The Post I Never Believed I Had Guts Enough To Write

27 04 2006

I have put this post off for awhile.

I pride myself in being able to share almost anything with anyone. Secrets are dangerous things.

I believe wholeheartedly that people – when they discover a weakness that you have secreted away- will use it to hurt you.

This is why I blog, I guess.

Anyone can say almost anything to try to hurt me and I can respond with (nonchalantly), “Oh, yes. I told the world that in a post on September 23, 2005….”.

There is no power in something already told.

I have shared my views on relationships and love a few times, but after some soul searching evenings of thought, I need to go deeper here.

And you’re coming with me whether you like it or not.

Let me just admit right off that these evenings have been inspired by the news that Voldemort has a girlfriend. He Who Must Not Be Named finally did what I have fully expected him to do. And I did absolutely nothing to stop it.

But, anyway…..

I have battle with my weight for most of my life. But, luckily for me, I have never weathered the injurious torture that many heavy people endure. I have never been teased for it, even in Junior High. I always hung out with the “popular” kids (gag) and I have never lacked for friends.

In High School I took control of my weight with diet and – admittedly now- an unhealthy amount of exercise. Exercise is good, but I would ride my bicycle up huge hills twenty miles plus a day, lift weights in the morning, and usually be participating in a school sport like basketball or long distance running in track. If I did not do all three things on any given day I would cry and worry and obsess.

It was not in any way a healthier lifestyle, although I definitely projected that image from the outside. I was hot. Six feet tall, 150 lbs of pure unadulterated muscle. And I got a lot of attention from boys and men. What it eventually provided me with were knees that will need to be replaced due to the abuse I put them through.

Fast forward to age 25. I was pregnant. About 6 months into it things changed drastically between John and I. All of a sudden I became a mother – no longer a lover. After I had Maya, John went to Alaska for the summer to work and I stayed in Montana for the summer on the ranch. He would call to check on us, ask about the baby, and ask me if I was losing weight. Just imagine his surprise when he came home and.hadn’t hadn”t lost hardly any weight.

Things progressed in a downward spiral from there. And, in the middle of it all I had another baby. Thank God for Sophie, but my body and my self esteem began a simultaneous and rapid decline. I believe that John enjoyed attacking me about my weight. In the end he even told me, “Who will want you but me? Your fat ass and two black babies?”

And I believed him.

But oh, don’t worry, I pulled myself out from under his hate and ambivalence, moved out, found myself and began working on getting my self esteem back. I thought I had done it until a few nights ago. I had a realizatididn’t

I didn’t approach Voldemort for a variety of reasons….

  1. He has no kids and would be a great father and I want no other kids because I think it would be terribly unfair to my girls.
  2. I have always been the one to make the first move. It has worked to my advantage, but I wanted to feel what it was like to be pursued.
  3. And ultimately…..I still believe what John pounded into my head. Why would he (or anyone) really want me?

The feminist me shouts, “It’s not like that! It’s his way of controlling you! You are a beautiful person inside and out and no one looks like a fashion model. You have more to offer than almost anyone out there!”

The logical me whispers in my ear incessantly, “You’re a single Mom with a lot of baggage, and let’s face it, a fat ass, and this is not what is attractive. You have to admit that there has to be some attraction first before anyone is going to get close enough to learn about you. Jesus Christ, girl, you know how to exercise, just excercise and watch what you eat. You’ve done it before, just do it again. Quit being such a wimp.”

And sadly, as much as I love what the feminist me says, the logical me has it pegged – and I will tell you why.

As a in-shape hot young thing I had my choice (within reason) of relationships or even flings if I wanted them. They were right there waiting for me just to say the word. Men would talk to me, engage me in conversation, flirt, dance, etc.

I haven’t had a guy engage me in benign conversation outside of necessity for a very long time. No men just walk up to me and start talking anymore. It’s not like I am unapproachable. I am a very social person. I’m not mean, aggressive or rude. I laugh. I tell jokes.

But they will talk to anyone but me.

And it’s not like I haven’t given it some time. It’s been eight years for Christ’s sake. I think the “just wait, it comes to you when you’re least expecting it” thing is getting a little ridiculous.

Some men are intimdated by my height. But when I was thin, these tiny 5’2″ men would make “summiting Everest” comments while learing at my boobs. There is a big differnce in being a 6’0″ tall thin woman and a 6’0″ tall fat person.

There just is. And it pisses me off.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really want little men learing at my boobs, but the lack of any type of acknowledgement is the hardest to swallow.

I take up more room, but I am invisible.

I have decided to look at this logically. Get out your paper and pencils – seriously – and work through this with me. Remember plotting points on a graph in Algebra class? This is what we are going to do…..

Excercise 1

1. Draw the upper right hand quadrant of a graph.
2. Label the perpendicular (the one that points up) line “External Perfection”
3. Label the bottom line “Weight in Pounds”
4. Draw a line of plot points from the top of the perpendicular line of “External Perfection” to the end of the “Weight” line. (It will be a line that runs from the upper left hand side of exercise to the lower right hand side)

Excercise 2

1. Draw the same kind of graph.
2. Label the perpendicular line”Internal Perfection”
3. Label the bottom line “Weight in Pounds”
4. Draw the plot points from the bottom right of the graph to the top right.

Now, combine the two graphs, one over the other. The area that the lines cross is the “sweet spot”, the spot where you are at your most attractive. Draw a circle around this point giving it an approximate 20 – 30 pound diameter. This is the “Circle of Dating Acceptance”. The farther you fall outside the circle, the crappier it gets, people.

And it’s stupid.

The person I am now compared to the person I was then is exponentially better, funnier, kinder, more responsible and accepting than the person I ever could have even imagined being while I resided within the “Circle of Dating Acceptance”.

So, here is what it all comes down to. I think I have not lost this weight because I am waiting for that person to come along who would fall in love with me despite my weight. They would prove to me that they would love me the way that I am. Then I could get all perfect and beautiful because I wanted to, not because I had to do it to be considered good enough.

If I lose it now and some guy approaches me with some cheesy line or compliment, I swear to God I will knock him down and kick his teeth out.

If I lose it before I find love, I will never trust that it was realy love at all.

I know I have to lose weight for my health. I know I will be a happier person for it, in a way.

But I just want the world to know right now that when this extra weight comes off, my hope for finding anyone to love comes off with it.

And don’t tell me how wrong I am. I am not in the mood right now to believe otherwise.

P.S. -I am going to conquer another of my blogging fears, and that is posting pictures of myself. Granted, these are pictures that I find passable. No horrific angles or crazy double chin action (well, not a lot anyway). I really want people to see where I’m coming from. I don’t need to be helped out of bed with a crane or anything.

(Oh, and I don’t always wear a sparkly dress and red lipstick. But hey, use your imagination.)


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21 Gun Salute

25 04 2006

It is time to honor the Minty Squirrel. But just to clarify…..it is not being sold, nor is it dead.

It is on hiatus.

My sister was wonderful enough to give me her old car (a Honda Accord). I love the Squirrel, though, and although she advised me to sell it and get the $50 that it is worth, I cannot do it for these reasons:

  1. I do not KNOW the other car yet. I do not trust it.
  2. How do I sell something named the Minty Squirrel?
  3. I would never be able to sell it for what it is actually worth considering our history together. It would break my heart.

Nonetheless, I do realize that I cannot keep it forever (probably not, anyway) so I have come up with a plan.

The girls and I were just at “Build a Bear” a month ago. We got out of there with two bears that cost almost $50 each. It was their Dad’s money thank God, or we never would have gone there. What I realized is people are MORE THAN willing to buy an experience.

So, while I get to know this other car, Minty is putting himself out there. Blogging, e-dating (nothing serious, he’s just been hurt in a previous relationship). I am here to support him in this difficult time and I hope you will be, too. His MySpace address is….

http://www.myspace.com/mintysquirrelcar

Go! Become his friend. Help him on his journey!

Then, when I sell the car I can sell it as an experience. Not ONLY do you get a 1990 Ford Festiva, but you get a chronicle of it’s past year of life, a photo montage, it’s favorite music and it’s dating history…..





What We Did This Weekend – Spring Fair Edition

24 04 2006
My sister is in town. She brought me a new (er) car, one of my Grandma’s old oriental rugs, and a bucketful o’ fun!

We attended the Spring Fair. This is the first year that I can remember that we had beautiful sunny weather. There was a Daffodil parade (did you all know I live in the Daffodil capital of the universe? Well I do.) There were wild and crazy rides. There was fair food.

It was good.

Maya perfects her “Daffodil Princess” wave.

Those crazy daredevils. What bravery!

Shannon is in the middle, Sophie on the left.

On the hat is a huge, super shiny gold pin. “Jalisco” it shouts to the world!

There is nothing better than this outfit. Check it out, even the boots match.

Pre-oldest-wooden-roller-coaster-on-the-west-coast-and-we-live-in-a-really-rainy/woodrotting-environment-yikes ride.

My house tends to attract small children by the droves. We had a bbq last night for, oh, the entire neighborhood. Then we played frisbee in the dark with my lighted frisbee. I have no idea why all these kids come over…..

And, stay tuned for some super exciting news!!!!!





Wishy-Washy

21 04 2006

It’s one of those days where I am just tired of making decisions. I make decisions at home. My job at work is to make decisions and follow through on them – which usually leads to even more decision making.

I’m tired.

I don’t really feel like making a decision about what to post today.

Should it be…..

The Dr. Sidensticker penicillin shot in the butt story?

The Anti-Christ Lexus story?

My theory on men/relationships/children/family and the Shari description of the word “sacrifice” story?

The Easter Bunny made me sleep on the floor story?

*sigh*

Vote for your favorite over the weekend. Or maybe suggest something, I don’t know.

Please, for once, make the decision so I don’t have to…….





Trapped

20 04 2006

Why?

Why does everything fall apart at the most inopportune time?

Maybe it just SEEMS like it does. But really, these failures are ones that I believe I would remember individually even if they didn’t happen in groups.

I would remember the sink clog.

As an individual event. I would remember. I know I would.

Cosmic forces, for the most part, work with me. I am one with the cosmic forces. But every now and then I yin when the the aforementioned cosmic forces yang – and all hell breaks loose. Last week was a reminder of the chaos that can occur when your cosmic forces decide on helter/skelter instead of yin/yang.

The first night of Sophie’s sickness I made mashed potatoes. I thought they would be good for her to swallow since her throat was so sore. My mashed potatoes pretty much could rule the world. They are that good.

Has anyone ever told you not to put potato peelings through the garbage disposal?

I’ve been told that.

But I tend to spin things to my whim at any given moment. So when I had all these potato peelings to clean up that night, I DISTINCTLY remember some anonymous person (wink) telling me that it was okay to put them in the garbage disposal if you had used a POTATO PEELER. It is, however, not okay to put them in the disposal if you have peeled them by hand with a knife…….. (?) The peels are thicker, that’s why. Geez.

That, apparently, is not the case.

The small, starchy pieces of potato peel tend to congeal easily. And swell. And clog a sink so thoroughly that even though you have a household that is harboring “the sickness” (otherwise known as “the plague”) there is nothing at all you can do.

You cannot wash dishes in the sink. I have a dishwasher, but I like washing them in the sink. Don’t even ask.

You cannot throw away the amazing amounts of food you have prepared with love- to only have snubbed by your seven year old – except in the real garbage that will smell yucky inside the house or lure the evil possums outside the house.

Cleanliness happens to start at a clean kitchen sink. And my house was spiraling downhill rapidly towards….. oh…. “garbage dump” status.

I decided that since I am obviously a strong and capable woman (see example by clicking here) I would be able to tackle this tough clog on my own.

Drano was used in abundance.

Nothing happened.

Then things got interesting. I took apart some of the plumbing from underneath the sink. There was no apparent clog to be found. Finally, with the snake-thingy (I have one!) I was able to detect a serious cement-like clog in the pipe. The problem was, this particular pipe was all the way back in the wall.

The snake would not budge it. I tried and tried and tried. The beautiful part of this whole scenario is that I was not able to concentrate my efforts on the sink. It was the sink. Then it was Sophie puking. Then it was the sink. More puke. Crying. Puking. Sink….. And the crying wasn’t always Sophie. And all the handwashing in between. At some point, is it even really worth it? I mean really.

The clog remained.

I had a thought that now that I knew where it was and what it was composed of, I COULD kill it with Drano.

If only I had enough Drano.

Do I take my puking kid to the store? No.

Do I ask someone to come over to watch her while I go to the store? No.

Do any of you know what kind of horror there is in being trapped with a clogged sink a puking child and no possibility of parole?

The damn sink waited like that for two days. Finally I was able to get to the store when their Dad just happened to “drop by”. He never would have done even that much if he would have known that she was sick.

Eventually I was able to pour enough Drano down to loosen the congealed, swollen potato peel mess. The pipes will probably disinegrate at any moment from the chemical corrosion…..

But I was eventually able to clean my sink, which lead to cleaning my kitchen, which lead to spring cleaning the whole house (washing all bedding and blankets and drying them outside in the sun, shampooing the carpets, washing walls, cleaning under the couch cushions….and oh hell why not, under the couch!) And then mowing the yard, and weedeating, and making great borders, and planting seeds.

So, that is the story of the evil kitchen sink clog from hell and what it can do to one’s fragile psyche.

The next story has to do with medicinal shots in the ass – and a doctor with the last name Sidensticker…….





Hello?

19 04 2006

Hello……..hello…………..hello…………

Oh holy crap! I am sorry that I have been neglectful. Let me tell you I have had one hell of a week.

Tuesday Sophie got strep throat….and was throwing up….how awful is that combo? That cycled through the house. By Friday I truly thought I was home free. Then I woke up to a little brick oven disguised as Sophie next to me. From very early Saturday morning until early Tuesday morning she had a temperature between 101.9 -104.0 F. (Sorry I don’t know what that is in Celsius. If I had more time I would find out.

So, basically what I am trying to say is…..ARRRGGGGHHHHH! I have so much work to catch up on.

But I have stories. Lots of stories.

There is even one about the sink clog from hell.

I’m sure you’ll check back for that one!!

Oh, and thanks for all the sweet comments on the previous post.





Forgiveness

10 04 2006

Remember I had a fight with my Mom?

It’s pretty much over.

If by over you mean that you have decided that this is not a battle that you are well enough equipped to fight and you have just given up, then it’s pretty much over. We talked a week after the fight and it all boiled down to this: she is not willing to let go of my past indescretions yet, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Hmpf.

And I am not even going to mention that when I got pregnant she said some incredibly hurtful and terrible things that hurt not only me but my unborn innocent child – and I have forgiven her and moved on.

Nope. Not even going to mention it.

BUT I DIGRESS……

Something happened the other night that drew my Mom and I together for a brief and shining moment.

I was watching Tom Brokaw interview Art Buchwald (go here and read this, it is wonderful and very meaningful to my post…..please….).

Some strange things occurred to me during this interview, one being that I NEVER watch the news anymore so why was I watching now? And another being how I personally knew of a story as amazing as this. This man was living the same end-of-life scenario that my Dad did.

As I mentioned awhile ago, my father passed away from esophageal cancer. This was only three years ago, but is very fresh in my mind. He was diagnosed in January and passed away in October. It happened so fast.

The girls and I were lucky enough to be able to spend the summer back in Montana with the family. Dad and I loaded the kids up in the truck many days and 4x’d into the mountains, searching for cool rocks. My Dad and I loved rocks. He got me a rock hammer for my birthday once. We would drive and talk and laugh…..and live.

It was some of the best time spent with my Dad in my life.

He got sicker and sicker over the summer. I had to go back to Washington in September to get Maya started in Kindergarten. I flew back every few weekends. At this point he had to make a choice whether to continue eating and encourage growth in the tumor or just get IV fluids and basically starve to death.

He chose the latter.

I can’t imagine having to make that kind of choice.

He wasted away from a big Norwegian ranching man to a thin and frail shell, yellowing with jaundice. It was horrific. He was so thin that his eyes seemed to bulge out- he always looked scared to me when he go to this point.

He was wise enough that he got in the truck again on one of my weekends that I was visiting, and made me drive to a favorite spot by the river. We parked and watched the incredible colors of the willow and cottonwood trees reflect off the river that mirrored the perfect blue September sky.

I looked at him and sobbed and finally……finally……asked all the questions that I had been holding back.

“Are you hungry?”

“Does it bother you when people eat and drink in front of you?”

“Are you scared? You look scared.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Do you believe in God?”

“Is there anything I can do?”

And he answered every one of them. Honestly. And even with some humor.

I won’t tell you what his answers were. I just remember being so relieved that I knew -everything that I wanted to know.

In the next few weeks I saw his friends – fellow ranchers, past employees, high school buddies – come to visit. They would sit across from his big reclining chair in the living room, and these big tough men would look at him and cry. And ask him their own questions, and tell him stories of their experiences that he influenced.

And it was agonizing.

And beautiful.

And joyful.

And I knew why they did it.

He lived his life his way. And he left it that way too. The cancer got him, but first he took it by the throat and made it wait until he was done.

When I told my Mom all this she cried. It made me think of her as his wife and not my Mom. She didn’t get to talk to him like I did. He wouldn’t share with her these things for some reason. And I feel sorry for her for it. I will never understand their relationship as a couple. But I do understand that in the end my Mom felt left out. But she also took care of him until it was all over.

A year before this she lost her own mother to a stroke, and in June of the year that my Dad was also sick, her sister Diana died of breast cancer.

She never seemed to flinch so I think we all assumed she was okay. She had been an RN her whole life and just seemed to accept the death that surrounded her. But sometimes the ability to put on a good face saves you from pain up front, but drags it out interminably later.

That was too much for one person. And I am here to say – as the daughter that was the shithead and the one who fights with her on the phone – that she did a beautiful and dignified job of taking care of my Dad. She quietly held it all together through some of the most outrageous loss I can even imagine and held her head up high.

I know that she still feels that pain. I know when I hear that horrible sad silence on the other side of the phone.

I knew when I walked into her room on the day of the funeral and she was standing at her closet just staring in and crying, almost totally breaking down until I took over and picked out her clothes and jewelry.

And I forgive her.

I thank my Dad for giving me the secret to a happy life. It is this:

Live like you will have time to die. Because if you are granted that time and you have lived right, your friends will be there. They will cry and tell you stories and laugh.

And you will see what you did while you were here.