Monday, November 30, 2015

Super Secret November Challenge Blog Post #30 (but actually #24)

Check one off my list, because this past weekend, I Black Friday'd. 

For the past few years, Mike and I have found ourselves wandering around in a post turkey haze at the Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham's last real jewel of 90's indoor mall glory, looking for as many ladies in light up Christmas sweaters as we could find. Online shopping has left a trail of singing tree shirt corpses in it's wake, but we can still spot the occasional overly eager consumer. 

It has become one of my favorite new holiday traditions, along with midnight mass underscored by my enthusiastic carol harmonizing, bourbon and more bourbon, and Die Hard christmas tree decoration. We just grab a cup of coffee and People Watch like champs. 

But this year, I put a halt to my last minute shopping so as to fit with my current schedule, and I decided to plunge into some real Black Friday deals. 

It was a drug. 

Granted, there was not a crowd to fight through, nor any lines to have to queue up in for some coveted Tickle Me Big Bang Theory box set, or whatever. I haven't the faintest idea of what the hot ticket gift is this year. Is it Star Wars related? It should be. 

But I did manage to get around $400 worth of gifts for under $150, which I'm sure is small peanuts (potatoes?) for some, but for me? It was huge. I walked out of that mall with bags dangling from my arms like the ravaged goods of some pillaged city. It was awesome and about as fully Suburb-ican as I have ever been. 

Now, even though I was laser beam focused on my wedding gift goals, I still managed to take notice a few lively shoppers, frustrated shoppers.

Or, more notably, the frustrated southern mom shoppers.

"Daryl. Did you hear what Susan wanted?"

Four successive eye rolls, each one larger and more drawn out than the last, before she growls into her ridiculously large smart phone, "Susan. Susan! What was it? What? WHAT?"

"Daryl, she wants a grande caramel swizzlestickucinno with caramel on top and magic on the bottom." (roughly recalling her order here)

Oh, this is while we were standing in line at the Starbucks. I heard an epic sigh and then the most begrudging:

"Excuuuuuuuuse mehhhhheeee"

before being shoved out of the way as she plowed forth to her husband, who froze and looked back over his shoulder, clearly picturing his only possible escape out of this situation.

And, believe it or not, this was not the only woman in line who, in less than 5 minutes after the store opened it's doors, apparently was already the most put upon woman to ever stand in a line with a *monolithic cell phone glued to her ear.

The burden of all existence was on at least 3 separate women in that line, and they needed to make sure that EVERYONE else around them knew that they knew they were too important to put up with this shit.

Ladies, while considering oneself too "anything" for "this shit" may seem adorable on Danny Glover, it is not quite as cute as on you.

This also applies to the the gents out there, the ones who will help you out, but only if they can let you know that not only is it inconvenient for them, but you are awesomely stupid for asking if they could move out of the way so you can grab just one lid from that pile you are blocking with your entire body,sir.

God bless those giant phones. The only reason they have gotten bigger is to contain more of our never-ending self importance.

Humility is the one thing I would love to see more of this time of year. Mix that with a dash of self awareness and just a small bit of awe that the entire earth just spun all the way around, giving you sunlight to see your stuffing-bloated body as you drag it out to the giant contraption that transports you at enormous speeds with the slightest tap of your toe, arriving at a destination that is the result of hundreds, thousands of hours of labor, design, and good old fashioned American consumerism just so you can spend your entire paycheck on items that will completely unappreciated mere moments after they are revealed to the recipient.

But yes, it is world's greatest inconvenience that you had to walk back into the store and talk to your husband again.

I'm not saying that we, especially women, who face this critique more often than not, must walk around with giant grins of unquestioning gratitude on our faces. And often these expressions of maximal irritation with life itself are generally an exclamation of dissatisfaction within our own selves, so that is always something to keep in mind when one feels like cracking down on someone who has to bring everyone down to their level.. However, before you get all bent out of shape about whether or not you got one straw instead of the three you requested in your bag, maybe shoot a little self evaluation up into the universe, and see what it thinks of your problems.

Probably not much.

Plus, isn't it the season to, you know, get over yourself? Get over yourselves, every one of us.

*I would totally buy the monolith cell phone, as long as the ringer was set to creepy A capella chorus.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Super Secret November Challenge Blog Post # 23

There is a special time right after Thanksgiving when my blood sugar is at an all time high, and so is my appetite. 

Most of the time, this isn't problem because I'm all, "Girl, I'll see you from inside my sweaters, leggings, and converses" (but seriously, this is my official outfit for 60 percent of the year), and then I can stress about my choices in March. 

But this year I am in a bit of a bind. In 2014, I lost close to 20 lbs, and by spring of 2015, I had lost a total of 24 pounds. That was all well and good. 

Since this summer, I began losing hair and I lost about 2 full cup sizes in my chest.

And that is not so cool. 

Full disclosure, I realize these recent unfavorable occurrences are the result of stress and changes in medication. Hormones, friends. They are a bitch, if you are a bitch. I refuse to believe that, comparatively, men find themselves at the mercy of their bodies as much as women do - though I do realize this is not true in every individual case. 

You know when you are sick, and I mean really gross sick, and even with excellent grooming, you still look like a stop motion Burton monster? This is how I have felt for the past several months. I am channeling the final days of Howard Hughes, but only if HH was a bit more pear shaped than he was used to being. The other day I looked in the mirror, and for the first time I looked my age, and then some. 

This is when I realized that I am indeed, harboring the heart of a girly girl, somewhere deep under yet another new bra that doesn't fit; a secret lady who doesn't want to be valued for her looks, but would certainly like to value the way she looked. A secret lady who was ready to embrace every ounce of narcissism and shallowness, if she could only return to the pleasant balance of reasonable attractiveness and sporadic wine bloat that she had enjoyed earlier in the year.

But theeeeeeeeennnn... That was also when I remembered, looking effortlessly good looking, takes a lot of effort. I shower. I put on moisturizer and tinted lip gloss. Recently I've added little powder and blush because in addition to my hair and boobs disappearing, my complexion has been, well, like the early decaying hide of a sick old man. 

I realize that this is a phase, and one that will go away after the wedding has passed, and after a decent hair cut and color, But when I am about to have a few hundred photos taken of me in just a few short weeks, I would rather feel a little vain, and a lot confident, than like the trash bucket outside of a Captain D's.

I tried to casually bring this up to Mike, about the "Homely" phase that plagues most people at some point in their lives, but apparently, he is so attractive that he had no clue what I was talking about. But seriously, it went right over his cute head. Part of me feels extremely lucky to have a guy who has a particularly miraculous set of love blinders (if he was more of a drinker, then we'd call them Drunk Goggles, courtesy of the Simpsons), and part of me feels like, "This fella has some sort of eye disorder. Surely he sees what the damage is". 

Earlier this year, I made fun of every wedding website that featured  

7. Start Bridal Workout

                                        on their wedding checklists, and I still make fun of them. But I put on my dress the other day and had a wave of self absorbed pity. I don't think that my wedding is the only huge event I have to look forward to in my life, but I would like to feel proud to stand up in front of a large crowd and present myself as myself  for a change, and not worry about how not-toned my back is, or how my eyes look like those of an 80 year old drug addict. 

I keep hoping that my body will mellow out, but so far no luck. Plus, I am experiencing the Thanksgiving Spill Over, when every thing that I ate that didn't come back out is spilling over my hips. 

Thanks Hormones. You need to get it together, or get on up and go home. You're not drunk, you're just an asshole. 

If you need me, I will be eaten copious amounts of vegetable soup and random protein fillers for the next couple of weeks. I will be sugar angry. Just don't touch my tender hair, and all will be well. 

All will be well. 


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Super Secret November Challenge Blog Post #22

Lessons I have learned from my less than successful attempt at a straight month of blogging.

1. I can't do it. 

A. My brain shuts down for a few hours around four to six, and then lays in bed wondering how it can get out of getting back up. 
B. My brain shuts down at the first sign on undesirable stress. 
C. That includes stress that I am unprepared to deal with: stress that is overwhelming in a non fun way, stress induced by a form of self promotion, my number one weakness, and angry food stress (brought on by normal stress).

2. Actually I can do it. 

A. After a review of my previous posts, I had deduced that I have managed to do this on a semi regularly basis in the past.
B. My mind just needs to be in the right place.
C. But sometimes it doesn't, and that works out too. 

3. I want to try this again. When I am not mentally flagging 20 hours out of every day. 

4. I'm not sure when that will be. Post honeymoon? 

5. I miss being more artsy and just a tad less fartsy.

6. Okay, equal amounts artsy and fartsy. 

Tomorrow is my last chance to really do this thing, and I'm all outta gum and I have the whole day. You hear that, interweb? The Whole. Day. Which I was planning on cleaning and setting up Christmas decorations, but I don't really feel like doing that either.*

Here's a random thought to tide us over. Why oh why did Great Britain in the early 00's have a mini love affair with hating on the smaller side of average size women? Seriously, take a peek at Love Actually and Bridget Jones Diary, and look at the tiny ladies they called whales, and then look at how they portrayed women who were actually overweight. 

Clearly displaying the carcass of the box of doughnuts she must have just eaten. Tubby.
Yeah, but what you don't see is the giant bunny prints her fat feet have imprinted on the ground beneath her.

No wonder there was an eating disorder club at my school. Reason for this average phobia? Clearly England wanted to reclaim the country by starving out America's women. Nice try, UK. Nice try. 

*This is proof of my exhaustion. Never have I ever been too depleted of energy to break out the lights and 30 year old stockings. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Super Secret November Challenge Blog Post # 20

It's not that I'm tired, I just want to read my book.

Can I refer you to my friend, Netflix? Oh! Do you know that I was able to get my mom to watch Boogie Nights? It was the promise of solid ensemble work. She's a sucker for solid ensemble work.

Anyway, she loved it.