Weep Little Lion Girl

It’s like a word train, one hooking right after another and frequently stopping to block traffic for no obvious reason before chugging along again, slightly briefer or longer though never quite making sense.

After a long session of preening and poking about and taking pictures of myself with my bright red lipstick and my cat’s eye eyeliner until I found one I really, really liked, we went to the mall today.  My little sister and my mother and I.  I didn’t buy anything because I was kind of in a daze.

So I’ve mentioned how my back and really my neck have been killing me every morning?  Well, it’s sort of extended well past morning right now and it’s been stiff and painful all day and after the mall goings on and my pre-menstrual emotional upheaval, my dear mother was getting concerned for me.  And this is not in the basic attention way I like and crave.  She was actually concerned that something might be wrong with me which, whether it’s true or not, is not something I actually want to share with anyone or actually try to face and resolve.   But my mother has read books on pressure points and massage and really, at this point, my neck was bothering me so much that I felt entirely meek and sort of past defending my completely false sense of personal gravitas that would usually prohibit me from letting someone take care of me or touch me or anything like that.  So naturally, she’s appalled at the knots in my back and how stiff I was and my little yelps of pain as she pushed into the knots for 8 seconds and eventually she had me lay down on the floor and she was rubbing this pain cream into my back and shoulders and it hurts so much I just start involuntarily crying and all my liquid eyeliner pools below my eyes and I can’t explain to anyone that the tears are not just because she’s pressing where it hurts and it’s hurting but because it’s foreign touch, a sensation so foreign to my skin and I’m laying there in front of the both of them just completely wracked with agony and loneliness and emotion and all the stress of work and the way I sit and my hunched over shoulders bent to protect me from any stray eyeballs and the empathic trailings of the hundreds of randoms at the mall battering around in my head like a bird at a window.  Just overwhelmed with emotion, so it’s spitting out of my face, and it’s making my mother’s concern even more severe.  She says it shouldn’t hurt like this and my little poetic brain so flush with all those hormones that have the semiotic gift, reads a thousand layers into that statement and more tears come and I can say nothing but thank you.   Thank you for helping me.

Of course, then my sister says “Maybe your back hurts because you have such gigantic boobs.”  Which is funny, now, to type.  But then it felt pretty shitty because when you’re in this sort of semiotic free-fall, everything connects to the meanings of everything else and you sort of trip through your own memory, illuminating everything as you go.  I think about tits.  About being among the first in fifth and sixth grade to have them, about feeling swollen and broken and unready to own any of it.  Completely ashamed.  Back then, I figured that if you bent your shoulders and hunched a bit, you weren’t thrusting anything out at anyone.  You weren’t asking for anyone to be aware of you at all.   Long hours of computer work, abject shyness, whatever it is, I am slowly crippling myself just by living.

She says these kind of things in an effort to help me.  Or so she thinks.  She points out that my lipstick is too bright and messy.  She tells me my jeans are too short.  Am I wearing that?  Why am I not answering her? She rhetorically asks.  If I’m going to be such a bitch, we’ll just go home! I used to think that she thought she was better than everyone, but I’ve seen enough of her insecurities to know that’s not true.  What’s true is this: she just thinks she’s better than me.  I try and consider if there’s anything in that to motivate me, but right now, I just don’t…know.   I want to be mad at her in the vein of our usual rivalry, but what rises to the surface is that if she thinks she’s better than me, maybe she’s not the only one.  Maybe given every thought in my head today about how she dares to walk around in the world without pulling at her clothes to better cover herself, her appraising eye turned outward instead of in, I must think she’s better than me, too.

But I always forget that the revelations I come to when I’m in that sort of headspace are not always coming, whole cloth, to everyone else.  So I gather myself up, slowly, dab out my raccoon eyes and breathe and try and have a good dinner and I drive home and have  a nice visit with my friends, however brief and try and keep pushing my shoulders down.  I do feel better, but maybe also more keenly aware of how big the hurt was and how much could come back.

I am a good person, but sometimes I just feel so stuck in a quagmire.

The Beauty’s Guide to Beauty

Me and the Pomplamoose rockin’ out in the quiet of the post-work, post-dinner fantasia.

I’m thinking my whole problem is protein.  I need more meat throughout the day and I’ll stop being so ravenous.  Pasta on its own?  Not cutting it.

I am sitting here – which, I suppose is generally how one uses a laptop – and I’m dragging a bit, I’ll confess.  I woke up at three this morning, so nervous that I was going to sleep in and be late to let the government agency in for their meeting, luckily, I was able to go back to sleep pretty quickly and back up at 6:30 am.  Naturally, I get to work at 7:30, set up the coffee and water, question my role in this ever-expanding/contracting universe and they don’t turn up until nearly 9:30 when we’re open anyway.  Murphy’s Law has my ass gps’d.

So I’ve been a nervous, jittery mess all day.  I’ve been eating decently, and I made sure to have more for lunch which helped, but I’ve still been snacking and not tracking and kind of floating in the area of dieting as opposed to actual dieting.  Today is the one day a week that I don’t have anything planned, no wii, no cardio or strength training for SparkPeople so I’m going to try and clean up my pots and pans, put away my stray shoes and pretend to be a very put-upon and yet gracious and good-natured maid a la Anna in Downton Abbey.  It is ridiculous but entirely indicative of my personality that I can get into cleaning by getting into a character of someone who can bear the burden of menial physical labor because they must. That’s a fifteen minute kind of plan before I shift around in my skin and realize I’m really quite lazy and not all that excited by sponges and changing sheets.  At this point, I will not turn away from 15 minutes of concentrated anything.

Um, what else about today?  I sat through more blonde comments, all of them complimentary, but you’d think I’d shaved my head off the way some people react.   I’m not all that excited by the fact that the stereotypes seem to hold true:  just like a red car, blonde hair may get you noticed more.  Even if that notice is followed up by disappointment.  I don’t mean that…I want to be more comfortable in my own skin, my own hair, my own dead cells styled to adorn.  I want to not have the first step is judgement.  So I’m doing alright.  I didn’t pin the little pink flowers in it today and it wasn’t all straightened out like I like, but I didn’t look like sheer hell and I’ll take that too.  15 minutes some place other than sheer hell is all I ask.

I’m reading http://www.fuckyeahchubbygirls.tumblr.com and hoping some of that positivity rubs off on me.  Tomorrow’s luncheon day and I am woefully unprepared.  I’m going to combat that with caustically bright red lipstick, black liquid liner and heels.

Wind Turns the Tree Into Bone

I keep waiting for the giant red patent leather shoe to drop.  The crimson stiletto of Valentine’s Day Single Girl decompensation.  I keep waiting for a big, obvious reason to start bawling.  I don’t feel like that sounds all that fun, really, though.  I basically would be outright abusing myself to demand that I have “a good cry” for the sake of having one; unpacking and shitkicking all my emotional garbage about the room isn’t going to free me at all.  It doesn’t make a knock on the door happen and cause some magical stranger appear to fall head over heels for me on Valentine’s Day.  Beating my head against the wall has never so much as made someone on the other side beat back, so what I’m achieving is a sore head and that’s about it.

Also, I’m ignoring all the histrionics I’m hearing (which I guess, is only from one person and it’s kind of what I expected so..) and I’m not watching TV.  I’m just not buying in.   This year, it actually made me laugh, the swarm of men in sweatpants, kids trailing behind them, eyes obviously agog and reeling with sugar highs, determinedly seeking the floral department at the grocery store trying to buy the last wilted bouquets of roses in the case. Someone walked out with a vase full of white roses, which I have to imagine is not going to be as effective as he hopes, or maybe there’s some unfortunate funeral.  Of a virgin nun. White roses?

They all just know they have to do something and they’re mentally gauging their bank accounts and what the woman will be pissed over and they’re rumbling about how she never fucking gives them anything and she’ll probably complain anyway, but it’s Valentine’s Day and that’s the law and so they shell out the money for some flowers that’ll be dead in a week.

For the first time, I feel honest when I say if that’s what this holiday is conventionally about, if that’s the most we can expect, opting out doesn’t feel so deflating.  I’d much prefer celebrating radical self-love.  Which I can fearlessly say involves all definitions of that word.  I have healthy, good food (as well as a breakfast cupcake provided by work) for dinner, I’ve got exercise to do and some laundry which I may or may not feel super into, I’ve got my words and my friends and I’m on track right now.  I got a full larder and a clear, if tired, head.

I just don’t see the use in acting out, I’ve spent years doing that and it hasn’t shifted the playing field at all for me.  Pizza and cake and gummi bears do not bear impact on the goals for this year, if anything they set the timetable back.  It just doesn’t honor this spirit to coat it, bread it, dump it in hot oil and leave it to settle.

We’re moving on.

I’m just saying that you are still today what you were yesterday and will be tomorrow: a worthwhile person.


With Alacrity

I can’t make a post today, apologies.

Okay, now that we’ve got that first thought out of the way, it’s time for the confessions and the rekindling of good energy and re-centering into myself, the only home I’ve got.  Confessions:  I didn’t have a healthy lunch.  I was over at my half-sister’s and I made what she ate which was very good and not healthy.  French dip sandwiches and twice baked potatoes and cream puffs.  I didn’t get seconds, but I ate some of everything and I didn’t have the vegetable tray.  So, that was bad.  I was frustrated and that’s my excuse, but I have have a good dinner planned and exercise to do and my friends to chat with and I don’t feel so steamrolled anymore.  It doesn’t either let me off the hook or make me stop wanting to lose weight.  Just got to do as I intend and move forward.

Fitness progress fact: I can pull these pants off without un-buttoning them.  Fitness progress fact number two: the brand new scale that cannot read my body fat because my feet are apparently filthy and wrong no matter how many times I wash them, but the scale reading adds 5 pounds to the top of my project.  This is frustration and I have to look it in the eye and tell you and myself that it really doesn’t matter.

So, after running around a bit and calming myself down about hanging out with my little sister after she insists that the Starbucks guys were hitting on her and when I didn’t say anything about it (to me they were just borderline over-cheerful), she makes sure I know that she’s been hit on like a million times in her life and she KNOWS when she’s being hit on.  This is her in a nutshell.  She’s just reporting facts and because you don’t engage her and and agree and laugh when she says something like that or if she tells you you’ve got food all over your mouth and you don’t immediately thank her for the service, you’re being a bitch.

I have absolutely nothing to say in this regard and it’s hard for me to be pleasant when the conversation begins with the assumption that she has worldly experience and we’re her podunk, Gilbert Grape’s mother-looking, floppy family she needs to scream into acceptability.

I really want my self-esteem to blossom and overcome this reaction.  I want to not care and just be, but I haven’t gotten there yet.   It’s just a number but it’s colored the whole day.

Tomorrow’s work.  If I can, I’m going to be with the friends, eat the very light dinner,  do the exercise, pick up for 15 minutes and get ready for tomorrow.  Brace myself well and fully and do what I can to cheer myself up.  My birthday’s next week and I am starting to have expectations.  I’m starting to think I could maybe have it the way I want and that’s not going to happen.  It’s another day.  We still have to do our work and the best way is forward, with alacrity.

The Mayor of Jerktown

is not me today!  Huzzah!  I’m relinquishing my jerky role now because I’m home.  I’m in my own home and it’s these four quiet, perfect hours of being utterly alone and the boss of nothing but yourself that you don’t realize how much you (a person) needs that.

Yesterday was all kinds of messed up and it sort of rolled into today.  I just couldn’t get things going and I felt like a huge sheister for making my dad pick me up and really, I would have told him to forget it except for the fact that it would have stranded me one place or another and then me forgetting my keys…not having my laptop.  It just left me so out of sorts with my food and being all tempted with brownies.  I felt vaguely homeless, stupid, and distracted from everything I wanted to do.  All without makeup and my bathtub and books.  I’m usually okay with just being there, knowing that circumstances are putting me there and it’s short term and relaxing.  Yesterday, there was no relaxing.

Today was the stupid, stupid, stupid, work with the accountant day and sort of try and explain things you sort of realize that you only understand to a certain point and hope they can help you with the rest and it’s this whole day deal.  Meanwhile, luncheon reservations are pouring in, all my usual work is piling up and I have to order things via email for co-workers who don’t want to turn on their computers.  Just saying.

It’s becoming obvious, though, that I probably am not going to see Mr. Rochester for a goodly while.  Maybe never.  I am…coming to terms very slowly, but surely enough.  The way you think you know people only matters if you actually end up knowing them, and more and more, I realize that I never did.  Maybe none of us ever did.    It’s sad.  Very sad.  But not the end of the world.  The store is dead.  I walked by it today and tried not to look.  Something else will go there.  I’ll meet someone else who will fill some of this void and time will work its magic.

Time and exercise.  I’m sitting here in my t-shirt, freezing, having worked out rapaciously for half an hour here.  I just wanted to get back at it and hit my goal and sort out my calorie totals and now, it’s seven-thirty and I can have dinner (a very light dinner given the fact that I had a pretty gratuitous burrito situation at lunch) and take care of some more business regarding cleaning up – watch a little bit more of Law and Order – take my bath and altogether feel much better.   I’m proud of me for not saying fuck it.  My birthday’s not that far away, you know.  It’ll be nice to be going somewhere instead of saying that’s when I’ll start moving.

My accountant sent me a spreadsheet that should help me figure out what the fuck I’m supposed to be doing tomorrow.  I’m so delighted.  If I could just sort out a ride, life would be miraculous and perfect.

Perfect?  Um.  No.  But pretty acceptable.

The Human Trampoline

Okay, okay, I kind of feel like if I don’t get in here and apply myself, I’ll tragically forget to post or something.  It hasn’t happened yet this year – not really, but it’s just like a warm November just before Daylight Savings to screw with your circadian rhythms and sense of the length of the day.  If I hadn’t been well aware that this was November, I might well believe it was a nice May day.  The sun practically cooked eggs on the street.  Maybe not, nobody was out there testing it, but it certainly cooked us in our t-shirts.  I have no idea if this is some small evidence of global warming, but it goes to show you that you that the weather will always be just enough off what we expect of it to be worthy of casual conversation.

Speaking of evidence, I went out into the real world today.  We had some kind of power surge and the new curtains in the room have muted the light that comes in my rather dusty window just enough so that I slept in until almost 11.  Then we somehow got up, my sister and I, and actually did a little housework.  Yes, be still my beating heart, this Hoarders business has stuck with me enough that doing a load of dishes didn’t seem out of order.  No one needs to live like that out of sheer laziness unless they have a severe psychological problem.  Let’s not be lazy or crazy when you could just wash a few trays.   So, we cleaned up a bit.  There’s a lot more to do, but it’s pleasanter in here.

Then, as you do when you’re victorious and it’s almost two, we went and had buffalo wings and played trivia, beating a table of screaming ten year olds who didn’t know there were a pair of ringers sitting right next to them.  They hooted and hollered at eachother over one of the electronic sets they give you to answer as the television sets overhead run the questions.  They weren’t usually in the ballpark on any of their answers since I’m pretty sure that none of them have ever heard of Noriega or could pick out a famous French chef out of a list of one, but they were earnest.  It made it all the sweeter when we silently crushed them.

Petty it may be, but it served to amuse us for a bit.

Then, it was off to stroll around Target  – the real world I aforementioned where you can see the parade of human flesh that runs about doing errands on a strangely warm November afternoon.  My certain esteem about the five pound weight loss didn’t stick so well in that environment where there’s full length mirrors and stick-thin, bug eye sunglass-wearing women who are loading their carts with candy and sugar-addled children.  But do I want to have those pounds back in exchange for a piece of that candy?

Hell no.

We accept that the process is long, stupid, and we are often in states of discomfort and displeasure.  We bounce back.

The Joy of Cooking

It’s a tricky brain that can feel guilty about going home sick when it – the body that holds the brain if not the brain itself – is verifiably, snot-dripping, eyes itchy and weeping, sore joints sick.   I still feel bad physically and really tired, but at least it feels like this is the tail end of the bug.   Thank goodness.  I’m getting rather bored of slugging back DayQuil and vitamins and feeling like an invalid.

And the thing of it is, I went to work from 8:30am-1:30pm before finally sort of feeling like I was able to cut out and I still have this curlicued thought spiraling about my brainpan that says: you probably could have finished out the day and been fine.  I don’t know what it is that I feel like I’m taking too much or that I’m causing trouble or that I’m giving into a whimmy, childish desire to just not be there and instead go home and play video games until I pass out.  Like this is something that all grownups have stood up in solidarity against.

Likely not.

In fact, when I was explaining to the volunteer that was sitting next to me, folding brochures, that I was probably going leave early (I told her this like seven times and things kept coming up) and she said sometimes you just have to do that.  I sort of nodded and said, yeah.  And she said, No, sometimes you really have to take care of yourself.

And sometimes, even if it is inconvenient or frustrating or not Miss Perky Sunbeam Secretary 24×7, you have to take care of yourself.  That’s today.

But I have not fucked things up dietwise, so you can all let go of those breaths you were holding on my behalf.  It has sort of redoubled my resolve.  I brought my lunch to work in a bag in case I ate it there – orange pepper, chicken salad, cheese stick, jello.  And I ate it when I came home.

Now, I’ve realized/re-remembered (re-re-re) how much I really like cooking.  I’ve made myself a taco salad sans taco shell and didn’t completely wreck the kitchen in the process.  I made it just so and it’s delicious and I feel good about what I’ve done.  I haven’t used the fact that I’m feeling exceptionally out of it as an excuse to just not begin.  I also haven’t used the fact that Wednesday is a special full-day meeting where I can’t bring my lunch, but instead have to eat the sandwiches as provided by the caterer as a reason to not start now because there is just no two weeks on the calendar for me that don’t have some kind of food conflict.

Instead, I have to just enjoy doing healthy things like this – for myself, by myself, in the way that pleases myself and let that help me go forward.  I am my own best resource and instead of looking for new things outside of myself, I’m trying to look within.