How I tell my anxiety to F OFF

R Munch

This week’s InfoNews post is up and it’s all about normalcy and anxiety and looking panic in the face and telling it to shove it. I wrote this column last week, but it feels extra poignant now after the passing of Robbin Williams. Some demons are bigger than others, and sometimes making light of them is the best we can do for ourselves. You can read it HERE.

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it

XOYW1

What you miss out on if you wear sweatpants

liz

When my brother called me at 11PM to come and pick him up from an hour away, I was lying in bed with a glass of wine in the dark, scrolling through Pinterest, trying desperately to put myself to sleep.

It was Friday.

I mention that only because it’s adorable to picture me, at 11PM on a Friday, trying to lullaby myself to sleep in a pair of sweatpants over pictures of small apartment spaces decorated flawlessly.

“Yes,” I said, “I’ll come.”

Hair a mess, flannel shirt buttoned unevenly, fluffy socks, the whole nine yards. No one would see me. I would go as is.

But something stopped me just as I was about to walk out the door. It was a primal instinct that said Andria, put on real pants, k?

I know, right? How dare my instincts be so judgmental. I can wear sweats out to White Rock in the middle of the night if I want to. But I changed my pants, because everyone knows you have to listen to your gut. I put on black skinny jeans and motorcycle boots. Because that was the most comfortable option I had other than my 10 year old high school sweatpants.

I drove an hour with a wedgie. I had changed my pants but I hadn’t changed my sweatpant-worthy underwear.

When I arrived at the venue, my brother got into the vehicle high on life. He had just finished playing the (epic?) “Raise a Little Hell” with the (oldie but goodie) band Trooper. He was in no mood to go home.

Instead, we went to the casino. A place I was not dressed for, but would at least be permitted inside of.

We had a beer. We played (and lost) some penny slots. Then we put $10 on black and we won.

I HAVE NEVER WON ON BLACK BEFORE.

Granted, $20 wasn’t anything to write home about, but I’ll tell you what it was worth . . . it was worth getting out of sweatpants for.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we don’t want to put in our best effort. We want to slum around. We want to stay pimply and chubby. We want to keep picking our nose, even though there’s someone beside us at the red light. We want to go to sleep without brushing our teeth. We want to wear our bitch-face on the subway. Sometimes, no matter what our head wants us to do, we say no. And it’s in times like this we must remember Elizabeth Taylor’s famous words.

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

Hey, it might make you ten bucks.

XOYW1

Behind the bar : Your waitress is smarter than you

waitress 2

“So,” she asked me over the clanking of ice in the shaker, “what do you do in real life?”

I breathe a sigh of relief. Not that there’s anything wrong with being identified as a waitress, but I’m a shitty waitress on a good day and my maroon lipstick tells my patrons everything they need to know about how seriously I take my job. Oh, I like the small talk alright, but my ability to mix an old fashioned the same, twice in a row, is non-existent.

“I’m a writer,” I said.

Here in the dimly lit brick-enclosed space that smells of muddled oranges and spilled bourbon, I can be whatever I want. “Real life” is out there. In here is a three month overdue Telus bill and a used car with $11,000 of insurance on it’s back. In here is the blood in the veins of the hustle, and everyone knows there’s more to the story.

No one wakes up one morning and says “I’m going to be a waitress!”

Unless you’re me on Monday — I said those words because I needed some fast cash.

In here are ten fanny packs, six pouches of change and forty notepads from the dollar store, all waiting to have “medium rare, seat 1″ written on them. There’s nothing glamorous about wiping tables and spilling mayonnaise on your Chuck Taylors — but at midnight on a Thursday, The Black Keys playing through speakers above your head, shoes sticking to the splattered patterns of Jim Beam on the laminate, $120 dollars in your pocket and $70 in the bank, you feel slightly superior.

Not because $190 is enough money to pay half of your overdue Telus bill, but because this is the one job you can have that people won’t use to define you.

“How about you?” I asked her as I handed her the whiskey sour to take to a table in the back.

“I’m in my last year of neuroscience,” she said.

We all have to start somewhere.

XOYW1