We’re Not Allowed There Anymore

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Renee came to visit. This is the same Uncle Gary of WTF Family Photos, Pure Gold, and The Cabin fame.

If you don’t know already, he’s our family’s John Candy.

Even though time and that slippery son-of-a-bitch-health hasn’t always been too kind to him, he’s still the funny, snarky, wisecracker he’s always been.

He may still love to crack a joke, but he isn’t into shopping as much anymore.

Back in the day, he’d be right there with my mom, grandma, and aunt, digging through marked down Christmas bows and wrapping paper in the after-Christmas-sales. He’s the only man I’ve yet to know who truly enjoys shopping and finding good deals on a car-load of Christmas wrapping essentials.

On Black Friday, Aunt Renee wanted to hit up Junkee, which is a very popular thrift and antiques shop in Reno. It used to be the only place I’d *have* to shop at when I lived in Elko and came to Reno (Well, and Target. Lord Almighty, how’d I almost forget Target?)

However, after Junkee bought out all of the ugly Christmas sweaters from every local thrift store and marked them up an ungodly amount a few years ago, I stopped giving them as much business.

They completely took the fun out of looking for and finding some positively horrendous mauve and cream colored poinsettia Christmas sweater at a thrift store for $1.

Here, check out the Yelp review I wrote about my disdain:

So, I usually avoid the place, because I know it’ll just be a bunch of overpriced crap someone found on a dusty rack in another thrift store, but since Junkee is cool with the hipsters, that late 90s era coffeemaker is now worth $25.

ANYWAY.

I decided to push aside my bitter disdain, so I could join the Always A Party, But Also Kind of a Shit Show party train.

Uncle Gary’s socks. We aren’t afraid to admit it.

Also, the independent artists who sell their handmade wares are always worth a look-see.

Because, as I mentioned earlier, Uncle Gary is not much for shopping these days (which is good, because we might have been there three additional hours had he also been one of the look-at-positively-everything-and-then-talk-about-each-item-for-twenty-minutes shoppers), he planted himself in the seating at the front of the store.

After quite some time, as in hours, most of our group was done.

At the front of the store, there was an elaborate Christmas backdrop for pictures. On hand were ugly Christmas sweaters, funny hats, and wigs.

Surprisingly, Aunt Dana (and not yours truly) begged us all to take a picture.

My mom flat-out refused at first, saying she doesn’t like to pose and doesn’t know how to make silly faces (I have an entire album on my phone that completely proves her wrong on both fronts).

My uncle, bored to tears waiting for the shopping to be over, eagerly agreed for something to do.

I’m always game for anything Insta-worthy, so that just left Aunt Renee.

Aunt Renee was still standing in line with her 38 treasures she couldn’t pass up.

As she was paying, a store clerk helped us get into all of the outlandish gear. My mother was helped into a flamboyant green and red monstrosity. I was given a vest that I swear I saw hanging in my mother’s closet not too long ago. Aunt Dana was given a super sweet pair of hipster glasses. And, Uncle Gary got an Afro wig.

The sight of my aged uncle with his salt and pepper beard, Sasquatch Sighting shirt, and an Afro wig was just too much.

As I was peeing my pants in absolute donkey-impression-worthy laughter, my aunt informed the clerk that one member from our group was still paying. She explained that she was the one in the pink sweater.

When I finally came to, some random woman in a pink sweater was being forced-with-a-smile into a glittery reindeer number. The look on her face was pure confusion and unadulterated fear. She cooperated with the clerk, who was insisting she’d look, “Awesome!”, despite the fact that she was eyeing us like we had rabies.

When we started to get situated, Aunt Dana realized a stranger was being forced against her will into our impromptu family Christmas photo straight from Honey Boo Boo’s family picture album and said,

“Oh! Not her! We don’t know her. The other woman in the pink sweater!”

The woman, released from the Crazy Train, tore off like a bat out of hell.

When Aunt Renee was finally located and locked down with an ugly sweater, the photographing of our craziness commenced.

This was the outcome:

I made the same face in all 82 pictures.

With all of the ruckus we caused and the general shenanigans we created, I wouldn’t be surprised if they printed one of our pictures and they have it up in a staff room with the description: Just Say No.

Merry Christmastime from the Clampetts, ya’ll !

Pure Gold 

My mom is a great storyteller. Family stories have been passed down, retold countless times, and loved since I can remember. On Sunday, my mom told us a story I had never heard before, and how it’s even possible she never told us this doozy, I do not know. 

Because it’s pure gold. 

Back in the time of Mom Jeans, VHS, and Kenny Loggins cassette tapes, my mom and her brother had a battle of epic proportions. 

It was Christmastime, and my uncle was visiting, as he did every year. My cousin and I were young, and likely we were the reason the whole fam bam was at the park in the middle of December. 

For some insane reason, the topic of who was faster on foot between my mom and my uncle came up in conversation. My uncle swore he’d literally beat the pants off of my mom. 

Well, that pretty much sealed the deal. 

My mom and uncle readied themselves for a foot race that would easily rival that of Usain Bolt…if he were middle aged, out of shape, and if he considered tight Lee jeans appropriate running attire. 

Quite handy for the two marathon runners was that the particular park where we were had parallel bridges, not too far away from each other. My grandmother, humoring her two always-picked-last-for-sports-children said she’d call “ready or not”. 

I guess now is a good time to paint the scene.

My good ol’ Uncle Gary, or, My Own Personal John Candy was one of the best parts of my childhood. If my mom was a good storyteller, it’s only because she learned the craft from the king of all storytellers-her older brother. 


He was round, and, just like Santa, when he laughed, his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. (And he laughed a lot, because he always had a new, mildly inappropriate joke up his sleeve.)


In essence, he was pleasantly, perfectly plump (he wouldn’t have been Uncle Gary had he been any different). 

As for my mom, it was she who I inherited my overly curvaceous bod, cellulite, and body hair from, so…

I think the picture is fairly clear. 

They were 100% the kids who cheated on running the mile in PE class (or walked the entirety, coming in with a record time of 12 minutes). 

Basically, we had a pair of real marathon winners.

I don’t think my mom even took the race seriously. She probably figured she’d have to embarrass him by beating the pants off him in front of God and everybody, or that he had a cheat or a trick ready and waiting. 

This was why she was far more concerned with what he was doing at the starting line, instead of readying herself for moving more quickly than she had in years. 

She was staring him down, incredulity and an ounce of fear growing, as his Rocky-esque stance proved he was ready and actually serious. 

Suddenly, Grandma called, “Go!” and it was all just a blur of color block windbreaker and handlebar mustache. 

My mom was glued to her spot. Stunned. 

Pretty quickly, she couldn’t contain her laughter and broke down in hysterics. 

She said, “At the starting gate, I collapsed in laughter. I saw him there, this 300 pound man, with his 32 year-old shoes flapping, going like the wind.”

As my mom was dissolving into a puddle of tear-soaked Jordache, Grandma was yelling, “Go, Judy! Just go a little bit, Judy!” 

After listening to this story, it was only natural that I dared my brother to our own relay race. 

I was fairly certain I’d beat the crap out of him. I’d only been an aerial yogaist for five weeks straight, and all of my walks to 7-11 had to make me more capable of movement than him. 

The last time I was witness to him doing anything that resembled physical exertion was when we went on a family picnic five years ago, and I dragged him on a “hike” up to a lookout, barely half a mile away. It was not his favorite. 
I figured I’d finish and have time to bake a cake before he came across the finish line. 

As he confidently, unwaveringly got into his runner’s stance, I began to doubt myself as a shoe-in for first place. 

Maybe he runs during his time off? Had I somehow completely missed that aspect of his life? 

I said to my mom, “I think I’m kinda scared!” 

She replied, “Maybe you should be. Sometimes fat people surprise you and they run like the wind!”

Spoiler Alert: I lost miserably.

Not only did I lose, I came incredibly close to eating asphalt. 

You know when you are trying to go faster than your body can catch up and your head has literally a head start? Well, that was me the entire 20 or so feet we ran. 

Not only did he beat me by running a hell of a lot faster than me, he did so with bare feet. 

When my dad yelled, “Go!” (BTW, my dad was excited enough to watch this spectacle, that he actually paused the golf he was watching, and said, “Now, I gotta see this.” as he practically ran outside), I thought my body would be moving quicker than it did. It was like I was in slo-mo, shlepping through molasses. Before I could even start actually moving, he had propelled his body through the finish line with his Fred Flinstone feet. 

It wasn’t even a competition. 

The two expert sprinters

Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate people carrying around some extra weight, because they can move. With the exception of this fat chick. I can’t move quickly for anything. 
Also, family stories are better when you don’t try to reenact them. Don’t let history repeat itself, people!  

Hello, My Name is Fertie McCerpcerks

So, I was totally meaning to share my beautiful school picture with ya’ll months ago, but being a teacher, tutor, and have-to-do-everything-during-the-holidays-freak kind of distracted me. 

I’m excited for the holiday break coming up. Maybe I’ll find some inspiration to write some little ditties (is that how that’s spelled? It kind of looks like a dirty word to me…no?)

Anyway.

So, way back in the beginning of the school year, was one of my most favorite days ever. 

I mean, I get up early and actually do my hair for this momentous day. 

I pick out a special outfit that I hope will say, “I’m a teacher, but that doesn’t mean I’ve resigned myself to denim jumpers and solid white orthopedic shoes”. 

I make sure my eyebrows are on fleek. Or, at least, they’re laying in the right direction. 

I.get.up.early. Did I already mention that part?

Unless you’re a skimmer (and you missed that part) or you’re shit at comprehending what you read, I’m talking about picture day. 

So, I hate picture day. 

I am not the most photogenic of people, and there’s something just downright evil about school pictures. 

Maybe it’s the lighting. Maybe it’s the ridiculous glamour shot poses they make you sit in. Maybe it’s just that I look like a tool when I fake smile. 

Because my eyes always look like two, tiny, beady little assholes smashed into fat cheeks, I decided to wear my hipster glasses.

This was my ultimate downfall- I just didn’t know it when I was trying to make myself look half decent. 

After my super awesome “modeling” sesh this last spring, I learned some tricks of the trade. I fully planned on incorporating what I learned so that I didn’t get lost in my chins like every effing year. 

So, I started out with jutting my chin out like an utter idiot as my first trick. After that I firmly planted my tongue against the back of my teeth. 

Then, I waited for the already-over-it photographer to take my first ever decent school picture. 

He snapped once, checked out his work, and then shook his head, disapprovingly. 

“Your glasses are creating a huge glare. It’s going to feel weird, but I need you to put your head down, look up, and stick your chin out by straining your neck forward.”

I almost just said, “Actually I’ll just take the glare”, but I did what I was told like a good teacher.

Want to know what it looks like when you  are jutting your chin down, but out, as you look up, expectantly, all the while holding in a gnarly fart?

Well, this is what that looks like:


HOW YOU DOIN

I give up trying to take a decent school pic. 

My eyes still look beady and my forehead looks six inches tall.

I look like I’m 12 years old. 

I look like I have a naughty secret. 

I look like I’m holding in a fart (well, I guess I really was). 

I’m so excited that this will be included in the school’s teacher and faculty photo page for everyone at school to see. So excited.

Well, now the whole world (at least my followers) get to see it first. 

Today I got some mini stickers, so I can share my derp face with family and friends. 

Oy vey. 

Flashback Frightday

Yesterday, I shared some old pictures of when I went to Washington D.C. in the 8th grade with my students. Among the images of famous landmarks and monuments, were a couple pictures of me. I was not prepared for their responses to my awkward 13-year-old self. I mean, I knew I had some serious Mom jean action going on, but damn, kids can be brutally…honest. 

Some of their responses/reactions:

1. Open-mouthed shock 

2. “Why are your jeans so tight at the bottom, but baggy?”

3. Snickering 

4. Why is your hair so pouffy? 

5. Which one is you? 

6. “Your face isn’t red like that anymore. Good job, Ms. P.!”

7. Why are you matching? 

8. Whispering

9. “Why do your eyebrows look so different?”

10. “Are you missing teeth?”

Jerks. Wow. Payback will be in the form of zit-covered-too-big-for-their-face-teeth-adolescence. Don’t say you weren’t warned, little darlings. 

Is it really that bad? Yeah, yeah it is. Woof.

Food Naughty

 

Image courtesy of minimoi.com
 
Hello, Readers! My latest post is up on Shopper Lottie! If you so desire, check it out, and let me know what you think of it on Shopper Lottie! I can’t fully express enough how appreciative I feel and blessed I am for the people who take time out of their days to read what I have to say. It’s the best part of being a blogger-the awesome people you meet and the positive connections you make. Feeling very excited heading into 2016! 

8 Awkward Things That Happen When You’re Being Food Naughty 

Image courtesy of Buzzfeed
 

Frank 

It’s funny how the littlest thing can trigger vivid, and super random memories.  Obviously, this leads to the desire to write, because all writers must take advantage of inspiration wherever they can find it. We are resourceful like that. 

Socks. Socks are what made me remember a really ridiculous incident in my past, involving my first boyfriend’s dad, a pair of knee high socks, and Frank. 

We were sitting in a meeting, in a fellow teacher’s room, and I noticed she had old men’s socks on all the desks. What a super ingenious idea for white board erasers! I just hope they didn’t happen to be my dad’s old socks that found their way to the thrift stores. Now that he’s older, his feet have a certain funk about them. Subjecting children to his old socks would, quite possibly, be considered child abuse *shudders*.

I digress. Let me get back to my random story about socks, my ex’s dad, and Frank. 

So, before I can even get into the interesting part, I have to let you know that my brother would steal all of our dad’s socks, because taking from Dad’s neat and tidy drawer was a lot easier than searching through the abyss that was my brother’s disgusting pit of a room. 

Obviously, my dad grew very tired of never having socks to wear because his teenage son had decided that he’d help himself. So, my mom bought two big bags of socks, one for my dad and one for my brother. To eliminate the possibility of my brother stealing Dad’s socks, my mom wrote his name on them. All of them. In big, bold, capital letters. She got bored during the branding of my father’s socks, because she started writing random names, like, “Bob”, “Herb”, or…”Frank”. 

She thought she was a genius, and quite hilarious too. My brother wouldn’t be caught dead at school with named socks, so all was calm in the world of Hanes for awhile (I’m not sure how my dad felt about wearing socks that said, “Herbert” on them, but it had to be better than having none at all!)

But, what they didn’t know, was that there was another sock thief in the house. I loved my dad’s socks, because it was all the rage to wear long white socks up to your knees. God knows why this was considered fashionable. At one time mullets had their day in the sun, so weird things do occur in the world of fashion. 

The best part about this whole sock fiasco was that no one suspected me. No one. That was until I almost, single-handedly, caused the divorce of my boyfriend’s parents. Oops. 

I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend’s house. His parents had a surprise, later in life, in the form of a bright-eyed baby girl, named Emma*. I loved her so much. I loved to feed her. Dress her. Smell her sweet curls. She was like the baby sister I never got. I’m fairly certain I didn’t date Joe Blow** for him, but so I could see his sister. I’m totally not sorry.

Well, because I practically lived at his house, I would frequently leave items or articles of clothing at his house. No, I wasn’t some ho bag, his sister loved to spit up on me. We were basically teen parents. 

One afternoon, after hanging out in my boyfriend’s room, watching TV (really, we were), I decided to get some Pepsi. I bee bopped into the living room, and there was his big, scary dad sitting on the couch. I often did everything in my power to avoid this man. He looked almost exactly like Fred Flinstone, only he had the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his heyday. He was scary. 

As I passed him, with my head down, eyes averted, I happened to notice, from the corner of my eye, his socks. They were long, white, and almost went over his knees. They also said, “Frank”. 

OMFG. He was wearing my socks. I was in full-on panic mode. He obviously didn’t notice he was wearing socks that named another man. Well, not yet. 

As I passed him again, to get back to the room, I did everything in my power to not look at the socks. But, like a trainwreck, I couldn’t not look. I was gawking, staring, mouth gaped, as I walked by. He took notice of me, looked at me like I was mentally challenged, and then turned back to the TV. 

Once safely back in the bedroom, my heart was pounding, but something was rising from deep inside. The sight of that bull-moose-of-a-man wearing my dad’s socks, named, “Frank” was too much. Also, my immature sense of humor starting getting the best of me. He doesn’t know. He’s sitting there, like a tool, with “Frank” on his foot. What a noob. 

I lost it. I could not stop laughing. Obviously, he heard me, and put together my gawking, like 2 + 2, and all I hear is, “Wilma!!!!!!” 

How does one explain to an incredibly irate man how his socks came to have another man’s name on them? Obviously, I had to jump in and explain the whole ridiculous story. I think, after that, he considered me mentally deranged, and that’s why he never uttered another syllable to me, unless forced. 

At least he wasn’t into wearing women’s underwear. It could always be worse. That would have been so much worse. 

*Not really her name 

**Obviously, not his name 

  
15 year-old glamour model. These are the actual socks from the story. Well, maybe they are. They could be, and that’s what makes this picture so amazing. That, and my eyebrows on fleek #didntowntweezers

Save It 

Oversharing. Just don’t do it. Unless you’re my close friend, I don’t need to know that your smoothie gave you the runs all day. I don’t want to try to fake concern while you are cleaning my teeth. With your hands. Gloves or not, I don’t care to be reminded that my dental hygienist was recently wiping their butt. Especially when it involved diarrhea. Just no. NO. 

I was just at the grocery store and the cashier was going through the whole rigamarole of small talk: “How’s your week going? Anything fun planned for this weekend? What are ya eating for dinner tonight? You gonna eat these Spaghettios?” Just say ‘hello’, alright? I hate awkward small talk. 

I swear this chick only wanted to ask me how my day was so that she could unload on me. When I asked her how her day was, she said, “I started dry heaving last night”. 

Full fucking stop. 

Excuse me? 

I wanted to just bail, to leave my Spaghettios and moscato and block of cheese right fucking there. 

Do not touch things that will be going in or around my mouth while telling me about you dry heaving. DO NOT. 

Why? Just why? 

I think she continued barfing up her whole horrible story about how long she puked and what color it was, but I just tuned it out, hoping the ground would swallow me whole. 

Newsflash for anyone not aware: NO ONE wants to hear details about your puking. Not no one. 

Now, when it comes to my close friends, it’s different. Much, much different. I don’t care if you tell me about how your quinoa hasn’t digested and it keeps making reappearances, or how when you farted in your car, yesterday, you had to pull over and evacuate. No. I love these stories. It’s incredibly amusing to laugh at my friend’s misfortunes. 

It’s just different. 

I also hate when cashiers, or just crazy people, sitting by you in the DMV, confuse you for their therapist. I have enough stress and drama in my own life, I don’t need to know how Bubba screwed your cousin Tammy Lynn at your wedding reception at Dave & Buster’s. What are normal-leave-me-alone people supposed to say to that? When I have to respond, I usually deer-in-headlights- sputter, “Oh, my phone is ringing” and then run for the hills. 

People, randoms don’t care as much as you delusionally think they do, hate to break it to you. If your response to, “How are you?” involves a story about bowel movements and/or incest, save it, mmkay? 

Awkward Moment #3

That awkward moment when you come face to face with your fat foe at the hair salon. Your hair stylist can’t put the cape on quick enough. 

I know I have extra fat in the way my pants groan when I squeeze them on, and when I’m asked how far along I am by complete strangers. I get it. I know. 

The absolute worst reminder you’re fat is when in the seated position in front of a mirror. Maybe I’m out of practice with sitting in front of mirrors, but it’s always a huge surprise when I sit in the hot seat at the salon. I guess I forget the extent at which I’m fat. My thought process, when faced with this fabulous reminder, usually goes something like this: 

Before leaving for the salon:

I need to wear something that sucks all of my fat in, but is also flowy. Something that doesn’t cling to every crevice and stretch mark. It also has to be something I don’t care too much about, in case I get dye on it. Do I have something like that? No, of course I don’t, you fool. If I did, all of my fat problems would be solved. 

I guess it’s the leggings I yank up to my boobs, a layering tank, and a moo moo. It’s stylish, it has chevron print *sigh*

At the salon, upon sitting in the hot seat: 

Just don’t look, the cape is coming soon. Just don’t look. 

Jesus. 

I looked. 

How is it possible my body spreads out like Jabba the Hutt upon sitting? Where is all of this fat when I’m standing? It must go where my boobs jet off to when I lay on my back. Backstabbing, bitch body. 

Where is the damn cape that hides all of this? Where is the cape? Where is it? The cape! Gah. I can’t avert my eyes anymore. Put.On.The.Cape. 

Oh, here it comes. It’s like a long-lost Blanket of Denial. It feels good. It feels right.

The entire time my hair is getting done, I forget what is under the cape.

 I look fabulous in a capeI wonder if I could start a new fashion trend. Fellow fat ladies would love me. I could call it “The Cape of Denial”. It would be very forward and en vogue. 

When my hair is done: 

My hair says, “I’m sexy. I’m unstoppable. I’m fucking fierce”. My body says, “I like long walks to the refrigerator and I’ve given up”. My hair is gorg. At least I have my hair.

That’s usually how I self-soothe, the “At least” thought pattern. At least I can still see my vagina. At least I have pretty eyes. At least I usually know how to dress my fat. At least.

The struggle. 

Awkward Moment #1

  
That awkward moment you are attempting to sit on a stool at the cupcake shop, you shouldn’t be at, and the bastard feels very, very untrustworthy. After coming too close to breaking a chair made out of metal, at a cupcakery, it’s only necessary to swear your friends to utter secrecy. You take it one step further by threatening bodily harm if your secret gets out. You didn’t break the chair, but in the “fat world” almost breaking it is just as damn bad. 

The next realization you have is that if you didn’t feel it necessary to suggest cupcakes right after eating an entire meal (as if that wasn’t satisfying enough), you wouldn’t be in the predicament of almost breaking a chair while biting into a massive cupcake adorned with marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate sauce. No one suggesting hikes after lunch break chairs. 

Then, you wonder when it will be that the awkward moments become too frequent and you actually make a change. How many chairs at specialty bakeries does your ass have to dismantle until one is done with the bad choices? 

Awkward Moment #2 happens when you realize, probably never. Because cupcakes. 

  
Shut up, Ryan Gosling, you don’t know me!