Picture: Fat Girl in a Two-Piece

Fat girl bikiniWhen I posted about my fat girl two-piece swimwear a couple of weeks ago, I was pretty torn on the idea of actually posting a picture of me wearing it on the interwebs. After all, this is the shit memes are made of. “A fat girl in a bikini? Let me caption this! LOL!”

Also, I am by no means popular, but this sort of thing is a magnet for assholes. “Here! Allow me to comment negatively on your body for no other reason than I like to make other people feel shitty as a means of a controlling them!” For real, that’s what you’re doing. Even if you do it nicely under the guise of being “real” or “truthful” or “helpful”, in the end you’re just propagating stereotypes and garbage knowledge because to allow this sort of thing to exist without comment would go against society’s grain and that would make you feel oogy.

But I said, “fuck it”, and posted it on Twitter and Facebook. And now here.

Isn’t it funny how a picture can bring out this sort of thing? Not just the insensitivity and the bashing, but the discussion of the social implications of me, a fat girl, a woman in general, posting a picture of myself in a swimsuit.

When I first decided to change my Facebook and Twitter profile pictures and use this image, I thought I should crop it to reduce the amount of skin showing. I didn’t want to make certain relatives and friends uncomfortable on Facebook and I didn’t want to appear as unprofessional on Twitter since I do hock my cheesy wares over there from time to time.

Isn’t that funny?

I worried about making people who are supposed to love me for who and what I am uncomfortable by putting up a picture of who and what I am.  Now that’s just stupid. First of all, that picture shouldn’t change their feelings. Second of all, I already make many of them uncomfortable because of who and what I am without displaying any fat rolls. The picture is of no consequence.

I worried about appearing unprofessional on Twitter because I have this thing about being respected and laws knows that a woman can’t be respected if she is at all comfortable with her body and displays it in any way she sees fit. By the power vested in my boobs, I’m already starting way down the respect ladder. And if I show them off in any way, knock me down a few rungs more. Ain’t that some bullshit?

It’s summer. My Twitter bio says I’m the Lincoln Land Cleavage Queen three years running (thanks for that, Carl). Why can’t I be professional AND have a profile picture displaying both of these facts? I think I can and I did. The picture won’t change what I tweet and won’t change the fact that I have always and will always demand the respect I think I’m entitled (I’ve got a real hang-up with it, kids, enough to warrant its own post).

Now, let’s take a look at the picture itself. Pretty nice, huh? Love the hat. The pose and the angle doesn’t really show off the full effect of my 240 pounds. The way I’m angled so you can’t see how wide my hips and shoulders are, the way the swimsuit sits so the fat rolls are subdued, the fact that my arms and legs are mostly out of the picture, it all sort of lies. I mean I do carry my weight somewhat well, but this angle makes me look better. This actually wasn’t my intention. My roommate Carrie said I looked like I belonged on the Riviera, so I posed as such.

From this angle, you also can’t see my bad skin, as it’s mostly on my right side and my back. The height of the bikini bottoms hides the stretchmarks on my upper belly. The bikini top hides the worst of my boob stretchmarks, but if you look sharp there, on the left side just above where that strap comes around my ribs, you can see one of my surgery scars. Snazzy, huh?

When I look at this picture, you know what I focus on? How great my rack looks in the bikini top. Seriously. The girls look fabulous.

You know what bothers me the most when I look at this picture? I’m not wearing lipstick. I wish I was sporting my berry color just to brighten up my face and give myself a little more glamour. Also, I wish I’d picked a different color nail polish. My pink or coral or blue would have been better.

Yeah, I’m  pretty vain like that.

I’m Not Child-Free…I Just Don’t Want Any Kids

No kidsI don’t have kids, don’t particularly want kids (though I reserve the right to change my mind at any point because I’m not very comfortable with absolutes; I do know that if I acquire a kid, it won’t be me getting pregnant because that squicks me too much), but I bristle at the term “child-free”.

If you’ve never heard of the term, here’s my version of the definition: child-free people don’t want kids, don’t like kids, don’t like YOUR kids, and basically don’t think anyone should have kids, and if they do, they shouldn’t inflict their children on the general public until they are no longer children.

As much as I can’t stand parents who think their children are special little unicorns that would be ruined by discipline and here is 100 pictures a day to prove that and shouldn’t you be having kids because your life has no meaning if you don’t, these child-free people are just as bad.

Bitching incessantly about other people’s children, using quaint terms like “breeder” and “crotch dropping” to refer to every parent and child (I only use “crotch dropping” for special occasions to refer to either adult or child because, seriously, that is a pretty great insult), somehow thinking that the human race could continue to exist without reproduction. I get that people don’t like kids, but seriously, they need to pull it back a tick. The kid-hate/parent-hate is just a bit much. I’m not particularly fond of teenagers, but the mere sight of them doesn’t turn me into a raving, venom-spewing asshole. Most of the time.

I believe that there’s a huge distinction between child-free people and people without kids. First of all, not all people without kids are child-free. Some of them can’t have kids, but would like to and for whatever reason haven’t acquired any yet. Some people without kids are undecided about having kids. Or waiting to have kids.

And some people that don’t have kids and don’t want any kids aren’t child-free. They’re like me. They like kids, they just don’t necessarily want any. They get annoyed with other people’s kids, but they don’t want to lock them in a room away from society until they’ve come of age and are magically not annoying anymore. Judging by the child-free people I’ve encountered alone, annoying is not a trait you just grow out of at the age of 18 or 21.

And some people that don’t have kids and don’t want kids don’t think other people that do have kids are stupid breeders. Many people want kids. And that’s totally cool. Most of my friends are parents and they’re pretty good parents. Some of them even enjoy being parents, which is awesome. I don’t believe I’ve ever had the urge to tell someone that they’re dumb for having kids.

Do I sometimes gloat a little because I don’t have any impossible extra-curricular activity schedules to manage and I get to sleep in sometimes? Sure. I consider it a fair trade for all of the potty training updates I have to endure. But it’s not with malice. It’s all done in good fun. Because I know that those parents love their kids as much as I like not having any.

So please don’t call me child-free or think that I’m child-free. I’m not. I ain’t that kind of asshole.

I just don’t have, or want, any kids.

Those Pesky Shoulds

ThinkingWhenever I get a little bit of free time, my mind is filled with things that I should be doing instead of not doing anything important or, laws forbid, relaxing.

I should work on that bag I started as a way to keep me occupied during afternoon kid minding.

I should do a few more lessons on Duolingo.

I should do more work on whatever writing project I’m doing even if I’ve already hit my daily To Do List demand.

This blog post is a should. I had some free time this afternoon. I did a few extra Duolingo lessons. Then I still had some time. So instead of enjoying the fact that I don’t have to make dinner this evening and resting up some before I go to work tonight, I’m writing this blog post. And after I’m done writing this, I’ll do my workout, and probably try to get a couple more chapters on A Tale of Two Lady Killers revised before I leave for floorset.

You see, so long as there are things I should be doing, then I’m always going to feel like a lazy bum if I’m not doing them when I have the time.

I already feel like a slacker, like I don’t work hard enough or have enough to do. I feel like I haven’t earned any downtime or free time or relaxation time. So I SHOULD be doing something productive. I should be working out or writing or sewing or working or SOMETHING.

Those shoulds are so pesky. They make me feel guilty every time I decide to take ten minutes to play a game or check Twitter. Because I SHOULD be doing something else. I’m wasting time.

I don’t relax. I waste time. At least that’s what the shoulds in my brain make me think. And so I go to bed feeling guilty often because I wasted time watching reruns of F Troop and The Rifleman instead of doing more exercises or writing more words or curing cancer or whatever else I should be doing.

It’s something I try to work on, but it isn’t easy for me. I envy people who can do nothing and not feel bad about it. I spent a day in bed with a really nasty headache last week and felt like a bum because I barely got one page written before I gave up on trying to be productive. Even a headache doesn’t quiet those shoulds in my brain.

Because I should have been doing something else.

For me, to not do anything is an act of rebellion because I don’t feel like I’ve earned it. Even when I complete my To  Do list for the day, I didn’t earn it. I’ll never earn it and I know it. There’s always one more thing I should be doing before I can relax.

Ooh, that reminds me! I need to wrap up this post.

There’s something else I should be doing.

Esteem Problems

esteem“I don’t have low self-esteem. I have low esteem for everyone else.”

If you are of the generation that was around for an MTV show called Daria and if you were one of those generation members that watched the cartoon, then that quote should sound familiar. It’s a quote that’s been stuck in my brain since I first heard it, so we’re talking a few years.

It stuck with me because it’s true. It is an accurate statement about myself.

Whenever I find myself feeling bad about myself, thinking I’m fat*/ugly/stupid/worthless/unsuccessful**, it’s not because I truly think I’m fat/ugly/stupid/worthless/unsuccessful. It’s because I’m thinking about other people thinking that I’m fat/ugly/stupid/worthless/unsuccessful.

Other people’s hang-ups bring me down. Thinking about what they’re thinking about me bruises my ego.

Of course, I don’t know for certain that everyone is thinking these bad things about me, but if I were to go by what I know about society, there’s a good chance I’m being dismissed as no good. It makes ME dismiss people as not worth my time pretty easily.

This sort of thing has plagued me for a pretty long while. Some days it weighs on my mind heavily, bottoming out my self-worth. Some days I can’t give a damn and don’t give anyone else’s firing synapses a second of my time. Either way, it’s impacted my behavior, my choices, and my own mind.

It’s a complicated sort of thing to deal with when you think you’re pretty great, at least there’s nothing seriously bad about yourself, and yet you know most people you encounter don’t agree. Like a black cloud on a sunny day, you keep your eye on it because you know that sucker is just gonna grow and downpour all over your laundry. It’s a confusing cognitive dissonance. How am I suppose to feel about myself when I have this consensus that’s so different from my own opinion?

Also how am I supposed to feel about other people? It’s really hard to like someone or even want to like someone or want to get to know someone that I’m sure has already judged me poorly because I don’t fit into society’s neat little box. I realize that it makes me the same kind of asshole that’s got me pissy in the first place. That little bit of reality isn’t lost on me.

I’ve lost out because of this way of thinking. I already know what the answer is so I don’t bother to ask the question.

However, I think there’s a change on the horizon.

Last month, during a week-long fit of esteem troubles, I was driving to one of my jobs when I had an epiphany, a thought so sudden I swear an actual beam of light came into my brain and chased all the dark thoughts right out.

It’s very easy for me to imagine folks judging me harshly. But it’s just as easy for them not to. It’s just as easy for them to take one look at me and think, “There is a cool cat and I’d like to know her.” And what kind of asshole am I not to even give them a chance? I should. Give them a chance, that is. Not be an asshole.

I like that way of thinking better. I’m kind of enjoying it.

I think I may have found a cure for my esteem problems.

*Fat meant as a bad thing. I am fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

**Unsuccessful based on certain society standards such as being married, having kids, having a real job, having a college degree, that sort of thing. That normal road that we’re all expected to walk and considered losers if we don’t.

My Yearly Descent Into Madness aka Christmas Season

Merry, Merry Christmas

Oh yes. That time of year after my beloved Halloween ends and the jolly faithful completely skip over Thanksgiving and go right to shoving tinsel down my throat.

That time of year when Christians start screaming at me to say “Merry Christmas” but then tell me I’m not allowed to celebrate THEIR holiday (though if I’m going to be honest, folks on my FB started that crap in September; you know who you are). Nothing puts me in the mood to love my fellow humans quite like it.

That time of year when my horror films are replaced with saccharine holly jolly flicks about what a wonderful time of year it is. Six weeks of syrup drizzling all over my channels.

That time of year when Christmas songs start creeping into the playlists on the radio and in stores, gradually building until that’s all you hear because somehow people think that six weeks of this music will put everyone into the spirit instead of driving folks, particularly the poor folks working in retail, to homicide.

That time of the year when most people become obsessed with shopping and deals and getting and spending. So this is more retail PTSD, but when you’ve dealt with as many nasty, rude people as I have all for the sake of some joyous gift-giving holiday, your dislike of crowds, shoppers, and materialism becomes part of your fight-or-flight response.

That time of year when I’m subjected to false-cheerfulness and ho-ho-ho and very special episodes and endless commercials for toys and elves and Santa and white chocolate and peppermint in EVERYTHING.

Oh yes. That time of year.

I wish we could keep Christmas in December so I can eat my damn Thanksgiving turkey in peace.

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Cottage Cheese

Kiki's butt“I’d never date a girl with cottage cheese thighs.”

Back in my early twenties, a friend of mine said this during a conversation. I can’t remember the exact conversation, only that this sentence was said in the presence of me, a girl with cottage cheese thighs.

My first thought was, “This guy has no idea the prevalence of cottage cheese thighs.” Because seriously, if this is your criteria for dating a woman then let me inform you that something like 80% of women have cellulite and even skinny women can get it. So, just try to hang in there as bet you can, fellas.

My second thought was, “Did I inadvertently send him a signal that I was interested in him and he had to be sure to shut me down before I became overt with my attraction and embarrassed him because nothing is worse than attracting the amorous attentions of a fat girl?” Because, though I didn’t have any interest in him, I’ve been known to unintentionally “flirt” with people.

My final thought was, “Well, if he thinks that, then that must be what they all think.”

That’s the thing. It’s very easy to take the opinion of one person that you know and consider it a validation of the consensus, particularly when that consensus only acknowledges something when it’s the butt of a joke, object of ridicule, or target of shaming. And since I’ve had this dairy condition on my lower appendages since the latter years of puberty, well, I’m just unloveable, now aren’t I? Thanks for the confirmation, friend!

I still think about that cottage cheese comment all these years later. It’s both a burden and a blessing. On the one hand, it’s a quick answer about any sort of appearance questions I might have about myself.

Should I wear this shirt? Is it flattering? Should I get my hair cut like this? Will I be attractive if I do? Should I wear the red lipstick or the nude?

Then a voice reminds me that I have cottage cheese thighs and I’m like, “Hot damn! It doesn’t matter because I’m hideous by default. No pressure! What do I WANT to do? Red lipstick it is!”

Other times, I wonder if I should wear something like shorts or a shorter skirt or dress and that voice reminds me about my cottage cheese thighs and then I have to debate on if I want to deal with the venom that may be slung my way because I’ve got dimples on the wrong body parts. Do I have the fortitude to deal with the looks, snickering, and/or nasty comments if I go out in public?

And then I put on Capri pants because I just don’t feel like dealing with my cottage cheese thighs that day.

I can’t deny that their existence does make my life easier sometimes. People can just look at me and my dairy laden legs and go, “Oh no. I want nothing to do with that.” They don’t bother getting to know me. They don’t even have to ask my name. They don’t waste their time.

More importantly, they don’t waste mine.

Cottage cheese can be pretty tasty for those who enjoy it.

I’m At That Age

That Certain Age

I’m at that age…

-where I don’t have time for unpleasant people. You’re a raging asshole with bigoted tendencies. I do not wish to associate with you or your kind. Same goes for the drama mongers, the politically ignorant, the sports jerks that take the fun out of the game, and most adults that post cryptic messages on Facebook.

-where I’m intolerant. I prefer to live and let live, but when you come at me with your “how can you be tolerant of my intolerance” bullshit, then darling, I have no trouble showing you exactly how intolerant I can be. Yes, dear, I am intolerant of you and your trollish, asshole behavior and I’ll say so. So tolerate THAT.

-where I’m unapologetic. Not going to apologize for being fat, being a woman, being bisexual, being a Cubs fan, listening to any and all kinds of music, not watching movies, not being religious, not believing in your God, being intolerant to your bullshit, not putting up with your ignorant ass, caring about what I care about, being a writer, etc.

-where I will sing and dance in the grocery store if one of my jams from “the nineteens” (as my nieces would say) comes on.

-where I’ll wear whatever the hell I want to you and you all just need to cope as best you can.

-where I don’t know who most of these new bands and singers are and I have to ask my nieces.

-where I’m tired of hearing about what you eat, how often you exercise, how great your husband/wife/kids are, etc. because you act like if you don’t mention it five times a day I won’t know how much better you are than me.

-where I don’t give a shit if you’re better than me. There’s no prize for being the loudest braying jackass.

-where I’m still going to dress up for Halloween and silently wish I could still go trick-or-treating while I pass out candy.

-where I’m not going to settle.

-where I’m going to point when “new” things have really been around for a while.

-where I’m going to refer to people as “young folk”.

-where I’m going to keep dreaming, reaching, striving, and hoping for something better.

Because, you see, I’m at that age where I’m realizing that the years are piling up behind me, leaving fewer in front of me. The less time I spend messing with the petty and shoveling the bullshit, the more time I can spend enjoying my days.

Sorry if that ruins yours.

The Reality of “Let’s Be Brave”

The Garden (Michael Nesmith album)

Last year I posted about a dream I had in which a young Michael Nesmith came to me and said, “Let’s be brave”. And I decided that it was a great idea and these were words I should live by.

I declared it my new motto.

Almost a year later I can safely say that I haven’t been too good about living up to those words.

In some ways, I have. Little ways. I bit the bullet when it came to my sewing, pushing aside the idea of making a mistake and wasting a shirt or a pair of jean or a handkerchief and turning those things into bags and skirts and dresses.

I’ve self-published a couple of novellas in that time and I’ve been less shy  about being a writer, though I’m still pretty restrained when it comes to bugging people to read what I’ve published.

I’ve given fewer fucks about what people think about me and I’m embracing who and what I am and I’m less afraid about being that person in front of everyone more and more.

But in a lot of important ways, I’m still a coward.

My life has advanced very little. My need for security keeps me petrified. My ability to make money being tied to my self-esteem, my inability to be more creative about making money, the constant berating that goes on in my head about not having a “real” job and how everyone judges me as a failure for it, those things I haven’t been brave enough to even face, let alone conquer or let go.

I still can’t ask for help; my ego won’t allow it. I’m not brave enough to admit that it’s okay to ask for help and that, maybe, people would be willing to help me. I’m not a failure for asking for help, even if I feel like I am and like I don’t deserve it.

I’m still ashamed of so many aspects of my life. The bravery that I feel when facing them falters when I have to admit them to other people. I still have too many fucks to give in that department.

And don’t even get me started on the downright terror that complete paralyzes me when it comes to matters of the heart.

Who would have thought that turning brave from chicken wouldn’t happen overnight? Or even in a year?

I acknowledge the progress that I’ve made and I hope to keep making more, but I can’t help but be disappointed that I haven’t gone farther in a year.

I’ll never be able to stitch “Let Be Brave” on a sampler if I don’t live up to those words.

My First CornBelters Game of 2013

Normal CornBelters

Things are a little different this season. Yeah, there was again a significant roster turnover in the off-season (I recognize a couple of names, though!) and we’ve got a new manager again, but this team came out of the gate winning. Winning so much that they’ve got one of the best records in the Frontier League and were in first place in the division by the time I went to this game. That’s pretty spiffy for a team that couldn’t buy a win last year.

Of course, they didn’t win at the game I went to. In fact, the first two innings, they looked a lot like the team I watched last season. Three errors and nine runs in the first two innings; six of those runs scored on two outs. I thought I was looking at another blowout (I watched them challenge the need for a mercy rule last year in one of their games). But, they managed to shore it up and didn’t allow another run for the next seven innings. In fact, they played pretty good ball after that.

Except for the scoring part. Three runs was all they could manage despite some pretty nice offensive numbers from several of their players.

Ah, well. It was a good time anyway. I took my three nieces to the game. For three girls that aren’t really that much into baseball, they love the Corn Crib. And it’s not even the distractions like the video board, face painting, kid zone, Corny, and/or food that get them going (especially since the only running around they’re allowed to do once the game starts is to go to the bathroom). It’s just the whole ballpark experience. They really enjoy themselves. Particularly when they’re able to make up dances to the walk-up music. Romulo Ruiz and David Medina are now their two favorite players because of this.

The after-game fireworks set to classic rock is a big winner, too.

The one drawback was a guy sitting near us who felt that it was his duty to yell encouragement to every ‘Belter that came up the plate. For every pitch.

Folks, I cannot stress enough that you should not be this guy. This is not little league and you are not their parent (even if it was little league and you were their parent it would still be annoying, but at least understandable and you’d only be doing it for your kid, not every player). It’s cool to applaud and whoop when the guy comes up to bat, but he doesn’t need your extra loud words for every pitch. And if at any time your unnecessarily loud voice is used to say, “Kill the umpire!” or call the umpire a ref when you’re heckling him, then you need to find a well to throw yourself down. Because you’re not cool. You’re an asshole.

Rule of thumb: When an eight year old wants to fight you, you’re being obnoxious.

But never mind the jerks.

Let’s go Corn!

I Don’t Owe You An Explanation for Being Fat

Kiki in blackI’m fat. This is apparent. Laws knows that I’m not trying to hide it and I don’t think I could if I wanted to as that sort of cover-up would no doubt make me look larger.

But I don’t have to explain my fatness to you. I don’t have to defend it. I don’t have to justify it. I don’t have to apologize for it. It is what it is and if you have a problem with my appearance, then YOU HAVE THE PROBLEM.

I don’t have to assure you that I’m doing healthy things with my life despite my weight. I don’t have to apologize for leaving the house not weighing 120 pounds. I don’t have to argue that I have just as much right to exist as you do because my pants size is bigger than yours.

Let me say it again.

YOU HAVE THE PROBLEM.

My fat is my own. I’m the one that deals with it on a daily basis. I dress it. I touch it. I move it. I wash it. And you know what? I don’t have nearly as big of a problem with it as you do.

Because you think I should be ashamed. You think I should be apologetic. You think I should change.

Don’t tell me I should lose weight for me health because we both know you don’t really think that. You don’t give one shit about my health. You want to me to lose weight so I’ll fit into the socially acceptable appearance box. You want me to lose weight so you’ll be more comfortable in my presence, sitting next to me, talking to me, walking past me, walking around me.

Me losing weight in this context has nothing to do with me and everything to do with YOU.

So when I don’t lose weight, when I insist on existing in my fat state, it offends YOU. Because you’ve made MY weight about YOU.

YOU HAVE THE PROBLEM.

I don’t.

So please understand when I exist against your wishes, without apology or justification.

Because this is your hang-up, scooter, not mine.