Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Modern Fable. Just Call Me Aesop.

Did I ever tell you the story about my scale? Probably not. Probably because its not really worth telling. But I'm going to tell it to you today to distract myself from the fact that the anxiety is creeping up on me again. Pill failure is imminent. I can tell because when I put on my clothes the other day, they felt horrible. They felt wrong and the material was irritating and nothing felt right touching my skin. And its not the clothes. Also I got a tiny, tiny little raise yesterday and instead of being, you know, happy, I spent the rest of the day kind of wanting to hide under my desk for no reason I could put my finger on. So...onto the fascinating story of my scale!

When I was in my teens I had a minor fling with anorexia. I'm not one of those people who struggles with it constantly, but it seems to be related to the OCD and pops up every once in a great while. Frankly, if I don't have a scale I have no problem with the anorexia (its the numbers. If I weigh 145** pounds then I feel compelled to make the scale say 140**. If it says 140, it needs to say 135.** And the number always has to end in a 5 or a 0, even though that kind of number only exists in Hollywood and romance novels). Anyway, not owning a scale seemed to take care of the problem so I hadn't owned a scale in over 10 years. But I had reached a point where medication was working for the worst of the anxiety and the OCD, and my husband was trying to gain weight (because he's evil and he has the metabolism of ...something with a ridiculously fast metabolism. His metabolism is on crack). And honestly, I was fine. It didn't bother me, I didn't even really feel compelled to get on the stupid thing. As long as my clothes fit, I'm good. That's pretty much my weight gauge. I don't want to have to buy an entire new wardrobe.


I had whooping cough a while back. The doctor put me on a mega-dose of steroids. I stood in the bathroom and watched my face become perfectly round. My stomach swelled, my thighs swelled, my ass grew so fast it was like going through puberty again. I kept knocking into things because it was so much bigger, and because it happened pretty much overnight. I kept my giant ass off the scale for a while, because I knew the actual number would probably kill me dead.

And then we had people over to watch the Superbowl. And one of those people was a really sweet, really blond, tiny little person who worked with my husband. For whatever reason (a reason he will regret until his DYING BREATH) he said, "Megan's just really big right now because of the medication they put her on. She's not really this fat." He is so, so lucky this story doesn't end with the words: and then I killed him. But at least I know now that I don't actually have death ray eyes, because seriously, he would be SO DEAD if I did. Very, very dead.

After they left, and after I was able to think coherent things that weren't "fucking skinny asshole....why...kill...stab...death argh" I stepped on the scale. And I cried like a giant, bawling baby at the number on that damn scale. And we kept the scale because then I was determined to use my OCD powers for good and be able to wear something that didn't have an elastic waist. But the number did not improve. I waged full scale war with that fucking scale. I swore at it, screamed at it, cried at it, exercised and ate grass clippings and rabbit food for a month, and the damn scale wouldn't budge. This was a problem because 1.) I wasn't losing weight and 2.) the number did not end in 5 or 0. So it was messing with me on multiple levels.

One day I had had enough and I threw the thing in the trash.

"Ha! I. Fucking. Win." I thought.

And then I went to the doctor and found out I had in fact lost 20 pounds, but the scale we had was crap and didn't give correct weights.

Moral of this story: Two fold, actually.

1. Scales are evil minions of Satan. Lying liars who sit upon thrones of lies, if you will.
2. Never. I mean NEVER tell another woman you think your wife is fat, and especially not in front of your wife. If she doesn't actually kill you you will wish she had.

Supersecret moral of the story: I clearly have no ability to judge my own appearance. You'd think I could tell I lost 20 pounds based on my appearance and my clothes. But the damn scale took over my brain and all I could see was that horrible, horrible way too high number.

**numbers not necessarily indicative of actual weights that I have weighed. I might weigh 200 pounds. Or 90 pounds. You don't know.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Don't Even Think There's Any Niche Porn About This

So my latest neurosis is so cliched its disgusting, and I hate myself a little bit, but I can't help it. I'm having something of a mid-life crisis, except I'm only 28, so I hope its not LITERALLY a mid-life crisis. Maybe I'm just getting it out of the way early so when I'm 40 I don't have to worry about it. I've always been something of an overachiever.

So, I've pretty much come to the point where I believe that I will never be sexy and hot again. Maybe its all the 19 year old summer help we hired around here calling me fucking MA'AM or maybe its my husband.

Scene: Getting ready for work last week

Him: You look like a Pentecostal.


Him: You look like one of those Pentecostal chicks.

Me:...I don't know what to say to that, really, but I'm going to change clothes.

A few minutes later:

Him: Now you look French.

Me: What does that mean?

Him: I don't know, you just look French.

Me: Didn't you used to say things like, "You look pretty today"?

Him: Yeah.

PENTECOSTAL. He told me I looked PENTECOSTAL. I guess I can just go ahead and go through menopause and die now.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Series of Open Letters to Things That are Irritating Me

Dear Jerks on Yahoo!:

Hi! Arkansans can READ! And you are a bunch of jackasses for making fun of 16 dead people! I would be truly angry, but based on your comments, I'm pretty sure you're 13 years old and you play Magic in the back of bookstores and you will never get laid.

Dear CNN:

Governor Mike Beebe. Beebe. With a B. Not Heebe. Please fact check better.

Dear Uterus:

Seriously, we are not about to enter some weird, Waterworld style apocolypse in which it will be necessary to drink our own urine. We do not need 18 extra pounds of water weight. You realize you aren't really necessary, right? Shape up or you're out of here.

P.S. 2 weeks of PMS is overkill, don't you think?

Dear Friends with Children:

Trust me, I'm not pregnant. I've been doing this whole "monthly womanly cycle" thing for about 17 years now. That's approximately 204 cycles, not counting the times I have one every two weeks. If I can't tell I'm having my monthly womanly time after experiencing it 200+ times, well, probably these are not superstellar genes that MUST be passed on to the next generation. I mean, really, is there ANYTHING you do over 200 times that you still don't have the hang of? If so, you probably should consider the future a little bit and not inflict your progeny on the world either.

Dear Coca Cola:

Why are you so gross? That's probably why you are the only thing left in the vending machine. Which would be awesome if the whole office was singing in perfect harmony, but we're not.

Dear Self Magazine:

Why don't I just go ahead and stop eating and work out for 6 hours a day? That's basically what you're getting at right? I guess no one would pay $4 for a magazine with 2 sentences advising anorexia and 30,000 ads. Apparently I will pay $4 for a magazine with approximately 8 articles subtly recommending anorexia, a jillion pictures of "healthy, thin!" girls whose thighs are smaller than my upper arms, and 30,000 ads. I want my $4 and my relatively healthy self image back.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You're Welcome

Note to self: People who tell you that you don't really need shampoo are full of bologna. Stinky, rotten bologna.

I attempted a little experiment. People have been saying for years that we don't really need to wash our hair as frequently as we do, and that if we would just stop using shampoo eventually our hair would be gorgeous and lovely and wonderful. This does make some sense to me, as women have not always HAD shampoo.

Perhaps I am extremely impatient, but I tried this for one night and its awful. I mean, I've tried before to go longer between washings and never made it past a couple days before my face was breaking out because the oil in my hair was getting on my pillow and rubbing on my face and eew, okay, its just not happening for me. But someone suggested to me that you still need WATER just not shampoo. Also, people have recommended to me that shampooing is bad for curly hair and all you really need to do is condition. It seems like an odd recommendation, because if you are not shampooing you have oil and if you have oil why on God's green earth would you add more oil (artificial flavor!) But what the hell. I'm a scientist.

So last night (since I didn't run yesterday, thus wasn't sweaty, thus wasn't as grossed out by the whole idea) I rinsed my hair very thoroughly with warm water and put only a tiny, tiny dollop of conditioner on the ends and then rinsed again.

I air dried my hair because I always air dry my hair because blow dryers are of the devil as far as my hair is concerned. Seriously, other women use blow dryers and their hair is lovely to behold. I use one ONCE and my hair is a mass of frizz and split ends no matter what kind of product I use. Anyway. My hair looked great. It felt a little...odd...but I figured I'd just keep my hands away from my hair (only makes it oilier, after all, right?) and look like a million dollars. I may also have screeched when my husband tried to touch my hair and he might have been a little grossed out by the texture and also a little frightened because my screech is super horrifying. But it looked great, and that's what is important here, ladies am I right or am I right?

Until this morning. If I wasn't so vain I would have taken a picture to prove to you how bad this was. But I do, in fact, have enough vanity that I do not want you to see it. Or my morning face. My hair still looked okay cleanliness wise. Unfortunately, it also looked as if muskrats had taken up residence in my hair overnight, made muskrat love, and produced other tiny little bundles of muskrat joy. It was the most tangled my hair has ever been, in my life, and I am totally counting that one time I got a round brush stuck in my hair about 1 mm from my scalp. (How did I manage that feat, you might be wondering. And the answer is skillz, baby, SKILLZ). If I were a smart person, I would have just washed it before work. But this is SCIENCE, ya'll, and I am a GIVER. So I sacrificed some more for you, only to be able to tell you that I tried to comb it, pick it, and/or brush it out, but had to give up because all my hairs threatened to fall out or break off in protest of how badly this hurt. It is not good when your hair makes a ripping sound, is what I mean. So I'm wearing it up. It still looks fine, but it feels gross, my scalp is itchy, and frankly I want to whimper a little when I think of trying to wash it tonight.

This is the last time I sacrifice personal hygiene for you people, and I sincerely hope you are grateful.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Dont' worry, dude, I have enough chin for the both of us.

9:00 in the morning.

We hiked down there. We forgot we had to hike back up.

Chinatown. At like 6 a.m., because it was 8 as far as my body was concerned.

View from the hotel. Because we are fancy and we stay in the upper levels.

Most. Touristy. Photo. Ever. So touristy none of the other tourists even tried it.

That is the Golden Gate Bridge. I swear there's a bridge there.

No, really, I SWEAR it's the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Was Thinking About Maybe Procreating, But Maybe Not

We are generally relatively lucky travelers on our way TO a destination. This is balanced by the fact that we are cursed on our way home.

For instance, we flew to New Orleans for our wedding. We had no problems at all. On the way home we were in the airport for 11 hours because our flight kept getting postponed. Allow me to point out that my house is located approximately 8 hours from New Orleans by car.

When we were on our way home from New York we boarded the connecting flight, and then it didn't take off for 2 hours. We sat in line waiting for our turn for 2 hours before we actually left the ground.

On the way home from San Antonio it was the pee Nazi flight attendant. It took me 45 minutes of intense bladder burning to finally decide, "Screw it. I have to pee and I have to do it now, shy bladder and bathroom issues and all." And then, out of my worst nightmare, she humiliates me in front of the entire plane full of people. "Miss," she screeched, "We can't pull into the terminal until you are SEATED." I explained to her that we had been waiting to get off the plane for over an hour, that we hadn't moved in that time, and that I pretty desperately needed the facilities. She allowed me to pee (um, hi, I'm an adult. Don't really need your permission) and the plane pulls into the terminal WHILE I'M PEEING and the world did not end, except I was mortified.

Anyway, I have a point here. And the point is that this trip was NO DIFFERENT.

They got on the plane in Denver. The flight was slightly delayed, but not by a terribly long amount of time. I didn't really notice them at first, because the boarding was weird. They rushed us all to board, but then we stood in line for another 45 minutes waiting to actually board. At some point, they came to my attention because they were wrestling. Full out, rolling on the floor, screeching, wrestling. I think I saw one of them throw the People's Elbow at the other one. And their mother, "Yes, they are 17 months a part, so this happens a lot." She's cooing like its totally adorable that her hellspawn are trying to gouge each other's eyes out. Hell, I'm not a mother, maybe it IS adorable. I try not to judge. Then the running and the screaming. And we haven't even boarded yet.

They are, of course, seated directly behind us. Where the oldest of the little antichrists proceeds to kick the seatback for 3 straight hours. 45 minutes before we land, this conversation happens:

"Do you think I should brush your hair?"
"We need to brush it before we see [whoever they were visiting]. Will you let me brush your hair now?"

Repeat until you feel the urge to beat one of them with the brush. Probably the mother. Because after the 15th time they had the above exchange, I wanted to turn around and say, "Good grief, Lady, she's 3. Just brush her gd hair already." By the time the child has given in to the bribe to wear a tiara in exchange for brushing her hair I am totally over new age, super sensitive parenting. Seriously, I cannot recall a time in my life when my mother ASKED me to brush my hair. She just...did. And I'm not totally psychologically scarred. Also, it seemed a little weird, because it's one thing to give the child a choice and then go with that. It's another to give a child a choice, but only pay attention if they make the pre-determined choice that you have made for them. I mean, if you already have decided that one choice is unacceptable, why even make it a choice?

Do you know what else my mother never let me do that did not, in fact, ruin my entire life? She never let me run around and around and around the baggage carousel shrieking. And she never let me actually climb INTO the part of the carousel where heavy luggage comes crashing out.

By the time we got out of there I was no longer irritated with the children. But I did want to smack the parent's heads together. And I know, since I have no kids, people will be like, you don't have any idea what its like. But there were 2 parents traveling together, here, and we aren't talking like, the child was tired and had a 15 minute tantrum that is completely not the parents' fault. We are talking about a situation in which neither of the parents even ATTEMPTED to exert ANY control at all.

Best. Birth control. Ever.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rice a Roni

1. 50-60 degrees in San Francisco is not the same as 50-60 degrees in Arkansas. I should have taken more sweaters.

2. Homeless people are way different in SF than anywhere else. Here, New York, Honolulu, Mexico...all pretty much the same. They ask, you answer, end of transaction. I have never had so many street people storm angrily away from me as in SF. Which pisses me off. Look, I have bought food, I have bought water, I have given clothing, I've organized food drives, volunteered in soup kitchens and shelters, and donated to certain charities.

But you are not entitled to my cash, my cigarettes, or my anything, really, just because you ask me for it.

3. The more touristy the area the worse the food and the higher the price. I ate the worst meal of my life in Fisherman's Wharf, and paid five times more for it than better food in other places. Seriously. It was supposedly a specialty. It was a grilled cheese. And it tasted like onions. Only onions. That is not right.

4. People are awesome about buying you drinks in SF. Three separate occassions we were given free drinks. I don't know if its because we are naturally friendly people, because people are impressed that Arkansans have all their teeth, wear shoes in public and can speak English correctly, or what, but people loved buying us drinks.

5. Sutro Heights Park and the Coastal Trail are awesome. That is all.

6. The light in California is gorgeous. And perfect.

7. San Francisco does not like music made after 1999. The most recent song I heard in any bar, restaurant, car, shop, whatever, was Radiohead from the 90s.
Pictures to come.

Edited to add: I no longer really believe that California knows how to party. Or maybe they are partying really hard in secret, but we never saw anyone out after 8 p.m.