Friday, June 21, 2013

Thank you, Marilyn Monroe


Thank you, Marilyn.
I was talking to a friend of mine this week about body types and body images, and I confessed to her that I hate clothes shopping. I am short, and designers don't exactly have ME in mind when they design these beautiful dresses and skirts and, HELL, shirts even.
So I prefer to just shop online, because to go into a store and try on item after item with no success, all the while being shame-mocked by those skinny bitch mirrors with bad lighting's just too much for this girl to take.
Now, this friend of mine has a figure I'd give up gummy bears for - very slender, tall (-er than me, which probably isn't really saying much). But I think what impresses me the most is how she puts her clothes together.
Anyway, this lovely person said the kindest thing - where I call myself 'chubby' or 'stumpy', she called me 'curvaceous'. Wow. Talk about 2 sides of a coin -- it's all about body image! Pin-up girls in the 40s and 50s were thicky-thick girls! They had curves and meat on their bones. I thought, 'Well just imagine how happy I would have been with my body type in those days!' But when you think about that - obviously Marilyn got some flack for her body type, even back then...if the comment in the picture above is any indication.
So I continue to struggle, and just hope that bit by bit, step by step, I will eventually come to a place where maybe I could even have a shopping trip to an ACTUAL brick-and-mortar store, and try on clothes without wanting to beat someone with shopping hangers.
Here's hoping!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Folks, I have been challenged to a "Dance Off". And anyone who knows me, knows that I MUST dance. There is something in my genetic makeup that makes me wanna shake my bon-bons anytime I hear a funky beat...even if it's just playing in my head.
Now, first let me say that by "dance", it's really more of a shake-around-jump-stomp-fling-the-hair-stick-my-tongue-out-and-wiggle kind of thing. We aren't talking ballet, here. Nothing quite that classy. And I know that I look utterly ridiculous whilst doing the aforementioned dance moves. But hey - no worries, right?
I grew up in a house where I never, not once saw my mother dance. I still haven't. And I've never heard her sing, either. And part of me has always been sad about that fact. My sister is the same way -- she doesn't sing or dance either. I can only assume that I am the possible product of our old mailman, because I never really fit into that household...what, with all my groove-shakin' and tunes-beltin'. I always felt a little stifled, and more than once I caught eye-rolls sent in my direction when I went off on one of my groove fests. But you know what? I kept on doing it.
I am not a good singer. There, I said it.
I am not a good dancer. OK, that one hurts a little :)
I am, however, OK with that. Dancing like a moron makes me happy, all right? And maybe sometimes I like to sing Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond while doing my best impersonation of a 70s icon...complete with feathered hair and gold chains. So what?

The point is, that it doesn't matter if other people think it's goofy, or if they don't 'get it'. All that matters is that it makes you happy, and maybe gives you a little inner peace. Or at least an outlet to obtain that inner peace.
I have a little boy, and he is 3 years old. I think he is the funniest kid on the planet, and he says I'm his best friend. We.Dance.ALL.the.Time. I mean constantly. Every Friday night we have "dance parties" where we turn music on and dance like goobers in the living room. We typically listen to something Putumayo (if you  haven't discovered this music, GET IT NOW), and we don't understand any of the words because mostly they aren't in English. The point is THE MUSIC. It's pure music, in all its beautiful, enigmatically cultural forms. And now (good, bad, or indifferent) my kid dances ALL THE TIME. The kid has moves I've never even seen before, and he cracks me up. One of his best moves involves him putting his hands on the ground and kicking his leg into the air....I have no clue where he got it, but I may have to incorporate it into my "Dance Off" tonight.
I love that he loves to dance. I don't want him to grow up in a house where it is thought of as being 'weird' or 'ridiculous'.
He also sings. Off-key, warbling, and perhaps he makes up his own words - but he gets no judgment from me. No eye rolls. No twitches. And I usually join in. Because my kid is awesome.
He's probably going to be the weird kid. My husband and I joke that the poor kid doesn't stand a chance, because he and I are both pretty quirky individuals. And I'll be honest with you - in school, sometimes people weren't very nice. Because noone likes someone who is different. But I think that it's not always a bad thing -- it's OK not to be mainstream, and it's OK to not be one of the cool kids.
At first I felt stupid - I cocooned myself into my mind and left myself there to fester. Then, slowly, I started to feel cool in my own head. Until it didn't really matter what anyone else thought. I realized that my mind worked on a different wavelength than most of the people I was around -- family, classmates -- and I learned to be OK with it. It was a long process, and I still have major anxiety issues. But most of the time I deal with it and move on.
I will be attending a "Dance Off" tonight with several ladies I don't really know, alongside my BFF KDay. I am nervous. I am anxious. I don't feel comfortable around new people. But I need to deal with it and move on.
So my plan for the night = Dance my ASS off.
I may get laughed at. I may get made fun of for months to come. But I'll know that it's because they're all secretly jealous of my flawless dance moves and Jhirmack-bounce-back-beautiful-hair.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Superchick....Able to erase my presence from memories in a flash!

I think I am Superman. Er, Superwoman. Girl. Chick.
Or at the very least, I am Clark Kent.
Allow me to explain.
Yesterday I attended a meeting with about 15 people, all of whom I had recently met or worked with in some form or fashion. The lady to my left was someone I had met/spoken with four times previously, and I had to re-introduce myself to her each of those four times. Apparently I don't leave much of an impression. I'm like Invisible Girl. Which would be super handy in real life if it were actually true. Unfortunately, I have yet to find the correct magical radioactive elixir that will fully transform me. Still working on that.
Anyhoo, at this particular meeting (5th time we had met, if you're keeping track) she thrusts her hand out and says, "Hi, I don't think we've met."
So this time I said, "Yes, we have worked together a few times before. It's nice to see you again."
Do you know what her response was? She said, "Oh yeah, I remember you...your glasses were throwing me off!" Because on that particular day, I happened to be wearing my glasses, where normally I wear contacts.
Well this exchange got me to thinking, which is an extremely dangerous past time of mine. Apparently, I AM CLARK KENT. I am able to magically transform my appearance with nothing more than a pair of brown frames. (all those teeny bopper movies were right!) I bet you're all jealous now, huh?
Now don't get me wrong -- this lady is a very nice, intelligent person -- I am not disparaging her in the least. She legitimately did not remember me. I simply had never made that much of an impression on her. And for that, I blame myself entirely.
I am a behind-the-scenes kinda girl, so in the majority of settings, I choose to remain quiet and unobtrusive. In retrospect, it doesn't sound like that tactic has been particularly helpful in either my career or in my personal life. Because that's not the first time it's happened.
I am often overlooked. This isn't a pity party, it's a simple fact. I've met the same people over and over again, like some weird, increasingly awkward Groundhog Day movie marathon. I've always seen myself as 'Plain Jane'; often disparaging my brown hair and brown eyes. I'm not particularly trendy, I don't go to parties (afraid of people, remember?), and I don't really put myself 'out there'. I am a homebody, and I always have been. I like solitary activities, like reading, drawing, crafting, cooking, plotting world domination, etc.My last post detailed my new found resolution to try and accept my body, one day at a time. That's a big one for me, and one that I will have to work on every single day. Well maybe I need to start working on my shrinking violet tendencies as well.
Maybe instead of being quiet and unobtrusive, I need to try to be more of an active participator. Maybe I need to let go of my preconceived notions, and realize that maybe I do have something interesting to say, and maybe people would (*gasp!*) like to hear it.
I can't promise I'll get better at this. But admitting it is the first step, right? And the next time I have to 'meet' someone for the 6th or 7th time (I'm looking at you, Marketing guy), I'll have no one to blame but myself.
So, my fellow shrinking violets, my forgotten masses - let's rise up and.....I don't know, be active or somethin'? You've got a lot to say, and those poor bastards out there want to hear it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

......And that's why exercise will kill you. a dirty word.
No, I take that back. hard. And unfortunately for me and my gut, I have a short attention span. That means that while I may have the best intentions in February, and decide to kick my thighs' butt (if they had a butt...I'm being metaphoric here, people), by May I am OVER IT. Like, stick a fork in me I'm done. Now pass me the Fritos.
Ah ha -- but NOW we come to June. And through some random miracle of God, I am actually going to the beach this year. That means that OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SEE MY STUFF. Well. That kind of puts the whole exercise-thing in perspective, huh? But you see, now it's kinda too late. Even if I were to go on some crazy juicy-juicer-no-white-veggies-all-turkey diet, I still wouldn't look like a Brazilian model. I'm short, for one thing. But I digress.
I have been doing little taking the stairs, for instance. You see, I really don't eat that badly. I don't have a sweet tooth, so it's really easy for me to stay away from that. I'm not really into chips (mmmm, but Fritos are quite tasty, on occasion), so that's not a big deal for me either. But I work in a cubicle all day, and get very little walk-up-and-down time. So when I'm going to a meeting on a different floor, I make it a point to take the stairs whenever possible. Coming back from a meeting on the 2nd floor today, I said EFF IT I'm taking the stairs to the 5th floor.
First flight, I'm feeling good. 'Wow, Stacy - you are really showing these stairs who's boss! Get it, girl!'.
Second flight, I'm getting winded. 'OK, yeah -- still proud of you, keep it up! Just stop breathing so hard so the guy next to you doesn't think you're coming on to him, m'kay?'
Third flight, I'm going to die. 'OH MY GOD!! WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Knees to chest, bitch! Knees to chest!'
Moral of the story -- exercise KILLS.
Haha, no, it really doesn't. But it does hurt.

So now, in the words of my good friend Katie, I've determined that 'It is what it is'.
This is ME, and I've got to be okay with it. That doesn't mean that I need to give up and stop taking the stairs, it just means that I am not a stick figure, and will probably never be one. Yes, I'm probably going to feel uncomfortable in my bathing suit, just because I don't look like what I want to look like in my head. But who does?
I had a conversation with a lady I work with last week who is absolutely stunning -- she is 40+, has a teenage daughter, and has the most beautiful figure EVER. This woman....a sweet, cultured, incredibly bright person....proceeded to tell me she was ashamed of her 'gut'. My first reaction was to slap her into next week. My second reaction was to pull her hair. I ignored both of those urges, and instead told her, "You have no idea how beautiful you are, and that's a real shame."
Look at the blue chart to the left, people.
I love you all, in all your kaleidescope shapery.