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The Unhappy Meal

In the bottom drawer of my right hand nightstand, I have this thick black notebook that’s full of all kinds of journal entries and poems that I wrote between the ages of 18-21. Sometimes, I like to go through it just for kicks. Reading stuff I wrote when I was going through my “I’m so deep and emo poetry phase” is often a cringe worthy/hilarious experience. The other day I was leafing through the black notebook, trying to find some inspiration for a blog post when I found THIS poem which I’ve bravely decided to share with you guys*

Let’s all cringe together!

*Please be kind. Sharing bad teenage poetry is infinitely more embarrassing for me than talking about weird sex stuff.

(Also, please keep in mind that this poem was written by a angst ridden, emo 19-year old girl. I’m pretty sure when I wrote this I dreamed of one day reading it in front of a packed coffee house while the beret & black turtleneck clad audience snapped their fingers and some guy played the bongos in the background. Thank god that never happened)

When I re-read this poem the other day, the funny thing was I couldn’t even remember who it was about. This poem could have been about at least 3 to 4 different guys that I dated during that time period. Eventually, I remembered the subject of the poem- this dude who’d come over, sleep with me, eat my roommates food and say stuff like “I really love you but, I’m just not into labels” before flying out the door the next day. His visits would also usually include him un-apologetically breaking something in my apartment (“I just broke the doorknob off your bathroom door. I don’t think anyone can get in there now. You might want to fix that. Gotta go“), using a house plant as an ashtray or doing something totally uncalled for like that time he accidentally got my straight-edge room-mate stoned after using her fancy cookware to make homemade “mushroom tea”. Whenever he left in the morning, I’d be left with some kind of mess to clean up, feeling like shit and thinking; “I can’t believe I let this happen AGAIN”. The most embarrassing part about this whole story is that after I wrote this poem, I’m pretty sure we kept dating for at least another 6 months….WHICH MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

Thinking about this made me realize that I used to let a lot of people make me feel bad. Years ago my Mom said to me: “You keep on dating guys who are Disappointers. They build you up, you seem happy for about a minute and then they do something really terrible to bring you down. Like that time ____ bought you a Valentine’s gift and then threw up in your friend’s car…. But, you keep dating themThe big question was: WHY? Clearly, I was aware of how these people were making me feel (like a bad case of the McGross burps) but, it was like I couldn’t act on it. Instead of breaking up with this dude, I was at home writing a poem comparing him to a hamburger. Go figure.

One of my favorite things about being in my late-twenties/early 30’s is that my tolerance for bullshit has gone way down. If anyone makes me feel like I’m eating a “Unhappy Meal” even for a few minutes, I don’t want to be around them. I used to give everyone the benefit of the doubt that under their bad first impression there might be a good person but, now I don’t. I think this all goes back to the concept of Being Thirty and Saying No. I already know how things will end so, the minute I start to get bad vibes from someone, I cross them off as someone I want to hang out with. Life is too short and there are too many good people & opportunities out there. I don’t want to waste my time hanging out with people who are jerks.

So, to follow up with last week’s Sunday Love Bite, I’ll tell you what I wish someone had told me 11 years ago: if your Friend(s)/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Secret Lover inspires you to write bad poetry where you compare them to questionable fast-food, or you feel like someone is making you eat an Unhappy Meal: LEAVE THEM.

No one worth having in your life should make you feel this way.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s been through this?


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