Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Emotional Laryngitis

I'm feeling kinda stupid right now. Okay, actually REALLY stupid.

Women get the same advice time and time again: Don't lose yourself in a relationship! Stay true to yourself! Did I heed that advice? Oh hell no. I didn't realize this until I logged into this account and realized that I hadn't posted anything since Oct 27, 2010! Yes, 2010! Don't get me wrong, I have been writing. I have pages and pages of obsession and self-doubt in my journals. Many paragraphs devoted to wondering when he'll call, if he'll call. Endless Facebook posts about how giddy he makes me feel. Can I kick myself now? No kicking? How about self-disembowlment?

This all came to a screaming, hideous end this past weekend. I'll spare you the details and myself future humiliation. As it is, I tend to overshare. In fact, my over-sharing was the reason I stopped posting and shut down this blog. I was afraid his family would read it and disapprove. I imagined their horrified expressions as they read my F-bomb laden rants, musings about my absent libido, and none-too-subtle allusions to our sex life. Now I can see with mortifying clarity what my sister Debi saw: a swooning 13-year-old schoolgirl in a 47-year-old body. Yet it's not my pathetically lovelorn posts that I'm most ashamed of. It's the fact that I stopped posting and silenced my voice in order to avoid rejection. Now THAT kills me.

So why didn't I just change my writing style? You know, write about cupcakes and makeup? Because that is not who I am. I would have been writing what I wanted them to read instead of writing what I needed to say. I am irreverent, audacious and sometimes a bit too graphic. Those are the qualities most people say they like about me the most, so isn't it ironic that I would hide the best of myself in order to gain approval?

I once promised I'd never try to change him. I didn't. What I did was worse. I tried to change myself.

Well boys and girls, consider my writing hiatus over. From now on it's less swoon, more sass and plenty of TMI!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh No She Didn't!

Marie Claire Magazine sucks ass. Why, you might ask? Sit back, get comfy and grab a drink. I am good and pissed and ready to rant.

This is in response to Maura Kelly’s blog post on the Marie Claire site titled, “Should “Fatties” get a room? (Even on TV?)”. Kelly writes,

“…I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kiss each other…because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room…”

No Maura, you’re not being “brutally honest”, you’re just being brutal. Some definitions of brutal from Dictionary.com include: savage, cruel, inhuman, ferocious and, my personal favorite, of or pertaining to lower animals. She tells us that she is not “some size-ist jerk”. She says she even has “a few friends who could be called plump”. Wow Maura, how benevolent you are to count them amongst your friends. And this despite the fact that their very existence grosses you out. How blessed they must feel! I’m sure they believe the Gods of Good Fortune have smiled down upon them for you to set aside your disgust, and lower yourself to allow them to breathe your air.

In another blog post Kelly, recounting her experience with anorexia writes,

“I'm always worried that I'm not attractive enough, smart enough, young enough, successful enough for someone to love me.” She closes the account of her battle with, “Finally, though, I do feel thin enough.”

The article never tells us if she beat anorexia. With that attitude, I’m guessing not. Nice going Marie Claire. What idiot editor authorized this drivel? What's more, who's the genius who decided to categorize it under Sex & Relationships/Living Flirtatiously? It’s bad enough that the magazine industry floods us with messages that tell us we’re not good enough unless we look like the airbrushed models in their pages, but now this! Seriously? I recall a radio interview with Rebecca Romjin where she referred to her own airbrushed image and mused that it was sad to know that she herself could never look that good.

Kelly goes on to condescendingly add, “I’m happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them…” Earth to Maura Kelly! Yes, even obese people know the path to weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. The thing is, once you’ve reached a certain level of obesity, the weight seems like an impenetrable wall. This is why people make the cover of People Magazine with headlines that say, “I lost 105 pounds without surgery!” If it was easy, they wouldn’t be on the cover. Do you see headlines that read, “I lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol levels”? No, you don’t, and you probably never will because it’s not nearly the enormous feat that losing the equilvalent of an Olsen twin (or two) is. Weight loss is a bitch.

Kelly gives a half-assed kudos to the TV couple in question when she writes, “Then again, I guess these characters are in Overeaters Anonymous. So … points for trying?” Fuck you Maura Kelly.

In case you’re wondering why this post has my panties in such a twist, this is why: In five days I will celebrate the fifth anniversary of my gastric bypass. I originally lost 80 pounds, gained back twenty-five and, recently, lost 10 more. Clearly gastric bypass is not a quick fix. I still struggle with the issues that put the weight on in the first place. But now I’m not coming from such an insurmountable place.

Despite the fact that I am now 65 pounds lighter than my highest weight, I still have to put up with people who, like Maura Kelly, say things like, “Well, you not done losing weight are you?” or “You really should go back to the gym.” Wake up people! I KNOW that I could still stand to lose another 20 pounds. But so long as my glucose levels and blood pressure are in a healthy range, I am not going to beat myself up for it. I’m sure Maura Kelly and the folks at Marie Claire would love to do that for me.

p.s. A big thank you to The Sassy Curmudgeon for her scathing commentary on this subject.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Next Time I'll Just Buy A Calculator

We're all familiar with Tom Cruise's famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire: "You complete me." I remember watching, sighing, then thinking, "Wait a second! I don't need some dude to complete me. I AM complete! No lame-ass guy is gonna..." Blah, blah, blah. I was so full of shit. Not that I disagree with what I was trying to say. I still hold that sentiment to be true. Oh, okay, I'll say it. I was being a hypocrite.

I have always loved musicians; throughout my twenties, into my thirties and, well, now. I still love them. If they can sing, so much the better. I don't play a single instrument and when I sing, most people ask me not to. As far back as my early childhood I have fantasized that this was not the case. (Insert overly dramatic sigh here) I love how they can pick up an instrument and create something beautiful that didn't exist before. I imagine it's akin to the feeling I get when I sit down to write and the words flow out of me seemingly of their own volition. Sure, sometimes my rock-n-roll bad boys played covers of other musician's work, but their interpretation of those songs didn't and couldn't exist without them. Art is like that. It's personal. I prefer my friend Sergio's rendition of KISS's "Hard Luck Woman" over the original. His wife Tammie is a good friend of mine and I have to say, I'm always a little jealous of her when I hear him play. Not that I want Sergio in THAT way. I am just in love with the idea of having that kind of talent around the house every day.

My last boyfriend was a math professor. Yeah, I know. Yawn. But here's what I loved about that: I am a mathematical moron. I need pen and paper to add simple two digit numbers together. That's not to say I don't appreciate math. It's everywhere. In finances, nature, design and, yes, music. I do understand that through math, one can get a far greater understanding of the world we live in. Really, I get it. There was something about watching him have such command over a subject so mysterious to me that made me swoon a little. Smart is sexy.The fact that I needed much tutoring to pass his beginning algebra class (yeah, he was my professor, SHUT UP!) with a C did little to dissuade me.

Not long ago I decided to attend pastry school. I picked a school and started the application process. Part of that process involved sitting in on a class taught by a master pastry chef. The chef was HOT! He spoke with a French accent and, c'mon, who doesn't love a man with a French accent? I watched mesmerized as he deftly folded butter into dough for croissants. Here was a man who sounded sexy, and not only knew what a zabaglione was, he could whip one up blindfolded.

It didn't work out with any of these men. The musicians (Yeah, there were several. Cut me some slack, I was young.) all seemed to prefer women who could make their own music. Or sometimes they just preferred other women...lot's of them. The math professor seemed to prefer someone of his own cerebral caliber. Sometimes it got demeaning. "Look Janina, even YOU can understand this..." Pphhfftt. Whatever. And what of Chef Ooh-La-La? Married. Bummer. It seems they weren't looking to complete anyone. They wanted someone to compliment them. Hmph. Imagine that.

I haven't given up. I still want a man to serenade me, but I'll have to keep my finger on the pulse of what's happening in the musical world if I want us to connect on that level. I'll learn what I need from professors and master chefs then move on. Or I can still dream, and hope that I find a baking musician who can calculate the tip in his head. Anyone know where I can find him?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hysterectomy Hyster-schmectomy

I'm having surgery in the morning. They're taking away my ladybits. By this time tomorrow, my uterus and I will have parted ways. My fallopian tubes and ovaries are also going bye-bye, but it's the removal of my uterus that's making me weepy as I write this. I'm not scared of surgery, not at all. I worked for years in the medical field and, so far as my beliefs go, I consider myself a woman of science. I've had multiple surgeries and I believe my tonsils are the only body parts left that I can spare. In case you're wondering, no, I don't have cancer. I have fibroids that cause me to bleed like a slasher film victim. Oh wow, did you hear that? That was the sound of my male readers leaving this page and doing a Google image search for "Bodacious Boobies" instead. That's okay. Like the Terminator, they'll be back.

So I was saying, I think I'll miss my uterus. Maybe it's because my uterus was my son's first bachelor pad. He lived and thrived there. Perhaps it's because it's kinda attached to my vajayjay, and I really like my vajayjay. Or maybe it's because my insane sister Debi has been trying to convince me that I'm allowing my body to be raped and stripped of my womanhood. This is the same nutcase who recently bought a vintage tampon case and wants to fill it with Glitter Fortune Tampons. (You think I'm making this up? No, I kid you not.) I'm hoping that, like all my reproductive-organ-free girlfriends have promised me, I won't miss it a bit.

I've been told by several well-meaning individuals-yes, including Debi- that I should keep my ovaries or I'll find myself plunged head first into menopause. Well, guess what? Been there, done that. The blood tests confirmed it. Most people are shocked to hear this. "But you're too young to have gone through menopause!" Um, no I'm not. Granted I'm on the younger end of the scale, but well within the average range nonetheless. I just look too young to have gone through menopause. Cool huh?

Speaking of Le Change, let me tell you, it sucks. You heat up and sweat like a champion in a habanero pepper-eating contest and your libido goes, well, it just goes. Call me a wuss, but I got myself on hormone replacement therapy faster than you can say atomic meltdown. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I KNOW there are alternatives. Whatever. I'll just take my Prempro along with my thyroid pills and Ambien and wash it down with a glass of cabernet. (Yes, I'm joking about the cabernet! Sorta.) So, chemically speaking, this shouldn't be too much of a change for my body. There's just one little thing I want to add post-surgery: Testosterone baby!

Most people think it's the missing estrogen that makes your mojo go the way of John Mayer in a relationship. It's not. It's that tiny bit of testosterone in that swimming pool of estrogen that makes you want to have hot monkey sex. And, quite frankly, it's what I miss the most. Not just having it, but wanting it. I have a whole drawer full of sexy lingerie that I haven't dragged out since my hormones nose-dived a year and a half ago.  The good news? I recently spent a lovely afternoon with an equally lovely man who whispered all manner of yummy things that he wants to do to me. And guess what? I want those yummy things done to me! There is still hope. I asked him if he would still love me without all my ladyparts. His response: "Yes, of course! I'll be gentle.You'll still have a clitoris right?" (Fanning myself) Whew!

Of course, I will have to be careful and find just the right dose of testosterone. I mean, as much as I want my inner sex kitten back, I really don't want to turn into a husky-voiced Sasquatch with a nasty temper either. A dab will do me.

All things aside, I'm kinda, sorta looking forward to surgery a bit. I get a month of laying around in my pj's and not lifting anything heavier than a frying pan. I'm also looking forward to not freaking out whenever my period is even one hour late despite the use of glow-in-the-dark condoms. So, now that I've poked fun at my sister Debi and overshared enough to embarrass even my mother, and believe me, she doesn't embarrass easily, I'm off to bed. Yes, it's early for me, but you see, I'm having surgery in the morning.

Monday, August 02, 2010

What Love's Supposed To Look Like

I just came back from my cousin Julie's wedding. First of all, let me start by announcing to the world that Julie is, without a doubt, my favorite cousin. It's not because she's adorable, whip-smart, funny, talented and really, really nice. It's because she's she's all that and she doesn't have a shred of conceit about it. I hate conceit. I'm guilty of it at times and I hate that too. But I digress.

I'd spent the past year and a half swearing that marriage was not for me. No way, no how. I reasoned that being married would not improve my life in any way. At 45, my child-bearing years are well behind me, so starting a family was out of the question. I'm not exactly the No-Nookie-Till-Marriage type, so sex wasn't a motivating factor. My current living situation is pretty cushy, so I wasn't looking to give up the housekeepers. No, as far as I was concerned, marriage had nothing to offer but piles of dirty laundry and a lifetime of bathroom jokes. Ugh. I couldn't unsubscribe from that mailing list fast enough!

Love has never really worked out for me. There was the one-night-stand that went on for years and years, passion without substance, substance without passion and, most recently, the one who did everything right, but was still the wrong one for me. As is my nature, I started to wonder if the problem was me. I mean, after all, I am the common denominator here. But as a very wise woman pointed out, I will always be the common denominator in ALL my experiences. Duh!

So I wrote off marriage. Whatever. Lot's of people never marry. But the really sad part of this is that I also wrote off love. Not all love. I still love my son, my grandmother and a good glass of red wine. What I wrote off was that Meg Ryan movie kinda love. Which is really, REALLY sad because, okay, I'll admit it, I am shamelessly addicted to romantic comedies. And, for most of my life, I honestly expected love to look and feel like that. But it didn't. So I convinced myself it didn't exist and forgot about it altogether.

But then I went to this wedding and I saw love with my own two eyes. It was in the way they were able to look unflinchingly into each others eyes as they spoke their vows. It was in the way he dipped her several times on the dance floor and she trusted him to do it without dropping her and ending up on YouTube. It was in the way friend after friend took the mike to say what a great couple the were. "The gold standard", someone said. It was in the way of being with each other that made me think, they're like one person inhabiting two bodies.

I imagine that Garrick and Julie will start a family. They may even be successful enough to hire a houskeeper some day. But even if they don't, they still have that look. They have the look that says, "Even if all we ever do together is launder dirty socks, I'd rather do that with you than anything else with anyone else."

I want that.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Haters Gotta Hate: Yuckitude Exposed

Allow me to set the scene for you: I was sitting on my bed last night, hemming a dress, watching The Food Network and generally minding my own damn business when my phone rang. It was a woman I'll refer to as "Olivia". That's odd. I have her number on my cell only because she insisted I save it when I ran into her one day. We went to high school together, and we cross paths often enough, but we're not exactly BFFs. So I answer the phone.

"Olivia? Que milagro! (Translation: What a miracle!)

"Janina what are you doing?"

"Um, nothing. Why? What's up?"

"I was just thinking about your cupcakes. Do you sell them? I want to buy some!"

Let me fill some of you in here. I've been planning on going to pastry school in September and I've been baking cupcakes like there's no tomorrow. But something about Olivia's phone call was setting off loud alarms in my head. Sort of like when some shifty looking dude stops and offers to help you with your packages before running off with your new Coach purse. I felt like I was stepping in shit, but I had nothing to go on but an ugly hunch.

I told her I'd be baking on Friday in preparation for the Mermaid's Mercantile and she was welcome to buy some then. We discussed prices and flavors. Next thing you know, my guard is down and I ask if she's seen my Oprah audition video.  One question leads to another and I end up telling her the whole story of how another high school friend, David, who is a cameraman for The Chelsea Lately Show got me and my sister Debi  front row tickets followed by the story of how he volunteered to shoot my audition video for me. Yeah, stupid, I know. I sign off with promises of chocolate cupcakes on Friday.

About an hour later, I'm at Starbucks with "Yvette" (not her real name), a mutual friend, and I tell her of Olivia's call and my uneasiness about it all. We share stories of past confidences betrayed and incidences of back-stabbery. Okay, maybe I'm not nuts after all. I almost mention the night we sat at Yvette's and discussed my depressive episodes. I remember Olivia asking "Is there anything that I, as your friend, can do to help?" It sounded sweet, but again, my alarms went off. I decide I may be seeing monsters under the bed, so I don't bring it up.

Fast forward to the wee hours when I'm most productive. I notice a message from David asking me to call if I'm awake. We hadn't spoken since I edited and posted the video, so I figure that's what he wanted to discuss, so I call him. I was wrong. That was NOT what he wanted to discuss.

Long story short: Olivia was out on the town having drinks with four other friends when she called me. I know one of these women, the others are strangers. Apparently they spent the rest of the night making jokes at my expense. Most of these jokes were centered around my cupcakes (yeah, I don't get it either), and progressing to insinuations that I had sex with David in exchange for his videography services. I didn't. I check the Facebook pages David mentions and sure enough, the snide remarks are there.

There are so many things wrong with this situation, let me just list some.

1. Whaddaya 12 years old????? This is such JUVENILE behavior coming from women in their mid-forties!

2. Why is it that when these five women get together, they feel the need to call me for cheap entertainment? Don't they have lives?

3. Why me? Seriously? Why? I don't even know most of these women!

My Facebook status update currently reads: The good thing about the haters is that they let you know when you're doing something right. Otherwise you'd never show up on their radar!

Did their actions hurt me? Of course. I'm human. Will I retaliate? No. This blog is about all the retaliation you're going to see out of me. I really don't believe in sinking to an asshole's level. I have un-friended the two women from my Facebook page and made my page private. Something I didn't want to do, but, oh well. Will their actions destroy me? No. But it will not go without saying that a woman who launches this type of attack against a "friend" whom she knows to suffer from clinical depression is sort of like someone taking a paraplegic's crutches away. Not life threatening, but mean-spirited and cruel.

It saddens me that David, who's guilty of nothing more than kindness, was hurt by all of this. He didn't deserve to get swept up by this hatefest. I'm sorry David.

Again, yes, it hurt. It hurt as keenly as their middle school behavior would have hurt the middle school aged me. Congratulations "Olivia" and friends. You hit your mark. Happy now? Did that make you feel like a better person?

I suppose that in writing this I'm trying to do what one does with the monsters under the bed. Shine a light on them and hope that they go away.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oooooprah Winfrey Video!

I interrupt your irregularly scheduled blog to bring you a shameless plug.

For those of you who live under a rock, Oprah Winfrey is starting her own network. She may also be starting her own country too, but I think she's still hunting down a prime location. France may soon be asked to vacate. But I digress. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is looking for someone to win their own show. Contestants have to submit an audition video and finalists go on to a Survivor-esque elimination. Since it's the Oprah Winfrey Network, my guess is that some of the challenges will be along the lines of "Name That Dysfunction" or "Couch Jumping Musical Chairs". I'm just guessing.

Sooooo, as you can probably surmise, I've submitted an audition video of my very own. I'd love to bribe you with cupcakes but the Oprah site specifically states that I cannot offer any inducement of any kind to get votes. In which case I'll have to resort to begging and whining.

Please, please, pleeeeaaaasssseeee! Good enough? Okay, here's the link:

Click HERE to vote!

Vote often! Vote daily! Vote over, and over, and over, and.... It's okay, they let you do that.
Also, tweeting or sharing the link to your Facebook page will make me your devoted slave forever.