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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Twenty Six.

If I named my blog posts, rather than simply using numbers, this post would have a long, two-part title, and it would be:

WHAT NOT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A BAD DAY, OR HOW TO BE A HOT, HOT MESS OF A HUMAN BEING.

It just so happens I’m an expert in this subject.

Where to even start?

1. ADD UP YOUR DEBT

When you’re feeling insecure and/or awful about life, definitely don’t go through and “re-evaluate” how much money you owe the world. Because if it’s a lot, like me – YAY MASTER’S DEGREE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! – it will just make you want to die a little bit.

will

I mean, just FYI.

2. GO ANYWHERE NEAR CANDY

Okay, maybe candy isn’t your thing (it’s my thing). Maybe you like chips, or french fries, or chicken wings, or whatever. Regardless. When you’re feeling shitty, definitely don’t go out and buy a bunch of whatever you feel like you desperately need to shove in your face to make yourself feel better.

Because it might work temporarily.

bean eat

But then you’ll get a ju jube tummy ache.

3. THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP

Because, you know, you may find yourself making a list of ways you’ve gotten nowhere in a year, even when that’s not true.

Or you may just generally stress about getting older.

Or maybe about getting older and being broke.

Ready to party

Plus you may stress about throwing a party and no one showing up.

SIDENOTE: That worry should vanish after you turn like, 25. But it just gets worse, doesn’t it? Because at least when you were a kid, you knew people would show up for the treat bags.

4. GO TO YOUR EX (OR EXES) FOR COMFORT

Pretty self-explanatory. And – you would think – logical. I mean, the results of contacting an ex and being like this:

Feelingscan go a couple ways.

(A) He can attempt to listen and you can insecurely talk at him until he probably hates you (maybe even more than before, depending on your past and how you broke up). (Maybe he liked you before but he’ll discover a hate for you!)

(B) He can attempt to “listen”……and then offer you some comfort sex.

Wait..what the fuck? Argh. Because that gives you MORE FEELINGS to deal with. What a drag.

5. GO SHOPPING

Because “retail therapy” when you’re feeling sad and awful feels like this, no matter what you’re putting on and how well it fits you:

Cathy+Swimsuit+Cartoon

So yeah. Don’t do any of those things. They’ll all make it worse. I learned the hard way for you. You’re welcome!

xA

P.S. Dear anyone worrying about me after reading this: I’m actually fine. Thank you!

Three Hundred Twenty Four.

It’s kind of strange to be an employee on campus and not a student.

SIDENOTE: Everyone on campus still thinks I’m a student, so I guess I still look young and maybe stressed….wait…

Yesterday, classes officially kicked in for the 2013/2014 academic year. Wow. There you have it.

SIDENOTE: Where the fuck is my flying car? What kind of sham is this whole 2000’s thing?!

In the afternoon, I had to take a bunch of paperwork from the office I work at to the office I’m employed by (it’s complicated – my boss is major and important so he has two offices oh my), which meant crossing through a chunk of the campus.

I think I was spoiled by the solitude and serenity of summer. (How’s that for some sexy alliteration? I’m single, guys!) I had gotten used to a gorgeous, peaceful campus, lush and green, quiet and full of fresh air. I had gotten used to my walks across campus being my own personal mini holiday during the work day. A little slice of deep breathing heaven. A moment out of my office. A little ray of sunshine.

Say it with me: “Aaaaahhhh.”

Corbett_Hall_University_Of_Alberta_Edmonton_Alberta_Canada_08A

And then yesterday I was BOMBARDED by hordes of university students. New ones (they look like they’re all 12?!?!) They were everywhere, standing in giant groups, eating, talking to each other, talking on their phones, looking lost, wandering, texting, comparing sorority options, and so on. The beautiful courtyard I typically love to walk through was occupied by giant white tents promoting local bars, cell phone providers, and campus clubs.

Rather than get annoyed (okay, I got a little annoyed), I remembered what it was like to start university. Man, it felt like such a big deal. Worrying about finding all your classes on your first day. Debating what to wear. Trying to find the perfect shoulder bag that would not only hold all of your books, but look super cool. Hoping that you would somehow run into at least one familiar face and not feel so intimidated by the thousands of unfamiliar ones you had to walk by and interact with. Anticipating how much your degree would change your life and get you started on your career, your dreams.

And then it hit me.

OH MY GOD I STARTED UNIVERSITY NINE YEARS AGO. AND I’VE BEEN OUT OF UNIVERSITY FOR THREE YEARS.

Lesson learned: THIS IS IT. Adulthood. Where the hell did my school life go?! I think I stressed and sleep-deprived it away.

Maybe I should get another degree.* I don’t think I’m ready for real life yet.

xA

*Oh right, BROKE. Ooooops.

Three Hundred Nineteen.

This is going to be scattered because I feel scattered.

On Thursday, AKA The Longest Day at Work Ever That Made Me Partially Insane, I was sitting in my office, having a chat with my 19-year-old coworker, who is about to start another year of his undergrad degree.

I wish I could tell you the exact context of our conversation, but I think I blocked it all out after he said something along these lines:

“I’m just going to finish my degree and get a job and then I’ll pay off all my debt quickly and be fine.”

And I looked over at him, stunned into silence, and then I said:

“And what is totally crazy is that in your world, that’s a totally realistic hope. Because when you finish your degree, you’ll have jobs to choose from.”

“Right, I guess it’s different in the arts.” he replied.

I wasn’t even sure what to say.

“There are jobs you can choose from,” he joked, “Like retail jobs, or you could be a bartender…or a server…”

I let out a sharp, short laugh. It had the same emotion behind it as the “WOW.” in this post, even though I know that my coworker was just razzing me. My office mate instinctively started moving toward me, wheeling his chair up to mine.

“I have a master’s degree. I HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE, guys.”

And then my office mate hugged me and I wanted to die.

Sometimes working at my science job is like:

Adult

And it makes me feel like this:

But then maybe one person tells me they read something I wrote and it moved them, or they say something crazy like, “You should write books!” or they tell me I’m funny and I should act in things.

Or I read quotes like the ones in this article, or I read the lessons presented by the brilliant Kevin Spacey in this article.

And I just think, you know what? You really do have to make your opportunities. It’s time to stop being scared. Or rather, to stop letting the fear keep me back. It’s time to embrace it, harness it, and let it be the thing that pushes me forward. Because when you’re scared and you start running, you can’t really stop, can you?

(You can’t because the monster will get you.)

kristen-wiig-quote

Run. Run. Run

Just be you.

tina-fey-quoteAnother thing I need to do: be okay with asking for help along the way.

Here goes nothing.

Help.

xA

Two Hundred Ninety Nine.

I worked a casino last night.

Funnily enough, I have never actually been to a casino except to work at them as a volunteer for various theatres in town.

They’re usually kind of boring. Sometimes exciting. Always strange.

I guess I was really asking for it when I tweeted this at the beginning of the night:

Tw1

At first, my entertainment was mostly fashion-based:

Tw2

And BFF-based:

Tw3

But then the men at the casino caught on that I was in the cash cage.

Tw4This guy – let’s call him Goddess Worshipper, or GW for short – was pretty hilarious. It all started when he was at the ATM right outside my cash window. He started glancing over at me, then began to motion at my hair and giving me the thumbs up.

“I like your hair!” he yelled at me.

“Thanks!” I yelled back.

(How awkward.)

He stared at me some more.

“You’re perfect!”

“Wow! Thanks!”

(What was I supposed to say? Nothing like having a yelling conversation with a tipsy GW through soundproof glass, am I right?)

“Everything about you – your style – like, everything from your hair, your tattoos, your outfit – mmm – everything. It’s just 100% you. You are who you are, you know?”

“I…appreciate it!” I laughed.

I thought he was going to get his money and go. But instead he came right up to my cash counter.

“You’re teaching people things just by existing,” he said to me very seriously, “You are a perfect goddess. You’re teaching people how to be themselves. Just by being. Gorgeous. You’re a goddess. A goddess.”

“Okay! Thanks so much!”

(I’m way too nice.)

GW then sat at the blackjack table just a few feet away from the cash cage with his back to me. Throughout the night, he kept turning back to me and yelling “Perfect!” over and over again. After a couple hours, we apparently had inside jokes. He’d turn, point at his friend’s back and laugh, shrugging and shaking his head and motioning to me like, “Can you believe this guy?”

I, of course, would shrug, laugh, shake my head, and motion back to him like, “What a card!”

SIDENOTE: Yes, I just used the expression “What a card!” In a blog post about a casino. THANK YOU I’M HERE ALL WEEK.

Then the night was super quiet for like five hours.

And then there was this guy:

Tw5

His story begins with another guy – a really young guy we’re going to call Young Guy, or YG. Let’s call the guy the story is actually about Forty Five, or FF.

(It’ll make sense in a second.)

It was the very end of the night and YG came up to me to cash in his chips. I had seen him earlier and noted how young he looked. He looked 12, but I’m sure he was 19 or something. Anyway, his cash out was $45.

He stared at me in horror as I handed him the money. He was obviously smashed.

“I got slaughtered tonight.” he said, looking like he was about to cry.

“That’s too bad.” I replied.

(What do you say to that, right?)

FF, who was organizing his chips just slightly behind YG came up to the counter.

“What did you lose, man?”

“Oh, dude,” YG turned to FF, “I got slaughtered. Slaughtered.”

“What’d you lose?”

“$800, man. $800.”

“We can fix that, bro. We can fix that. I lost $4500 last week in Vegas. No big deal.”

“Shit, man.”

“What’s $800?” FF continued, “You can’t do anything with $800. You can buy a hooker and have some fun. That’s it. $800’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

Young Guy’s face lit up.

“Let’s go out, man. Have some fun.”

“Bro, any other night and I would, man.” FF threw his chips at me, looking me up and down, “Tonight’s the one night I can’t.”

“Why not, man? Let’s go. Come on. Get a girl, get some stuff…”

“It’s the one night I can’t, man. I’m back on site in Fort Mac. Drug testing Monday, man. I can’t. Shit, any other night, bro. Any other night.”

At this point, I had laid out FF’s chips and counted out his money – a couple hundred dollars – but he wasn’t paying attention to me. I had to wait until he took his money to put his chips away, so I stood there, just listening.

“Fuck, man. Fuck. What a night.”

“Any other night, bro. I swear.”

Then Forty Five turned to me, in all his expensive jeans, tight t-shirt, bald head, look-at-me-I’m-hot-shit* attitude. He looked at my tits. Then at my face.

“Look at you in there.”

I looked at him, expressionless.

“Look at this chick,” FF turned to YG, “With her neck tattoo.”

Great, I thought, here we go.

FF turned back to me, leaning in really close to the glass between us. He bit his lip.

“You with your neck tattoo and your shaved head. I bet you’d be really up for it.”

And I was like, “WOW.”

I said it out loud. Too loud. It sort of fell out of my mouth. Sheer shock.

It wasn’t “WOW” as in “YAY.” It was “WOW” as in:

KWFKM“You’d take it.” he said.

He grabbed his money and paraded himself away, giving Fort McMurray a horrible name with every step.

Lesson learned: I’m definitely not going to meet my dream guy at a casino.

xA

*See: NOT.

P.S. I totally forgot to tweet about the classiest part of the night. On my walk from the casino to my car – which was less than 250 feet – I saw not one, but two penises. Apparently, dudes just pee on cars at 2am at West Edmonton Mall. Fucking wonderful.

Two Hundred Ninety One.

Did I not at some point say on this blog that I’m not a big crier?

Yeah, that’s total bullshit.

It’s funny how you don’t really notice things about yourself until you start a 365-day blog and start making statements about yourself and then you realize sometimes they’re just not true.

I sobbed this morning watching this video that my friend shared with me and then I started crying this afternoon because I was tired and feeling generally blue.

Soooo…oops! Sorry about that!

ANYWAY.

I also tell people I don’t really collect shit, except I totally do.

I did a lot of travelling while I was living in Scotland. It was easier and cheaper because I was so conveniently located. Here is a list of things I collected from almost every place I visited:

Coasters

Okay, handy. Coasters are very useful, right? So why not have a very random, very large collection of them?

I DON’T USE THEM.

Maybe I will one day. That’s what I keep telling myself. That’s why I have like, 100.

(Jesus, Andrea…)

Magnets

I just like magnets. One day when I’m not a starving writer who lives with her parents (thanks almost entirely to the very expensive second degree I acquired in Scotland – irony!) I will have a fridge of my own and it will be entirely covered in magnets.

Key Chains

Great, except you can only have so many keys…and I do not have enough keys to justify the number of key chains I own.

Switch them up often, you say?

TOO MUCH WORK.

Playing Cards

Specifically, creepy playing cards. Like this bizarre deck I got in Sweden that has really scary trolls on them.

That one’s fine, I guess. I like playing card games.

Queen_playing_cards

NOTE TO SELF: Become magician. Learn card tricks.

Lesson learned: I do collect shit. I’m sorry if I ever tried to tell you otherwise.

xA

P.S. What do you collect? Don’t say nothing. That’s a lie. But don’t tell me if it’s your toe nail clippings or locks of hair from every guy/girl you’ve ever fucked. Because ew.

Two Hundred Seventy Five.

Look, I’m the first to admit that I have authority issues.

Did I ever tell you guys about my awful university drama instructor who called me a “natural dissident” during a yelling match we had? I did, just in a different context. He was batshit crazy…

Anyway, on top of having authority issues, I can be forgetful about certain things. Maybe it’s my authority issues taking over my brain or something, but I have an overdue fee at the university library here for $2 that I haven’t paid in almost three years. And I work on campus.

So I got a parking ticket.

“SUNUVAB!” I shouted, when I got it. (Pronounce the ‘B’ at the end as ‘bee.’ Okay, cool.)

That was back in April.

Yes, yes, I put off paying it. Because I was annoyed. I was irritated that I got it. I was being stubborn.

But I swear that I meant to pay it eventually. I really did.

Today I got this in the mail:

Conviction

“NOTICE OF CONVICTION”?!

Could they word that a little more strongly? I mean, come on!

So I opened the letter and wanted to cry because I love words and I take them seriously and I don’t like being told I’m being convicted because not only is that a very strong word, but also, I HAVE AUTHORITY ISSUES and NO ONE’S GONNA CONVICT ME.

So I went from, “SUNUVAB” to something more along the lines of, “Fucksakegottabefuckingkiddingmeconvictionfuck” and I logged onto the online fine payment website.

$50 ticket.

$20 additional fine for taking too long to pay.

$9 service fee for paying online. (But we all know if I had to actually get to the registry, it’d be another year until I paid, and it said my license was revoked until I paid…)

GST.

$79.45 that stupid ticket cost me.

Lesson learned: PAY YOUR TICKETS ON TIME.

OR JUST DON’T GET THEM AT ALL.

Blerg.

xA

Two Hundred Forty Five

I’m not very good at “settling in.” I don’t know if it’s the whole Beat Generation, On The Road part of my personality, or the result of my “I’m a 20-something and I haven’t got it figured out” -ness or what, but I have a tendency to sort of “perch” in places and not really make them my own. Like, it fascinates me that hotels have closets and dressers, because why would you move stuff out of your suitcase?

Even at my current job, where I have been working for almost seven months now, you would barely know which desk is mine. It took me months to put a picture of my dogs on my bulletin board. I still haven’t put a single thing into any of my desk drawers. Hell, I don’t even use the pen holder that was left behind for me.

And my name is on the door.

When I moved to Glasgow – beyond my obvious inability to “move in” to a place – I did so knowing it would be temporary. I knew going in that I’d be living in Scotland for two years, max. I definitely hoped to stay longer, but I didn’t count on it working out that way.

So I never really moved in.

Okay, I definitely put my clothes into my wardrobe, but I guess what I mean to say is that while I knew that my flat was “mine,” I never really felt like it was mine. I spent every day feeling a bit like I was in someone else’s home and I shouldn’t disturb anything too much. I wouldn’t even hang pictures on my walls.

So imagine my horror when I destroyed the bathtub.

There she is.
There she is.

Fine, I put it that way for dramatic effect. But here’s what happened: I’m typically a very tidy hair dyer. I’ve been dying my own hair since my teens. For those of you keeping track, that gives me over a decade of experience. I know what I’m doing; I don’t make a mess.

Not until I’m dying my hair in an immaculate, newly renovated bathroom in a flat that I’m renting that I feel no ownership over, that is.

I finished applying the dark brown dye to my hair and turned to leave the bathroom. That’s when I noticed that I had somehow completely defied the laws of physics and gotten a splash – not a drop, but a whole splash – of hair dye on the wood panel on the outside of my bathtub.

“Bleach!” was the first thought in my mind. But I was too late. The damage (see: huge stain) was done. Soaked in. Permanent.

I panicked while I waited for my dye to do its thing. I panicked while I rinsed and conditioned. I panicked while I rinsed again. I tried to tell myself I was overreacting until I poked my head into the bathroom again and saw the beautiful cream tile, the beautiful cream sink and toilet, sparkling new. And the beautiful cream bathtub…with a massive stain on the outside of it.

I’m pretty sure I cried then.

Suddenly, I remembered seeing paint cans somewhere in my flat. Where were they? I scoured under the kitchen sink to no avail, then realized that they had to be in my front closet.

Bingo.

I could make this dirty mistake disappear. No one would ever know. I wouldn’t lose any of my damage deposit! Win-win.

About two hours and three coats of paint later, I had solved my problem. I vowed to never let such a stupid mistake happen again. After all, this wasn’t “my” flat.

SPOILER ALERT: Oh, it happened again. And again. And again.

By some bizarre curse of nature and gravity (I just had a flashback to a couple of months ago at work when I asked one of my scientist coworkers a question and he exclaimed, “You don’t understand gravity!”), I managed to stain and re-stain the outside of my bathtub at least four more times. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. I have no idea how it kept happening even though I was so damn careful.

Maybe it was the universe’s way of forcing me to accept some level of home ownership, even though I was just renting. Regardless, I had to repaint that fucking bathtub four or five more times, which meant 12-15 coats of paint. I’m not proud of it, but I did what I had to do.

Lesson learned: Always have an extra can of paint.

(Also, maybe seek some therapy for the whole “I can’t make myself at home here” thing. Because it’s weird, right?*)

xA

*I feel like my mom’s gonna read that and go, “No, it’s not weird – I do the exact same thing!” like it’s not weird just because she does it too, when really that just means it’s weird and I got it from her, like my severe anxiety and my need to be early to everything. Hi, Mom.

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