I am a woman of many talents. Consuming copious amounts of red wine without getting a hangover. Injuring myself in my sleep. Raising one eyebrow at a time. Finding the one gay guy to flirt with at a party. Detecting a morsel of onion in any food. Identifying Swedish people by their appearance.
But my real skill–and if I were a superhero I’m sure this would be my superpower–is self-sabotage.
Going back to my childhood dream of working for the CIA, I always considered psychological warfare to be one of my gifts. It turns out that I can also deploy it on myself. That’s quite impressive, if I do say so myself.
The instant I start to feel good about myself, my id/superego/voices-in-my-head spring into action.
Oh, you’ve been on a diet for two weeks? Here, eat this entire bag of jelly beans in one night.
Spent two days off social media trying to write and improve your state of mind? Go back on and get sucked into the black hole of fighting with Hillary voters on Facebook. (I know, Bernie needed me, but still. Fighting evil drains my energy source.)
Find a nice guy who seems interested in you? Drink a bottle of wine and start talking about your failed marriage.
I always find a way to fuck it up. I just can’t have nice things.
I used to think I had issues with self-control. Come to think of it, I believe my ex drilled that into my head in the final apocalyptic days of that relationship.
That wasn’t it at all. When you go four years without sex, that is nun category self-control.
And it’s not that I can’t stop drinking wine, because I did that for two weeks with no problem. I gave it up at the same time I gave up carbs. Wine and carbs are my entire diet. I lived on ice chips and broccoli. That’s supermodel self-control.
No, my problem is that I can’t be happy. I have to push the limits until I send guys running. I drink so I don’t have to think about anything serious. A little wine makes me able to write humor; a lot of wine gives me A.D.D. and then I start online shopping for dresses to wear on dates with the nice guy I will never go on because I don’t wear dresses and I ate the jellybeans so I’ll be too fat to go on the date and then I’ll need Spanx but Spanx cut off the circulation to my thighs so I’ll have to make up an excuse like I had an allergic reaction to a spray tan and cancel the date. I will find a way to sabotage anything that makes me feel good about myself for more than an hour.
And then I’ll write about it. Because happy stories aren’t usually funny stories.
That’s it! I’m not self-destructive, I’m a creative genius.