Free Advice: if you don’t know, probably just don’t ask.

120621

It’s no secret that I’ve gained some weight since B! moved out here. All told, there’s around a 35 pounds from lowest to highest. And, you know, I’m not in love with it, but it’s not like it’s wrecking all my time. I just ate a fro-yo cone with sprinkles. So, there.

But it’s gotten a little awkward lately. More specifically, people have started asking me if I’m pregnant. And I’m not talking like “that random stranger this one time”, I’m talking PEOPLE. Like, best friend people. Like, coworker people. People people. More than a handful. And it’s never just like, oh are you pregnant? It’s always like:

“Boy or girl?”

“When’s the due date?”

“I hope she has your hair!”

For any readers who may themselves have asked the burning question in question: it’s not the asking that bothers me. I’m well aware that I’m no longer the lithe sprite of yesteryear, but I’m also no longer smashing dishes or throwing glasses of wine at things. My eating disorder is in remission. I have a full set of dinner dishes. Weight gain is a small price to pay for sanity, I think, although it’s not always appropriate to say in the moment.

What bothers me is the whole awkwardness of the situation. Like, they say it, and then I have to say, you know, “no”, and then they get all flustered and I just laugh and smile because really – REALLY? It’s funny. Come on, you know it is.

That said, I’m still thinking of getting a couple T-shirts made that say “NOT PREGNANT, JUST FAT”. It’s summertime now. Anything goes.


Is a black girl in a white, white world.

120116

It’s cold in Massachusetts right now. Not North Dakota cold, but pretty cold, nevertheless. And, as I’ve mentioned, my old winter coat is no longer a viable option. Not only am I too big for it, it’s also ripped at the zipper and been sent back to North Face for repair. A normal person might just tell me to buy a new coat and soldier on, but that normal person might not know how broke I am / how much I love my North Face. It might not be surprising, then, that I’ve managed the winter thus far with just a fleece jacket, the one with the cigarette burn in the left arm that vents like an ice luge right up my sleeve. I’m nothing if not determined.

It was ten degrees when I pulled up to my parents’ house this past Sunday, clad in an equally inappropriate winter garment and with wet hair to boot. My mom, being a mom, kind of freaked out. Midway through our visit, she disappeared into the basement and returned, some fifteen minutes later, the proud bearer of a lightly-used (by her), puffy, white coat.

White. WHITE!

w h i t e

There are seven hundred and fifteen pictures of me on Facebook, and the only ones where I’m wearing white were taken on my wedding day. Other than that, in twenty-something years of dressing myself, I’ve never voluntarily worn white. I’m really more of a black girl: black tank tops, black socks, and, yes, black underwear. I bought a tan sweatshirt a couple months ago. That was branching out. So the idea of wearing white ANYTHING, much less a GIGANTIC WHITE COAT, is just about as appealing as sporting my skin inside-out.

That said, it’s really been pretty cold here. So I took it.

Seriously, I feel like a cross between the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Pippi Longstocking. It’s like having some other person’s body, or trying to cook in somebody else’s kitchen. I mean, God, I love my mom, but this coat is like the worst thing I’ve ever worn in my life. North Face! Hurry back with my jacket! I promise to be slim enough to wear it when it comes!!


Has conflicting feelings about Pinterest.

111221

I want to love Pinterest. And I do. I mean, lots of pictures of pretty things, LOLcats that really do make me LOL, and the occasional (but increasingly frequent) Bible quotation against a pastoral / beach-themed background. Luscious recipe hints aside thinspo underwear models. Who can’t identify with a lusting for both?

But what’s been getting me about Pinterest lately are all these “bucket list” pins. “Throw a dart on a map and travel wherever it lands” or “Own a Cadillac”. “Meet Taylor Swift”. Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with wanting these things, working for these things, or hoping for these things, it’s just… a little…

Well, let’s face it. My bucket list is like, “Have a clean kitchen floor for more than 2 days running”. “Own a doublewide, because a house is totally out of the question”. “Wear matching blacks”. Not exactly what one might call “aspirational”, but, sometimes, just as unattainable. It makes me kind of sad and nostalgic, these wishes from girls out there in foreverland, dreaming of things I realize I will likely never have, and it makes me think about how I used to frame the world. Perhaps, how we all once framed it. Full of opportunity and ripe for the picking.

What happened, and when did it become so? And why did we think we were ever so entitled in the first place?


is fat and happy? Think again.

111205

So remember how I posted awhile ago about my weight gain and how I was all zen with it?

I’ve now had two separate people ask me if I’m pregnant.

/zen.

Get thee to the gym, you’ll say! And lo, I will agree that more Gym is in my Future. But I *have* been gymming (more or less) and I *have* been limiting my drinking (sometimes)! And it’s all well and good to say you’ll skip lunch and diet, but when your blood sugar bottoms out at 3pm you’ll be singing a different song, believe you me.

Now, I hate people who are all like, wah, woe is me, sad sad and doing nothing about it, and I won’t be endless about the current state of affairs, but, in this case, I’m the victim as much as the curse. I don’t think it would be so bad if I’d wavered all my life, but I’m not USED to this! I AM NOT USED TO LOOKING PREGNANT.

They told me the eating disorder would turn around and bite me in the ass one day. I guess now I’ve gotta believe them.

*sigh*


Is glad she didn’t spend any more time at the bar.

111119

I heard this thing on the radio the other day about how people drink and drive too frequently, and how a full stomach (and moderation) are the keys to successfully staying under the limit. This occurred to me tonight, sitting barside with my sister sipping a particularly strong vodka cocktail. I was not just hungry, suddenly, but STARVING, and it was nigh on 1am. Predictably, the kitchen had closed, and our route back to her apartment was completely devoid of pizza shops.  “I’ll just make pasta at home,” I told her, and wished her pleasant dreams.

Now, after such a night of merriment, the last thing one wants to encounter is a sobriety checkpoint. Especially when one has an inspection sticker that expired in July. It was on Rte 16, near the gas fields, and I swung an overly enthusiastic right turn into the industrial complex just in time to see a police officer parked on the curb.

He flashed his lights. I rolled down my window.

“Live around here?” he asked, with a knowing grin.

“No,” I confessed, heart pounding in my throat. “It’s just – my inspection sticker is expired.” I smiled what I hoped was a charming smile and tried to act casual.

“Ah, a guilty one!” exclaimed the officer. “I don’t think they’re looking for that. Anyway, you can’t get out this way – it’s all dead end streets. If they give you any trouble, just tell em your brother in law is stationed down the alley here, eh?”

I thanked the kind sir and proceeded through the gauntlet – a flashlight in your face and an uncomfortable exchange of pleasantries wherein you know the other party is trying to smell your breath. A stranger’s face pushed up inside your personal space. I made it through (no surprise, really), and smoked a victory cigarette to celebrate. Then, when I got home, I cracked a High Life and wrote this post. Cheers, weekend – you’ve started out in splendid fashion.

 


Needs a new coat. Preferably something in a nice shade of mustard.

111031

So my winter jacket is too small for me, now. Read that: my WINTER JACKET. How is a winter jacket too small? And, moreover, how is a winter jacket too small FOR ME?

I’ve always been tiny. Always been short, skinny, petite. During the high days of my eating disorder, one might have added frail, bony, and skeletal to the list, but those times are long gone. All in all, I was always on the slighter side of normal. Now, I might be plump. And, you know, that’s cool. A sign of healthy eating, or, at the very least, EATING, which I didn’t really do for awhile. So we take that as a positive, I suppose, in our moments of darkness.

But the question, really: as a person who was once so eating disordered, how am I not constantly tortured by this weight? I mean, we’re not talking a month or two of overzealous dieting here, we are talking, like, sixteen YEARS of bloated nightmares come to reality in one solid flesh. The answer came to me last night, merging onto rte 16 at dusk, having just purchased a wardrobe’s worth of size-medium shirts from the local Target.

I’m just happier now.

Before, my weight, whatever it was, was a bone of contention. Another way I had failed, or, conversely, a measure of how I’d achieved superiority. I could be 98 pounds, I could be 118, but, depressed, neither was acceptable. Neither was attained by conventional means, so my weight, my body, became a symbol of my illness. Now, with the depression more (or less) under control, I can begin to be OK with who and how I am otherwise. I’m not saying I don’t wish it weren’t so – some mornings I think I’d take a week of misery for a day out in my size-24 skinny jeans – but I’m not compelled to make drastic changes to my eating patterns as a result.

Unless “drastic changes” means “more apple crisp”, in which case I’m totally game.


OHAI

111019

What’s up? Oh, nothing. Just working and stuff, doing all that.

Yup, I’ve been good.

Yup, B!’s good too, we’re good. He’s cooking a lot lately, which is nice, and we went apple picking last weekend. I took some pictures.

Yeah, for sure, nice to catch up! Oh, hey, before I let you go, I do have this one story – the other weekend? I shot an S&M Wedding.

Yeah, seriously, like, the bride wore black.

YES it was a dress! I mean, it was kind of see-through, but – what? YES the groom was dressed too.

NO, not in a dress!

It was seriously amazing. Yeah. And, like, weirdly COMFORTABLE. Like, they were all really good people. I actually had an awesome time. Something about being free, being real and honest – like, there was no bullsh*t with them, you know? Even at the after-reception reception, where there were like, people being whipped and stuff. What?

Yes, WHIPPED. Like, with a WHIP.

What?

NO, no, I DID NOT get WHIPPED.

No, I’d totally recommend it to anyone. The party, not the whipping. Like, keep an open mind, you never know what might come your way. You know? Hahahaha, yeah. OK. Later.


Something’s mad, alright.

110815

So everybody loves Mad Men. Like seriously, I have not met a single person who does not love Mad Men. And I know a lot of people. Never having cable, I’m always a little behind the curve in terms of television (I watched Sopranos for the first time in 2008, and Breaking Bad has yet to grace my screen), but Mad Men, for some reason, I just wasn’t excited.

Last night, we took to The Netflix and decided to make the leap. The intro was cool if not period, and I liked the first few scenes well enough. But then I started feeling all agitated. The more I watched these manly men being Men, these womanly women being Women, the more urgently I felt need for some fresh air and a cigarette. Preferably consumed in tandem.

Sipping on my Camel Light several minutes later, I wondered what had gone wrong. I mean, obviously it’s meant to be wry. There’s onionskin layers of self-reflexivity – it’s clearly all a pun! Except, of course, for how it’s also not. And that’s what made my skin crawl.

I took one last drag and went inside. As usual, my timing was impeccable. I’d walked in on the scene where three or four ad executives – “Mad Men”, they’ve coined themselves – are holding a weaker man down and tearing his shirt off. “Pretend it’s prom night,” snickers one of the Alpha males, snapping a suspender off the poor young wretch. “You can be the girl.”

My mind quickly faded white, and I got lightheaded.

“See, that’s not funny,” I said, once my vision had returned to normal.

I really don’t think it’s funny at all.


My Roving Obsessions

101210

So I have this new favorite website, Etsy.com, in case anybody hasn’t noticed. I mean, I’ve been talking to my mom, my sisters, and people at Whole Foods about Etsy – I think I started burbling to the (male) cashier at 7-eleven the other day before I realized where I was and stopped myself.

Sometimes Etsy is like freaking paradise, OK? It’s like, oh, I want a set of tiki coasters that kind of remind me of high school. And bam. Fifteen dollars later and two weeks later, I’ll have the most awesome quasi-reminiscent private joke tiki coasters on the North Shore.

Sometimes you find perfect gifts for everybody you know, and life is so beautiful, and they just raised your credit limit. And sometimes you find this black rayon jumpsuit that you never knew you needed but you know you’ll never want to live without. It’s being shipped to me right now from Thailand. Yes, it is.

But seriously? Sometimes? I look at this stuff and I’m like, you know, I have this plastic bin over in the corner that could probably be vintage, and I have these super-old hamburger shaping tupperware things from my grandma. I have a chewed-up Barbie knockoff from 1962. Why don’t I go and open my own Etsy store?

Etsy.com, sometimes you are sublime. And sometimes you are the biggest, shittiest thrift store ever.


Hey Mom! I’m on the internet!

101122

I got an unlikely email today. Subject line: “you’re in this gallery”, body simply:

http://thechive.com/2010/11/08/its-not-the-camera-its-the-photographer-26-photos/

I invite you to click, and scroll down to the end. Recognize that face?

Me in the Hooters in Fargo, ND. I never thought I’d see the day.

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.