A Book on Dating

I’ve tossed around a couple book ideas off and on in the past couple of years, and I really want to write one of essays just about my life because I’m funny and interesting shit occasionally happens to me. The other one is most definitely going to be about dating. I mentioned it in a post last week.

In the last year or so, especially, a couple of my friends and I have realized we have plenty of material for that one with our varied experiences.

That said, here is a sampling of our chapter titles for the book we will get around to co-authoring… I’ll let you know when the preorder is available on Amazon.

– Why long distance relationships are often a bad idea OR the time I got that tattoo

– So you’ve been cheated on OR I’m going to burn your house down, (redacted)

– Don’t date your coworkers or if you do, make sure they’re not idiots and on prescription drugs

– Things you do not ask/say on a first date (LIST)

– Does that approach actually work for you?

– No I do not like dragons

– Those we’ve and lost (and by loved we mean just used for sex)

– When you just dont give AF (making out with people you haven’t spoken to at the bar)

– An open letter to all the guys I’ve made out with who’ve since come out as gay

– Why I should have destroyed the bike and other regrets from an almost marriage

– Why not to study abroad with your ex

I’m sorry about the time I was talking shit and didn’t realize I had called you and you heard everything.

– M&Ms with your face on them and other signs you should call the police

– No I will not fuck you with a strap-on on and other dealbreakers

– 50 Shades of Grey’s popularity does not mean we are all into BDSM and other myths

– “Are you my mother?” “No, I’m Fucking Not”

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And people wonder why it’s so hard to find love these days

Seriously, Dad, I warned you. Don’t read this one. Skip it.

OK. So. It’s been a while, but you know I’ve gotten on and then off and then on Bumble like 4 times since I last told you about it. Anymore, it’s almost solely for blog content. Other options are funny stories either for my eventual career in stand-up comedy or one of the books I’m going to write. (Stay tuned for next week’s blog featuring the chapter titles for that book. I’m pretty proud of them and hope nobody steals ’em before I get around to writing the thing — and Dad, don’t read that one either).

Two of those times I re-downloaded Bumble were because I was drunk. I’ll admit it. I was drunk and feeling slightly sorry for myself and lonely. One was because I hadn’t had any good blog content in a while. And the last one was simply because “Fuck it, why not?”

I still am not ready to pay for a site. I know you get what you pay for and all that but last time I paid I got a bunch of middle-aged rednecks and a former magistrate from the county I used to work in interested in me. Not my target demographic… And guess what, even if you’ve been single as long as I have, you still get to have some standards. At least that’s what my therapist says. And some magazine articles.

In all seriousness though – I am for reals, 100 percent the happiest I have been since maybe ever. I have a great life. Like, real great. It’s just that sometimes, randomly, I would like to maybe have somebody to watch shows, go to events and also makeout with. I have or have had some combination of those recently, but they’re not all coming from the same person.

So yeah. What now? Do I pay anyway? Do I settle? Do I wait? How much do I care?

It depends on the day for that last one.

I’m writing this blog post fresh off a conversation with a local cop on the app who within 4 minutes of us messaging let me know he would like to bury his face in my underwear drawer.

I wish that was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard on one of those sites, but alas… have we forgotten the dragon thing?

When I asked Officer Douchebag if he always talked to girls he’d just met that way, he unmatched me. Therefore, we are a dream that can never be and he will have to find someone else’s underwear to mess with. Good luck to that girl. I’m sure she’s out there.

Bless these apps though for giving people the balls to be able to say whatever the fuck they want right up front. From my understanding, saying what they want varies wildly between the sexes. For women that seems to mean more saying what they want out of like, the future, and for men it seems to be what they want in bed. It is efficient though at least. Thanks for only wasting 5 minutes of my time (how long it took before you told me you wanted to choke me during sex) before one or both of us was able to realize it wasn’t gonna work…

I have collected some screenshots that make me wonder what these guys’ angle is and how successful they are with it. Because, damn. And others I would have screenshotted but I swiped left too quickly because they either looked like a murderer, or their name was Gary, and I can’t date a Gary, I’m sorry Garies of the world…

(Also have bad luck with anyone’s name starting with J – there have been several – so I should probably skip those too, but I’m trying to stay open-minded.)

Is paranormal investigator a legit thing besides for the guys that do TV shows on it? How much money is in that line of work?

George, nobody believes that’s a picture of you.

Michael, I’m open to learning about your personality but when your only photo is an X-ray I can’t.

This one sneaks in his sexual preferences. Oh, I’m shy and like UofL and want to DOMINATE YOU IN BED.

This one too. “I enjoy bourbon, hiking, hanging out with my dog, and I WANT TO HAVE ALL THE THREESOMES”

Speaking of, there are also always the couples looking for a third and good luck to them. That’s a no thank you from me. And also who cheated? Because you share a Facebook account so someone did.

The second I don’t have a sense of humor about it all, I’ll sign off all the sites and apps for good. But for now, they’re at least goldmines in the story department. And that book won’t write itself.

Get it right, get it tight

So. The running thing? It’s not really happening anymore. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind a little, shall we?

A few months ago I’d hit a bit of a rut at the gym. I had gotten to a point where I dreaded going because it was the same old stuff every time. Walk and run for a bit on the treadmill, do a couple arm and leg machines and go home. Repetition works, right?

But here’s the third reason why I love Planet Fitness.

(First two reasons are 1) because there are only like 5 mirrors in the whole place so I don’t have to watch myself looking gross and 2) because if you act like a douchebag at the gym, they literally RING AN ALARM to call you out in front of everyone and that is my kind of gym.)

OK, so the third reason. They realize that some people don’t make the amount of money required to pay to see a personal trainer on the reg. For example, me. I got expenses. And I like the occasional avocado.

They do this thing where you can meet with the trainer they have on staff, the trainer sets you up with a plan, teaches you all the parts of the plan and then sets you free to spread your little wings and fly. Oh, they check in with you, too. And for those that can make it happen, they also set certain dates to actually spot your workout and stuff.

So, a little while ago (a couple months ago, I guess) I met with a trainer. His name is Antonio because of course it fucking is. And he’s fairly attractive and kind of built and I worried that I might be distracted by his cuteness but then I noticed he had longer fingernails than most girls I know, including me, so that fixed that right up.

And we talked about my goals and what I’d done before and how I really needed to keep the Anxiety Monster quiet and the Depression Monster tamed, so whatever he thought was best I’d do it.

First question? How many days a week can you work out? I said probably 4. He said 5 would be good. But 4 was OK. Cool. Off to a grreeeeeeeat start.

I feel like I’m a good judge of people, and can read them pretty well. And Antonio? I still have not figured him out, y’all.

The first few times we met up he forgot we had set a meeting (perhaps why this service is free?) or forgot my name or both. Oh and looked literally anywhere but at me the whole time he spoke to me. And he also kicked my ass.

He showed me some other options for cardio – better ones than the treadmill I’d gotten so tired of – including the arc trainer, which makes me feel like a cross-country skier and I may or may not be addicted to.

And he took me through what’s called the 30-Minute Circuit at Planet Fitness. 20 steps (machines and literal step exercises), 30 minutes. You use a machine the whole time the light is green, when it turns red you go to the next one and repeat until you’ve done all 20 steps. The first day doing that was rough. Bless him for thinking my poor little jelly arms were strong and putting all the arm machines at 40 pounds for a starting point. And also, fuck that.

Aside: I am writing this after a 30-Minute Circuit Day and the arm machines are my new Everest. And I think I’ve messed up my elbow joints. Or maybe it’s the Bone Islands. Click on that link but don’t look up Bone Island yourself because there’s a 97 percent chance that’s probably the name of one or more porns.

We did a full-body workout day and that was a real treat. Because we used the free weights. And I realized that 5-pound free weights in each hand feel like I’m lifting a car when made to do certain exercises. Oh. Also, that day marked the second time I made Antonio feel awkward because he had to hold my elbows in place for one exercise because my boobs are too big and they pushed my arms further out to the side and I couldn’t make it work on my own. (The first time was when I asked him machines would be best to fix my flat butt.)

Anyway. It has since gotten a lot easier. Antonio knows my name, tells me I’m awesome every time I see him (I’m sure he says that to all his non-paying clients) and usually remembers when we’re supposed to meet now. And I can say I am officially at the point where I can tell a major difference in how I feel. I’m by no means a gym rat these days, but that shit does wonders for people like me with this weird-ass brain chemistry. When I haven’t been able to get to the gym for a few days I mentally feel crappier, not to mention physically. Oh, and there was those times when it did wonders for my self esteem, specifically after a picture of me was posted (not by me) on Facebook, and I got texts from a couple different people commenting on how good they thought I looked.

I wish I could say I have completely overhauled my routine and can now get up and go workout before work in the morning all the time like someone who has their shit together, but I like sleep too much. And late bedtimes. But I do go 3-4 times a week every week (haven’t quite made it to 5 yet because yo girl has a vibrant social life).

I don’t say this to get congratulations or anything like that. I am putting this out there solely for accountability. When you post that you’ve been working out and then someone asks you about it out in the world, it’s embarrassing to say “Oh yeah, that’s over.” So this helps me keep at it.

And all the extra dopamine ain’t too bad either.

Conquering Everest

I have climbed a mountain before. A few of ‘em, in fact. Some Smokies and Pine and some others here and there that were either pretty decent or gave me what I dubbed “Climbing Asthma” before I started going to the gym more often.

And then there was Rocky Mountain National Park last year where Sami made us climb a mountain and there was like 8 feet of snow but we were in T-shirts and I couldn’t breathe because of altitude but it was worth it because the views at the end and on the way up were so beautiful.

Anyway. I can climb shit. Especially if it doesn’t involve my arms (I’m working on the upper body strength at the gym, too, so…someday). But one thing has always intimidated me when it comes to climbing.

Seriously. I’ve always been nervous to try that machine. I’ve tried almost every other one at the gym (except a couple of the ab ones because I literally can’t contort my body in the necessary way to use it) but that one has eluded me, even as I got braver and further out of my comfort zone when it came to working out and stuff this year.

I equate it to the furnace in the basement in Home Alone that Kevin is scared of and avoids most of the movie because it looms there, big and frightening.

It wasn’t that I thought I like, couldn’t climb stairs… I can do that just fine.

Aside: In middle school once, on a band field trip, a group of friends and I rode the elevator up to the top floor of the Galt House Hotel (there’s about 25 or so) and decided to run back down the entirety of those floors via the staircase in the 4 minutes we had to get to our bus. (Middle schoolers – they ain’t the brightest…) They need a machine where you can walk down lots of stairs too. Basically an up escalator you walk down the whole time. Is that a thing? I don’t know. The gym is big. They may have it. If not – I’ll email Planet Fitness.

Back to our story – I was afraid that I’d fall off the thing. Isn’t that ridiculous? I realize it now but for so long I was like, “Yeah, my coordination isn’t good enough for me to get on and off that thing without busting my ass.”

Speaking of my ass, though, that’s what ultimately ended up getting me on that machine and over my fear.

You see, this is the general shape of my butt.

So you can see where it leaves something to be desired, no? I need to do more machines that help fix that.

I’ve been in a routine with the gym where I do a couple miles run/walking on the treadmill and then a few machines (usually for my arms because of the aforementioned lack of upper body strength). I don’t know why, but I haven’t done the arc trainer or the elliptical in a long time either, but the other day, the treadmill didn’t seem as appealing as usual. I didn’t give myself too much time to think about it, and walked straight over to the stair machine.

I don’t know what had come over me. The need for change? The second cup of coffee I’d had that afternoon? The months of watching Kourtney and Khloe’s workouts on Snapchat that often included this machine? (Aside. I need to hire a trainer probably. One who I can pay in like, hugs – and maybe my HBO/Netflix password.)

Whatever it was, I put on a brave face and climbed aboard. Luckily when I got on, there was nobody on the other two next to it so I didn’t have to feel like I was already behind. I set all the things and got started.

You can see the whole gym from the top of that thing. Which brought about another fear for a minute – everyone in the gym could see me. Cool.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned though about the gym, and Planet Fitness in particular. Nobody’s paying attention to you. They’re worried about themselves. And how good/bad/silly they look at any given moment.

33 “flights” later, I was done. And not dead. And hadn’t fallen off. All that worry, for nothin’.

I felt good, and accomplished, and basically like this:

I’m adding it into the rotation now when I visit the gym. Fear = conquered.

Just don’t ask me to conquer any others – clowns and heights are the ones I have left and I have no interest in dealing with either one yet. Baby steps.

Things that make me irrationally angry/annoyed (a list)

I watch a lot of television, as you know, and with that unfortunately comes a lot of commercials. The other day in particular (may have been related to other things but still) I noticed that there is one specific television commercial that drives me absolutely nuts.

Spoiler alert, I am not talking about Tony Malito’s commercials. Or the Charmin bears. Those make me feel borderline violent with their awfulness. I change the channel immediately.

No, the one(s) I’m talking about that make me irrationally angry are the teeth whitening commercials. And here’s why. They’re ALWAYS about women. Women sitting at lunch talking about how their teeth aren’t the same color as Kleenex and how it’s ruining pictures of them (keep in mind these are models, basically, with nowhere close to gross color teeth) and their date may not like them tonight because of it.

So many problems with this. One – women aren’t the only ones who have discolored teeth. Two – I have never sat there and worried about my teeth being the problem on a date. I worry more about my general awkwardness and anxiety ruining things. And if my eyeliner looks like shit or not. Three – there is nothing wrong at all with these women in the commercials’ teeth. Show normal, regular humans who haven’t been put through makeup and have better dental care options than most people I know (or at least enough money for it), and then maybe I’ll buy into it some. But damn. Stop.

Some other things that bother me more than they should (and probably more than they bother most people):

– The sound of people eating in an otherwise quiet room. With their mouths open, especially.

– The words “breaks silence” or “speaks out” in a headline. Get a thesaurus.

– What passes for “news” these days – aka news stories about tweets.

– Speaking in unison. Like when they have twins do it in movies or on TV to be funny or cute or something, it physically hurts me.

– When people say “He’s 79 years young.” We get it. He’s 79 but doesn’t act old so if we say this you’ll realize how young he feels. I don’t care. Stop saying it. I say I’m 32. No clarification is needed. Age is a number, not a segue into a discussion about your lifestyle.

– Madonna. Why is she still a thing?

– When people do that thing with their eyelids – flip them inside out? VOMIT.

– Interviewers on most TV news. Come up with better questions. And ones with less obvious answers.

– Hearing someone talk about their obviously horrible habits like it’s endearing – mainly this one is brought to mind because of something that happened when I was shopping at Old Navy the other day. This woman in front of us in line was talking to the people in front of her about God knows what but the part we came in on was her talking about how her dentist has told her countless times to “Lay off the Mountain Dew. And the Skittles.” And then proceeded to talk about how much she drinks Mountain Dew (basically all day every day) and how she follows it up with the Skittles and my teeth hurt for her. And I was confused as to how this woman was also not morbidly obese or wearing dentures.

– Most anything Andy Samberg says or does.

Lost and found

Five years ago this week, I signed up as a volunteer for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Basketball Tournament.

Next weekend, I’m going to be watching a team I coach participate in that tournament.

Four years ago, I was starting to get more involved with the organization – but hadn’t yet found my place. I also jumped in the freezing Ohio River that year for these guys and girls. Brrr.

It wasn’t long after that I met an athlete that got me where I am today with SOKY.

This is Dallas. He’s the first athlete I met/saw numerous times as I got more and more involved at Special Olympics events. He was/is EVERYWHERE. He’s kind of a big deal, you guys. Everyone knows him, everyone loves him.

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It was through Dallas I then met his mom, Cathy, the head of the Louisville Royals sports delegation – who heard me mention an interest in softball and brought me on to help coach the summer of the 2015 (which you all may remember as that time in my life that everything fell apart but fell perfectly together).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve said this before about Special Olympics, but it bears repeating: Have you ever found something you didn’t know you were looking for? Something you didn’t know you needed? That’s this, for me.

In the Spring of 2015, I was the unhappiest I’ve ever been. The highlight of my week was Thursday nights spent keeping the scorebook for SOKY’s basketball leagues at Fern Creek High School. It’s where I ended up talking more to Dallas, and to Cathy, and it’s because of them I am where I am today.

I quit my job that year on June 1 of 2015. Two weeks later, I became a coach for the Royals softball team. Not only was I getting to work with some amazing people, but it took me back to all those summers spent as a kid with my family at the ballpark – playing, umpiring, watching my younger sisters play… it also distracted my from my anxiety about unemployment, which was much-needed. (The distraction. And the unemployment was much-needed, actually. Not the anxiety, though. Never the anxiety).

After that I was talked into coaching football (which is hilarious because I don’t know enough about it to do anything but watch and also I suck at throwing a football). Luckily, the two guys I coached with had that covered so my job was being the sideline mom. I bandaged scrapes, gave hugs and occasionally chased/cuddled our littlest player, Griffin, who was determined to run off in the middle of the game. My presence was very important, obviously.

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Then there was basketball. Friends, if I shoot 10 baskets I’m lucky to make 2 of them. So I’m a natural choice to help coach, right? Right. Something worked, though, because our team made it to the state tournament and won gold medals.

Last year was my first time as head coach of anything. I started with softball. And just FYI, head coach can simply mean you get the practice space and do the paperwork. And get dibs on making the lineup if you want. Apparently last year it meant piss off a man who was assisting you by doing nothing more than just existing, but that’s a story for another time. Over a beer.

So many positive things have come out of my time as a coach, though. Almost too many to mention. I’ve made some great friendships with those I’ve coached with – Cathy has become an invaluable part of my life, Gus has been so awesome to coach alongside (the two of us are old pros at this point) and then I’ve also been able to spend more time with my cousin, Aaron, who lived out of town for a long time, but who has joined all of us as a Royals coach.

One of the guys in my youth group helped out during softball season and will be back as a coach this year. Several members of my youth group have volunteered at the state tournaments for basketball and bowling for a few years now. My best friend’s son, who is 13, heard about what I do with SOKY and thought it sounded like a cool way to get Beta Club service hours, and who has since come to a game and three practices and loved it as much as I do.

And that’s just the coach stuff.

I’ve also seen enough athlete moments to make my heart explode.

– Athletes scoring their first basket, run, touchdown.

– Athletes helping each other out – passing a ball to someone younger/who doesn’t always get to score so they can get a chance.

– At skills for softball last year, the entire team cheering for each other as they took turns running the bases as fast as they can.

– The smiles and hugs during and after games win or lose, because they just love to play.

– The encouragement of athletes on other teams.

Special Olympics and those involved – athletes, parents, coaches – have given me so much. More than they’ll ever know. And I cannot imagine life without any of it.

Now please enjoy some pictures. Warning: Your heart might explode.

310 seconds. Give or take a few.

Last year, on my 32nd birthday, I decided to start recording a video. More specifically, I’d heard about an app through my cousin, called 1 Second Everyday. The plan was to end it on my 33rd birthday and try and get as much cool stuff in it as possible.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

But then…roadblock. This past week, I had finally had enough of my storage notifications popping up on my phone. I couldn’t download any new apps, podcasts, was constantly having to delete photos, just to make room for this thing.

Yes, I realize I could just have not gotten the iPhone with the least amount of storage ever, but it was the cheapest!

So my self-imposed challenge to take at least one second worth of video daily for the past year came to an end about 55 days early.

I’m still pretty proud of the effort though. That’s a lot of videos.

So here it is, for your enjoyment. And I realize it seems like I watch a lot of TV. It’s because I do.

(It’s also because that’s where I was on some of the days that I realized I hadn’t taken the daily video yet, most likely. And my mild OCD would not let me skip too many days in a row.)

So, winter sucks.

Bears have it right, y’all. They sleep all winter. I could get down with that. Because winter is the shittiest of all seasons.

This one’s been pretty bad, too. Gray and gloomy outside almost every day, cold AF (I can no longer afford to have a social life due to increasing costs of my electric bill from keeping my house “warm”) and just generally sucky.

For people like me, who already live at kind of a meh-ish level, this time of year can be particularly hard. No sunlight (or not much of it anyway), limited time if any outside because FROSTBITE, and yeah… it’s no bueno.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a thing. Look it up. It’s magnified if you already have other disorders, so that’s fun.

My mood’s been off lately.  I’ve felt cloudy and off and just ehhhh. And there’s no good reason why – besides, ya know, the chemical imbalance. It’s been harder to get up in the mornings, harder to want to do anything but lay in bed or on the couch…

My medicine levels are good. Nothing’s changed there. But I guess I thought when I started feeling better, that would carry over into the winter time and I wouldn’t have to worry about this shit. But that’s depression for ya – never really fixed, no matter how much you think you’ve got it taken care of.

I say this all for a couple of reasons: One is so nobody is offended by how I’ve been as of late – if I’ve been a grump, please don’t take it personally and don’t hate me. The other is for those who aren’t as vocal about all this as I am, who you may not even know are hurting or feeling cloudy or literally aching for just a little bit of sunlight and warmth. Be gentle with us and realize we are doing our best and we’re looking really f-ing forward to spring.

You think I’m sleep? I ain’t sleep.

When I was younger, I could sleep hard. I slept all the time and it was hard to wake me up. I slept through the worst thunderstorms. Also, fun family events. Sometimes outdoors.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B: (This one is from the Derby Festival’s Great Balloon Race one year and I obviously was real into it).

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Exhibit C: In the good old days when it was safe to sleep outside on your deck all night because the air conditioner in the house was broken. Ahh, the 90s.

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Then, as I got older, depression made itself more known, and sleep was damn near impossible. Yet it was all I wanted to do. Sleep and I have had a weird relationship, is what I’m saying.

A few months ago, when the doctor and I (mostly the doctor but a little bit I) decided to check all the boxes that made sure nothing else was causing or aiding the depression, a sleep study was brought up.

I’m a known snorer, mouth-breather, drooler (when I’m REAL sleep) and there was that period of a couple years during and after college when I took various items of clothing off in my sleep. So, a study where someone watched me sleep/potentially do all that? Oh yeah. Sign me up. That won’t be weird at all.

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I made the appointment and regretted it immediately.

They mentioned I could have sleep apnea if I had depression and one could be causing the other and also that’s dangerous so if I have it, better to know now so they can treat it and FINE.

I went in for a consultation a month before the actual overnight and Dr. I Forget His Name said “Well, you do have a very small airway.” So that seemed promising. Not.

(Pour a cup of coffee and settle in, friends, this’ll be a long one.)

Fast-forward to last night. The actual study. I was to go overnight at the hospital and be hooked up to machines and someone would watch me sleep and tell me all the crazy shit that happens while I’m out.

I immediately think about the time I sleepwalked at my parents’ house and was standing in front of the dresser in their bedroom with no pants on and SURELY THEY’LL LOCK ME IN THIS ROOM FOR EVERYONE’S SAFETY.

Spoiler alert – they didn’t.

I am told to get to the hospital at 8:30 p.m., which makes me anxious that I’ll be expected to fall asleep at 9 p.m. and that’s not going to happen because if anything, that’s when my pre-sleep ends and I start watching my shows.

I decide to wear what I’m going to sleep in (in the hospital. At home there’s no telling from one night to the next what I’ll wear or not wear to bed…. that sounds sexier than it really is..), which means leggings and a T-shirt, but a V-neck shirt so I don’t feel like I’m choking. This is important to remember later on in our story.

I walk in to the sleep study office and see two other patients getting set up in their rooms and realize I am the youngest here by AT LEAST 45 years. Yay.

Immediately I overhear two very important questions being asked.

1. “Do y’all have cable?”

2. “Are you going to check on me after I take my Ambien?”

It’s important to note here that this is when I’m heading into my “room” and am noticing there’s not a lock on any of the doors.

The TV is on in my room when I get in there and as luck wouldn’t have it, stuck on the channel showing The Bachelor, aka what I’m pretty sure they show on a loop in Hell. The girl who brings me in there tells me the administrator of the study will bring the remote when she comes in.

Aside: I do not get embarrassed easily, but I get secondhand embarrassment for people a lot, and for that reason, The Bachelor/Bachelorette is my nightmare.

Here’s my setup:

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Mmmm, comfy. And those wires? Yeah, they all go ON YOU.

Another kind of aside: I guess when you’re finally actually asleep, they can get a decent idea of what they’re looking for in these sleep studies, but they’re stacking the odds against you up until that point. You’re in a weird room, with weird noises, an uncomfortable bed, worried that the old lady across the hall on Ambien’s gonna wander in about 3 a.m. and they’re just gonna let it happen because it’s a study and you can’t get involved because that skews the results.

Oh and here’s the video camera they use to watch you the entire time. (This was when I was still in Bachelor Hell).

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I wait for the girl administering the study to come in and do whatever she’s gotta do, all the while having an inner conflict about whether or not I should take my bra off to sleep. On the one hand, it’s much more comfortable to sleep without the girls in Boob Jail and I know I’m not going to be getting much in the way of comfort during this thing. On the other hand, someone’s watching me sleep and has to wake me up in the morning and well, sometimes those things have a mind of their own.

I decide to keep it on. Better safe than sorry.

Before she hooks me up on all the machines, Lauren (my sleep study administrator) explains to me what they’ll be looking for while I sleep, which is mainly if I stop breathing or not. And if so, for how long. And also how many times that happens in an hour. Aka Sleep Apnea, which I do not want to have for a multitude of reasons I’ll get into in a minute.

She says if I’ve stopped breathing enough times by 2 a.m. for them to be concerned (15 or more), she’ll come in then and put the mask on me. So right now, we need to test to see which one I would like to use, should I win this contest I do not even want to be participating in.

The first option is a no-go for me, as it seems like the equivalent of sticking the end of a vacuum against your face, if the vacuum had tiny nostril-sized pieces and you weren’t allowed to open your mouth.

The second option is a little better, because it covers your nose like the happy gas distributor at the dentist, but I still don’t want to have to wear it if I can help it.

Especially because with it all strapped to my head and the tube hanging off of it that hooks to the machine, I look and feel like this:

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I let Lauren know I’m hoping never to have to put one of those on again for the following reasons:

– I oddly feel like I can’t breathe when the air is being forced in and out of my nose and I can’t open my mouth.

– I don’t like sleeping with things on my face.

– I’m thinking of the possibility of a future sleepover with a gentleman caller and having to pull that bad boy out when it’s time to go to sleep. Read my blogs about my dating life. I need all the help I can get in this area, apparently, and this contraption will not do me any favors in that department.

I choose the second option, should I need it, and then the process begins.

Step 1: A strap around my abdomen and a strap that goes right where they have those backpack straps that nobody uses unless they’re hiking. Guess the bra isn’t coming off, even if I change my mind.

Step 2: Vigorous pumice-stoning of my scalp, neck and back. You know what’s really good for dry winter skin on someone that has eczema? Vigorous pumice-stoning, or as my new friend Lauren calls it “exfoliating.” I’m honestly surprised I didn’t a) bleed or b) start a fire.

Step 3: Vaseline/glue-like mix on all the electrodes or whatever that are then placed all over my head and neck and two spots on my back. Oh and two spots on my legs that have also been rubbed raw with the pumice stone just to see what those do in the night.

Step 4: Microphone on the neck to listen to you snore. Taped directly onto your vocal chord. Basically. Oh and then all the wires are tightened up around your neck so really my decision to wear a V-neck because I didn’t want to feel like I was choking all night is laughable now. While Lauren attaches all this crap to me, we talk about Scientology, because I managed to get the channel changed to A&E (which is showing the Leah Remini show), thanks to the remote being located. ((PLOT TWIST, THE REMOTE WAS IN THE NIGHTSTAND THE WHOLE TIME.))

Step 5: They attach a pulse-reader thing to your index finger that is also hooked to wires that are plugged into God knows what, and if you have to go to the bathroom at this point, well, tough shit, because you are now 85 percent robot.

When you’re ready to go to sleep or 11 p.m. (whichever comes first), the administrator comes back in and basically attaches you to the wall. The wires are all plugged into this thing mounted next to the bed and there’s this little speaker right by your head she’s gonna use to communicate until morning. Sweet dreams!

Yeah. OK. Um, there you are, laying in this strange bed in a strange room covered in literally all the wires in the world, knowing that someone’s watching you. You’re worried you won’t fall asleep at all, or it’ll take forever, or you’ll drool and short out a wire, or you’ll fart and she’ll see/hear it, or you’ll stop breathing a million times so she’ll have to come put the face mask on you and…

VERY RELAXING. MUCH SCIENCE. THIS SHOULD GO SWIMMINGLY.

I could feel all the things. And rolling over was hilarious. I felt like the love child of Darth Vader and Sleeping Beauty.

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No amount of Snapchat filters could help.

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One bonus to this process, however, was when I got cold, I could ask that she adjust the temperature and also bring me another blanket and/or pillow. So I did take advantage of that. You don’t get that at home. At least not at my house.

After what seemed like 10 hours, I guess I finally fell asleep. And I guess I slept OK for a while, but it felt like 3 minutes, and then she was asking me to try and sleep on my back.

Though it isn’t evident in any of the photos you’ve seen so far in this post, I’m a side sleeper. Doesn’t matter which side, but side.

Y’all I tried to fall asleep on my back for an hour. Didn’t work. And then I utilized the speaker next to my head and asked if I could please just lay on my side for God’s sake. This was at 4 a.m. They were coming to wake me up/the study was ending at 6.

I fell back asleep for what felt like 5 minutes and then I heard the omnipresent voice of Lauren telling me it was 6:24, she’d let me sleep in, and she was coming in to “set me free.” Literally.

I don’t normally wake up at that time, so I was still pretty groggy when she came in. You know what wakes you right the fuck up though? Tape being pulled off your skin that she rubbed a layer off of the night before. More effective than coffee, goddang.

I had to fill out a survey basically about how shitty I slept compared to normal nights at home and then I was free to go. I should have added at the bottom how I believe the least they can give us in the morning for this torture is a damn doughnut.

After they removed all of the electrodes from my head I had a real nice case of Sex Hair, and I was silently thanking myself for bringing a hoodie – which I used to hide said bird’s nest hair as I Walk of Shamed it out to my car.

Good news: No sleep apnea. Other results within a couple weeks.

Better news: My depression’s still just because of those run-of-the-mill wonky brain chemicals.

Best news: No future as a Batman villain.

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Hallelujah.