Welcome to My Pity Party

by Elissa Bassist

Hello, hi, and welcome to my Pity Party! Coats can go in the bedroom. Hey there! Please check your positive attitude at the door. Thank you for coming! So good to see — well, no — mainly not-good to see you, all of you, smiling. But still, let’s get this party started! Let’s get this thing in motion! Let’s initiate the nonstop meaningless crying over the Broncos’ defeat.


I’ll be the first to admit: this year so far has not been The Best. It isn’t as bad as last year, and it’s easier than what I expect of next year, but yeah, nope, 2014 — what are we, a month or so in? — has been tough. January began with promising resolutions, I thought, to make amends, to fix what was broken, to adjust, to readjust, to use exclamation points not so much, to YOLO sans FOMO, to Zumba.

Hors d’oeuvre?

I wrote down a few affirmations, discovered peace and serenity and my upper-arm obesity, but then I accidentally killed my succulent plant and Justin Bieber isn’t who I thought he was, so I was like, you know what? Screw it.

Turn up the music!

This Valentine’s Day I had big plans, an ambitious night of undoing all that has become habit and routine, confronting my deep deep-seated fears, addressing the dark theater wall of my skull replaying the memories that have grown more painful and distorted with time and shall, like a chorus and cacophony of ghosts, haunt me indefinitely.

I love this song!

Ever recognize the way people talk about love? I love the Winter Olympics. I loved my succulent. I love this stranger’s urinating dog.

I was in love once, up until our opinions on Woody Allen divided us. Then I crossed my heart and hoped he’d die. But I guess the best way to get over someone is to date him.

Who here is meeting for the first time tonight? Anyone doing a meet-cute? Anyone from Tinder or Craigslist or on the off chance is anyone named Craig here to see me? Am I right now missing a connection? I love meeting new people! I mean — I enjoy it. I withstand it. I endure it with a causal grace bespeaking years of good grooming. Hey! You have a nice smile. It’s beautiful how your flaws are unknown to me. All the ways you hurt me haven’t happened yet. Do I hear wedding bells?

I do not.

You know, February 2014 is a lot like February 2013, when all my girlfriends are getting engaged and I wish I’d never been born into this body. But no, of course, yes, I’m thrilled for those bitches. I’ve been telling them, “I am so happy for you. I love and support you.” But I’ve been phrasing it differently, such as, “I like you less and support you not at all. Now fuck off.”

Could someone hand me a beer? On second thought: water to swallow an antidepressant?

So, friends! Where my friends at? I’d like to make a toast to my friends, past and present, alive and dead to me. Cheers!

I respect that some party poopers can’t debauch tonight because of work tomorrow. A job, wow. I don’t miss it: the early mornings lined up like that, the emails ending with a “Best,” the money to buy food. But I regret leaving, I do. I regret when they asked me to leave last Friday, and I regret doing so gracefully, signing up for unpaid and permanent sick leave with honor and pride, with solemnity and elegance. Yet here I am, believing in myself and in my dreams, 25,000 Twitter followers away from still not having a boyfriend.

I’m not crying; I’m just sweating from the heat of the strobe light.

Let’s dance! Shall we limbo? Have you learned this new dance craze sweeping the nation called Women Can’t Have It All?

Turn on the fog machine!

I hope you’re taking a lot of pictures. I encourage you to post them online later. I implore you to select bright background hues, a My-Highest-Self-on-Earth filter. Strike a pose! Actually, could we all take out our phones and spend some quality time together looking at them, expecting to find a connection there?

Oh, nice manicure! I admire your ambition, but also you’re not better than me.

Before I forget to ask: is someone double-parked? Might another guest inform me: when does middle school ever end?

Is everyone having a ball yet? Is anyone? The time of your life? Simply: a time?

Body shots!

Body shots?

Personal pizza?

By now I bet you’re wondering: Can a girl in my emotional state pull it together and seize life’s disco ball with both jazz hands and throw us a rager? Can this old young thing in sequined pajamas wearing a perfume she invented called Agoraphobic Whimsy tell us how to have fun? How to let go and get down, despite her brain chemistry? Well, as host, as lonely career woman without a career, I stand here in offline mode to tell you mid-twerk: let’s party like it’s a party in here, party people! A party that is now over but could have been wild had anyone besides my dead succulent plant shown up.

Photo via clango/flickr.

Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column on The Rumpus. Visit elissabassist.com for literary, feminist, and personal criticism.