Addendum – Wedding Woes.

I spoke to a friend of mine tonight at work that had a similarly nightmarish experience with the shame shack. Now, when I first wrote this article I made the decision to censor the name because I actually got very good service. The atmosphere was just utter horse shit.

I’m rescinding that decision.

Let’s call my pal B.

B mentioned she’d read my blog and had to tell me that her experience there was similar  if not worse than my own. She was lead down the same long stone pathway of humiliation into the same dingy, heat-less outhouse of plus size dresses that time had forgotten. Only her consultant was extremely rude. She mentioned at one point to this woman that she was looking for a certain style of gown, and was promptly told that she was “too big” for this gown style. So not only do they escort you into a den of 20 year old crinoline, they tell you you’re too big to wear certain styles, apparently.

I am genuinely sorry this happened to B, one of the kindest people I know. I have her to thank for my new amazing job. The fun part of this story? B was then interning for the second largest wedding consultant/planning etc, group in the area who promptly informed Bridaltown that they were no longer going to receive any more of their business. I’m happy her employer stood up for her.

I’m sorry this happened to B, and I’m sorry these things happen to anyone.

There’s no real good way to end this post. There’s no real good way to find a dress when you’re a fat bride. You have to luck into it, or settle for what the world gives you. Thankfully I can almost guarantee that no one’s going to remember the exact nuances of your dress, or anything less than having a decent time. Unless the food sucked.

-Much love

Puppies, Kittens, Jerks and Jean Gray

Last night I had a dream that was so ridiculously telling, I have no choice but to write about it. I was struggling to get to my apartment door while holding a small puppy in my arms. There was a hawk circling menacingly overhead and I knew puppy was for lunch. When I approached my door, there were two kittens who had gotten out of the apartment building somehow, so I scooped them up into my free arm and began to struggle with  the process of getting my keys out and opening the door while wriggling fluffballs flailed under each arm, the hawk dive-bombing us all the while.

When I finally got into my apartment, an old friend who I no longer speak to due to his constant needy and abusive nature was in my bed, wearing pajamas. I put down the menagerie and asked him if he could move to the couch because Devo (my fiance) would be home soon, and needed to sleep. The old friend refused. At that moment Devo came home and told me it was fine, that the bed was big enough for all of us.

As amusing and stupidly transparent as this dream was,(Devo would have probably drop kicked dude, for instance) I was comforted by it. It reminded me of some things. Yes, I am a class -A- sucker for all of the kittens, puppies, and jerks in the universe, but I also have a guy in my life that not only embraces this part of me, but loves it. Despite the occasional annoyance it causes, he wants to marry me.

I’m getting married next October to this patient, awesome person, and that’s pretty cool.

Married. At a wedding. Dear lord.

Weddings were always a very far away, foreign concept for me. Partly because I was a horribly teased fat kid with 30 years worth of voices in my head telling me I didn’t deserve this holy union, and partly because rebelling against it was easy. To love, honor and obey? Maybe the first two. I didn’t want to feel like a princess. I don’t like poof. The entire industry feeds on proclaiming this to be the most important day of your life, and I thought that was complete crap.

I’m not saying it’s bad for everyone, and if you’ve been dreaming of this moment your whole life, then I wish nothing but happiness for you. I’m jealous, because at least I could have had this crap planned out nice and early.

I’ve also struggled with the concept of what “I” want as an individual, which is making this process extra hard.

When I was younger and I wanted to gain perspective into ego I read Ayn Rand, and that didn’t help. It mostly just made me hate Ayn Rand. To attempt oneness and unity with all I read Heinlein, and I thought he came off as a macho pig. I went back to X-Men and read The Dark Phoenix Saga because being a telekinetic superhero seemed more fun than being a selfish douche or an alien sex slave. I mean come on, what better role model than a kind, intelligent Omega-Level mutant, constantly struggling with duality.

Having “boyish” interests had little to nothing to do with my inability to fantasize about my perfect wedding, in case that’s where you think I’m going. Feeling a general disconnect, a lonely nerdy-ness. You know, back before nerds were okay, I guess. That was the biggest culprit. It was much later in my life that I began forming amazing bonds with people other than members of my family. I wanted to keep them around and never hurt them. This is carrying into my wedding planning in a huge way.

As strange as the concept was, it suddenly became something I wanted more than anything when I got to know Devo. I was 31, and completely unprepared. I am now 35, and still completely unprepared.

Coupled with being a people-pleaser, being out of a job, and being a naturally cheap and non-fluffy individual (who is also quite fluffy on a biological level), planning a wedding is completely out of my comfort zone. Thankfully I have a mother who is a natural party planner, a soon to be mother-in-law that makes amazing wedding cakes, and a ton of family and friends to slap me around when I shut down. My amazing maid of honor who has been my rock since the age of 12 already stated her concern that she’s going to have to drag me kicking and screaming into the world of “what I want.”

I’ve found a lot of extremely helpful websites such as offbeatbride.com, romanticthreads.com and my personal favorite http://www.thebrokeassbride.com/. These sites were a fantastic conformation that there were others out there like me. People who suddenly out of nowhere wanted to marry a person, and had no idea how to practically go about it without going broke or having to haphazardly go along with concepts and expectations they were not comfortable with.

My challenge from now until October 26th of 2013 will not be getting married. That’s the easy part. My challenge will be the same challenge most people who are about to get married have. Being conscious of others while throwing yourself exactly the kind of party you want…

…And not go insane in the process.

I’m willing to tackle this head on because Devo is worth it, and I really do want a big party. That’s the best part of weddings and why I like going to them. I’ve always loved and have thrown big parties. You get to see tons of people, you get to dance. You get to be married because you met someone that made you want to be married.

That is the essence of this union, whatever you want to call it. I want to be with this person, and I want to have a party celebrating it where my friends have fun because I like them a whole lot.

Now If I can muster up the strength to tell them to go to hell midst a chorus of “booing” because I’m not having open bar, that’s a good start.

.

Toxic Love

My mother has described me as someone who’d bring home little lost people instead of animals. Through the years, I’ve survived toxic relationship after toxic relationship because of this accursed belief that I can fix people. Make them better. Help them see the good inside them. 

In my current state, I’ve managed to wash my hands of most of those relationships and surround myself with positive people.The most recent relapse into my old ways (and likely last relapse) was a run-in with an old friend who almost everyone had washed their hands of due to his actions. I held out my hand again, and he bit me. Not as hard as he had in the past, but he still bit. This time, the bite did not puncture me. As hard as it was, I turned my back and walked away.

As much as my love for other people defines me, it also puts me in an unwelcome situation. I am easily manipulated, emotional, and have an extraordinarily hard time with appearing as anything but kind and rock-solid. I go internal when I’m having problems, and have no one but myself to blame when no one has any idea how low I’ve sunk. I know I’ve confused friends in the past with this behavior. It’s easier now that I have a man in my life that (unfortunately for him) is the softest place to fall I’ve ever experienced since the support I get from my family.

Writing has helped tremendously with the decisions I’ve made to keep my life chaos free. It started with Livejournal a million years ago (I know, I know…) and now I suppose it’s come to a head with this blog. I’ve been able to see my mistakes and learn from them. Even when I make brand new ones!

My life now is wonderful. I’m basically broke, but who isn’t. I’m 4 years deep in passionate love. My family is amazing. Every friend I have is magical. Yet there is still that want to hold on to old, wounded people. Even when they have no interest in being held. In a way I’m sure this is tied to my ego, as I feel fantastic when someone tells me I’ve had a positive effect on their life. Learning when to let go is a hard process, also likely tied to my ego.  Why couldn’t this one work out? How are they still such broken assholes when they’ve had ME?

Learning about quality over quantity, as cheesy as it sounds, was absolutely key in growing apart from the clutches of Miss Nightingale. I went from having no friends, to having hundreds of acquaintances, to having a few dozen key loved ones. Holding on to the want to be surrounded by admirers is easily diminished when you realize a lot of them are there for the same reasons you are. Because everyone else is.

I cherish the friendships I have now because each of these people give me something.

Does that sound selfish?

It’s not material things, it’s not verbal praise, it’s just company. They give me good company, and good times. I don’t have to pretend and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I don’t have to walk on eggshells. I communicate. I disagree without fear of losing them. I agree without want of pleasing them. I treat them as I would want to be treated, as they do me. I never feel bad in their presence, I trust them with every fiber of my being. I know that no matter what happens, no matter the hardships we all face, they will always have my back. So yes, it’s selfish.

If you are in a relationship where you are missing even one of those elements, you need to re-examine it.

To be your best you, you have to be selfish. You are nothing to anyone if you do not love yourself first. This is vastly different from self-importance. That builds walls around you and it’s nothing but fake, grandiose crap. See the difference.

Sometimes I forgive, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I don’t. When I think back on those no longer in my life I wish them well, and thank them internally for serving a purpose in building me as a human being. Your abuse made me strong. Your lies make me smarter. Your unforgiving, selfish natures made me want nothing more than to be exactly what you were not.

I am a work in progress. Always. I am never perfect. I can not make anyone cease to suck if they don’t think they suck. I can not fix the universe.

Be charitable, be kind, but do not be a doormat.

This is a lot heavier than most of my posts because it means a lot to me. I am surrounded by people who I know exactly where I stand with and it is literally the best feeling in the world. Those few who I question get my co-existence and nothing else.

And thankfully they are very, very few.

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.

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.

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.