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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Best Pep Talker EVER

Once upon a time, long before I had met my husband, John, and before I had moved WAY OUT to the burbs, this self proclaimed princess dated a man for several years. In my twenties, it was my first serious, SUPER DUPER, real relationship.

We will call this man Gunther.

And Gunther broke my heart.

Now, in retrospect, Gunther did me a huge favor. He was a great guy but we were completely, totally, 100% wrong for each other.

But, as I felt the break-up was largely a unilateral decision, my pride and my heart were somewhat (ok, terribly) crushed and beaten.

In order to recover, I followed the strict regimen outlined below that most young women in their twenties, who live in Arlington, VA do when they are heartbroken.

1) I called Gunther bad names that I can't write here and said I was better off without him.

2) I went to bars with my friends, talked to boys who were reasonably cute, patted myself on the back for moving on and then burst into tears mid-conversation because these guys weren't Gunther.

(In actuality, they were cuter, smarter AND nicer - but I couldn't see that at the time).

3) I would leave said bar and drunk dial Gunther.

I don't even want to revisit what might have been said on these calls.

Repeat two days later.

I was very, VERY disciplined about following this regimen. I did NOT waiver.

I recall one particular weekend, my girlfriends Sang and Liz took me away to Dewey Beach in hopes that they could distract me and help me recover. After we returned from the bars, after having had our share of drinks, I started looking for my phone.

"Where IS it?" I could have sworn it was in my purse.
"We took it." Sang informed me. I saw her giving Liz a look. I KNEW that look.
"You WHAT?"
"You have NO business calling him." Oh Sang. You can be SUCH a big know it all.
Seriously, you can.
"Fine, I will just use the phone in the townhouse."
"No sweetie. We hid the cordless phones." Liz said.
"WHAT?!!" Et tu, Liz?

Me and my friend Sang on a day when she wasn't as bossy

This is Liz holding Shaila, long after I forgave her for stealing my phone

I WAS a mess. After yelling some selective curses at both of my friends, I went to bed crying and feeling sorry for myself.

To make matters worse, my company put me on a consulting gig up in Long Island. Now, I have nothing against Long Island. It's not like I think it's really like this.

But I was far away from my friends and family and it officially sucked. big time.

IT WAS DEPRESSING. I found myself at a new low. To make matters worse, my team was staffed at a client that was just miserably, miserably mean. The client team wasn't all that bright and to compensate, they just YELLED, CURSED and acted REALLY NASTY to us consultants.*

And unlike me, who did the same thing to Sang and Liz, they were SOBER.

Which means they were legitimately REALLY, really mean.

Luckily, I was staffed on the project with a good friend of mine, Tony. Tony has a way of making everybody laugh. No matter how sad I was, Tony always found a way to cheer me up. Whether that meant he would get our crew to go to expensive dinners that exceeded our per diems or he found a way to make fun of our MEANER clients (which was pretty much all of them), Tony managed to keep us all sane in Long Island.

But I still wasn't over Gunther and I had my fair share of meltdowns. One day, I had a particularly bad crying session. I couldn't get a hold of myself. I was standing outside the building, banishing myself to the same corner as the smokers, all of whom looked at the sniveling little Indian girl from Jersey with some concern.


Enter Tony.
This is Tony.

Tony pulled me aside that day and told me what he and everyone else was thinking.

"Kiran, you're an F%$#ING mess."

Yeah - try not to mince your words there now, Tony.

"I know. I KNOW." I said. Oh NO. Here came the tears again. And I was out of freaking kleenex.

"Seriously, you're acting like a freaking donkey. You need to get your head out of your ass." This was his idea of a pep talk?

"But I can't stop (hiccup)being (hiccup) sa-ad!" I wailed.

"Dude, you need to get over Gunther. Seriously. This is getting all kinds of f#$#^ed up. The guy was kind of a jackass anyway." He had never been a fan.

"I kno(hiccup)ow. But, I don't know what to (hiccup) dooooooooo!!!"
"Kiran, I'm going to tell you something. And I want you to remember it anytime you even THINK about Gunther."

And that's when Tony taught me the mantra that got me through the heartache of Gunther.

"Anytime you feel sad, I want you to say the following. I AM A HOT PIECE OF ASS."

Excuse me?

"You're a hot piece of ass?" I asked Tony. Very confused.

"NO. YOU need to say this about yourself. YOU need to say that and remember that you will get through this.

O - kaaay.

So I tried it out. I'm a hot piece of ass. I'm a hot piece of ass.

How ridiculous! I could tell even the smokers who had overheard thought this was inane. (And no offense, but they weren't exactly at the top of the social pyramid, if you know what I mean.)

But then, the next day, as I felt the tears coming again, I tried it. And the next time I started crying during a sad, SAD song (No Sleep Til Brooklyn, The Beastie Boys), I tried it again.
Seriously, these guys can be sadder than Air Supply

And you know what? I kind of liked the way it sounded. And it was so ridiculous, that of course it made me smile.

And when I smiled, it was a lot easier to stop thinking about Gunther. For a minute.

But then the minute became five minutes became an hour became days became years.

And before I knew it, Gunther was a distant memory.

That ridiculous mantra (which I then lent to friends who didn't have a Tony in their life and displayed symptoms of low mojo) got me through tears, bad self-esteem, other mean boy incidents and some harder days at work.

So - next time you are feeling a little low, I want you to look in the mirror and SAY IT.

And I promise, IF NOTHING ELSE, you WILL smile.

I don't see Tony that often anymore. Our lives and groups of friends don't have much overlap and so we don't find ourselves in the same situations as much anymore. I am more comfortable at home and Tony is more comfortable at HOME, this club in DC, if you know what I mean.

But I still count Tony as a good friend and will ALWAYS be grateful for the role he played in helping me through that heartache.

And for giving me a mantra that I now am giving to you, my friends.

Go on now. Say it.

* Coincidentally, when I resigned from my consulting company as part of my effort to get my life back on track, the client offered me a job directly with them, providing a relocation package to Long Island and a pay increase.

I told them (to bite me and shove it where the sun don't shine), "Thanks, but No Thanks."


Jodi said...

All the au pairs go to Ultra Bar - such a meat market! said...

Shaila and Nico owe Tony BIGTIME. This blog should be archived for them.

Dave George said...

Fun post! What does one who is not a hot piece of ass do, though?

Masala Chica said...

Jodi - yes it is a meat market. Luckily Tony is now with someone so I don't think he goes there to pick up 19 year old swedes.

or DOES he?

Jimmy - yes, I will definitely tell Shaila and Nico they owe Tony. They will repay him with years of good Italian red wine.

Dave. Good question. It's a good thing you and I will never have to confront that reality.

You little HPOA.


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