Well…turns out it was so huge that I, being the complete scatterbrain that I am, forgot to finish the damn story. Yes, yes…professional
Anywhoozle…here’s the jist of what I consider the miraculous event.
Mrs. Fatass called me. Like she dialed my number and called me.
Are you rolling your eyes? Are you throwing your hands up and shouting, “That’s it?”?
Seriously though…if you know “our kind” – you know this is huge. You see, MF and I suffer from some pretty severe social anxiety. The kind that makes you physically ill, makes you sweat like you’re about to be dropped off a cliff, covers you in hives, makes you shake, and basically paralyzes you.
Family, friends or strangers – doesn’t matter – the fear is the same.
A big part of our social anxiety is the phone. We rarely pick it up to call someone or pick it up when someone is calling us. The literal sound of the ring can cause panic and my blood pressure and heart rate to spike.
Let me also say that when I do have to make a phone call that I can’t avoid…I plan every freaking word. I know what I’m going to say and when. I plan every detail out. I know what I’ll say if it’s voice mail and let’s just get this straight – I *want and need* it to be voicemail. I don’t really want to hear a live person on the other end. That’s just too much.
Hence, this gumdrop-farting woman LOVES email. I never have to speak to or look anyone in the eyes. I don’t have to try not to throw up.
Back to the phone call day. That same day, Jenny had called me. After years of being best friends – I now pick up the phone willingly and even call Jenny myself. She is one of few.
We had a great conversation and we laughed our ample butts off and I was on a “Jenny just called, I answered, and I’m not covered in hives” high. The minute I hung up the phone from Jenny, my cell phone rang.
WTF? First of all – my cell phone doesn’t ring. No one calls me. They know I won’t pick up. Most people aren’t aware I have a cell phone. I just started texting a few months ago.
But yes, it was not a mirage – the phone was indeed ringing and it said in bright neon flashing numbers (okay fine, they were just normal numbers) – Mrs. Fatass.
We’re not going to go into how wrong it is that I have officially entered someone in my phone as Mrs. Fatass. It is what it is.
Now MF and I have texted before. When she travels I know she’s fighting off convulsions about every other second, so I routinely text her and say things like,
“Breathe…your head is going to fall off if you let it turn blue like that again.” or
“Put down the drink – people started to look at you funny after you ordered your fifth one in five minutes. Try Xanax instead.” or
“You are one hot fatass and that’s why people are staring at you. No one even noticed your face is covered in hives.”
You know – real supportive stuff.
BUT – we do not talk. We do not chat. We do not call each other. We mutually know we cannot and do not even want to. It’s just too much for either of us at this point.
Well until Mrs. Overachiever decides to change the plan. Mrs. O. Hmmm…doesn’t roll off the tongue like Mrs. Fatass does it?
In the split second that I was still on a high from talking to Jenny – I picked up said ringing phone. I said, “Hello?”
Then multiple swear words I cannot repeat here.
Then finally, “You picked up the phone? You answered? What am I supposed to do with that? You never answer! I wanted voicemail. I have it all planned out! Now I don’t know what to do. What are you doing picking up?”
Um, shit. I don’t know. I think I'm sorry. Should I hang up now? The hives are coming. Why did you call? Is someone dying? Is the Earth falling in on itself? Has Elvis come back from the dead for real? Why are you calling me on a real phone like normal people do?
Let’s just say there was mucho stuttering and lots of laughing at ourselves and when I finally asked again why she called – she simply said, “For nothing. No reason. I’m calling because I can. Because I’m
If I wasn’t choking down puke in my mouth, I probably would have choked back a tear or two.
While it is funny…I know it’s also profound. And I know the amount of difficulty behind it. I know the anxiety she felt in literally dialing each number. I know that in those few digits – she contemplated backing out close to 100 times. I know it was a step.
You see, while again, the anxiety can be funny – it is also exhausting. Many of you call people all day – and never miss a step. Knowing I have to make even one phone call all day requires planning, courage, working up to it and rehearsing and it can suck the life out of me. Going somewhere is the same. I can literally get physically sick.
If I have to go somewhere beyond the normal routine of work, I plan all day every detail – because planning somehow gives me a little bit of control. I have to worry about what to wear based on what sweat won’t show through. I know that when I get home – if I go instead of backing out – I will be exhausted beyond belief – mentally and physically. I will have social jet lag. And I will have earned it.
It is not fun – or funny. It is tiring, embarrassing, and it makes you feel “different”. Sooo – while admitting it and blogging about it are the first steps MF and I have taken….we want more.
We want to heal. MF has sought counseling and meds and I’ve sought more blogging and fighting the fears and forcing myself to be out there. We feed off each other’s successes knowing the gut-wrenching tension it causes in our bodies – but knowing – if she can do it, there’s a chance I can too.
MF and I only talked for approximately five minutes or less. We mutually understand how difficult it is and that it has nothing to do with how we feel about each other as people. Remember, I get these exact same symptoms when I deal with people as close to me as my siblings.
At about five minutes in, MF said – I have to hang up. This is too much for me. If I have to go on, I may spontaneously combust. This is my limit. I have to go.
Me? Well, I said me too. I’m done. Anymore and I’m going to shit M&Ms instead of farting rainbow gumdrops and the people that count on those gumdrops for sustenance are gonna be pissed. Shitty M&Ms can’t hold a candle to farted gumdrops you know?
I said, “Thank you – for calling – you know I know how hard it was.”
She said, “No problem. But next time I call – don’t pick up the damn phone alright? Let it go to voicemail. I don’t have the stamina to do this again. You messed up my plan.”
Deal. Me neither. Not just yet anyway…
I went back to work. Happy as a Care Bear. Covered in hives.
And just a teensy bit proud of us both.