Envision Howie Mandel trapped inside the bathroom stall of an Indian buffet—surrounded by evidence of a recent food poisoning scare.  I’m talking about feces; he’s surrounded by feces; try to keep up. How do you see this scenario unfolding?  What I see is a whole lot of poo, and a whole lot more panic— in the form of a bald man weeping like a child, while frantically wrapping himself in toilet seat liners; you know, the ones that don’t serve a damn purpose, especially for Howie.  I mean, c’mon, he’s surrounded by shit that looks to have, quite literally, hit a fan. My Sensory Processing Disorder sometimes feels like Howie Mandel in that bathroom stall. 

 

My mother, bless her heart, spent the better portion of my childhood removing tags—the tags that normal people leave on— from all of my clothing.  She’s the sweetest woman I’ve ever known, but she had her fair share of dark, repressed feelings.  Namely, her desire to see her son be less of a pussy.  Looking back, I can’t say I blame her. Most young boys are scared of the dark, or cooties; I was scared of tags on the inside of my clothes.   Nevertheless, anytime that small piece of fabric touched my skin, I felt as though I was sitting in a jungle, swathed in burlap strait jackets.  Despite my Mom’s secret feelings toward me, she continued the appeasement.  After all, I was her baby girl.  At this point in my life, I began traversing the precipice that separated my years of prepubescents from my years of full-blown back hair. In other words, I was missing a leg while slacklining in a Tornado during a vertigo scare, and the long, arduous climb up my staircase to adulthood was only just beginning. 

 

Bars

 

My fiancé and I just started planning our wedding. She took the helm and I took the back seat.  Actually, she took the helm, and I’m sitting bitch between two of her broad-shouldered ex boyfriends. Because of this newfound obligation, my time for friends has waned, which, to my friends’ shock, hasn’t fazed me.  You see, my friends prefer rendezvousing at local bars, which, to me, are like a less accommodating form of hell.  But how can that be? Bars are heaven for anyone with a Sensory Processing Disorder.  What with all the solace, seclusion, and serenity.  Oh, right, bars are nothing like that; they offer significantly less solitude and slightly more diarrhea—the kind of place you would attend if you were itching to watch grown men relive their collegiate glory days (or nights), knowing they’ll forget everything by the time they wake up the following morning (or afternoon).  With all that natural testosterone mixed with synthetic beats blaring at 100+ decibels, do you really expect these guys to take a soft-spoken, non-intrusive approach to making fools of themselves?  It’s this type of ambiance that makes me wish I was back sitting bitch in my fiancé’s backseat.  Ever get stuck under the El as a train goes by?  For me, being in a bar is kind of like that.  Only I’m naked, lost, and in Dante’s 9th circle of hell.  If you ask me, bars are meant for confining, not entertaining.

 

Ties, or Torture

 

Speaking of hell, neck ties are like a grown man’s version of t-shirt tags. Yeah, sure, I’ll go drop $60 at Kohl’s, just as long as I’m guaranteed to be gently strangled the entire night.  When I see “black tie” on a wedding invitation, chances are my RSVP will begin with, “Unfortunately”. There’s a simply solution for this you say? I should just stop wearing ties, right?  Wrong.  You’re the best man at your best friend’s wedding next week; try rationalizing your little issue with his bride-to-be, and let me know how that turns out.   Here’s a spoiler for you teenagers out there: When it comes to wearing ties in your 20’s, you can run, but you can’t hide.  I’m not even capable of buttoning the top button on my shirt, cause then I just have a slightly weaker set of hands slowly choking me out.  This doesn’t even touch upon the whole collar dilemma.  I love having facial hair plucked off my face.  Just kidding, I’d prefer Guantanamo Bay.

 

My Girlfriend’s So Hot.  How Hot Is She? She’s Constantly in a Gaseous State

 

Let me fill you in on something I recently learned:  Girls poop.  They fart too.  That’s right, just like ol’ “IBS Phil” from your wrestling team in middle school. I know, I know, it was a shock to me too—like getting off Santa’s lap at the mall, only to have an elf tap you on the shoulder and confess, “Hey kid, that isn’t Santa.  That’s Steve.  He needs the health insurance. His wife’s dying.  But, hey, Merry Christmas”. 

 

My girlfriend, for whatever reason, recently decided to stop showing mercy in the cheese-cutting department.  I think she’s pissed that I haven’t helped more with the wedding planning.  In any case, I now gag on a daily basis.  As if my manhood hasn’t taken enough hits from my SPD tics, she always says I’m “just being dramatic”.  Which, to me, is like saying, “stop crying, it’s just pepper spray”. As any half-wit knows, when your fiancé inevitably asks if she looks fat, you say no.  Period. When she asks if her flatulence is bothersome while you look like you just stuck your face in a bowl of tear gas, things get a little messy. 

 

You’re Hired!  Your New Office is on the 80th floor.

 

I first discovered my fear of heights when I woke up to two paramedics staring at me while I was sitting on the Giant Drop at Six Flags.  According to my friend, I blacked out halfway through the ascent.  To this day, I won’t even watch GoPro videos of people skydiving, riding roller coasters, etc.  I get an unbearable tingling in my sphincter when I hold my cell phone over the 2nd floor balcony at the mall. So when I was offered a well-paying job on the 80th floor of the John Hancock building, I moronically took it and promptly quit 3 days later after a panic attack that was brought on after observing a window washer.

 

 

Look, I have a wonderful life. I’m not discounting that fact.  I have friends who actually enjoy my presence, a smoking hot girlfriend (literally and figuratively), invitations to attend important black tie events, and I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor at a new company…literally.  I don’t take my blessing for granted.  I only tell this story to provide perspective.  If you’re having a rough day, just remember, shit didn’t actually hit a fan, and you’re not locked inside a poop-ridden Indian bathroom stall.  Count your blessings.