Month: December 2014

Successful Mall Girl is Successful

Once upon a time, like last week, I went to the mall to do some shopping. 

(All of my SPD friends can get up off the floor now, as I’m certain all of you must have fallen out of your chairs with the sentence you just read).

But fear not, bloggy friends! Not only did I go to the mall, but I went BY MYSELF, and….

I LIVED TO BLOG ABOUT IT.

Is this a miracle? You could say that.

Is this a product of my fearless badassery and warrior-like approach to my entire life? Mostly.

Is this a freaky incident that I tried to savor as much as possible because it was so unbelievable. Yes.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to recollect my astounding mall experience.

First, I had to make it through the parking lot. An SPD’er in a parking lot is usually a recipe for disaster. One horn, one beep – we are done. When I strolled through the lot, bracing myself against the painful NY coldness, I was like prey being hunted by my predator. Yet as I passed car after car, nothing happened. I hauled open the heavy doors of Dick’s Sporting Goods and threw myself inside. Awesomesauce, I thought.

Once inside, I tried to pretend like I was a very capable young woman on a shopping adventure. I also knew it was important for an SPD’er such as myself to review my body awareness – am I walking straight? Do I look like I’m dying? Do I appear as if I’m in need of psychiatric help? If YES, then it’s time to find the nearest exit. It’s a simple evaluation process:

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Luckily, I was fine. Everything checked out.

Being inside the mall is one thing, but then you must have to deal with the specific environment of each store WTIHIN the mall. I began my journey at the ever-sexy Victoria’s Secret.

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I was anxious. What if something happened inside? I was alone! Also, oh yea, I HAVE SPD.

Amazingly, the only bad thing that happened inside Victoria’s Secret was a shattered sense of self-esteem and general uncomfortableness.

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After Victoria’s Secret, I did everything that a good little SPD human was supposed to do. I avoided candle stores. I stayed away from the food court. I dodged screaming children. However, I did do something bad….

I WENT INTO HOT TOPIC.

For those of you who don’t know, Hot Topic is a scary-looking store on the outside with lots of interesting things on the inside: Harry Potter, Frozen, Walking Dead, Disney Princesses, Adventure Time, music, earrings, magic, delight, etc.

The music in Hot Topic usually is overwhelmingly loud and as much as I love the merchandise, this place kills my SPD.

BUT AGAIN, I MARCHED OUT COMPLETELY UNTOUCHED. ANOTHER MIRACLE.

What’s happening??! I thought to myself. I should do MORE stuff!

So what did I do?

I GOT A PRETZEL AND SOME LEMONADE.

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I sat on a bench, enjoyed my salty pretzel and sweet lemonade. I chuckled at the funny array of people, myself included. I felt so blessed to be doing all of it. At the same time, I remained vigilant for my top enemy.

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I somehow managed to survive the encounter, so I kept going.

Through Hallmark, Macy’s, and the cheesy leather goods emporium, I frollicked like the very normal shopper that I was so desperately trying to be.

It was surreal; it was exciting; and dare I say, enjoyable?

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THE FINALE

One of my greatest foes in life has to be escalators. In fact, the very first post I made on this blog was about escalators. This is the level of seriousness I’m talking about here.

Due to my perfect record so far that day, in addition to my overwhelming desire to be a complete BEAST, I marched towards the great escalators, and then I stood before them as one would do if they were about to destroy their enemy.

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Escalator was all like:

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And I was all like:

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AND THEN I WAS LIKE:

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Then it was over.

No traumatic escalator experience. I mean, I held on for dear life and looked so awkward that I could’ve out-awkwarded anyone in a 10 mile radius. BUT WHO CARES….I DID IT.

While it wasn’t a perfect time at the mall, it also wasn’t a complete disaster. More importantly, I went ALONE. I had nobody to fall back on if necessary, but I did it anyway. The successfulness of this day was in the very fact that I conquered my anxieties by going to the mall by myself while experiencing anxiety, and being ok with the unease.

I’m not sure why the sensory gods blessed me with a nice trip to the mall, but they did. I left on Cloud 9, wherever that is. Probably near here:

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xo kelly

Also, I was only there for about 2 hours. This post makes it sound like I was there for 10 hours. Just wanted to let you all know…I’m pretty beast, but I’m not 10 hours beast.

 

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What the heck is ASMR?

Here’s a fun fact: As a 7 year old, I would stand dangerously close to the stove to get a view of my mom stirring dinner. If she was stirring sauce into pasta, well, I found the gentle sound so amazing, I was nearly euphoric.

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You’re probably thinking, this isn’t normal. I thought Kelly wrote a blog about weird things happening to normal people. 

Luckily for me, I discovered just a few years ago that my intense craving for watching people do seemingly normal things – like stirring pasta – was more than just being weird. It had a name.

I was all like:

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ASMR is an acronym for a long, fancy-sounding set of words: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Let’s break this thing down:

Autonomous: self-determining; free; independent

Sensory: relating to the senses; information received by the senses

Meridian: possibly relating to the Chinese term for energy pathways and flow in the body

Response: the body’s reaction to sensory input

 

ASMR is roughly defined as the soothing, tingling, relaxing sensation that most often occurs in the head as a response to specific sensory input.

(AKA, I watch my mom stir pasta and I become insanely relaxed and my brain tingles nicely).

Now you’re thinking, I don’t know Kelly, this is still very strange. I’ve never experienced this before. It seems so vague. Brain tingles…what? Are you kidding me?

Alas! It IS vague.

After my research, I came up with a list of many common triggers for ASMR:

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One of the most common trigger sources for ASMR happens to be ALMIGHTY OVERLORD BOB ROSS.

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Chances are, you’ve watched Bob Ross create a beautiful landscape painting via public television. You were captured by his ability to create tiny details with a giant brush. The sound of his voice was like tiny cherubs massaging your eardrums. The little swooshing noises of the paint were delicious and perfect. You felt relaxed, maybe even dazed. For most people, this is the closest thing to ASMR.

Unless of course, you are like me and thousands like me, who feel all tingly and mushy in our brains by simply watching a man from India give another man a haircut; or by listening to a woman from Florida playing with marbles; or listening to a bald guy from Poland whisper as he talks about his mineral collection .

To an outsider, the act of watching an ASMR video appears beyond creepy. Most ASMR videos are done in whispers, and everything is very slow and surreal. Like, here’s me watching 45 minutes of a old woman whispering while she mixes paint and plays with brushes:

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I used to care about how strange it was, and I felt a bit embarrassed, but guess what…. NOT ANYMORE.

Watching an ASMR video is as if you were sitting on a cupcake, surrounded by a giant rainbow while dozens of cats lay around being cute.  It is the ultimate stress release.

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Of course, this feeling only comes if your brain/body can experience ASMR, otherwise, the videos will produce little to no results.

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ASMR is known for alleviating numerous mental and physical health issues. The most common reasons people turn to ASMR are: sleep disorders, anxiety/stress, and depression.

Unfortunately, ASMR is mostly unheard of. Research into it is few and far between. Honestly, I can understand this because it’s not a problem/disorder/disease. Why bother spending time researching random brain tingles after watching Bob Ross when there are, oh, you know, A MILLION MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO RESEARCH.

I don’t know about the future of ASMR. I was surprised to find it even had a name and that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ASMR youtube videos for us dedicated “fans.’

Even if I feel less odd knowing it’s a “thing.”….my sister will be there for me:

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There you have it – ASMR. Are YOU an ASMR junkie? Have you heard of or experienced this before? Let me know in the comments!

xo kelly

 

Granola Bar Glasses

The following post describes an actual event that took place some time ago. It is forever burnt in my mind:

One day, Momsy and I were sitting at the kitchen table doing whatever we do at the kitchen table.

Suddenly, Momsy says to me:

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I looked down at the table in front of me and realized that Momsy was gesturing to an object towards my end of the table. However, it wasn’t her glasses – it was a granola bar.

At first, I was confused. Perhaps her glasses were behind the granola bar, or maybe she meant to say “granola bar” but I heard “glasses.”

That was impossible though, because she clearly said “glasses” and was referring to a granola bar.

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I looked up at Momsy, and back at the granola bar, then back at her. I saw that she was not only already wearing a pair of glasses, but there was an additional pair resting on her head. Both pairs were of little help – clearly – considering she just pointed to a granola bar and said, “Can you pass me my glasses?”

The hilarity of it hit me all at once. It was, honestly, overwhelming. My body started trembling with uncontrollable emotions and sensations.

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I was gone. I’m not sure why it was as funny as it was, but nevertheless, the situation took over my sense of reality and I couldn’t think of anything funnier than this moment.

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Momsy didn’t understand. Of course she didn’t! She did not yet know of her mistake… which made it all the more hilarious.

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Between giant gasping haaaa’s and hooooo’s and deep hissing exhales during my fit of laughter, I tried to convey the message.

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I also gently mentioned that she was wearing a two pairs of glasses on her head. Momsy finally understood the big picture. It was all too much for her.

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I tried to reassure her. I don’t think I was very effective…

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In the end, Momsy got herself a REAL pair of glasses – ones that actually help her see. No more CVS Pharmacy $3 glasses for this woman! Still, the granola bar incident will live on forever. I don’t even know what happened to that granola bar…if it only knew the incredible role it would have in our lives.

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xo kelly