Saturday, May 29, 2010

Talk about Gifts

I've had so many gifts. But none as great as. . . .

Luke, 5; Joseph, 8; & Paul, 2.

I can't take any credit. To God goes the Glory.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

She kinda looks like you, but. . .

This morning I dropped my little ones off at daycare.

One of the other Moms was having one of those gut wrenching mornings when you have to drop your kid off even though he's screaming piteously and begging you not to go. (Been there!)

Some of us "seasoned" moms smiled sympathetically as our perfectly content littles trooped to their classrooms. (My 2 year old doesn't even kiss me goodbye. Now THAT hurts!) We swapped war stories.

Brooke talked about the time her little guy said "Miss Gracie, I wish you were my Mom."

Anita's daughter used to throw a fit every time it was time to go home.

As for me, my oldest (now 8) broke my heart when he called Miss Sally "Mama". What made it worse, I said, was that Miss Sally & I look exactly alike.

Overhearing, my 5 year old looked critically at me & said "She kinda looks like you, but. . . "

But what?! Was he going to say she is skinnier than me? (she's not). Fatter than me? (she's not). Prettier than me? (that's a matter of opinion)

. . ."She kinda looks like you, but her hair isn't orange."

My hair isn't ORANGE. It's MARIGOLD thankyouverymuch.

It's funny what kids say.

One of my very favorite stories was when my oldest (the one who called Miss Sally "Mama") was in kindergarten.

He drew a very detailed picture of our family. He, his dad & little brother all had brown eyes. Mine were drawn with blue ink. His little brother's diaper was drawn to some detail, and he perfectly captured the curls surrounding his brother's head. My hair was flipped nicely, and he drew me wearing blue pants. Each leg was drawn individually, and there was lots of space between them.

I said "Honey, I love this drawing. You made me look so pretty!"

"Yeah," he said, "I don't know how to draw fat yet."


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Classy & Fabulous

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
-- Coco Chanel

One of the greatest things about the Obesity Epidemic we have in the U.S. is that finally -- finally -- fashion is catching up with us. I have long held the position that if a size 6 wouldn't wear it, I won't wear it.

Once -- not too long ago -- I needed a basic tank to wear under a blouse. Basic. No lace. No sequins. No embroidery. (Tell me again why clothing manufacturers think that anyone over a size 12 wants to look like a Persian rug?). I truly didn't care to schlep all the way to the mall. So I popped into a boutique around the corner.

First shop:

"Do you carry plus sizes?"
"Sorry! No, we don't." (Then I can't spend my $$$ here.)

Next shop:

"Do you carry plus sizes?"
"We carry them through our catalogue!" (That helps me not at all.)

Next shop:

"Do you carry plus sizes?"
"No, dear. We only go up to size 12"
"Really? Then where do you buy your clothes, Dear?" (Bitch, if you want to get in a pissing contest with me, then you'd better drink more Evian.)

Last shop:

(Slightly desperate tone) "Do you carry plus sizes?"
"Not officially, but what do you need? I am sure we can find something to fit you!"

And THAT is why I love Chico's.

Thanks to Talbot's Woman, Macy's Woman, Cato's and the Internet, I can generally find cute size 24 clothes. Now, if Maternity Wear manufacturers would get on the bandwagon.

Why is it that they make maternity clothes for 14 year olds, but not for plus sizes?? Because the manufactures think we don't do it.

Well we do. I did it at least 3 times. (hey -- my mom reads this blog). And unlike 14 year olds, many of us are actually prepared to have children, and have set aside money to pay for things like maternity clothes. And, unlike 14 year olds, many of us have jobs. In offices. We need work clothes. (When I was expecting my second son all I could find was these floaty hippy-dippy blouses. Cute, but not very corporate). I'm hoping and praying with all my size 24 heart that I won't have to shop for maternity clothes again. I'm just saying.

Maternity aside, some manufacturers still have not seen the light. Why on earth would somthing like this be for sale in this day & age?

Don't tell me it's for comfort. That what sweatpants are for. These dresses say "Paris Schmaris -- I get my fashion inspiration from Samoa!"

Of course, it is possible to go too far the other way. As evidenced by this number from Ruby Rox at Macy's:

I swear I wore this dress in 1989 at a formal on Catalina Island. I was 23. I was a size 14, not a 24. Somebody threw up all over it (might have been me) and it was hell getting the puke out of all those pouffs.

But these dresses. . . ..

Cute. And Size 24. (Alfani, Michael Kors and DKNYC all at Macy's!)

Classy and Fabulous.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Today's Gift: Tenacity

For some reason, I hate to be told I can't do something.

It's childish, really.

But it has worked to my advantage.

My mom used to tell me "not to feel bad" if I tried something & failed. "Don't feel bad if you don't get picked for the team", "Don't feel bad if you don't get asked to the dance", "Don't feel bad if you don't win the election". . . .When I tried & failed, she usually would say "You didn't want to do that anyway", or "He'll never amount to anything anyway", or "They are all stuck up."

But when I tried & succeeded, she was always excited . . . . and surprised.

Because Mom thought that fat girls couldn't do everything thin girls could do. She never said so, and I am sure she would deny it even now. My mom loves me. When I hurt, she hurt. It's not that she didn't believe in me, she was just trying to spare me pain & humiliation.

But for some reason, pain & humiliation never bothered me much. I guess I was used to it.

I knew I would never get anywhere by relying on my looks, my brains, or my connections. I'm attractive, but not beautiful; bright, but not brilliant; and I'm not exactly an A-lister.

But I'm funny. And I don't give up.

One of my favorite quotes is something I found in a sales journal years ago:

Don't Quit.
Is that what you want to do? Quit?
It takes no talent, it takes no guts.
It is exactly what your adversaries want you to do.
So get your facts straight.
Know what you are talking about.
And keep going.

I don't know who wrote it, but I have never forgotten it.

My other favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

So, I don't quit.

When I was 16, I worked for Osco Drugs. It was supposed to be a great job. I made more than minimum wage, I was inside, didn't have to mop floors or serve food. But I hated that job. The management was vile. There was one little man who made it his personal mission to belittle & insult the teenages who worked there.

I hated it so much, that I used to wish I'd get hit by a car on my way to work so I wouldn't have to go in. (psycho, right?). For some reason, I felt I couldn't quit until I worked there at least six months.

As soon as I hit six months, I quit and went to work at Showbiz Pizza Place. (It was a precursor to Chuck E. Cheese). I worked at Showbiz for about 3 years, making pizzas, mopping floors, dressing up like Billy Bob bear for the birthday parties.

It was WAY better than working at Osco.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fitness & Fatness are NOT mutually exclusive

Gift of Fat. Yes. Gift. It is. Really. Really.

But that doesn't mean I love being fat. Because I don't.

It doesn't mean that health isn't important to me. Because it is.

I mean, I have 3 small kids (8,5 & 2). I'd like to watch them graduate college, get married (or take Holy Orders), and win the Nobel Prize. I'd like to do it without being in a wheelchair due to diabetes, or other yucky ailment.

I am not diabetic. (Thanks God!). But I am wwwaaayyyyyyyyy too close for comfort. I also live in the "Fattest City in the US", according to Men's Health Magazine. (We're Number 1!!)

In response, our city is putting on a really cool event. It's Called Fit & Free by the Sea. And I am taking my whole family. I am also participating in the Biggest Loser competition. And my fitness partner is none other than Dr. Mark Escamilla, President of Del Mar College. Dr. Mark is an innovative leader in our city. He was named Newsmaker of the Year by the Corpus Christi Caller Times. And he's my Boss's Boss. Gulp.

No worries. Even if I lose 50 lbs, I'll still be fat. Fitter, but Fat. And even if all my fat went away tomorrow (which would be fine with me!) I would still be an advocate for fat women, I would still blog about the Gift of Fat. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, OK?

One of the Gifts of Fat I've received is the look of surprise and admiration I receive from people when they see me doing things that fat people don't normally do. Next time I'll tell you about it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mom's Great Advice

When I was about 7, I came home from school crying again.

The other kids (boys, usually) were mean to me again.

My mom came into my room, rubbed my back and said "Honey, as long as you are chubby, the other kids will make fun of you. You are going to have to develop a thicker skin, and not let it bother you."

In other words: I can't control them, but I can control how I react to them.

That control has made all the difference.

Check out these cute cute cute things. . .

My friend Kathy posted the cutest things on her blog. Seriously -- I am inspired!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Gift Is. . . .


That's not necesarily the first gift of fat, but it is the first one I thought of.

I'm funny. I'm really funny. I'm not just a clown -- although I can be. I am witty, sharp, silly and irreverant. I told a priest that the secret to a long and happy marriage is a well timed blowjob. (Well, it IS!)

Here's how being fat MADE me funny.

There was a boy who lived down the street from me named Eddie W. He was mean. When we waited at the bus stop to be driven to Jefferson Junior High, he would sing his favorite polka: Roll out the Mary. He sang all the words:

"Roll out the Mary. . .Mary is Big and Fat. Roll out the Mary. . . Mary is really Fat. Roll out the Mary, Mary is really FAT. Now it's time to roll out the Mary, because she'll Roll on YOU!" (obviously Eddie W was not fat, because these words are not witty or particularly original).

As the target of these taunts, I had 2 choices:
1. Cry & say "Shut up!"
2. Accompany his song with my Air Tuba, singing "Oooom-pah, ooom-pah-pah, oooom-pah, ooom-pah-pah-pah".

I chose option 2. And choosing option 2 made everyone laugh. Not AT me. WITH me. My favorite line in Funny Girl is when Ziegfield tells Fanny Brice that the audience was laughing at her, Fanny (Barbara Striesand) said: "Yes, but it's MY joke."

That's just it. It's MY joke.

If I really thought about it, I could come up with a million examples of where I turned teasing to my benefit. Hell, 35 years later, I'm starting to be grateful for the teasing. How else could I have sharpened my skills? Eddie W. was certainly not alone in teasing the fat girl. But I remember him.

One of the reasons I remember him is because he was killed when we were in our 30s. During my weekly call to my mom, she casually mentioned that he was in a car accident and had been killed.

Me: "Oh, what a shame".
Mom: "Little Bastard, he had it coming to him. He was the one who used to sing 'Roll out the Mary'".

So Eddie. You couldn't hurt me. But you hurt my mom. I have long since forgiven you. I am not so sure about Mom though.

Next time I'll post about my Mom. I'll tell you the advice she gave me that allows me to recognize the Gift of Fat.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wierd name, right?

I have long planned to write a book entitled The Gift of Fat. It was going to be published in 2009. But I had a baby (which is my excuse for EVERYTHING) and didn't get very far in my book.

Pretty much have the title.

It's an awesome title, right? I mean no one thinks fat is a GIFT! Fat sux! Fat is ugly. Fat is awful.

But, as a lifelong fat girl, I can tell you that in many ways. . ..Fat is a gift.

Don't believe me? Then read my blog tomorrow. I'll tell you the first gift.