“Usually, although parasites harm their hosts, it is in the parasite's best interest not to kill the host, because it relies on the host's body and body functions, such as digestion or blood circulation, to live.”
Welp, according to necsi.edu, it sounds like I’m involved in some sort of parasitic relationship. And, I’m not talking about dating. I mean, I think we’ve all been in a parasitic relationship where a “partner” has leeched on and sucked everything out of us until moving onto his next host. But, despite my emotional urge to fall down the rabbit hole of dissecting past toxic relationships, I’m going to stick to my current parasitic relationship; artificial Estrogen and Progesterone.
These hormones have sneakily moved in and unpacked all their shit. It started with an overnight bag, then a dresser drawer. Next thing you know Progesterone is unemployed, smoking weed in my living room, mooching off my wifi and Estrogen is using the last of my toilet paper without replacing the roll.
Not only are they living in me rent-free, but I’m paying for them to be there. I just opened my last vile of progesterone from my initial order. Sweet, that $190 was LITERALLY all shoved in my ass, and now it’s time to drop another $190 on a new order.
Did I mention where Estrogen resides? IN MY VAGINA. That’s right. I have to put a half a pill up my hoo-ha every morning and night. It’s a blue pill, so throughout the day I get a little reminder that I jammed hormones inside myself every time I go to pee.
So I have progesterone cozying up in my ass and Estrogen sitting pretty in my vagina, but that’s not where they like to do their handy work. No, no. My pituitary gland is their fucking recreation center. This is where the fun happens. When they’re bored they like to shoot strong hormonal urges from my brain to my body, usually resulting in tears or uninhibited rage.
They’re also on no sort of schedule, so you never know if they’re napping or about to fuck shit up.
I was asked to answer questions for a story about men’s grooming in Pittsburgh for a local newspaper last week. The journalist, Sara, who we’ll call Tina for her privacy’s sake, informed me the article would be featuring new and established barbershops in the city, as well as express their opinions on the “uptick” in men’s interest in grooming and products. Despite the fact that the word “uptick” was killing my soul, I was excited our shop was included. (I figured that was my distain for the word “uptick” was purely hormonal.)
She sent me a list of questions, which I took pride in answering. I took my time and answered each one with a lot of thought and purpose. I felt GREAT about it. She asked for photos, which I eagerly sent over as well.
The article was published this morning. It was basically a feature article about a new barbershop that just recently opened on the other side of town. The majority of the article described this beautiful new shop, featured multiple photos AND a video on the online version. At the very end of this “men’s grooming article” was a quote from me and two other established barbershops.
One of the questions she asked was why I thought there was an “uptick” (fucking cringe) in men’s interest in new products and services. My response was, and I quote, “Anything that may seem like a foreign concept to someone may deter him from trying something new. Looking at shelves full of products can be extremely overwhelming when you don't know what you're looking for. That's where we come in. It's our job to educate our clients.”
What was published was “Anything that may seem like a foreign concept to someone may deter him from trying something new.”
So basically it sounds like I’m, out of nowhere, saying that men are afraid to try something new. This would usually annoy me. It might make me bitch to my husband and my friends about it, but I would let it go.
I wasn’t quoted perfectly? Not ideal, but I’ll live.
I was a mention in a feature article about another shop? Eh, I’ll get over it.
But not today, Tina.
Poor Tina was completely unaware that publishing an article that I didn’t like, would awake my roommates. And trust me, progesterone and estrogen are NOT pleasant in the morning.
I called her at 8:00 am. She didn't answer because she’s a normal human who probably wasn’t at work yet. Which was COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE to me. I’ve been up since 6am. Where the hell are you Tina??
My plan to leave an extremely professional and unemotional voicemail quickly took a left turn and I was almost in tears, aggressively gritting my teeth into the phone. Needless to say, she didn’t call me back.
An emotional voicemail wasn’t where it ended. Oh no. This is when I started emailing editors. I also emailed Tina herself, just reiterate what my voicemail said, just in case she wasn’t clear that I was JACKED.
After hours of me reading and rereading the article and angry emails I sent to editors of this publication, I finally got a response. Sara, I mean Tina, responded by basically telling me I’m wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about in. (in a polite and professional way, which I read as patronizing)
Ok, so the next part of this is a little blurry. I may have blacked out in a rage and came to to my husband holding me back from my laptop. After a slew of swear words, tears, and obsessing over her every word, I told Michael that I was going to get over it and move on.
And I tried.
Five minutes later I was feverishly typing another nasty email letting her know that there “WILL BE” a correction published. This went back and forth until she finally said “If you have any other questions please contact my editor.”
Of course I didn't listen and found myself typing “UPTICK? UPTICK? WHO THE FUCK SAYS UPTICK? THERE’S ABOUT TO BE A DOWNTICK ON YOU WHEN I FUCKING COME THERE AND…”
All of a sudden I had a moment of clarity. I slowly hit the backspace bar until the entire emotional rant was deleted. None of this mattered. None of it. How freaking narcissistic am I to make this entire article about me? What the hell was I doing?
Ok so the owner of the barbershop that was featured tried to poach our barbers. So what. I asked him to stop and he did.
Ok so my quote wasn’t in the exact context I wanted. Was this really going to be a detriment to my business? Would ruining Tina’s day make me feel better? What exactly was I trying to accomplish here?
I take a little, tiny bit of responsibility for my actions today. However; I am going to go ahead and pass the blame right to Progesterone and Estrogen.
And where are they when all of my energy is wasted on being worked up about a newspaper article? They’ve gone back to their little hiding places in my body, nestled in, snug as a bug in a rug. Just cozy and warm, dreaming of the next time they get the pleasure of waking up and making me look like an asshole.
And you know where I’ll be? Not in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that’s where I won’t be. I pretty much sealed my fate to never be asked to contribute to an article again.
“Usually, although parasites harm their hosts, it is in the parasite's best interest not to kill the host…”
But killing the host’s reputation, now that they have no fucking problem with.