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). 

Dating

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. 

drunkie

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. 

pain

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.

shock

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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. 

desperate

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. 

zooey

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. 

kill me

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. 

eyeroll

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. 

sad

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. 

kind smart im