Thursday, August 30, 2007

happy might make my butt look big, but you're miserable and won't go to therapy.

the fucking dress doesn't fit.

the dress i was planning on wearing to my friend's wedding this weekend in connecticut doesn't fit.

there. i said it. it's not because i have two little zit scars in my cleavage; or because it's black, and i'd really rather wear something a little more cheery and light for a late summer wedding.

the fucking dress doesn't fit.

the dress i put on layaway, and i never put things on layaway convinced that if i can't afford it one one fell swoop, well then, i can't really afford it, can i?

duped by the exotically beautiful salesgirl that oozed:

eet is soo pract-ee-kal, you vill vear it all zee time. black eez so basic and vorks for everyzeeeng.

yes, i agree. black is basic, and it works for everything, but only if it FITS, dammit.

oh, it fits, if you want to be literal about it. i can zip it up, and it looks normal, but it feels completely uncomfortable. i feel like a trussed chicken: BOUND. i wouldn't be able to eat a thing, sitting would be so-not-fun, and forget dancing! and if a girl can't dance and eat at a wedding, why bother going?

i've put on a little weight since i bought the dress a couple of months ago. i'm annoyed. i feel a little dumb. i feel a little angry. i feel a lot ashamed, and why? because i've gained about five pounds. five pounds, margaux, not forty. feeling annoyed, dumb, angry, and ashamed over gaining five, that's something to feel annoyed, dumb, and angry about.

particularly when i think about why i've gained five pounds:

i've been happy.

HAPPY, people.

i was more than a little sad for a few months there. so sad, and so heartbroken, that i veritably lost my appetite. that is, i can say without a doubt, the first time that has ever happened to me in my entire life. someone really should mark that down somewhere. etch a brass plaque and screw it to my ass:

because i am highly doubtful it will ever happen again.

i've never been one of those people who "cope" by not eating. "coping" for me, much of the time, has meant eating. not this go around. chocolate held no appeal. bagels, nada. ice cream, ehhh. cheese, pffft. i'd like to think this means that i've developed some new way of coping, that i just allowed myself to feel the sadness. i spent many hours curled up in a ball on my bed weeping. tears trickled down my face while i rode the subway home. i cried in the supermarket's frozen meats section. i wasn't scared of the sadness because i knew it wouldn't last. like all emotions, i knew it was temporary. i could go "there" without feeling like i'd never come back because i'd been to the abyss before and made it back. i could go "there" again with a sense of peace, so i didn't have to go to the refrigerator.

and the not-eating (not-eating much, i should say. i was still eating, just not much) wasn't about starving myself, or some fucked up, "well, if i were thinner, things wouldn't have turned out this way or that, this or that person might actually have loved me, and we could have lived happily ever after." nope, it wasn't about that either. i just needed to spend time digesting my emotions, not food. the ache in my heart overwhelmed the ache in my belly, and i just needed to give it its due.

so, there ya have it. i lost weight.

people started noticing. Friends Who Know expressed concern:

"i just want you to tell you that i've noticed that you've been losing weight."

co-workers shouted their congratulations across the office:

"you're looking good, girl!"

family members offered that familiar though confusing cocktail of envy, curiosity and concern:

"now what have you done to lose that weight? well, don't lose anymore... but you look great."

it started to scare me a little bit. i could see how easy it would be to step back into the hopsotch of disordered eating. with all of this attention and the loose-fitting clothes that i wore like sartorial trophies, why not keep it up? i distinctly remember being awoken in the middle of the night by hunger pains once during that time. it was a pivotal moment for me, and i think i knew it. i could stay in bed and try to go back to sleep, i thought, and choose to ignore the growls in my belly. if i keep it up, surely i would lose more weight, get more attention, feel "better," feel superior. i actually sat up in bed and said aloud to myself, "nope, we're not doing this. we're getting out of bed, and getting a snack."

peanut butter and graham crackers.

slowly, i started feeling better. i woke up one morning and realized i was no longer missing the dysfunctional rigamarole that had been my raison d'etre for so many months. i wasn't crying anymore. i was laughing a lot more. i was drinking a bit (sometimes a lot) more. i was kissing a lot more. i was dancing a lot more. i was happy a lot more. so, i guess it would stand to reason that i was eating a lot more.

so, yes, what this means is:

i've gained weight.

wow. i said it, and the world didn't crumble around me.

i've gained weight.

and i am still me.

i've gained weight.

and the people who loved me when i was five pounds lighter, still love me.

i've gained weight.

but - no, not but - AND, i'm happy.

the dress doesn't fit, but there's always another dress, and i really like the way i look in Happy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

and it will smell like peas.

paavo poops.

my dear friend n emailed me today. i owe her an email from about three months ago. i owe her a really long, juicy email, but truth be told, i am not an e-mailer. i'm not a phone chatter-er either. this makes it very difficult for me to keep in touch with those who i don't see on a regular basis. this includes grandmothers too. (heathen!) i am just soooo much better face to face. i can reach out and hug you, touch you, and as is the case with some of my family members, punch you if you deserve it.

i always resolve to be better about it. just jot down on my calendar days when i'm supposed to call l or a or n and then JUST DO IT. but i rarely if ever do. pox on me. as my mother would say, "margaux, you can't expect to get letters, if you don't send them." luckily, my pals haven't written me off just yet, and i PROMISE, dear n, to send you an update email soon. i can't just keep using you for pictures of your adorable, well-dressed, round-cheeked, German blossom baby.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

it's a good thing i can bake.

the afternoon before The Police concert at Giants Stadium. The Cute was taking me. i was in the bathroom "putting on my face" when familiar strains of music came soaring through the apartment:

"isn't that sweet," i thought. "he's playing The Police, because we're going to hear The Police tonight."

i walk into the kitchen, blush brush in hand:

"you know, i was having a hard time remembering songs by The Police, but now that i hear them, i'm like duh, of course! i know these tunes. i love these songs!"

silence. The Cute peers at me from behind his rockstar ringlets:

"this isn't The Police, sweetiecakes. this is U2."

Monday, August 20, 2007

faith in photoshop.

pretty, pretty, pretty, faith hill. so thin and willowy, skin so flawless, waist so taut and cinched (even after three babies!).

and here's what she really looks like.

a very, very human, pretty, pretty, pretty faith hill.

click here to read all about what was done to make her look like an expressionless Carrie Underwood clone.

(thank you, amy. i will never be a particularly successful blogger b/c i'm the equivalent of your 88-year old grandmother when it comes to keeping up with the rest of the blogosphere. good thing i have friends who do!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"no duh" would have been a better headline.

Study Suggests That a Need for Physical Perfection May Reveal Emotional Flaws

no kidding.

if it takes a scientific study to get plastic surgeons to psychologically screen their patients, or even just be more aware of their patients' emotional well-being, great. i just find it funny that this study is presented as something revelatory and new.

i've been living it for most of my life.

we're not all rushing to the doctor for a pug nose or a pair of immovable boobs, but in varying degrees, haven't most of us spent oodles of time and money trying to fulfill our "need for physical perfection?"

time and money that would have been better spent on therapy.

in the flo.

the first day of aunt flo's visit is never fun.

swollen. crampy. soooooooooo tired.

my silhouette changes. i've never been oklahoma, but i become kentucky.

strangely, i've sort of grown to like it though. for reasons beyond the obvious:

1. i'm not pregnant!

2. i'm not menopausal!

3. i'm not dead!

i like these first couple of days of my period because i find i cannot be bothered. my standard reaction to all things on days like today can be summed up in one word:


things that would otherwise annoy me don't, or if they do, i break down and weep unabashedly and feel absolutely no regret or shame for doing so. it's not emotional detachment; i still feel, i just do so sans judgment.


i'm such a pathetic, weepy baby.

more like:

i'm a weepy baby. i need more tissues, please, and chocolate.


sorry, i'm such a bitch. sorry, sorry, sorry.

more like:

wow, i'm a snarky bitch. this can be fun!

the feelings, well, they just sort of wash over me and fade away into to an ibuprofen-induced calm...until the elephant stomps across the tundra of my uterus again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"big girl, you are beautiful!"

i'd have given my left breast to be a part of this video. would have made for creative costuming, but goodness this looks like it was so much fun to make!

Monday, August 13, 2007

“i am a pretty girl.”

i came across this blogpost, Beauty is in the Eye of the Toothbrush Holder the other day. its beauty and honesty stunned me. even more when i discovered that it came from the fingertips of a 24-year old.

no fair.

i don't think i truly started having moments of epiphanous self-love like this until my late 20s or early 30s. i still struggle, dammit, and it pisses me off. for instance, due to the heat, humidity and a hearty case of PMS, my face has broken out into a constellation of pink stars. it is so very hard for me to look at myself in the mirror and not see red, angry tittles screaming back at me:

mwahahahahahahaaaaa! i shall ruin your life!

it is so very hard for me not to hear my grandmother's voice circa 1994, when i was struggling with a particularly bad collegiate breakout, spoken as if she were offering me some bit of revelatory advice: you ever wash your face?

so, yeah, i still struggle with seeing The Truth in the mirror. The Truth that yes, i have zits sometimes, my skin doesn't look like airbrushed porcelain, but it's still pretty damn clear. my eyes are a bright hazel-amber that remind me of my mom's. my nose works, and i have pretty great cheekbones.

unlike when i was 24, i now have a hefty dose of perspective. the zit is no longer who i am, it's just part of who i am TODAY. and, this time 'round, i know it won't last. not a bit of it. the acne. the undereye circles. the bright hazel-amber eyes. the sculpted cheekbones. the zits'll clear up in the next week or two. the undereye circles will do the same with a good night's sleep and plenty of H20. the bright eyes will eventually slope and crinkle around the edges. the cheekbones will lose their striking prominence with the inevitable weight gain that will come with (hopefully) bearing children and a ripe and probably rounder middle age.

so, for today, i'm gonna try to look forward to changing, for better or for worse. change means i'm alive. dead people certainly don't get zits, but then, they're DEAD...and i can always dab on a little concealer.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"i am woman, hear me chew."

i've got myself taken care of. i wonder what he's gonna eat.

Be Yourselves, Girls, Order the Rib-Eye

i used to be the girl that ate a "little something" before she went out on dates so i wouldn't eat too much at dinner. i remember my eighth-grade valentine's dance. i went with parker grow. i wore a royal blue satin dress with a sequinned bodice and an assymmetrical waistline. parker had a matching cummerbund and bowtie. i rolled my hair. i teased my bangs. i had braces. and because i'd read in TEEN magazine to eat something before a date so as not to make a big oink out of oneself, i ate a piece of ham and cheese pizza before he picked me up. we went to his house for a lovely dinner his mother had prepared for eight of us. i hardly ate a bit, which in retrospect, was not only rude, but incredibly stupid. the food was delicious, particularly the homemade tiramisu dessert that i pecked at like an anorexic sparrow.

i will always regret that uneaten dessert. sorry, mrs. grow.

i also went through a phase where i only ordered salads when i was on dates. again...dumb. i enjoy salads, definitely, i eat them on a daily basis, but not usually when confronted with other, more carnivorous options. and in the romance department, salad? pffft. can you really imagine sharing a forkful of mixed greens over candlelight? nothing sexy about that. offering up a drippy bit of pink steak au poivre to the salivating boy across the way? Sexy City. and if what one eats at dinner is indicative of the tastes of another appetite, i'd prefer the boy associate my desires with something hearty and robust, not light and fibrous.

in the end, of course, a girl should eat whatever the hell she wants on a date. eating steak when what you're really craving is broccoli in hopes he'll think you're "unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic," is just as silly as eating a salad because you don't want to appear "too carnivorous" and what i'm guessing this really means is, masculine.


so yeah, ladies, eat what you will, what you want, what you crave. i man worth his salt is gonna like you for reasons other than what you put in your mouth anyway. salad, steak...whatever. of course, i'm not so sure the same holds true for boys, for me, that is. i mean, i think i have admit to a bit of a double standard here. on my first real date with The Cute, i ordered steak au poivre...and so did he. good thing. if he'd ordered "just a salad," i'm not so sure i would have stuck around for dessert.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

compassion can be a bitch.

remember when we were proud of our belly buttons?

Sent: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 2:53 pm
Subject: Hey

Hey Margaux. One of the books came per your recommendation. So thanks for the suggestion, it makes sense so far. I am so angry with myself for using food in this way. But this is good time for intervention.

On 7/31/07, wrote:

yay! i hope you enjoy it, and don't be angry w/ yourself, sweetpea. try compassion. works much better every time.

now, if i could only take my own damned advice. i've certainly gotten better at it - choosing compassion over control - but it ain't always easy. even after all of these years of therapy, i'm still flabbergasted that it continues (at times) to be far easier to be cruel to myself than kind. by compassionate, i don't mean self-destructive and letting oneself go all willy-nilly, but gentle and kind. i suppose i should be compassionate towards myself in terms of self-compassion too, eh? i've taken what feels like baby steps, but if i look back at the girl i was a few years ago, i can hardly make her out in the distance - a girl who couldn't bring herself to even touch her belly in the bath or shower because it was less than perfect...

...maybe if i don't touch it, wash it, moisturize it, care for it, acknowledge it, it will go away...

now, on less than perfect days, when the ups and downs of life match the perceived roly-poly of my midriff, i do this: i purposely fall asleep with my hands resting gently upon my abdomen, palms down. i imagine light and love and compassion breathing from my hands into The Belly, my longtime bane. touch: a simple thing, but an absolute necessity in creating and maintaining cohesive, lasting, loving relationships, and i would certainly like one of those with The Belly. we're getting to know one another after a lengthy, embittered separation.