I’m It, Only A Week Late

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Sorry, Rachel, I didn’t actually see this until now. If you’d posted it at your usual digs, I might’ve seen it sooner. Oh well. Harrumph and all that, here goes:

1) Until the New York Mets broke my heart this year by having the worst last-minute collapse of any major league baseball team in modern history (curse you, Tom Glavine), I considered myself a diehard Mets fan. I even started a Mets blog, called Metsie! Metsie! (named after something the Mets’ very first manager, Casey Stengel, said in an interview in 1963) which I kept going for a few months this year. It’s possible I’ll be able to watch another Mets game ever again without developing a weeping rash. It’s even possible I’ll enjoy it (the game, not the weeping rash). Ask me again in May.

2) I was turned on to size acceptance by Carol Johnson’s book, Self-Esteem Comes in All Sizes. I found this book because my shrink at the time wanted me to read a book about building self-esteem, since she thought I’d live longer if I actually had some. She didn’t recommend any specific book, but this was the one that jumped into my hands. As I read it, I had the “OMG” response — “you mean everyone else has been lying to me?” Johnson’s book was first published in 1995. “We” haven’t come a long way, baby. But I have.

3) In my 20s, taking my cue from Barbara De Angelis (yeah, I ate, shat and breathed self-help books back then, so sue me), I made a list of qualities I’d like in a life partner and starred the five most essential ones. One of the things I starred was, “Must think Bullwinkle and Monty Python are funny.” I revised my list many times, but this “star” remained constant. And yeah, C. does think they’re funny.

4) When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my mother had this friend who had a chord organ in her basement. Cheap plastic POS with chord buttons on the right (my “bad” side) and a keyboard on the left (my “good” side). I’d go down to the basement while Mom and her friend chitchatted and bang away using the songbook as a guide. They had to drag me away from that thing. I wanted one just like it. I was told that that instrument wasn’t good enough, that it was a cheap POS and that if I wanted to play I should have something “real,” like a piano. So they got me a real piano and some stodgy lessons from some rock-hating old lady down the street. It was stupefying. It took me years before I’d touch a keyboard again. Let this be a lesson to you, parents: If the instrument your kid really wants to play is a cheap POS, be grateful that you can get off so inexpensively for now, and get it for them anyway. Or at least get them lessons from a teacher who doesn’t hate the music your kid loves.

5) I never drank coffee until I moved to the Northwest 4 years ago. Until then, I was strictly a tea person. I still love tea. But thanks to the neverending cloud cover and piddling rain here, I must have more serious caffeine to wake up.

6) THERE IS NO FACT #6! (Sorry, but somebody had to, and it might as well come from someone who was watching Python during the original run.)

7) I have lived in or near all of the following cities: New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Bakersfield (no, really), Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and now Portland. And the last six were all within the last ten years. Still think fat chicks are lazy?

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.  Unless you don’t want to be.

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The “No Diet Talk” Rule in Meatspace

meowser-48.jpg  posted by meowser

Fillyjonk’s post about how nice it is to have a group of girlfriends who can talk about clothes and exercise — or hell, anything — without it degenerating into a giant pile of “I have to lose XX pounds” this and “obesity epidemic” that — just made me all kinds of rainy-day sad. Because I don’t have a group of friends like that IRL, and I want one SO MUCH.

OK, I don’t lack friends entirely. Heck, even my XH is friendly with me. We even do stuff sometimes. I have some very nice neighbors and acquaintances. I even have some “real” friends who are just super-busy with other things (caring for sick parents out of town and so forth) who I just don’t get to see that often. And friends scattered throughout the country who I get to see and have fun with when I’m in their town or they’re in mine. But a group of girlfriends in town who I can talk to about anything, who I feel totally safe with, who aren’t going to sandbag every conversation with Fat Bad talk? I can only dream.

Granted, I’m an unusual case even without being an unrepentant fatass. I telecommute and have for most of the 2-1/2 years I’ve lived in Portland. And as it is I am probably severely underemployed for my level of skill, which means that even when I do go out to work I am largely overlooked or thought of as a weirdo (don’t believe it for a minute when you hear that everyone here is eccentric, it’s absolutely false). I also don’t have children, which is the way most women in their 40s seem to bond with other women. Nor do I drink much or smoke pot, which seem to practically be social requirements here if you are not a member of the soccer-mom set, but which just don’t seem to agree with me. Aaaaand to top it all off, I am just discovering that I have Asperger traits, which doesn’t make me dangerous or anything, just somewhat assbackwards socially at times. It doesn’t seem to be any accident that I met my current boyfriend, my XH, and at least one other serious boyfriend through personals ads. People have an easier time, it seems, “getting” me through writing than through speech, eye contact, body language, etc. (I often half-joke that the reason I write is because I can’t talk, but seriously, being able to edit my thoughts before they’re made public, is fahkineleet.)

Which means that I might actually have a more difficult time than most people who want to forge no-diet-talk friendships. It’s entirely possible that I might come across as somewhat of a martinet when I talk about this stuff, because it really is triggering for me. So maybe those of you with better developed social skill sets than mine (that would be most of you, probably) can help me out here. How do you, or have you, made these kinds of close friends who live in town during the course of your adulthood, and/or learned to be more forgiving of people who “aren’t there yet” in terms of size acceptance?

Because truly, this is driving me batty. I keep thinking maybe I need to smoke pot anyway even if it means I forget my name or trip over my own feet for a week afterwards, just so I won’t be rejected as a narc. (If you smoke it, fine; I just don’t want to, or have the smell hanging around my house.) I keep thinking maybe I need to move to Chicago, where so many cool fat people I know reside (probably a more realistic goal than becoming a pothead, actually). But PDX is home of Fat Girl Speaks and yes, a haven for nonconformists even if we don’t necessarily dominate the culture, and in theory it shouldn’t be that difficult for me to cultivate a loving circle of fat-friendly friends. But in practice, it may well be true that I simply don’t know how to broach the subject live and in person without being All Weird About It. So if you know how not to be All Weird About It, or how to be All Weird About It and like it, please do share.

In the meantime, if you’re anywhere near Portland, or plan to be, please do look me up if you have the urge (e-addy is in my “About” tag). I don’t bite, honest, except for actual comestibles.