Friday, October 29, 2010

I will not be a voodoo doll.

Padawan is currently suffering some sort of Ebola Gangrene AIDS thing. Or it might just be food poisoning. Either way, he's pretty miserable, and I'm not much help to him since I'm pretty sure I'm dying, too. I've called my doctor like five times since Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday she suggested I take myself to the ER.

Did I do it?



I may be "hemorrhaging," (isn't that an ugly word?) but I'm not about to admit myself to the hospital. Are you kidding me? The first thing they do when you say you're hemorrhaging (this is my doctor's word, not mine) is hook you up to IVs and stick you with a million needles and them pump blood into you with yet another needle, and THAT needle is a fatter than average one.

Do I look like I'm about to voluntarily let some jerks in white coats stick me like a pin cushion? Thanks, but no thanks. I'm so not into being tortured like that. Or in any way. You know, I'm really not very pain tolerant. Or brave. Hospitals scare me. And so do doctors. 

So after arguing on the phone in the employee's kitchen for like ten minutes, I finally convinced my doctor that I would totally and carefully monitor my bleeding, and if it progressed or stayed at the same horrifying rate, I'd allow one of my coworkers to drive me to the ER. I conveniently forgot to mention the sudden exhaustion, the lightheaded sensation, and the fact that I was freezing cold. But she didn't need to know that, right? I mean, I'm always cold. *thinks* Well, I have no excuse for conveniently forgetting to mention the other parts, except that I thought if I told her that she'd probably insist that I call 911. 

But guess what? I didn't die! 


I did call Padawan and tell him what she said. And then, you know, I monitored my bleeding. And, thank God, it did eventually slow down. Not the way I wanted it to slow down because, you know, I was wanting it to just stop entirely, but it slowed down enough so that I knew I wasn't actually going to bleed to death. I'm still pretty sure I'm not going to bleed to death.

Unless this goes on for another month. Then I might actually have to admit myself.

But I'm going to the doctor before I let it get that far. I hate hospitals and doctors, but I'm not suicidal. I don't want to die. I just don't want to be stuck with needles. That's completely reasonable, right?

It's better to just avoid the needles altogether. When I was seven and I had to get a shot it took my parents, three nurses, and a doctor to hold me down enough so that my doctor could stick me. And even then, it wasn't entirely effective because I managed to get a food loose after he pulled the shot away and I gave him a good kick to his balls that had him curled up on the floor for a few minutes. My parents apologized. I felt pleased with myself. He had hurt me, and I hurt him back. I come from a teaching of "anything goes in self defense." My sense of self preservation is astounding.

Not that I think needles are going to kill me. At least, not now at this moment when I'm sitting in my chair at work at my desk under no immediate threat from a needle. However, when that needle is coming at me, I somehow convince myself that it's going to kill me and that it's gross and disgusting and creepy and I don't want it near me and please just get away...and then I fight. Oddly, it's not that pain of the stab that bothers me. Honestly, on a scale of on to ten, shots are pretty low on the pain spectrum. It's the actual needle being in me that gets me.


Anyway, Padawan is too busy being sick and miserable to insist that I take care of myself, so as long as he's nauseous and refusing to go to a doctor, I'm safe from him insisting I go to the emergency room. I'm not pleased with Padawan's illness or anything, but I'm relieved that I've got some time. Last time I felt really bad and refused to go to the ER when I obviously needed to, Padawan simply picked me up and carried me screaming and kicking to the car and made me go. This time I can gauge for myself when the time is here to bring on the voodoo needle sticking doctors. 

But I have hope. It seems to be progressively getting slower and slower since it's nuclear meltdown yesterday. I'm hoping two more days and I'm back to normal.

Or the geyser will start up again and I'll have to agree to admit myself to the ER and let those voodoo sadists stick me a million times unnecessarily. Ug. Jerks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I. Hate. My. Body. I want it to bugger off.

Dear Body,

I have only two words for you: Epic. Fail.

Okay, I lied. I have several words to follow them: you really, really freaking suck and I hate you and if I could trade you in for a new model I totally would because you make me miserable with all of your problems and bull hockey crap stuff.

That's right. Your bull hockey crap stuff.

I can't even begin to tell you all of the reasons you totally suck monkey balls. There are so many things that you do just to piss me off. 

I can forgive you now for the lack of boobs. I like my small chest. It's proportionate to the rest of me. I may have hated my lack of endowment in high school, but I'm over that now. It's all whatever, and under the rug. I can forgive you for being entirely too skinny for my childhood and teenage years, and for playing into Relly's hands when she told the whole school and faculty that I was anorexic my freshman year. I can forgive you even now for gaining weight that I decidedly no longer want, and I'm pleased that despite the weight gain you've had the decency to stay slightly under-weight. I can forgive you for blue-green eyes when I wanted so much to have straight up green. I can get over the pale eyebrows that hardly ever show up in pictures unless I darken them with shadow or liner. I can even forgive you for the diamond shape of my face when what I really wanted was dramatic oval. I'm still working on forgiving you for the not completely flat stomach. I may never get over that completely. But I'm working on it. I totally love and appreciate you for not being able to have children.

But seriously, I've taken extreme measures to not have cramps or an ovulation cycle, and you fucking found a way around it. How the hell did you get past the chemical and hormonal blockade? I know you never reacted to pain killers, but how the hell do you get around the complete and total alteration of your chemical make up? Are you trying to fucking kill me? And not only is this not supposed to happen at all, but it's been going on for two weeks now. Two fucking weeks. I'm starting to think I'm going to bleed to death. Also, you're fucking torturing me because I happen to sleep next an attractive man every night that I love, and there can be no physical affection exchanged because you are too busy trying to make me bleed to death. 

Two weeks, and we are both suffering on that count. 

Look at that. I'm swearing at you, I'm so angry. And you can't blame me. This is abso-fucking-lutely unfair and cruel, and you know it. And you don't care. If I could, I would have a hysterectomy and have all of it taken out, and then I wouldn't have to deal with this ridiculous cycle of pain-no pain-pain-fever-vomit-pain-worse pain-kill me now-no pain bullshit. Unfortunately, there's this fucking code of ethics bullshit and no doctor I've ever found is willing to take it all away because I've never had children. Never mind that I can't have children, as long as there's a chance they won't do it. They are, apparently, on your side.

Those doctors are all sadists.

And so are you.



Well the joke is on you. Because if you send me to the bathroom to throw up one more time today, I'm not going to eat anything for the rest of the fucking week. And then you won't have any energy and won't be able to do anything but lay in bed. And there will be nothing to regurgitate, either. So you will lose.

And you know what else I'll do? I'll go to the doctor and get that shot. 

Yes. The Shot.


You hate them. I hate them. But I'd rather get one than deal with you. 

Because you, my dear, are a fucking bitch to live with and in. 

You lose. Good day, sir. 

Sincerely pissed off and sick and tired of you and your bull hockey crap stuff,

P.S. Fuck you. Yup. That's right. Fuck you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I was vain and silly and blissfully happy

When I was six years old, I decided that I wanted to be a Princess for Halloween. I suppose that's a fairly normal thing for a little girl to want to be on Halloween, but I sincerely doubt it was the same for me as it was for every little girl. For some reason, and I still can't fathom why, I took the costume above and beyond an act.

I had my mother make me the prettiest dress with material I picked out myself. Ice blue with silver tulle over it to make it float, I was determined to be the best princess in the world, even better than Cinderella. But as beautifully as my gown turned out, my favorite part was, without a doubt, the crown. I loved that thing more than all of my toys in the box, more than all of my dolls, more than the little vanity I'd been given for Christmas the previous year. I'm not sure why I loved it so much. It was just a piece of plastic with rhinestones studding it, not even one of the really pretty metal ones that you see on Prom Court. (I'd love to show you what this thing looked like, but there is absolutely no picture of it to be found anywhere on the great Internet. Shocking and disappointing.) But I still loved it.

So much, in fact, that I took to wearing it everywhere. I wore that thing to school, to the store, to movies, to visit friends, to the doctor's office. I even wore that silly thing to Sunday School. If my Mom dared to suggest that I leave it at home just long enough for us to go to dinner, I refused and made such a fuss that Dad would tell her to just leave me alone, and she wisely gave in on the point.

There was nothing I loved more than sleeping with my long blond hair in braids so that my hair was wavy the next day, and then placing my pretty crown on top of my gold hair. I loved the effect of the silver against the gold, I loved the way the waves in my hair made it sit just right. I loved how the shape of my face (a heart, I've been told) looked so lovely with the way the crown sat. I loved the way I felt like a real Princess. (I know I was a vain little creature.) I would stare at my reflection for hours on weekends in my vanity's mirror admiring my pretty crown.

Daddy thought it was adorable that I loved it so much. So did my teacher, and our neighbors, and my Sunday School teacher and the volunteers who watched us kids on the bus on the way to and from Sunday School and had us sing songs and answer Bible questions. Almost everyone thought my love of the crown was adorable, if a little odd. But maybe not. Maybe all children go through a stage like that where they are attached to something that seems silly to everyone else. I myself can't really explain why I developed such an affinity for that crown. I only know that I never left it at home. From the moment I woke up until bath time, it was on my head, and from bath time to bed time, it was right back up there. I probably would have worn it in the bath if I hadn't worried about ruining it.

I wore it for over a year and a half, and showed no signs of stopping. My parents didn't see that it didn't any harm, so they indulged my fancy. Nobody ever really had a problem with it. Other children occasionally commented, saying things like, "Halloween is over" and "that crown is stupid, why do you wear it?" But I was a smart kid and didn't care what other people thought of me or what I wore. All that mattered was that I knew how nice it looked on me. Daddy called it "expressing your individuality," and Mom called it "marching to your own drummer." Aside from a few incidents with Relly trying to take my crown, there were no problems with it. 

But then one day Mom and Daddy decided to go out for a while, just the two of them, to visit some friends, and they had a one of Mom's friend come to baby sit us. She lived a few houses over, and she was in her early twenties. She didn't have any children, and she wasn't married, and I blame her lack of family for what she did.

The first hour or two went well, but then around two o'clock she decided she wanted all of us to take naps. Relly and I were entirely too old for naps. I was seven, she was eight. Relly, however, was far less confrontational than I was at that time (that would change the next year), and she meekly turned to go up stairs after the twins, though she hadn't been subjected to naps for over a year. 

I, on the other hand, was having none of it. "No, Relly and I don't take naps. We are too big." I stamped my foot, crossed my arms across my chest, and raised my chin in a way that my parents, had they been there, would have recognized in a heartbeat as a precursor to a full on battle. I was not giving in.

Unfortunately for this friend, she didn't understand children or the fact that I was entirely too dignified to allow myself to be treated like a little kid. (I was only seven, but I considered myself a big girl. I ate off of a big plate at dinner, I had a real glass to drink from instead of a plastic cup, I got to stay up until eight thirty, and I did not have to take naps.) 

"I said you're going to take a nap. Now get upstairs." Her tone reminded me of my Mom's tone when she said something and meant it. But this woman was small and skinny and not intimidating, and she wasn't my mother. I was no more inclined to obey her than I was to do what my older sister told me.

I stamped my foot again. "No! I won't, I won't, I WON'T!" I shrieked the last one, my voice almost cracking, and my three sisters, who were all standing on the stairs watching me in admiration, covered their ears.

I honestly believe if that woman had had any experience with children at all, she wouldn't have acted as she did at that moment. But she had no experience, so she stepped forward and said, "Your parents have spoiled you rotten, and you think you're a princess! You're not, and you're going to take a nap!" And she reached out and snatched off my beloved crown and snapped it in half, then tossed it in the trash can.

Relly, who had tried again and again to get me to let her wear the crown, giggled from her place on the stairs. I am convinced to this day that she was pleased to see it destroyed because she couldn't have it, and I didn't talk to her for a week for laughing.

But at that moment I didn't care that she was giggling. I only felt my heart shattering into a million pieces at the loss of something I loved so much, and despite my hating to cry in front of people, I burst into the loud, angry wails of a child. I sat on the carpet, threw out my arms and legs, and beat the floor as I threw the biggest tantrum I've ever had in my life. When the stupid woman tried to pick me up to drag me to my room, I kicked her in the shin and slapped her face and kept screaming and kicking.

Finally she said, "If you don't shut up and go upstairs I'm going to tell your parents how bad you were!"

I looked up at her and gave her my most powerful glare, and I ran upstairs to my room where I continued my tantrum. My sisters came up immediately after me, and Relly said she was sorry my crown was gone, though she didn't look sorry, and the Twinkies agreed that it was "very bad" of her to have done it. At four years old, they couldn't think of anything worse to say than "very bad", and that made me feel better.

I was still crying when I heard the car pull up to the garage, and I was down the stairs and out the door before the woman even knew they were home. And within seconds I was flinging myself into Daddy's arms and crying and telling him what the woman had done to my crown, and how I wouldn't have been bad but I didn't have to take naps anymore and she tried to make me.

My sisters all came out right after me, and they all seconded my story. But Daddy didn't have time to work up his reaction. To my surprise, Mom reacted first, and she was every bit as angry at that woman as she'd ever been at me, plus some extra anger on the side.

I'd never heard my Mom swear so profanely at another adult before, and some of the words she used I'd never even heard. And there was definitely something in there about "I don't care if you thought she was lying about taking naps, all you had to do was call us! You knew where we were!" and then something about being "cruel to my daughter" and "you broke her favorite toy." 

That woman didn't come by to see my mother again for a few months after that. Whether it was from embarrassment for her actions or anger at the names my mother had called her, I'm not sure. But I wasn't sad over the loss.

I went without my crown for the rest of that Saturday, but the next day Daddy took me to the store and took me to the little girl toy section and told me to pick out any new crown that I wanted. I looked over each and every one and chose the biggest one.
I did manage to find a picture of the new one.
Wasn't it fabulous?

This crown I loved even more than the first one, not because it was bigger or newer, but because Daddy specifically bought it for me, and because it was like showing up Relly for laughing at the destruction of the first, and because I'd had my so cruelly taken away and this proved that I deserved my crown. Because if I'd been unbearably spoiled about my crown, surely my parents would not have gotten me a new one.

I wore that crown every day, just as I had the other one. And when Mom's friend finally got over her anger or embarrassment and came over to visit one day, I wore my crown with smug satisfaction as I pranced around the living room, flaunting my victory with childish delight. I was being so annoying about it that my Mom finally caught on and sent me outside to "play with the other kids", though she knew I hated playing with other children and I hated being outside. I suppose I deserved it for being so obviously pleased with myself, and I guess I knew it then because I went without even the hint of resistance. 

I stopped wearing my crown when I turned nine after school started. I told Daddy, "Now that I'm nine, I'm too big to be carrying toys with me in public." But I still wore it all of the time at home, still refused to share it with my sisters, and when it wasn't on my head, it was sitting in my red velvet Box of Hopes on my vanity, waiting for me to put it on. 

That crown disappeared years ago, somewhere between the move from Florida to Texas, but I still find myself thinking about it with a smile on my face. Vain and silly as I was about it, some of my fondest memories of my childhood occurred while I was wearing the old one and the new one. I wish that I still had it though, because if I ever have a niece that reminds me of myself, I'd like to give her that crown. But I suppose that if I ever have a niece I'll just go out and buy her a new one so she can treasure as I did my own. Any child like myself, of course, will understand the magic of a crown, and will wear it with pride.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I still feel bad for how all of this ended, even though it really CAN'T be my fault.

At the end of sixth grade, my grandparents moved all of us from Austin to a small suburb on Lake Travis, population 2,500 people. The size of the middle school? Two hundred and fifty. The high school? Four hundred. I didn't want to leave my best friend, didn't want to leave my other friends, my teachers, my school. Especially the city that I loved so much. 

But I kept my best friend, and we visited almost every weekend with each other and talked on the phone almost every night, so the adjustment wasn't that hard. I hated trying to sleep at night, though, because it was so quiet out by the lake, and I was used to being able to hear the cars and the noises of the city all night. I had to sleep with a radio.

But living so far away from my best friend meant that I had to have a second best friend to talk to at school. It wasn't hard. I somehow made friends with a girl in one of my classes. I was jealous when I first saw her. She had long, thick black hair and beautifully tan skin with huge dark eyes framed with thick lashes. She looked healthy, unlike myself. I was thin and pale and blond with thin hair and light eyes that only seemed so big because I was too skinny. I found myself wishing I looked like her. (Of course, it wouldn't be possible. She got her hair and her skin and her eyes from a combination of her Asian mother and her Mexican father. No amount of tanning or dying my hair or contacts could give me the same effect. And my grandparents wouldn't let me anyway.) This was all before the trip to Disney World when I was fifteen, so I knew how thin I was and I was disgusted with it, and I knew that this girl was how I should look.

I don't remember how we started talking, or even what we talked about, but we were great friends by the time the final bell rang at the end of the day. And from that day on, when I wasn't talking to my best friend on the phone or visiting her or having her visit me, I was with Tams. 

Her parents adored me, as most parents did except for my own family, because I was bright and friendly and amusing and I didn't do anything to get in trouble. I guess they started to worry about me themselves because they always pressured me to eat more when I was over, always asked me what my doctor said, always tried to get me to eat one more helping of ice cream "to put some meat on your bones." Regardless of their extra help, I wasn't gaining weight at a pleasing rate, but some progress was better than none.

We finished middle school and moved into high school, which wasn't any different than middle school, just a bigger building at the top of the hill instead of at the bottom. But something changed in Tams that year, after she turned fourteen, and I was so used to my own finicky appetite and my own gaunt thinness that I failed to notice it in my friend.

I suppose it probably started back in the beginning of our friendship, when our other friends would always compare the two of us together as complete opposites. They never told her she was fat, of course, but after being told she was the exact opposite of me, pale and blond and skinny, she might have warped the meaning. They were poking fun at me, but she interpreted it, I suppose, as a slight to her own weight.

By the end of our freshman year, she was almost small enough to fit into my jeans, a triple zero, when she'd always worn a size one. She gave me some of her old jeans that summer, ones that she'd outgrown in her growth spurt, and she started crying when I tried them on and we both realized that they were entirely too large for me. She donated them to the Salvation Army and started talking about how fat she was, how she wished she could look like me.

"Are you kidding me? I've been trying to gain weight for ages so I could look like you!" I meant it as a compliment, but she thought I was saying she was fat and I was being mean. I left an hour later because she wouldn't stop crying and I didn't know what to do.

One month into our Sophomore year, Tams stopped coming to school. For a week she wasn't in, and when I tried calling her parents always said she was "out" and she wouldn't be able to call me for a while. Another week went by, and then another, and I still hadn't had a call back. And then one day I got to my locker before my first class and she was there at her locker just two over from mine.

I was so glad to see her that I ran and hugged her. She was my size now, and she looked sick. I gasped, "Tams, are you OK?"

But Tams didn't answer me. She turned back to her locker and talked to herself in an angry whisper. "I'm so fat, I'll never be as thin as her." 

Honestly, it creeped me the hell out. I didn't know what to make of it, so I just turned and went to my class, baffled. We met up again in PRE-AP English, and she sat across from me in the library, but when I asked her a question, she would only talk to herself in the same angry whisper.

Lunch time came around and she sat at the table next to me. I was feeling particularly hungry that day as I had gone to Flute sectionals for marching for an hour before school started, and I had an hour and a half of marching during regular band class, so I had worked up an appetite. I got chicken nuggets covered in white gravy with French fries in white gravy, and a slice of cheese pizza with mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and a Little Debbie Swiss cake for dessert.

Tams had a salad, no dressing, and picked at it. When I asked if she was feeling okay, she turned to me and said, "I don't know how you can eat any of that, Chanel. Do you know how many calories are in just one of those chicken nuggets?"

I stared at her. "No, but my doctor says I still need to gain weight, so I guess it's okay. But we're too young to worry about calories, Tams. And we're both too thin."

"Well, you are thin and beautiful, like a doll, but I'm so fat it's disgusting."

I was shocked. She'd just told me I was thin and beautiful after years of joining her parents in their effort to fatten me up, and she'd just compared me to a doll, which she knew I hated to hear because it was intended to be encouraging about my weight when I needed to be gaining more. After years of hearing me tell her how envious that she looked feminine and shapely in her jeans while even my triple zeros failed to hug my thighs in a way that made them look round instead of emaciated. 

"You're not fat! You were never fat!"

But I still didn't notice the problem.  And then one day Tams came to school with her parents and went to the front office. When I saw her in our first class together, she was carrying around a piece of paper I was familiar with: I called it the last day card. When you were leaving a school, on your last day, you had to take your card around to all of your classes and have your teaches sign off on it.

Tams was leaving, and when I asked her why, she gave me the most hateful glare I've ever received from anyone in my entire life and said, "I'm Anorexic, Chanel, and my family is taking me to California. I'm not allowed to talk to you anymore because it's your fault I got like this."

My stomach dropped to my feet and I felt my heart jump up into my throat. I was no more prepared to hear that than I would have been if she'd told me she had cancer and was dying.

"How is this my fault?" I demanded. I was angry, far angrier than I'd ever been at a friend in my entire life. I constantly talked about how unhealthy I was, how I wanted to look like her, how she was so healthy and beautiful. How could I ever be held responsible for her own self destruction?

"Because you never eat enough and you're so thin, and when you try on my clothes they're too big, and you always rub it in how fat I am. My parents told me that I'm not allowed to talk to you anymore, that you're a bad influence and you should seek help, too." And then she turned around and wouldn't talk to me again.

But that didn't stop me from hissing, "It's not my fault you're an insecure baby and can't stand being around someone thinner and prettier than you. And it's not my fault you're crazy, either." I was trying to hurt her feelings, and I'm sure it worked, but I felt awful after I said it .

I sat there in my desk, completely bewildered. Her mother was a doctor, how on earth could she rationally blame me for her daughter's eating disorder? Especially considering that I made a point to eat three meals a day and two snacks and I was constantly trying to gain more weight. Her parents had never seen me say no to anything they offered me, how could they think I had an eating disorder, too? Was it denial? Could it really be my fault?

I started crying and asked to go to the guidance councilor. I cried and told her the whole story and asked if it was my fault, if I had really given my friend Anorexia because I was too thin, and would I give it to other people?

"Chanel, when something happens to your child, it's natural to want to place the blame on something or someone concrete. Everybody needs a scapegoat. It's not your fault that you are naturally thin, and it's not your fault that her mind was naturally susceptible to self-doubt. You didn't give her Anorexia any more than you made Ashly diabetic (another friend) or Alisha bi-polar. It's something that just happens to some people. If you hadn't been her friend, they would have blamed the stress of school or maybe themselves. It's just convenient for them to blame you."

I felt much better after that, but sometimes I catch myself even now wondering if maybe I had done or said something that made her start to doubt herself, if maybe I really was somehow responsible, if only just because I was there. Maybe if I had never made friends with her and she hadn't constantly been around me in all of my un-glorious gauntness, she never would have walked that path. 

But it's all useless, now, I guess. According to her Facebook (yes, I looked her up, just to check on her) she's still in California, and while she's on the thin side, she doesn't look unbearably thin as she did the last time I saw her seven years ago. She's still enviably beautiful, damn her, and if we hadn't parted on such awful terms I'd send her a message to ask how she's doing. But things ended badly, and I'm not at all inclined to forgive her for letting her parents blame me. Mentally ill or not, you don't ever blame your friends for something they aren't responsible for, ever. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In my life I am currently playing Elizabeth Bennet to my sister's Lydia, and I want to slap some sense into her.

I think I failed to mention something relatively important that occurred in our family a couple of weeks ago. The youngest Twinkie, Wheat, eloped.

As in she left town and got married in a courthouse somewhere in Southern Texas at nineteen years old, and then had the audacity to call me and ask for congratulations. And to rave about how awesome being married was, though she'd only been in the state of marriage for all of twenty minutes when she called me.

My reaction, I am afraid, left something to be desired. 

"Chanel, Mo-Mo and I got married!"

It was unfortunate that she called me while I was on my lunch break and I was taking a drink of water. I inhaled in surprised, choked and hacked for a couple of minutes, and finally managed to get out a very raspy, "Are you out of your god-damned mind?"

She sounded pouty and hurt, of course, when she repeated what she said. And all I could say was, "You guys said February of next year. Would it have killed you to wait?"

It wasn't ten minutes after we hung up that I got a text from Relly, Brat, Mother, and Memaw basically all saying that just because I was jealous that my younger sister was married before me was no reason to make her feel bad about it, and couldn't I just get over my own feelings and be happy for her?

And all I could think was "Do these people really know me at all?"

Because if they knew me even a little, they would recall my feelings about marrying young, my own inability to discuss a possible marriage with Padawan in five years, my frequent comments that my parents (who married at eighteen) would never have married each other if they had waited five years.

My problem wasn't that my younger sister was married before me, my problem was (and still is) that my younger sister got married at all. She's nineteen, meaning she's still a teenager. She's entirely too young to get married. And if she had the sense of a goat she would have waited a few more years until she was mature enough to handle everything that comes with the title of wife, especially since she off and married a twenty eight (or was it twenty nine?) year old man.

My only comfort in that entire barrage of insults was the call from Daddy who, when I answered, demanded to know, "Are you was serious about Wheat getting married on your Facebook status or was this just a stupid joke? Because believe me, Chanel Anneggannette Ingram, it is not funny!"

"Yes, Daddy, I'm completely serious. They eloped and got married less than an hour ago."

"What the hell was she thinking? She's too young to get married."

And I completely agreed, but I really couldn't stop myself from saying, pointedly, that, "You really can't be too upset about it, Daddy. You and Mom got married when you were eighteen."

"That's exactly how I know she's making a big mistake! I made the same one twenty-two years ago!"

"Well, Daddy, parents are our first teachers. She learned from you."

"But nothing good came from the lesson I set her!"

"Well, if you hadn't married Mom, you never would have had the Twinkies in the first place."

"Okay, you have a point. The only good thing that came out of that marriage was the Twinkies and the divorce."

Well, at least I wasn't the only one that wasn't thrilled with the news. But Daddy doesn't like Mo-Mo anyway. Neither does my grandmother, come to think of it, but she's just thrilled that she can tell her friends that one of her grand daughters is married.

Like oh-em-gee, ladies, not all of my grand daughters are going to old maid spinsters. One of them got married! And at nineteen, too! 

I don't like being asked, "So did you congratulate your sister on her marriage?"

Because I didn't congratulate her, and I won't congratulate her. The best I could do was say, "Good luck with that one, Wheat." And try not to laugh derisively at her exclamations of, "Being married is the greatest!" and "I don't know why people complain that marriage is so hard! It's so fun!"

Yeah, it's all fun and games when you've eloped and been married for a couple of weeks, dear. Tell me how it is in five years, or even after just two.

You know who she reminds me of? Lydia Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. 

So damned pleased with herself after eloping and then bragging and raving about how amazing her husband is, and how great it is to be married, and how brilliant her elopement was, and great fun, besides. And oh how I understand Elizabeth's irritation with her sister for her constant chatter about the subject knowing it was the wrong thing to do and wishing she hadn't gone off and done it.

Except that my sister didn't disgrace the whole family because social standards are not nearly so strict today as they were back then, and the only thing anyone says against an elopement is being denied a chance to dress up and have a celebration.

Still, it's all she talks about on her Facebook (unless she's spouting off some hippy nonsense about the government spraying us with harmful chemicals every day and then lying about it) and in text messages and I'm pretty sure she Twitters about it, too, except that I don't do Twitter and I won't ask because she'll hear the mocking in my voice and be hurt all over again. If she had a blog, which I doubt since she's one of those "txt tlk, kll the vwls and mk thm xtnct" people and I'm pretty sure hard core bloggers or even people who just appreciate the beauty of the properly written English language would have chased her out of any blog community for her careless murder of the written word, she would probably gush about marriage all over its pages, too.

And now that she's married, the question of, "So when are you and Padawan going to tie the knot?" keep popping up with more and more aggravating frequency. As I've said before, I feel awkward discussing any matrimony that may or may not be in my future because the "M" Word makes me nervous.

Like it's not bad enough fending off questions about my foolish sister's matrimony, people just don't seem to understand that not everybody wants to off and get married young. I've got my whole life to live, why should I be married now? It's not that I don't love Padawan, I do, and I'm serious about him. But marriage is a whole different time and place and world that neither of us is ready to think about. Now, if he asked me to marry him tomorrow, I'd say yes, but only under the stipulation that we have a really freaking long engagement. 

Engaged isn't married, after all. It's just a promise to get married eventually. 

There is absolutely nothing relevant to anything in this blog. You should probably burn it.

For the sake of preventing spam (which is code for wanting to irritate the hell out of anyone who wants to leave a comment) I've changed my settings to require a word verification for comments. I did this yesterday because I finally figured out how to do it and I've seen it on other blogs. I'm not particularly worried about spam. I just wanted to do it to see how it works out. It might actually end up irritating everybody. I'm not entirely sure. If it does, let me know so I can consider changing it back. (I have to say consider because it would never do to let you believe I'd give you whatever you wanted immediately. You'd get all ego happy about it.)

Anyway, bored out of my mind yesterday, I decided to try this stupid thing called "Fang Yourself", where you pretty much take a picture of yourself and add fangs and paler skin and some blood and make yourself into a vampire. I knew it would be stupid, but I was insanely bored. So I tried it. And it was even dumber  than I ever imagined it could be, which was pretty dumb to begin with, and I should not have been surprised. And I was not. But when you reach a certain level of boredom, doing something stupid is entirely preferable to doing absolutely nothing, and I'd forgotten my Kindle, so I had only the internet. And StumbleUpon was failing my preferences yesterday. So I SERIOUSLY had nothing else.


Anyway, because the results were so varyingly ridiculous I thought I'd share the laughter.

First picture was the funniest, I think. See the bloodthirsty look in my obviously fake eyes? Rawr?

I obviously had to throw some blood on my face for good measure. What kind of vampire isn't dripping with the blood of slaughter, after all? The hair obviously isn't mine. I used a picture I had saved from a make over website I had used to test different hair colors on my hair before actually dying my hair. But, you know, this would have been so much more fun if the mouths weren't so obviously photoshopped on. It's impossible to find a mouth to fit exactly right on my face because I have such an odd shape, something between heart and oval.

This was the second one. Seriously, after I made my vampire faces the website asked me what kind of vampire I was: sensual, old school, day walker, noble, feral, rock star, psychic, or romantic. Well, that was as far as I wanted to take the whole thing because, honestly, it's just a picture and I'm not about to go on and make up a name and a coven and a back story for a picture I made when I was bored out of my mind.

But I did go and make a picture of one of my friends because I personally thought she'd look really wicked as a vampire. The result was horrifying, and you will see why. 

Made you jump, didn't it? 

She's actually not that creepy looking in person. I edited this picture months ago to show her what she would look like if she was related to Marilyn Manson. All I had to do to this picture was add fangs and blood and the red silk sheet for background and change the eye color. But it's quite effective, isn't it? 

So I did three pictures and it took an hour and a half of my time yesterday, and then I was bored with Fanging Myself and Other People, so I wrote a note to Padawan and considered cleaning my desk off.

Of course I didn't because every time I try to clean my desk it spirals out of control and then I clean the filing cabinet and take out the trash and organize the papers and then I vacuum around my desk and then I move the plastic thing for my rolling chair out from under my desk and I vacuum that part of the carpet and pretty soon I'm dusting everything, too. And it turns into a big complicated pile of nothing and I feel like I've wasted an entire day of potential awesomeness by cleaning at work.

Now that I've effectively blogged about absolutely nothing, I think I'll go bury my head under my jacket and pout about having to work late because of Inventory tonight. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

This is exactly why I shouldn't drink.

Have I mentioned that I'm not much of a drinker? Well, if I haven't, I'll say it now. I'm not much of a drinker. Even way back in high school when my friends would decide to have a drink (which was rare as we were nerds who had more fun being sober and playing D&D so we could remember how far our quests got) I abstained. Partly because it was illegal for me to drink, and partly because I just don't enjoy the taste of alcohol. I think most people probably don't, but they enjoy the sensation of being buzzed or drunk, so they do it anyway. For me, it's all about being able to enjoy things that I eat and drink. If it tastes bad, I don't want to have it. 

But a strawberry margarita made the right way doesn't taste like alcohol, so every few months or so I'll have one now that it's legal for me to do so. It doesn't take much of it to get me tipsy, though, so the cut off is usually one. There have been two instances where I've had two, and both times resulted in me slipping off of my barstool. It was amusing to Padawan and Roommate, but not so much for me the next morning when I was remembering it. 

Well Wednesday night Padawan and I finished looking around for costumes (we're leaning towards Alice and the Mad Hatter after much deliberation, but it's not final yet) and decided to go have dinner. I'm still not drinking soda, but I wanted something to drink with more flavor than water, so I got a strawberry margarita to enjoy with my dinner. The glass it came in was closer to the size of a fish bowl than a drinking glass. I'm pretty sure that if I had been so inclined I could have worn it on my head as a helmet and it would have fit nicely.

Obviously, I didn't finish it. I drank maybe half of it and gave the rest to Padawan, who mocked me mercilessly throughout dinner for drinking it so slowly and hinted frequently that he could drink it way faster and that I was disgracing the drink. Of course, he knew that mocking me wouldn't change anything. I only turned the tables on him and mocked him for drinking his beer too fast.

"Wow, you're really downing that, Padawan. If I drank like a fish would it make you feel like less of an alcoholic?" 

Of course that only made him laugh.

Despite drinking less than half of that stupid thing, I was tipsy when we left. It caught me off guard, of course, because when I stood up my legs felt like red jell-o and I had to lean on Padawan to keep from sitting down again. But nothing eventful happened on the way home. 

We parked in the garage and I stood to watch the garage door go down, as I always do. But after it closed I noticed a lizard crawling around in swirling patterns across the door, and rather than go inside, I stood and watched it for a minute or two until Padawan, needing to go relieve himself in the facilities but unable to because I dislike walking across the parking lot from the garage to the apartment by myself after dark, finally called me away and we made our way across the lot.

Navigating the sidewalk was easier than the lot, so I pushed Padawan slightly ahead of me so that I could go up the rest of the way by myself. But I wasn't walking straight and veered off the center of the pavement to the left edge. And this resulted in a tragic accident.

As I was taking a step, a baby lizard ran out from the grass. I was inebriated, and uncoordinated, and though I saw it coming my reaction time was slowed and I didn't have time to correct my foot placement. My flip flop landed on his poor little lizard self with the full weight of my body, and the resulting squelching, squish noise echoed in my head.

I felt horrified. I pulled my foot away too late, and I saw the mangled little body squished to the concrete, and I lost my mind. I sank down next to him and I started crying.

Bawling, actually. Broken hearted, the world is ending sobs. And it had only been a matter of seconds. And Padawan, who was only a couple of steps ahead of me, turned around in complete confusion because he had no idea I had just destroyed a young life. All he knew was that one second I was fine, and the next I was sitting on the sidewalk crying for absolutely no reason.

He asked me again and again what was wrong. And finally I managed to point at the dead lizard, and I kept saying, "I couldn't stop my foot. It was too late, I couldn't stop! He just ran in front of me!" 

After a few minutes he finally figured out that I had been too tipsy to be able to stop myself from squishing the lizard, and that it had made an awful sound, and that I felt completely horrible for killing a baby lizard. By that time I was babbling about how if I had not stopped to watch the lizard on the garage door, or if I had stayed and watched it just a few seconds longer, then my path never would have crossed the baby's and it would have ended well. 

I give Padawan credit for this. He did not laugh at me. He did understand that I was sincerely upset about the whole thing. I don't squish any living creature, ever. I don't even squish crickets. It's a cruel, horrible way to kill something, and I'd rather just run from things anyway. 

He could only pick me up and take me upstairs and tell me that it was okay, that it was an accident, that it hadn't suffered, and that if it hadn't been me who had squished him, it would have been him. He might have thrown in something about how it was meant to happen.

It didn't really make me feel better so I was still crying by the time we got to the third floor where we lived, and he sat on the bed inside and rocked me back and forth and kept trying to make me feel better. Eventually I had to stop crying, though, and I resolved to go down the next morning to bury him.

But he was gone the next morning, having been eaten by ants or some other unholy desecrater or vulture of the lowest order of life.

So here I am, wallowing in guilt two days later, because his family is probably wondering why he never came home and he probably felt a lot of pain before he died, and he was only a baby and had many lizard years left to live where he could frolic in the trees and eat whatever it is that lizards eat.

I am guilty of manslaughter for walking alone while in a sorry state of inebriation. I have learned my lesson: if I drink, don't walk, make Padawan carry me.

P.S. What's really sad here is that when I woke up the next morning and remembered what I did, after feeling bad all over again, I sat there and thought, "Well, it'll make for an interesting blog."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm not, but I kind of am. But I'm really not.

I am used to being recognized by random people.

Does that sound as strange as I think it does? Probably. It sounds very strange when I tell my co-workers about it, and they all think it's funny.

But I guess I should explain, right?

Right. Well, I am a receptionist for a very well known music retailer out here. We've only got two locations, and all of Austin's musicians and the surrounding areas outside of Austin come to us for their supplies. And to say again, this is Austin. Everybody is in a band, and everybody gigs. And if you don't gig, you go see other people who gig because no matter what day of the week or where you are in Austin, somebody close to you has a live band playing.


So when I go downtown to a show, I inevitably have people tapping me on the shoulder saying, "Hey! I know you! You're the *blank* Music Girl!" And it doesn't bother me because I'm pretty much the face of the store. I'm the first person you see and talk to when you come in, and I'm the last person you see and talk to when you leave. I'm also usually the first person you come to when you need help while shopping or browsing. The guys joke and call me the *blank* Music Spokes Model.

Recently it's become even more common to hear it. So much so that I no longer answer the door when Padawan and I order in because nothing creeps me out more than hearing, "Hey! You're the *Blank* Music Girl!" when I come to the door. It's one thing for people to know where I work, and it's entirely another to have strange men knowing where I work AND where I live. There's a line drawn there, and I don't want it blurred. Downtown? Sure. When I go Downtown I promote the hell out of the store. But in the privacy of my own home? I just want to be comfortable and in my own private world. I don't want to talk to people who I don't even remember about the things they played or asked about when they saw me at work. I just want peace and no worries at work.

So it's pretty easy to say that I'm used to being recognized, and if not by my name, always by the fact that I work for the music retailer, and that's why I wasn't really put off by someone approaching me at the book store on my lunch break yesterday and saying, "Hey! I've seen you before!"

I expected the inevitable title, but imagine my surprise when he said, "You were one of the models for Fashion Week! I saw you on the runway!"

Um...what? I'm...not a model. I'm not interested in Fashion Week. I don't even go to the fashion shows Downtown during Fashion Week, let alone hop up on the catwalk and strut around while people photograph me. Also, the designers here in Austin like their models to be between ninety five and one hundred and ten pounds. I'm five pounds over that and while I want to lose weight, I want to do it for myself and not for anybody else.

When I told him he was mistaken, he said, "No, no! I know it was you! At *name of club*! I was in the same show! I passed you on the runway!"

Well, he couldn't really help his mistake. Male models are notoriously gorgeous and stupid. He fit the description better than Cinderella's slipper fit her dainty foot. Honestly, I was flattered that he thought I was a model he'd worked indirectly with, but he was still wrong.

"No, I promise, I really wasn't even Downtown for Fashion Week. I'm not a model." I mean, I've modeled for an artistic friend before, but the photos were for art, not fashion, and were completely different.

These photos were just to help her build a portfolio. The black and white one I was sixteen, the sepia photo shoot I was nineteen, and colored but paled photo was last year. If she hadn't been desperate for a model I wouldn't have done it, but she needed them. Also, she paid me in chocolate and Dr. Pepper, and you REALLY can't say no to that sort of compensation. But these photos are just art. There's nothing even remotely fashionable about them, and especially nothing high fashion. (Though I'm vainly proud of the most recent one because it looks awesome, even though she did edit it.) It's not that I don't wish I could be a model. Doesn't every girl? It's just as natural as spending your childhood wishing you could be a princess.

It's just not what I am, though. So I tried to tell him he'd recognized me from somewhere else, and finally he figured out that he'd seen me at work, and that was why my face was so familiar. And after all of that I tried to just go back to my book (I had found a copy of Lolita and was mulling over whether or not I wanted to buy it) but he wanted to ask if I was interested in modeling, if I'd ever done it before, blah blah blah.

Well, lucky me, at that moment my alarm went off signaling that it was time for me to walk back to work or I would be late. I made my apologies and left.

*re-reads blog* You know, this was somehow funnier when it happened than it wound up being after I typed it out. But it seriously was funny. You have to just imagine my vaguely confused voice answering his questions with an upward inflection because I didn't know how to react...Also, imagine a ridiculous confused look on my face. Or maybe think I was giving him a weary, I'm-talking-to-a-crazy-person look. It's funnier, I think, if you try to picture it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

FIVE blog awards from Candice? FIVE? *shocked*

Candice over at Thoughts by Candice has given me another award. But this time she gave me five. I have no idea how I managed to be worthy of five awards at once, but I feel very, very thankful. And so because Candice was kind enough to give me the awards, I'm now going to go off and give the award to other blogs.

But there are some rules that must first be followed, as is always the way with these things.

The rules are here, though whether or not I will follow them remains to be seen:
1) Thank and link back to the blogger who gave yo
u the award (I followed this one, but I'm not making it a stipulation because I feel like that is demanding attention that I don't deserve)
2) Tell 7 things about yourself
3) Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers (They really are reaching for the stars here. I couldn't even do ten with the last one, how can they HONESTLY expect fifteen?)
4) Contact the other bloggers and tell them about the award (Now this REALLY isn't fair, and I didn't do it last time, and I won't do it this time, because it also feels like attention seeking.)

So. There are the rules. Now to talk about one of my favorite subjects: myself.

1) I have a very bad addiction to jeans and boots. Seriously, all of the shelves in my closet are dedicated to jeans because they'd take up more than half of my considerable closet space and hanger inventory if I hung them up, and the dresser is full of the things that don't go in the closet. As for my boots, I have one bin for shoes that aren't boots, and one bin for boots only. They are the same size, but the bin for boots is overflowing, while the bin for other shoes almost reaches the top.

2) In addition to being very addicted to jeans and boots, I own (at last count) fifty three different belts, which all hang on a metal thing on my closet door that I'm sure was meant to hold jackets and scarves or something. They are layered on top of each other, and are so numerous that the closet door can't be shut. Some of them I can't even wear because they don't go with any of my outfits or shoes, but they were entirely too cute to not purchase.

3) I know this shocking to some of you, but I am an impulsive shopper. I buy things I do not need because they are cute or because they are just sitting there. If I need oatmeal, and I walk by a sale on Saltines, well, I'll buy a couple of boxes even though I don't even eat crackers. Or I go to get dog food and happen to see a cute little sweater for Choo Choo, I'll buy that even though I know she won't wear it for more than an hour after I've left her to her own devices. Choo Choo, much like myself, does not like to be confined in clothing.

4) I do not like to wear any kind of clothing when I am in the privacy of my own room. Though I love all of my clothes (except the bras that are buried at the bottom of my intimates drawer and are probably crying for want of use) and I love feeling pretty in them, I don't like to wear them more than necessary. So when I'm in the bedroom, I'm Au natural, and I keep one pair of pajamas on hand to put on if I need to leave the room for a minute to get something, but as soon as the bedroom door is closed again, the pajamas are on the floor and I'm free again. (If this is too much information, I am sorry, but Padawan thinks it's one of the funniest quirks in my personality given my love of clothes and my intense modesty around other people, himself included.)

5) I have a serious and intense dislike of children that goes back to my own childhood. I can count on one hand the number of children in the span of my life that I have liked or at the very least tolerated, and that still leaves me one finger left. My dislike is so intense that it did not bother me in the slightest when I learned that I can't have children. My reaction was quite the opposite: I was overjoyed by the discovery and felt relief that I would never have to worry about an accidental pregnancy that would result in either an abortion or putting it up for adoption. (Some women will mercilessly sell children they don't want to families that have excessive wealth and want children, but I would NEVER do that. Of course, it's probably no worse than having an abortion...)

6) I love animals. If Padawan would let me I would have an entire menagerie of creatures to love and care for and play with all day every day. Unfortunately, Padawan is extremely reluctant to have animals as he feels they are just as, if not more, needy than children, and he has no desire for children. (Great that he loves me then, he'll never have to worry about it if we wind up married somewhere in the very distant future.) So we only have Choo Choo. Padawan did own a Sheltie named Apollo when we met, and I also had a cat, but Apollo disappeared from the yard one day and no shelters had him and nobody responded to our posters, and Bellatrix (fondly known as Bella) had to be given up when we took an apartment that did NOT allow cats. (Dogs, yes. Cats, no. Whoever heard of such stupidity?)

7) I am a geek, a nerd, and a dork. These are not interchangeable words. A geek is someone who is dedicated to a specific hobby, a nerd someone dedicated to academic endeavors, and a dork is someone who knows and respects the difference in the titles. So, I am all three, and while my co-workers have only just discovered this (my extensive Star Wars and Spaceballs knowledge blew them away last week) I'm pretty sure anybody who has read my blog already had that figured out. (Some arguments state that a dork is actually a whale's penis, but I'm using it in the modern, urban terminology as opposed to Webster's definition.)

And that concludes the seven things about me. So I'm technically only following one of the rules, the first one at that, but I'm kind of following rule three. I AM giving fifteen awards. I'm just giving three at a time to five different blogs.

I am actually following seven blogs now, but I've only started following her today and I feel it would be incredibly silly to award someone a blog award after having read only three of her entries. Also, it might seem like I am trying to suck up or something. I don't know. Maybe not?

Well, in any event, fifteen is evenly divided by five and not seven, so I'm just going to have to shaft my newest follows. (No offense, Niki at Loaded Handbag and Annah at Red Means Go, but I only just found you.) I could just give two awards to everyone and then an extra one to a special favorite...but that would be difficult to choose, and anyway Doug over at I Like Cheese might be offended if he thought for even a second that I might give Charles more awards than him. Or he'd be incredibly smug about it to Charles of In Review and Stuff and then that would be another can of worms...

On second thought...that's not such a bad idea...No! Bad, Chanel! There's already more than enough trouble between those two as it is. I shouldn't go around fanning their duel war thing. Nope, nope, nope. I'm just going to go on ahead and give three to five. That's what I'm doing.

Behold, the Triple Crown Versatile Blogger Award.

To Charles (yes, Doug, I did it again) of

To Carmi of (and I swear one day I WILL leave a comment and not just silent stalk)

And last but not least, to Allie of (who I will probably always continue to read but never give a comment because she's like famous or something.)

So THREE AWARDS TO EACH OF YOU! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! *does a happy dance for the accomplishment of delegating awards so nicely*

Now that I feel like I've written an EPIC blog entry, I feel like I can get back to the book I was reading. Which, for the record, is Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and I didn't want to put it down for more than a second but then I discovered the award and I had to write out this blog because it was very important to show my thanks, so poor Catherine has been wallowing in misery and insult for hours now and I really do need to go back and finish the story and find out if Henry will come to find her and love her or if she'll be single forever because I just KNOW that awful John Thorpe is behind the whole thing...

But, of course, none of you are interested in Catherine's plight because you aren't reading the book at the moment (probably) and have no idea what I'm talking about...

Onward! To honor!

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog