Mentally Shrill #012: Oy, Mista! You Me Catfish?

Has anyone seen my promotional Pressed Juicery cooler?

Hello to everyone who did NOT (allegedly) find two shrimp tails in their box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and obnoxiously tweet about it, only to be outed as a narcissistic piece of shit 48 hours later, and welcome to the latest installment of Mentally Shrill

In this issue, we’ll tackle being catfished from across the pond, how to lose baby weight, and what to do if your former boss and their overall menacing energy are still haunting you at your new job.

Before we get to the fun part (paid subscribers, feel free to scroll on by and pretend I am not about to recycle a joke), I wanted to let you all know about my decision to send the free version of Mentally Shrill once a month, and the paid version bi-weekly. (Bi-weekly as in twice a month- not the other, stupider version of the same word that means twice a week.)

While I’m having a blast being nosy and giving advice, I want to be #mindful of my personal expectations and avoid any possible burnout. 

This will also give me the chance to have themed newsletters- and who doesn’t love a theme? (Absolute dweebs, that’s who.)

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Subject: Maybe getting catfished?

Dear Alexis, For the past 6 months I’ve been talking to a guy in the UK (i’m in the US) I met online on an unnamed site for horny adults. Initially we started out sexting, but after our first convo we started talking about normal shit and really hit it off. We’ve talked every day since then, we’ve both admitted feelings for each other, but he will not send me a photo of his full face. I’ve gotten like everything from the nose down but no idea what the top half looks like, and when I ask him about it he’s not defensive but just says he’s super anxious about it and not ready, like basically he’s uncomfortable with the way we met, and that he’s sure he just needs more time. Idk how much more time I can let this go on for but I don’t want to stop talking to him.  

My therapist told me I really need to get back on the apps and talk to guys who will show me their face, but I really like this one and have had AWFUL tinder/bumble/hinge experiences so I’m not super into her suggestion, but as someone who watched catfish religiously I feel dumb waiting it out for this long. WWAD?

Sincerely, Feeling kind of dumb!

Dear Catfish Victim,

Don’t feel dumb- who among us hasn’t changed their location to the UK on their preferred dating site on the off chance that you meet your soulmate and also dip into the world of 90 Day Fiancé fame? See? No one denies it. Happens all the time. 

The bad news is you are most definitely getting catfished, but the good news is you know what he looks like from the nose down, and that’s certainly……………..a start! Of course, there is the off chance that he is just uncomfortable about how you met and anxious to show himself to you, but even if this is the case, you’ve been talking to him for 6 months, it’s beyond time for him to reveal himself.  

Your therapist is right- you do need to get back on the apps and talk to guys who will show you their faces- regardless of how much you like Mr. Noface; especially since you’ve already asked him to send photos before. If he has real feelings for you, showing you what he looks like should be NBD, regardless of how you met. What exactly is there for him to be ~uncomfortable~ about? You were there on the same horny website as him. Being horny just like everyone else. There’s nothing left for him to get ready for. You already knew the deal!

Look- this is weird of him, like really really weird. But at the same time, men are always weird, so while this doesn’t need to be a huge thing that you feel embarrassed about, it is something you should nip in the bud as soon as possible. I even made you this graphic to send to him to break the ice: 

What I would do is be direct and tell him that you’re hitting a wall and need to see his face. If he has true feelings for you, he’ll either oblige and show you what he looks like or admit that he’s a big ole lying liar who’s been catfishing you this whole time. There’s also the bonus option of him admitting that he’s secretly married with 5 kids- but it’s Friday, so let’s not go there. 

Being attached to him isn’t a good reason to torture yourself like this. At this point, he could look like Idris Elba, and it still wouldn’t change the fact that he’s been speaking to you for 6 months and hasn’t shown his face. It’s not like you met each other while online gaming- he was on a horny website! Being horny! Surely he should have expected that someone would want to see his face. That’s like 50% of the deal!

At the end of the day, you want to know what he looks like. Hell- I want to know what he looks like, and this doesn’t even involve me. Ask him to send a photo one last time (don’t forget to be direct ☝🏾), and if he’s still giving you the runaround, it’s time to toss the wanker, as they say across the pond 💂🏻‍♂️🇬🇧. He’s either ugly or he’s not- and you cannot keep living like this, especially after 6 months. 

Don’t be too worried about your past experiences on Tinder/Bumble/Hinge; we’ve all been there, and some of us (me) are still there. Unfortunately, that’s life! Of course, you could always ignore me and keep talking to your mystery man, but what do you have to gain? What happens if you let things get too far? Are you comfortable with your engagement shoot being shot only from the nose down? Because I certainly wouldn’t be!  

Good luck! 

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Subject: Baby Weight

Dear Alexis, Is there anything worse than trying to lose the baby weight during a global pandemic? Probably, yes, but this is my time to shine (complain). Every time I start a diet or exercise routine, I give up after a week. How can I stay motivated when I'm dealing with my regular anxiety/depression, global pandemic depression, and the need to pour all my heart and soul into my son? I feel like I have no energy left for myself after giving him my all.

Sincerely, Not a Blogger Mom

Dear Not a Blogger Mom, 

Congrats on the new baby! I’ve never personally struggled with losing baby weight, but I was once sabotaged by a gyno who put me on The Pill, which made me gain a ton of weight, so that’s kinda the same? (No, it’s not.) Anyway, don’t be too hard on yourself! I know it seems that way, but not everyone went and bought a Peloton as soon as lockdown started, and between you and I, I’m almost confident the ones that did barely use them anyway. What I’m getting at is: at least you have a good reason to be too exhausted to workout, unlike some people who play up their mild to moderate foot injuries whenever their psychiatrists ask how incorporating daily exercise into their routine is going. Not that I would know 😉😉. 

-I personally don’t believe in diets. If I’m not going to eat a certain way forever, I don’t see the point! I tried a juice cleanse once, know what happened? I made it to approximately 1 pm when everyone in my office ordered Mexican food, which came with a shopping bag full of tortilla chips. I got a nice Pressed Juicery cooler out of it, though 🙃!   

-When I’m not in the mood to work out or just really exhausted, I stretch and tell myself that’s good enough. Because it is! I really like the Sworkit Stretching app- it’s free 🤑 and offers you the option of Full Body, Head to Toe, or Pilates Essentials. You can also choose any duration between 5 and 60 minutes for your workout, which helps me trick myself into ~only~ working out for 15 or 20 minutes. 

-I’ve recommended this before, but this exercise bike could be a great option to get your legs moving at your own pace, plus- it’s really good to pile clothes on when you don’t feel like putting laundry away. Multi-use. Chic! Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike ($148)

-As a bonus, you can always listen to my current spin playlist when you’re feeling spicy:

P.S.

Not to body shame, but how heavy is your baby? Depending on how girthy he is, you could probably just pick him up and do some squats for 10 minutes a day. It’s not like he’s got anything else to do, and this is basically his fault anyway. Put that baby to work!

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Subject: we live in a capitalist hellscape, am i right?

Dear Alexis, So for the second half of 2020, I had a shitty job with a horrible boss whom I was terrified of, and even though I have since left that job and have a new, better boss it feels like I'm still constantly on edge. I jump at unexpected noises when I'm at work, find myself internally panicking and resisting the urge to shush my coworkers whenever they're being loud or energetic out of fear that somebody is gonna stomp in and scream at us, and am generally filled with dread and anxiety at the idea of going to work. 

Frankly I find the idea of one psychopath still affecting my life so much even after leaving that job to be extremely cringe, would you happen to have any advice for me? Or ideas for ways I could place some kind of evil curse on my old boss, either is great.

Sincerely,  humble #GirlEmployee

Dear Humble #GirlEmployee, 

First off, congrats on the new-ish job, glad you got away from that horrible boss 🥳! I’ve definitely been there before- in fact, I’m still here. (Never sneak up on me. I’m a nervous puker.) You’ll probably benefit most from speaking to an actual therapist to work through the issues from your prior job, especially if it’s affecting your feelings on going to your current job, where things are seemingly a huge improvement. A therapist can help you learn techniques to ease your anxieties and hopefully prevent you from having a meltdown in the breakroom, forever cementing yourself as That Girl™. In the meantime, here are some other things you can try:

  • As my own psychiatrist told me, “meditating isn’t for everyone,” but it’s definitely worth a shot! I don’t meditate regularly (obvi), but when I do remember, I like to use Headspace or Breethe.

  • Give CBD a try. I’m a huge fan of Feals, and while I don’t know anything about CBD and can’t explain the science of why it helps with my anxiety, what I can do is offer $20 off your first full-bottle order when you use ALEXIS20 😏

  • I don’t live by this tip at all, so feel free to ignore it, but allegedly limiting caffeine/alcohol/sugar/nicotine can help reduce anxiety. Allegedly. But again- I’ve never tried it. Cannot relate. Could NOT be me 🤪!

  • If you’re able to leave a review on Glassdoor and are comfortable doing so, let it rip! Not only will it be helpful to future employees, but you’ll also be able to get a lot off your chest. If you’re not able to or are afraid your boss will be able to identify you, write it anyway and do nothing with it. You’ll feel much better! I personally have a flair for the dramatic and would go as far as to print it out and burn it, but that part is up to you. 

Hope this helps! 

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Well, I think we’ve all learned a few essential lessons here. If there’s one thing I want everyone to take from this, it’s that the only thing men love more than lying is wasting your time. Write that down ✍🏾!

As always, you can email me your questions if you’re feeling brave or submit them anonymously here. Also, I’ve teamed up with my friend Gigi on a new enamel pin! You can pre-order them here to show the world that you fully endorse every insane thing that I say.

💗 Alexis

Ask me a question!