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!  

Flashback Friday: Sudden Summer Shame

Happy Flashback Friday! 

I just realized that some of my newer readers might not know that I used to write for the U.K.-based online magazine, Shopper Lottie. It got to be a little much on top of working and coming up with content for my blog, because the Shopper Lottie content had to be original and not previously published. I guess I’m really not the writing machine that I would like to be. Still, it was a really awesome experience, and I still adore the magazine creator, Charlotte. 

Since it’s almost summer break, I thought I’d share a post I wrote for Shopper Lottie about that fun realization when you’re super not summer body ready. 

Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Six Summer Fashion Tips For When You “Forgot” to Get That Summer Bod

WTF Wednesdays #16

I have at least three posts sitting in my drafts folder just waiting to be finished. My excuse for not having a polished piece this week is that I’m a teacher and it’s the last week of school.

I’m just feeling lucky that my brain hasn’t melted.

Yesterday was spent out in the sun all day for Field Day. I could barely even.

I silently mouth or say outright, “WTF?!” at least 20 times a day in response to a wide assortment of inconveniences, ridiculous happenstances, strange personal choices, and annoyances. 

It’s basically my go-to response, because I’m a lady like that. 

So, for this week’s installment of #WTFW, I am sharing some WTFs with you. Ready or not, here they come! 

1. How is it that one minute I’m watching a video on how to make strawberry cheesecake macarons, and then, somehow, it’s three hours later and I’m in deep, searching through a rando’s Facebook pictures of their dog? Or, why is it I spend an ungodly amount of time scrolling the comment section of a video on how to fold a shirt? Why do I waste my time like this? I think I need therapy. 

2. When, after walking precisely 20 miles round trip to the work room, staff lounge, admin’s office, back to the work room for the tape I forgot, and back to my classroom, I realize my Fitbit is still charging on my computer. None of those steps counted. Might as well just go home and go to bed. The day is a wash. FML.

3. When one second I am peacefully, albeit horribly, singing to my latest favorite tune in the car, and the next, I am screaming obscenities, that would make a sailor blush, at the idiot who is driving 30 miles an hour on the FUCKING FREEWAY. 

Check out this video on YouTube:

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This is 1,000% me. 

4. Sometimes I start my makeup on the opposite side of my face that I always start with, and I wonder if I’ve somehow entered a parallel universe. Or, I worry I’m losing my mind, because what kind of routine-driven person does that kind of thing?

5. Sometimes (always) I ask my boyfriend really ridiculous, inane questions that, most likely, make him question his undying love for me and are, 100%, why he has more gray hairs and some new wrinkles. I’ve personally aged the poor man. Some examples would be:
“Did you wash your hands?”

“Do you think it’s safe to eat this salami I left in my bag all day?”

“Did you lock the doors (for the 8,563rd time)?”

“Can you smell my breath from over there?”

“Do you think anyone at Panda Express will notice I’m not wearing a bra?”

“What do you think it means when someone’s pee is green? Asking for a friend.”

And, his absolute favorite: “Can you hold my purse while I use the restroom?”

 I don’t know why I’m crazy, I just am.  

6. When I buy my Friday Treat Donut at Starbucks (for $2, might I add) and there are freaking free donuts in the staff lounge. Fatty don’t play. WTF! 


7. This:


So, tell me: What makes you go “WTF”? I need some humor to get me through this last week, people! 

Flashback Friday: Catharsis

Elko 2

I wanted to share a piece I wrote about Elko for this week’s #fbf. I wanted to include this in my BuzzFeed application, but it wasn’t enough words. Also, it’s the first piece my mom asked about when I told her I had to send in some of my writing. 

Any time the seasons change, I think of Elko. So, I’ve been thinking of it a lot lately. 

It can’t be explained by one key event or moment. It was a series of moments, feelings, awakenings. It was carried by the electrically charged breeze during a thunderstorm. It was kicked up and then settled, into the cracks and crannies of my brain, like the dirt from the road. It came to me, pungent, in through the window, smelling of wet sagebrush and desert. It was changing oak leaves in the fall. The smell of coffee and wet pavement. It was the green hills in the spring. The thick, silent snowflakes in the winter. It was stillness. Jack rabbits. The moon and the stars. It was fresh, plump grapes. Fried chicken and biscuits. It was peace. Sleep. Renewal. It was faraway, twinkling lights, signaling home. It was something, somewhere, everything, always. It was Elko.

Flashback Friday: Be Cool, Alright?

I’m re-blogging this post for #fbf, because I almost wrecked my diet the other day with Boston Market Cinnamon Apples and mashed potatoes. Like, it was so.close. Too close. As in, I circled the whole of Boston Market five times, drooling, staring, frothing at the mouth. I can never be seen there again. So, I’ll just live vicariously through my past foodscapades. Is it bad that this post doesn’t make me feel shameful, but hungry for macaroni and cheese, and nostalgic for my bacon grease sweats? 

Dear Boston Market Yeller, 

My boyfriend and I visited your establishment this past Saturday, around 6:00 PM. You greeted us by yelling, “Welcome to Boston Market. What can I help you with?” from behind the counter, at least 15 feet away, before we were even in the door. While the gesture was, thoughtful, semi-courteous, it was a little overwhelming, as every single individual in the restaurant turned to watch us come in. I’m sure realizing it wasn’t the Queen of England entering, but a couple in their fat pants, was quite disappointing. Had I known I would have been welcomed so warmly, I would have worn a more supportive bra and my fancy sweats, the ones without paint and bacon grease stains. 

I want to say I appreciate your tenacity, but it just came off as abrasive. My boyfriend and I ordered the meal for 3, and we really didn’t appreciate your need to repeat this fact no less than 10 times to your coworkers and what appeared to be the lady behind us. Yes, we were two people ordering the meal designed for three people. We had on elastic pants, was that not evidence enough that we were planning on eating heartily? Also, I would like to point out that it was highly probable that we had an adult or two waiting at home. We could have been being thrifty and mindful of our diets. This could have easily been the case. It wasn’t, but it could have been. 

Furthermore, we were taken aback by your method of checking customers out. Instead of doing it yourself, you yelled our order, repeatedly, across the entire kitchen to the young man, who must have been hard of hearing, because Sparks heard what we had for dinner, while he didn’t. After the 3rd time this young man had to ask you to repeat yourself, perhaps it was time to just take over. I’m so glad that our choices, the most fattening sides possible, were repeated for all to hear. Just for future reference, when two people come in, in oversized sweatshirts and they don’t take off their sunglasses, they would like their poor life choices kept between you and them, not shared with the entire restaurant. 

I am only writing this letter to you because you have potential. The passion you have for your product is evident, but I would suggest you work on your voice level and tact. You have zero tact. None. I would like to assume that most people visiting a Boston Market have serious plans of wrecking their diets. These people are already low, don’t assist them with their impending demise. Do you want to be an accessory for death by cookie dough? I don’t think so. Just be cool, alright? Sheesh. 

Signed, 
The Couple Who Bought a Meal For Three, and Ate It ALLLLLL 

***As an aside…

If hearing…
“Mashed with gravy, Mac and cheese, and cinnamon apples for THREE!”

“How many?” 

“THREE!”

“You said, mashed, apples, and spinach?” 

NO, mashed potatoes, gravy, MACARONI AND CHEESE, and cinnamon apples!” 

OK, I think I got it. And that was the meal for three?”

YES, the meal for three”

….doesn’t make you want to reevaluate your life, I don’t know what will. It’s time for a change. My “last resort” pants are tight and I’m certain my fat is trying to suffocate me in my sleep. Help. 

Flashback Friday: Where My Hairy Ladies At?

For this week’s #fbf, I am re-posting An Ode to Hairy Women. Since last week was about my hair woes, I thought I would keep the ball rolling with hairy tales. This one is pretty gnarly. You have been warned.

Courtesy of Buzzfeed via Pinterest
Except this isn’t an actual ode. It’s more like a dedication, but the word ‘ode’ sounded so much more interesting. I can’t write poetry in any form, but I can write one hell of a dedication to hairy women, because I have a lot of experience with unwanted body hair. I would call myself a Purple Heart recipient veteran of the War on Body Hair, but I’m still in the trenches, fighting.

Before I go any further, if you’re a man…a man who happens to be disillusioned about women, in regards to them being similar to hairless Sphynx cats, stop reading now. If you’re brave, be warned. I am about to rock your world, in a really, really bad way. If you care to remain in blissful ignorance, go read literally anything else. 

My first experience with unwanted body hair happened in the bathtub at my grandmother’s cabin, the summer before 4th grade. Pretending I was a mermaid grew boring, and I suddenly felt compelled to look at my armpits, and good thing I did. I looked like a chia pet. It was terrifying. My mother introduced me to the razor that day. I didn’t know yet that that single instrument would be the bane of my entire existence. Why didn’t my boy cousins grow armpit hair? It was so unfair.

Soon after the dreaded pit hair, came loads of leg hair. I mean, loads. I had hairier legs than my dad (I’m not sure that’s saying much, though. Last we counted, he had, literally, three precious hairs left). My mom started buying razors in bulk at Costco. She also bought a lot of band aids. I had still not mastered the art of not bleeding to death during shaving. I looked like a 10 year-old cutter.

Next came the worst decision of my life. Do you ever look back on an event in your life, regardless of how many decades ago it was, and still cringe, like the pain of bad decisions is still a fresh wound? I still feel this bad decision, and if I were ever able to go back in time to change one thing it would be this. Not getting to go back and change how awful my first kiss was. Or, change farting in class the first day of freshmen year. No. I would go back and grab the razor out of my stupid, stupid hand the day I decided it would be smart to shave the baby hairs growing below my belly button. I had a smooth, beautiful, hairless belly for precisely one day. The next day my stomach looked like Robin William’s shoulders. I cried harder for the loss of my womanly belly than when my hamster, Rascal, died. It was traumatic. 

During my formative years, I discovered Nair. The day I discovered that a product could literally melt my mustache away was one of the best of my life. That is, until I failed to read the directions properly. I left that nasty shit on for 10 minutes longer than is suggested (I mean, the box specifically states to, “Under no circumstance leave on longer than 10 minutes, unless you want to melt your lips off, dumbass”). My mom actually let me stay home from school, because no one in the house could stand looking at me longer than a few seconds before dissolving into a big pile of ugly laughing. “Fuck-You-I-Hate-My-Life” pretty much said it all. After this incident my mom hid her Nair, and just a whiff of that noxious chemical would send me reeling.

During college, I struggled with additional unwanted hair. As if a hairy belly button, man legs, and a Burt Reynolds ‘stache wasn’t bad enough, I discovered I had hair sprouting on my chin. The day I found my new unwanted friends was the same day I had a blind date planned, because that’s how being me goes. I asked my best friend to pluck those deceiving bastards. After she plucked the few I had seen, she started in below my chin. I said, “Wait, what’re you doing? Are there more?” She just said, “Um”. In a state of utter panic, I asked how many more. She said, “Well, most of them are white, so we won’t have to pluck them. So…if I had to guess, 25?” I died a little inside that day.

 

Courtesy of YouTube via Pinterest
This will be me one day. I think she’s seriously adorable. I’m serious. I want to hug her. 

After the panic of that recent discovery, I resorted to accepting the fact that my life would now revolve around waxing trips to the salon. Because I have sensitive skin, I always looked like I had a sunburn in the shape of Middle-Aged Man. So, of course, the guy I was dating called me, in a panic, right after my monthly waxing appointment. His car had broken down and he was stranded. I literally had a red mustache and beard, but he was hot, so I had to go get him. I should have just called that one a loss, because tying a shirt around the bottom half of your face, because, “it was cold”, looks crazy. Eventually, because he wasn’t an imbecile, he put two and two together and discovered I had waxed my face. I just dumped him. It was better than knowing he knew

Presently, I am struggling with how to shave my man arms without getting razor burn. Do you know what razor burn on your arms looks like? It looks like Please Don’t Sit By Me. It looks like a fucking disease.

The second I’m a millionaire, I’m getting full-body electrolysis. Ladies Who Get It, am I right? Is that not the exact same thing you would do? Of course it is.

So, this isn’t really a dedication either, more of a really sad, true tale, that is dedicated to the Ladies Who Get It. To the Ladies Who Don’t Get It, you aren’t part of the club, so there (don’t get your panties in a twist, you’re already part of the Non-Manly Woman Club, so go be hairless, and let us hairy ladies have this).

Well, I gotta go. My 5 o’clock shadow is already coming in, and my boyfriend still doesn’t know I shave more than him. Shhhhh. 

 

I found this on Pinterest years ago, and it still makes me laugh
Really though…

5 Reasons Why I’m Failing at Adulting


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1.When my students do or say something turdly, really, just once, want to say, “I know you are, but what am I?” I know… but it would be so awesome to give them a little dose of the ridiculous excuses/responses/attitudes they give me every.single.day.


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2. Every year when I renew my car registration, I don’t put the new sticker on my license plate until I get pulled over. It’s like tradition. It is just so hard and takes too much effort to wipe the dust and grime off of my license plate and place the new sticker over the 10 that are already there, about to fall off. Pure unadulterated laziness.


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3. Every month, since I was 11 (why, God?) Aunt Flo has visited. One would think that after three decades of this ridiculousness, I would know to be prepared. Yet, every month, I ruin a pair of panties and I have to waddle into the store, with an entire roll of toilet paper wrapped around the crotch of my underwear.


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4. I love to wait until the bitter end before a credit card payment is due. That way, the extra money I was planning on using to pay down some of the debt can be used to buy new shoes or way too many Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccinos far before I have to make the payment. Winning.


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5. I buy bananas for one sole purpose: I like to watch things slowly wither and die. For what other purpose do bananas serve? I sure as hell never eat them.


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5 Reasons Teaching Made (Is Making) Me (More) Fat

There’s a reason I’m fat, and it isn’t just because I eat Oreos smothered with peanut butter for breakfast.

It’s because I’m a teacher. This profession is rife with situations in which I’m faced with deciding between a few sad, old grapes or Krispy Kreme. Some days my big decision of the day is whether or not to eat the sweaty, homemade, hand delivered cookie. Sadly, the questionable cookie always wins. Mostly, being a teacher means you either drink or you check yourself into the mental hospital. Drinking excessively is more socially acceptable. Also, being clinically insane isn’t usually seen as a desired quality in the teaching world.

Continue reading “5 Reasons Teaching Made (Is Making) Me (More) Fat”

Decision Made

Well, I did it. I sent the email declining the job offer. Before anyone tells me I just lost an incredible opportunity, let me first be clear about a few things:

1. I’ve learned throughout this process that I need to stop taking to heart how others feel when what I really need to be doing is listening more intently to my own beat.

2. It’s really fucking expensive to move to another country, and until you know my finances intimately, you don’t really know. You know?

I don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s really, really hard to make such a huge decision when left and right you’re told that money doesn’t matter, or that you’re wussing out because you don’t want to be going down the road to bankruptcy town. All of my young adult years I went about my business as if money didn’t matter and it led to serious problems. I cannot continue down that path.

Continue reading “Decision Made”

Decisions-Not My Forte

Happy Friday Eve, beautiful people.

This past Monday I was offered a teaching position at a school in Surrey. Surrey in freaking ENGLAND.

I can’t even put into words how I felt, but I can say, it was a mix of insane excitement and utter fear.

The rest of this week I have been a mess of decision-making-crazy.

Most of you are probably wondering what decision I even have to make. HELLO? ENGLAND?

Well, after several email correspondences, I have been given my final salary offer, and well…

I am disappointed to say the least.

I had wrongly assumed that the cost of living would be pretty relative to here in the U.S. and that is just plain not the case. The cost of flats in Southern England is astronomical. I mean, twice the cost of apartments in my area. For me, paying half of the rent, the costs I am looking at are more than three times what I am currently paying.

This wouldn’t be too horrible except for the fact that I will be taking a $3000 pay cut. What is absolutely insane is that the salary they offered me was incredibly generous and a HUGE step up from what I am currently making, but with the high tax amount taken out, I will be paid significantly less.

I don’t even know what to say.

I will have to some more crunching of numbers, but so far, it isn’t looking good.

Because I am someone who thinks with their heart and far too often I am idealistic in how I view the world, I had assumed that I could move to a different country, do the same work I do here, and it would work swimmingly. Well, that is not the real world. Not even close.

Not only am I a heart-thinker, I am also one who has a lot of debt and minimal savings.

Just to get my fat ass and my few possessions across the pond it will cost a fortune. And I am a broke as a joke teacher.

It isn’t over yet, I may be able to figure something out (like, maybe I can sell a kidney).

So, now I ask you all, what would you do? Would you go into further debt to move to another country? Would you be OK with being seriously broke just to experience another culture? Would you live well under your normal comfort zone in order to experience a serious adventure?

I need opinions and maybe some moral support. Something. Anything.