#??: The 30 Thing That Never Was

Oh, the crossroads of life...

Dear readers: it’s time I come clean. I haven’t been completely honest with you. We’ve been writing this blog for the better part of five months, during which time I’ve been all boastful about how successful I’ve been in completing my list of 30 Things on time and with gusto. I’ve told you all about (ad nauseum) how 30 Things has change my life, blah, blah, blah. I’ve made it seem all rainbows and puppies and flowers. But I’m here to tell you that along the road, I stumbled. One day, I said no freakin’ way am I having anything to do with that noise and I’m going to cry in the corner just thinking about it NO to something I would normally say no to, breaking the cardinal rule of 30 Things: Say YES to things you would normally say no to. You can see the subtle difference here, yes?

So, I’m owning up and telling you that, yes, I’ve failed. I’VE FAILED, gosh darn it.

Here it is. The 30 Thing that never was. The story goes a bit like this:

“I’VE got a 30 Thing for you,” Ben (our good friend over at No Ordinary Rollercoaster) says in his usual far-more-enthusiastic-than-my-straight-husband voice. “My best friend is coming home in January and it’s going to be a gong show. We’re heading to a gay dance bar with a big group of people. It will be a blast. You must come!” Insert jumpy claps here.

Reciprocated by my even bigger jumpy claps, I squeal “Hello?! Of course I’ll come. That’s TOTALLY a 30 Thing for me. I’ve never been to a gay bar! Eeeeeeee!” (LIFE LESSON: mirror or exceed your gay friend’s enthusiasm at all costs, else compromise your likability and risk Perez Hilton-esque judgment. Just sayin’.)

With all the jumping and clapping and heel clicking (OK, that was just me) it all seemed so innocent at the time. A night out with the ever-fab Ben, and a few others lovelies. An evening at a bar I’ve never been to, nor would normally go out of my way to go to. And a bit of mischief. A great 30 Thing equation: normally say NO + opportunity to say YES = YES. Don’t worry, I can teach you all the complexities of this equation another time.

And that was it. I didn’t give much thought to our evening after that. It sounded like a great time, and while it, seemingly, wouldn’t raise the bar on my night at the strip club, it had the potential to be on par. Excellent opportunity for progress, I thought.

Until the day came. Suddenly, I was ridden with anxiety. My chest tightened and I got all cranky and moody, swatting at things in the air that didn’t really exist. But I kept going about my day, talking and behaving as if I was going that night, slipping into conversation that “I needed to get home and get ready to go out” as if I was giving myself a secret pep-talk and ensuring that those around me wouldn’t know that I was on the cusp of a 30 Things failure. Remember, at that point, I’d been being pretty high and mighty about all these new things I was doing and in the spirit of 30 Things and I needed to say yes. It was almost a mandatory. Like a dare that you can’t say no to. But at the eleventh hour, I did the unthinkable. I said no. I bailed. Worse than that, I bailed by email:

January 16, 2010

Hey Ben – Ok, so I’m emailing because I see from Twitter that you’re napping and I don’t want to call and wake you. Convenient for me, I know. Here’s the skinny. I’m bailing. You’re not surprised, I’m sure. 😦 My post-rationalization is as follows:

  1. I’m totally, totally down with going to the location. Totally…and, in fact, want to in future, am quite excited about it and can’t wait to wear my fake eyelashes there. Location: not the issue at all.
  2. But, it’s a place I’ve never been before that involves dancing, which amazingly is a big point of discomfort for me; so much so that I don’t even do in the mirror at home when no one is looking…I embarrass myself that much.
  3. And, it’s a group of people that I don’t know in a place I’m not familiar with, doing things I struggle to get the confidence do at the best of times.
  4. I’m sure they’re all lovely people, but drunk people that I don’t know in place I’m not familiar with, doing things I struggle to get the confidence to do at the best of times, is a bit trickier for me.
  5. I’m just a baby that can’t deliver on my 30 things at all, apparently.

So, here’s what I would like to ask. Can I take a rain check with a smaller group of people that I know and love (you and the Newf being amongst them) and that will collectively allow me to be self-indulgent in my hangups, whilst still helping me (it is all about me, of course) get over myself and finally loosen up to have a good time, damnitall?!

I know, this should not be such a big deal for me. And, I’m totally exposing you to a side of me that I’d rather just keep hidden under turtlenecks and cozy sweaters, masked by a great pair of heels that make me walk taller than I feel inside. But, it’s what you get with me 🙂 Can I take a rain check, please?

There it was. My official 30 Things failure. That night, the crazy, I-don’t-wanna-do-that woman, that I had become all too familiar with in my 20s, strutted right back into my life and knocked me flat on my ass. And just like always, she was so busy predicting uncomfortable situations, fueled by her wildly overactive imagination, that she couldn’t see the fun that could have been. Indeed, she had betrayed me yet again. Her presence paralyzed me as she put a big, black mark on my 30 Things report card. Yeah, I’ll say it. That BITCH.

That night, I let her run her course. I let her make me feel like the woman in the anti-depressant commercial that you always want to hug (or slap, depending on your outlook on life). I indulged her and myself. And to make this confession even more genuine, I need to tell you that there’s no happy ending to this one. The failure continues. I still haven’t taken that rain check. Maybe I should and call it 30 Things maintenance?


7 responses to “#??: The 30 Thing That Never Was

  1. I must add that saying NO instead of YES is probably a good value-adding part of the whole journey. Because isn’t it interesting that instead of settling in to the NO and feeling OK about it, you felt totally out of place and guilty afterwards? Huh. That’s a shift in itself.

    I should come clean as well: I recall pushing you toward the NO this time. I feel that a reliable 30Things buddy sometimes needs to say “Are you SURE you know what you’re getting yourself into?”

    This night, had it happened, wouldn’t have been ONE uncomfortable thing. It would’ve been a BUNCH of uncomfortable things having a party! Intoxicated people letting loose + high levels of enthusiasm for booty shaking till your everything hurts + an unfamiliar place, in an unfamiliar part of town + a crowd of people more overtly sexual and sequins-y than you….

    Better to say NO ahead of time than be in the moment and have a total meltdown of “OMG! OMG! OMG! I’m never saying YES when I mean NO EVER AGAIN!”

    So, I look at this one as a (potential) crisis being averted. And in that case, good work.

    • Agreed. I was totally prepared to pull out the sequins and fake eyelashes, but that would have been a whole lotta pretty paint on an otherwise crumbling building. Going out within this particular set of circumstances likely would have put the entire 30 Things business at risk. But, I’m willing to take this one on with some modified circumstances. And so I say to Ben (see below)…

  2. “LIFE LESSON: mirror or exceed your gay friend’s enthusiasm at all costs, else compromise your likability and risk Perez Hilton-esque judgment. Just sayin’.”

    HA! And isn’t that sort of learning what 30 Things is all about? Yes. Yes it is.

    The raincheck still stands, and if you want to put your money where your mouth is, Best Gay Friend Nick is returning in less than a month for three weeks. AMPLE opportunity to put on your bitch heels and get this show on the road.

    You’re getting nervous already, aren’t you?

    Big L – back me up here. We need to get this girl to a gay bar.

    • Let’s do this! I’m in maintenance mode and am getting lazy and apathetic. Let’s just plan according to what we learned the last time, shall we?

  3. Look at it this way: exposing this side of yourself that is scared and vulnerable is another something you would normally say no too – most people would. But you let us see that you’re human and no matter what resolutions you make, you can’t always be perfect. You said yes to sharing that, and your readers can identify with you even more now!

    • Thanks Kaela! There’s plenty more human where this came from…I just keep telling myself that humanity is what makes us endearing!

  4. An opportunity to MEET best gay friend Nick, plus maybe see the Newf really exists, plus dance my ASS off, plus get messy, plus put Wee C in sequins and eyelashes? HELLO, DO I EVEN NEED TO SAY: “SIGN ME UP!”

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