How to be in a relationship when you can barely take care of yourself.

jen

(Photo by: Tyler Smith)

Since the day I was born, my mother has wanted me to become a nurse. When I was a baby, she would hold me above her head and spin me around in circles. She would gaze onto my face, a tiny reflection of her own, and softly whisper that I was going to grow to be a smart, beautiful, independent women who could take care of herself.

I remember the white swing under an old oak tree on my grandmother’s farm. I would sit in it alone, dragging the bottoms of my shoes into the dirt, watching the foreground become the background. My mother would sneak up from behind and surprise me with a big push that would gather the wind in my hair. A smile would spread across my face as I was propelled forward. It was as if all the women whose blood circulated in my veins were helping her to push me. “This one is different,” they proclaimed to the world in unison, “she’s going to marry a kind, handsome man who is rich and nice to all of her friends. He’ll buy her a house and fill it with ideas and love, instead of children. He’ll never interrupt her when she lists all of the things that make her happy. Together they’ll soar around the world weaving their dreams into a reality, helping the unfortunate, and financially supporting their parents into a ripe old age.”

OK, so maybe it was more like…

“You’re becoming a nurse and that’s it!” my mother would scream in our ’91 Honda Civic, as I repeatedly punched my baby brother while strapped to a booster seat. No doubt, there was dunkaroos chocolate jammed into my hair, face, and clothes; whilst my tiny bare feet mashed it into the upholstery of the car we were leasing. “He’s hitting himself” I would say to her over and over and over again as he cried and wondered what kind of fresh hell he’d been born into.

I had learned this off TV. When you’re a big sister and you care about your little brother, step one is you make him feel stupid and then punch him with his own fist. Step two is continue doing that forever with everyone you ever date and wonder why it never works. After all , you kind of like punching yourself too.

“You’re becoming a nurse and that’s it!” my mother would scream in our 1993 Honda Civic, as I repeatedly punched my baby brother.

Ever since I was a baby, I would declare that there’s no way in hell I’m ever becoming a nurse. “Gross. I cant even say the word without gagging on it,” I would whine through my braces. NURSE. It’s so maternal. It’s so motherly, caring, protective. I’m not that kind of a woman. Woman? I can barely call myself a woman. I’m not maternal, not even to myself. Invest in my future? Yeah, right. I was going to be an artist. I’m the creator. Of what, I had no idea. That never seemed like the important part. I could do anything.

“I’ll grow up to do way more than that,” I would think.

I’ll spring from overly-complicated, self-destructive, relationship death-traps in a single bound! Like Houdini. Voila! She’s escaped yet another toxic relationship. Amazing. How does she do it? Well, it’s pretty simple. She always win.

“I don’t know why women try to compete with men,” is something I’ve heard my mom utter at an O’Charleys more times than I’ve cared to eat at O’Charleys. I’ve never understood what she meant by that. Compete with men? It’s not even a competition. We destroy them. That’s what I was born to do. Assert myself at all times. Dating men is like taking a freshly baked brownie out of an Easy Bake Oven and shoving it down their throat. Here- you love this. Celebrate me. I was born to make everyone in a room uncomfortable. By everyone, I mean men. If you had told me when I was a little girl that I would be single and still arguing feminism at 29, I would have asked you what the hell feminism is. It’s not a mission. It’s just my nature.

I guess what my mom meant is that relationships are not a competition. Which, to me, sounds crazy. That’s exactly what relationships are. It’s a who-can-pretend-to-be-the-least-emotionally-invested-in-the-other-person knock out brawl, right? Whoever gives a shit first- loses.

How can you be in a relationship when you can barely take care of yourself? It’s easy. You just quit taking care of yourself altogether. You can stay afloat off each other’s good looks and politeness for awhile. You’re just two hot sweaty lovers clasping hands on the driftwood made out of that ever-intoxicating aroma of newness. Eventually the whole ship will crash and burn (not before I’ve gained thirty pounds); and wow it really looked like you had your shit together there for a minute. Nice try. The world offers you a golf clap and keeps on turning.

In dating, I’ve been made into a nurse a hundred times over by guys. This is not an exaggeration. I wish it were. Over a million times has a man, that treated me like complete garbage, turned around and without an apology said very earnestly “blah blah I need you right now please take care of me.”

And, I did it. I always do it. I’ll always do it.

Over a million times has a man, that treated me like complete garbage, turned around and, without an apology, said very earnestly “blah blah I need you right now please take care of me.”

Yikes. This is not the kind of nurse my mother wanted me to be. She meant that I was supposed to make a ton of money in a profession that would never go out of business. If you asked any of the women in my family all the way back to the dawn of time they would have said “be a person and not a caretaker” or “dammit, get paid to be a caretaker don’t do it for free” or “For fuck’s sake girl, whatever you do just don’t make the same mistake we made. Make bigger ones. Make more of them.”

Let’s take the first woman. My great great-great-great-great times a million grandmother, Eve (because, regardless of being religious or not, we can all agree that this is just part of our canon as people hell bent on keeping women down) saw her Adam, the man from whose very rib she sprung, smiling in the garden of Eden and was like, “Here. Eat this apple. We’re going to hell. I’m bored as shit.”

Why? Because we were not born to be nurturers. That’s just a role we were told to play because no one else wanted it.

Relationships are not a competition because someone will always end up doing all the emotional heavy lifting. It’s usually women. We end up making all the sacrifices. Making ourselves smaller to fit the relationship. Of course, this isn’t true of all relationships or true of all men, or of all women, or true of what anyone identifies with, but it’s definitely true about me. I’ve always made myself smaller and more approachable in relationships only to end up suffocated and resentful later. What do you mean you couldn’t tell I was suffocating ??? You’re supposed to intrinsically understand everything about me from the beginning without me having to communicate with you or ask you to see me. Couldn’t you see how much of myself I was giving up to meet the most basic expectation of my role as your girlfriend?

 You should have.

Am I full to the brim with unrealistic expectations? Um, you betcha.

Sometimes I wonder if I would already be married if I had just become a nurse like my mom wanted. I’m almost certain I would be. Oh, what my mom wouldn’t give for me to be just some dude’s wife. I worry about you she says. Stop trying to do so much she says. Just have an easy life, she says.  I’m 29 years old. I’m halfway to hell and I’m just now learning how to be myself. Marriage always seemed like something everyone was doing to get out of being my roommate. It looks like a bunch of compromises that I’ll have to make for someone else so they can say OK I guess I have to accept you now that I’m old and tired.

Nah. No, thank you. How about I stay exactly the same. How about I learn from nothing. What if all my growth is because I earned it. Or cats. That’s always an option.

Culture screams out that men marry nurses and women marry adventurers who, once they lay eyes on them, claim they’ll never go on another adventure because love is the real treasure. Or having someone to cook dinner is the real treasure. Someone to wake up next to and fart on. Our adventurous men make us blush and we lay them down in a bed of feathers. We stroke their foreheads. We hum and listen to all of their amazing stories of all the mountaintops in the world and sigh.

I’ll pass. 

For now, at least. 

What about women adventurers? Do they ever marry? Who will be their nurses? Do they all have to die at sea?

_________________________

Broadcast- Tears in The Typing Pool

(What the hell does this have to do with The Bachelor? UM, A LOT ACTUALLY. This is just the start of an idea. Find out later in my book.)

 

 

YO GURT, GRL

Yogurt. Why? The consistency is disgusting to me. The idea of it is disgusting to me. Curdled milk of an animal mother? Oh hell yeah, dude! Why wouldn’t I? OK, maybe that’s too far and totally un-bachelorette of me. Am I taking a stand against something? No.  Never.

So there’s this new thing on the market since last I was vegan called Greek yogurt. You’ve probably all heard about it already but I was busy chewing on lemon grass sticks and wearing smelly canvas shoes. It’s fine. Greek yogurt minimizes the runny snot feature of yogurt so I dig it. Plus, it has more protein and protein makes bodies TIGHT! 

Plus, I have no time. EVER. I’m occupied 24 hours a day so I don’t have time to cook (also, I just can’t cook). I don’t have time to shop (treat myself? NO). I don’t have time to eat (that’s so Bachelor). All I have is the 1 second it takes to pull the plastic film off something and shove it in my sensual mouth.

Here’s a pic of my yogurt from this morning. It’s split into two portions. WHAT?? One part is the yogurt and the other part is the flavor. At first, I thought why wouldn’t they just put them together? Do I look like I need another decision to have to make? Have consumers bullied yogurt companies out of mixing the flavor goop into their own damn yogurt? Do I have to do everything!? Corporations are supposed to tell me what tastes good. I don’t have time to care about what yogurt tastes like. I barely have time to eat it! 

Then, I realized. This is a test. This is the patriarchy testing the strength of women! Duh! That quarantined ooze is where all the sugar, flavor, and smiles live. If you want to be the hottest person in the world and find love on TV that means NO FLAVOR. You’re done enjoying food. You have to save calories for the mixed drinks and lipstick you accidently swallow. I’m not going to enjoy this yogurt. I’m not stupid!

All I can do is stare at the flavor gel and imagine what it tastes like. Actually, I want the  flavor to be so close to the food that it drives me nuts. I want to resent the very packaging of my food. It’s not just the plastic hair extensions seeping into my brain; this yogurt is testing me. I’m not going to fail. I’m not going to let this congealed flavor dump destroy me. I’m a hottie. We don’t eat sugar. We rub it on our dead skin and exfoliate the pain away. There’s no way I’m gonnna put this toxic sludge into my perfect body. I’d never fit into a limousine. 

I will smell it really hard tho.

yogurt

 

 

 

I’m a huge whiny baby.

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This is me asking Santa to never gain weight again.

My entire life I’ve been a huge whiny baby about losing weight. I love eating food more than anything. I care about food more than I care about the relationships in my life. I think about food 24/7. Hot dogs, ice cream, hamburgers with pickled onions, fried onions, sauteed onions, onions, ect.

This is not a blog about how I become a better person. This is a blog about my desire to lose enough weight, change my hair, change my face to become the hottest person in America. Today at my office job that looks out over a lake (right? who am i), I watched a young bird grab a fish out of the water and beat it against a tree several times until it died, and then when he went to eat the fish it fell out of his mouth back into the water. I want to be that bird.

I think all women know what it’s like to be told to be that starving bird. We’re judged on the way we look every single day. Our value is often determined by how much dudes desire us. It would be a far greater achievement to advocate for this to change. I would be a far greater person to take on that kind of challenge, but I’m a comedian. Which means I have to do everything backwards.

Please join me over the next 12 months where I post updates/pictures/screaming rants about my journey to becoming the next contestant on ABC’s The Bachelor and to finding love. 

 

Welcome to my Journey

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

My whole life I’ve been looking for love and haven’t found it.  My therapist suggested that I look inward but everyone knows the only way to find real love is on television. People fall in love all the time on the show The Bachelor just look at Lace and Grant. When Evan found love and developed as a character on Bachelor in Paradise I knew anything was possible.

However, I’m no idiot. Not just anyone gets cast to find love on The Bachelor. You have to be television hot, television rich, television white, and ready to find love. Could a regular, over weight, nail biting loser diet and exercise enough to win an opportunity to go on a journey to find love?

Now, being an “attractive women” by television standards is incredibly expensive and time consuming. I think all people are attractive, beautiful, and should be celebrated for who they are. The Bachelor really sucks at this and they suck at supporting diversity. Getting The Bachelor to change its contestants to reflect the population instead of just casting beautiful rich white people would be a way more interesting and vital dialog than my campaign.

But. Like.

How much would it take to get your average overweight white girl to look like a Bachelor contestant? 

Will she find love? Will something crazy happen? What if she finds too much love?
This isn’t just a blog about weight loss. THIS IS A JOURNEY.