@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
“Feel like a brand new person
(But you make the same old mistakes)
I finally know what is love
(You don’t have what it takes)
(Stop while it’s not too late)
(I know there’s too much at stake)
(Making the same mistakes)
And I still don’t know why it’s happening
(Stop before it’s too late)”
— “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” Tame Impala
New Year’s Resolutions are generally a thing I don’t subscribe to. This is not to say I don’t have goals. Probably my top goal of 2017 was to pitch sitcoms and despite the whirlwind of some really weird shit (good and bad) that happened in 2017, I still accomplished my top goal.
There’s always ways to improve your life, and I’m always on the hunt to improve mine and to be happier in general. As far as resolutions go… I already have a stringent diet and exercise routine, I’m relatively self disciplined and hardworking when it comes to writing, and while I always want a better job to support my lifestyle of pursing my dreams, I still have hope for my dreams, which is more than most people who have resigned themselves to being sheep because fear is their God, and fear is not my God, fear is my companion as much as love is.
Still, there are a couple of ticks I could do without.
There are some I’ve successfully kicked. For example, when I was a kid, I had colored underwear and socks organized in a certain way and every day my underwear and socks had to match (and they couldn’t be the same color two days in a row) otherwise I would have anxiety all day, for what reason, I have no goddamn idea.
In more recent years, I had to break my habit of returning to my apartment to make sure I locked it. This one is definitely my parents fault. When I first moved to my apartment, I would get up from my bed MULTIPLE times to check that I locked my door. This is crazy for a few reasons; one of them being there are two locked doors just to get in my building. There are four people who live in my building, one of them is my landlord, one of them is my landlords grandson, so they have keys and could come in anyway. I have a large survival knife by my bed just in case someone breaks in which is relatively useless because I have never been in a fight let a alone a knife fight and if the intruder has a gun, my knife is useless anyway, and while I am pro-gun, I am anti-Lori-having-a-gun because I get too depressed too often and I shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms.
That habit I was able to put to bed after a few months. The one I struggled with more was returning to my apartment after I left for work to make sure I locked my apartment. Again, there are two locked doors to get into my building, so really, the only people who would be able to get in are the other tenants and half of them have keys anyway. Plus, I literally own nothing of value. My two most prized possessions are my tempurpedic mattress (which no one is going to steal) and my lap top (I used to hide my lap top in my apartment when I left, I know, I’m super paranoid).
Time and time again, I’d be walking to the subway (which is a far fucking walk for me), thinking, “did I lock the door?” It would give me stomach cramps so I’d turn around just in case. Never, not once, has my door been unlocked.
I would fight myself on this.
“DO NOT TURN AROUND AGAIN, YOU NEED TO STOP THIS.”
“But what if it’s open? I need to check. I’ll have anxiety all day.”
“IT’S NEVER NOT LOCKED DON’T DO THIS. BREAK THE CYCLE LORI. THIS IS WHAT CRAZY PEOPLE DO.”
“And crazy people don’t have inner dialogue with themselves?”
“ONE THING AT A TIME, DAMN IT, DON’T GO BACK OR I SWEAR TO GOD.”
This would seem like an easy thing to talk yourself out of, but it was very difficult for me. I’d be at work thinking about it all day. I couldn’t wait to go home. Because I needed to know. I still will do this from time to time, but not nearly as much as I used to.
The habit I wish I could kick is nail biting. It’s the most disgusting habit. This habit developed in high school around the same time where other foreshadowing signs to my future mental tug of war would haunt me. It’s especially bad when I’m really stressed. If I had the money, I would pay someone to follow me around for a month and tase me every time I go to put my fingers near my mouth. You would think that being a hypochondriac would prevent me from this vile habit, but I am completely unaware I’m doing it until someone points it out or I look at my fingers and think, “what have you done, you repugnant human, you.”
Because I am a hypochondriac. Which isn’t a habit, really, but it is a bit of a mind fuck and/or a tick. I’m the person who wears surgical masks on airplanes. My fear of STD’s is so crippling, I’ve gotten blood tests done after anyone I have ever hooked up with. Even my doctor told me I was being overly paranoid since there was always protection. I can’t even bring myself to hook up with people sometimes because I am so consumed with my fear that they are probably disease riddled and they might not even know it. On numerous dates, I’ve sat quietly thinking about STD’s. Then if he asks, “what are you thinking about?” (people ask me this a lot), what am I supposed to say? “Statistically, one of out every four people has an STD. I know I don’t. So that means there’s a 50% chance you have an STD [by the way, this is not how statistics work], and do I really want to take that risk.” HOW CAN I POSSIBLY ENJOY SEX IF I’M THINKING ABOUT DISEASE THE WHOLE TIME. In fact, for years, even kissing grossed me out. The mouth is full of so much bacteria. In my early twenties I almost never hooked up with anyone unless I was drunk and/or high just to get my brain to stop thinking about germs when making physical contact. This probably just scratches the surface of my intimacy issues, but it is certainly to be considered.
Maybe it’s because I was sick so frequently as a child? Strep, ear infections, sinus infections, and an extremely sensitive stomach, I was a pretty sickly child with an apparently shit immune system. Also, I’m pretty sure the end of days begins with a super flu. Also, also, I will not die in a hospital. I WILL NOT DIE IN A HOSPITAL. I would rather get hit by a truck next week and die instantly than be ill in a hospital years in the future. If I’m ever diagnosed with a terminal illness, I will write letters to those I love, and then I will drive to the Grand Canyon and hurl my body off a cliff. Or, if I live long enough (doubtful, pretty content dying young) and get dementia, I will get a tattoo on my arm that says, “YOU HAVE DEMENTIA, DRIVE TO GRAND CANYON AND THROW YOURSELF OFF A CLIFF. YOU WILL NOT DIE IN A HOSPITAL.” Sort of like Guy Pearce in Memento, but not as sexy as Guy. You might think this is insane, but you also probably didn’t work in a nursing home for four years. I will not die in a hospital and I will go to extreme measures to make sure of this, even if I’m coughing up blood on my ride to the Grand Canyon (it should be noted here that it is not my intention to die at the Grand Canyon, I’ve just been weirdly obsessed with going there lately, my suicide plans have never actually involved the Grand Canyon, I’m just using it as an example for dramatic effect). The point of all this is, I should really stop biting my finger nails because it is just asking to get sick.
Another habit I wish I could kick is my perpetual alarm clock check. When I set my alarm, I check it 3-7 times to make sure it is set for the right time. Sometimes within minutes of just checking it. Sometimes, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night just to check it. This is insane and I can’t stop doing it I don’t fucking know why. It’s obsessive compulsive. Again, I’ll have this inner dialogue like, “YOU JUST CHECKED IT HOW ON EARTH WOULD IT CHANGE YOU LIVE ALONE THERE’S NO WAY IT WILL MAGICALLY NOT BE SET.” Even, I usually wake up just minutes before my alarm goes off and I don’t even use it. Obsessive compulsive. Obsessive compulsive. Obsessive compulsive.
You know how they say comedy comes in three’s? Well, apparently some of my ticks do as well. For example, my TV volume or radio volume is always divisible by 3. It has to be. Again, crazy, stupid, who cares? I care. I care very much. I don’t know why.
Stair counting: I don’t do this as much anymore, but I still do it sometimes (when especially stressed) and this is just I will count the stairs any time I go up or down any stair case. I don’t know why I do this or what I’m accomplishing.
Other habits: I apply chapstick before I go on stage and if I don’t I get stressed out. One time when I opened for Adam Ferrara I forgot my chapstick and he assured me it would make no difference to my joke telling ability, and he was right, I had a great set. Still, this didn’t stop me from carrying chapstick all the fucking time.
When I buy yogurt (or granola or anything really) I have to organize it by expiration date and eat them in that order. It’s not like they are expiring in a day or two, usually it’s weeks (with granola it’s years) but I still have to consume it in that order (even as I’m writing this I think it’s retarded).
I think this one is a good habit, actually: whenever in a hotel room on the road I pull the sheets off and inspect the bed for signs of bed bugs. I am super paranoid about bed bugs. I’ve never had them, but if I did I would burn everything I own, move to a different city, and start my life over, which may sound extreme but it’s the only way. Probably my biggest fear in life is that a bug will crawl into my ear and lay eggs on my brain. Often times I think of fleeing my life, going off the grid, and living in a beach hut in South America, but that shit actually happens in South America and I can’t have bugs laying eggs on my brain. Even though it is curable the only cure for me would be a shot gun blast to my brain.
My apartment is always clean but not extraordinarily neat because I have notebooks and papers and post its with “really great ideas” scattered all over the place. But everything has a place and I get really fucking pissed off if it is not in it’s place. My sister and I shared a room for 16 years, some of which were dreadful years. While we look a lot alike we are nothing alike. I found her intolerable to live with and I’m sure she felt the same about me. To this day, as much as I love her, I would never live with my sister again. But I have to admit that I would not be a particularly easy person to live with. Even when in hotel rooms on the road I straighten things out and make them line up with the desk in a certain way. Also, these bizarre OCD things are clearly getting worse since I’ve lived alone (this has not been apparent until my brother visits me and even he commented on my odd and borderline autistic habits) and I think if I continue this way for a few more years I may never be able to live with another human again.
I used to be addicted to cough syrup. It started when I was in elementary school. You know that gross chloraseptic spray you use to alleviate throat pain? I was legitimately addicted to this in elementary school. Probably it started because I was so frequently sick, but then I just loved the taste (and probably the feeling since it’s basically alcohol). I used to climb the counter tops so I could drink it. Yep, not spray it, drink it. I loved that shit. To this day, I won’t use it because I’m afraid I’ll relapse and just be drinking that stuff. It’s a weird addiction, for sure. That’s like one step away from being addicted to meth.
Perhaps the worst habit I have is that I really beat myself up when I believed I have erred or think I could have done better. It is rare I get angry with other people. People easily annoy or bore me but you’d have to really fuck up for me to be pissed at you. But I get angry at myself all the time. When I was in college I got insanely pissed at myself if I didn’t get an A (I once punched a paper towel dispenser because I got a B and hurt my hand and didn’t put a dent in the paper towel dispenser at all). I’ve gotten worse with this, I think. When I was in LA pitching shows with my writing partner, I bombed my first pitch. Though my writing partner and my manager assured me that it wasn’t that bad for a first pitch, I was ready to punch walls and pull my hair out. You fucking stupid idiot. Loser. Failure. Pathetic. Piece of shit. You’re not going to sell a script and it will be your fault. Because you’re not good enough. I was ready to lose it but I’m pretty good at keeping my tantrums beneath the surface until I can be alone. Thank goodness I was able to redeem myself in the following pitches otherwise I would have thrown myself into LA traffic which would be futile because LA traffic is slow as shit anyway. Even I think my self punishment is unnecessary. One time, after I missed a TV opportunity (which was totally not even remotely my fault, I would admit it if it was), I got so mad for not being a better comic, I got piss drunk and went skateboarding in Astoria Park (in the middle of the night) which not so surprisingly ended up in injury. This self berating isn’t exclusive to career goals either. In times where I think I fucked up or hurt someone in a relationship (friendship or romantic), I get furious at myself for basically being human. We all have a little venom in ourselves and I reserve mine specifically for me. I get so mad that I didn’t work hard enough, didn’t act on or say something right, should’ve been smarter or kinder or that I’m simply not good enough. I never blame others for my set backs, failures, or fuckups, and I often blame myself for shit that is completely out of my control too. The psychological damage I do to myself is both unfair and unhealthy, and while I can recognize that, I can’t seem to stop it. My expectations for myself are often unrealistic.
In conclusion, I hate when anything is ended with “in conclusion.” I think I will kick a garbage can for my lack of creativity in closing this blog.