Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Adventure Bowl 2008

Life doesn't have to be boring. Fun times are not just reserved for Hawaiian vacations.

My co-worker H used to make fun of me because I am an obsessive-compulsive list maker. There is something so satisfying about writing something down you have to do and then crossing it off. This morning I was thinking, "Why do all the things on my list have to be so damn boring?" Do I want them to put on my headstone, "She always remembered to go to the bank and buy stamps."

Hell no!

A few years ago, when I felt my life was getting insanely routine: wake, workout, work, TV time, sleep, RINSE REPEAT, I decided to make a list of all the fun things I wanted to do. Then I put them on little scraps of paper and put them in a big clear bowl - THE ADVENTURE BOWL.

On the weekend, I would have to pick one thing AND I WOULD HAVE TO DO IT! It really injected a sense of fun, adventure and spontaneity into my life that I REALLY needed. Sometimes, I could grab a friend to go with me, sometimes not, but the point was NOT to waste weekend time with just running errands, returning phone calls and paying bills.

So, I am whipping the Adventure Bowl back out for '08. Anyone care to join me? The best thing about this one is it's going to be The Frugal Girl's Adventure Bowl as my accountant (my Bank of America bank statement) says that's the only way it can be done!

What's your idea of adventure? Here's the thing, it doesn't have to be that hard. It can be, "I'm going to get a pedicure today in a color I have never gotten before." "I'm going to take a new class at the gym today." "I'm going to sit in a beautiful hotel lobby with a cup of tea and write in my journal." "I'm going to show up at the soup kitchen and serve lunch."

The best thing is this not only feeds you with FUN, but it can help if you and a boyfriend or even you and your kids need to push yourself into doing something new.

Okay, here's my list which I reserve the right to add to:

1) Have a margarita at The Beverly Hills Pennisula Hotel, outside by the fireplace
2) Go to the MOMA downtown - I love Modern Art, I feel so much less intimidated by it
3) Suri Bikes! Have you ever seen these? They are these crazy Italian bikes that look like carts, you ride up front but they have four wheels and everyone I ever see riding them looks like they are having a blast!
4) Yoga, yoga, yoga. First class, always free.
5) I want to sit up at The Griffin Observatory at night and watch the sunset
6) Rock climbing. There is a store on the westside where you can do demos for free.
7) Rent a bike and ride along the ocean. Watch cute surfers after.
8) Take a pottery class, there is a drop in place in L.A.
9) China Town! I love China Town for the bright colors, the browsing, the peole watching, the food and the art. A nice walk around and then maybe have a friend join me for dinner.
10) Volunteer - now that I did my orientation, I can pick up a shift at the children's hospital or I can go down to the women's shelter which always welcomes me with open arms
11) Pool crash - every now and then, this must be done. You dress very nicely and go to a fancy hotel of your choice. How can they tell you don't belong there? One Miller Lite later, I'm swimming with unsuspecting guests.
12) I want to be on a boat or a jet ski or both but this doesn't fit even in the realm of my pocket book but I will scour away until I figure this one out!

Okay, I know I have many, many more. So I will add a part two to this list. If anyone can suggest fun things to do in any city for under $10 bucks, leave it in the comments section and INSPIRE us all :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Does This Bathing Suit Make My Stretch Marks Look Sexy?

You guys write the most awesome comments ever. They are so supportive, rockin’ and insightful. There was one in the section of the entry “Eatin’ Pants” that I wanted to comment on right away.

But it all became so giganta-loric, that I thought I’d make it it’s own entry. Here’s part of that comment from Anonymous: “…but I have to mention one thing that's never been brought up on this blog. I know it's not a weight-loss blog, but we talk about it. After I reach my goal weight, I will still have these damn stretch marks from the weight gain in the first place. So knowing after all this work to better myself, I'm still going to have these horrible, embarrassing flaws leaves me so depressed. Okay, there, I said it :( Sorry to be depressing.”

First of all awesome reader, you are allowed to say anything you want to say here and I promise you, if you read some of these entries here, you can be sure, I can OUT-DEPRESS you. So never feel self-conscious about that.

So let’s talk about STRETCH MARKS. First of all, women that give birth to babies have them. It’s a beautiful reminder of what love created and that their body housed a frickin’ miracle. Men get stretch marks on their arms when they gain muscle after pumping iron. I see it in the gym all the time. So why do we, as, woman, wearing our own history of bummed-outed-ness or depression weight have to feel so guilty about ours?

When I was at my ideal weight, I had stretch marks. I was in the cutest cherry blossom tankini you ever saw at a work retreat but I was still the girl that wanted to get out of the hot tub last because I still thought my butt looked big. (I would now kill for that butt… I would kill for that butt plus 20 pounds more!!!)

Now, I can’t wait to be that weight again and THE ONE THING I WILL NEVER DO, is be self conscious in a bathing suit again. WHY? Because like a woman who puts on weight for her baby, I put on weight for my own life sustaining reason. I was depressed. I was in the black hole. I lost my cousin, my family was shattered, I lost a job, my boyfriend and my Mom… well, you all know about my Mom.

This weight was hard won to put on and it will be hard won to get off. But when I do, I’ll feel sooooo UNBELIVEABLY proud of myself when I get there that I will not care about stretch marks, whether they are white or red or black & blue.

Now I know some people are not gonna be on board about my “Rah, rah, love your stretch marks!” So for you, I say this, I didn’t always feel this way either. One thing I forgot to mention about that retreat was the HUGE bottle of Neutrogena spray tan I applied before I went to it. And it worked! Stretch marks be gone!

You need the help of a friend, I learned the hard way. I was so desperate to have the perfect J. Lo glow that I applied Spray Tan to my wall and shimmied my naked back up and down to get the good stuff on me because I couldn’t reach there myself!

The image of that makes me laugh and kind of gasp at the same time. But I didn’t know then what I know now... that I need to love myself all the time – Pale and Stretch-Marky or Super Tan with a Stretch Mark Secret.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eatin' Pants

Do you know what "eatin' pants" are? Of course you do. You don't?

Eatin' pants, or its grammatically correct phrase, "eating pants" are close cousins to the sweat pants family. Eating pants, though, are a step-up, a fancier version, shall we say, as not to be immediately detected as its lazier cousin, made purely of comfy cotton and an elastic wastband.

Worn with a fancy top, the eating pant can easily be mistaken for a nice dress pant. The magic, though, is where a nice dress pant might pull, might cut off circulation upon sitting, might say, remind you, as it's digging its zipper into your belly button, "DO NOT ASK FOR THAT SECOND BREAD BASKET!," the eating pant forgives, for it is your friend.

It becokens appetizers, a full bowl of the savory, sauced up pasta of your choice and dessert! Don't forget dessert! You can have every last bite as your pants expand and contract with every delicious morsel.

So yesterday, I go out with my friend R for lunch as we are both going to celebrate our belated birthdays. R is a devoted WW devotee so I figured I was in "the safe zone" as far as eating. (The "safe zone" being defined as, "You will be throughly humilated if you eat anything with more fat or calories than your eating brethren. You will be given the WW stink eye if you even think about looking at double fried potaoe skins with a cereal side bowl of sour cream." Humiliation helps, ladies.)

I should have know we were in trouble when it was aggreed upon that the restaurant would be Cheesecake Factory. Even though I knew I would be eating healthy, I put on my eating pants for thorough relaxation and eating maximization, afterall, I had not had breakfast. I tried to channel the woman who leads our WW groups on Friday. And had, I gone today, I could probably recall her name. Let's say it's Lauri.

Lauri says we must visualize and pre-plan everything. If we know we are going out to eat, say for lunch, we must have a healthy breakfast and perhaps, snack on some healthy almonds on the way over as we are visualizing ordering our half salad, dressing on the side.

Hmmmm, well, I hadn't had breakfast and the only thing I could snack on, on the way there was an M&M I found on the floor board of my Jeep. At least, I think it was an M&M, it tasted chocolate-ty. Anyway, I do my visualization technics driving the whole way there.

"Lunch size BBQ Chicken salad with dressing on the side, please. Lunch size BBQ Chicken salad with dressing on the side, please. LUNCH SIZE BBQ CHICKEN SALAD WITH DRESSING ON THE SIDE!!!!"

Okay, I got it down, I'm going in, I'm feeling good.

The waiter comes over. "May I take your order?" My friend R goes first.

R: "I'll have the Liguini with Chicken and Sundried Totatoes in the Cream Sauce."
The waiter turns to me, "And for you, Miss?"
Me: "I'll have the same."


And just like that, poof, will power gone. Lauri would not be happy.

If I had to be real and from what i remember of Lauri, she likes us to "get real," I would have to say I have fallen so far off the WW plan, I'm practically eating like I imagine J. Lo was the last week she was carrying twins.

This has to stop. But only I can stop it. More writing down every morsel, more journaling about the emotional roller coaster that is my life to get all the feelings down on paper so I am not left alone with them at night. (They beckon to be comforted with ice cream and who am I to say "No.")

More, gulp, moving. This has been my biggest issue. Though I have cut down to just two gym memberships, I don't use either really. Ugh, all this getting real makes me want a donut. Oh, that's the other thing I have to do, make sure there are good groceries here all the time.

Because when I moved and when I groceried and when I ate right, the only thing I called eating pants was a pair of size 8 jeans.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pre Mature Champagne-U-lation

I like to make up words. My favorites were "Stressful-itis" and "Overwhelmed-ness" as in, "I've come down with a horrible case of stressful-itis due to the overwhelmed-ness I'm feeling at work. I read on this girl's blog, 100 days in bed that, in order to recover, I must immediately get under the covers with two old fashioned donuts."

But my new favorite word is "Pre Mature Champagne-U-Lation." That's when your friends pop champagne for you and you celebrate some good news and then the good news goes away. See, it's like a play on pre mature ejaculation, but less disgusting and sad.

Anyway, my friends and I pre mature champagne-u-lated on a job I was told I got. "It's your job! You beat out all the candidates. You should drink mass quantities of quality champagne in order to celebrate!"

Ooo, and we did. Then this "job" has mysteriously not come to fruition and I have the embarassing task of every Wednesday night, when we have our Project Runway Party, of updating all the guests that ask, "Hey, what happened with that job of yours we were celebrating?"

I'm usually a CALM, COLLECTED GIRL, but I feel like if I am asked one more time about said, mysteriously disappearing job, I might just scream, "YOU GOT TO DRINK FORTY-FIVE DOLLAR CHAMPAGNE! ISN'T THAT ENOUGH???? MUST YOU KEEP BARRAGING ME WITH THESE QUESTIONS?????"

But quite frankly, I don't want to get kicked out of the Project Runway Party because it's like, the best thing I've got going for me. Plus, I imagine if I were to make such a scene, as the hostess was bouncing me and my pup out they door, she might just turn to me an say, "You owe me $45.00 for that champagne."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The High Price of Feeling Low

It's expensive to be depressed. You would think you would save a lot of money on going out, 'cause you never want to go anywhere or see anyone; groceries, 'cause a bag of chips from 7-11 will suffice for the day; hair cuts and colors, 'cause what's the point if you never go out; clothing, 'cause sweat pants will do; utilities, because laying in the dark and not showering are you're number 1 hobby.

But all that savings doesn't amount up to the high price of feeling low.

And I'm not talking about how relationships, in my case, were strained: with the boy I loved, the friends I have (you become a flake when you constantly cancel or never show up anywhere), you're productivity slows because you never have the energy to do anything and your ass gets fat because you simultaneously don't move and don't care what you eat.

I'm talking monetarily, the high price, the cash, the cabbage, the hundred dollar bills y'all. Money mistakes depressed people make because they have their heads buried under the covers. I know. I've been there.

This weekend, having seen Suze Orman on every book in the library and every TV show I seemed to turn on (PBS! Oprah! Larry King!), I took it as a sign that I really needed to deal with my finances.

There is money laying in a 401k that had never been invested. There is a broken phone from Sprint that had never been sent back so they changed me $179.00. There's two companies threatening collection, although I know I paid those bills (I swear I did!) although I have not wanted to deal with calling my bank for the cancelled checks. How about those receipts that if I don't send into my insurance, I won't be reimbursed for? How about that free plane ticket I found that had expired because it was not prpoperly filed away?

It's all haunting me, day and night but the more I think about it, the more I want to crawl under the cozy covers with my fluffy Chihuahua and escape the choking OVER-WHELM-ED-NESS of it all.

I'm trying to shift my thinking. All this money, it adds up to like, a free vacation. Would I give up a free vacation? Would I give up two months rent?

Come on, BE A GROWN UP!
But I don't want to be.
It's so cute you think you have a choice.

The problem with me is I am an ALL or NOTHING girl. I want to handle all of this in one day or NEVER AT ALL. I think the thing with us recovering depress-ties and those of you with serious cases of Over-whelm-ed-ness and Stress-ful-itis is we have to make up realistic goals. Small goals.

Could I do two things a day? If I did two things a day, eight things would be done by Friday. It would reinforce to me, that it's not so hard to do it that way. I have this cute pink folder with a Hawaiian flower on it. I'm going to call it my TWO A DAY FOLDER.

Every thing that needs to be done will be filed on the left and the two things I'm gonna do that day will filed be on the right.

And all the money I save, will go into a little vacation account I'm going to start. And that will be the first thing I'm gonna do.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Importance of Being Still

When I was a high falutin-tootin' regularly employed TV writer, I knew how to treat myself right. Twice a month I would go to this cute little Thai massage place and get rubbed down right.

(Even, if for a moment, you feel a flash of jealousy, please note, my current life of luxury allows me to treat myself to only one Starbucks drip coffee a week. It must be a Venti (Large) so that I can drink half and then run the other half through my coffee machine the next day to heat up. Yup, don't even have a microwave.)

Anyway, the gentleman who did the rubbing was the sweetest, most forgiving soul I ever met. I could go in there with three weeks of leg stubble and he would not care. When I found out he was a former Buddist monk, I realized why I saw such love and beauty radiate out of him.

When I went just a few weeks ago (Birthday gift certificate - thank you, A!), I found out that Nicomb would be leading a monthly one hour meditation and would I like to reserve a spot? WOULD I!!!

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I am sometimes so hyped up on anti-depressants and coffee that I am vibrating with this false kind of energy that, though it seems to propel me forward, often leaves me depleted. There seems to be no time to sit, reflect, think about WHAT I WANT. There seems to only be time to get things done (errands, phone calls, the blah-blah-blah of life).

I've gone from Mattress-ridden Bed Head Girl to over stressed, frazzled "Must get to the bank, grocery shop, rewrite this script, oooo-coffee, honk! get the f' outta my way" Mad Woman. (Although, I cannot tell a lie, there is still a lot of regressing into the warm and cozy of the queen size bed).

So I reserved my spot to meditate.

But I did not go.

I was too scared. Too scared to be alone in my head with my own thoughts.

When my cousin first passed away and I was desperately, desperately sad, I started popping Ambien as a way to sleep. I would go to acupuncture as a way to try and get off the Ambien and the good Doctor would poke me full of needles and shut off the lights and close the door.

And I would promptly burst into tears. I did not want to be alone. I was too scared.

This Tuesday all the girls got together and celebrated the end of the Writer's Strike. One friend who is starting a job March 1, talked about wanting to go on a retreat that would include all sorts of meditation and body treatments.

I was very argumentative about the idea. First of all the price was astronomical... 3x my rent for five nights. But let's put that aside. My objection is why do we need to do these drastic things (go to far away places and spend GOBS of money) to BE ALONE & MEDITATE & FIND OURSELVES when WE ARE RIGHT HERE!

Maybe my friend, like me, knows she won't do the meditation, the being alone with her thoughts, the finding oneself, UNLESS she is pummeled with the guilt of paying the GOBS of money she'll spend.

So even though I am against the idea (we have all suffered so financially and I hate to see her spend this money), I can understand the fear of doing THE SCARY WORK you need to do, on your own, to get in touch with yourself.

But ladies, let me tell you, WE CAN EAT, PRAY, LOVE in our own living room or bedroom or my favorite, the bathtub. (Ever had a glass of wine in a bubble bath? Ever eaten some fancy cheese & crackers in bed while reading a good self help book or journaling? Live, ladies live!!!!)

My point, my friend is going to have to do it her way and I'm going to have to do it my way. (I will FORCE myself to go to the next meditation, first SUNDAY of March). It's not that I don't have the money to do it her way (I mean, OF COURSE, I DON'T!!!!) it's that, I want to push myself to do it on my own terms, in ways I can keep reapplying to my life.

And while I respect the five days away she'll do to JUMP START her spiritual practice, I think the EAT, PRAY, LOVE phenomenon has done a bit of diservice to woman in making us think that unless we can run off to some far flung place, we will never find our own inner peace. So that's what I'm rebeling against.

How do you slow down and stay in touch with yourself? How do you become quiet and listen to the answers that are inside you? Is it easy? Is it hard? Is it something that scares you, too? Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Silent Treatment

Sunday was Day 7 of my mother not speaking to me. You can read how this all started in the eloquently titled: "Why My Mother Is Driving Me Bat S%#t Crazy."

I know exactly how this will play out because it will play out just how it has 1000 times before. She will have my Dad call (he did), then she will get on the phone (she did) and pretend to have a terrible migrane (It's awful! It hurts to blink!  I can't believe I'm even alive!) and then I will feel guilty for even thinking about wanting to have a conversation with her (I was) about why she hung up on me after I asked her to stop talking to me about my giant BIG BUTT (weight gain, but Big Butt is more colorful.) 

Over the years, we go round and round in these circles and what she doesn't understand is that, she is losing her daughter. I am exhausted, I am over it, I (sometimes) do not want to have a relationship with this person.

In therapy, I would say to the woman I was paying massive amounts of money to, that I wasn't sure what my mother could handle since her nervous breakdown. If I talked to her about how she made me feel, could I make her situation worse?

But now the bigger issue is, I'm sad that I may never have a relationship with her that resembles a mother/daughter relationship. It's because of the hot and then the cold. She loves me more than anything, she knows me better than anyone, I HAVE THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD! I need it on a coffee mug and t-shirt, pronto!

Then the cold comes in, she ignores me, she says things to me to get me to be angry with my sisters so I will only love her, she has such amazing insight on EVERYONE (ugly gossip) yet cannot look at herself.

I'm (getting) over it.

My little sister told me two months ago she was over it. She couldn't stand to be screamed at and then have my mother in a pile of tears when E stopped coming around so much just so she wouldn't have to put up with such things. It scared me. I could see our family fracturing and I just wanted E to, "Please, please, don't be so hard on her. Just let it go!"

But the more we let it go, the more we are letting go of ourselves. The more we ignore, the more we are playing the game my Mom wants us to play.

My therapist used to say that when someone experiences a horrible trauma (for my mother that could be the death of her own mother at 19), they sometimes never emotional grow past that age. I see that with her. But worse, I see that behavior in me.

If I am mad, I will just freeze people out. I stop talking to people. I can disconnect and be done very, very fast. I am up and I am out. Only, I don't want to be that way anymore. I don't want people to be afraid of me and my reactions, like I am of her.

I'm over it.

I don't know the answer concerning my mother. My shrink used to say to me I need to "mourn" the idea of not having a normal relationship with her. I couldn't do that.  I could not give up.  What kind of person gives up on their mother?

I am very torn. Either I serve her or I serve me. I give her up or I give myself up. I don't know, I just don't know.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My A-List Hair Rocks Harder Than Your A-List Hair

One of the things that assuages my almost daily nervous breakdown that this Writer's Strike is still going on, (oh, and by nervous breakdown, I mean, the desire to eat 14 RED VELVET CUPCAKES daily and not like, a real nervous breakdown, like when I'm telling stories about my Mom), anyway, one of the things that dulls the pain of THE APOCAPLYSE that is my life, is the kindness of businesses in L.A. that give striking writers discounts and free stuff so we can have a little SILVER LINING on this dark and stormy cloud.

My friend L, who DAILY combs the list of free or discounted stuff being offered to us, called me in a HOT PANIC that one of the most FAMOUS SALONS in Beverly Hills was offering free cuts and colors to striking writers and, "WE NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT NOW! NOW! WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING TO ME?! NOW!"

I have a secret fear of hair salons. I was trying to be all cool, like CONAN & LETTERMAN who had "STRIKE BEARDS," so I called the recent three and a half months neglect of my hair, "STRIKE ROOTS." Funny how six inches of dark brown roots just looks "homeless" instead of "ironic."

About five months ago I went to my salon which had been taken over by a new owner who had only cut and colored my hair once. I was ass deep in my DEPRESSION, WEARING SWEAT PANTS & SHIRTS as all matters of clothing and may or may have not been infrequently bathing.

The guy saw me, my strung out bed head hair and bed body AND HE REFUSED TO TOUCH MY HAIR. "I just can't... it's just... look at it... it's such a mess. Why even bother?" OF WHICH ALL I HEARD WAS: "Look at you, YOU'RE SUCH A MESS, WHY EVEN BOTHER?"

Of course, I prompted burst into tears and fled. (Okay, actually, I said the "F" word to him A LOT. I was really humiliated and I UNLEASHED THE FAT GIRL FURY.)

Even as I told the story to my friends and they sympathized and strategized to EGG HIS CAR, CRANK CALL HIS BUSINESS, JACK HIS REP UP ON THE INTERNET, BURN DOWN HIS SALON (my friends are NOT to be messed with), I couldn't help but think:


Yeah, maybe he should not have refused me service but, I really NEEDED A KICK IN THE ASS to see my TRUE sad-sack self and how I was presenting myself. It wasn't long after that, that I gave up sweatpants (thought THERE HAVE BEEN RELAPSES) and started taking better care of myself.

Which all comes back to how YESTERDAY, I was trying to OVERCOME MY INSANE FEAR of a FANCY-SCHMANCY hair salon that caters to the likes of Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. WHAT IF THEY THROW ME OUT? What if they make me feel as horrible as that other guy did?


But I bucked up. I went there and I surrendered. Even when the colorist took my CRAZY STRAW LIKE HAIR and twirled a lock of it and looked at me like, "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" I said, "Yeah, it's bad, I'm a hot mess and I need help. Whatever you want to do, you're the artist, do it." (SUBTEXT: "Please DO NOT REJECT ME. PUH-LEEEEEEEEEEEZE!"

And he did not. HE WENT TO WORK. He gave me a base color so I no longer had the CRAZY CONTRAST of dark BROWN hair with BLONE highlights (LIKE ANYONE WAS EVER BELIEVING THAT). Then he painted in some highlights that look SEXY FINE. And because he thought it was A SIN worse THAN ADULTREY to let me have SEXY FINE color with a SUPERCUTS cut, he sent me down to someone else to take care of that.

When I saw myself after that cut and blowdry, I ALMOST CRIED. My hair has NEVER looked so good and I almost didn't want to go to sleep last night because I wanted to STAY UP ALL NIGHT looking at it. At me.

I've always had this thing, like, I don't deserve things until I am perfect. Until I have a job or a boyfriend or the right weight. I AM REALLY TRYING TO CHANGE THAT MIND SET.

I don't want to be all "LESSON-Y" but I was thinking, "It's gonna stink in 3 months when I'm back to my old pre-Cinderella self." Then I thought, I am DOING SO MUCH to get out of this depression, why can't I make the same sacrifices for my hair? I can put money aside like I do for therapy. I'd rather give UP A LOT OF THINGS that I don't truly need to feel this FABULOUS & FIERCE.

Because I want to feel this good about myself ALL THE TIME and I don'r want to WAIT FOR IT ANYMORE. Julia & Cate & Sandy don't, so why should I?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why My Mother Is Making Me Bat S%#t Crazy

I'm so not one of those people that blames their parents for everything. Except for today and that is: My mother is making me bat shit crazy.

My mother worships every DIET ever created. Like having a prayer day for each of my sisters, there is probably one for The South Beach Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet and The Sugar Addicts Diet. My Mom was never under weight or over weight, in fact, she was always at the PERFECT weight. And we, my sisters and I knew why, because she had achieved the perfect cycle of pig out one day, starve the next.

Even on the day my mother was having her Nervous Breakdown, she had my aunt PINNED in the corner of our kitchen, extolling the VIRTUES of "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER." (IT TASTES LIKE THE REALLY THING! WITH HALF THE FAT! JUST SPRAY IT ON YOUR TONGUE, LIKE A DELICIOUS SNACK!)

So, there I am this past SUNDAY, doing my obligatory Sunday call and my mother asks about MY DIET. Now this is after I've already told her over Christmas break, I'm on WW, I've got a handle on this, the weight (THE BACK FAT, THE EXTRA ASS, THE CHUB RUB THIGHS) came on because I was so depressed (loss of writing job, cousin's murder, being dumped, HER NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, the stress of stealing expired Vicodins from my friends), BUT I SWEAR, I'm better now but in no uncertain terms (I think) I DO NOT WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS. (I wrote about this in the "Why Wafting Taco Bell Out Of My Car Is Essential to My Sanity" entry).

Now I'm in "Landmine City." Being a mommy pleaser, I just want her to be SO DARN PROUD of me so I say, "I've lost 7 pounds. I'm doing good." But by opening the door a crack, IN COMES THE AVALANCHE OF QUESTIONS and COMMENTS, "Are you staying for the meetings? Are you exercising? ARE YOU USING "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER?????"

Then she says, "You know, if you just EAT SMALLER PORTIONS, YOU'LL LOSE WEIGHT." REALLY??? WELL, NOW I'M SET FREE! BECAUSE I NEVER KNEW THAT! I wasn't even using a plate before, I just ate out of a giant wheel barrel. Was that too much?!?!!!!!

The rage had really boiled up. Why? Because if she listened to me the first time, that this weight was a direct result of my depression over my cousin's death, ETC., SHE WOULD KNOW I DON'T NEED ADVICE ABOUT PORTION CONTROL.

I needed time to get over how sad, angry, guilty, terrified, hopeless and depressed I was.

By her thinking I just need to limit my portions dismisses everything I have gone through these past two years. And I know why. BECAUSE SHE CAN'T GO THROUGH IT. Not her mother's death, all my father's illnesses or her nephew's murder. So she stores it up, eating and starving to stay in the CHAOS and having something ("I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER" lectures) to take her mind off the pain she is in.

But I don't want to be any part of it. It's how I learned to cope this long. But I don't want to be that way anymore.


She got mad, pitched a fit and even hung up on me as I was saying, "I love you." Because I do love her. But I don't want to talk about diets with her anymore. Because that's so NOT what this is about.

And I stand f'ing firmly in that resolve, although, I have to admit that when I saw the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray in my fridge, I felt so damn guilty.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Why I Did (Got Drunk) What I Did (& Emailed My Ex-Boyfriend)

Okay, I've given it some thought and I have some theories. My whole life has been chaos and that is WHERE I THRIVE and do my best.

That relationship was chaos, never knowing if he really loved me, never knowing where I stood, always waiting for the ground to come out from beneath me at any moment. But why it worked for me was because... his distance, un-emotion-ality, felt very familiar to me and therefore, made me feel safe. I never had to worry about what it would be like to really REVEAL MYSELF, really LET GO or really ASK FOR WHAT I NEEDED.

Because to ASK for any of that made ME TOO AFRAID. I didn't want to be VUNERABLE. I wanted it to stay in The Fun Zone, where no questions are asked and no one gets hurt. My whole life has been keeping that ball in the air, hoping it will never land.

My FEAR is, if someone would TRULY get to know me, RATHER than this FAKE HAPPY person I always put out there, they wouldn't like me very much. Even if I, in the past, have shown the real me, the second like I feel like THAT ME is going to be booed off stage, I quickly turn into something else, SOMETHING EVERYONE ELSE WILL LIKE.

So why did I email? I think one of the things I wrote about in "You Say You Want A Revolution" is about how one of my New Year's Resolutions is "to kiss more boys." But the more I thought about that, the more it made me feel about the STEP YOU NEED TO TAKE in order to KISS MORE BOYS.

The DATING step. My fear is I am not ready, I am not a whole person and that I will just ATTRACT JERKS like Old Bad Boyfriend. He will be moody and unemotional and I will have TO LOSE & FORGET MYSELF in order to keep that ball in the air.

So maybe in some sense, I thought, "Well, instead of doing that, why don't I email OBB." Soon emails lead to CALLING, calling leads to MEETING UP, meeting up leads to FLIRTING, flirting leads to KISSING and soon I CAN BE BACK IN THE CHAOS.

Safe and sound.

Because sometimes, we go back to things we say we HATE, because they make us feel SAFE and they relieve us from DOING THE HARDER WORK, the work on ourselves, that once done, WOULD NEVER ALLOW US TO GO BACK TO OLD BAD BOYFRIENDS and certainly, never let us repeat the VICIOUS CYCLE of just finding A New Bad Boyfriend.

The support here has been amazing. I have to say, all I have wanted to do was hit DELETE on the "DEPRESSION CONFESSION #2" entry and act like it never happened. I HATE HAVING A BLEMISH ON MY RECORD! I want to be perfect. I hate that I have been "Rah, rah, let's change!" and then (she makes fart noise).

But I know you guys get it. Especially Melly, who, as I was typing that entry, I wished a little chip would go off in her head and even if she was sleeping, WOULD BOLT AWAKE, and fly through the ether of COMPUTER LAND and land in my bedroom as I TYPED and take the computer and BANG IT OVER MY HEAD.

She is very smart. Here's what she said: "Whatever feeling or message you're trying to get out of these phone calls, seek it elsewhere. Proving something to yourself rarely relies on someone else's response.

Want to prove you're fierce? Convince yourself first. The confidence will shine through to others. Want to know that you're moving on? STOP CONTACTING THE EX."

Amen. Thank you. And just so you know, Melly, the notes TO NEVER DO IT AGAIN, yeah, they've gone up everywhere. Especially, on the corner of this computer.