6 Party Coping Mechanisms

So…if you’re my friend on snapchat, you may have gotten this picture:

Snapchat-20140417115114As I sat on the floor, pants recently removed, and flung my flabbergasted hands at my lacerated shin, Katie Siebert said frankly, “You are such a beautiful sad creature.”

“Beautiful sad creature, where did you pick that up?”

It turns out she got the phrase from me, but I’d forgotten. Back when I consoled her over a terrifyingly serious ear infection (read the whole story on her blog here) I had texted over a “wealth of coping mechanisms” that I’ve gained from the hilarious combination of having a sluggish immune system (born premature) and a creative/anxious mind.

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I would never diminish the suffering of others, but I understand my own weakness for melodrama. I have to laugh at myself or else I’ll just spend the night intermittently sweating with a pillow over my head and snatching my phone up again for some more WebMD torture.

If it's possibly cancer: whatever, you always wanted to be interesting

Turns out if there’s a lump sticking out of my shin a terrifying extra 1-inch, my reaction is mostly jovial. This is a battle wound. Also, I had taken 3 Ibuprofen before the concert in anticipation of wearing my improbable shoes.

Packing priorities: 50% necessities, 50% shoes

Packing priorities: 50% necessities, 50% shoes

Also, I was still drunk. Still, the benefit of having physical injury over a communicable disease is I get a lot less crap from my doctor. Every time I get strep (like this time & this time) she acts like it’s my fault for being irresponsible with my health. But cut off part of my finger washing dishes? Now that was just an accident! Poor baby!

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If I go to a concert and fall down the stairs (twice) the only person who is going to be mad at me is my daddy. “Wear sensible shoes!” he says sternly every time I show him the progress of my bruises. I think they look pretty cool.

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I rely on my coping mechanisms when life’s got me bruised or battered, whether at parties or otherwise. Here are some more:

1. In general: Become a writer or an artist so that every bad experience is fodder for your craft. Like when you got drunk on labor day weekend and someone stole your wallet — Blog post!

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2. If you’re stuck having a conversation you don’t want to have: Opportunity to practice conveying boredom true and pure through your every molecule. Can you do it? Can you do boredom justice?

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3. Girl, if some guy is bothering you: Enjoy the anger. Feel the rage. Let it build into a feminist fury. Launch into a diatribe he is ill-equipped to understand but that you felt impressive for saying anyway. Then let that on-top-of-a-mountain feeling carry you for the rest of your night of revelry.

4. If you lost your friends: Sweet, no one can judge me while I play 2048 in this corner over here.

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5. If no one is dancing with/except you: People who dance by themselves are fundamentally interesting. At their worst they are a little socially inept, but they could also be unhinged, weird, carefree. Even a total dweeb, if he’s truly lost in dancing and not checking for his peers’ approval, becomes legendary when he dances alone, silent, inexplicably powerful (think Napoleon Dynamite). People who dance by themselves are Fun people.

6. If there’s not enough alcohol at the party: Actually, this is truly devastating. This is not a time for Coping. This is a time to Do Something. My favorite is Pretend I’m going to Rescue the Party and Get Alcohol but Actually Abandon the Party for a Better One. If you don’t have parties double-stacked for that night, you could actually rescue the party, anoint yourself beer czar, and make people do stupid shit to get at your monopoly of booze.

 

 

The Curse

I am in San Francisco. It is fucking beautiful. It is the Curse.
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Like all true San Diego natives, I bring the weather with me wherever I go. I went to England in the summer (which is actually a shit time to go, weather-wise) and it only rained once in three weeks: the day I was leaving. So, this morning it is sunny, 65 degrees and warming. My phone’s weather icon shows 53 degrees and cloudy, but it’s wrong: I’m in a bubble of perfect sunshine. Just as I was yesterday. Just as I will be tomorrow.

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This is a Curse because it keeps us San Diegans naive about the world. We start thinking we can do things. We start thinking we could live in other places. Yesterday I started thinking I should live here. We walked out of the tenderloin. We walked through the Castro, and Haight Ashbury. We walked through the Farmers Market at the Civic Center where a yellow sign promised its daily presence (rain or shine!) and we bought and ate strawberries the size of apples. Then we went to the Mill, where racks of homemade bread filled up the place with that smell of racks of homemade bread. We went to the Rainbow, for which my only reference for similarity as a San Diegan is Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s also has a community board, but the Rainbow community board is actually used, with letters to and from the staff about BPA in receipts and why fruit ripens faster in bags. I waited for Katie to get out of the bathroom next to a bag of bat guano.
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I didn’t think I was the kind of girl who could sit in a park and drink Kombucha, but we sat in Dolores park and I drank my first Kombucha. I thought to myself, this isn’t a bad fucking life. On a sunny Tuesday, parks back home are deserted but here, there wasn’t a person less than 10 feet away no matter where you sit. A man, possibly homeless, played “Three Little Birds,” which could have been irritating because it’s too obvious, but I thought to myself that he is self-regulating, he is getting a needed dose of happiness. He is soaking up this sun and pumping serotonin through his brain, dancing as he sits and singing along and pretending he is connecting with the people around him (they’re ignoring him).

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At home we have plenty of crazies. I don’t see them often, because I don’t go downtown ever, but I know they’re there. These SF crazies don’t look at me twice just because I’m holding hands with a pretty girl. They look at me twice (rarely) because I’m a pretty girl, but not because I’m queer. I watch a man hold a fluffy white rose for another man to smell. A girl with buzzed hair smiles gently at me, knowingly.

I remind myself that every day isn’t like this. I remind myself grittiness is tasty in small bites, but I’ve never lived through a whole meal of it. I remind myself that back home I am disturbed by the crazies. San Diego perfect weather is relentless. San Francisco sunshine is just a little bit delirious. I know I can’t live here because in my heart of hearts I know how inconsolable I get on a “blustery” day. I know this, but the Curse tricked me into thinking I can do these things. So I am waiting in Katie’s apartment for her to get back with moleskin for my blistered feet, waiting for these 600 mg of Ibuprofen to kick in so I’ll go numb to my aching legs. It is quite lovely here, but I know it is only a vacation, and that I’m a San Diego princess, and goddamn why did I walk like 5 miles yesterday?