The Toenail Birthday, AKA the Worst Pain I’ve Ever Experienced

To take a break from the “oh my god my job sucks and my soul is dying every day” posts, I thought I’d share one of the many awkward and downright painful (on multiple levels) stories from my life. I usually reserve it for first or second dates to make the person run screaming. But today I will share it with the internet. Enjoy. 

On my twenty-fifth birthday, the guy I was dating at the time (we’ll call him Curt) decided to throw me a surprise birthday shindig. No one had ever thrown me a party, much less a surprise one for my birthday and I thought it was super sweet. (Except that my friends know they can’t keep secrets from me so they stopped talking to me after they received the invites to not spoil the surprise and I thought everyone was mad at me for some unknown reason). 

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We meet everyone for dinner (where I was surprised at the restaurant). I had also never gone out drinking for my birthday (I know, I was quite sheltered) so Curt and his friends made it their mission to get me hot mess white girl wasted. They succeeded. I drank a lot at the restaurant (I love fruity drinks) and then we went to a club where I was fed shot after shot. 

Normally when I drink, I handle my alcohol quite well but I usually know how much I can drink and aren’t being handed shots every two seconds. 

Anyways, I remember walking into the bathroom of the club. That door served as the end of my consciousness. I remember nothing after that…

white girl wasted

Fast forward to the next morning. I wake up, not remembering anything of the night before except walking into the bathroom. I’m hungover for the first time in my life-my brain is seriously trying to escape through my face. I move to get up to go to the bathroom and feel a stabbing pain in my big toe. I move the blanket to see that it’s wrapped…in toilet paper. 

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I think nothing of it, maybe I just stubbed it on the nightstand again and drunkenly wrapped it for no apparent reason. I go to the bathroom (and my toe is a raging pain) and see blood and a pair of needle nose pliers on the floor…

My first thought, ‘oh my god, I pulled a tooth out.’ I check my mouth, all teeth are accounted for and still attached. Then in a sudden flash of memory (though I wish I didn’t remember it) I remember what happened when we got home the night before. 

At the club I was wearing strappy sandals. Someone had dropped a beer bottle that shattered on my foot and filled my sandal with glass. On top of that someone had done a Mexican hat dance on my toe, causing the nail to slightly detach. Emphasis on slightly-it was still attached to me. 

We get home and my genius (heavy sarcasm here) Curt thought for some reason that unless he removed the toenail I was going to just instantly die. He could have just wrapped it (I asked the doctor what he should have done later). 

So, Curt, being a genius, chases my drunk ass around our apartment with a pair of pliers. He gets me cornered in the bathroom, because, really, there’s only so many places to run in an apartment. I’m sitting in the bathtub and he has my foot in one hand, pliers in the other. I punch him in the face but being only a foot apart didn’t get enough oomph behind it to deter him from his bloody mission. 

He swiftly grabs the toenail and rips. I was blackout drunk and can still vividly remember the pain and screaming. (Why didn’t our neighbors call the cops? I’m pretty sure it sounded like I was being ax murdered). I’m also sure that this is a form of torture recognized in the Geneva Conventions. 

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He then proceeds to “doctor” my wound but instead of Neosporin he puts steroid ointment meant for allergic skin reactions on the toe and wraps it in toilet paper. This means the next morning I have to wash this stuff off the toe and pick pieces of the toilet paper out of the wound. I also have to use the pliers still handy on the floor to pull out the shards of glass embedded in the bottom of my foot from the broken beer bottle. 

Thankfully no permanent physical damage is done-my toenail grows back in six months. However, I won’t wear open toe shoes in public anymore nor can I stand anyone to touch or get close to my feet. I used to really enjoy pedicures but some of the tools look too much like pliers to be close to my toes. 

My friends and I now refer to this incident as “the toenail birthday.” But I learned. I will never again get that drunk nor date anyone that completely stupid. Or wear open toe shoes to a club.

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Self High Five: My Filter Broke at Work

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I’ve posted before about my soul-sucking time as an assistant here. To give you a better verbal portrait of my boss before sharing my triumphant yet gutsy (rare for me) comeback, I’ll give you a little context. He is a narcissist that feels most important when putting others down, specifically by calling them ignorant or indirectly implying it. He also doesn’t articulate what he wants very well. I have followed him from room to room in the office asking him five times in a row which exact file he had asked for because he had simply said “get me the file.” Considering we have four rooms with files from floor to ceiling, that’s pretty f$%^ing broad. Sometimes (ok, maybe more often) if you ask him a question or to clarify his instant reaction is god%$#^ it. 

Now, armed with that information, you are ready for the split second my filter from brain to mouth broke. I think I got a little piece of my soul back in the process. 

The Story

He calls me into his office to say, “Call [name of person] and tell him the attachment to the email didn’t work.”

Me “Ok, that person has sent several emails today and the attachments aren’t labeled so what document specifically do I need to ask him for?”

Boss “The god*&$% document.”

Me, in a complete deadpan voice and expression “You want me to tell him we need the god%$^& document?” 

I realize I’ve said this aloud, even though completely unintentional. But hey, it’s already out of my mouth and I can’t take it back, so I just continue my dead faced stare. He is actually speechless for a few moments, which in itself is an accomplishment. 

My awesome coworker tries to somewhat fix the situation and not laugh “You did tell her to tell him that.”

Boss, quieter “You’re being sarcastic” [Nooo, I’m really going to ask someone that, jeez.]

Boss “Tell him we need the [document name]”

It sounds like a little, insignificant thing but I feel it was a minor victory on multiple levels:

-He got a small taste of what it was like to have profanity coming from someone other than himself. 

-He heard what he sounds like because I just repeated exactly what he had said to me. I honestly think he has no clue how he speaks to us. 

-I made him speechless and was doing a little inner badass happy dance.

-I made my coworker laugh, which in that place we are all grateful to any piece of joy we can glean from each other. 

This is what my happy dance looks like. It's not pretty.

This is what my happy dance looks like. It’s not pretty.

Working as an Assistant…and Slowly Losing What’s Left of My Self Esteem

Everyone has had a job in high school, during college, etc. that totally sucked (like fast food or retail) and was meant just to pay the bills or buy booze on the weekends. However, there’s always the dream ( *cough* expectation *cough*) that after college we will never have to do those jobs again because we can use whatever degree we’ve earned to do our dream job. Then you get to the real world…and yeah, it gets a little depressing…time for a shot of tequila. 

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I was actually a very lucky person to get my dream job right out of college. However, after working said dream job for about four years, budget cuts and inflation meant I could no longer pay my bills or buy food on that never-changing salary. After my family scraped together to help me pay a few bills and cutting down to eating only twice I day, I said goodbye to my dream job and looked for a job doing whatever that would enable me to buy food. 

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So I became a legal assistant. I was ecstatic. I could pay my bills for the first time in a long time working only one job and I had always had an interest in law (my degree is in history) so at least it would be somewhat interesting. Man, was I wrong. I’ve worked there for only three months now and I think each day I’ve lost a little piece of self esteem and my soul. 

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I found this great excerpt from Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent that I think accurately describes a little of what I experience each day:

“After a few weeks of working at an office, I realized I was becoming the kind of person who was finding joy in the little things-and by little things, I mean meaningless, stupid distractions from my shitty job. A reprieve of going to the copy machine and getting the pleasure of mindlessly staring at the wall for five minutes was magical. Trips to the bathroom were a joyous urination break where I washed my hands until they became pruney. And don’t forget about the absolute thrill of lunch . . . On the occasions that I went out beyond the office doors to buy a salad, you’d think I was being let out of prison after a twenty-year sentence . . . .” 

It hit me yesterday, after being called varying forms of stupid and being cursed at all day long by someone less educated than myself, that I can’t continue to do this job much longer and remain sane. Like Alida Nugent, I’ve been taking breaks to hide in the stairwell on varying floors in my building to get away from it. I go to the restroom on different floors each time so my boss can’t send someone in to tell me he needs me at that absolute moment because he can’t walk to the break room to get his own f*^&%ing Diet Pepsi. 

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I’m not sure what the purpose of this post is, other than venting. But if you are in a job like this, working for a narcissistic, insecure, asshat that thinks of himself as a special little snowflake, know you’re not alone. Tell yourself every single morning before your shift begins and when you leave that you are intelligent, you are a good worker, etc. I find this experience similar to being in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship. I’ve found myself in social situations where someone politely asks what I do and I simply say, “I’m just an assistant” despite the fact that I’m halfway through a Ph.D. (though a useless one) and am really excited about original research I will begin soon. The person I was with began inputting what I was doing with school and it made me realize that it’s sad another person has to speak up for my accomplishments and that it was a sign that I am slowly beginning to believe I am useless and stupid. That’s not healthy. There’s no reprieve since I work at a small place with no HR department and well paying jobs (aka I make enough to pay my bills) are rare. 

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Just remember, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” And you are much better than these types of people, regardless of how much money they have. Rich white men put their pants on every morning the exact same we do: one leg at a time. Remember that when you become a supervisor. 

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Hooking Up, Dating, or Whatever the Hell This Is

Have you ever wondered, ‘Am I dating this person?’ or ‘Am I their boy/girlfriend, booty call, etc.” Where the hell do I stand with this person? In today’s culture it can be a little less than vague. I mean, because we’re just supposed to automatically know through our powers of mind-reading.

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A Little Background

I married young (stupidly in my case) and never really dated. I just had steady, longterm, monogamous relationships. When I became single I had no idea how this dating thing worked. The last relationship I had that didn’t end in marriage or started to end up that way was in high school. So all I had to go off of is, ‘Well, he didn’t ignore me today and actually drove me home instead of ditching me for his garage band so I must be his girlfriend.’ Not so applicable in the adult world. At least I hope not.

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So Here It Is

I started thinking about this during a recent conversation with a friend:

Her: So you’ve hung out multiple times. Are you dating?

Me: Yeah, a few times. We had a great time. Dating? Wait, what?

Her: Are you his girlfriend?

Me: Um, no? He hasn’t specifically asked me to be…so no.

Her: Well are you at least exclusive? [Dating/sleeping with only each other]

Me: Uh…I don’t know, we haven’t talked about it. [Cue frantic thinking, ‘Oh crap, does this guy even like me?’]

[By the way, I’m oh so eloquent when questioned about relationships, can’t you tell?]

I realized that today men don’t ask the parents if they may visit their maiden daughters in a supervised sitting room nor do they always specifically ask “Will you be my girlfriend?” like in the third grade (or high school). This is often known as the “define the relationship” talk if something like this is discussed. It’s creepy as hell if it happens within an hour of meeting a person (actually had that happen) but after a few weeks/months, etc. one does start to wonder. Eventually I just want to say, “Out with it! What is this?” (I don’t advise you do this so abruptly).

I found this article amusing and quite accurate, at least in my case, with dating/hooking up/whatever today. I’m not agreeing this is the most romantic or thrilling progression, nor always the most accurate for everyone, but it is amusing and I find it applicable to my limited dating life thus far…just damn confused. [For the record, the GIFs were inserted by me]

 

Dating In The Hook-Up Culture: 10 Weird And Confusing Stages Of The Modern Relationship

By Paul Hudson. June 3, 2014. Visit the original article here.

Dating these days is a joke. And not a very funny one at that. I don’t know if it’s because our generation started dating before we hit puberty or whether the Kardashians of the world have ruined what was once a beautiful thing, but the truth is that dating these days is horrible.

Half the damn time you won’t even know if you’re actually dating or not. What was once explainable using a single digit binary code now requires the decimal system.

It’s no longer “Are you dating?” or “Are you not dating?” There are now different stages, one hardly distinguishable from the other – at least while on the inside.

Looking from the outside in, on the other hand, gives shape to the confusing and convoluted dating culture that we have created for ourselves. Here are the more easily recognizable stages:

1. The One-Night Stand.

Regardless of whether you met on the street, in a coffee shop, at your yoga class or in the park, the first date tallies up to one thing: either a successful or failed one-night stand.

It doesn’t matter what the initial intentions are – not as if you know what the other person’s intentions are anyway – on the first date you’re either sleeping together or not. Depending on the results of this stage, you’ll move on to stage 2.

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2. The Second Glance.

Seeing as how you were probably highly intoxicated the first time around, you decide to see this person one more time. This decision is most likely the result of you not being certain whether or not the person was good in bed.

You managed to black out sometime in the middle of it all and can’t figure out whether the person was the best or worst sex of your life. Round 2 it is.

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3. The Booty Call.

You have officially dubbed him/her, or have been dubbed, worthy of sexual pursuit. Congratulations! You can now move on to phase 3: the booty call. Now it is acceptable for you to text this person at odd hours, preferably when you’re intoxicated or about to be intoxicated, to come over.

In this stage, it isn’t recommended that you refrain from calling the person or see him/her without drinking heavily or taking drugs – it may be awkward. I mean, you’ve only been intimate a dozen times or so… slow down already.

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4. The Friend With Benefits.

This is the first stage when you actually matter to the person more than any other slab of meat would. You put in the time and effort, your liver has certainly paid for it and it is now time to finally get to know the person you’ve been having sex with all this time.

Talking is recommended, but beware of throwing any romance into the mix. You’re friends. Not lovers. Keep all the lovey-dovey romance stuff to yourself and, whatever you do, do not look him/her in the eyes when in the midst of coitus. When you’re done, finish with a firm handshake or a high five.

dont like me


5. The Date.

Not sure how you did it – most never make it this far – but you did it… you are now going on your first official date. You’re not yet “dating” in the traditional sense, but you are going on dates.

I understand this can be confusing, but what about this process isn’t? The first couple of dates are crucial as they will decide whether or not you will be moving forward to the following stages or if the two of you will be “too busy” to see each other in coming weeks.

This is one of the trickiest stages as often it can lead to being bumped up a few stages ahead of schedule. Or, as I have already mentioned, it could be the end of the road.

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6. The Fling.

After a couple of dates, it turns out that you aren’t really interested in each other. You enjoy sleeping with each other and even enjoy each other’s company, but you can’t see yourself together in the long run.

The feeling is mutual – you both know that whatever it is that the two of you have going on won’t last very long, but you decide that you want to have fun while it does. Flings are fun and usually harmless. However, this stage can look a lot like stage seven: the stepping-stone.

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7. The Stepping-Stone.

This stage is like the fling stage with one critical difference: Only one of you knows that the relationship won’t last. While you might be beginning to consider the other a real partner, the other thinks of you as a means of getting into someone else’s pants.

Well, maybe not exactly a means of getting there, but a comfortable resting area while you look for a better watering hole. You like the sex and you even like the person you’re having sex with… you just don’t want to be with him/her for the long haul.

You consider this person a necessary stepping-stone before you can settle with the right person – or he/she considers you as such. One of you is going to get hurt after this process… but you may have skipped it entirely and moved on to stage 8.

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8. The Backup.

You have now been dubbed – or vice versa – good enough to be with. Unfortunately, you’re not good enough to be with right now. You’re good enough to keep around in case things don’t work out with anyone else, but to date you, really date you, at the moment would be silly.

These sorts of relationships get incredibly complicated, neither party really knowing what is going on as neither wants to completely let go.

The good news is, you have a safety net to fall on in case nothing else works out. Or at least you do at the moment. No one wants to be a backup indefinitely.

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9. The Boyfriend/Girlfriend.

Wow. I mean, seriously. You should be proud of yourself. Making it all the way to official status in our day and age is impressive – well done. You can now throw on the romance and allow yourself to finally have feelings for the individual.

You can start to be yourself and begin to actually care for the person you have been “intimate” with for oh-so very long. The only thing that you should keep in mind is that getting here doesn’t guarantee that you graduate from the dating scene to marital status.

In fact, most relationships of such caliber fail miserably. But cheer up! You can at least update your Facebook status and make all your friends jealous!

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10. Lost In Translation.

This isn’t so much a stage as it is the platform holding all these stages. In this day and age just about everything gets lost in translation, but mostly because there is very little communication to actually translate.

Most people keep themselves closed off and sheltered, regardless of how intimate they’ve become with another person. Everybody is afraid to get hurt and afraid of possibly, inadvertently, giving up the opportunity to get into someone better’s pants.

Most of the time you won’t know what stage you’re in, were in or are headed to. You won’t be sure if the person cares about you or is only using you for amusement. The theory is that, with time, you’ll either find someone who won’t take you down this road.

Maybe it will come with maturity. Maybe you won’t be alone forever. Or maybe you’ll get to run through these stages for the rest of your life. No one knows! That’s half the fun!

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