Monday, April 14, 2014

Do runners poop in the woods? Why yes, they do!

On a recent long run (names changed to protect those who have not consented to me sharing their names), the following happened:

Three of us (two of my best running friends and I) set out on a ten miler along the waterfront, starting and ending at Oaks Park.  The girls were nervous (friend 1 because she was having some odd foot pain and friend 2 because she didn't think she could run ten miles!) and so we altered our route to pass by the rest rooms FIRST during our run (nervous poopers and all...).

We arrived at the first set of crappers just as we finished running along the Harborside/SW area.  The first bathroom was locked, the second one was occupied (as the homeless man who tried to go in pointed out in a stream of profanity.)  We're pretty sure the gal that came out was shooting up in there, and the other restroom was still, as yet, occupied.  We moved along to the next set.  Friend 1 had no trouble but there was no TP and friend 2 was pretty sure she would need some.

We crossed the steel bridge and I introduced her to the concept of ass kegels, a great way to keep the poop in there and an extra workout for your glutes.  Near OMSI we found a couple of porta-potties, this time with ass wipe, but friend 2 emerged discouraged, I'm pretty sure the outhouse was so gross even her poop refused to come out.  "Stage fright" she said as we set about the last 3.5 miles.

Round about mile 9 (one left to go) friend 2 stopped cold in her tracks (by this time I was having sympathy crowning) and it was time..... 

So we jogged along the Springwater trail until we could find an embankment where she could go down and hide behind a tree.  "You want me to poop out THERE?"  she asked incredulously.  "YES!" friend 1 and I replied. 

We explained she could use the dead leaves to clean up shop and by this time there was seconds to spare.  As she scrambled down the bank a husband/wife ran by with a stroller.  We asked if they had any tissue and they said no.  They were pushing a stroller, you cannot tell me they didn't have at least a couple baby wipes, but whatever.

There was a lull in the action on the trail so our buddy was able to, er, successfully make her deposit without disruption.  And THEN she used the leaves.  We were so proud!  I felt pretty confident that she had, indeed, really truly earned BAMR status. 

And, we all learned a valuable and important lesson: bring kleenex next time.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Alas, even I am growing weary of my recent and prolific anti-Facebook posting, so I'm fairly certain this will be the last on the subject, though I won't say never because saying never has bitten me in the ass too many times. 

My mantra of late is usually "probably never" which gives me the right so say "I told you so" and gives me an out in case I change my mind: "I said PROBABLY never.....".

To close out my thirty day detox posts, I’m thinking I am going to start a new social networking site.  A place where real people post real things.  I’ll have one person (if I am lucky) sign up, I suspect.  

Given the rousing success (or lack thereof) of my thirty day challenge, I had two takers initially, one of them lasted 24 hours before she was back on the ‘Book, I’m being cautiously optimistic that I’ll even have one person join me.

One would argue, ostensibly correctly so, that A) no one wants to read your depressed bullshit and B) that’s what therapy is for.  

In order to really SELL this concept I thought perhaps I would give examples of what you WOULD Facebook, but what you SHOULD Realbook:

What I would say:   “Having a blast at the Oregon Coast with my family!”
What I should say:  “Sometimes I wonder why I brought my children on this beach vacation.”

What I would say:  “Super excited about how this meal turned out (with a picture, instagrammed of course)
What I should say:  “Spent hours on this meal, damn kids turned up their noses, husband dry heaved.”

What I would say:  “Girls night out!  What a blast!”
What I should say: “I’m too old to be out this late dancing and drinking.  And I look like a f*#king cougar. And not even a hot one at that.”

What I would say:  “Kids and I had a blast at the Japanese Gardens today!”
What I should say: “Kids complained the whole time about how miserable they are at the Japanese Gardens, thankfully I instagrammed a few pictures of them to make it look like they had fun.”

What I would say:  “I love my job, working with students is the best job in the world.”
What I should say:  “What the F did I get back into public education?”  OR  “I’d really rather be an alcoholic stay at home mom and volunteer at my kids school during rare moments of sobriety than deal with disrespectful youth I’m not even related to.”

What I would say:  “Had a great 10 mile run with my friends!”
What I should say: “Why did I run ten miles?  WTF is wrong with me?  Sadly, my incontinence got the best of me, ten miles is a bit too long without a porta potty stop apparently. Why do I insist on torturing myself?”

What I would say: "What a wonderful Saturday with my family!" complete with instagram photo of us doing something adorable and family-oriented
What I should say:  "Did four loads of laundry, cleaned three toilets, scrubbed the toothpaste scum out of the kids' sink and basically ignored them until I realized we should do something fun.  Snapped this picture so my mother would think I wasn't a delinquent parent since she stalks my Facebook page."

I am curious, in the interest of keeping the conversation going, what are some of YOUR posts that you WOULD say, but SHOULD say?  

If you are willing to jump through a couple of extra hoops (thank you Australian psychopath for making me force people to submit their comments for approval) post your Realbook posts in the comments and I will publish them as soon as I can find the time between scouring my kitchen sink and yelling at my children.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything is Awesome

Everything IS awesome.  On Facebook.  I’ll admit, while I haven’t MISSED being on Facebook I have certainly fought off the urge (more than once) to jump on and see what I am missing.  

But then I think it would be like a drug, I’d get a taste and want more.  Then I would jump in both feet and I’d be back where I started or worse.

Honestly, true confession here.  Last night I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in 15 years. It was so wonderful to see her and to find a kindred spirit, a like-minded (and therefore funny, intelligent and generous of course) person.  In a random sort of paranoia, I thought “I wonder what she’ll say about our meeting on Facebook.” Because I can’t see I don’t know. 
And, creepily, I was far less concerned about what SHE would say, as I was the dozen or so other sorority sisters who would likely comment, and based on the level of negative Karma I have in my life.  No doubt it stems from what an awful person I was in college.  I can’t even begin to guess what they might say.   

Then again, they probably wouldn’t say anything at all.

I sort of liken the Facebook detox experience to smoking.  Granted, I’m not a smoker, nor have I ever been, unless you count that one time after college at the Blues Bouquet in Boise, Idaho (MOM ALERT - SKIP THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS), a misadventure of epic proportions that resulted in a police officer waking me up as I “slept” in a heap of bar trolling clothing outside on a street bench, oblivious to the cold and the very real possibility that I could have been arrested (which the very kind officer warned me of as he attempted to rouse me).  

My friends were all tucked safely inside that smoky bar, unaware that not only had I disappeared after consuming the equivalent of a 12 pack of beer and two cigarettes for the first time (first time for cigarettes, certainly not the first time for the twelve pack), but that I had been gone for quite some time.  I made it to the bathroom and shared some of the beer with the toilet, found my friends, went home (somehow…) and never smoked again.

But I do know people who do smoke, or did, and anecdotally speaking I’ve heard that upon embarking on your personal smoking cessation program you suddenly become painfully unaware of the sheer number of smoking people around you, and, once you quit, how obnoxious that can truly be.

So as it is with Facebook, only it isn’t so much that it’s obnoxious, but I flat out SEE it everywhere.  At the froyo shop and giant sign says “Follow us on Facebook @froyoshop for special offers!”  

At bank, at the market, at the restaurant, you just can’t escape.  Is Facebook truly the only place to get this kind of information?  Clearly not, but we are led to believe that it is. 

I never truly noticed how pervasive this thing called Facebook has become in our global community. And again, it’s not that I think Facebook is bad, it’s just bad for me.

In my conversation with my friend last evening about Facebook (what does it say about our society that we were even HAVING a conversation about the ills of social media and it’s affect on us as humans?!) we talked about how, on Facebook, everything is awesome.  

On Facebook it appears that everyone has their shit together, their marriage or relationships are solid, their kids are angels (you can almost see their halos).   

No one gets angry, no one hurts, or is sad, or depressed or anxious.   

Everything is awesome.

It looks like we have it all: adoring husbands, perfect children, great careers, solid friendships with several people (thank you selfies), tons of free time and the ability to make Martha Stewart look like a chump with our amazing culinary creations and craftiness.

But do we have it all, really?  No, but we spend far too much time making it look like we do.  And for whom?  

 I’m willing to bet we’re trying only to convince ourselves.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Detox – Day 1

The first thing I did was remove Facebook from my cell phone yesterday around lunchtime.  It felt amazing.  It was as if I had suddenly been relieved of a giant responsibility, a chore, an item on my daily to-do list that I was just sick of doing.  Granted, this “to-do” is one that orchestrated for myself all on my own.  

But I felt relieved nonetheless.  

Suddenly I didn’t have the urge to take my phone to the restroom and check my page while I peed.  (yes, I realize how awful that must seem, but I assure you I am not even remotely exaggerating.)  

It felt so good to realize I didn’t have the urge to pick up my damn phone every five minutes to see if I missed anything.  Because guess what?  I probably did miss something, but I didn’t miss being in the loop.  And that was HUGE.

But I can’t lie.  I feel like a hypocrite.  Just a little bit.  Except I keep reminding myself that I’m not on Facebook for 30 days because I think it’s bad.  I am taking a break because it’s bad for ME.  

I have a cheating heart of sorts because I kept my one super-secret account, the one that has no friends, that will NEVER have any friends (the loneliest Facebook account ever) so I can continue to use Facebook in my work and volunteer life.  

You see, I have two pages that I admin, and a book page for the day when I actually have time to write my book, which looks like will be somewhere around, oh I don’t know, maybe NEVER.

So in a way I feel like I’m working the system, but I’m really not.  What I AM doing is just selfishly promoting my own interests.  Which, let’s be real here, is exactly what I was doing before, but under the guise of just being connected to a global community.  

Now, it’s just out in the open.  I’m a shameless self-promoter.  I feel somewhat liberated.

The moment that I hit deactivate on my account this morning, as anticlimactic as it was, I felt the urge to post on my Facebook page: “Just deleted my account.  Man that feels good.”  I’m not even making that up.

Then later this morning I heard about a situation at school with my daughter and I wanted to post something snarky, passive aggressive and very “double birds-ish” without being too obvious.  

Then I remembered I couldn’t and I was ever-so-thankful to have removed that option.  Nothing like stepping in a pile of shit you created all by yourself.  

I did have one moment of “I will not have a clue what’s going on out there” as I saw several Facebook posts relating to the 3.3 earthquake we had last night as I prepared to deactivate. 

I also realized that surely the TV news picked that story up (along with well, most other newsy things), and in the scheme of things it isn’t really something I need to know about and I clicked the “deactivate” button with little to no feeling at all.

I sent a simple text to my husband that read simply: Done.   

He knew what I meant, as his reply was “Free at last!!!” and mine was a simple “Free at last” right back.

And that’s how I feel right now.  


And it feels amazing.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I realized, mere moments ago, that I need to detox.  From Facebook.  And I'm totally freaking serious.

Just twenty minutes ago, as I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror dripping wet and completely naked, I picked up my phone (that normally doesn't come to the bathroom when I shower but this time it did because I was texting info to a friend on the way up the stairs) and checked Facebook.

We'll get to my phone attachment in another therapeutic Facebook post, baby steps....

So, you know, normally checking FB isn't a big deal, except when you should be putting on your clothes so you can go dowstairs and cook food for your children.

Except when you are buck ass naked and soaking ass wet.

Except when you have a pile of laundry to throw in the washer.

Except when you have, you know, life to live and shit to do.  Which, if I'm being honest is all the freaking time.

But yet.......

So in the span of about seven minutes, four spent checking everyone else's updates, one spent checking to see who "liked" my most recent post, and two realizing that I have completely wrapped up nearly every shred of my self-worth and self-esteem into who likes my status updates, I realized that I need to take a break. 

I also started to recognize feelings of jealousy and sadness when I see someone going on an epic vacation I can never afford, or two friends spending time without me, or a family doing something together that our family can't afford to do.  I started to get a chip on my shoulder.

Then I noticed that I started to wonder what's wrong with me if someone I thought for sure would LIKE one of my posts, and didn't like it.  It's hard to wrap your brain around the idea that likely they just didn't see it, but still.  But still.  You wonder.

And then you start to worry more about what everyone else is doing, what you're missing, and then you suddenly realize as you're standing in your bathroom with not a shred of clothing that somehow this social media thing has crossed the line for you.  What you're missing is YOUR life.

And then you think about simply needing to disentangle yourself.  You think, I'll just shut it down for a month, and see how that goes.  And then you sit down at your computer to find out how and then it dawns on you just how horrifically, irreversibly intertwined your life has become with Facebook.

How that one innocent little account that you created so many years ago has connected you with so many aspects of your life and the only portal, the only entrance is through your Facebook account.  Seriously, just take a look.

So then the wheels start turning and you think about how you can still keep an iron in all these fires without having to BE on Facebook, and you can't.  You absolutely can't.  Unless you have some other random account that no one knows that you accept no friend requests to, maybe that will work.

Except you realize that you HAVE to be "friends" with people in order to even be added to or take part in certain groups.  And then you start to have a panic attack, the kind where it feels like there's a big ass sumo wrestler sitting on your chest and there's not a goddamn thing you can do to get him off.

And then you realize that you'll still be checking Facebook even if you have no friends because all the communication from certain groups comes through Facebook.  And who the hell wants to use an email account anymore when, with a few keyboard strokes and the click of the "enter" button you've successfully communicated your message to everyone you need to talk to.

And then you'll still be looking at the status updates of everyone you have to be friends with in order to play "the game" and you start to realize you'll still be comparing yourself with others.  You'll wonder why some people are friends on Facebook but they've never "friended" you.

You'll feel all those things you don't want to feel and why you wanted to disengage yourself in the first place: jealousy, sadness, rejection, and that you still, after all these years, don't fit in or measure up to everyone else.

And then you find a therapist because you read the blog you just wrote and realize you need some serious help. Even as I type this I realize how bizarre all this sounds.

And as the panic attack subsides you decide you're going to try anyway, do the best you can and give yourself a break.

For a moment you question if you can handle the change, can you break away, can you get by.  And it's sad to you that you have to even wonder if you can do it.

That speaks volumes without saying much of anything at all.

And Facebook isn't bad, it's just bad for me.  It's been incredible to connect with amazing people from so many areas of my life.  But it's also become a major source for how I feel about myself, and no one should ever be in a place where the yardstick by which they measure their success is on a computer screen.

One month.  I'm going to try.  I suspect it will be hard but I hope it will be a relief.

Come Monday morning at 7:30AM PST (I hope to hell I can sort my stuff out by then) my personal facebook page is going dark.   No judgments here, just looking for some peace.