Sunday, April 30, 2006

some bunny loves da bum ching.

ah...'tis the season for rooftop and park picnics.

i attended a picnic atop a roof in park slope today, complete with Paula Deen-inspired dishes like an ooey-gooey veggie cheese strata with a Wonderbread crust. i like that. a little class, a little trash...just like me.

i went to an Easter picnic a few weeks ago held in Central Park. i can't help but associate Easter with my grandmothers, Ursula and Betty. we always seemed to be spending our Easters with either one of them or both. we'd usually dye eggs (Paas, of course) the night we arrived, awake the next morning, hunt for eggs and our Easter baskets, then scarf down as much chocolate as we could before being wrapped up in pretty, uncomfortable suits 'n' ties 'n' dresses for our bi-annual trip to church. (Episcopalian. my grandparents had converted after all of their children had grown. i kinda dug the kneeling bench and incense, but it totally grossed me out that everyone drank the wine out of the same cup for communion.)

the contents of the basket didn't change much from year to year. we always got one chocolate bunny and one white chocolate bunny. there were, of course, the requisite jelly beans and egg-shaped, speckled bubble gum pebbles nestled in the green cellophane grass. we usually got one additional, inedible gift -- a stuffed animal of some sort for me. my brothers must've gotten something more masculine -- an AC/DC record for Beau, maybe? a spool of fishing line for Lance? as i got older the gifts got a little more sophisticated. earrings. first studs, then when i was an almost-teenager, dangly earrings. that was a coup. mom did not want me growing up too fast, and in her mind a pair of dangly earrings made a girl exponentially older. so, duh - of course i wanted them. i'd put them on and model in front of the bathroom mirror, tossing my head back and forth. if they jingled a little bit when i walked, even better. i not only looked older, i sounded it too.

i don't remember the last time i got an Easter basket. must've been a couple of years after mom died. i guess i was just too old or, what's probably more likely, is that i'd started "watching my weight," and 1-pound chocolate bunnies were not on the latest Seventeen magazine diet.

i know my Aunt Char got my cousin Lauren and me baskets that first Easter after mom died. i remember distinctly that she got us both Esprit t-shirts and, as is always the case with female cousins who are only one year apart and equally bratty and self-entitled, it could not possibly be an easy exchange. Lauren got the one i wanted. tears. i'm sure sweet Aunt Char thought the tears had something to do with my not having my mother around for that first Easter, but i don't know. perhaps subconsciously, they did. i think i just really wanted that t-shirt. it was pastel and Esprit, after all.

this year, i decided to buy myself a basket (or at least what i might want in a basket, who needs a container?) - malted milk eggs, jelly beans, a white chocolate bunny. i haven't had that much candy in my house ever. i would have always been waaaaay to terrified to allow that sort of sweetness into my body and (yes, i'm getting metaphorical here) life. but whatever...i'm learning to trust myself again with that sort of stuff. why? well, we weren't born terrified of food. we learned this shit. we learned to think that chocolate is bad and that spinach, grapefruit and broccoli are akin to the Holy Trinity. when i was a kid with that gargantuan basket of goodies, i didn't eat it all in one sitting. i ate off the ear, nibbled a jelly bean, then ran off and swam in the pool for 3 hours. the candy would be there when i got back -- if i wanted it. i was allowed.

so, here i am, at the ripe old age of 31, learning to allow again.

not easy. but i did it anyway. i bought all the goodies and put them in my cabinets. i stocked up. my cabinets were a diabetic coma waiting to happen.

here's a coup. i hardly ate any of it. i just threw away the entire white chocolate bunny (minus a nibbled ear), and i used the jelly beans and malted milk eggs for the I.B.S. Bunny Cake i made for the picnic (see below). sure, i nibbled a few in preparation, but it was nothing like the day a few years ago, at size 6 and in the thick of my disorder, when i ate two one-pound bags of malted milk eggs then walked around the city for hours in an effort to




what i'm learning is that when i surround myself with abundance, i feel secure, therefore i don't have to load up in fear that i will never again be allowed to taste sweetness. when i give myself complete permission to indulge in sweets, in sadness and in life, i begin to recognize my true appetite, my true hunger. not what i think i want. or what i've been told i want. or what i think i don't want b/c someone has told me i do want it. i am allowed and, dare i say, entitled to as much or as little as i want of everything. malted milk eggs. esprit t-shirts. love.

no need to gorge, my dears, there's plenty more where that came from.

the requisite Bunny Cake. recipe courtesy of Ursula Horsfall, and i'm assuming she must've gotten it out of a Ladies Home Journal circa 1945. it's rather quaint in comparison to the lifelike hare Martha might construct, but it's just right for me.

in memoriam of my past intestinal woes, i gave my bunny cake I.B.S (irritable bowel syndrome), hence the chocolate
chip droppings you see here. i now notice my bunny also had no whiskers. good thing she was frosted to the plate;
coulda been bashin' into trees and crappin' all over the place.

ya just bake one round of a cake. slice it in half so you have two moons. put a little frosting on one, then sandwich them together. set it upright so you've got the body of the bunny. frost that sucker with white homemade buttercream icing (if i've said it once, i've said it a million times before - it's all in the icing. use a cake mix, but by God, do not use jarred icing. not if you care for your friends.) slap two pink jellybeans on for eyes, a black one for a nose. ruffle up a little cotton ball for the tail, or if you find you have no cotton balls like i did, take a little vegan macaroon (b/c of course you have these hanging around your cupboards), frost it and stick it on the bunny's arse. cut out two ears from white paper, color the pink part and stick into the cake wherever you feel they look best. then make whiskers from paper, or i was thinking it might be clever to use angel hair pasta. take a bag of coconut and divvy it into halfsies. sprinkle your bunny cake w/ one portion. (get it? that's fur.) drop a few drops of green food coloring into the other portion of coconut, and toss w/ a fork 'til it's grassy green. spread it out on a platter. transfer your bunny cake to the grassy knoll. nestle some malted milk eggs and jellybeans into the grass. tada! a bunny cake. friends and family will be impressed as will small children.

Friday, April 28, 2006

i don't recommend the-two-martini-and-a-bite-of-mozzarella-prosciutto-panini dinner.

it feels right and good when you're with your friends at joe's pub bobbin' to the music and wheezing with laughter, but soon, after you've left your friends and you're alone on the R train, a dark haze begins to descend, and you know this might not have been a good idea. you are not nauseated. you are not going to vomit. but you are, my dear, going to cry.

oh scheisse.

why? because this is what drunk girls do. it's in the manual.

so, after you've exited the subway and you're walking down your street towards Old Faithful (your bed), you see a very sad thing; an enormous tree that has been chopped into massive chunks littering your neighbor's sidewalk. ever-hopeful ivy still clinging to parts.

now isn't that sad?

i'm not sure there is anything sadder than a chopped up tree. at least not tonight. not after a -two-martini-and-a-bite-of-mozzarella-prosciutto dinner. and so, you plop yourself down onto the most massive chunk. the one that's sitting upright as if it's a tree trunk rooted into the earth (but not, and isn't that sad?) your butt touching the many lives of this tree - ring after ring after ring after ring. your drunk butt sullying the holy majesty of this ol' tree.

he doesn't seem to mind.

so you cry. and it feels good.

who says, by god, that tears have to be a bad thing? that sad has to be a bad thing? it's all part of it. i don't mean "you have to taste what is bitter to know what is sweet" and all that rigamarole. that's good too, but don't we all have an embroidered pillow or cross-stitch plaque reminding us of that every day of our blessed lives? i just mean sad for the sake of sad. mad for the sake of mad. not so you can know happy. but so you can know sad. so you can know mad. so you can know alive, for heaven's sake.

you don't sleep on the stump. your vigil is very short - a few minutes at most. you head home, trudge up the stairs and you must've wept to sleep because you wake up surrounded by little white blossoms of Kleenex. you giggle. you wonder now, in the brilliant spring light beaming through your blinds, what the F all the fuss was about.

who knows...but it sure was nice.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

i’m sitting out in the backyard today. this has become my morning ritual since the weather has warmed a bit. i love it. it grounds me. connects me with nature. i am alone back here but i feel less alone here than i do in an office full of people. sometimes, if i think no one is watching, i lay down on the grass and look up through the canopy of trees.

wow, these trees look like bunches of kale!

the birdsong alternates between an almost annoying bickering chorus and a singular, mournful sigh. the slate gray tiles that were laid down to make the patio are rumpled and disheveled courtesy of the giant redwood tree’s roots snaking beneath the surface.

i have a secret love affair with that tree. again, if i think no one is watching, i’ll hug her.

hi, my name is Margaux, and i’m a tree hugger.

i want to be like this tree when i grow up. she is firmly rooted, and she winds her roots deeper into the earth with each passing day. her branches dance in the sky and every spring she gets a brand new green sequinned party dress (a full skirt that makes her large trunk look very slim).

if the neighbors are out tending their gardens or pulling their laundry off the line, i’ll just reach out and lay my palm against her trunk. just to be sure of you, as Pooh might say.

fortitude through osmosis, i am hoping. and a brand new party dress would be good too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

quote for the day

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
- Agatha Christie

Friday, April 21, 2006

messy messy me.

i've been horribly remiss (is that the right word? oh gads, who cares.) in posting lately. why?

well, everything isn't perfect, i don't have all my ducks in a row, the stars haven't aligned, my I's aren't dotted and my T's aren't crossed, my apartment's still a mess, i still haven't resolved all of my father-daughter issues, i haven't fallen madly in love and proven all the naysayers wrong, and i still haven't saved the world. sheesh.

so really. how could a girl like me have anything to say?

well, duh. isn't that the point of this blog?

why yes. that is the point of this blog. to track and record this messy little journey. particularly the journey of one lovely imperfect woman who's not quite sure how or why or what the fuck, but is putting one foot in front of the other anyway. a lovely imperfect woman who still struggles with a body image that resembles Jabba the Hut. a lovely imperfect woman who desperately wants to be free from the prison that is dieting, but is still not quite sure how to live without that structure, without the sense that life is just one big series of constant attempts to better oneself. (damn those Transcentalists!)

god forbid this lovely woman should just be.

historically, i am a better do-er than be-er, but that's only b/c i haven't been practicing much lately. i've been wrapping myself up in to-do lists , topping myself with big shiny bows, and hoping that this would somehow make me appear more valuable...therefore through some sort of alchemy...i actually would be.


anyway...this is my long way of saying. i'm back. i'm back to writing more messily. living more messily. i always did much better with finger paints than crayons. i don't mind the paint beneath the nails. evidence, that somewhere, someday, i dug in...and swirled.

Friday, April 14, 2006

better than kool-aid

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. - Erma Bombeck

me too. i made popsicles. dad mixed his with Canadian Club.

Monday, April 03, 2006


i am having a fat day.

i feeeeeeeeeeeel fat.

therefore i must beeeeeeeeeeeeee fat.

no. not necessarily.

what i have come to realize is that when i "feel" fat, i'm usually feeling "too big." too much. too too.

ya knoo?

i guess i am expanding into my life now. i am like one of those little capsules that you drop into the water that then bursts and blossoms into a dinosaur, a dolphin or a dahlia. it's really just a sponge, but it looks so magnificent and magical and mystical. it's almost freakish. i think it looks freakish only b/c we're not used to it. we're not used to our kitchen sponge expanding into a pink hippopotomus that wears toe shoes.

i have spent much of my life trying to scale back to a size, psychically, emotionally and physically, that does not threaten or intimidate. why? so i will not be alone. i might be kept trapped in someone's damp, dank pocket, but at least i will not be alone.


i am so tiiiiiiiiired of it. the truth? i could diminish myself to the size of




and this would still not guarantee any sort of lifelong company. besides...what's the point of being with someone if the someone you are with someone is a someone who you are not?


so, i will go on expanding to too.
even if, i occasionally feel moo.
it's only for a day or two.
but i wanna dive into life and blossom...on cue.

toodle doo.

love you.