Friday, October 29, 2010


I have really bad allergies. Now. I never used to. I used to just see people with really bad allergies and I'd think that is so gross; why are they always sniffling? Why do they always look glassy eyed and high? Why are they always clucking in the back of their throat? They keep saying their throat itches -- I bet they're on drugs. They've got to be on drugs! Druggie!

Believe it or not, I've never used drugs - smoked pot, hit the hippie lettuce, smoked a spliff, cued the cannibis - I just assumed that if you did that sort of thing your throat would itch. I didn't know that pollen in the air could create that kind of havoc.

See, I judged those people. I saw those allergy-ridden icky people gasping for breath in-between sneezing fits thought not-so-nice things and God saw me and said, "Now, that's not nice to judge people. I think you need to learn compassion. Therefore, after the birth of your second child, I shall deliver to you allergies." And just like that, I was allergic.

It got so bad I had one of those "tests" done to see what I was allergic to. "Test" meaning "get stabbed by a thousand little needles that will give you hives." Turns out I'm allergic to the world and everything in it. And so I had to have more shots. Lots of them. Several times a week. In the hopes that the magic shots would clear up the allergies. And sometimes they hurt. A lot. There were two nurses that administered the allergy shots: one good nurse and one evil nurse. I'll let you decide who gave the better shots of the two. Anyway, I tried not to cry too much because I felt really embarrassed wiping my tears while the 6-yr old next to me tried to comfort me, telling me it would be okay and that I'd get a sticker at the end. Determined not to be one of those sneezing, sniffling, glassy-eyed people, I manned up and took the shots like I was supposed to.

My allergies were in check for awhile, but then I had my third child and now they're all wonky again. Damn hormones. Either that or global warming is totally doing a number on my system. Since I don't have a prescription anymore (what with being cured by the shot regimen and all) I simply pick up a box of my favorite Benadryl from time to time. Except Walgreen's hates me now and no longer carries my favored box. Also, Piggly Wiggly hates me. And so does ShopKo. And I can't seem to find a compatible replacement. The one I got yesterday completely removes all traces of fluid in my body. Sure, it cleared everything up in my nasal cavity, but now I have no saliva in which to attempt to speak, my eyeballs are so brittle they're about to break and my urine comes out in dust form. If I happen to hack off my arm with the office paper cutter I'm not sure I'd bleed. Which would be good in terms of clean-up I guess but freaky nonetheless. At least I'm not sniffling.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or not.

The Bean was made for Halloween. That in and of itself made it an awesome holiday. I knew I hit character paydirt when she wanted to be a monk. She was two. Another year she was spaghetti and meatballs. Then she was a super feathery chicken. With orange skinny legs. All her costumes were handmade. All her costumes were awesome. Now she's fifteen and the only costumes she looks at have the descriptive label "sexy" in front of them. Sexy nurse. Sexy firefighter. Sexy cop. There is no sexy chicken. There is no sexy spaghetti and meatballs.

You'd think I could now live vicariously through Dotter - but she wants absolutely nothing to do with Trick or Treating. She hates strangers. She hates strange strangers even more and there's nothing worse than a stranger dressed as a zombie scaring the pants off little kids and rewarding them with a tootsie roll.

She doesn't want to trick or treat and she doesn't want to hand out candy. Although she does want to dress up and do something. Maybe I could just take her to the movies and call it a day. This would work out good because to be honest I don't want to stay home and hand out candy either. Most of the costumes suck. And if I'm going to spend my hard earned money buying candy for kids I don't know, the least they could do is put some effort into it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maura Kelly really IS a size-ist jerk.

Do you know who Maura Kelly is? You will.

Go read this article she wrote for Marie Claire: Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)

Go ahead. I'll wait.

I'll wait for you to read it, and then I'll wait for you to call all your friends and exclaim you have just experienced the most ridiculous attitude towards overweight people ever.

And I'll wait while you update your twitter account with Maura Kelly really IS a size-ist jerk.

Maura Kelly writes, "So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything."


Actually, beyond ouch. I think I'm just dumbfounded. I mean, she gets paid, right? Marie Claire pays her to write. She writes articles and has to update her blog and they actually hand her a paycheck to write whatever she wants. Even if it is incredibly insensitive and hurtful. And mean. She actually gets a paycheck to be mean. The only people I thought got paid to be mean to other human beings were Drill Sergeants. Which, incidentally, I thought would be a very cool gig up until the time I joined the Army and actually came face-to-face with a Drill Sergeant and then I was all these people are just so mean and I couldn't see myself making that many people feel like dirt for that many hours in a day. Also, I couldn't see myself wearing those hats.

Maybe I was just brought up differently. I was brought up that you accept people for who they are. You don't judge. You don't say things that unnecessarily hurt people's feelings. You don't speak hateful comments. You don't purposely try to make people feel less than. Ms. Kelly obviously did not have my mother.

I grew up skinny. Stick skinny. If you drew a picture of a stick person and put a potato on as a head, that'd be me. I could eat absolutely anything I ever wanted and not gain an ounce. At one point in high school I was put on special watch with the school nurse who watched me eat carefully measured out portions of the school's hot lunch and then time me for exactly one half hour to make sure I kept it all down. They were concerned I might be anorexic. I'd finish the watched over meal absolutely famished, drive down to McDonald's and get a Big Mac, french fries and mayonnaise. (Yes, fries dipped in mayo is glorious. You will not be disappointed.) The point is, I had no control over how my body responded to the food I ate.

I've now got two decades and three pregnancies behind me and my body certainly does not look like it did in high school. I don't eat the fries dipped in mayo as often as I used to, I drink too much soda and I don't eat enough vegetables. I've got cellulite, stretch marks and some bright red sspidery blood vessels that burst by my ankle - none of which is going away anytime soon. I suppose it could be said that I should watch what I eat and exercise more and get this body into tip-top shape.

But through all those years and all those pregnancies I've learned some very valuable lessons. I've learned that the kindness of a person's heart is not based on their waist size. I've learned that good friends don't just come in a size 2. I've learned that laughter and good times can be had with people who are medically defined as morbidly obese.

I've learned that everyone has a story and that story deserves to be heard by people who genuinely care. A person's story isn't less important because of their size.

I've learned that our time here on earth is fleeting. That our lives can change in the blink of an eye: a routine ultrasound suddenly reveals severe debilitating defects, a child doesn't return from the park he was playing at keeping a mother waiting until the day she dies, a sister singing along to the radio on her way to work is killed instantanly. Life is hard for all of us. It shouldn't be extra hard for anyone... especially those we think ought to be slimmer.

I've learned that some of the best people in my life have been the largest. People that I learn from, that I look up to, that I wish I could be more like them. More caring. More aware. More generous. More accepting. More vibrant. More full of life. More genuinely good at heart.

I feel bad for Ms. Kelly. She's missing out on a lot of really great people just because they don't fit her particular size requirements. Also, she's getting a lot of hate mail right now which totally sucks.

I question what Ms. Kelly's aversion truly is: the public display of affection (which the article was supposedly about) or her personal disdain for fat people. For the record, I do happen to get grossed out when I see people making out in public -- people of any size, shape, color or sexual orientation. It's just not my thing. Hand holding, I'm cool with. A kiss here or there - fine. A groping make-out session? Ew. Take it to your bedroom. Trust me, there's no size restriction to the heebie jeebies I get when I'm sitting behind the PDA Guru's at the movies and I can't hear over their moaning. I don't care how cute and in shape you are, either.

Update: Wendi Aarons weighs in with her article Should "brunettes" get a room? (Even on TV?) ... and you should, too, because it's awesome. And it'll make you laugh. And laughter always makes the world a better place.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Waiter, there's a Fly in my soup.

You know what's gross? Opening your fridge and finding this:
No, I'm not talking about the cartoony, sponge-printed green and white moose dishes (although they are listed first on my Things to Replace List). Look closer.....

THAT'S gross.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hey, YOU!

Remember when I told you we had to keep my awesome health insurance because the Bean might have something medically wrong with her that explains why she can't wipe the gobs of toothpaste out of the bathroom sink? Well, we might also need it for Cletus the Used to be Fetus because he might have short term memory loss.

This kid is like 50 First Dates except we can't get through sixteen seconds. I absolutely love Cletus - and I mean love in the sense I want to pick him up and hug him and squeeze him and eat his cheeks and never let him go because I can't get enough of this kid. I absolutely love him because he is the happiest baby on the planet. I thought my sister's youngest was, and he was, but now he scowls (which is frickin adorable, too, but you can't really call a scowly baby happy, you know? Even if he only scowls once in a while. It's a technicality.). Anyway, I prayed and hoped for a super happy baby and that is exactly what I got. He laughs these great belly laughs if you raise an eyebrow. He guffaws if you sneeze. He'll run up, hit his head against the wall, laugh, then run away giggling. Who doesn't want to be around a kid like that?

He'll look at you with this great excitement and a touch of awe like oh my goodness! there you are! I can't believe it! And he happily announces, "Hi!" like no one else in the worls matters except for you and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because he's so excited to see his Mama. (And really, there aren't too many people running up to me that excited to see me.)

He'll look up at me and get all excited, "Hi!" (which makes me smile) then he'll look down and continue playing with his car. Something will grab his attention and he'll look back up, spy me, and look at me like he hasn't seen me in years and what an awesome thing to be running into me like this: "Hi!"

Forty eight thousand, six hundred and eighty-two times a day. "Hi!"

Look of surprise: "Hi!"

Look of surprise: "Hi!"

Look of surprise: "Hi!"

He wakes up: "Hi!"

I change his diaper: "Hi!"

I feed him breakfast: "Hi!"

I have yet to leave his line of sight: "Hi!"

Always with the same look of excited surprise. Always with the same what are the odds we're in this same subway car when I haven't seen you in fifteen years and I live in New York and you live in California? voice.

I love him. He makes me feel like the most special woman on the planet. Even if he didn't remember me from sixteen seconds earlier.