I live in Colorado. Home to the best skiing in the country, excessive dry skin, Subarus, and most importantly: pot. A little over one year ago marijuana became legal and stoners everywhere rejoiced. Cheetos sold out of every grocery store and every teen from the '70s (now approaching their '60s) started wearing bell bottoms again and listening to "Stairway to Heaven" (e.g. my mother).
I, on the other hand, didn't really care. I was a 26-year-old pot virgin. Not that I was against it, my first boyfriend right out of high school loved the stuff and is now the Willy Wonka of pot chocolates (I've made sure to get a few "golden eggs" for my mom). My body has just always been really sensitive so I never cared to try it. But now that it was legal and I'd nearly blown out my adrenals being stressed out over a guy (what else is new?), I was ready for a relaxer. Or so I thought.
It was a Sunday night and to everyone's surprise, I had plans! I was off to meet two friends in downtown Denver for dinner. My friend David had offered to drive and right before he picked me up, I, being the smart, classy woman that I am, decided to eat a juicy watermelon pot candy. To be fair, I'd actually done it a few times in weeks prior and found it to be gentle and relaxing. But apparently, that was just the placebo effect because two hours into dinner, it kicked in.
The restaurant was crowded and reeked of burritos and regret. As soon as David and I sat down we got a call from our friend Elena saying she would be late. Two whole hours and an extra large margarita later, she finally arrived. The minute she sat down, like clockwork, the room started spinning, my mouth became dry, and I was a bit nauseated.
Was it the alcohol? Was I feeling the regret I smelled when I walked in?
It didn't feel like the kind of regret I was used to. Like when you shop for a bikini in the winter or binge watch the Kardashians. I convinced myself that I just needed to eat -- forgetting I'd literally just shared a quesadilla with David. My temperature started rising and everyone in the room was suddenly out for my blood. I felt like a Stark at the Red Wedding. All of my insecurities were heightened.
Gorgeous women would walk by and all I could think was: "Holy shit, look at her ass in those jeans. I'm wearing yoga pants! I think I'm wearing yoga pants. Oh my god, I am wearing pants, aren't I?!"
Confused as to why I was suddenly afraid of women and felt like crying at the sight of tacos, I excused myself. Wide eyed and focused on every step, I made my way to the restroom to call my mother and tell her I was dying.
"Mom... I'm dying"
"What do you mean 'you're dying'?
"I'm dying. I'm nauseated and my mouth is dry."
"Oh honey... I'm sure you're fine. Did you eat a pot candy?"
"This is serious. I think I'm having a stroke."
"You're not having a stroke."
"Do you care about me at all?"
"Of course I do. Did you have a pot candy?"
Suddenly feeling like a 14-year-old who just got caught looking at porn, I responded with a hesitant "Maybe..."
"You're fine. Just breathe and tell your friends what's going on."
Embarrassed, I hung up and looked in the mirror, trying to gather some composure. Unsure of how long I'd been staring at myself, I made my way back to the table.
I tried to tell my friends that I was certain I was having a stroke but they assured me I was fine. They were knee deep in a conversation I couldn't keep track of so I decided that maybe distracting myself with social media would be a good idea. Unfortunately, it wasn't.
Facebook, known for bringing people together and not at all making you feel inferior even when everyone you know gets engaged on Christmas Day and all you get is fat, has a feature that lets you see how long its been since someone has been online. I opened my phone and clicked on the white and blue "F" from hell. I slowly found my way to the chat section and my eyes drifted to the name of the guy I was crushing on that month (we'll call him Frank). I had sent Frank a text exactly one hour before this and to my high horror, he had checked Facebook 15 minutes ago! I told myself it was fine, he wasn't ignoring me, he's probably just really busy...
...With a girl. NO, don't go there. I bet he just had mind blowing sex. STOP! With two women. OMG. Or he's dead. Fuck off, pot brain!
As soon as panic attack #12 of the night subsided, I decided to check Instagram instead. Which also has a terrible feature where you can see every photo someone "likes". I opened the app to see Frank had liked KiKiCake69's photo 18 minutes ago.
Feeling as if I'd just been hit by a truck, I attempted to click on the whore's username. Who was she? Some kind of stripper? A lingerie model? Or even worse -- a nursing student with actual goals and ambitions? Oh god. After my third attempt to click on her name, I looked at her pictures and with a mixture of guilt and embarrassment, I was happy to see that KiKi is actually a 69-year-old baker. Crisis averted. Oh my god, unless he's into that sort of thing.
Luckily my paranoid concentration broke when a double cheesy queso was placed in front of me. Astonished at how quickly I could go from wanting to punch a grandmother to thinking how nice it would be to sit in a bathtub of melted cheese, I stuffed my face.
After what felt like 12 hours in a Seth Rogen movie, we finally headed home. Grateful that David was driving, I lowered the seat back and closed my eyes, not at all impressed by his taste in music. I have every right to judge a full grown man who can sit through an entire One Direction song and not flinch. But then, in true high fashion, the very next song was "Stairway to Heaven" (what kind of playlist was this?).
I finally found myself at ease and reminisced about the evening. If I learned anything from this experience, it was 3 things:
1. I have terrible friends who would rather drink margaritas than attend to their obviously dying friend.
2. Pot makes me a paranoid, jealous weirdo who should probably invest in some jeans.
3. I should only ever do edibles from the comfort of my own couch where I can peacefully wallow in cheese.
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