These past weeks have been very stressful. I graduated college. My lease ends in two months and I have nowhere to live. I ran out of peanut butter. Today I sat in a Peet’s Coffee and ate turkey and raspberries out of my purse because I didn’t want to buy their food but needed free wi-fi. I also didn’t realize there were thin sheets of paper between the turkey slices and ate a sheet. Too embarrassed to spit it out in the middle of a coffee shop, I swallowed it. So now I have a paper poop to look forward to. When most people get stressed, they shove a bunch of cupcakes in their mouth and binge-watch Netflix until they forget their 99 problems. Or maybe they work out, or call their friend, or squeeze a stress ball. When I get stressed, this happens:
1. My boobs get really sore and I walk around all day going to first base with myself.
2. I am very emotional. Everything makes me cry. Like running out of peanut butter (special shout-out to Boyfriend who hugged me and nodded with understanding as I clutched the empty peanut butter jar in his kitchen wailing, “But how will we make peanut butter sandwiches?!”)
3. I get headaches.
4. I’m always exhausted.
By number three, I will have obsessively googled my symptoms and discovered there’s a 130% chance I’m pregnant. Inevitably, I spend the next two days stressing about my future as a twenty-one-year-old mother. There’s a lot of crying in the shower, apologizing to my parents at their hypothetical reactions, dealing with the judgment of my moms’ friends who use words like “wasted potential”, and imagining the apathetic receptionist in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. On the bright side, this has by now distracted me from all my current stresses. When I finally gather the courage to take the pregnancy test, I reach into my stash (you heard me right; this happens so often I have a Costco box of pregnancy tests). I stuff a test into the front of my pants and run out of my room to the bathroom, hoping none of my ten housemates will see the suspicious pink stick under my shirt. I then perform the now-familiar ritual, which includes getting pee on at least one hand. After the ten seconds of waiting, I discover that I am, in fact, not pregnant. I let out a simultaneous sigh of relief and annoyance with myself for falling for this once again and take a look at the cold, hard facts: I’m on birth control, my boyfriend and I use condoms, and this happens to me every time I get stressed. Shaking my head, I wrap the dripping pregnancy test in a roll and a half of toilet paper and throw it in the trash. Then I remember that I still have nowhere to live in two months and there is no peanut butter, and my boobs become sore all over again.