Whenever summer starts to loosen its death grip on the weather, and crisper mornings start to require a little more clothing, I feel my heart become lighter, brighter.
Surely, we all know, since I’m Fatty McCupcakes, that part of why I love autumn so much is because it means no more exposed chub. Hands down, autumn and winter fashion is my favorite, not only because more of my body is covered, but because I love what I get to cover my body in-cardigans galore, plaid scarves, and every type of boot imaginable.
Pumpkin-flavored-everything starts to be available, and my inner, wannabe-baker starts to stockpile sprinkles, sugar skull cupcake liners, and bags of baking sugar. And, sometimes, I actually get around to baking something delicious.
Warm, rich stews appear in the dinner rotation, and suddenly, homemade hot apple cider sounds like a good idea.
I start to purchase huge bags of candy for trick or treaters (no, these never get busted into before Halloween), and I start creating my next, too-involved Halloween costume for school.
So, essentially, I’m just like every other basic, white bitch, dusting off her Uggs.
If it’s basic to love a season so much that you go hog wild on doing positively everything that makes said season fun as shit, then label me Basic AF, with a capital Chambray and Chevron.
I don’t even care.
But, if you love autumn and all that comes with it with every fiber of your being like I do, it’s likely due to something deeper than PSLs and artsy wet leaf Instagram shots.
You probably had loving, involved parents who pointed out the changing leaves and talked to you about why the seasons change.
You likely had a family who took you to pumpkin patches to pick the *perfect* pumpkin to carve. And then you went home to make hot apple cider.
Maybe your mom took you on Sunday drives in the rain, so that you could witness, first hand, the changing season in all its resplendent glory.
So, it’s settled. I’m a basic, but Canva-graphic-deep, autumn-obsessed bitch.
I’ve said in earlier posts that when the seasons change, I think of Elko. I don’t know what it is about that place. Especially since I positively hated living there the better part of the first year.
Still, after so many years, when autumn arrives, it reminds me of the beauty that is Elko.
Ready for the deep, artsy wet-leaf-Canva-graphic part?
Here’s what really sings in my heart when autumn rolls in with the dry leaves and fireplace smell:
Muddy roads and slanted rain on dusty windows.
The smell of rich earth, wet leaves. An old heater. Burning wood.
Heavy, low-lying clouds, blanketing brown sagebrushed hills. Wet, dark, slate.
The blue-tinged sunshine. Crisp blue skies. Orange, brown, red.
The taste of cinnamon and cloves. Pumpkin. Yeast.
Enveloping darkness and lighted windows projecting warmth and a story.
Guys, deep down, I kinda wanted Jeff Goldblum to see this. I mean, I was his biggest 13-year-old crush, and that’s not creepy at all. So, I’m sharing this wacko homage for Flashback Friday in hopes some kind soul with the key to all-things-viral will make magic happen. I really need this win right now #jeffgoldblumistotallyawin.
You mean, I’m the only girl, in all of history, to have ever had a crush on Jeff Goldblum at the tender age of 13?
Ya’ll missed out. Big time.
In 1996, the original Independence Day movie came out. Like every other red-blooded American, I saw it in the theater approximately 80 times. Each new time I saw it, I grew more and more infatuated with Jeff Goldblum.
I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was those massive ears. Or, his ginormous nose? Maybe his awkward, bumbling speech. I think it was his brain, to be perfectly honest.
What 13-year-old girl would be into that?
While my friends were losing their proverbial shit over Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa, I was privately panting over a man who was only two.years.younger.than.my.parents.
I was a really weird kid.
After drooling in my Milk Duds over him on the big screen one too many times, I set about finding other movies he did, so I could pant in private.
It is totally beyond me how I could have researched him without the internet and IMDb. I’m seriously at a loss-how did people research pop culture in the 90s? Someone, help!
Pretty quickly, I realized he was in Jurassic Park. I watched that VHS so many times, I burned up the tape.
I also somehow found out he was in a really weird movie that came out when I was three, called The Fly. The fact he was a human-sized fly didn’t matter, because he was naked in that one. I “lost” The Fly when it was time to return it to Blockbuster. I had to pay the fee, but it was so worth it.
Because I was not exactly nonchalant about my weird girl-crush-obsession with Jeff Freaking Goldblum, my mom caught on pretty quickly.
She always aimed to raise dorks, because, “Dorks go to school, hang out with their dork friends, don’t do drugs or drink, and never get in trouble.”
My mom couldn’t have been more elated that my first crush was on an intelligent and nerdy-looking man I’d never meet. She was thrilled. (Never mind the fact that he could have been my father. Nope. Not weird at all.)
For Christmas that year, my mom seemed to have a certain gleam in her eye. It was almost devious. I just figured she was pretty stoked about getting me that Discman I wanted.
When it was finally Christmas Day, my mom was practically doing the Fat Clap. Instead of making my brother, because he was small and low to the ground, pass out the presents, my mom was on the carpet, fervently throwing presents to everyone.
She handed me a lumpy, odd shaped one that was definitely not my Discman, to open first.
As I started peeling back paper, she was sitting upright, alert, face aglow.
She seemed extra excited. Was I getting my own phone? A car three years early?? OMG! What could it be?! Her excitement made my mind wander to all sorts of amazing, unrealistic gifts.
When I finally unveiled the Most Exciting Present in the World, I was utterly confused. It was an action figure.
“Mom, I think this is for Jarrett. This is an action figure-thing.”
I flung it over to my brother, who had opened all of his presents in under a minute, so the prospect of an extra gift was everything.
My mom was not discouraged at all by my utter lack of interest in a boys’ toy.
“Now, wait a minute. Jarrett, that’s your sister’s. Hand it back.”
Christmas was officially over for my brother.
When I had it back in hand, utterly confused, and quite embarrassed that my mom felt an action figure a proper gift for her 13-year-old daughter, my mom said,
“But…lookie who it is. Who is it?”
It was then that I really looked, for the first time, at the toy.
She bought me a freaking Jeff Goldblum Independence Day action figure.
“But, isn’t he so cute? You can put him on your nightstand!”
I was just talking with a friend about the purpose of reading blogs. She’s a devoted reader of mine and, apparently, I’m the only blogger she reads. She was saying that unless she’s friends with or related to the blog writer, she’s probably not going to spend her time reading their personal stories. I can totally respect that some people have to know the blogger/writer to want to read about their embarrassing encounter with the Porta Potty or their personal preference when it comes to stand mixers.
I totally get that.
I’m pretty much the opposite of my friend when it comes to online reading preferences.
I love reading about someone’s awesome vacation to some exotic locale or reading about how they make a mean enchilada casserole with a recipe they got from their crazy Aunt Marge.
Maybe that’s totally weird?
Maybe I’m entirely too interested in complete strangers’ fun family stories or how they studied abroad in Ireland (read about one of my favorite blogger’s experiences doing just that here)?
Whatever it may be, I can definitively say that I’m a devoted blog reader, and I appreciate my committed readers more than words can express.
Throughout the last two years and some odd months, I’ve connected with, gotten to know, and enjoyed reading so many bloggers.
I love you all. I truly do. We are a tribe, and I’m so fortunate to be a part of it.
Just like my friend, however, I have some requirements that must be met in order for me to spend so much of my time reading blogs.
These are some of them:
1. You’re a real person who responds to comments and engages with your readers. If you never respond to comments, or it takes you far too long to respond, and I’ve long since forgotten about your post, I will grow weary of dedicating time to read and comment.
2. Posts are well-written and purposeful. We all make grammatical errors (like that one time I made a massive one in the title of a post *cringe*), but if the mistakes take away from the message, this teacher can’t even.
3. The topic is one in which I can relate to in some way, shape, or form. This is a pretty straightforward one. If you write about something I can hardly come up with a comment for, then your topic is best left to those who can. There’s nothing wrong with that. I write about back fat, rogue chin hairs, and how I have a tendency to inhale baked goods. Those topics aren’t for everyone, either.
And, that’s it, really. If you respond to comments I spend time crafting, you don’t have grammatical errors every line, and your posts keep me wanting more, I’m hooked.
So, I’m curious-what are your blog reading preferences and requirements? Let me know in the comments.
I was a strange, precocious child. I was the kid that makes every teacher silently mouth, “What the fuck” several times a day. I never stopped talking. I also did weird, inquisitive things, and I said, probably, thirty times a day, “Mom, watch me do this!” I was annoying with a capital unbearable.
I recently shared a memory on Facebook about a time when I was envious of the dog’s dinner. I’ll just share a screenshot:
If it was ever any wonder where I got my random weirdness from, I think the mystery has been solved. When I shared this memory the other day with my mom, this is what she said:
“Oh, I thought canned dog food looked really good, too. In fact, back when I was a kid, they put barley in it and it looked almost exactly like beef and barley soup, before the water was added. So, um, I would eat it.”
Along with salivating over the disgusting can of wet dog food, I would also sneak butter. Half of the stick of butter would be missing from the butter dish all the time. I would escape to the hall closet with my prize, and it was usually blamed on my dad. Win!
I think this is a testament as to why I’m weird and fat.
So, this random smell-induced memory led me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane about all of the weird things I did as a kid.
Care to hitch a ride?
1. I was fascinated by penises at an early age.
I was quickly barred from bathing with my boy cousin when we were just innocent babes, because whenever they put us together in a bathtub, I thought his little member must have been a fun pull toy. His little face would be in agony and his eyes big as saucers, and they’d realize pervy baby Katie had her fist clenched over his pee pee again.
My dad stopped taking me places solo, because inevitably I’d have to go to the bathroom (I used to have to visit the bathroom at every single place we went to-creepy, random gas station and all), and, obviously, he couldn’t let a young child go in the restroom by themselves. So, I’d have to accompany him in the mens’ room. That was a recipe for disaster from the get-go.
After I did my thing, he needed to use the restroom too. He told me to stand in one place, where he could see my feet as he was in the stall. Almost immediately after he closed the stall door, my feet disappeared.
Where did he find me?
On hands and knees, under the urinals, staring up at the men using them.
To this day, I still pray they just didn’t see the little girl with stark black pigtails under the urinal when they unleashed their no-nos.
That was my first adult penis, I just didn’t know it at the time.
My dad was appalled and stopped taking me anywhere, other than the drive thru, by himself from that day forward.
2. I was way too interested in urinals (obviously).
When I was a toddler, up until I started Kindergarten, I went to a daycare called, Thumpers. When it was potty time, they would line up the boys and girls in separate lines. Even then, at such young ages, the girls took twice as long as the boys. As such, they would have to let the girls start going in the boys’ bathroom, or the girls would be in the line for the restroom all day. I always volunteered, or I would push myself to the front of the line, so I could go to the boys’ bathroom. I was always so jealous that they got to stand up to pee, and use such a strange apparatus to do so.
Well, one day, a kid pooped in the urinal. Since I had pushed my way into the boys’ bathroom that day, I got to see the offending excrement with my own two eyes. I immediately ratted out my cousin (the same poor kid who almost got his weiner ripped off by yours truly).
I had no obvious proof, but it had to be him.
Still, to this day, I swear it was him, only now he punches me and holds me on the ground with his giant Popeye arms. It’s kind of scary. I never learn.
3. I had really fun bad ideas.
Speaking of Thumpers, it was there that I did the only truly naughty thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.
One of my favorite teachers was this older lady named, Doris. She was so nice and fair. I really don’t know why I chose her as my victim.
One day, as she was putting my lunchbox in the refrigerator and I was just standing there, right behind her, twirling a thumbtack between my thumb and pointer finger, I did it.
Let me explain a little better. I was following her a little too closely, and when she bent to squeeze my lunchbox into the fridge, her ass was just millimeters from my face. And I had a tack.
So, I did it.
I stuck the tack deep into her rump.
I really don’t know why I felt that was a good idea, because I spent literally all day in time out. It was then that I realized being bad did not pay off.
4. I had a loud speaking voice.
My mom’s second favorite story to tell about me involves penises (again), my favorite soda, and KFC.
I was pretty young when this happened, so it’s still thought of as a cute, kids-will-say-the-darnedest-things-outburst.
We went out for a special dinner at the local KFC (we didn’t go out much. Not because we were super poor, but because it wasn’t the thing back then to eat out all the time). I was very adamant about making sure I got what I wanted all the time, especially when we ate out. I think I told my mom thirty times that I wanted Dr. Pepper, but I was still afraid she maybe missed hearing me somehow.
As my mom went up to the counter to order, from across the busy, family-filled restaurant, came my booming voice, because I had to make sure…
“Mom, I’ll have a Dr. Pecker!!”
I couldn’t properly pronounce “pepper” and due to the urgency of the matter (she might have accidentally gotten me water-gasp), that’s how it came out.
I’m always sure to embarrass, still to this day.
5. My surprised reaction was (is) a loud, “whoa!”
As we’ve learned, it was always a crap shoot taking me anywhere. I might shout “penis!” in a quiet library, or maybe I’d be lost and then found on the ground of a restroom, staring up at a man’s taint. You never knew, and I think that was the real danger that was being around me as a child.
Around the same time that the “Dr. Pecker” incident occurred, I struck again. Why my parents took me anywhere was beyond me.
I was never shy about pointing out painfully embarrassing things about people and things. I was a real asshole. So, the fact that the #1 embarrassing Katie story occurred at a buffet, is almost too obvious. It’s almost like my parents wanted me to shout to someone random, clear across the room, “Why do you have red dots all over your face?!”
After nervously scouting the entire restaurant, my mom was cautiously optimistic about where we were seated. It appeared there was no one around us that stood out in any real, obvious way.
She was able to relax for precisely two minutes.
Then, of course, I needed to use the restroom, which was obviously on the opposite side of the restaurant.
The trip to the bathroom was uneventful. Then, my mom saw them.
They were immense. I want to say they took up several chairs between the two of them. My mom knew her jerk of a kid would say something mortifying.
She did everything she could to keep my attention away from them during the trip back, but I turned to look behind me.
And, just like that, all of my mom’s efforts were in vain.
It reverberated off the ceramic dishes and cheap metal cutlery. It made a ripple effect in the lumpy gravy at the buffet stand. A tacky reproduction of The Birth of Venus fell off the wall. It was heard by the entire restaurant.
I’ll just skip to the part where I had to apologize to the couple, even though I didn’t know that what I had done was wrong. My mother’s only wish was that they thought my “whoa” was in reaction to their oxygen tanks, and not their behemoth size.
I think these stories of what an utter embarrassment and pain in the ass I was is likely why I don’t think I want kids. I know my karma comes in the form of a deceptively cute, but terrifyingly mortifying child. I’ll just pass on that, thanks.
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
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.
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?