I don’t need a man just pockets

As promised, I’m lightening up the subject matter this week!

Today’s beverage: coffeeeeee

Update: no beverage. Sorry folks, I started this over a week ago, but so much has happened that this here little post got set on the back burner.

Things have been cray cray to say the least

Tough Mudder…check

Housing offer accepted…check

GOT FRIGGIN ENGAGED!!…check

But I promised you all a post about pockets, and that’s what you’re gonna get.

So, back to the task at hand…

Alright ladies, say it with me… “It haaaasssss pockets!”

We’ve all said it, followed by immediately placing hands in said pockets and twirling. Do men do this? No, men are just like oh hey… pants.

Don’t even get me started on the absolute heartbreak that is fake pockets. And before you ask, no I don’t mean the pockets in fancy clothes where you need a seam ripper to open them. I’m talking 100% fake, aesthetic pockets. All the exterior stitch work with none of the interior practicality. Beauty truly is only skin deep y’all.

Now before I dive in here, I am aware that no one is making me buy the clothes I buy. No one is forcing me to wear make-up and attempt to do things with my hair. But here we are.

Side note, I recently learned how to do French braid pigtails and I am flying high right now.

Now, I like to consider myself independent, but in a highly inconsistent and unpredictable way. So I guess actually I’m just stubborn. It’s real cute. Ask anyone. And I try to live by the rule my dad implemented when we were wee children: you stay home until you can carry your own snacks. If I’m going to make the effort to leave the house and venture out into the world, I’m going to be responsible for my own shit. Everything I need for the venture will be carried on my person. I do not enjoy asking people to carry my things for me. They’re mine.

This would be so much easier if any of my clothes served any sort of functional purpose whatsoever! Women’s clothing is a scam, it’s a racket I tell ya. Unless all I have is an old-timey pocket watch, I’m not going to carry all my belongings in my jeans. And the number of times I’ve been bamboozled by a fake jacket pocket has given me severe trust issues. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY HANDS?!

This brings me to my next point. To those of you at home saying to yourself, “why do women carry so much in their purses,” well first of all it’s none of your damn business . But if we are pretending that your opinion on my personal belongings matters, here’s the scoop. If I have to carry a whole ass bag with me, I might as well fill it!

Ever seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall and his coworker show up to their first day of work with briefcases full of candy bars? Hi, I’m Brigid. Present and accounted for!

Besides, have you ever seen a guy in cargo pants? I mean do you neeeeed to carry that Swiss Army knife with you or your all-purpose tool? No probably not. Most of us rarely find ourselves in unexpected MacGuyver situations, but since you have 1,009 pockets, why not? Actually, while you’re at it, carry some tampons in there and help a girl out.

Next up let’s have a chat about running shorts. My fiancé (WHAT WHAT) goes for the occasional jaunt around the neighborhood, and his running shorts have pockets that could for sure fit a phone. My shorts on the other hand could for sure fit a quarter, which is useful if I also have a time machine to take me back to the early 2000s so I could find a pay phone. It’s ironic because everyone says that women should be carrying mace and weapons so we don’t get murdered, but we have to buy more accessories to accommodate them. Honestly, if we just make everywhere a safe space, that would be ideal, but I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts, so we know that’s not the case. Also, I don’t run with mace or pepper spray or whatever the legal version of it is because I would likely just spray myself in the face, doing the criminal’s job for them.

Basically this whole post is a pointless rant about form over function. Pointless, because I will not be changing really any of my buying habits. But sometimes it feels nice to just yell for a few minutes. If you’ve ever used the HBO app on a PlayStation, you may understand what I’m saying. You can yell at the app all you want when it inevitable crashes, but there’s still a lot of episodes of the Wire left, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to see where McNulty’s questionable parenting tactics take him.

In conclusion, stayed tuned for next weekend’s newest installment of Brigid’s Stream of Consciousness.

Instead of my usual closing statement, I’ll leave you with this…

HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL

🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

M is for May; M is for Mental Health; M is for My Story

Trigger warning: this post discusses mental health and eating disorder behavior, specifically bulimia. If that’s not for you, come back for the next one!

Note: as many of my readers already know, I write my personal experiences from a humorous lens. This does not mean that I do not take the following issues seriously. That is just my method of expression.

May is coming to a close, which means it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. This post is actually one I’ve been sitting on since February. I have mentioned in the past that some of my posts just turn into random streams of consciousness. This was one of those posts. I wrote this post during Eating Disorder Awareness week and never published it. After making some edits, I have decided that, in the words of Rafiki from The Lion King, It is Time.

As is my way, I still plug in sarcasm and self-deprecating humor. Enjoy! Or not. I’m not your boss, just your friendly neighborhood Spiderman…I mean blogger.

Today’s beverage: coffee, black…aka 75% of my bloodstream

Let’s start from the beginning.

I was in middle school when I decided that I was obese. No one ever called me fat. Because I wasn’t, and also that would just be rude. I mean, I even had a 6-pack, something that I managed to define as a personality trait and have been desperately clinging to ever since.

I distinctly remember the summer going in to 8th grade, being up at camp (Lakehouse if you will. Apparently, “camp” is a regional term, and all through college my teammates thought my parents owned a summer camp, which is comical) and trying to see how little I could eat and still get through the day. Fortunately, my mom shut that down real fast. Thanks momma bear.

After expressing concern about not being as thin as some of the girls on one of my soccer teams, my dad tried to impart some wisdom on me.

You see, I take after my dad. We are a short people with long torsos and muscular legs. In my early adult life, this spurred the “hip to tit ratio,” where me and my tall friends would line up our hip bones and point to the nips, determining that our torsos were indeed the same length. It’s an accurate form of measurement, I swear. It’s science.

But I digress.

Back to the wisdom.

“You’re an athlete. Athletes aren’t supposed to be skinny.”

Bless. His. Stubby-Legged. Soul.

At the time, this was devastating to me because all I’d ever wanted to be was skinny.

Here’s the thing: he’s right! The wording could use some polishing, but this is a sentiment that should be shouted from the rooftops on a daily basis. Come at my dad and you are gonna catch these hands.

At that point I was always on 2 or 3 soccer teams, and I was also an Irish dancer. I briefly dabbled in gymnastics, but since I can’t even touch my toes, that was a no-go. There was no world in which I wasn’t going to be muscular, and he was constantly trying his damndest to remind me of that and to help me realize that it was a good thing.

Switching from soccer to running created a whole set of new insecurities, like the transition from baggy soccer shorts to “bun-huggers”. I was “recruited” by the cross country coach at my high school during my freshman year of JV soccer. Part of this was because my brother was an incredible runner. The other part was that my biggest assets to the soccer team were that I could beat the opposing team to the ball, and I could run the length of the field all day long without getting tired. I knew this. Teams I played against in club leagues over the years knew that despite being less technically skilled, I could shut a player out of the game. It once resulted in me getting slapped in the face by a very talented and very frustrated player.

Anyway, off I went to the world of distance running. And I loved it. I still do. But nothing is perfect, and I have covered this topic in detail in my post “A forgone conclusion.

In college, I struggled with reminders (99% of which were in my own head) that I wasn’t “built like distance runner,” which is something I strived for. I felt like a failure. One night in a bar, a drunk townie told us he was going to guess what our track events were. This resulted in a heated argument with a drunken asshole in which I felt I had to prove I was a runner because in his opinion, I was too big. Specifically, my legs were too big. The kicker is that he was still saying I was clearly an athlete, just not a distance runner, but I felt the need to argue until he accepted that I was like the rest of my team.

Fast forward a few years, and I still have my beloved 6-pack, but in my mind, the scale reflected failure: a weight gain of 5 pounds. Unfortunately for me, I base my “ideal weight” on what I was when I was 18, despite being…not 18. In my mind, there’s no reason that should change since my height hasn’t changed. I mean, I was older, no longer racing competitively, going to school, and working multiple jobs, but yeah, let’s just continue to base everything on me still being 5’2″. Real smart, Brigid. To be clear, I’m aware that this makes zero logical sense. The facepalm is real.

Right out of college I started training for my first marathon instead of taking a break after 8 years of racing my way through high school and college. I also got in to a bit of an unhealthy relationship. You could say I was crushing it.

I love running and I love racing, but when I was told by my then-boyfriend that he would no longer date me if I ever stopped training, it felt mandatory. At the time, I accepted his reasoning that he wanted to be proud of me and that he wanted to date someone who understood his lifestyle as a runner.

That relationship ended, and I jumped right in to another one, also a runner. So close Brigid, so close. I was looking for someone to coach me, and I went to him…because he was a local coach! He said he would, but he also told me that as long as he was my coach, the subject of my weight would always be on the table. He convinced me that every pound I lost could mean one second faster around the track.

I over trained. I got injured. I was a burden to his training. Running lost a lot of its appeal. That relationship also lost its appeal to me so I ended via text message between beers from a bar in Florida while my friend stepped away to use the bathroom. Girl Boss!!

Life after grad school and toxic boys hasn’t been all roses though. After to moving to a new city and making new friends, I stopped working out as much and drinking more, which honestly I feel like just goes with the territory, and I’m good with it. New city, new people, new bars. Also, “stopped working out as much” only entailed a drop from 75 mile weeks to 50-60 mile weeks.

My mid-twenties became a turning point. Despite dealing with mild, undiagnosed anxiety and depression for years, this is when things took a nosedive. My anxiety has always manifested itself as nausea. As a result, I fell back on a behavior I taught myself in college for dealing with feeling sick. In my senior year of college, whenever I was hung over, I’d make myself throw because it would settle my stomach, and then I would go eat brunch and go about my Sunday, calling alumni and asking them to give all their money to the school…like as a job, not some weird hobby of mine. Despite the constant protests of my roommate, I rationalized the puking by saying that I was doing it so I could feel better and eat something and get on with my day. She vehemently disagreed, but *shrug* .

So fast forward to age 24. I would eat a meal, a perfectly reasonably sized meal, feel nauseous, and throw up. The thing is, I couldn’t have really been that sick, since I was the one making myself throw up. I also didn’t connect that the nausea was my anxiety around food and weight.

It wasn’t a secret from anyone, really. But you can make anything make sense if you bend the facts. I mean, have you ever used the internet? You can also make a situation sound less serious if you laugh it off, a skill I’ve fine tuned, to toot my own horn. If someone mentioned “bulimia” I would deny it because I wasn’t binging. I would argue that the food just wasn’t sitting well. It was just a “perk” that I saw results on the scale that made me happy (problematic, I know). I got back down to my ideal weight. I was also seeing blood every time I threw up.

This all stopped for a bit after I got mono. I lost a ton of weight because I was sick, and so I was happy with the number on my scale.

When my anxiety hit its peak a few years ago, I realized the same action could put an end to a panic attack. The smallest things could send me into a tailspin. At my peak of 3 panic attacks a day, I was purging pretty much everything I ate.

At the encouragement of my lovely mom, I finally went to my doctor for help. Unfortunately, the medication I was put on was not right for me, and I was not prepared for the side effects. My anxiety went through the roof, I lost my appetite to the point that I was forcing myself just to get through 400-500 calories a day. Oh, and I was still exercising. And I was still, somehow, purging. I wasn’t sleeping. I lost over 10 pounds in the course of a week, and then I lost my fucking mind.

I went from CPEP, to a partial inpatient program (self-dubbed the Island of Misfit Toys), to finding my own therapist and prescriber. Along the way, whenever I described what was going on, people kept asking me if I counted things. I could not figure out what they were getting at. Am I being casted for Sesame Street? Am I Mr. Owl?

Then I got my diagnoses: GAD and Depression (no surprise there) and OCD. I was so confused. In my mind, OCD was cleaning everything and turning the lights on and off. My electric bill clearly shows that my light switches have never seen the “off” position.

OCD definition from psychiatry.org: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).

I slipped under the radar because I didn’t see my compulsions as compulsions.

I slipped under the radar because most of us only have surface level definitions of mental health.

We’ve all heard it. Most of us have even been guilty of it.

“Oh I keep my house clean. I’m OCD.”

“I like to write in pencil, because I’m OCD.”

Nah, you’re just tidy.

Anywhoooo back to me.

I started new meds, and my mental health improved in the sense that I wasn’t checking myself back in to CPEP and the purging subsided. But then new side effects of the meds hit, and I started gaining weight. During this time, I had accepted that I needed to put my fitness on the back burner (to an extent) in order to recover some of my mental and physical health, but I was still working out and eating the same, so the change shouldn’t have been as drastic as it was.

I gained 20 pounds, and I hated myself. In my mind, I was a failure. I argued to get my meds changed, because while I wasn’t having panic attacks, the weight gain sent my mental health back down the tubes like one of those water slides that ends in a giant toilet bowl before it spits you out into the pool.

I started purging again. And it became the first time I ever admitted out loud that while the vomiting was still mainly a compulsion to stop panic, I was also purging to lose weight. This got me a med change, and that’s honestly the only reason I said anything. I needed to lose weight.

I started losing weight, and I started training for a marathon. Not only that, I set out for a PR. Makes sense, right? My last marathon had been like 3 years prior and I had barely run in the last year.

*facepalm*

Not surprisingly, training didn’t go well. Feeling like I was failing brought panic and purging back to my life. I stopped training and things got better, and I stopped purging. Then they got worse, and better, and worse, and so on.

Mental health isn’t linear. It is a constant battle between your emotional and logical mind. And sometimes I think people fail to realize that. I have times that I feel great, and I have times that I feel like shit is hitting the fan and spraying back into my face. (pretty image, right? I have a real way with words, I know).

Mental Health is also not one-sided. Yes, my purging is (albeit negative) coping mechanism for stress, it is also at times a function of bulimia. There are so many moving parts, and all of those parts need to be addressed.

So that’s my story, or at least part of my story. This post is already long enough. As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the fact that understanding that you’re not alone in your problems takes a huge burden off your shoulders. Mental illness comes with a stigma that is problematic and undeserved, but the more we talk about it and bring it into the light, the less frightening it becomes. So this is me, shining a little light on the subject. Hope ya don’t mind!

In lieu of my usual sign-off, visit I’m leaving you with the link for the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

And don’t worry, next post we will be back to our usual programming. As a preview, here’s a working title: I don’t need a man; I just need pockets.

I do have a man, though, and I love him, and I’m keeping him. But like, functional pockets would be cool.

Ok Boomer, you win this time

Today’s beverage: coffee on an airplane

Leavinggggggg on an airplane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Just kidding, I have a return ticket for Sunday.

I hate flying, so I figured maybe I’ll write to pass the time and see what I come up with. Ladies and gentlemen, buckle those seatbelts, secure those tray tables, and hold on to your butts. We are headed to North Carolina for a girls’ weekend!!!

This is actually my first of three trips to North Carolina scheduled for this summer. If you know me (hi mom) you know that I have a brother in North Carolina, so you’d think this would be a great schedule to see my biggest brother, right? Nah. He is literally not in the state of NC for any of this trips!

Of course this would happen, because one of my friends on the trip has been saying for about 6 years that I made him up because she’s never met him. So I’m sure she’s “shocked” that he’s conveniently out of town this weekend. But he’s real, I swear! He’s just way too smart and successful and in demand at his job.

But anywayyysss, I’m sure you noticed that none of that has anything to do with the title of this entry.

Another thing that has nothing to do with the title? I have press on nails currently, and typing is so. fucking. hard. Like this is going to take me forever. But as I said, irrelevant.

No, this post is going to be about realizing that living like you’re in your early twenties would kill you now. I remember being in college and my dad told me that in his thirties he had a dream that he missed all of his finals and woke up in a panic. He said it was a real nightmare. And I just sat there like ok boomer, I have night terrors but go off.

But then it happened. I had the dream. The first one was a few years ago. I got lost on campus and missed my finals. Another time I realized halfway through the semester that I skipped two whole courses. Last night it was that I never handed anything in and flunked out.

And folks, the boomer was right! It’s awful!!! Sometimes I wake up from these dreams and almost need to go track down my diplomas to remind myself I finished all the things. I give so much respek to adult learners. I would not be able to hack it.

And it’s here that I ask myself, when did I get so old? There were definitely signs along the way. I had a MySpace. I have a Facebook. I have no fucking clue how to TikTok. I did not own a crop top or high waisted jeans in college. That last one is a real bummer because it sure would have been nice to discover that trend when I still had a six-pack. I was sub-tweeted when I didn’t even have a Twitter since I didn’t have a smart phone. Here’s looking at you, girl who wanted to fight me because I politely asked for my jacket back after you stole it.

It wasn’t until I was confronted with the idea of having to go back to school because my dreams told me that I never finished that I looked into the mirror and said, “I’m too old for this shit.”

I could not do college again. Or at the very least, I couldn’t do college how I did it the first time. I remember one Sunday, after beach party, rolling into the locker room for the long run. I was 5 minutes late, I was not coming from my own home, which it’s not what you think (not that it matters if I was coming from a night of getting railed), but I used to sleep at one of the other track houses all the time. Anyway, I roll in with nothing but a granola bar and probably beer in my stomach, and nothing but a bikini and a sweatshirt on my body. And then I ran 16 miles and went to brunch. Now I can’t have a beer within 72 hours of a long run, or I’m pretty sure I’d die.

Even beyond the party aspect of college, which I know was pretty minimal compared to the average college experience since I was an athlete, I don’t think I could handle it in general. I mean, all nighters to write a paper? My bedtime is firmly set at 10pm. I’d fail everything. And to think I didn’t discover coffee until grad school! My college roommate gifted me with a pretty solid caffeine habit.

I feel like in general I’m just not suited for college life anymore. I was much more resilient back then. The world and life hadn’t quite knocked me down yet. I lived in a “garden apartment,” which we all know is just a nice way to say I lived in a basement, and we had ants. Because it was a basement. One day in class I pull out my laptop, and I’m typing away, when all of the sudden, ANTS START CRAWLING OUT FROM THE KEYBOARD! At the time I just put the laptop in my backpack before we had a locusts descending on Egypt situation. If that happened now I’d need to set up an emergency appointment with my therapist, and I’d have to set the thing on fire.

Speaking of things that would cause absolute trauma now, I once blew the circuit in our apartment. The breaker was in the landlord’s basement, which shared a door with our apartment (proof we lived in a basement). As a result, the door to the basement is supposed to be unlocked, at least on their side, at all times. Our side was a different story. While our landlord was very nice, my roommate and I had some feelings about the guy living with her, who we didn’t discover until years later was her nephew. So the door stayed locked.

Why were we not on Team Random Man? Let me paint you a word picture. Don’t worry, it all circles back around to my original point. Bear with me.

It’s not rare for college athletic teams to have items that are passed down from class to class. For us, it was a mannequin leg. All the seniors would sign it when they graduated and it would go to a younger house. My junior year it found its home in my apartment. After Christmas break I respond to a knock on the door from the landlord’s mystery boy. When I open the door, he’s standing there with a mannequin leg. Questions pop into mind. Where did you get that? Why do you have it? How did you know we had one? WHY DA FUCK WERE YOU IN OUR APARTMENT?

So now that you have that background, let’s go back to the power outage. I unlock the door from our side to the basement, but it won’t open. We are supposed to have access, so I’m sitting there like, imma get this door open. After pushing with all the might in my little runner body, it opens. So you may be asking, was it locked by accident? Nope. ‘‘Twas not. It was blocked shut….BY A PILE OF MANNEQUIN PARTS.

Now as an adult, this would be the point where I pack my shit and move home for the rest of my life. But because college students have zero living standards, I just flipped the breaker and went about my day.

Thirty year old me and twenty year old me have very different guidelines for fuckupedness. That’s a word; don’t worry about it.

Update: adding an airport beer to the works

Back to business.

The moral of the story here is that I never thought something so innocent as dreaming about missing a college class would cause me such distress, especially compared to the fact that I routinely wake up convinced that someone is standing over my face, but here we are. The boomer was right. You win this time. Also, I know my dad reads this, so don’t worry dad I love you! Except for the first day of your retirement when you were on the roof at 7am doing construction work. It may have been 11 years ago but I remember being so rudely awakened by someone who was supposed to be RELAXING!

What these dreams taught me is that despite the fact that I hate that my joints are crackly and my resilience in the face of nonsense scenarios has gone down the toilet, I’m not sure I’d trade it for going back to college. Because I’m tired. And I know, almost-30 is not old. I’m still a spring chicken. I’m in my prime (To my boyfriend, you can still put a ring on it any day now). It’s just a slower prime than it once was.

And since all this reminiscing is bringing me back to my college days, I want to leave you on a fun story. It’s my cousin’s favorite, and it really is a classic example of college kids being hella dumb.

To set the scene: winter after Christmas break my senior year. It’s cold. It’s the middle of the night.

All of the sudden, the carbon monoxide detector goes off. It does its job and wakes up me and my roommate. Now at this point we had already had a gas leak just a few months prior, so this should have been especially concerning.

So I crawl out of bed and check the detector, and as you likely know, there’s usually a guide on the back with different beep patterns and corresponding instructions. This particular pattern said “move to fresh air.” Ok, that’s easy. So I take the detector, PUT IT OUTSIDE, and go back to bed.

Fortunately, I realized that this didn’t seem right. In reality, it was fortunate that it ended up just being a malfunction, but we didn’t know this at that point. So I call the fire department, not 9-1-1, because it’s still not occurring to us that this is a real problem. I went to college in a rural area. We got the fire department’s voicemail! This led to a very casual 9-1-1 call, which led to a somewhat less casual argument with the operator as to whether or not we could just stand near a window as opposed to going outside because “we feel fine, and it’s cold!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I currently possess a masters degree.

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

Look Ma, nice words!

Today’s beverage: I mean I did have a mimosa after my workout this morning. That counts, right?

It’s Mother’s Day, y’all! So why not write some nice things about the lady who made me!

I’ve been wildly fortunate to have the mom that I have. She’s more than just a mom to me; she’s also my best friend. It’s a real Hallmark movie up in here, minus the part of the movie where someone gets murdered.

To be cliche as fuck, it’s impossible to pinpoint the specific reasons that my mom is the amazing human that she is. She’s just always been there to be supportive, to set an example, to be a shoulder to cry on (literally- she’s pretty short), and to be a source of inappropriate humor.

When my brothers and I were little, my mom was a NICU nurse, and my dad was a police officer. This meant alternating day and night shifts, getting home from a long day of work and seeing that we were all taken care of for the next parental shift. It is here that I learned that if I want to be a working mom, I can make it work.

When my mom had to leave her job for medical reasons, she jumped into the role as room mother at school. She was there year after year, helping with projects. It’s here I learned that a working mom is not necessarily someone with a paycheck. Being a mom is a job in so many ways. It is also here that I learned that I did not inherit my mom’s skill for arts and crafts.

In these years, my mom showed me that her capacity for being a mom was far-reaching beyond just her DNA. She was able to find the kids that needed support, kids that lacked the stable home life that I was fortunate to have, and she brought them right into our family. While at times I was not on board with sharing, I know now that her example is something I will always strive to live up to.

Ok, this paragraph shows I was hella spoiled, so buckle up. I’d like to think I wasn’t a brat, but it probably depends who you ask. Every morning I woke up, and part of my breakfast would be made for me. And it’s not like she wasn’t busy! I left for school every day with a packed lunch and snack money (I was an athlete, get at me). I never even spent the snack money. At the end of each month I’d dump out a backpack full of dollar bills like some sort of unsuccessful stripper. I mean $60 a month? Clearly I wouldn’t have been doing something right.

As I aged into the years where popular television told me I was supposed to be angsty and rebel, my mom and I stayed inseparable. We didn’t fight. Ironically, this made the times when we did have disagreements more difficult because we didn’t know how to handle it. I can’t remember a time when I ever felt embarrassed of her, of a time when I didn’t want her around. I mean, she’s a badass, why wouldn’t I want her around? Her humor and sarcasm is rivaled by none, though her ability to cuss like a sailor is a trait that I think my dad wishes I hadn’t inherited.

She taught me to be a strong woman, to push back against the concept of conceding just to be ladylike. She taught me to fight for the things I want. She taught me that as a woman, there is no shame in taking pride in your work and capabilities. She taught me that I have a voice, and that voice can be used to challenge others. She taught me to stand up for myself, to be an advocate for myself and those who can’t advocate for themselves.

My mom was (and is) unstoppable. She hand-made Halloween costumes, she attended concerts, she was at track meets and soccer games. She curled my hair for dance competitions. Neither of us did my makeup because we had no idea what to do.

Once I hit college, our relationship remained strong, despite the distance. She is the mom I want to be for my kids. I was able to seek her advice on drinking, on boys, on sex; there were no limits. And her advice was never “don’t do it.” Instead, she was able to teach me how to take risks safely. She was the safety net for when I tested my limits. She was my sounding board when I was unsure of what I wanted in life.

My mom took me to get my first two tattoos. When I got my second one, she even got one with me! If I remember correctly, she actually paid for my first one.

I’m so grateful for our relationship because I know many people don’t have that. Sometimes I take that for granted.

Case and point: my first foray into birth control when I was in college.

I remember going to the college health center for birth control. I guess they’re used to students paying out of pocket so their parents don’t find out. But my mom already knew. I told the staff I could just go through my insurance. Well, I’m not sure if they didn’t believe me or if they thought I was out of my mind, but the nurse handed me a piece of paper and told me if I filled it out, I get my prescription for free. College students are hard-wired to accept free things. It’s science. So anyway, I fill out the form and off I go. Fast forward to my next trip home when I discover that I’m now receiving food stamps. The school signed me up for welfare! They did me a bamboozle! And my parents are sitting there like, you know we don’t care, right?!

Side note: it was very difficult to remedy this mistake. Not wanting to use resources I didn’t need, I tried to remove myself from the program. No one on the phone seemed to understand why I’d want out. I eventually just gave up and mailed the card back to them with a note that said “no thanks.”

One of the best things about my mom is that her unending support is paired with a non-judgmental wit and sarcasm that makes life fun. I remember pointing out a wedding dress I liked on TV one day while she was cleaning, and without breaking stride she just said, “too bad you can’t wear white anymore.” Some of you may think that’s inappropriate. And to that I say, calm da fuck down. Because remember, this is the same woman who helped me to be safe when navigating the world of dating and boys. The only reason she could even make that joke is because we had already built the foundation in our relationship that allowed us to share those details.

A few years ago, when my mental health truly bottomed out, she dropped everything and drove 2.5 hours to pick me up from CPEP (psychiatric ER). When I laughed at the fact that a visitor asked me if I worked there despite the fact that I was wearing running clothes and a blanket and my shoes had been confiscated, she laughed along with me while others responded with concerned stares. When I referred (privately and never to another patient) to the partial inpatient program that was a condition of my release as “The Island of Misfit Toys,” she accepted the name.

While some people may have treated me like glass in this situation, she understood that I needed to find humor in my situation to cope, because it’s a strategy I learned from her. I mean, when my mom had cancer, she renamed the oncologist “the cancer palace.”

She taught me that when life gives you lemons, you don’t have to make lemonade. You can actually tell those lemons to fuck right off.

Looking back at all of our years together, I can only think of one time that we struggled to see eye to eye. After living on my own through grad school, I moved home. I had just gotten out of a very controlling relationship, and I was trying to make up for lost time. At this point in time, my parents were living at our camp, and I had my childhood home to myself. When they were home, I’d stay out all night and not say anything. This is super fun for parents that spent their lives as first responders. I was working three jobs, one of which was at a bar, and I lived my life like I was some sort of alcoholic raccoon. I was never home unless I was sleeping and to scrounge through the house for whatever food I could eat, and then I’d leave to repeat the process. Dark under eye circles included, I probably even looked like a trash panda at times.

And we fought. And it was totally my fault. I barely took care of myself, so that’s a good indication of what I did to their house. At that time, I lived selfishly, and I will always feel bad about that.

But I eventually pulled my head out of my butt, and now we are back better than ever. It’s a good thing too, because being friends with your mom as a kid is great, but being friends with your mom as an adult? That’s the dream.

So in summary, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. You are my best friend, my hero, my compass, my momma bear.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

To the biological moms, the adoptive moms, the foster moms, the women taking care of siblings/grandchildren/nieces&nephews, to the guardians, to the dads pulling double duty as dad and mom, to the moms who’ve lost their children and the moms who’ve lost their babies before they even got to meet them, to the women who’ve had to move heaven and earth to become mothers, to the women seen as mother figures by people in their lives, to the stepmoms, and to any other mothers I’ve missed, Happy Mother’s Day.

And instead of my usual catchphrase, I will end on this:

To people who think it’s funny to say they’re pregnant as a prank…be better.

Early Pandemic Brigid Can Catch These Hands

Today’s beverage: Michelob Ultra…3 weeks out from the beach y’all!!!!

Guys, I’m tired. Like I’m just wiped. out. This week has felt so long.

It’s not that I haven’t been sleeping. I mean, I’ve never slept well, but like I just feel like sleep is not my problem. I have strong negative feelings towards anyone who can just put their head on a pillow and just fall asleep. It’s just not right.

In general, I’m just not a great sleeper. I take forever to fall asleep, and I wake up a lot during the night. And no, it’s not because of a prostate problem, like in the commercials, because I don’t have one, obvs.

No, I’ve come to terms with the fact that sleep would not go on my resume as a skill. I will say that recently, my boyfriend’s snoring problem hasn’t made things any easier.

To clarify, the fact that my boyfriend snores is not the problem. He can’t help it.

The problem is the fact that he snores like a fucking psychopath. I woke up the other night to a very terrifying knocking sound. After spending about 15 minutes trying to identify the noise and deciding who should inherit my jigsaw puzzles when I’m murdered, I discovered that the knocking sound was snoring. I shit you not, the man throws his voice like a ventriloquist when he snores. Add that to the fact that his snores are not noises that should exit the human noise/mouth area and you’ve got a real situation on your hands.

Now, I accept that I’m not always a dream either during my REM cycle. I have this really fun habit in which I will occasionally experience night terrors several nights in a row with no warning. These started back in college. It’s fun for everyone involved, really.

Let me paint you a word picture: I’m sleeping. Peaceful as a lamb. Then I “wake up” and there is 100% without a doubt someone standing over me. So I immediately throw the closest object at them as hard as I can. This object is always a pillow. Because that’s for sure going to help me out with a real intruder.

So that’s the fun part for me. The fun for the other person comes when I do actually wake up, but I’m still terrified and freak out on whoever’s closest to me. Again, usually with a pillow. This time it truly is a good thing.

But I digress. Because as I already said, this is not about sleep. I just can’t pass up a good tangent.

I’m tired because my main personality trait is burning the candle at both ends. And then for funsies, I go ahead and set the middle on fire as well.

I’m finding myself to be suddenly committed to various athletic events, and to say I’m unprepared is an understatement.

So here’s the thing. What had happened was, early pandemic Brigid made the mistake of thinking that a pandemic was the perfect time to get back into the best shape of my life. And I know, I’m not the only one who made that foolish decision. I have Instagram. I get it. This is my first pandemic, and I didn’t understand the rules. I didn’t know that the goal is just to, like, exist to the best of my ability until the world starts to straighten itself out.

The result of this is that I’m currently signed up for two half marathons and the Tough Mudder, all between May and June. In fact, the second half marathon is the week after the Tough Mudder. How did this chaos happen? Deferrals. That’s how. All the races I signed up for last year got moved to this year. Since I have the memory of a goldfish, I forgot and signed up for new races this year.

RUN ALL THE RACES!!

So now I’m trying to learn how to run more than 5 miles at a time again. I’m also trying to get myself to finally be able to do a pull-up. I’m still teaching spin, and I’m hell-bent on getting my six pack back. Essentially, everything is about to fall off. It’s great.

And the kicker is I’m sure there are more things that I signed up for, and now I just have to wait until they pop up. It’s a mess. I’m a mess.

How tired am I? I dozed off during Peaky Blinders! Because nothing relaxes you more than wondering who’s next to get their eyes sliced out by razor blades, right? This is especially risky, because falling asleep on the floor when the rabbit is looking for attention is a good way to get bit. You don’t mess with the Peaky Fucking Bunnies.

Had to do it. Not sorry.

I’ve also been running slow as molasses, which is fun. There’s nothing better than taking a peak at your watch and finding out that you’re going about a minute per mile slower than usual. It’s a real confidence builder going into a race.

To top this all off, my first race is a trail race. Last year, I decided I’d try my hand at trail races. There’s nothing too outlandish about that. The part that makes you facepalm is that my logic was to immediately go for the half marathon. Honestly I’m surprised I didn’t try and track down a full marathon right off the bat. Shit, if I knew how to do it, I’d probably have signed up for the Barkley Marathons.

Note: if you have not watched The Barkley Marathons: the race that eats its young, you need to. Like right now. Finish reading this post, then watch. Even if you don’t run, it’s wildly interesting because Lazarus is a crazy person and I’d like to adopt him as my grandfather.

Don’t worry, though. I corrected my mistake by finding a small trail 5k a few months back. All better, right? Nope. I decided to choose a race that involved running up a ski mountain and essentially making a controlled fall back down. But hey, I came in second! And then I got bit by a dog. That part is irrelevant, but here we are.

Circling back, Brigid is an exhausted son of a gun. I’m not sure if this epitome of “stream of consciousness” was a clear enough symbol of my current physical and cognitive state, so I figure I’ll spell it right out for ya. I’m nice that way. I care about my audience.

So why don’t I take a break? It’s just not in my nature. Why take care of yourself appropriately when you can just run yourself into the ground and then reset later. This whole thing is clearly Future Brigid’s problem. Live in the now, people.

I should take an example from my dog. Yesterday, Littlefoot got up at 10am and went outside to pee, came in and ate breakfast, and plopped her butt down on the couch. It was 5pm before I realized I plum forgot about her existence because she NEVER MOVED. This dog can nap. She’s taking a nap right now. Life for her is a spectator sport.

Honestly, the most frustrating part of this whole week is the fact that all I’ve wanted to do is write, but I literally have not been able to figure out what to write about. Writing is such a relaxing activity for me, and weirdly enough, it’s an effective method of resetting my brain. But I can’t write if I don’t have anything to write about! Hence today’s stream of nonsense. The main benefit here is that I actually feel better now than I did when I started this post. That may also be the beer, but who knows.

This does give me an idea, though. I’m gonna try something with you all; a choose your own adventure of sorts. If you follow me, and you have a topic about life in general that you’d like to see if I can’t put a few hundred coherent words together about, send it on over. If you don’t follow me, get off ya butt and follow me. And then you too can participate in the fun. This may ultimately be an unwise decision and I obviously have the ability to veto any topic I choose, but hey, toss it in the comments and see what happens.

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

Like the Grinch, except I can’t pull off green

Today’s beverage: hot tea

After one (or five) too many Michelob Ultras last night, my liver needed a break.

Did you miss me?! I know it’s been a bit since I wrote, but I had important things to do. I finally got to meet my niece!!! My family is scattered over several states, and this dang pandemic kept me away from the World’s greatest baby for the first four months of her life.

But now I’ve returned, and it’s time to this whole blog thing back underway.

Gather round boys and girls, because we’re gonna talk about birthdays! I’m turning the big 3-0 this year. Hence the age-based life crisis. Good-bye 20’s, hello to being that age where if you tell someone you’re pregnant, they’re not sure if you did it on purpose.

I AM NOT PREGNANT. THAT WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE.

I thought I’d feel more like an adult at this point. But instead, I eat Lunchables on a routine basis, and I usually have to look up the instructions for baking a potato on the internet. At the same time, I’m trying to buy a house and I have a favorite bourbon. I’m all over the place.

Like, I have gray hairs, but I also still like poop jokes.

I can’t drink without a hangover, but I can still buy children’s shoes.

I have a 401k, but I still don’t go on vacation without running it by my parents.

You get the idea.

Anyway, I love birthday parties. I love party games, party snacks, party booze, the whole shebang. I mean hell, I have a piñata hanging in my kitchen from my boyfriend’s Super Soft Birthday Party, and that was a month ago. His name is Wallace, and I love him.

Here’s the catch. I only like these things when they are not mine.

That’s right, I do not celebrate my birthday.

*GASP!*

When I was younger, I loved my birthday. I remember a lot of my birthday parties, and they. were. lit. In preschool, two boys got in a fist fight after one saw the other kiss me. You can’t pay for the that type of chaos. Seriously. You can’t. That would be highly illegal. I learned that on a episode of Law & Order. Baby fight club = jail. Dun Dunn.

Then there were the cakes. My mom was superstar when it came to birthday cakes. She could make anything out of a cake, and there was none of the fondant bull shit. Paul Hollywood would be giving out handshakes at warp speed. My favorite was a gumball machine, but all the gum balls were Skittles. One year for my brother she made two cakes. My brother wanted a cheesecake, but it turns out most other elementary school children don’t want cheesecake at a birthday party. Idiots.

Back to me.

My birthday falls during a great part of the year. It’s not like it’s near Christmas, like my brother. (SUCKS TO SUCK) I always got to bring popsicles to school, and some years it fell on our field days.

Here’s the thing about birthdays as an adult though. As much as I love celebrating people’s birthdays with them, there’s a line. I’m sorry, but you don’t get a “birthday month.” You get a day. Maybe a couple days if your schedule doesn’t allow for celebration with loved ones.

I feel like I should end this post with “and get off my yard!”

What happened to me to make me such a birthday Scrooge? It’s not like anyone pooped on my cake. Nobody punched me in the face at my party. Even the guy I accidentally threw an entire shot, glass and all, at on my 21st was super nice about it. I just don’t celebrate it. I have my reasons, and that should be that.

Right?

WRONG

Who would have thought that me not wanting to celebrate a day that I guess is technically about me, would be such a problem for other people.

People do not like it when I say I don’t do my birthday. They want to “fix it.” Like ok, thanks for the sentiment, girl who just started dating my friend about 3 days ago, but it likely won’t be you who turns this ship around.

You’d think I’d cancelled Christmas. And I didn’t! Because as I’ve already said, my birthday is not at Christmas time!

To keep people from going rogue, I’ve actually stopped sharing when my birthday is. Now, I’m not dumb. I know that a lot of people know the date. But I also know that unless it comes up as a Facebook reminder, you’re likely not going to think about it until about 3 days late.

We’ve all been there.

For example, let’s say I have a friend who’s birthday is August 3rd.

Me on August 2nd: ok, Lucinda’s birthday is tomorrow.

Me on August 3rd: ….

Me on August 7th: FUCK. I DID IT AGAIN.

I bank on those exact brain farts. That, and the assumption that others will just accept my decision. And why wouldn’t you?! Now you don’t have to buy me a present! I’m saving you money. Hey hey you’re welcomeeee.

I do know one person that didn’t care that it was my birthday. The police officer that gave me a speeding ticket a few years back for going 70 in a 55. I’m not even mad. I respect the commitment.

You want to have yourself a birthday party? I’m all in. I even have a specific birthday party t-shirt, courtesy of Letterkenny and Etsy. Where do you think I drank all those Michelob Ultras on Saturday? That’s right, a birthday party. And where do you think my headache did not improve today? That’s right, a 5 year old’s birthday party. Both parties got two thumbs up in my book. If anything, today’s party was better because it was Disney Princess themed, and the other one was just beer-themed. Either way, both parties had a dog, so both were a success.

Speaking of multiple parties in one weekend, do you know who doesn’t mind my lack of fucks given to my day of birth? People who have a birthday in the general vicinity of my own. When I have kids, I’m going to time it out so all of their birthdays are near mine. Then I’ll never have to worry about it ever again. I’m a genius!

I’ve been trying to think of a cohesive conclusion to tidy this all up, and I think I’ve got it.

I will let the late, great DMX summarize my thoughts on my birthday.

“Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind
Up in here, up in here
Y’all gon’ make me go all out
Up in here, up in here”

I think we can all agree that this is not my best work, but I seem to be having a bit of a block lately. I will do better next time, I promise!

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

Now get off my lawn!

Wet denim, duct tape, and electrocution…these are a few of my favorite things

Today’s beverage: canned wine – the greatest invention since boxed wine. One can is half a bottle of wine so let’s see how this goes.

Alright, alright calm down. The title isn’t referring to what you think…unless you think it’s sexual. Because it’s sexual. *wink*

KIDDING! It’s about my favorite yearly athletic event, fresh off the COVID reserve list and coming to a ski mountain or abandoned farmland near you.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Tough Mudder is back!!

After a year-long hiatus, the event is back on the calendar, and I have to say, June can’t get here fast enough.

My first Tough Mudder, TM for short because I’m a sucker for a good abbreviation, was in 2015. I was finishing up grad school and had an interview for a job in a research lab. One of the PhD students interviewing me asked if I’d consider doing a TM because they had an injured teammate. Obviously I said yes, and the rest is history.

Don’t worry I didn’t have to agree to an obstacle course to get the job! Nobody panic.

Anyway, the event arrives and off we go to meet up with our other team member. Now, what is the most important part of any team? You guessed it; uniforms. And there, on the other side of a Walmart, calling out to us like a lighthouse on a foggy night, was the perfect solution.

YOUTH OVERALL JORTS

And just like that, Overall Obstacles, a team of 4 full grown adults who have no business in junior’s size clothing, was born.

Anyone who hasn’t done a TM, you really should. They’re magical. Sure, they’re a little dangerous, but one of my teammates had his insulin port ripped out climbing over a wall, and he’s still here. So it’s fine. I also saw someone cut his face open on barbed wire during Kiss the Mud, but since the logical approach to that is to crawl on your stomach, that’s his fault.

A few things to know about wearing denim to a Tough Mudder

1. Wear compression shorts. The jorts will still rub your skin raw, don’t get me wrong, but it’s better than nothing. It’s also a good idea in the event that your teammate’s overalls rip open at the crotch because they are too small and have been for the last several years that you’ve owned and not washed them, while climbing a wall with a stranger climbing the same wall underneath you. Welcome to the show ladies and gentlemen!

2. If you’re having trouble scaling an obstacle, simply tell the stranger in front of you to pull you up by the straps. You will already have a full body wedgie, so it’s not like it can get any worse.

3. Men – cover those nips with duct tape if you’d like to keep them.

Side note: in my second year, a new addition to our team asked me how to tie the buckles to keep my nipples from chafing…a bra. I wear a bra.

Anyway, I was hooked from the start. I have now completed 6 of them, and thinking back I have so many good highlights from each year.

2016 – TM#2

Let’s set the scene. I ran a marathon in May. The Mudder was schedule for late June. Now, I always take on a little damage to my immune system post-marathon, but imagine my surprise when I came down with mono a week after the race. I ran my fastest marathon to date (3:09) and based on how incubation periods work, I likely already had it brewing so maybe I am sub 3! (Ugh I wish)

Cue absolute devastation. Damn my lack of making out with strangers in college so I could have gotten it when the rest of the world did.

I was sick for awhile before I found out it was mono. Part of the reason it took a few visits to diagnose me was because apparently there are multiple strains of mono. Most people get the one where they’re tired and their throat is on fire. Me? I had a fever of 102 for 7 days and thought my head was trying to cave in on itself. In fact, I was tested for AIDS before it occurred to anyone that it might just be mono.

Now, I’m an educated person. But there are times when my common sense doesn’t quite keep up. And I was not missing the Mudder. So I concocted a plan. My teammates were insistent that I shouldn’t even be able to attend as a spectator because it’s a long day out in the heat and I can’t be trusted to behave. Essentially I needed a doctor’s note. Makes sense, I know.

Here’s how that went down. I asked my doctor if I could go to the TM. He assumed I was asking to go and watch. He was fine with that. I told my team that he said I could participate. What’s a little white lie between friends? Then I waited until halfway through to inform them that I was only cleared to spectate. Too late to go back now! I feel like I was very responsible. I avoided the obstacles that might perforate my enlarged spleen, such as King of the Swingers (I’m still bitter because it hasn’t been back) and Electroshock Therapy (not so bitter). I’m still here, so it’s fine!

The next year was probably my favorite, mostly because doing a Tough Mudder without mono is significantly easier than doing one with mono. Shocker.

Fast forward to 2019, and this is the one where I learned a valuable lesson. It just so happened that the Tough Mudder was in Massachusetts in the morning, and my boyfriend and I (he’s now a full fledged team member) had a wedding in Connecticut in the evening. The timing was perfect!! One weekend away, two awesome events, what could go wrong. Well, I’ll tell ya. Remember what I said about wet denim and your skin? It’s not pretty. What’s also not pretty is forgetting to wear a pair of compression shorts under your dress later on in the evening. A shift dress, combined with thighs (minus a thigh gap) that are basically burned and openly bleeding, is a recipe for pain. Not even alcohol could save me.

Pretty picture, right? Try being the portrait. OOF

This was also the year of my first bloody nose. And no, it wasn’t from an obstacle. It was from tripping over flat ground and falling on my face before putting my hands out because I was playing with the overall straps.

No matter the year, one thing remains the same. Tough Mudder Day is a holiday in my opinion.

Because here’s the thing about Tough Mudders. You’ll never find a more fun group of strangers. “No man left behind” is the theme of the day, especially if he’s dressed in a tutu. Nothing unites a group of strangers like agreeing to be recreationally electrocuted at least once. A result of this great community is that we tend to run into the same groups year after year. Saying that Overall Obstacles is remembered is not a white lie, unlike my assurances that my spleen was fine. AND I LOVE IT! People of all genders dig the overalls, and it’s not not because people know our nether regions are full of mud and rocks contained in a material that should never be wet unless it’s in a washing machine.

I very much missed the Tough Mudder last year. I mean, I get why it had to be canceled, global pandemic and all, but it sucked. Part of me wonders if COVID could even survive the conditions. And I think anyone who’s done a Tough Mudder would ask that question. Having open wounds while crawling through mud that is most likely cow shit, and pulling people up by limbs that are also openly bleeding makes you realize how strong the immune system can be.

Exception: the year that I finished a TM, and 7 hours later had strep throat complete with a staph infection. And yes, I understand how incubation periods work, and I’m sure that’s not how fast one would acquire those problems, but that was also the year of the Pork Soda obstacle. Let me tell you, the smell of that “mud” was not right.

But 2021 is our year. Overall Obstacles will be making their triumphant return. The overall jorts are ready to go. They’re too small, but they’re ready.

What does this have to do with the blog theme? Not a damn fuckin thing. But it has occurred to me that my life is not exciting enough to have something “on brand” prepared for you every week. So here we are.

And there goes my wine. Which is why my boyfriend got first glimpse at this post before it was published.

So until next time… I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle (or obstacle) for another beer (or can of wine).

Like a dang carnival barker

Today’s beverage: post 5:30am run coffee with a side of bunny snuggles.

Tatted up like a dang carnival barker”

This is one of my dad’s staple phrases. I honestly should get it carved into my tombstone someday. It’s a joke, so nobody yell at him.

By most people’s standards, I am not really “tatted up.” I have four tattoos, five if you count that one is a cover up. There’s nothing wrong with the original; it’s not like I got “butthole’s butthole” tattooed on my butthole. (FYI I know someone who does indeed have that tattoo). No, I was just indifferent to the tattoo that was there and decided to cover it with something prettier.

Now, I know that not everyone is a fan of tattoos.

It’s gonna look weird when you get old.”

Yes, well so is the rest of me.

No one will hire you!”

Gainfully employed, thank you very much. I will concede that this is an old sentiment, and that opinions on tattoos for people other than ax murders have changed.

What about when you get pregnant?”

First of all, if, not when. Let’s normalize the concept that not everyone is able to, or wants to, get pregnant.

Second, if I get pregnant, that baby is likely going to make my skin all sorts of weird, regardless of whether or not I have a tattoo. I’ve seen pregnant people. Babies are jerks.

What if your significant other doesn’t like it?!”

Ok, well first of all, FUCK THAT NOISE! Your partner doesn’t like your tattoos? Find a new partner. For transparency sake, I had three tattoos already when I met my boyfriend, and I did discuss it with him before I got the other two. I wasn’t getting permission, but I do like to know his thoughts on things. Spoiler: turns out he loves me no matter what awwwwww

They hurt.”

DUH.

They’re expensive.”

Question: if you’re going to have someone carve an image into your skin with a needle, you’d want them to be trained and qualified, right? Me too. It’s the same reason I’d never seek out discount LASIK.

“Tatted up like a dang carnival barker.”

My dad likes to act scandalized by the tattoos in our family, like he has delicate sensibilities or something. I’m in the lead with 4-slash-5, my mom has one, and my middle brother has one. He jokes that I corrupted my mom. When I got my first tattoo, I was 18. I got a winged foot on my left thigh, ‘cause….running. Naturally, I was nervous, because, to be perfectly crass, I’m a pussy. So my mom went with me. She even paid for it because she’s the coolest lady ever. Move over, Lorelai Gilmore.

At this point in our lives, my mom was undergoing treatment for cancer, but she surprised me by admitting that she’d be down to get a little ink. (I winced typing that, but I’m trying to be cool). At the time, her getting a tattoo was a medical no-no, so I told her that I’d get one with her when she was in remission.

Here’s the thing about your first tattoo. The biggest side effect is wanting a second tattoo.

I got bit by the bug.

My mom went into remission. YAY!!

So off we went for tattoos. She got a cute little shamrock on her ankle, and I got an infinity symbol on my ribs.

DISCLAIMER: Unless it is something racist, sexist, or otherwise openly offensive, you can get whatever tattoo you want, and who da fuck cares. If you like it, that’s all that matters.

DISCLAIMER PART 2: if you want to get a white ink tattoo so that you can say you have a tattoo, but no one will ever see it, I have a suggestion. Just lie. Say you have one. It will save you a lot of money, and as stated above, tattoos hurt.

My infinity tattoo would definitely be considered “basic bitch” status, along with anchors and feathers and “Live. Laugh. Love.” But I liked it, and a friend drew it for me, which was a neat added touch. That being said, there should be a written exam prior to getting a second tattoo. Like a Buzzfeed quiz called “Are you sure? Or are you just impatient?”

Fast forward a few years, and I now have the winged foot on my thigh, the cuuuutest T-Rex on my ankle, a watercolor elephant on one side of my ribs, and I recently covered the infinity tattoo on the other side of my ribs with lilacs. It’s not that I dislike that tattoo, but I was indifferent towards it.

Am I done? Probably not. And here’s why.

**I’m not going too deep into the following topic but to do my due diligence: trigger warning: I will briefly be discussing the topic of disordered eating. I also want to remind you all that I like to mix humor in with serious things. I’m not making light of anyone else’s situation, just my own.

Ok, let’s do this shit!

Body dysmorphia: a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance.

I tend to describe it as living my life in a funhouse mirror. Most people, especially women, know what I mean when I say there are good mirrors and bad mirrors. I don’t know what some people are doing when they make these things, but you can go from supermodel to that blueberry girl from Willy Wonka real quick.

When I look at myself, regardless of the mirror, I do not see what you see. I do not like what I see. Specifically, in my mind, I am fat. This is in addition to a whole host of other “flaws” that I see that other people have told me don’t exist. Jokes on you, Brigid’s brain doesn’t give a flying fart what you think.

In the battle of emotion mind versus wise mind, my wise mind is definitely the kid who’d get picked last in kickball.

But Brigid, lots of people don’t like their bodies. Don’t be dramatic.

True. But there’s a line between seeing something you don’t like and seeing something that’s not there. When I look at myself, I tend to see proportions that are objectively, not possible.

To be perfectly clear, this is not meant to diminish anyone else’s opinions of their body. A friend of mine who does stand-up comedy has a really good bit about anxiety and it turning into a pissing contest. Everyone is trying to one-up everyone else’s anxiety.

If I have to be fucked up, I want to be the most fucked up. I am the Queen of stress, hear me roar, and nervously chew my fingernails.

*evil laugh*

I’m not trying to out-anxiety anyone. I may be competitive, but that would be like trying to see who could get the highest fever. No one really wins. I’m simply trying to create a clearer picture of the point I’m trying to get across.

Side note: I did once compete with a friend as to who could get the lowest blood pressure readings over 24 hours of wearing a pressure cuff. I lost. But I’m sure if you asked a medical professional, they’d say we both lost, which is why we didn’t ask.

Anyway, my body image issues, along with my other mental health struggles, have led to a lot of negative coping measures that wind their way in and out of my existence, such as purging and over-exercising. These aren’t constants in my life, but they have a tendency to pop back in an say hello despite the fact that I specifically told them that they aren’t in my COVID bubble. I accidentally wrote a whole post about this last month, which is safely tucked away in my drafts folder and will likely never see the light of day, except for being shared with my family and my therapist.

So what does this have to do with tattoos? Well, I’ll tell ya!

I don’t really like looking at myself in the mirror, but it’s kind of necessary. Otherwise I’d probably walk out the door looking like I wrapped myself in Velcro and threw myself into my closet. If it sticks, I wear it! Or I’d forget to put make-up on one side of my face. Though, honestly that might not be noticeable. I finally learned how to do eyeliner at the age of 27, and I usually do the bare minimum. Want me in your wedding? I don’t care how much the make-up artist costs, I’m paying. I know how to do literally nothing with my face.

Also, the fact that I don’t like looking in a mirror means that I spend my entire day looking at my reflection trying to pick apart the things I don’t like. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Still waiting on the tattoo thing? I’m getting there, I promise! Scout’s honor!

My tattoos give me something positive to focus on, on the days when I have trouble finding the positives I was born with. I love my tattoos. I love to look at them. So when I need to try on a bathing suit, or change outfits 700 times to find the right one, I use them to refocus myself. They are my healthy coping.

Some people think that tattoos need to have meaning. So when I tell people that I have a big watercolor elephant holding a balloon on my ribs, they will ask me if it’s for my rabbit, who’s named Elephant. It’s a fun coincidence, but honestly I just thought it was cute. The T-Rex on my ankle? I like dinosaurs, and it makes me smile. The winged foot obviously has to do with running, of course. And my most recent addition, a diamond with lilacs poking in an out is just plain cool.

I don’t need meaning. I need something that I want to look at.

That’s not to say I’m going to cover myself head to toe. Just because you like oil paintings doesn’t mean every square inch of your walls is covered in framed art. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those if that’s what you want.

You do you, boo boo.

One of the things I actually like is that all of my tattoos are pretty easy to cover. It’s like I have secret body armor under my clothes…like deodorant! Except now that a global pandemic has kept me home bound, it’s shocking how frequently I forget to apply.

So while I have a few ideas for small things I’d like to add on here and there, I mostly focus my tattoos on the key parts of my body that I view as flawed. It’s why I don’t have a butt tattoo…because…flawless. *hair flip*

KIDDING…kinda 😉

At the same time, although I can easily point out “flaws” on my face, such as those caterpillars some would call eyebrows that I inherited from my father, I also won’t be getting a face tattoo. You want a face tattoo? Get a face tattoo! But I just don’t think I’ll be able to rock it as well as Post Malone or Mike Tyson. I’m leaving that to the professionals. I have my limits.

And with that, the sun is now up, and Elephant has bitten me enough times that it’s clear my attention is to be shifted to her.

Ok, Brigid, connect it back to the theme…working on my mental health is part of navigating my quarter life crisis.

BA-BAM!

So until next time….I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.

A forgone conclusion

Today’s beverage: Mich Ultra Spicy Pineapple Seltzer….on the porch!!!! Every drink tastes better on a porch. It’s science. I checked.

I was a running stroller baby. Then I was a “bike ride while my dad runs” child, followed by a “run with my dad” preteen, culminating in a “run while my parents ride their bikes” adult.

It’s the ciiiiiiircle of liiiiiiife!

So yeah, me being a runner was a forgone conclusion, etched in stone since the time of the dinosaurs. In fact, when I’m tired, I even run like a T-rex. It’s a family trait. So I’m a runner. But that’s not to say I didn’t fight it along the way a little bit. In my mind, I was going to be a soccer player, the next Mia Hamm if you will. To be clear, I was the only one who felt that that that was a logical goal. I chose to overlook the fact that my most valuable skills as a soccer player were really just byproducts of me being a runner. Other people, smarter people, saw these things. It’s why every coach made me play midfield. It’s also why a player on another team once slapped me in the face because she got so frustrated that I kept beating her to the ball, thus effectively removing her from the game. There was not a single person in attendance, myself included, who did not know she was a better player than me. But somebody was just faster. *hair flip*

This brings us to high school and adding some running to my summer training to get ready for my first year of JV soccer. Every day my dad would take me on an out-and-back 3 mile run. Except it was more of a out-cry-back 3 mile run. God bless that man.

I quickly learned in that 9th grade soccer season that some of my teammates, and their parents, were not my biggest fans. I wasn’t a bad player, but in a perfect world, I sure as shit should not have been a starter. But your girl’s got wheels! In their minds, my playing time was a threat to their college scholarships. Want to hear a secret? YOUR ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM IS NOT GOING TO A DI SCHOOL FOR FREE. And if I’m your barrier to that, you have far bigger problems. Calm down.

Fast forward to the first week of varsity indoor track, and I was sold on cross country. I LOVED my teammates. I still do! I’m in one of their weddings next year!

Added perk: my parents were thrilled. My parents are runner parents, and they like to hang with runner parents. I know this because my dad tells me…all. the. time.

I had done track and field during middle school (to stay in shape for soccer, obvs), and while I was successful, I struggled with living in my older brother’s shadow. I love my brother (now…back then? Meh.) but when you’re trying to prove yourself on your own merits, it hurts to have a coach not bother to learn your name. I was my brother’s sister, and that remained my title for two years. I thought I escaped this in high school when I established myself as my own person, until a coach from an opposing team asked my dad why he would travel to watch me race when my brother was the better athlete. I mean, he wasn’t wrong; my brother ran DI in college whereas I found my happy place in DIII, but like, what the actual fuck.

I won’t bore you with the details of 8 years of racing for my high school and college teams, but I will bore you with some things I learned along the way. Lucky you!!

I love the people that running has brought into my life. I have “friends from college” that graduated before I even knew my alma mater existed, and this is because of the support system our team has created throughout the years.

There’s a bond that forms between runners, between competitors. Watching someone hit a PR or break a record, even if they aren’t on your team, is a winning experience for everyone. Crossing the finish line and knowing that the person right in front or behind you has also completely emptied the tank builds an unspoken level of respect. Comparing blisters, lost toe nails, and sharing ice baths, and exchanging war stories of the first time you had to take a shit in the woods are also crucial bonding experiences.

But there’s also a negative side. Years of being told that you don’t “have a runner’s body” takes its toll. I have more of a soccer player body…I guess that happens when you play the sport for 14 YEARS! I lived in an environment where light means fast, where average is overweight. Teammates and I have discussed many times over the years that our standards for someone being “too thin” are unhealthy and wrong.

When you run competitively, your results are constantly under a microscope. Either you’re the fastest or you’re not. And when you don’t bring in the result that’s expected of you, you are picked apart…sometimes by coaches, sometimes by teammates, sometimes by family, but mostly by yourself. You have to be ready to get comfortable in your own head when you become a runner.

Having a good coach is key.

I loved my college coach. I thrived under his instruction. He’s certainly led to some interesting anecdotes throughout the years, and we definitely did not always see eye to eye, but all in all, he was an excellent coach on and off the course.

This was slightly different than high school.

Staggering your runs so that the slowest people start first and the fastest people start last is not the best way to foster confidence, especially when the fastest are expected to overtake the slowest every single day. Sending an athlete on a five mile run the day after experience heat stroke was also less than ideal, but I guess I’m still here.

I had a boyfriend after college who coached. I asked him to train me for a marathon, and he agreed but he also told me within 30 seconds that my weight would be open to his criticism. Sadly, I wasn’t even really concerned. Now when I need coaching, I turn to my brother. We have similar running styles, and he can’t weigh me from several states away….not that he’d want to, because he’s a normal human being.

Obviously, there are some questionable coaching techniques in any sport. For example, I’m pretty sure that there are other ways to develop my core and reduce fear of the ball than having a teammate stand at my head and repeatedly chuck a soccer ball at my stomach. I’d also say having dance studio attached to a bar was iffy, but it was Irish dance, so actually I think that checks out.

Moving on.

Running, both in school and after, has taken me to a lot of places. I’ve raced in Boston, Disney World, through Churchill Downs, along coast of Maine, and even the exotic destinations of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana. DIII just LOVES the Midwest.

I love running. I love the stress relief, I love the ability to test my body’s limits, I even love the fun tan lines! Even when there’s no race on the horizon (heyyyy, COVID) I still find joy in the miles. Here’s the deal though. You do something long enough, you’re going to run in to some bad experiences.

I was 16 when I got my first catcall that creeped me out. I was between games for a soccer tournament and went for an 8 mile run (key indicator that soccer was not my sport) and I was running in a sports bra since it was a billion degrees out. Some weird adult man whistled at me and said something gross about my body. I remember getting home and relaying the experience to my mom and being confused what he was commenting on. I mean I was less than 100 pounds, and my boobs hadn’t grown in yet! My mom would likely still argue that I’m a card carrying member of the itty bitty titty committee, but that’s irrelevant.

Over the years I’ve been followed (by cars, other runners, and a group of youths on skateboards). I had a lovely gentlemen pretend to jerk off at me. My favorite is when it’s raining and cars drive through puddles to splash you on purpose. Have you ever had a tween on a razor scooter spit on you? I have! And who doesn’t love to be chased by loose dogs?? Better yet, who doesn’t love getting bit by a dog and having the owner not believe you. Sorry I didn’t remove my pants to show you the bite mark on my thigh, but leash your dog, ya Karen.

Last year I scrapped one of my favorite running routes because a loose dog came out at me, and I crossed the street to attempt to get away. The dog ran in front of a car, AND WAS NOT HIT, because I knew the driver saw the dog and what I was trying to do. But the owner came after me, telling me to go jump off a bridge and die and that he was going to kill me because I almost hurt his dog.

Fortunately for me, the good continues to outweigh the bad.

I love that I can shoot a mean snot rocket (in the winter it’s more of a blood rocket). I love that there’s not a port-a-potty in this land that can scare me. At the same time, I love that runners take no shame in waiting in line to pee in the woods when the potties are full. We are a fit, but gross people. We’re good at testing the limits of how far one can go without a shower. You ever see a runner finish run with only one sock? You can bet money that they had a poopmergency somewhere along the way, but they still had a few miles left.

This took a fun turn for you all, didn’t it??

Don’t worry because here’s your reprieve.

To toot my own horn, something I’m trying to do more often, I’m no slouch when it comes to running. I have a marathon PR of 3:09, and I’ve won my fair share of races. But it’s a hobby, not a profession. I’m what you might call, “middle of the road.” That being said, a couple hundred bucks every now and again is a pretty sweet deal.

But I turned my running into money in other ways too. I was able to work in running stores for several years. The best part here is I got a paycheck and free gear! SCORE! This was clutch, because like most graduate students, I was poor AF.

And this lesson is what connects this topic to the theme of my blog…

*drumroll please*

Ladies and gentlemen, ya girl got her first paid writing gig!!!!! That’s right people, I’m breaking in to the game. WeeViews is an online running community that posts reviews of gear, races, and other things running. You can find my first post on WeeViews.com in the Rundown, listing tips and tricks for gearing up without going broke. Give them a follow, write some reviews, check it out!!

So until next time…I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle (or a steeple) for another beer.

As we mature, the relationship matures with us

Channeling my inner Marshall Erikson here

today’s beverage: New Belgium Black Berry Black Tea Sour…a delicious beer with a real bitch of a name. Try ordering one of those when you’re already a few drinks in. People are gonna think you’re having a stroke.

*Disclaimer: that was what I was drinking when I wrote this. I admittedly have been sitting on this post for a few days to get it juuuuuust right.

I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 5 years. Five whole years. To me, that’s a lot. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot since moving to Rochester, and leaving Park Ave when we find a house is going to be bittersweet. One the one hand, more space means more dogs, but I will miss walking to all the bars and restaurants.

But in my typical fashion, this thought has me reminiscing.

I love this neighborhood for many reasons. It’s safe, it is full of people my own age, it’s walkable, and there are tons of places to eat and drink. I feel like I’ve enjoyed them all over the years. But it’s funny. There are bars I loved when I moved here that I wouldn’t be caught dead in, and there are other bars that have grown on me.

I bet I’m not the only one, but I feel like I can track the evolution of my bar patronage in phases. Some of these phases overlap, and there has definitely been some backtracking, but it’s fun to look at it all and think, “man I was dumb.

Phase 1: Coming of Age

Call me lame, but I never had a fake ID. I snuck into one bar once when I was 20, and the bouncer promptly picked me up and removed me to the sidewalk. It was fine; I met a Golden Retriever. Gotta love small town colleges. Luckily for me, I had my whole senior year to enjoy the bars of Geneseo: the darkness of Kelly’s, the sweaty walls of the IB (RIP), and dirty water races at the Idle (no wonder most people got mono in college).

I turned 21 in Chicago. Well technically, I turned 21 on a train somewhere between Rochester and Chicago because I couldn’t afford the flight to my research conference. My first legal drink was purchased by my professor because I’m really cool.

Phase 1b: Dumb Adventures – finally old enough to drink, but with the common sense of a doorknob

Your early twenties. You’re finally done with school, but no one will hire you. All you have is free time, a credit card, and a minimal understanding of credit scores and interest rates. So you travel. Now, I don’t really like touristy bars. That makes me sound like a snob, but I don’t really want to pay $15 for a Bud Light. I also just really love a good dive bar.

To go back to my Chicago trip, all research students got beer tickets for the bar next to the hotel. So while I don’t like these bars, I’m not one to turn down a drink ticket. That’s how my lab (not the dog kind) and I found ourselves sitting at some Irish bar near Navy Pier. I don’t know why the birthday girl doesn’t get to pick her own drinks, but nevertheless an unwanted shot was sent my way. I figure, ok I can set this behind me on the bar and no one will be the wiser. False. Want to know who was the wiser? The gentleman I ended up dumping it on (not drunk, just uncoordinated). But while most men would be upset about being covered in a lemon drop, he ended up being our tour guide for the rest of the weekend. He took us to a ton of bars, resulting in me wandering out Chicago my last day with a sleeve of saltine crackers while I waited for my train. So it worked out.

And for the next few years, that was the theme of me and my friends’ bar adventures…”so it worked out.”

We learned that if you go on vacation and just head a few streets over from the main strip, you can find a dingy bar where the patrons have parrots and you’re the only ones under the age of 50. You’re also the only ones who don’t look like you’ve fallen on “hard times.” And it’s the best bar you’ve ever been to! That being said, if you do opt for the popular bars, you might also get invited to a company Christmas party with an open bar, even though none of you actually work for said company.

Sometimes, you have to venture off the beaten path, or you’ll never get free tickets to a DMX concert from strippers on the sidewalk.

We did not go; we aren’t that dumb.

But eventually, you find a job, move away from home, and settle in to phase 2, with a few backslides into phase 1

Phase 2: Bro Bars

We all know our town’s bro bars. *cough* East & Alex *cough* We all go to them, even though deep down we hate them. They’re crowded. They’re loud. Somebody will steal your umbrella (ok, you may have given it to them). They’re full of bros. But like all phases of life, there are lessons to be learned here.

For one, only let your nice friends order drinks. If you want a drink the second the urge pops into your mind, stay home and pull up a chair next to the refrigerator. Otherwise, prepare to wait. You wouldn’t think this needs to be explained, but it does. For the record, just because you think it took too long for the bartender to take a drink order for you and your six friends, you do not get to write “fuck you” as the tip. On the other hand, if you witness this action and leave an extra large tip and an apology on behalf of that asshole, you will get excellent service for the rest of the night.

Next lesson: This is not the bar to meet the love of your life. While I write my way through this, remember that this is written from the perspective of a heterosexual cis-gender woman. Alter the pronouns as you see fit.

Anyway, bro bars are not for finding love, they’re for finding love if you know what I mean. To be very clear, there is no judgment from me if you want to bring home a guy you meet in a bar and then never speak to him again. Been there, done that. (I’d say sorry mom, but she already knows all of these things.)

Bro bars are where you perfect your lying game. It’s the perfect environment for creating a new you. Now I’m usually pretty reasonable about this. I’m not trying to occupy someone’s whole evening if I want nothing to do with them. But, if I hear you ranking me and my friends by appearance, an evil plan will be masterminded. Hey guy, you think I’m flattered that you pick me? Nope, but you better believe that I am going to pretend I didn’t hear you and your idiot friends, and I am going to waste. your. time. I will spend the rest of the night creating the most elaborate backstory you’ve ever heard. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, you’ll fall in love. And then you’ll go home alone. And how will you know it was all an elaborate ruse? Because when you look at the phone number I wrote down, you’ll see that it is about 25 numbers long.

All this hustle and bustle gets exhausting, so you move up to phase 3. This is usually followed by an urge to become a hermit and never speak to another human ever again. But you just gotta keep chugging along…sometimes literally. Getting through this phase takes liquid courage.

Without further ado…..

Phase 3: dating apps

Hi! Millennial here. I’m no stranger to the dating apps. I met my boyfriend of 3 years on Bumble. But let me tell you, you get stung. A LOT.

I just can’t turn down a good pun!

And if you aren’t beaten down enough by Bumble, there’s Tinder.

There are three tiers of “success” when it comes to dating apps. You can knock it out of the park and find love, you can hit a double and go on a few dates with someone before turning it into a great friendship, or you can get hit with the pitch.

Pro tip: Do not use “your bar” for dates. Don’t ruin the bar!

Another pro tip: Know your exit strategy ahead of time. For me, it was having a new puppy. Nothing ends a date faster than ducking out of a hug and insisting that you have to leave so your dog can take a shit.

Unintended consequence of getting a dog? If you set up a date in the first few days you have said puppy, a friend will likely remind you as you’re sitting outside a bar, enjoying a beer, and basking in the accolades of strangers wanting to meet your new dog, that you were supposed to be on said date an hour ago.

Fun fact, you can apparently stand up a guy once and it’s not a deal breaker. But if you accidentally do it a second time, now you’ve fouled out.

But sometimes, if you’re lucky, one of those dates works out and then you can go back to all your favorite bars, significant other in tow, without a care in the world, thus graduating to phase 4

Phase 4: “your bars

Hello local breweries and quiet bars, my name is Brigid and I’m here to stay. You say you have a new Triple IPA? Well poor me a glass, toss me a bowl of peanuts, and keep that tab open. Maybe schedule me for an Uber in two hours.

Call me old and boring, but when I hang out with my friends, I like to hear what they’re saying. These darn youths and their music! I don’t want to leave a bar feeling like my hearing was damaged.

In my mind, this is me finally becoming a real adult! Go me!

End of the list right? Wrong! Because do you want to know what phase can overlap all others??

WORKING IN A RESTAURANT

For a brief period of time, I was a hostess at pub with a friend from high school and some other great people. Only problem is that when it came to going out after a shift we were absolute fuckin degenerates.

There’s not much to say here except that I had a blast, we were horrible influences on each other, and I’m shocked sometimes that I’m still alive.

I feel like most people who work in a restaurant can relate. The hours are weird, you never have to be up early, you’re already downtown, and you’re flush with cash and the memories of customers being wrong. It’s anarchy.

Ok everyone, so now we’ve come to the part where I figure out how to tie this in to the quarter life crisis and side hustle theme….

Gather round…

I got this. It is likely that the reason I need a side hustle now is because I spent my younger years in bars and subsequently spending too much money on pizza and ubers.

NAILED IT

So until next time….I guess I need a closing catchphrase, but that’s a hurdle for another beer.