Guest Posts, Jen Pastiloff, Jen's Musings, On Being Human

Poopy Pants aka New Years Resolutions!

January 1, 2018

Hi, hi. A #realmotherfuckinglife post for New Years! That’s my hashtag. My jam, if you will. I am committed to sharing my real motherfucking life with you, and well, if you don’t like it, that’s ok. (Check it out on instagram if you want more but beware, that shit is real. There’s not much hashtag soblessed on there. It’s mostly talking about boring day to day stuff and depression and life with toddler and grey hair and small things that bring me joy like peanut butter cups and Dyptiqye candles, which I cannot afford.)  There’s a ton of pretty shiny perfect fake things out there and I wouldn’t judge you for liking them because sometimes we all need some of that. Right? I used to love looking through the trashy magazines when I worked at The Newsroom for one million years. It was a restaurant with a news theme and a news stand and I took so many magazines from there that I should be in prison. I mean, I worked there for almost 14 years and I would take US Weekly and People home all the time, so. You do the math. I would always want to bring them back but a) by the time I brought them back, the new issue would be out and b) I usually read them on the toilet so they were all waterlogged and gross and c) I never brought any back so I should stop lying. Anyway, sometimes we need to check out and look at “perfect” things so we can wallow in our own suckery. (Please stop doing this. Please stop wallowing in your own suckery. You don’t suck and there is no such thing as perfect so stop being an asshole. I will too.) 

I’m at my mom’s on an ostrich ranch, yes really, and she lent me these sweats which are the exact pair I had years ago when I pooped my pants in my own closet. #SoBlessed.

Dude, it’s a whole thing. I wanted to throw the pants away but mom was like no no I can get the poop out & she did & I hated them but I kept the damn CVS hideous pants until recently. Wearing them brings me back to some dark days, yo.

Look! It’s the pants!

The story was like this and you may have read it because I wrote it years ago in a blog. But in case you haven’t or your memory is shit like mine, here it is: My boyfriend at the time (even though I wasn’t allowed to call him that for the two years we had been dating) broke up with me over an instant message on the computer on my twenty-eighth birthday (oh, technology! Still so new back then! AOL Instant Messenger was THE THING!) It was shortly after I had moved into my own apartment for the first time in my life. I’d been going through a starvation/over-exercising cycle in order to deal with said boyfriend and had been eating things like seaweed (and laxatives) and working out for three hours a day.

Shortly before that birthday when my boyfriend who wouldn’t let me call him boyfriend told me he didn’t want to be my boyfriend, I’d woken up in a panic in my new apartment. I’d been wearing cheap oversized sweatpants my mother had bought me at CVS. I hated these sweatpants but had somehow had them (and wore them) for twelve years.

I’d woken in a panic. I’d felt scared and alone and I wanted the boyfriend to comfort me, even though he had never done that in the past.

(I want. I want. I want. I want.)

Even though things hadn’t ever shown themselves to be A, I wanted A. They had only shown themselves to be B and C and D, and yet, I wanted A and wished for A and starved myself in hopes that would bring me A. Whatever A was. In whatever situation. Love, my father, acting jobs.

In the vicious cycle of my anorexia, the pattern went something like this: I starved myself to feel safe and in control, and yet the thinner I got, the more anxiety I had. The more anxiety-filled I was, the more unsafe I felt, the less I slept, the more I clung to people and wanted to hide behind their bodies and their It’s all going to be alrights.

And the more nutso I felt, the more scared I got so the more I starved myself and ran and climbed stairs and picked at my face in the mirror. And then the more I did that the more I hated myself. So just before that birthday when he dumped me, I had woken in new bedroom in my old ugly pants in a cold sweat and stomachache (go figure).

I’d made myself sick calling him all night. Like a mother who couldn’t locate her child. Over and over I dialed. I probably called 100 times. He didn’t answer. All night, I had imagined him telling someone else that they could call him boyfriend. Kissing someone else. Being kind to someone else. I’d woken after finally sleeping two hours and had run over to my new bedroom door. I was going to be sick to my stomach. All the seaweed I had eaten and all the anxiety, combined with laxatives, made me literally sick, and I needed the bathroom.

The door wouldn’t open. The handle turned but nothing happened. Panic on top of panic on top of seaweed and stress and worry and Smooth Move Tea.

So I called my stepfather Jack who I knew would do anything for me, and told him that I couldn’t get my bedroom door open. I was crying by then. Hysterical. My stomach hurt so badly by then that I thought I was going to die. He and my mother lived close by at the time in Venice. He said he’d be over with a ladder to climb into my room. Of course he would.

I couldn’t wait. I said I had to use the bathroom NOW.

I called my manager downstairs and told him. He said that he could open my front door. Easy.

But.

Not so.

I had put the little wimpy double lock up the night before because I felt so alone and scared. Not physically scared at all, but, somehow, that little metal lock made me feel right in the world for a few minutes before I laid in my new bed and wept with my Nokia flip cell phone on my chest.

My manager finally got a neighbor (A Very Big Guy) to bust down my front door (and the little dumb lock which obviously did nothing) and then bust down my own bedroom door.

But by then it was too late.

I shit myself.

I had gone into my closet and taken off the pants and gone right on top of them.

What else could I have done? There was nothing in my room. I had just moved in days before. There were some books, a bed, a candle. Nothing to help me out. Like, say, a jar?

(A jar would have helped.)

There was nothing.

It felt like the lowest point of my life as I hid in my closet in my own stink.

I rolled up the hideous pants in a ball and quickly found a new pair as I jumped out of my closet as the door busted open. I felt so degraded and so unhuman in that moment that I skipped school. I had been going back to college to take some classes at the time. I hid all day.

I felt like wild animal. A disgusting, disgraceful wild animal. My body had betrayed me.

Then my not boyfriend boyfriend betrayed me on my birthday, which I had always thought (and still do) is your one free day to have people treat you kindly and with respect and honor no matter what. (My birthday this year was semi-shit too but not as bad as that year and not shit shit, no pun intended.) Want to dump me? Wait until the next day! Give me my birthday! It’s mine!

So I am wearing these pants and I have been wearing them for days. They aren’t the ones I crapped in but they are the identical pair my mom had so I am sitting in my memories, so to speak. Or sitting in my shit. Okay, enough shit jokes.

What did I do on New Year’s Eve you ask? I donned the sweats and ate Trader Joe’s canned chili, I drank a beer at like 3 and finally brushed my teeth. Woohoo! Happy New Year’s. Rager!

My mom and I watched The Twilight Zone Marathon which I alternated with Black Mirror when the Twilight Zone commercials came on. On the tv was The Twilight Zone, with subtitles for me. And on my iPad was Black Mirror which is hooked up to my bluetooth, which goes right into my head into my hearing aids (how’s that for some Black Mirror Twilight Zone stuff?) and I also still have to have subtitles. Being deaf is the pits but at least I have some help with technology. And no, I am not 100% deaf although I am nearly there without my hearing aids. I sometimes forget how amazing it is that I have created this life I have with this disability. Do you ever do that? Not give yourself any credit?

Sometimes I get so tired, so so tired, from trying so hard to hear, that I stop trying. You might see me in that mode sometimes and think I am being distant or checked out or whatever. Or, it’s probably worse than I think, you’re not thinking about me at all (one of my favorite quotes. Its’ worse than you think. They are not thinking about you at all. I do not know who to attribute this brilliance to.) It’s fucking exhausting trying to make out what is being said all the time. Plug your ears and try it and then tell me you don’t want to nap or mindlessly scroll on instagram. I hear a ringing in my head all the time. It’s not even like it’s quiet in my head. It’s as loud as a frat party on New Year’s Eve. If I am honest, and since I promised I would be for RML (Real Motherfucking Life) it makes me depressed a lot and anxious and on the very worst days, suicidal. If you are reading and you have severe tinnitus, come at me. Talk to me. Also, please do not tell me that there is something I don’t want to hear in life and that’s why I have a hearing problem. And yes, I have tried everything for tinnitus. But, I will carry on. It makes me a better person in many ways. (I don’t actually think that’s true but it’s so depressing and I felt like I needed an “inspirational” spin on it. Just kidding. I will never try to tie things up nicely with a neat little inspiring bowtie. That’s for chumps. And crumb bums.) I do know that having my hearing be what it is has made my other senses more acute. So maybe I did turn the lemon into lemonade or maybe I am just an asshole.

I think New Year’s Resolutions are equivalent to pooping in your pants but yet I woke up this morning and realized I had a few. Why is that? It’s just another Monday. I am in Tehachapi, California on an ostrich ranch on Monday with a cold cup of coffee and yet I have tricked myself, like we all do, that it’s a new beginning! I woke up and was like I am not drinking at all this month, I am reading and writing every dingle day, I am going to stop watching so many shows on my iPad, I am going to stop self-medicating, I am going to start lifting weights for the first time in my life, do more yoga…

Are you kidding me? I am standing on the porch staring at the cows. I haven’t brushed my teeth. I am in the world’s ugliest sweats. I am not wearing a bra and I do not even know where one is. My husband has been away for weeks and will be for weeks more because his father has pancreatic cancer and pneumonia (in London) and I am alone with my toddler who has an ear infection. And I was sick. So I came to my mom and Jack’s for support and much needed rest and my son can run free in the dirt outside as compared to our tiny one bedroom. But today I woke up and acted like I have been given a second chance at life and therefore I am going to do it right this time, damn it, and these are the ways I am going to change.

It’s a trick. I talk about it all the time in my workshops and yet I just got tricked by own self. Yesterday my mom and I were laughing at words that went out of fashion, like calling someone a “crumb.” You crumb bum! Someone in Twilight Zone called someone a crumb and we fell apart laughing. I’m a crumb bum and just fell prey to the New Years Poopy pants trick.

I prefer to say Now What? And do one little baby now what a day. Because dude, if I look at my whole list I want to cry and just watch Netflix and drink wine, which is what I would do, so I want look at the whole list. I will take on NW at a time. NW being Now What not North West or No Witches.

Okay, so here’s the gist and then I will let you go back to scrolling. Why is the idea of the thing always harder than the the actual thing?

Example: I decided this morning I would take off drinking this month. Scary that I said that because, accountability. Its not that I can’t do it. I did it! I was pregnant, for Crumb Bum’s sake. But the idea that I can’t have my wine tonight sends me into a tizzy. Same with anything. When I think of writing my whole book, or not having coffee or whatever the F it is, I freak out at HOW HARD IT IS GOING TO BE.

But the doing of the thing isn’t ever as bad as the idea of how I will do the thing. Ever. Ever in the history of doing things. What the hell kind of Twilight Zone bs do we live in? Why do we get so tricked? Or, maybe it is just me? Maybe I am just delirious from all that has been going on and I have had too much coffee and I am spewing nonsense?

Look, I crouched in a closet and pooped on my own pants as if they were a toilet and then I kept those pants and I can’t seem to get away from those pants, so then the question, it would seem to me, becomes: What does one do with shit memories? Or shit pants?

  1. One turns it into art.
  2. One buries it so far into one’s body and pretends it never happened.
  3. One lets it define them for the rest of one’s life.
  4. One eats it.
  5. One does it again and again and again.

 

I will take A. I will attempt to turn it into art (my life, that is. My real motherfucking Life.)

Replica of Shit Pants!

2018 is the year.

The year I am not interested in wasting time. I want to waste some time, that’s part of my Pastiloff nature. And my wasted time is where I get my ideas & magic and inspiration but I mean the kind of wasted time where I text you or you text me how much we hate ourselves or our lives or how much we hate our bodies & aging & being single or being married.

I want to listen & I want to be heard but 2018 is the year of paying CFA Close Fucking Attention to everything I give my attention to, to everything that comes out of my mouth, to everything. It’s the year of full body gratitude because although life is shitty & beautiful & painful & terrible & joyful, it’s hard to ALWAYS BE HAPPY. Happy isn’t a constant state. But we can find gratitude in every moment, if not every crappy thing, as a whole. whole bodied gratitude.
I notice lately I’m finding tremendous beauty in older faces, in aging women’s faces. This is not what our culture teaches so this is the year I’m saying fuck that & all the bs we’re fed, largely here on social media.
No more wasting time on grabbing belly fat. No more lamenting on mistakes made. No more wishing we were other people. No more wallowing in your own suckery.. 2018 is the year of waking up. Hi hello like you’re alive & no I am not punctuating bc no one does anymore. But maybe, maybe 2018 is the year I start to use punctuation, and capital letters, and grammar. Correctly. Or maybe not.
I just want to embrace this life because it’s so beautiful and every once in a while I take it for granted. I think it’s owed to me. It’s not.
I don’t want to scroll through fake bs. I don’t want to do things for followers. I want to be in the world, in a human, aging body & eat & drink & laugh & cry (if I can, it’s hard because antidepressants!) & I want to share it with you in my book & here but I don’t want to waste time regretting or not being grateful or missing perfect moments because my head was up my ass. I have a friend named Howard who says that if you walk around with your head in your ass you’ll have smelly hair.

2018 is the year of pulling my head out of my ass. You in? #onbeinghuman

 

I am doing less workshops as I finish turning my poopy pants into art aka finish writing my book but come see me soon in Florida or Texas or Italy or Portland or Massachusetts. Click here. Love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Christine January 1, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Hi, Doll, and happy 2018!
    I really relate to your honesty and insights tho I am a 62 year old single women with no kids.
    Today, my boss, who is an old crotchety hairdresser, let me go because he broke his arm and will not be working for two months+. I worked 28hrs a week for them, plus have social security benefits, and also work one day a week for a local interior designer – a dear friend. The thing is, I stayed at the salon because it was ‘easy’ money – over minimum wage – but not much and they offred me this job in August when I was in dire straights (not the band). Salon owner is moody and loved by his clients but had lately been not too kind to me, barely speaking. But I stayed out of loyalty – he and his partner are friends and basically good men.
    So, today I updated my resume, went online to unemployment website and will gather all my info to submit for unemployment benefits.
    The good news?
    1. My Covered Calfornia payments will now be even less cuz I no longer make the almighty $350/month (gross) at the salon.
    2. I won’t feel emotionally abused by this man who does not even see that he does this to his stylists and employees.
    PS. I went off my anti-depressants in August 2017 after being on them since 1990!!!! Pretty raw and have had a very, very rough time these last few weeks. Sibs are on them as well, and my dear folks should have been on them had there been something available to them at the time.
    I have posted here because if I post on your FB page, my friends can see what I post and I don’t need them all to see this. A couple of friends know what transpired with the ex-boss today, and I will slowly let my sisters know what has happened. They have been encouraging me to find other employment – away from this guy – as it has been emotionally damaging for a couple of months.
    Thanks, for yourbrutal honesty, Jen, and the opportunity to vent. And, I have had a couple of poopy pants experiences. Sheesh – what a mess that is!
    Keep on keepin’ on.
    Much love from Morgan Hill, CA, though I grew up in Los Angeles a couple of blocks from Loyola Marymount University.
    Christine

  • Reply Christine January 1, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    ** $350.00/week – not a month!

  • Reply Gianna January 1, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I’m a slow reader, used to consider
    myself bad at reading. It takes me forever to finish books and I don’t read full articles often. Yet I can devour your writing without even feeling like I’m reading. Sometimes it feels like I sponge it up like it’s a part of me I needed to take back in or honor or something like that. That’s how this piece felt to me. Thank you thank you thank you I miss you and you’re the best!!!!

  • Reply Deb Hieronymus January 2, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Your words. My God, how I want to meet you. How I want to workshop with you. Anywhere. Someday soon, I hope. XO

  • Reply Amanda January 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Jen!! reading this makes me feel like I am having a very important in a real way conversation with a very good friend who can stop by whenever they want because if I am napping or eating something crumby (crumby!) it won’t matter. Your voice is so true, honestly, who has not pooped in their pants at least once as an adult. Also, who has not had a boyfriend who won’t let you say that word?! ha! So excited for your book to come out. Charlie is happy running in the dirt. Love to your whole family, London & Cali-

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