local hospital got their program back up and running. It’s like a whole new world. I have to wear a surgical gown. The machine that does the actual procedure is on wheels and they just move it around to everyone in the recovery room. I woke up after the first one with my ass hanging out and an unrestricted view of the dude across from me. Check your shame at the door peeps, hospitals don’t fuck around. There’s a lot of standing around…nobody seems completely sure about what they’re supposed to be doing, and even if they are they’re in no hurry. Efficiency is a foreign concept, along with privacy and general confidence in the job, and everyone seems to regard you like some kind of lab animal. My very first day, a nurse informed me that he was filling in for the doctor, who was unavailable. Wait, what? Props to nurses, I think most of the time they know as much as, if not more than, the doctors anyway, but what? Is that even allowed?? Apparently the doctor ended up finding time in his busy schedule because he came racing in right before I passed out, so win for me…the nurse looked scared to death so I guess it was a win for him too.

They ask you the same questions at least three times. Every. Single. Time. And they’re all standing or sitting in front of computers – like, can’t you write it down for the next person? Last I checked, computers were really good at passing along essential information. I get that you want to make sure I’m me, and I’m not scamming the system or whatever, but that’s what my photo ID is for no? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when the people responsible for keeping you alive can’t seem to figure out how to communicate simple things like allergies, height, and weight. What are you gonna do if something goes wrong? Shake me awake and double-check my measurements before saving my life??

Anyway, not exactly awe-inspiring, but so far I’m still alive so…yay? Maybe secretly erasing your memory is how it really works. You just forget that you’re depressed. So far, that hasn’t happened for me. Realistically, I don’t even know if it’s working because they keep asking me if I feel any different while conveniently ignoring the fact that I can’t remember.

I know it sounds like I’m whining, and I guess maybe I am. I don’t do well with change, and I also kinda feel like I’m frying my brain for nothing. Plus the hospital way of doing it has been sending my anxiety through the roof so it seems counterproductive. So stop doing it, obvs. It’s not that easy though…the meds alone aren’t enough, and I guess I’m hoping that eventually they’re going to short the right circuit. I do want to “get better”, and I don’t have the inner strength to fight the demons on my own. So where does that leave me? Passed out with my ass out three times a week for now I guess.

I’m sorry that this post is such a downer and that I’ve resorted to whining online like an angsty tween. I’m pretty mad and disappointed in myself – I always thought I was stronger than this, and letting my brain win is making me a very sore loser. Maybe my experience is the exception – but I wanted to give you my honest opinion. Would I recommend it? I honestly can’t say. I don’t know if it helps, I know that the success rate is supposed to be rather high, so maybe I just need to give it more time. I know that given the choice I would take the prison over the hospital any day…never thought I’d say that in my life, but that’s part of the fun of mental illness. You learn new things about yourself all the time, and you find yourself doing and saying things that you never thought would apply to you because you were doing so well at keeping your sane face forward. Maybe I should be taking this opportunity to revel in the madness…where’d I put that damn tutu…”I said laces OUT!”

Um, where were we? Ah yes, this is the part where I say something encouraging and inspiring like “maybe in order to find our true strength, we have to first find our weakness”…that’s pretty, right? Did you get all warm and fuzzy? Then my work here is done. Until next time,

Stay awesome peeps.

Finding the Magic

I woke up this morning to a fine dusting of snow over the ground. No chocolate eggs anywhere to be found. No baskets filled with that fake grass stuff that seems to multiply as you try in vain to throw it all out. No Kinder Surprise waiting to hatch “toys” that are really just tiny weapons of foot destruction, like legos but seasonal. Just snow. “April Fools!” shouts Mother Nature. Biatch. Does this mean Jesus stuck his head out of the cave and decided there would be six more weeks of winter? That doesn’t sound right…maybe I should brush up on my theology. The snow on the ground is clouding my brain.

I think what the whole lack of Easter egg hunting really means, besides the fact that I can no longer count on surprise chocolate rewards for dusting, is that my kids aren’t little kids anymore. They’re teenagers. We got them chocolate bunnies and pre-paid Mastercards for Easter; it’s the beginning of the end. Maybe Jesus (the groundhog??) had the right idea – disappearing into a cave until the teenage shitstorm is over sounds like a pretty good plan actually; but no, I can’t do that. Raising a semi-functioning human being for at least 18 years is what we sign up for when we shove those little love terrorists out of our howling honey pots. Hunkering down in a cozy little cavern with some snacks and a taser isn’t part of the deal.

I always thought I would be so relieved when the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy/etc. ordeal was over. And I am, a little bit – it’s way less work – but I didn’t count on wishing the magic was still real to my kids. Losing that piece of childhood wonder seems to be hurting me more than them and I wasn’t expecting that. We spend so much of their childhood teaching them how to grow up…but once they actually start doing it, the instinct to reel them back in becomes almost desperate. We all know that growing up is a trap, and I think it’s natural to panic a little when we realize that our kids are heading straight for it and we handed them the damn map. Here ya go kiddies – follow that magic right into the lions jaws #bestaprilfoolsjokeever!

Perhaps slightly dramatic, ok, but kinda true. We hold their hands and kiss their boo-boos, and convince them that magic is real, and then we kinda just pull the ripcord, throw the first aid kit at them, and beg them for the love of fucknuggets to pay absolutely NO attention to the man behind the curtain, because that man is us and most of what we told you is a lie. Congratulations, you just graduated childhood; welcome to the jungle. Sound about right?

A little heavy, perhaps, for a holiday; but you know I’m all about being honest with you. I guess it has to be this way; I mean, it’s not like you can tell a toddler to get a job, or explain to a baby what it’s like to live in a world with no Easter Bunny. We want them to stay kids as long as possible, while at the same time pushing them to become self-sufficient about as gently as you pushed that time that Labour Day took on an entirely new meaning and you finally understood what the Grand Canyon feels like on a personal level.

Parenting is a tough job; there’s no foolproof way to do it. There’s no returns or exchanges. Most of the time it’s thankless, sleepless, and horrendously unsanitary. The rewards are seemingly small; watching them (finally) sleep and wondering how you ever made something so perfect, that little smile when they say “I love you”, the unexpected hugs, and a million other little things that are a million times better than the words “thank you” (you won’t hear that magical phrase until they have kids of their own, but they’ll probably mean it so there’s that). Those little things are the real magic. The cataclysmal tantrums, the whining, the peeing, the barfing, the spilling, the snotballs…those are just nature’s way of reminding us that the nest does need to be emptied at some point. Preferably before 30, but nowadays that may be just wishful thinking. FML.

So keep the magic alive as long as possible; we all know that the road to adulthood is usually not easy, and a little bit of soothsaying along the way to cushion the journey never hurt anybody. Especially since it’s a one-way ticket to more types of fuckery than most of us ever dreamed was possible, and we don’t get any fancy ruby slippers to send us back. Teach your kids to live in the real world, but at the same time leave some room for wonder. Pretty rich, especially coming from the girl who literally counted the years until she could kiss Santa and his fat red ass goodbye, but now that he’s gone I wish I had taken more time to enjoy the idea of him and his magical sidekicks because they were my last chance to make magic that my kids believed in. Someone once said that it’s still magic, even if you know how it’s done. I think if we could teach our kids one life lesson, that one might be a good place to start.

At the end of the day, the pretend childhood magic is just that. Pretend. The real magic is being here, being part of the human chain, and possibly creating the greatest magic of all – our whiny, snot-nosed little rugrats who grow up way too fast no matter what we do. Enjoy the magic, embrace it, love it, and never give up on it. The proof that it exists is right there in your living room, eating all the Cheetos and hogging the WiFi.

Stay Magical Peeps!

M

Through the Insta-Glass, and What Manda Found There

What’s up docs? It’s been awhile, I know, I know…I could lie and tell you that I’ve been super busy and productive and just haven’t had time to pop out a quick post, but that would be untrue, and I’ll be damned if I’ll lie to you my people…unless it’s about where I was last Thursday at 2:37pm. I was not in the conservatory with the candlestick – or was I?? I’ll never tell.

For reals though, I haven’t really been that busy the last couple of weeks. I (mostly) kept my promise to clean up my Hoarding Room, binge-watched five and a half seasons of Scandal, did some laundry, played some Candy Crush, and managed to catch myself a seriously killer cold – it’s like Michael Myers in flu-form; that shit just will not die! I realize that while having a psychopathic-murderer-cold may be a perfectly good reason not to vlog, it doesn’t excuse my serious lack of blogging. So my apologies.

Actually, me feeling like death warmed over was my inspiration for this post. Here’s the 411: the hubs and I had a social function to attend on Saturday night. Social functions naturally being an instant cause for panic, being sick on top of it made me feel like I would rather stick needles filled with acid in my eyeballs than hit that shit. (Which, incidentally, I kinda did last Saturday which was the last day I felt passably healthy – fast food straws and moving vehicles don’t mix. You can find the pic on Instagram, if you’re so inclined.) This; however, was no ordinary social function that I could beg off at the last minute. It was a one year memorial Celebration of Life party for my hubby’s BFF. So kind of a big deal. Throw in a hundred or so people who I haven’t seen in all of that time and a possible hey-how-are-ya with the ex-wife (hubby’s not mine; that’s one thing I didn’t experiment with in college, pity) and you have yourself a serious case of Lorazepam withdrawal.

So what do I do? I decide that Friday night is the time to experiment with another thing I never tried in college – rag rolling. For those of you out there mouthing “WTF” at your screens right now, it’s not some oddly elaborate way to smoke weed. Not that I know of anyway. Try Google. The idea of rag rolling is basically just rolling your hair up in strips of fabric (I knew I kept all those mismatched pillowcases for a reason!) before you go to bed and waking up the next day with fabulously perfect curls. That’s in a perfect world. In my world, test driving a new hairstyle 18 hours before a big-deal soirée is a fine example of a fucking terrible idea. Let me just add here that I also decided to put in tape extensions, on Friday, which means I couldn’t wash my hair if it didn’t turn out. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, I repeat; Google.

I’m taking awhile here but I do have a destination I’m chugging towards; it’s 5am right now and I’m slightly delirious but just hear me out, ok? So it’s Saturday afternoon, an hour before I have to leave, and I unroll my fabulously perfect curls. They’re like six fat sausages; I’m channeling Shirley Temple like a Long Island medium. And then I make the fatal mistake. I brush them. Because at the end of the day, I don’t want to look like Shirley-freaking-Temple, I want to look like Mila-freaking-Kunis. What I end up looking like instead is Sideshow Bob. It was bad. It was horrible. It was EPIC. Right away, of course, I snap a pic of this catastrophe and send it to my Mom, because I know I can go to her for comfort and she won’t laugh at me. Shyeah, and monkeys might fly outta my butt. Several laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emojis and a tentative “Can you try to wet it?” later, I’m feeling utterly DIY-defective but I have to roll with it. Long-story-not-short, my hair turned out fine (seriously peeps, Google!) and after a couple ‘pams and a beer or two (seven?) I mostly forgot that I started the night looking like I stuck my finger in an electric socket.

So where am I going with all of this? The next day, as I scrolled through my photos, I saw that my cringe-worthy “before” pic was followed by a fantabulous “after” pic, taken for perspective after I had tamed the beast and painted my face because the sun was shining on the bathroom mirror and I wasn’t sure if I had on too much blush. I didn’t. I looked picture perfect. I instantly opened Instagram to document this moment, when I hesitated. I try to be somewhat sparing with the selfies. No Kim-K up in here; plus, I don’t like setting standards I may have to live up to on a regular basis when it comes to my appearance. FALSE ADVERTISING, say it with me kids.

This is what I looked like for one night. The hideous “before” picture that my mother laughed at is what I look like all the time. And I feel like that’s a lot of the problem. Social media is a bitch. I mean, seriously…all we see are the picture perfect moments that everyone posts. Nobody posts the before. All we see is the after. Do you ever scroll through Instagram or Facebook and think “Where did I go wrong? Why is everybody else’s life so goddamn perfect??” Well peeps, I’m about to let you in on possibly the worst-kept secret since Brangelina: it’s actually probably not.

Flawlessly filtered selfies, yoga on tropical beaches, table settings and holiday decorations that would make Martha Stewart herself hurl politely into her designer handbag. DIY everything, no fails allowed. Perfect husbands, perfect children, perfect jobs, perfect pets for fucks sake! No wonder we’re all depressed – who can live up to that?? Or maybe a better question, who actually lives like that? Not this girl, I can tell you that much, but it never occurred to me to post the before; Christ on a camel-toe, who does that? Who wants everyone to see the real deal? The daily grind? Nobody’s posting when the shit hits the fan; when the angelic toddler you’re so accustomed to seeing on Instagram making “I Love Mommy” art is laughing with maniacal glee as they flush the wedding rings down the toilet, when the hair doesn’t turn out perfectly, when the boss says “So long, and thanks for all the fish” because a robot does it better, when asses go over teakettles on the beach doing yoga because sand, because-okay, now I’m just raving.

But why would we post that stuff? We’re given a perfect platform to showcase the very best our lives have to offer to everyone we’ve ever known – why would we not? What could possibly go wrong? How about trying to live up to to not only everyone else’s expectations, but the ridiculous expectations you yourself have now given everybody about your life? I can’t even really talk because, according to my very own social media pages, everything’s comin’ up Manda. And let’s face it, if all everyone posted about was the mundane, soul-crushing tedium of this hellride called “life”, we’d all get bored pretty damn quick. Eeyore might get invited on all the adventures, but nobody’s lurking his Facebook page, amirite?

Maybe that’s why we do it…to show that life is not a constant hellride. That our souls are alive and kicking. That we’re actually having FUN. Maybe I’m looking too much into it; some people probably do it to be uppity dicks but whatevs – if being dickish floats your boat then who am I to sink it with my righteous indignation?

A dick. I’m probably a dick if I do that.

All dicking aside, if you ever start beating yourself up or wondering if the grass is really greener on the other side of the Insta-glass, try to remind yourself that it almost definitely isn’t. Is your life truly what you portray on the World Wide Web? I know mine isn’t. So “like” that perfectly iced cake, knowing that there are probably at least 10 not-so-perfect cakes in the past that never made it to Instagram. “Love” that flawless family photo, knowing that there are probably hundreds of unposted photos buried forever in the cloud that are definitely not flawless. Comment “So cute!” on the meticulously trained puppy who probably pissed on the rug five minutes ago…am I venturing into dick territory again? I feel like I am. I blame Mercury, this retrograde nonsense is making me a tad snippy. Plus I’m hangry.

You get the drift. Saying the life that most of us portray on social media is freely adapted would be like saying that an acid-filled needle to the eyeball may cause some slight discomfort.

Here is my destination: Don’t let the ‘gram get you down peeps – it’s a rabbit hole with no bottom. Don’t fall in.

M

*Note* I’m glad I waited until I slept for an hour or two to review this. I feel like maybe I’m being overly venomous with my opinion; some people probably do have close-to-perfect lives. And that’s ok. I’m not going to not post this though. I know people who have actually suffered from depression and anxiety caused by looking too hard in the social media mirror. This post is for them. To those of you living up to your social media profiles – I salute you. To those of you beating yourself up for not “living the dream”, know that you are not alone.

The ever-quotable Dr. Suess himself once said:

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is your than you.

And we all know better than to argue with doctors 😉

Be well peeps, xo