r/nonwild: why shopping on the internet for self-esteem is probably a mistake.

19 01 2013

DISCLAIMER: i’ve been writing this post since september, and actually changed the date to october when it took me a month to get it even half done. now it’s almost february. the cliff’s notes version here is that i’m sad. i’ve been sad for a while. i’m feeling a lot better, but things are still sometimes confusing and hard, and i haven’t been writing because i couldn’t. i know that’s not funny, or snarky, or even interesting, but it’s the story of why this post took me almost 6 months to write.

october was a pretty shitty month. i would venture to say (save for that year when i got divorced), that this october was probably the shittiest month i’ve had for a long time. and while no one big thing went awry causing the downward spiral (time to break out the NIN), it was more of a 10 car pile up of tiny awful little things combining into a juggernaut of unstoppable sadness, and self doubt, and too many days spent curled up in my bed with my dog playing internet scrabble and praying for sleep.

i am not prone to depression, not even a little. usually, i’m a joke cracking, bright side finding, pollyanna-grade fucking optimist. i don’t get sad, ever really.  so on the very rare occasion that everything decides to crumble into dust for a minute, sad is this foreign intruder who busts in, makes himself comfortable in my bed, demands snacks, and refuses to go home. i’m paralyzed. i’m useless. so, sad and i curl up in bed together, call my mom, and try to wait it out. Read the rest of this entry »





bargaining.

18 01 2012

so today i googled “7 stages of grief”. what i learned is that there are actually only 5 stages (not one of which is shopping). well, this website says there are 7, but it does so entirely in comic sans- which is in no way a credible way to deal with sadness.

but as i was saying before, i just finished up the shopping portion of my coping process, and am getting ready to start the packing stage. but in between these two critical stages comes BARGAINING. this past weekend, the ex and i spent an entire day walking around the condo staking claim to all of our worldly possessions.

he gets the “dead like me”, i get the “futurama”.

he can have all the bamboo spatulas, but the kitchen scissors are mine.

neither one of us will take ownership of the pink kitchenaid toaster with the broken handle.

it’s weird. now that all the yelling and crying at 4 am watching “sense and sensibility” stuff is over, only the practical sediment remains settled at the bottom. now, we’re both exhausted and forced by time constraints to be all “business time” (not the sexy kind) for a while. i strongly suspect that there will be more late night crying at movies when i’m moved into my new place, and the gravity of this life change smacks me across the face. but for now, everything is oddly calm.

perhaps as a true testament to our lack of compatibility, we split every single thing 50/50 without argument. sure, i was a little misty to see “legend of zelda- twilight princess” disappear in the “HIS” box. and he was equally heartbroken when i reclaimed a number of the entries in his “all paul rudd all the time” dvd collection.  maybe he’s just smug because he gets to keep the tempur-pedic mattress? or maybe he really just does have terrible taste in everything (i did find a copies of “shrek” and “goldmember” that i had hidden deep in a closed cabinet because i was ashamed to let him put them on the shelf- yet somehow i let “k-pax” slip past the goalie).

or maybe, i assert my autonomy too much in relationships to the point where i can pretty much cut and run with all of my stuff at any given moment. this one was a little different. i bought a house (“we can just sell it and split the equity if i change my mind”). i got a dog (“i’ll just steal him in the middle of the night if i have to”). but even that time i got married, i didn’t change my name. i kept my own bank account.

well, this unearths a whole bunch of unfortunate questions about my commitment issues that i don’t feel like dealing with right now. maybe i’ll dive head first into the packing/unpacking stage until i’m ready for the bad internet dates phase. i’m pretty sure that’s where all the good stories are anyway.





i spy- bargains and sadness.

21 09 2010

this fucking economy. over the last 3 years, i have watched the streets of this town morph into something that i don’t recognize anymore. exchange street alone is a complete stranger with its consignment and discount shops mixed amongst the last few surviving high end stores. not that i don’t appreciate the bargains, but it feels like i notice a new STORE CLOSING! or GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! or maybe EVERYTHING MUST GO! sign pretty much every day. after having your business alive in this city for so long, i can’t even imagine what it must feel like to have to paste that sign up in your window. i assume that there’s a lot of shame and regret. a lot of wishing that they could go back and have that “it’s a wonderful life” chance to do it the right way this time… or maybe it’s just a relief to be done with it? struggling small businesses can be like large monsters in the way that they eat up time, resources, energy, and hope. whatever the case, shuttering those windows and signing over your lease to some dude who thinks he has a better idea has to be an emotionally pummeling experience. i know it breaks my heart every time, and i just shop there. well, i used to shop there.

this past week, 2 of my favorites made the casualty list.

the north star music cafe had such a benevolent purpose! delicious local (mostly veg & vegan) foodables! flexible performance and music space for all! a few months ago, the owner ran a small fundraising campaign to help pay off some mounting business related debts, and i think we were all really hoping that was the end of it. not so. thursday afternoon, the news broke on twitter that they were shutting down for good on sunday. goodbye adorable hippie girls serving me bagels. goodbye sweet vegan reuben. goodbye people in this town trying to do something with purpose, integrity, and love. maybe i’m being overdramatic, but i’m super bummed out.

second on the list (do we need to start making a dead pool for portland businesses?), is cunningham books in longfellow square.  always carefully organized and stuffed full of beautiful and pristine picture books, this was a regular stop on my local hunt for nancy drews and 80s art and fashion books. i spied the 30% OFF STORE CLOSING sign on sunday afternoon, and the excitement over possible vintage book bargains was totally clouded with the confusion and disappointment i felt to find out that they were closing. too pricey? too far from downtown?  not enough revenue to be had selling old books? i don’t know. it’s possible that they don’t even know. sometimes you can do everything right and still fail. small business is vicious, and i wholeheartedly admire anyone who has the iron cojones to actually give it a try.

anyway, sorry this post is such a bummer. consider it your “buy local” lecture of the day. if we don’t support the businesses that we love, they will disappear. it’s fucking crazy hard out there right now, so open those wallets and go get yourself some local whatever (might i suggest some gently used he-man figures, or possibly a chocolate covered twinkie?).

have you recently lost a favored local establishment to this crap economy? tell me about it. and let me be the first to offer my profound condolences.