Haters gonna hate.

Juggalos, Justin Beiber, Emos, Hipsters…everyone’s got their hate bandwagon.

In my youth I saw it all around me and kind of took it as canon.

In the goth clubs. Don’t dance to Manson. Manson’s a poser. Don’t shop at Hot Topic. Suburbans goths suck. New York goths are snobs. DC goths are hicks.

At the punk shows. Spiked hair is for posers. Short mohawks are for posers. Skinheads are all racist, no matter what they say. Hardcore punk is crap. American punk is crap. Pop punk is crap. UK 77 era punk is crap compared to US 77 era punk. Crust punk is for kids that don’t shower. Glam punk is for kids that shower too much.

Now that I’m older, my effort to justify my relationships with people by what music they listen to, or don’t listen to, has officially ended. And frankly it was half-assed to begin with because you can’t keep up. My old crew (and mostly still current crew) was a mix of every kind of misfit, and everyone got along fine. Somewhere in my late teens to early 20’s, who you were seen with became immensely important to many of my friends. Being a fat, awkward weirdo and being graciously let into some inner circles felt great at first. After a while, keeping up with the do’s and don’t of scene life was exhausting. Have the wrong friend? Wear the wrong T shirt? Listen to the wrong album? Forget it. GTFO.

I found myself in an odd state of envy towards people who could blindly listen to pop music and thoroughly enjoy themselves without apologies. Of course, this envy was deeply embedded between a layer of self doubt followed by an even thicker layer of belief that they were brainless hive-minded morons and I was way smarter and more enlightened!

As I got older, things changed. That happens when you get older. Those base and stupid things we think tie us all together started to fade into the background. Deeper relationships (although less of them) were founded on a sort of mutual energy. A feeling of “you’re really neat even though you watch reality TV and like Nickleback”.

I’m not writing about suddenly becoming the Dahli Llama and loving everyone no matter what. I’m also not writing about over-tolerance of things like hate organizations. I’m writing about the weird, seemingly growing intolerance of other people’s completely banal shit. Hipsters and Justin Beiber come to mind almost instantly. Some of the folks I know that hate on Hipsters the hardest…actually kind of look like them. Hipsters, to me, seem like the amalgamation of all the scenes I grew up watching kind of…coming together. Why is that so bad?

The Beiber thing is a bit easier to understand, as pop music featuring kids has been a boil on the butt of outside the box thinkers and grumpy old adults since the dawn of time. The Beatles, Menudo, heck my brother had a “New Kids Suck” all caps T shirt that got him sent home from school once (and it was hilarious). It’s always existed, but this was before the internet. Trolls had to work harder then. If you truly wanted to piss off a fangirl, you had to walk into a building full of them with neon letters painted on your chest that said “EVERYTHING YOU LIKE IS DUMB.” Now you just write it in bold white all-caps on a picture and share it on Facebook. Instant Troll.

So I get it, it’s irritating. You don’t like it. So don’t listen to it. Here’s a kid who got famous doing what he loves and I really hope it doesn’t screw him up. That’s my end thought on the matter. His existence, and the existence of those before and after him will continue to please and annoy until the end of time. I’m choosing to be tolerant of it’s presence because I have many other delightful things to steam up about. My rights as a woman, the future of my career, and the government peering into my vagoo every five seconds just off the top of my head.

The easiest to understand may be Juggalos. Here are some fun people who believe in a Valhalla of weed and ax murder founded by two insanely chauvinistic guys in clown makeup. There’s SO MUCH THERE TO RUN WITH! But should I? They’re basically just another group of kids who found an accepting subculture.

Where to draw the line.

For me, it’s drawn on how you effect my life. This is perhaps more selfish a move than condemning them outright, but I look at it this way. Racial intolerance effects my life. Violence against men, women and children effects my life. 12 year olds looking for some sweet and dulcet teen pop tones to ease them gently into womanhood does not. Someone wearing lenseless glasses (seriously why do you do that) does not.

I attempt to carry this tolerance of hoomans beyond music genre. I carry it into religions, political differences, and completely different sets of beliefs. I can think of some amazing lessons learned from staying judgement. Some of my most favorite conversations have been with people who are nothing like me on a surface level.

So although it’s very easy to pick on subcultures, it’s even easier to let them do what they’re designed to do. Give kids a way to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves.

 

I spoke to a friend recently who lamented her daughter’s obsession with My Little Pony.

“I hate it, but she’s got no idea. She’s five. I don’t want her dressing like one at 35 because mommy didn’t like ponies.”

There will always be cool and uncool, and there will always be a dichotomy drawn on which is which. Rage up about things worth raging about. If that thing is Hipster glasses, count yourself lucky. You’re doing alright.

PS. You totally sound like your parents.

 

 

Confessions of a former Food Apologist.

We’ve either done it, or seen it done.

You’re in the lunch room at work and you grab a donut. You search for someone…anyone in the room and say “Well, there goes my diet.”

At a wedding: “This is going straight to my thighs.”

Baby Shower: “I’ll work out an extra 15 minutes.”

Barbecue: “I’m being so bad right now.”

I’m not going to slam the population that exhibits this behavior. Connecting food with guilt is something that I’ve done for a very long time, and I understand it’s a way to verbally atone for what you think is a detriment to your health, coupled with showing everyone that you are not a gross pig. However, the connection we have with food and guilt is what got a lot of us…me very much included…in the situations we are in now.

We’ve all seen images like this. Women secretly scarfing a brownie sundae in their living room in the dark, candles lit, seductively licking the spoon. Talking all sexy like on the phone to her bestie about the Boston cream pie she had three times this week (except it was actually yogurt…NAUGHTY SNEAKYPANTS) and this particular woman who looks like she’s celebrating the house she just set on fire.

For a long time, I didn’t let anyone watch me eat. Being overweight made me feel like everything I put in my mouth was judged by those around me. The guilt got deeper. I’d eat out with friends, and finish the rest at home in the dark watching Police Academy. I’d never order dessert, but I’d stop for ice cream on the way home.

So I decided to attempt to disconnect food with guilt. When I eat, I eat with Devo, or with friends. The times I eat alone are because I am alone, and not because I’m going out of my way to be alone. The only thing remaining was my extraordinary drive to apologize for what I did eat.

In the past two years I’ve made a very concentrated effort to remove food apology from my life. This does not mean eating what I want, when I want. My health is in jeopardy if I do that, which the doctors have made very clear. However, if I’m at buffet one weekend I’m not going to clue in the rest of the world unless it was extremely delicious!

It’s not easy, especially being overweight. People watch what fat people eat. They watch us work out, walk down the street etc. It happens. It’s ok. Feast your eyes. Right around the time I decided to end food apology I started going to the gym. I wanted to tell the world, because the first few times I felt amazing about myself and my accomplishments. I decided that this was a different sort of over-sharing, because I got support. I needed it, so I put it out there. There is no support when you eat half a donut and get the other half fifteen minutes later. There is only a weird silence, followed by the occasional “Oh please you look great” which you never believe, because you’re a gross pig who just ate a whole donut.

Food’s connection to guilt, to me, is proof positive that I am battling an addiction. It’s also proof positive that we are a nation still obsessed with appearance. If a beautiful, thin girl can’t pick up a cookie without bowing penitent at the alter of the break room table, what the hell are we doing to ourselves?

Believe it or not, this new-found freedom from food apology has helped me exceedingly in both my self esteem and my quest to be a healthier person. Food is becoming less and less of a pair of comforting arms the more I disconnect it from my emotional well-being. Eating a piece of Easter candy with no follow-up comment has started to take away the naughtiness of it all. It’s not a life ruiner, it’s a piece of chocolate.

This does not mean I’m throwing caution to the wind and eating everything that’s not nailed down. I just don’t want to feel bad about it anymore. Feeling bad about things and then eating to feel better is a lifelong cycle I’m trying to break, and loving my treats is helping. Taking away negative feelings from food is the best thing I’ve ever tried to do, and it’s working.

This is my ice cream face. My cake face. My careface.

So go to the gym if you’re going. Do that extra lap. Just try to fight the urge to proclaim your horrible guilt, and move on knowing that you’re working towards emotions being emotions, your body being healthy, and food being delicious.

Look to the world for support, not confirmations of guilt. You’ll be happier receiving the former.

Battle Cry Moar

The first time the term “Pick your battles” clicked with me was over a game of tabletop D&D.

My group was doing battle with this elemental wizard, see. He’d sent a large wall of sand flying towards us at an alarming rate. With every role it got worse. The Paladin before me had the bright idea of shooting a jet of scalding flame from his magic sword at the offending mobile beach, only to change our sandy fate to a wall of white hot glass. Stupid Paladins.

So, I decided to do the only thing my simple thief could think of.

Duck.

I put my head between my legs, and took no damage that round.

Picking your battles is something not a lot of people do nowadays. Granted, I still cherish the occasional roundabout debate that goes nowhere, but it usually stays where I’m comfortable. Friends, people I trust, people I know won’t take me personally, and people I actually give a crap about.

Again, if you’re the argumentative type, more power to you. I just don’t have that kind of time.

This came into play at two of my recent workplaces in the past few years. The first was a battle I chose to fight. I had a manager who openly disliked me. Nothing I could do would make her any less sour towards me. Apparently I was everything she hated. Liberal, nerdy, well liked and happy, I guess. After a few months of her treatment (Which included my staff and my customers regaling me with her personal comments on a daily basis) I finally snapped. However, I snapped knowing that without me, she would have been utterly screwed. She wanted nothing to do with the actual clientele of her business on a daily basis, and without me, she would have had to set aside her dreams of corporate America and come swim with the little fish 6 days a week. We came to an understanding after that. I don’t think we ever hugged or anything, but she finally realized that beyond the gaming, horror cons and graphic novels stood a fully functioning adult female quite capable of defending herself. That was a battle worth fighting.

At another job,  I was readily thrown under the bus by a co-worker after being publicly told off in a pretty embarrassing manor. My first instinct was to argue my innocence, but I decided to take stock in my situation. Apologize and move on, or fight what was likely a losing battle and take someone down who frankly got enough crap there as it is. This battle was best left sucked up and forgotten. It was simply not worth the effort.

I never, ever, ever fight on the internet. Oh I am tempted, but there’s nothing to gain. I have a position in my life as a GM where I attempt to put out epic net arguments on a weekly basis. A sort of unpaid human resources department. I’ve watched so many people run into a proverbial room full of unarmed men with guns blazing, fingers poised to shoot at anything that moves in a direction they don’t like. Business being made personal, veiled insults, all of it. Completely pointless. I’ll watch people on Facebook go at one another, derail topics ad nauseum, and come off with some of the most well written retorts humanly possible. Of course, they have the information highway at their fingertips, and infinite time to drive.

By the way, I can totally tell if you Google statistics, stupid.

One of the biggest keys to find out whether a battle is worth fighting is simply the effect it will have if you win. Will you prosper without squashing anyone’s feelings? Will others benefit from your actions? Will the person you’re speaking to listen? Are you doing this to feel superior, or because it’s just right?

My battles are not yours, and as previously discussed, my way is not the highway. Some people adore arguing and I won’t lie, I adore reading it. Especially when I agree with you. It’s my little Maury Povich guilty secret.

Internet aside, when you feel the white hot rage of injustice well up inside of you, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Look at the person you’re fighting against. Are THEY worth it?

We’ll end with a personal example of a battle I thought was worth fighting. A former man in my life would stop at nothing to make me feel like hell on a daily basis. He saw that I struggled with esteem, that I was in a rough place in my life. Instead of support it, he exploited it. He was battling his own demons, and I represented a soft place to throw daggers. One day I grew back my balls, and he broke up with me. I hold him no ill will, but I thank goodness every day that I knew exactly how to get him out of my life. Fight back.

The types of battles worth fighting for involve ignorance, bigotry, racism, chauvinism, human rights. Big stuff. Being able to play a Pegasus unicorn elf hybrid, or covering your ass from rubber bullets, not so much.

Half-way to Hell.

On March 21st, I turned 35.

I’ve never had an issue with my age as far as telling people what it was. I understood the fear of ageism but grew up in a household where “Screw it, this is me.” was a familiar mantra. I didn’t really celebrate this year which was a bit odd for me. I usually have some sort of epic gathering. (People still talk about our $589 bar tab). This year I wanted it laid back and quiet. After a bit of deliberation, Devo and I took a few days off and drove to Lancaster county to hit up this massive buffet and then some outlets, both of which proved to be a bit disappointing. Neither of us like shopping, Devo hates driving, and we’re both trying to watch our food intake.

So why do all that aforementioned crap?

I guess because I don’t care what I do with him. He’s a blast to be with. A rainy day driving through Amish country becomes a laugh riot.

My birthday itself was a bit of a non event. I went to work and hung with my awesome co-workers, came home, got Devo his dinner and played Mass Effect 3 multiplayer until we both passed out. I was a bit sad I didn’t have a party and that I didn’t really do anything epic, but in the long run I’m ok.

I think a lot about what I should be doing when I hit certain milestones. I never went to college, and that follows me around quite a bit as far as my career goes. I’m starting to get to a point where it’s going to be even more complicated for me to have children. All of my friends are married. I know these things could happen for me in the future, I’m just trying to be ok with however it turns out. With giving up control. Letting it happen naturally.

It’s a bit of a struggle to hold back my want to keep up with those around me. Doing things your own way is charming when you’re in your teens and 20’s. After 30 it can be a bit detrimental if it’s done in the same mindset. My weight holds me back. My lack of education holds me back. All these protective walls I built for myself as a kid crumble down steadily as my priorities shift. Are they my priorities, or am I just giving in to the pressures of the status quo? Is this what I really want, or what everyone expects?

This post is kind of all over the place. I’m kind of all over the place. I’m trying to breathe and just be. My apartment. Man I love. Fairly steady paycheck. All there.

I think I just get stuck sometimes in comfort zones. This may sound weird coming from a girl who got on a plane to Texas to meet the man of her dreams, but change does not come easy for me.

So we’ll see what this year holds. I’ve already started it with the assumption that folks may want to see what’s on my mind, so that’s something. We’re also joining a gym, Devo and I. We’ve both gotten pretty crap bills of health over the past few months from medical professionals so it’ll do us a world of good.

No real warmth or anecdotal tales this week, I’m afraid. I’m allowing myself a day of being overwhelmed and weird.

Just One Fix.

I’ve always found it kind of strange how we want so badly as humans to fit ourselves into such tiny little molds.

I’ve talked before about how being similar to the universe as we know it isn’t a bad thing. Unavoidable, really. Now I’m going to touch on our differences. I started to really think about this post after abandoning my original idea; three ways I cope with life that I feel make it better for me. Taking compliments, smiling, and not sweating the small stuff.

Simple, right?

I started thinking about what that meant. What makes -me- feel better. I had it sectioned off, planned, I’d been thinking about it all week. I’m going to impart my personal wisdom on to you, the reader, and give out warm fuzzies to everyone!

How dare I?

So I decided instead to post about the nagging feeling I had inside that kept me from my original post. People are wicked different, yo. Some of you may read this and think “Wow, she’s really got her shit together.” Others may think I’m being a preachy know-it-all, but bless their hearts for letting me blather on. Still, no one’s wrong there.

That brought me to music. Most everything brings me back to music. It’s a perfect example of how exceptional we are, and how our ideas of what makes us feel good differs vastly. I’ll use Sonic Youth as an example. Playing at Urban effing Outfitters.

I hate this band. Hate them. I didn’t dare say that in the 90’s because doing such would have you branded a heretic. I’d say something like “Well, I understand their contributions to the grunge era but I’m not a huge fan.” No. They suck. Sorry.

This doesn’t mean that folks that like Sonic Youth are a gang of brainwashed idiots, and it doesn’t mean they’re a bad band. And sorry guys, the same goes for Justin Beiber fans. People like what they like, and hate what they hate. What makes me happy and fixes my life up a bit may make you vomit with rage.

Self help books are another perfect example of this. Perhaps that’s why there’s so many of them. Each preaching a final and perfect answer once you get to the last page. For this, let’s use “The Secret” as an example.

Apparently, The “Law” Of Attraction needed a reference guide. Karma’s got a brand new dress. You can have all the money, love, and happiness in the world as long as you are a little spiritual magnet of happy thoughts. Those of you that suffer from such medical conditions as anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression are obviously doing it wrong. An all too familiar sentiment. When a philosophical leap of faith isn’t working for you, it’s entirely your fault. You’re not trying hard enough. Buy more books, jackass.

To say The Secret is complete crap is very easy, and very played out. It is not, however, entirely true. Books like this help people sometimes because some people really, really like them. Not everyone does. To say that those who read this book and didn’t get it are just lost, stupid humans is just as closed minded as judging someone for disliking a movie. Listening to the wrong music. Going to the wrong church.

(Oops, watch it there tiger.)

Different strokes for different folks. I’m glad some of you get things out of what I write, but reeling myself in and understanding that I can’t fix everyone’s shit is something that keeps me grounded. As well as smiling, Saying “thank you” when complimented, and not sweating the small stuff. It sounds easy seeing it, but it’s still a daily struggle. I had a few days this week where drop-kicking someone sounded fabulous. I even got in minor trouble for trying to talk down another co-worker. It sounds barbaric, but whatever. Over and done with. NEXT!

Not everyone can let things go this easily, and not everyone has the ability to smile problems away. As similar as we are, our differences are tremendous when it comes to what makes us feel good, and what gives us faith. Attempting to pigeon-hole yourself into anything from a scene to a political affiliation is a way to feel like you’ve got people around who get you, but we need to stop using it as a licence to feel superior to folks who don’t.

So I’ll keep doing what makes me feel better, and I’ll keep talking about it, but I don’t expect it to work for everyone. I love human beings, and I love the things they do differently most of all. Of course I’m more than happy to accidentally make someone feel better about themselves, but I can’t write under the illusion that everyone’s going to gain something from it. So, I doubt I’ll be talking to any publishers about “The Three Things.”

Hmm….

 

Dear Diary and everyone else.

One of the best things about the internet is it’s ability to give us instant, peer-to-peer interaction. This could be anything from friendly advice to something more technical, like the various Live Chat programs many sites provide for instant help and information.

This is a double edged sword, however, when your peers aren’t interested in helping you.

One of the best things I did for my self as a kid was keep a private paper diary. I could say whatever stupid teenage crap I needed to say without fear of backlash from my parents who respected that privacy, or my friends who were on a need-to-know basis. Nowadays, these same typical teenage rants are often broadcast online under the guise of privacy by kids too young to understand the concept, and dying for someone else to empathize.

We all remember this video.

As out of control as this was, and as disappointing it was to see folks in either the “Haha dumb little bitch” camp or the “Lol your daughter’s gonna be a stripper” camp, this is an absolutely textbook teen tude. After this video was made, both the man and his daughter discussed the incident together, and his daughter made it quite clear she had no intention on becoming an adult performer. I won’t go into details on how angry I was that the world at large seems to think the fragile egos of teenage girls drive them solely to sex and ruin, or that exotic dancing is something to be woefully ashamed of, but that’s another post for another day.

Parents need to be wary of this stuff, and kids need to know where it’s okay to write this stuff down to blow off steam. Had I the ability at 13 or 14 years of age to write down my feelings for my small yet opinionated world to see as a kid, I’d probably be extremely confused.

I know this sounds odd coming from someone who has Blogged on the net in one way or another since 2002, ( I look at my LiveJournal and want to claw my face off) but there are certain things that are better off said on paper to absolutely no one. Kids as young as 10 or 11 are now turning to the internet with their worst fears, or their issues with self esteem.

Of course if you read the comments, you’ll find a mix of complete creeps, trolls and people who mean well. Welcome to the internet!

In my last post I talked about how hard it is to NOT struggle with self esteem and identity issues. Parents need to be all over this stuff. Kids are sneaky, and it’s very tough to keep them away from everything that will harm them. I managed to sneak my way into some rather dark tunnels as a kid, but I always had an adult to pull me out.

(Thanks Mom and Dad)

As lame as they’ll probably think you are, encouraging your kids to keep a paper diary may be something you want to try. Understand that you as a parent will probably be the target of vitriol either way, but that’s ok. Every mother or father on the planet will at some point deal with a hormonal, raging child saying awful crap to them. When it comes down to it, they love you. Just shake your head, and love them back. They’re venting. That’s ok. The best part is, they can look at it later and  judge their behavior by themselves with a cooler head. Hopefully!

(Thanks Mom and Dad…again…)

I can’t imagine how awful my self esteem would be if I counted on the internet to make me feel better about myself or dole out advice. It’s ok for the small stuff like where to get Thai Food or whatever…but for big stuff?

Maybe not such a hot idea.

So call me old fashioned if you must, but there’s something to be said for keeping a private paper diary. Something comforting. Knowing you can get something off your chest without having it analyzed to death by your equally confused pals, or winding up pissing off your parents. Granted this isn’t just a teen phenomenon. I see some pretty embarrassingly personal posts on my Facebook by people my age or older. Each to their own, but man.

When something really important comes up and I really need help, I ask the people I trust to be honest with me. I do the same thing when I don’t feel so hot about my looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be complimented. It’s normal. People like to feel good about themselves. And for god’s sake, TAKE THE COMPLIMENT. You’d be surprised how much that action alone will change you.

So give it a try. If you’re 11, if you’re 80. Sometimes the best advice comes from your own head once you shake the junk out of it. This is a link to some extremely cute diaries by Kreativlink on Etsy.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kreativlink

Make it personal! If you’re crafty, make your own!

There is something that’s also rather cathartic in reading old hand-written journal entries. 10 years ago I was so different. I can reflect on the paths that took me to where I am now. Picking up a book the 14 year old me poured her heart out into helps me understand how I’ve grown when I’m feeling stagnant. If there’s more growing to be done. There’s no confusing commentary, just raw me. I’ve been privileged to some of my own mother’s childhood writings, as well as my great grandmothers diaries.

Imagine if my great grandmother’s struggles with marrying outside her religion were plastered on Facebook 100 years ago.

In a nutshell, it is important to write down how you feel, because you can process it. It is not always smart to show everyone else. Approval is something we all seek in one time or another in our lives, and criticism is inevitable. Make sure you get it from the right people. Wanna know where to find a good vegetarian place? Yelp. Wanna know how babby is formed? Ask ur dokter.

Big Business

I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic. I’m still going in slightly blind, so we’ll see where it winds up going.

I’m overweight. Obese. I don’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t been. Until I was about 14, it caused huge issues with my social life and self esteem. The worse the teasing got, the more I ate to feel better. Even when my life started getting much nicer, I had 14 years of emotional eating experience behind me that I’m still trying to conquer.

I never considered myself “fat positive”, nor a “fat activist.” My size does effect how the world treats me every single day, and I appreciate the positive message these amazing activists send. I’m just not one for groups. I have some very beautiful and thin friends who suffered with their own bodily issues, too. Maybe that’s why. We’re just women struggling with what it’s like to walk around real while surrounded by unreal.

I used to look at skinny, pretty girls with..well sadness I guess. I liked who I was so it wasn’t exactly jealousy, I just didn’t like what I walked around in. I’d walk into a room and pray there’d be another fat person there so I wasn’t the only one. Being fat did teach me to be observant of my surroundings, and it’s due to this observance that I no longer compare myself. Two incidents stand out. One being a small bachelorette hangout with an acquaintance and her friends.

I was the fat one of course.

This acquaintance did a lot of work for women’s organizations, and considered herself a rampant feminist. The second we entered the club, she and her friend began to take apart every single girl there. Low rise jeans? Slut. Tank top? Slut. Afterwards on the ride home, I asked her why she felt the need to rip the other girls there to shreds. “Oh I know I’m a horrible person.” was the dismissive comment I got. She was beautiful, she was thin and about to get married. Why did she care? I just didn’t get it then.

The second incident was a few weeks later while I was hanging out with my old hairdresser, S. She was STUNNINGLY pretty, blonde, bright…the works. She was crying that night because she couldn’t keep friends due to them being nervous around her with their respective boyfriends, and she’d overheard a girl at her salon wishing she’d get fired because she looked better than everyone else there.

Well shit, it’s not just me!

Surprisingly, changing my attitude on how I felt about other women built my own esteem up tremendously. I have no idea what I’d do without the women in my life, and I’m sad that I shut them out for so long.

Some very strange things happen to you when you’re fat. People say very confusing and insulting stuff, most of the time without even knowing it’s insulting. I remember being on the phone with a blind date once and I gave him my speech. This what what I told everyone before a meetup. “OK, so just to let you know. I’m a big girl. If you have an issue with that, you can bow out. ”

“Really? You don’t sound fat. ”

I got sort of quiet for a second before running on about some banal crap while my head tried to process what I just heard. How the hell does fat sound? Are you surprised I’m not muffled by all the donuts in my mouth? Am I supposed to have a deep bellowing Santa voice? Shall the sounds of crumbs hitting the reciever deafen thine ears?

Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

This is just one in a slew of many comments that run the gambit from the classic “you have such a pretty face” to “oh you’re not fat” which is a flat out lie. I am fat. I may always be fat. Still, these folks mean well and I try to stave off the desire to eat them.

Another strange thing that happens. People assume you’re lazy, miserable, and devoid of intellect. Although I have some bouts of all three, they’re not who I am! People seem surprised when you can pull together a coherent sentence or a decent outfit. One of the things I decided to do in order to protect myself was attempt to have a sparkling and self deprecating personality. Wanna have preconceived notions about me? Well not if I do it first, pal. Part of me enjoys watching people laugh uncomfortably, while another part of me just wants to not have to do that.

I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves, “Well, why don’t you go on a diet and lose weight?”

…Holy shit. I never thought of that before…I’ve…I can’t believe…you’ve just made it all clear to me. IT’S SO SIMPLE! OH MY GOD! WHY DON’T I JUST LOSE WEI you see where I’m going with this.

I’ve been schooled, shamed, forced, stuffed, pushed in, told off, given pills, given advice, work at a gym for 4 years…I know what I need to do.

This is the part that’s hard to write down.

I have an eating disorder. Food is different for me. It’s been a friend, a comfort, and something I can always rely on to momentarily make me feel absolutely nothing but pleasure. It’s momentary, but it’s undeniable. It sounds silly to you probably in the same way Heroin addiction sounds silly to me. I know I’ll get picked on, I know I won’t be able to buy clothes as easily. It won’t be easy to make the money thin people make. Get the jobs thin people get. Walking down the street constantly waiting for that one comment. Wanting to work out, but being deathly embarrassed by the concept of others watching. Having everyone in the universe know what’s good for you and not believing you know the same exact thing. This is not a conscious choice for me, this body.

The only thing I strive to be is healthy and devoid of shame. No matter what size I end up. Right now, part of who I am is being the size I am. I choose to change this, not you. Trust that I am intelligent and strong enough to do what is correct for me, and we’re golden. I have an amazing support system of both friends and family who drive me in the right direction every day. I really want to fix my addiction, but I have no preconceived notions that my life will suddenly become whole when I do. I’m in an amazing relationship, and I’m happy.

So no, I’m not fat positive. I’m body positive. Positive my body does not embody me. Positive that no matter what size we are, we will deal with an over-present media that wants to make us feel like we’re these half-done creatures, ever-tumbling through life in a fog without their self help books, handbags, magic diet pills, eye cream, giant boobs, six packs, cellulite smoothers and Oprahs.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that stuff up up there. If any of it makes you feel better, then it’s serving a purpose. Just believe that you’re a work in progress making your own decisions, and ignore the slightest suggestion that you have to live up to anyone’s standards but your own.

Just a midweek pop post.

A few days ago I left my umbrella on the 95 bus. Blue, cheap little POS. Nothing to go into fits over, but the next day it was raining so it sorta sucked. I get on the bus, and casually ask my driver if she’d seen it. She’s my regular driver so we chat pretty much every morning.

“Oh yes I turned it in!”

I told her it was ok, not to worry about it and that I could grab another one somewhere. I thanked her for turning it in and remembering.

I hop on the bus this morning, and it turns out she’d went back to HQ and got the umbrella, hoping she’d see me to give it back.

It was very thoughtful, and pretty much made my whole morning. Thank you very much, 95 morning bus driver.

It’s the little things, folks.

Tip Toe Through The Technoverse

I’m home sick today, which means I really don’t have any excuse not to blog.

One of my main struggles with this medium is, of course, what to write. Some of my more established blogging friends have helped me through this rather inane struggle, having found their path in the Blogosphere (Is that a thing?) and settled into what they’d like to do.

Coupled with that struggle is a surprising bout of “What will others think?”. Will I offend anyone? Will any of my friends think differently of me? Should I talk about my personal politics or religious beliefs here? You know, the typical flame topics.

I’ve been raised to consider others, so I do. Sometimes to a damaging and infamous degree. I remember being pulled out of class by our Dean during my senior year to console a girl that had been targeted as bully fodder by some of the younger kids. I wound up missing a crapload of notes. Was that too self serving? Saying that?

SEE?

I’d like to be one of those folks that touts a “Devil May Care” attitude regarding the universe at large, but I’m just not built that way. I’ve never minded talking about how I feel when asked in person, but I’m well aware that not everyone I know is exactly like me and I’m cool with that as stated in my previous blog, (which I’m now reading with a scrunched face and becoming highly embarrassed about), I don’t particularly like being around a bunch of people just like me.

For this reason, I made a decision about my Facebook a while back. No massive politics, no religious talk, no deep personal issues. I’m quite comfortable talking about all of these things, but even the most carefully typed updates can be misconstrued and lambasted by those with the best intentions. See, now I’m feeling the need to tell you that I don’t mind if anyone else does it…but do you really believe me? It’s just me not being up for debate on a social medium that I’m not at all comfortable using as a pedestal. Do you feel better yet?

I’ve got no problem telling people how I feel face to face. Devo and I got into it last night about feminism and politics. He challenges me constantly with opposing viewpoints and I love him for it. There’s no guard, no anonymity. I can’t stop mid sentence and Google Bella Abzug on my smart phone without looking kinda stupid.

It’s not that I’m worried about random internet people, mind you. I’m fairly well versed on the way it works out here and there are certain battles best left alone. I’m more concerned about those I love or those I’ve just met (and linked to my blog like a shill) feeling alienated or offended. It does feel rotten and weak admitting that.

I wonder if I’m writing a catharsis blog.

Most blogs do one of three things. Take off, go nowhere, or cease after the first few posts. I’ve made it to post four, and I’m sure I’ll find my notch in the net eventually. I’m not sure how I’ll write, or what I’ll write about. Perhaps I’ll use this as a springboard to become more brave when it comes to the typed word, damning all possible judgement. Perhaps I’ll just write about benign internal struggles with acceptance.

Perhaps I’ll just post cute pictures of animals.

Maybe a little bit of all that. I’m a complex creature, damn it.

Until I settle into the routine I’m comfortabe with, I’ll preemtivly strike with a little something borrowed from The Bard.

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

Suck on that.