Monday, November 30, 2009

Et tu, Barbie? And related tidbits

Tidbit #1: I love Barbie. OK, I heart Barbie in a way that would embarrass a lot of 5-year-old girls. Now, mind you, I love the really, really, ridiculously expensive Barbies that no one in their right mind would let a 5-year-old touch, let alone play with. My Barbie collection is pretty small because I can't afford all of those gorgeous, bedazzling, Bob Mackie-clad Barbies but I can tell you all about them. The glitter! The eyelashes! The over-the-top fashions and deliciously high heels! Ohhhhhhh, how I love them! (Did you know that Christian Louboutin thinks Barbie has cankles? What gall!) The latest Barbie Collector catalog arrived today, which brings me to...

Tidbit #2: Barbie has caught Twilight mania. The lovely folks at Mattel have created Bella and Edward - is nothing sacred?? (Stephanie? Do you need the smelling salts?) We'll see if my feelings change between now and Christmas, because...

Tidbit #3: In a very odd coincidence, all four Twilight books also arrived in the mail today. I am planning to celebrate Christmas with my middle sister and her family and my oldest niece is Twilight crazy. She sent the books to me so I can read them before Christmas. I love to read but my pace has slowed significantly these last months...four novels may be a tall order in less than 4 weeks. Especially when this is occupying the reading space in my head:

Tidbit #4: I drove 9 hours to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. I listened to the audiobook version of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan on the way there. I was disappointed to hear at the very beginning that it was an abridged version - I don't like abridged, I might miss something! - but it was still 6 hours of listening pleasure so I went ahead. I LOVED it!! I have been a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and the Prairie Style for years but never knew anything about his personal life. It's a wonderful, shocking true story and I want to get the book and read it in all of its fabulous unabridgedness and then keep it for my very own. My mom read it and loved it and my youngest sister has considered reading it - we all have very different tastes in reading material but it appeals to all of us. Youngest sister (hmmmm, my sisters need code names) may suggest it for her book club. I think it would be a terrific choice - the discussion would be so much fun! I listened to the book 5 days ago and I'm still thinking about it. It's a good one.

Tidbit #5: During the drive home, I listened to One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. I realized about two pages in (or maybe two paragraphs) that I had already read or listened to it. It's the bane of a voracious reader's life, I suppose - reading so many books that one doesn't recognize the title or cover of all the books one has previously consumed. Since I only took two audiobooks with me, it made for a long ride home. And made me consider the merits of keeping a record of all the books I read.

and a completely unrelated Tidbit #6: Overheard on tonight's episode of Accidentally on Purpose, a show that seems such fluff that it shouldn't keep my attention but I keep watching it:

James (the ex-bf): I miss you.
Billie: You should miss me. I am wonderful!

I love that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Love Letter to You

I started this blog one year ago today. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing but I felt like I had things to say. My goal was, and is, to share the real me.

Things get messy when human beings interact but so many people try sooooo hard to keep everything looking neat and tidy. I decided that I wouldn’t be afraid to expose my messy side. Sure, it makes me vulnerable but I’m a violet: delicate and pretty, sure…but hardy and resilient, too. I determined that I would be myself, say whatever I wanted to say, and take whatever feedback came with it. That feedback has, on the whole, been constructive and thoughtful.

This hasn’t been an easy year for me. Life has definitely thrown me some curve balls and because of that, I haven’t been as witty, clever, or interesting as I hoped to be. I have been honest, though, and sometimes that has been difficult but you have always been supportive.

I am honored that you read what I have to say and you keep coming back. In fact, you not only come back, you take the time to share your thoughts with me and I am always encouraged by your warmth, kindness, and candor. You give me perhaps the most honest, unbiased responses to my thoughts because you don’t have anything to gain or lose by being completely straight with me. That is invaluable and has provided me much food for thought.

I am looking forward to a second year of blogging – a year that will be happier, when I will share good news more often than bad, when I will find the silver linings and the rainbows and the unicorns frolicking in the… ok, maybe that’s going too far. So I’ll stop and just say thank you.

Thank you for your bloggy friendship.

I am grateful and I appreciate you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Fill-In #150 (Yeah, I know it's late Saturday)

1. The last band I saw live was Casting Crowns.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is hanging out with my family.

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is minimal.

4. Thoughts of possible changes fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear sexy, high-heeled shoes and be comfortable.

6. Bagpipes make me sad.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the end of the work week, tomorrow my plans include raking and bagging leaves and Sunday, I want to go to the gym!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I am pretty.
I am intelligent.
I am charming.
I am funny.
I am loving.
I am compassionate.
I am fun.
I am kind.
I am talented.


I am fat. Not just overweight. Not just curvy. I am obese. And too often that seems to trump all of my attractive qualities.

I wasn’t always fat. My parents say that I was a skinny pre-schooler. My kindergarten, first, and second grade pictures show a narrow face along with the mussed hair and missing teeth. But the third grade picture? Round face, chubby cheeks. I have no idea what happened in that year, maybe it’s as simple as hormones kicking in.

(How awesome are those red shoes??)

Whatever it was, that was the beginning of my struggle with fat. For the rest of my school years, I was overweight. All those years, I thought I was HUGE. My mother frequently patted my cheeks and said, “You’re such a pretty girl. If only you’d lose 10 (20, 30, 50) pounds…” (Ah, the anger just typing that generates!)

I bloomed early. I had a curvy, very womanly figure as early as 6th grade. I don’t remember trying to lose weight but I do remember being very embarrassed by my size and I was teased a lot and called awful names by the other kids. I played basketball in junior high, took dance classes, and sang in choir…but I spent every recess and lunchtime reading by myself.

When I got to high school, I discovered the theater and boys. I had good success with both – played the leads in plays and the second leads in musicals (because the lead can’t be a fat girl, y’know, even if she has the best voice in school) and dated a lot.

When I graduated from high school, I weighed around 170. Yes, overweight for a girl 5’4” with a small-ish frame, but not HUGE. Frankly, I was dead sexy. I was a brick house. I would give my big toes to have that body now!

(1983 was a good year for corduroy and fake logs. And how weird is it that my hairstyle has come full circle - except for the curling iron torture, it looks almost exactly the same now.)

I made a series of bad decisions over the next decade (tried and failed at college 3 times, married the wrong man), which led to a lot of depression and thus a lot of inactivity and comfort eating. I became HUGE. Not cut-the-side-of-the-house-open huge but fat enough that buying clothes that fit nicely is an issue. My body looks now the way my mother made me feel all those years ago.

(This photo is a few years old - the body is still pretty much the same but the hair is soooo much longer!)

I have struggled not only with my actual body but also with my feelings about it. I understand that my body is not attractive to the mainstream and yet I feel sexy and beautiful most of the time. Sometimes I want to be a “normal” size and sometimes I am perfectly happy with my body the way it is. I don’t want to be thin – I like my curves and don’t want to lose them. I do want to be healthier, move easier, and be more active…and those things will only happen if my body is smaller.

I had knee replacement surgery on both knees in the last year. There were at least three contributing factors – an injury, heredity, and my weight – but I have to believe that my weight was the major cause. Those surgeries brought me to the realization that my weight is taking a toll on my body even though I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. So I joined a gym 6 weeks ago and I am getting into the habit of exercising. I am starting to notice small changes and I have lost 6 pounds.

I know that losing weight will make me healthier as well as more physically appealing but there is a part of me that is ANGRY because I have to change my outside before most people will take the time to get to know my inside. I am an amazing, interesting woman with so much to offer – why is it so hard for people to look at me as a PERSON because I am FAT? I am tired of being invisible. Funny thing, that – I am usually the fattest person in the room but people often treat me like a piece of furniture. It’s an amazing and sad thing to witness people’s ability to not see me.

I think I lost the point of this post somewhere. I'm not looking for sympathy or for praise for my current efforts. This was triggered by yet another incident where I was ignored in that way that only happens to those who are fat or disabled. People don’t want to SEE us.

Too bad they don’t realize that if they would SEE me, they would discover someone wonderful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things #16

It’s been one of those days. As if the Himself sitch wasn't enough, work has sucked golfballs the last few weeks (yeah, pretty much ever since the praise from the boss). I need to force myself to find the sunbeam…

+ Warm feet. It took me 44 years to appreciate the value of wearing slippers but I finally get it.

+ Being told that my oldest niece brags about having pretty hands “like Auntie Vi.”

+ Noticing teeny, tiny little improvements in my energy level now that I’ve been going to the gym for a month. And maybe even some upper arm strength - I didn't even know I had arm muscles.

+ Knowing that I have options and k
nowing that I can take all the time I want to consider each and every one.

+ Chocolate chip cookies.

+ The security and comfort of unconditional love. I have two sisters and one best friend who always listen, always respect how I feel (even when it's the 17th day in a row when I've felt pouty and mad and stupid and weepy), and always respond with loving honesty.

It's amazing how quickly this little exercise works...oh, look - there's the sun!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Manic Monday #188

What does it mean to you to have courage? The definition of courage I like is being afraid but doing it (whatever it is) anyway. We all have opportunities to act when it would be easier to do nothing. In my life, I think courage is taking the risk of speaking up or standing up when I'd much rather go unnoticed. Right now, I'm searching for the courage to cause myself pain. I know severing the relationship with Himself is the only way for me to survive but, BOY, is it going to hurt!

Is your favorite time the past, present or the future? I wish I could say the present because it is the only place we ever really are but I have always looked to the future. The past is gone; my present has been unsatisfying for a long time. The future always holds the promise of happier days.

What makes you a good person? I could list a lot of virtues but I think it all boils down to the fact that I believe people are good and nice and trying to do the right thing. I trust people. I expect the best from people. Sure, that means that I'm often let down...but people often surprise me with their goodness, too.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Someday I will have good news. Today is not that day.

A month ago, I spent the weekend with Himself and we had a serious conversation about us. I came home feeling like the weekend was an ending and determined to shift my focus to other areas of my life.

I joined a gym and I am getting into the habit of going (and sort of, almost enjoying it) but I haven’t found a way to distract myself from Himself. We have stayed in pretty much the same contact as we have for months and he continues to say and do things that confuse me. So I started yet another conversation about us a couple nights ago and forced him to give me definite answers.

He loves me. He likes me. He wants me. I am as important to him as two of his oldest, dearest friends; he says he talks to me a lot more than he talks to them. But I am too far away and he doesn’t have the time/money/energy/interest in pursuing a long distance relationship and he doubts he ever will have the interest, even when the time, money, and energy are available.

We talked very seriously for about an hour…then chatted about everything and nothing for another FOUR HOURS. This phone call started at almost 11 p.m. on a week night, I had to get up at 6 a.m., yet we talked until 4 a.m. just because we were enjoying each other’s company.


I need to find the strength and courage to say goodbye to Himself. I want to change how I feel so we can stay friends but I don’t know how. Maybe I need to give it time. Or maybe I need to put my big girl panties on and make the cut. I’ve done it before…but that man didn’t mean nearly as much to me as Himself does. For the time being, every time I have a hopeful thought where Himself is concerned, I remind myself that he doesn’t want me the way I want him to.

I am mad at myself, mad at Himself, and mad at the world. I feel defeated, hopeless, helpless, and weak.