One thing we know about modern life is that stress is ever-present. While we can’t eliminate all of it, learning to manage stress is key to thriving. Experts suggest that therapy with a licensed professional is the best way to work out your issues, which I respect, but it’s really far, their couches are always like off-brand Macy’s crap, and I refuse to park my car without valet. That’s why I’ve adapted my therapy to meet my needs. I just explain all my problems to the grocery clerks and baristas forced to serve me.
Look, when you think about it, a therapist is just someone you pay to listen and be nice to you. Telling my Trader Joe’s bagger how I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and ask how I, a varsity cheerleader (go Panthers), ended up in a sexless marriage with a chartered accountant is essentially the same equation: He’s getting paid, and I am talking. In this economy, most of them probably have master’s degrees in something, so I’m really just being efficient—which, as I explained to my Starbucks barista, is because my father was a gambling man and once bet my birthday present, Shelby the Sheltie, on a bad round of poker. I miss Shelby so much.
The way I see it, this was really their idea. After all, just like in therapy, my Whole Foods clerk, Bildungsroman, starts every interaction with “How are things going?” You can’t lob that grenade into the life of an adult in 2018 and not expect a 29-minute answer, because things are not going good, Bildungsroman, they are not going good at all. Let’s start with how I just missed the cut-off for that 1% tax break, okay? You want to talk about unfair economics?!
Before you get all Nancy Nay-Say on me, let’s look at the facts. So far, not one of the menial laborers I have sprayed shame-juice all over has protested verbally. Maybe it’s because they sense a fellow human in pain or because their $9.50 per hour is the only thing keeping the creditors off their back and their baby in black-market diapers. Either way, they’re able to look beyond my Gucci watch and my Bentley car keys and just see me, although I’m pretty sure Kadrea at TJ’s is double-charging me for honeydew melons, so I’m getting her fired. I’m really proud of being so proactive in advocating for myself!
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is the value of people. Every woman needs her community, whether they specifically signed up to assist you or not. Whether I’m telling my housekeeper about my sexual predilection for rug-chested men with girly legs or I’m absolutely unloading on the deli guy about my dream where a huge rubber duck taught me Spanish, I remind myself how lucky I am that all of these people are so terrified of losing their jobs and that I am in such a blessed position to be able to use that fully to my advantage as I strive to become a better person.