If you’ve been following Bossey Boots, there’s a trend: I write about confidence, relationships, fitness, and the oddball silly thing here and there. Regardless of topic, I’m a huge proponent of calling out your own shit when ya fuck up (aka self-awareness).
Last post I wrote a ranty thing about stupid stuff that happens in relationshits (not a typo). I preached and proclaimed from the rooftops that this is absurd behavior… because it is.
And then… as if a personal fuck you to myself, I got real drunk and acted like the most annoying creature: an insecure girlfriend. GOO. Excuse me while I go throw up.
To preface, I am not easily made jealous. Rarely do I feel threatened by other females. I’m generally pretty fucking secure in my shit. So why this particular night those traits decided to take a hike, who knows. I’d liken it to some personal turmoil weighing on me that I let take the wheel. I’m usually more in control than this, but I’m human. We all have our nights.
And in true fashion, if I’m gonna fuck up, I fuck it up big.
You know how sometimes your brain tells you to do dumb things, and because you’re an advanced hominid, your prefrontal cortex kicks in, turns on your inhibition switch, and tells those dumb thoughts to fuck right off? Now put those thoughts in the ring with Drunk Brain. Rational Brain is in there, saying, “You know this is ridiculous, you know you don’t want to act this way, you know that in any other circumstance, on any other day, had your personal life not recently blown up… had a billion other things happened, you wouldn’t be doing this. Shut it down.”
But you can’t shut it down. Your brain has been hijacked by irrational thoughts, and your behavior is on board. You can predict what follows, and you hate that it’s happening, but you can’t stop, and you become more annoyed with yourself. The more you annoy yourself, the more drunk asshole brain decides to projectile vomit that behavior onto everyone within puking distance (metaphorical, not literal, although the puking may have been better received).
You know those Kermit memes that have been circulating the Internet? I lived that all night.
Evil Kermit Brain: Pictures with females! LET’S FREAK OUT ABOUT THIS FOR NO GODDAMN REASON.
Somewhere in the back reaches of my psyche, my reasonable, normal, sane brain keeps yelling, “No bitch, don’t do it. This is stupid, you know it’s stupid, and this stuff never bothers you. Let’s just drink some beer and dance around.”
Evil Kermit Brain: Let’s freak out.
Evil Kermit Brain: Hugging girls we don’t know! He’s not really into you or he’s gonna play you. You should feel unreasonably insecure.
Sane Brain: Shut up. You have lots of dude friends that you hug. What is your deal? Simmer. This is a non-issue. It’s always a non-issue. Why are you making it into an issue tonight? Are you trying to make yourself feel terrible? If you don’t stop this, both of you are gonna feel like shit, and he’s gonna hate you. And he should. This is fucking LAME.
Evil Kermit Brain: Shh. Watch this.
Evil Kermit Brain: We’re getting mean-mugged and cold shouldered by girls who think they have a shot. Don’t laugh it off. Be fucking pissed. At him.
Sane Brain: That makes no sense… he can’t control that…
Evil Kermit Brain: YOU SHUT UP HE CAN TOO. BE MAD.
Sane Brain: Orrr we could do what we always do: Internal pity laugh, “Aww… that’s cute. Tough luck, sweetheart.” Let’s do that! Also… guys act the SAME toward you. So what? Roll the shoulders back, strike the bad bitch pose, and ride that confidence high cuz ain’t no one better than you.
Evil Kermit Brain: Mmm… but what if instead… we let every insecure thought and every shitty past dating debacle determine that the same is going to happen. C’mon doooo it. Let’s be the worst version of ourself. Let’s do this. We’re doing this. Woo!
Sane Brain: I hate you.
Evil Kermit Brain: He’s taking too long to leave. Pout. Ooh! And you know what else? Storm out dramatically! Wait… he’s stopping to talk to a billion more people we don’t know. Let’s stand over there, silently fume and make it fucking weird for everyone.
Sane Brain: OH DEAR GOD PLEASE STOP. You would be so over you by now. Also, fun fact: He’s talked to dudes tonight, too. You’re cherry picking the situation. You know he’s crazy bout you. Well… maybe not after tonight. I’m fucking irritated with you. You’re gonna hate yourself tomorrow. Ooh, look! One of these girls is actually being nice and trying to befriend you. No one else has done that tonight. We like her. Let’s befriend her back. She seems great.
Evil Kermit Brain: Let’s be consumed by our insecure thoughts. Let’s be so distracted that we can’t friendship because we’re gonna fixate on how fucked up we feel about absolutely nothing. Let’s give the absolute worst first impression to this chick who probably could be fun to go out with in the future.
Sane Brain: Facepalm. Please, just go home. You really suck tonight.
Evil Kermit Brain: And you know what else?!
On and on, and fucking on and on. I could blame a number of things. And of course there are contributing factors to why I acted like the biggest, lamest, dirtiest douchebag. Those aren’t excuses; they provide context for why I acted so wildly out of character. That doesn’t make it okay; I’m a grown woman. I am able to control my behavior. But that night, I chose not to.
It was a shitty night. I was an asshole. I felt completely mortified and appalled by my abhorrent behavior. It’s gross to begin with, but grosser when you’re self-aware that your behavior is atrocious while you’re doing it, and yet, somehow, you can’t hit the off switch. Cringeworthy sums it up, and it happened over a month ago.
There are a billion better ways I could have handled that situation. Because I don’t feel that way often, I was unprepared to handle my own nonsense.
I could have:
- waited until the end of the night to discuss my feelings in private, instead of causing drama everywhere I went, capping the night off by being one of those couples having a public spat on the sidewalk
- called a friend to talk some sense into my drunk ass before unnecessarily shitting all over the night
- tried to befriend people I didn’t know, especially the females, which I usually do
- asked for introductions to a few cool people who I could talk to while he socialized
- utilized my phone and all of it’s social capabilities to distract myself from acting like a little bitch
- made a note of all the irrational feelings as they came up so I could let go of them in a healthy manner, without attempting to torch my relationship and my sanity in one fell swoop
- gotten up and danced because that ALWAYS helps me feel better
- gone to get food and some air, because I hadn’t eaten in hours, and that probably helped nothing
- gone home if I couldn’t get myself under control
Plenty of reasonable options. But, alcohol doesn’t care about reason, especially when it’s busy grinding with insecurity.
The next day, I groveled and apologized. It was awful. But I learned a few important lessons:
- When you hold on to heavy things, they only get heavier, especially in the context of alcohol.
- Clutching to feelings, leaving them unresolved, unspoken, unacknowledged, causes more problems in the long run. There’s a quote somewhere that’s sort of cheesy, but rings true: “Feelings are like visitors. Let them come and go.” Had I done that, I probably could have had a good time and made new friends. Instead, I chose to be a killjoy.
- Having to apologize for behavior that you don’t even understand is tough, but it’s even worse when you know that’s not who you are or how you behave, but you know exactly how it’s going to sound when you say, “I never act like this.” Asking for the opportunity to prove that’s not who you are is humbling.
- It’s easier to not act like an asshole. It’s hard to be disgusted with yourself.
- Sometimes crazy brain takes over. It was a novel experience for me, feeling unjustifiably out of control.
- It’s best to just talk to the people in your life about what’s going on.
A few weeks later, while watching Allied, in the middle of a fight scene, I burst into tears out of nowhere. Alarmed, boyfriend tried to figure out what about that war scene was so upsetting.
I choked out what was really going on (aka: what contributed to my behavior that night), and he pulled me into his lap so I could put my head on his shoulder. Generally, when I get emotional, I run and hide somewhere: a bathroom, a closet, anywhere away from people so no one sees. But I let him hold me. Turns out, that’s all I really needed.
The circumstances are not such that can be fixed by anyone. That’s just life. Sometimes heavy things are dropped upon us; things we have no desire to carry, things we shouldn’t have to. That day, I set the load down and crawled into his lap instead. It still sits in the corner of every room, but I don’t have to let it press upon me to the point that it squashes my ability to be a good human who doesn’t act like a lunatic.
Here’s to keeping Evil Kermit Brain locked away forever. Because EWW. And to the guy who puts up with my shit every day, despite my epic night of “Fuck good behavior.”