Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is exactly what my closet looks like.

The Empress over at Good Day, Regular People just put my closet into words.  I can barely manage to clothe myself most days, and it isn't for lack of quantity.  I simply have nothing to wear.

I had high hopes when maxi dresses came into style, because, let's face it, they're basically stylish muumuus.  Turns out, though, that I am short and not entirely graceful.  Also, maxi dresses do not solve the issue of having to get dressed for work every day.  Bummer.  Thank goodness I have to wear a labcoat.  As unflattering as they may be, at least they cover my unavoidable muffin top. ;)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grown-ups have gameplans. I win.

Ya know how when you're a teenager, you think that your 16th bday is going to be this huuuuuge change in your life?  Like, you'll just wake up that morning feeling like adolescence is no longer screwing you over and the world is now yours?  Then, of course, you realize that 16 feels exactly like 15, except that the pain of not having a car has gotten a bit more noticeable... so you spend the next two years waiting to turn 18 because you just KNOW that you'll wake up on your 18th bday feeling like a brand new grown-up.  18 comes... 18 is uneventful.  You can suddenly buy cigarettes and lottery scratchers, but quickly realize that you have no desire to spend your hard-earned minimum wage on either one.  21 will be fantastic, though... You're sure of it.  Oh wait... you've been drinking with your friends for years now.  The only difference is that now you can do so in public.  Damn.

Turns out, the "big change" happens on your 25th bday.  Or at least it did for me.  I turned 25 yesterday, and it was the weirdest thing to just wake up in the morning feeling 25.  Now, anyone over the age of... let's say... 28 probably... is going "F you, Bethany!  You have no idea!  Wait until you're staring down the barrel of 30!"  The near 40 crowd is lightly sobbing.  The 50+ crowd is laughing histerically at how little I know about getting old.  Let me just clarify, I'm not saying that I woke up feeling old.  It's more like... I woke up feeling like I had suddenly, irreversibly, and very clumsily entered adulthood. 

This is all very strange because, like many, I had to do the "growing up too soon" routine.  Friends and family have always considered me the mature one.  I've been working full-time or close to it since high school, sacrificed many a party in order to finish my undergrad in 4 1/2 years, and have been working for the government for over a year.  I really don't fit the definition of a "kid."  Yet, somehow, there's always a piece of me that still feels like the awkward 16 year old surrounded by people who know how the world works.  But yesterday I woke up feeling like I needed to become one of these "grown-ups" I keep hearing about.

So, since it looks like I'll be surviving into adulthood afterall, I'm going to need a gameplan.  Here's what I've got so far:

1.) Teach the dogs to be useful. --  I don't plan on having kids any time soon.  In fact, I don't plan on having kids... I just think it's safest to assume that I may feel differently in the future.  This isn't really a big deal to me (or to bf, thank goodness), but it creates a bit of a problem with our household.  See, everyone knows that the only reason people have kids is so that there's someone to do the household chores (don't act all shocked... I'm on to you people), which is awesome because, well... I hate doing the damn dishes.  BUT, if I don't have kids until I'm 30, and then those kids require another 5-6 years of training before they can be put to work (talk about slow learners... sheesh), that means that I'm going to have to do my own dishes for the next 10-11 YEARS!!!  This is unacceptable.  I've given the dogs an ultimatum... either they get a job and start supporting their own kibble habit and contributing to the rent, or they're going to have to pitch in with dishes and laundry.

2.) Take a class on how to write a damn grocery list.  --  I swear, I was good at this once.  My mom taught me to write the best damn grocery lists ever.  They were laid out in the order that I would find things in the store.  They included alternates in case the price of orange juice was particularly high that week.  They even specified what flavor of Rice-a-roni I needed.  All of that is gone.  I'm pretty sure that when I was cramming for my biochemistry final in my senior year, I lost a significant amount of basic knowledge.  I'd like that back.  Why the hell do I have blueberry muffin Pop Tarts??

3.) Transfer my belongings from the back of my vehicle into my apartment.  --  Okay, maybe I still spend more than your average 40 hours/week at work, but this isn't college anymore.  I'm not driving from Job #1 to Class to Lab to Job #2 to Home-so-I-can-pass-out-for-a-few-hours-before-heading-to-bf's-house-for-the-weekend.  The exorbitant amount of crap in my vehicle is no longer excusable, and the "just in case I need it" story quit being valid when I lost the ability to find anything that may have otherwise been useful.  While I'm at it, I might think about unpacking those boxes that I haven't touched since two apartments ago. 

4.) Learn to use a weapon.  --  Let me just say, I am not one to believe in far-fetched theories of conspiracy or science fiction.  However, if there is a zombie apocalypse/alien invasion/vampire uprising/terrorist holocaust/hippy rebellion, I would really hate myself for not being prepared.  Therefore, I feel that it will be in my best interest to be well versed in the use of several different weapons.  Giant hammer is my first pick, but to be honest, I'm going to need to build up some upper body strength before that can be effective, so I'll be starting with ninja stars.  I like the idea of weapons that put a decent amount of distance between me and my opponent.  I briefly considered a flame thrower, but being attacked by fire zombies doesn't seem like it's going to help the situation.

5.) Learn to walk in more than just one pair of high heels.  --  I have one pair of heels that I can walk completely comfortably in.  I have a handful that I can fake it fairly well in.  I also have several that are reserved specifically for events where I will be sitting 90% or more of the time.  True story.  I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have to fix that.  There's a point where this is no longer endearing, but just a bit sad.

6.) Come to terms with the fact that my metabolism is only going to get shittier from here on out.  --  Let's face it, this is no longer the Freshman 15... *cough*40*cough*... that I'm dealing with here.  The biggest "Holy-shit-I'm-25" issue I've been dealing with is the fact that my body is not going to have any easier of a time dealing with my weight from this point forward.  It's like in the movie "Knocked Up"... Annoying older sister is talking about loser boyfriend and says, "He's overweight.  Where does that end?"  Where does it end?  I'm perfectly okay with spending my life a little chubby, but am I where I want to be?  When do I put down the ice cream and say, "Alright... time to grow the hell up and do this!"

Right. F'ing. Now.  The elliptical and I are about to become best friends.  Not the real kind of best friends, but the kind of best friends that talk shit about each other behind their backs all the time.  Ya know... like every girl you ever knew in high school. 

Man, I hope this isn't some kind of temporary "I'm 25!" euphoric burst of will-power.  Please let this suvive the weekend.  I really want to learn to use throwing stars.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I think mean things.

I am a generally nice person.  I like making people happy, and there is very little that I wouldn't do to help someone out.  That being said, I am also sarcastic and a bit pragmatic, with a little bit of genetic short-temperedness thrown in on occasion.  These qualities may seem like faults, but, properly harnessed, they are actually the superpowers of the moderately insecure.  You see... good, nice people will tell you that each person is perfect in their own way, and that we shouldn't judge those around us, and that everyone is beautiful... and so on.  To this, I say, "Yeah, right." 

I have found it to be a good exercise to occasionally recognize the faults of others.  Particularly, of the "beautiful people."  Now, this may seem shallow, mean, and self-serving... but that's only because it is.  However, it is also a helpful tool for remembering that nobody is perfect.  I happen to be chubby... but at least I don't have [tiny boobs, awful skin, a horrible mole].  Likewise, any girl who does have [tiny boobs, awful skin, a horrible mole] should be able to say to herself "Sure, that sucks... but at least I'm not fat." 

**Keywords: "to herself" - This goes from being a harmless confidence booster to outright assholeishness when you start directing such comments to the outside world.  Don't make that leap... unless it's warranted.  In that case, all bets are off.**

Want to see how it works?  Ok, follow along...

It is easy to be jealous of someone that looks like this:

But why should you not be jealous of Megan Fox?  Three reasons:

1.)  No human being should be this attractive.  Therefore the only logical explanation is that Megan Fox is a cyborg.  No one wants to be a cyborg.

2.)  Megan Fox wears an awful lot of makeup, and occasionally it ends up looking like this:

... which is funny because I always imagined that "hooker Barbie" would retain the blonde hair.

3.)  What the.....?????
Megan Fox thumb tribute - Megan Fox has clubbed thumbs, a.k.a. brachydactyly type-d.

At least I don't have brachydactylic toe-thumbs.  ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's about to get heavy, folks.

Alright, I fail at blogging.  The thing is, there’s a fairly serious topic that I knew I’d need to address eventually, and I pretty much just chickened out about it.  I actually attempted to write out this story a few times, but each time I did I could just picture my father rolling his eyes and saying that I was making a big deal out of nothing.  But ya know what?  The whole point of this blog was to help people break free of the judgments of others.  I’m going for it.

I had kind of a messed up childhood (don’t worry, it wasn’t “beaten-and-locked-in-a-closet” messed up… more like “broken home with brief periods of white trash drama”).  I originally considered telling the whole story here, but it’s long and kind of makes me sound like I should be on a talk show or something.  Just know that my parents got divorced (a lot), my dad’s second wife was a manipulative bitch (mom’s second husband trumps all other bad marriages, but he’s mostly insignificant to this story), and my dad and I had, at best, a distant relationship.

When I was 9 years old, my mom, my baby sister, and I were in a horrific car accident.  The circumstances leading up to it are part of the white trash drama that would make this post insanely long, but the outcome was that I was sent to go live with my father, his new wife (possibly gf at the time?  Don’t really know… doesn’t really matter), and her two daughters because my mom was in a coma.  Now, I could insert all kinds of anecdotes here about how much this woman disliked me… how she told that just because I was “book smart” didn’t mean that I would make it in life because I had no common sense… how she would constantly talk shit about my mom not only right in front of me but TO me… or even just how she constantly made me feel like an intrusion on her life… but that’s really all besides the point.  Her biggest issue with me (or at least the one she liked to pick at most) was my weight.  

See, I was a chubby kid.  Not morbidly obese or anything… and I was still very active and such… but this woman was hell-bent on getting me to lose weight (despite the fact that she was no Barbie doll herself).  Not a problem in and of itself; done the right way, helping a child to lose weight can be one of the best things you can do for their physical and emotional health.  This woman, however, decided to take it upon herself to tell me that I was fat and put me on whatever fad diet she happened to be wrapped up in at the time.  I most vividly remember the cabbage soup diet.  Sweet Jesus that soup was disgusting!  *Sidenote:  I blame that godforsaken diet for my continued hatred of pretty much all vegetable soups.*  The funny thing is, that’s not the stuff that made me hate my body.  I really thought she was just trying to help me, AND I desperately wanted her approval, so I had no problem following these dumb diets.  Besides, I was just a kid… what the hell did I know about nutrition?

The first thing that really tore me up was when I learned that during her court testimony (my dad was trying to get full custody of me at this time… Parents, please don’t put your kids through that shit), she’d told the judge that I was obese.  OBESE.  She had labeled me.  She had labeled me with the ugliest word I could imagine in my 9 (10?) year old brain.  To me, at the time, “obese” referred to people who were so fat they could barely move enough to scratch beneath their rolls.  It wasn’t a medical term; it was a slur.  I imagined her saying it with such disdain, like I was some dysfunctional blight upon the world.  

Following that, it was actually my dad’s actions that began to tear me down.  I already knew that my stepmother thought I was disgusting so her comments were expected and easier to dismiss, but up until his second marriage, I can’t ever remember my dad showing any kind of disappointment towards me.  Granted, my dad was (is) distant and passive aggressive, so there weren’t many situations in which that’d really come up, but I definitely felt a noticeable change.  It was like he’d just needed this woman to point out how defective I was and then suddenly he went, “Hmm… yeah, you’re right.  This kid is definitely fucked up.”  Like I said, my father is highly passive aggressive, so it didn’t take much for him to cut me down.  Things as simple as “You do NOT need to be eating that toast…” or slapping my hand away from a bag of chips that they were eating from made me feel like a complete freak.  One particularly damaging instance came about when my stepsister and her mom were joking about my stepmother’s “thunder thighs.”  Attempting to join in on this mother-daughter bonding banter, I made some similar joke… and my father immediately looked at me said, “Well, I seem to remember that we’ve been buying your clothes in the ‘husky’ section.” (By the way, fuck you, children’s clothing manufacturers.)  If my heart had sunk any further, I think it would’ve dropped through the floor. 

I lived with my father and stepmother for about 3 years, I think.  The last year, in the 6th grade, I finally decided that I could NOT go on letting my parents be so disappointed in me.  I was going to lose weight, and they were going to be proud of me, and they would love me, and rainbow unicorns would burst forth from the sky, ridden by pandas made of cotton candy.  Seriously, I just knew that if I lost weight, all would be right with the world.  So, I’m 12 years old; I live with 2 parents who would much rather not deal with me than teach me anything of value; and I know nothing about nutrition except that when you eat, you get fat.  *click*  I was a damn genius.  If I threw up whatever I ate, it wouldn’t make me fat!  See, when I was in 6th grade, we hadn’t yet been taught about eating disorders, so I had no idea that this was actually something that people did, nor that it was something that you SHOULDN’T DO.  I thought I’d just discovered the secret to life. 
The bulimia was short-lived, actually.  I would cry involuntarily whenever I threw up (still do… thank goodness I’m not much of a drinker), so it was hard for me to hide what I was doing, which I felt was of the utmost importance because I didn’t want my parents to think that I was “cheating.”  Also, the vomiting made my throat hurt, and I hated that.  After a few weeks, I rationalized that the sore throat was probably what kept more people from losing weight this way.  Instead, I started skipping meals whenever I could, and eating tiny meals in between.  When I had to eat (family dinner, etc.), I’d be in the bathroom right afterward or else would vow to skip the next meal in repentance.  I’m not entirely sure how I even managed to keep this up, but it went on for a few months.  I did lose some weight, but when I look back at pictures from that time, I don’t like the way I looked.  Mostly, my head looked too big.  Go figure.

 Thankfully, my dad announced that he was getting another divorce shortly thereafter, making me both extraordinarily happy to be rid of psycho-wife #2 and far too consumed with the change in circumstances to continue my ridiculous “diet.”  The following year when the subject of eating disorders was introduced at school, I remember just thinking, “Oh, fuck… I am never telling anyone that I did this.”  I never did tell my parents, but years later I decided that I trusted my then-boyfriend enough to open up to him about it.  He was amazingly supportive, and even though I’m not sure what I expected from finally talking about it, I think I got it.  Since then, I’ve shared it with a select few people, but I’ve never wanted to make a big deal about it.  I’m obviously not proud of it, but I was more concerned that people would think I was just seeking their pity.  I don’t want pity.  Especially because, unless you’ve been there, you really can’t understand it.  The eating disorder is just a symptom.  Whenever I hear about someone going through this, I just remember how much I had to hate myself to get to where I was, and I wish that I could make them understand that it’s just so unnecessary to hate yourself like that.  It’s so unnecessary to focus on one stupid flaw that has so little bearing on who you are.  What I really want is for people to pay more attention to what they’re teaching kids about their body and about their personal worth, ESPECIALLY during the preteen years.  No kid deserves to feel like a square peg being repeatedly rammed at a round hole.

TL;DR - I have daddy issues and developed an eating disorder when I was 12.  It was short-lived and I learned from it.

So that’s my sob story.  That’s where I’m coming from when I say that I UNDERSTAND how hard it is.  I understand how isolating it can be.  And I now understand that it doesn’t have to be that way. 

That was not a fun post, but I promise to post more often now, and not to be such a downer next time. =)