Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mind, Body & Soul: Part 2: Issued First (Just to throw you off)

It doesn’t matter how much I try to deny it, or make it go away. Common sense and the natural cravings that are only human cannot dispense with the yearning. Make believe and women’s lib and my Grandma’s womb-like love do not shed light on the mysteries of its draw.

And I’m not alone. (And my Grandma smells like fried chicken)

I am a cow. Moo-freakin-ooooooo. Aside from the fact that I have actually produced “milk” before, and I have a couple long, saggy, once-life-giving udders, I am a cow in other ways.

I think because I was a chubby kid, and “healthy” pre-teen, the fact that I naturally grew out of the extra weight means very little. The mirror still says the same thing, and it’s not berating me for being too stupid, or less successful than I should be. While my abbreviated education and lack-luster career are constant fodder for new (or renewed) goals, it is my body that receives the brunt of whatever self-inflicted condemnation I issue forth. I want to be happy with the imperfections, and yet every time I see my reflection – whenever I see myself - it is not my lack of political awareness, or inadequacy when playing Trivial Pursuit or watching Cash Cab that I regret most.

Though I do regret those things immensely.

I mean, I freakin love Cash Cab. I intend to go to NYC in April with no other object than to roam the streets looking for it. I imagine myself flagging down crossover-looking cabs, and saying “Oops, sorry – I forgot my wallet” or acting as though I was flagging it for the less ambitious sap behind me. Not the point - you can never have enough pointless trivia on the tip of your tongue in a city that overwhlems every other sense.

At some point in high school, basically from my junior year on – I was 125 lbs. At 5’9” that was enough to make a few people ask if I had an eating disorder, which was entirely the opposite of the truth. I had gained control. After a teen pregnancy during which I’d gained almost 60 lbs, my weight was a perfection of healthy eating, diligent exercise, and mind over matter. And up until my last was born just under three years ago – I maintained that standard - or close to it, even going vegetarian for a couple years to ensure the goodness I was putting into my body (as long as you consider alcohol “good”).

So after 14 years, and the birth of my third child (22 lbs gained) – I was "acceptable" - but no better in my own eyes, at least when my eyes were directed towards a scale. But for the last year or so, having somewhat conquered a slight bout of depression – and celebrating with a year long (or slightly more) 2-glass-of-wine-a-night binge, I seem to be packing on the pounds, one nasty, jiggly ounce at a time. I know in my less-than-shallow mind that its not all that serious yet. But, childhood promises that I would be JUST like Jane Fonda (without Ted and money) riddle my thoughts and dreams – torturing me with visions of a large ass you can place your dinner plate on and thighs that could serve as a compactor at the local junkyard. I haven’t had time for the gym in two months, unless giving up minimal parenting is an option – and eating has become less of a discipline and more of a whatever’s-there kind of thing.

So, I will never look at myself and see what other’s see. But then again, I am not other people. And for the most part, I don’t give a starving rats ass what people think about my cellulite. I don’t (really) want to be Heidi Klum, and I don’t need to be the devil in Prada. I don’t even need to have my own DVD of pole-dancing, love-handle-taming fabulousness (but it could happen).

I just need to please me (and maybe Raquel Welch), and there’s no better time to begin………..than tomorrow (says Scarlet anyway).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Whirly Twirly Mental Manic Aggressive

Those Nationwide commercials are right. I pay attention to them mainly because I am still angsty over the big insurance companies not covering in Massachusetts, causing me the horrific experience of having to switch companies when I moved here from Georgia. In fact, I was with Allstate there, and had every intention of keeping them, if for no other reason than I like the deep-voiced guy that does their commercials. Beats the hell out of a talking lizard, in three out of four taste tests anyway. Besides, deep down….really, really deep down – I want to be in good hands.

Back to the point.

“Life comes at you fast.”

I haven’t posted a blog in over a month. Is it because I have been writing so many quality blogs that I can’t decide which one to post first? Is it because I’ve been reduced to writing with paper and pen because all computer manufacturers have also decided Massachusetts is a bitch and stopped selling them here? Is it because I fell down in my driveway whilst shoveling 2000 cubic feet of lead-like snow and broke both my hands, forcing me to “write” in my hand-held minute-taking recorder from work?


I have been so swamped with year-end number-crunching, mess-cleaning chaos, sprinkled heavily with basketball games and bedtime wino-moments – I have barely noticed December is over and it’s nearing the end of January. I find solace in the fact that the hoity-toity holiday dinner and the hoopla of a department-wide party for a couple hundred coworkers is over. But I kind of feel like the 31st is the day I’ve been scheduled for execution, and only an unlikely stay will save me from sure numeric destruction.

In fact, I am sitting here now, having had the intention to leave work today, not bring the spreadsheets with me, and buy a couple new games (the board kind, not the PS2 kind) to play with my mom and the kids - a family game night having happened exactly twice in the past year or so. I was thinking Candy Land for the toddler so she'll stop stealing the pieces to whatever the rest of us are playing cause she's left out, or maybe that apple picking one. Or is it cherries?

But - turns out the Mother made plans with the Grandmother for dinner, my son went to a school dance with his friends, and my teen daughter is at the mall (with whom and for what reason, still unknown). So I skipped the toy store, hit the liquor store, and sit here in the near-quiet as my toddler watches Noggin while using approximately 237 wipes to clean the living room.

So let's talk about the toddler.

While she drives me insane with her mini-me tendencies, including gobs of sarcasm and a super-sweet little princess delivery – she is the one who will make me proud. Having been an avid Obama supporter, I am delighted that not only can she name the President when asked (she’ll be three in March - and learned this just this week), but she also refers to him as her “Best Buddy”. She has taken possession of my small Obama tote bag, and takes it to the sitters everyday, choc-full of her hair ties, nail polish, sippy cup and sparkly princess shoes – sometimes varying by leaving the shoes and adding a doll and fuzzy blanket. She proudly grabs the woven red straps and announces "Mommy, I've got my Beeer-ROCK O-Baaaama bag" - and heads for the door.

If you knew how unprissy the rest of us are, you’d question if her bio-father was really an undercover closeted Californian ballerina too.

Anyway - last night she laid in bed with me, where we retired to early, my patience thinning and brain like lifeless granite - shiney-flecs but no function. I poured myself a glass of wine from a bottle given to me by some coworkers for the effort I put in to last weeks party, and snuggled under the covers, hoping she’d fall asleep quickly. Two seconds later, she flings herself over me to get her juice, knocking over my freshly poured glass (pink plastic cup) of cabernet, sending the lovely red contents into torrents of staining rain, covering the wall, side of the bed, and nasty off-white carpet.

My blood boiled, and I glared at her, ready to spout off threats of NO nail polish, Dora or fruit snacks for the NEXT TEN YEARS – when I realized she was shaking….waiting for me to spank her “goose bottom” or “pinochle-butt”. I stood rigid and tried counting to ten. I tried shaking my fists in the air to rid myself of the anger. I cursed my uterus and cell division for ruining my life (and pink cup of wine). And then I looked at her again.

She was smiling.

I swear, somewhere deep down inside she knew I wouldn’t spank her for it. It’s as if she knows its just plain wrong to beat your kid for wasting your booze.

The ill-timed, much needed, and merely temporary End.

(This is my brain on imaginary drugs after crying over spilt wine)