Wednesday, September 26, 2012

naked in public? of course not! except for that one time...

i had a friend many years ago named Kate. we spent a lot of time together my senior year of high school and for a couple years after that. then i got married, moved away and Kate and i mostly lost touch.

i decided i wanted to get my group of friends together for a little reunion after about 12 years apart and as a chance for us to meet each others' husbands and wives. invitations were sent out, rsvp's arrived and as it turned out, only two of my girlfriends who were invited were able to make it and neither brought a spouse.

that was fine and i was secretly glad because they were the two i was closest to and sometimes less is more when it comes to having a good time of remembering the good ole days.

during the evening of chatting, Kate mentioned that her husband wasn't there because she didn't want him to meet me. i was temporarily speechless. my feelings were kind of hurt. i think i did the head tip and brow furrow as i tried to process what she'd said and figure out what she meant. she elaborated. "every bad thing i ever did, i did with you. i don't want him to know that part of me."

it was interesting how the memories i had of our time together didn't fall into the "bad things" category. i've got another friend who shared most of those times with me, but she still loves me and doesn't mind a bit if her husband knows me and we laugh over those stupid memories.

since that night, (i chose to disregard that comment and still have fun with my girls) i've thought about it a lot. i've trolled through my stash of brain files. am i remembering things wrong? i don't think so. we hung out before i started drinking and she never had a drink in her life. we didn't smoke or fool around with boys or any of the things i usually associate with being bad.

then i remembered the night. i'm pretty sure there was only one that might land in both of our "bad things" mental files.

we went to visit a friend at their apartment. it was summer and we were about twenty. we were silly and lively and always looking for something fun to do. our friend had to leave, but we decided to use their apartment's community pool without the friend. unfortunately, we didn't have bathing suits. so we went into the pool fully clothed and had a grand old time hopping back and forth between the pool and hot tub. it was late, no one else was there and we giggled up a storm while splashing around merrily.

we sloshed back to my car and then stood there in the parking lot debating what to do next. we dripped rivers onto the pavement because we didn't even have a towel, wash cloth, or tissue to blot ourselves with. after some discussion, we decided that the best course of action would be to strip off our clothes, throw them on the floor in the backseat and drive home naked.

yes, completely naked.

it was around midnight and we had a fifteen drive back to my house. the house where i lived as a nanny and had a nice place to park in the garage. we screamed and laughed like it was the funniest thing we'd ever done in our lives. i drove really fast whenever i passed anyone, but not so fast as to attract potential police attention. if we'd been stopped, there was no way we'd have even been able to scramble into our clothing because it was in a twisted, soaking heap on the floor behind me.

we arrived home, incident free and filled with the adrenaline rush that comes from doing something outrageous and getting away with it. we snuck up to my bedroom, clutching our dripping clothes and found some comfy jammies to curl up in as we laughed over our nudie dash through town.

looking back now, i guess i can see how she might not want her husband to hear such tales. she's a pretty prim and proper kind of person and her husband probably likes that about her. it might spoil his image of his wife if he knew about the night she drove through town, bare as the day she was born.

Friday, September 14, 2012

the oddities delight me

i love taking pictures. i'd never dare to call myself a photographer, but i like to keep my camera handy in order to catch as many interesting or funny moments as possible. i've been collecting some for a few months now that i haven't posted until today. there are no dead animals in this set. you're welcome.
 this made me laugh every time i saw the box of dog treats.

one of these things is not like the other...

the sign in the window says, "volume discount." i think the pimps bring all their girls in to get them spruced up.

mmm... pizza...

sign in a bookstore.

Bubba the bear is so hungry!

she wants to participate in everything i do and then bite me if my feet touch her. she was messing up my form.

this is our pet window spider. we named him spike and we love to watch him eat bees.

somebody likes noodles.

is she an angel? she's got a halo.

holy guacamole- look at those nails on the chick in the bright yellow!

not funny or interesting, but since i eat some variation of this every day and it's always so pretty and colorful, i thought i'd take a picture.


i think this belongs to a drag queen.

Brooke was very amused by the shirts in this store.

probably worn by the guy driving the eyelash car.

yeah, what the shirt says.

this would be a funny gift for an obnoxious guy.

there are so many funny lines in this sign that's beside the fountain at our local park. my favorite rule is the one about diarrhea.

Tony Horton - superman or banana?

so much tired and back achiness. must relieve with ball.

Friday, September 7, 2012

hooty munchables

as most of you know, i've been dieting for the past 8 months. i've lost 65 lbs so far and i'm down 5 pants sizes. these are good things and i'm very proud of how hard i've worked to make the shrinkage happen.

however, there are some very non-glamorous aspects of weight loss that i hadn't anticipated when i got started.

first of all, people talk about my body all the time now. whether it's family members, friends, or people i barely even know, they all seem to feel free to discuss the size of my bits. generally it's flattering and nice things are said, but sometimes it ruins my mental image of myself pre-diet where i thought i carried my weight well and still looked presentable.

people haven't talked about my body this much since i was twenty-one and working in night clubs on the weekends. back then it was mostly comments like, "girl, yo booty's so fine i wanna bounce up outta here and git witchoo in my truck outside." or, "oh my gah, your knockers are so huge! are they real? can i touch them? i've been thinking about getting mine done, but my fiance thinks i'll leave him for another guy if he buys boobs for me." (this last one most often happened in the bathroom at a club whilst reapplying lipstick and straightening out our cleavage after doing 8 shots of goldschlager off the ice block.

one of the things i've discovered at this stage of the weight loss game is that my skin is not bouncing back. it's getting a little bit of a crepe papery consistency in certain places. think streamers for skin along certain body parts. i cut myself while shaving all the time now. what once was all padded, rounded tree trunks is now angular, knobby knees just asking to be sliced and diced as i drag that razor around my legs.

my poor butt has shrunk to the point that it's almost flat. there's some nice gluteus maximus action happening in there, but the curves are gone. as a result, the skin doesn't fit properly anymore, causing there to be folds at times when i sit. i can't sit comfortably in a hard chair for any length of time and i've resorted to sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair when i'm at my computer. the worst part is when a chunk of my formerly round butt folds over on itself as i'm sitting my down onto something, causing me to gasp, wince and reach down to adjust things, just like an old dude who's accidentally sat on a testicle. very unglamorous.

my plump, lush breasticles are shriveling up at an alarming rate. when i take off my bra to release my after dinner boobs, there's a drop of several inches and then a sway that keeps going like ripples on the water. most of my bras are baggy now and sometimes, when i look down my shirt to admire what was once a luscious garden of ladydom, i see instead wrinkly meat bags hanging in my shirt, looking very sad and used up.

in the past when i lost weight, i managed to keep the hoots looking fresh and roundish, though slightly long in the tooth due to the great weight they maintained. i got thin, but still had two nice, full D cups perched upon my chest. in hindsight, i had nothing to do with that, it was just a lovely side effect of being busty and youthful.

apparently, 37 no longer qualifies as youthful and at the rate i'm going, i won't qualify as busty anymore by the time christmas rolls around.

too often now i discover what i've termed "yoga boob" on my chest. it's when you're wearing a sports bra and doing something active, like leaning forward and reaching out your arms. when you next stand upright, the girls are up, out the top of your bra, but not in a pretty boobie sort of way, but there they are, folded, twisted and stuck, looking defective.

i'm afraid i might find myself wadding up rags or clumps of dismantled stuffed animal fluff to fill out the gaping space in my non-sporty bras. at this point, i could fit a ham and cheese sandwich into each cup, so maybe i could utilize that possibility and make my bras into mobile snack storage units. maybe some sliced apples on one side and some low-fat yogurt in a ziploc baggy in the other.

we'll be at walmart for an overdue shopping trip and brooke will complain that she's hungry. i've stopped carrying my massive suitcase sized purses lately in favor of my cute little hand bags, so i no longer have a lunch box quantity of food and beverages hanging from my arm.

instead, i'll have the food hanging on my chest. i'll bring out a couple slices of cheese, warm and slightly melty, but probably still edible. i'll dig a bit deeper into the neckline of my shirt and find that roll of smarties that somehow found its way under my left lady lump. most of the candy is still in the wrapper and the ones that got away just look like extra nipples now.

on the right side i'll find some crackers that are partially intact and a couple pieces of pepperoni stuck together and oozing grease.

i'll plunk the mess onto a linty tissue i find in my dinky purse and hand this gourmet meal to my starving child. "there ya go. munchables, straight from my heart."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the pink nightie

sometimes it's said of a kid that "they're in a hurry to grow up." i think i was kind of like that, except i wanted to skip the journey and zing straight to adulthood. i wanted to zoom from 7 to 20 in no time flat. i longed to hang out with the adults and listen to the things they said. i wanted to hear the gossip and absorb all the information that i thought i was old enough to understand.

when i was about twelve, i started being allowed to shop around the mall with a trustworthy friend while one of our parents wandered around the mall apart from us. i thought that was about the coolest thing ever. i had a little bit of money because i always babysat, pet sat, raked yards, cleaned the house, washed the car. anything to get some moolah into my pink, pleather wallet.

i liked to buy my own clothes when i was with my friends because then i didn't have to listen to my parents' opinions about them. of course i thought i was a mature woman with my own income, so surely i was old enough to pick out my own attire. however, my parents, being conservative, had other ideas. they didn't mind if i bought my own stuff, but they didn't hesitate to shuttle me right back to the mall to return my purchases if they didn't fall in line with the standards that had been set for me.

it didn't take me long to learn how to get things that were acceptable to both my parents and myself so as to avoid the embarrassment of having to return things. it was awful to be asked by the associate doing the return, "reason you're returning this today?" and having to answer with my eyes averted, "my dad said it looked slutty."

there was one time though, where i decided that i didn't care what they thought. i was going to buy any old thing i pleased that was within my budget. i loved silky, lacy things, and underwear in particular. i was browsing through a department store's lingerie department. i meandered out of the bras and through the girdle region. before i knew it, i found myself in the land of sexy teddies. the things surrounding me were so beautiful and elegant. they were pleasing to the eyes and the fingertips and i longed to own one of my very own. i wanted to put it on and wear it under my clothes. i wasn't entirely sure what the intended purpose of such clothing items was, but i knew i had to have one.

i couldn't afford most of the lacy pretties, but i found a sale rack with some lovely little things. there was one pale pink, fake silk number with a scalloped lace neckline and skinny little straps. i held it there in the j.c. penny's and debated with myself. what would i ever do with this? did i really want to spend all the money i had allotted for clothes on something that i could never show to anyone? i put it back and started to walk away, but it called out to me in a gentle, whispery voice. it promised that i'd feel beautiful when i wore it. it assured me that no child had ever owned an item of such elegance.

i hesitated for only a moment longer before i snatched it up, hugged it to myself and rushed to the counter to pay. an elderly saleswoman waited at the desk to ring up the next customer. i tried to control the trembling in my hands as i set it down. she raised an eyebrow in clear disapproval. her look plainly stated that in her book, i wasn't even old enough to wear makeup, let alone buy a sexy nightie that would no doubt be put to shameful and unladylike uses.

in response to her disdain, i determined to be as womanly as possible. i puffed out my chest to show off my new breasts. i raised an eyebrow of my own and looked her right in the eye, just daring her to question my morals or maturity. i knew of no laws forbidding twelve year olds to purchase underwear and i was ready to state that for all to hear if she dared to so much as cluck her tongue in criticism.

when the transaction was complete, i walked sedately away, shoulders back, head held high, not letting on that my heart was pounding in terror and excitement. my friend was giggling and elbowing me in the ribs, but i held onto my mature facade until we were out of sight of the store.

we immediately raced into a bathroom where i threw away the bag and receipt and stuffed the beautiful silk treasure into the bottom of my purse. i couldn't risk getting spotted by my parent while carrying a bag that i wasn't willing to explain.

when i got home with my negligee, i held it up and twirled around in front of my mirror. i imagined wearing it to sleep or to church under my conservative dress. but somehow, i could never get up the nerve to put it on. i held it and petted it, i even ripped off the tags, but after each time that i admired it, i tucked it away in the bottom of my toy box full of stuffed animals to prevent it from being discovered.

after a few months of keeping the nightie in hiding, my guilt was becoming unbearable. i had figured out the reason that women bought such things and i knew i wasn't ready for sex. it no longer pleased me to look at it and now i sort of understood that the snap-crotch wasn't there to make going to the bathroom easier. i couldn't even think of it without feeling a twist in my gut, knowing that i shouldn't own it. i thought about throwing it away, but couldn't bear the idea of letting something so pretty go in the garbage. i had no friends who were old enough or slutty enough to be wearing such a thing for a boy or man, so i couldn't give it to any of them.

that left me with only one option that i could think of. i had to give it to my mom. i knew that if she'd caught me with it, she would immediately think that i was trashier than i was. at that point, i hadn't even kissed a boy, so i didn't want her to think that i was that kind of girl.

mother's day was approaching, so i decided to give it to my mom as a gift. i would act like it was a recent purchase and always intended for her.

i called her into my room that afternoon and handed her a plastic bag containing the slinky garment. i told her that i didn't give it to her in front of the rest of the family because i didn't want to embarrass her. i tried to play it cool. woman to woman. as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a child to give her mother a piece of sexy lingerie for mother's day.

she looked at the nightie. she looked at me. she narrowed her eyes, but i maintained what i perceived to be my air of mature innocence.

i suspect it was badly wrinkled from being crammed into my toy box for months and maybe even a little dirty or frayed from being petted by my childish fingers so many times.

i told this story to my mom the other day, hoping to hear her end of it. she didn't really remember at first, but then she ran up to her room and dug around in the bottom drawer of her dresser. she pulled an old plastic bag out and slipped the very negligee in question out of the bag and into my hand.

my eyes widened. i couldn't believe it still existed. i petted the cheap silk for a moment and then dropped it like i'd been shocked. i looked at her with a horrified expression and asked if she'd ever worn it for its intended purpose. she laughed and assured me that it had never been worn and she gave it back to me.

that night, i took it home. i told my husband of 14 years the story and pulled the little nightie out of my purse...

let's just say that even after 25 years, this little number is still hot. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

super aspie

i've been thinking about this aspergers thing again. actually, i've been thinking about it for the past 6 years, but as brooke gets older, my perspective changes.

i've been trying to decide if i consider her to be "special needs." i've never had a real need to qualify her in that kind of way because she's never been in day care or school. nothing more organized than sunday school or gymnastics class for the most part.

to me, she seems completely "normal" and functional much of the time. when we're home, which we are the vast majority of the time, she's happy and content and generally busy doing things by herself during her free time. we've developed routines to help her deal with the things in life that she hates or doesn't understand and we don't see many freakouts anymore.

when we went on the cruise a couple weeks ago, i was filling out registration forms ahead of time for the carnival camp. it was to allow brooke to do activities on the ship with some other kids and to give chris and i the chance to do something without her. there was a separate form to fill out if your child is "special needs." i hesitated and then didn't fill it out. she'd done so well at camp in ny the previous month that i thought maybe we wouldn't need to tell anyone on the ship that there's anything different about her. i thought maybe she could just be treated like every other kid and be fine rather than being treated with special concern or condescension.

i was wrong. i ended up having to fill out the form after all once an incident in the child care room popped up, resulting in her screaming and crying and insisting that she was never stepping foot back in that stupid place again. a couple days later she was reluctantly willing to try again in order to see a kids only magic show. as she walked sullenly away from me at the entrance, i quietly spoke to the woman in charge of check-in and said, "brooke is.... slightly autistic... and..." but before i could go any further, she said, "the whole staff is aware of brooke and we know ALL about her and her needs."

i swallowed the giant lump in my throat and all the words that wanted to spew out. i resisted the urge to slap her or thank her or snatch brooke right back out of that room. i clenched my teeth and i walked away. i sat on a bench a few feet away where i could see brooke through the window for the whole hour she was in there because she wasn't even willing to go in unless i promised to stay right in that spot. while i sat there, i held back tears. thinking or saying the word "autism" in reference to her makes my heart ache and my eyes leak. i rebel against it.

i want so much for her to like life. i want her to have all the chances to experience everything good and fun. i want her to be treated like all the other kids, but when she is, the result is all too often a fiasco. i want her to feel like she fits in.

but much of the time, she doesn't.

recently i've had some conversations with family members about her having aspergers. i think it's hard to understand. i don't for a moment feel like brooke is broken or defective or disabled. i don't feel like she needs to be "cured" if such a thing was even possible. she is just wired differently in a world where most people are wired more similarly.

i've been trying to think of a way to describe it to someone who hasn't done the research and doesn't want the long answer. i haven't found anything i'm fully satisfied with, but the best thing i can compare it to is being left handed. in a world dominated by righties, there are challenges for those rare lefties. they aren't sick or defective or in need of correction, but they need special scissors and they hold their papers differently. sometimes they'll bang elbows with their rightie neighbors, but if a little bit of care and planning is taken, the differences can be comfortably accommodated without a lot of undo attention.

that's what i try to do in brooke's life. i try to do that bit of planning and accommodating in advance so that things can flow smoothly. i'm trying to teach her how to explain herself and her differences to people in a clear and concise way so that they can understand her unique needs and still respect her as a whole, interesting, articulate little human. i'm also teaching her that just because someone is older than her, it doesn't mean they're right. i think it's really important for her to believe in herself and her own knowledge and opinions because there are so many ignorant, judgmental, rude people, adults included, in the world. she needs to trust that she's okay even if someone tells her she's not.

it seems to be working so far. she considers aspergers to be her own personal superpower. she embraces her differences and feels sorry for those of us who don't see the world from her fabulously interesting perspective. i hope she'll always feel that way about herself, no matter what she encounters in her life.