Melissa Stetten On The Terrible Sh*t She’s Thankful For

November 29, 2013 • Culture

Turkey Kramer

Of course I’m thankful for my family and friends, but I’m also thankful for some pretty terrible things.  Most of the time tragedies are sad and never fun, but I’ve experienced some really shitty things that turned out to be not so bad after all.  Here are some of them.


1. Pink Eye

This summer during NY fashion week I got fucking pink eye.  I’ve convinced myself it was from one of those gross dudes in Times Square dressed as the Statue of Liberty.  I did a photo shoot and the photographer wanted me to stand next to that germ ridden costumed man and he put his hand around my waist.  I reacted like one of those 28 Days Later zombies had just tapped me on the shoulder and I said, “I’m sorry but you can’t touch me, I have this germ thing.”  The next day I woke up with a swollen eye and it quickly progressed into what I called AIDS eye.  I was still going to castings but hid my red eyeball underneath my bangs.  It wasn’t going away so I went to a doctor.  He told me it was pink eye and I replied, “Who the hell gets pink eye, eight year olds and strippers?” The nurse and the doctor both did not laugh.  In fact, the doctor answered very matter-of-fact, “No actually it’s quite common.” Oh is it, Doctor Literal?


He prescribed me antibiotic drops, which I used for two days but my eye got worse.  I went back to the doctor and he had no clue what was happening so he sent me to this place called the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. This place was like the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest hospital.  It smelled like bleach and the lights flickered.  The employees were worse than everyone who works at a DMV.  I was sent around this giant cold building for thirty minutes until someone told me they’d be with me in a few minutes.  That turned into three hours.  I felt like Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion right before she went into that coma and made those really awful faces.  There was a paper McDonalds cup spilled on the floor in front of me that no one bothered to clean up.  I could have left, but was so frightened that I had a flesh eating disease that I stayed.


Finally, I saw an ophthalmologist who looked in my eyes with that giant eye thingy and said, “Oh yeah, it’s pink eye, but the virus, not the bacteria. Antibiotics won’t do anything so you just have to wait until it goes away in a few weeks.” I waited three hours and paid $700 (I even have health insurance) to be told there’s nothing they could do. Thanks, Obama.  I put my sunglasses on and took the subway home to be depressed.  My other eye was turning red too, and I had a runway show that night.  I went, but squinted my right eye the whole time to make it look even with the left.  The photos of me on the runway look so awesome if you’re not looking at my face.  Mary J. Blige was in the audience too.  I can only imagine her whispering to the person next to her, “What’s up with that white girl’s eye?”


Anyway, I didn’t leave my apartment for the next two weeks.  My friend texted that he was recently obsessed with Peep Show and I would really like it.  I had a while until my eyes went back to normal so I Netflixed the shit out of it.  Guys, I love Peep Show so fucking much.  It made me really happy while I was depressed and afraid of making eye contact with anyone.  Had I not gotten pink eye, I may have not had time to sit around like a lazy piece of garbage and watch nine seasons of Peep Show.  Thank you, pink eye.


2. My grandfather dying

Yeah, it really sucked, and I’m still sad, but I discovered a lot about my grandpa that I didn’t know.  After his funeral I looked through all his stuff and found an amazing collection of photos starting from when he lived in Germany in the 1960s.  I knew he loved keeping everything crazy organized, and he liked to draw, but I didn’t know how talented of a photographer he was.  I’ve always felt a little out of place in my family because no one else is very creative, or at least doesn’t show it.  So seeing that I had something in common with my grandfather made me happy.  It also made me sad that I never talked to him about my love for photography, but seeing how he saw the world through his camera was an incredible experience.




3. Getting broken up with 

How else would I have stayed this skinny if I weren’t too depressed and anxious to eat like a normal person? Also, being broken up with over the phone in a hotel room in NYC right before I had to board a seven-hour flight to London made it extra worse.  Usually I would have ate a shit ton of pizza in New York and bought a couple Twix bars for the flight but I was too distraught to think about food.  It took a few weeks after the break-up to have an appetite again, but man, did my abs look great! That’s not a crazy thing to say at all, right?  A little depression here and there is a great option for a diet.  I’m going to be a great mother, you guys.

Read more:
Melissa Stetten’s Dealbreakers Pt. 2
10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Rich and Unimaginative

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