Dear Clothing Companies

Most of the time, if I am shopping for clothes, it is for my daughters. Arienette is the easiest, she is five. I go to the boys’ section if she needs sweat pants, because they are thicker than the ones the girls have, (yes, really) then, I just raid the girls’ section for whatever else she needs. She loves clothes, so, as long as it’s cute, she doesn’t care what I get her.

Krishna, at 16, is a little more picky. Luckily, we generally have the same taste in clothing,(though sometimes I still find myself thinking WTF??) so, anything I think is cute will generally make her happy, plus anything that has super heroes (or villains), or The Doctor on it will make her squeal with delight. Basically, at her age, as long as she is covered, I am happy.

The problem arises if ever I should deign to attempt to find clothing for myself. Regardless of what store I am shopping at, I walk in already knowing that I am unlikely to find anything I like that is also in my size, and, bu the time I walk out, 98% of the time, I have bought no clothing.

You see, I am a fat girl. (GASP!) For some reason, clothing companies see this, and assume that it means that I do not wish to be seen, so they throw shapeless tops in dark colors and floral patterns with barely any neckline and no flare or imagination at all at me thinking, somehow, that I will be thrilled at the options, when really, they are not giving me options.

This upsets me more than I can tell you. Follow me around the clothing section in any store, and you will invariably hear me muttering obscenities along with things like “do they think that they can just make fat girls disappear by hiding us under circus tents?”, or “Of course, I’m a fat girl, why on earth would I possibly want to look cute?” The thing is, I do want to look cute. I love the clothing I see in other sections. I really wish that someone would make those clothes in my size.

I prefer to wear form fitting clothing. It is more comfortable to me, and frankly, I may be a bigger girl, but I have some kick ass curves, and you can’t see them if I am swimming in one of the shapeless t shirt things that dominates my size range at any given store. I like my clothing to reflect my personality, to show off my goofy, nerdy side, or maybe that day I want to just look pretty. When my choices do not have personality, this is made even more difficult. I just don’t understand why manufacturers don’t see the market for cute, plus size clothing.

I went shopping the other day, and I bought four pieces of clothing. Four. Three tops and a skirt. One of the tops may get returned, because I am iffy about the pattern. I consider this to be a good shopping day. My best, actually, in over a year. I had to look through all of the clothes in the entire women’s’ section twice before I found anything. i had to dig through the racks to see if they had anything that would fit me that wasn’t boring or hideous. This should not be the case.

I am going to end this by saying one simple thing that I think everyone can understand: unless you want a bunch of fat girls running around naked, you need to clothe us. Most of us prefer to look cute. It makes us happier. You don’t want a bunch of pissed off, naked fat girls looking for you, do you? Or, maybe that’s your thing, I won’t judge.

“Spacetacular” No More.

In the late 90’s, when Space Center first opened its doors in Hooksett NH, the commercials were like a Siren song. The colors, the sounds, the images on the screen… it all depicted everything that a middle school girl could ever hope for. When we finally went, I wasn’t disappointed. It was a dream come true. The games were fun, putting tokens into slots only to get back piles of paper tickets, jumping on rides, and getting prizes better than the ones at FunSpot. The only downside was when we left… I actually remember getting a big, blue, floppy, fuzzy hat, and a teddy bear. A week later, I gave the bear to an assistant teacher who was moving away. I was in 6th grade, so this must have been 1996 or 97, depending on which part of the school year it was. I even remember the jingle for the old commercial, lauding it for being “Spacetacular”, and it certainly was. Unfortunately, as children, we never went back.

Fast forward 20 years, The girls and I went with a group of friends to Space Center for laser tag. I was fairly excited to go, running on the nostalgia of what I remembered as a wonderful time as a kid. As we walked through the doors, however, I realized things were going to be different this time. No longer do they use tokens, instead, plastic credit card type things are used, which, apparently, if you do not re swipe after playing a game, might not credit your points to you. Most of their games are gone, replaced by so much seating that went unused. Almost half of the building was seating. The games that remain were fine, I suppose, however, there was nothing at all for Arienette to do, her sister even had to be with her in order for her to ride the bumper cars, and even though the ski ball game was half the size of the one at Fun Spot, she still couldn’t do that. There wasn’t a single slot machine in the building. What they DID have were bumper cars, a mini roller coaster, a rotating rock wall, and of course, laser tag. Oh, and the furniture and carpets that they had in the 90’s. There were some claw machines, and a “Buck Hunter” game, and a few others. The prizes were about what you would see at Fun Spot, and every time I saw an employee, they looked like they were bored out of their mind.

To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. I was sad. To see something that was once such a wonderful memory for me tarnished like that was painful. In the end, the kids did what they were there to do, so they had a good time, Ari ran around and danced in the ample space provided by the couches in the TV area, and I got her some prizes with the points I got while trying to find a game she could play. She had a good time too.I will not be returning to Space Center. I don’t see the point, when Fun Spot is just SO much better.

full

President Drumpf.

Many emotions are running through my head this morning. Hurt and humiliation chief among them. This is a hard pill to swallow, and it is far too easy to rage and scream, or as is my wont, cry. I won’t get into the myriad of reasons that Drumpf is a horrible candidate. That horse has been beaten to death, burned, drowned and beaten again. It is now a mash on the floor that even the insects will not touch, and still we as a country elected to sit him in the White House. A decision we will come to regret, I fear, far more than many of us already do.

That being said, I am choosing HOPE. I choose hope because I don’t want to believe that it is going to be as bad as my heart says it will. I choose hope because I need something to cling to. Apparently America needs to learn this lesson. I hope we come through on the other side in one piece.

“The Donald” has SEVENTY FIVE ongoing legal battles currently, and people are already talking about impeaching him, but Pence may be even worse in the event that does happen. Pence actually knows what he is doing, whereas Drumpf is very probably making it all up as he goes along. Only time will tell us where we are going from here, but it’s not over. No, it’s far from over.

I don’t know where we are going, but I have hope… and hope has feathers.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

– Emily Dickinson

“I Would Like You If…”

I recently read this article, and have been thinking a lot on the subject since. Here are my thoughts.

Do you know what the absolute worst part of being told (or even just knowing) that they would like you if you weren’t fat is? The fact that you know that, no matter how much weight you lost, you would never really be what they are looking for. It is feeling like, no matter what you do, you could never be good enough for the person who, despite everything, is more than good enough in your eyes. There are no words that can adequately describe how much that hurts, and all the versions of “fuck them”, or “if they can’t see your beauty”, or “you deserve better” could never make you forget that pain.

I have a wide-set body. I have hips, and wide shoulders. Even at my smallest, I was a size 8. I could never be a size 2. It just physically could never happen because of my frame. Whenever I like someone, I think about their ex… I compare. I don’t necessarily mean to, it just happens. When I know that she is so much smaller than me – in every possible way – it hurts. She is tiny. her frame, her height, even her voice is tiny. By comparison, I may as well be the Good Year blimp. This automatically registers in my mind as oh, he could never like you… you could never measure up to her… she would be disgusted… The veracity of any of those statements notwithstanding, I feel them as if they are being screamed at me by a choir of Devils wielding torches and pitchforks any time I even think that maybe there is the tiniest possibility that perhaps he could like me a little bit.


The man in the above referenced article is clearly an asshole. I’m not here to get into that. However, that is not always the case. Men (and women) have preferences. Some people are simply not attracted to bigger women, or smaller women, people of color or freckles, or blonde hair, or blue eyes, or green eyes, or tall people or short people or any myriad of other physical qualities. We are entitled to our preferences, certainly… but it doesn’t make it hurt less when the object of your affection tells you that they aren’t interested in you because of something you cannot change.

Is there a proper way to break the news to someone you know has those feelings for you? I can’t say for sure; everyone is different, and, as such, everyone is going to react differently. I can’t even say for certain what would be the best way to approach me with the information… other than that I value transparency, and being face to face… not being strung along, etc. Any way you slice it, the pain is going to be there, so I suppose the best way to start is to imagine yourself in their situation, because, realistically, someday, you might be.

We Went to Profile Falls Today…

So, we have been having some adventures this summer, we went to the Basin yesterday, as we do every summer, and, for today, I planned to take the girls to Profile Falls in Bristol. It is about a 20 minute drive, and I had heard it is beautiful, so, when Krishna got back from church with my sister, we had lunch, and off we went.

The ride was fine, we stopped on the way, for drinks, and the road came up so suddenly, I drove right by. Got myself turned around, and went on our way. We drove down a couple dirt roads to the parking area, and walked about .2 miles before we saw the waterfall. We came to a path that wound down a sheer cliff face, and Krishna decided to look around. She saw a “Danger” sign*, but the way down looked a bit easier than going down the cliff, so, off she went.

I followed her as well as I could, she had no trouble getting down, but I barely made it in one piece. By the time I got down, the girls were already in the water. It was quite beautiful, and there were a ton of people swimming, and jumping off the falls, but we had to climb over rocks to get to it, which, while easy for the teenager, was not so fun for me.

IMG_0002

I noticed there wasn’t even a porta potty right around the time Arienette decided she had to pee. Thankfully, she was okay about peeing in the woods. I also noticed there were quite a few people smoking and throwing the butts in the water. One woman, who had face tattoos, was 2 days past her due date, and I don’t know how she got down there, or what she would have done if she went into labor.

We were there about 30 minutes. Krishna didn’t like that the bottom of the falls were all rock, which hurt her feet, and Arienette got her foot stuck 3 times, and wanted to go. We decided to take the other path back, since we were told it was easier. Yes, this is the cliff face I avoided earlier.** I had Krishna keep her sister on the inside of the trail in case she stumbled, and I came behind. I stopped, because my foot was slipping around in my shoe, since we had to walk through a puddle, and Krishna said “Come on, mom”. I explained that I was slipping, at which point, I almost fell off the cliff, to my death, and Krishna says “Arienette! Look, a spider!” She claims that she was trying to distract her sister from the fact that I almost died, but I am not too sure about that one.

Well, we made it back to the car, and decided to go to the pond instead. We got there, and we all got a chance to enjoy a swim. We will not be going back to the falls. It’s beauty is not worth the trouble it takes to get down there and back up. Not one of us enjoyed it there, so I know it isn’t just that I am not in shape. Krishna specifically said that she likes the pond MUCH better, anyway.

IMG_0004

*The sign mentioned rocks falling, but said not to go too close to a cliff wall, which was a safe distance from the trail we took.

**Not the one with the sign.

Required Reading

These books should be required reading in schools.

The Pigman by Paul Zindel – This book is not particularly well written, but it is a very emotional read. It talks about finding friendship where you wouldn’t expect to as well as the wrong kind of friends. I would recommend this book for eighth graders. You go into the book knowing what happens, but by the end it is still very effective.

The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells – THIS. All the THIS in the world. This book encapsulates all that can go wrong if one goes too far. I have actually read reports recently that scientists are experimenting with this kind of thing. shudderThis would be more suited to High school ages.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein – This book has so many wonderful qualities. From finding unlikely friends, to courage and the struggle between what is right and what is easy. This book is incredible. The Hobbit can really be read at any age. (As long as you can, you know, read.)

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende – Another one for sixth to eighth graders. This book should be used in conjunction with the movie for the kids to write a comparative essay detailing the similarities and differences between the two. This is a fantastic example of why you should never watch the movie when given a book report. (Seriously, the movie is only the first HALF of the book.)

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This is another book that evokes a lot of emotion. I read this during my Sophomore year. It discusses the difficulties of taking care of an adult who cannot take care of themselves. A lot of sad things happen in this book.

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo – I read this during Sophomore year as well. This book has a theme, throughout, with the exception of chapter two. The theme is “Sensation, memory, realization” wherein the main character first feels a sensation, which triggers a memory, after which he realizes something for the first time. This book is about the effects of war, and is very graphic and could make you uncomfortable. It is WELL worth the read.

Lisa Bright and Dark by John Neufeld This book talks about mental illness, and the struggle of dealing with it. It details family members who don’t wish to recognize it, as well as friends who do everything they can to help, and the descent from a “normal”, happy teenager into her own mind. This one should be read in eighth or ninth grade. I first read it when I borrowed it from a guidance counselor in eighth.

I only read TWO of these in classes. Why are these books not curriculum?

Feel free to add any books you feel ought to be read by everyone. I always love a good book recommendation.

Christmas Lists and Expectations

With the holidays fast approaching, I am hearing a lot about “what to get your kids for Christmas”. I am sure that it will not be long before the first relative asks me what Arienette wants this year. With that in mind, I would be happy to make a list. Starting with what NOT to get her.

  1. A tablet. While I am sure that a tablet is a wonderful way to keep kids quiet in the car or on a plane, or wherever else you may be, a two year old is not made to be sitting silently all the time. They are loud, energetic and yes, even annoying at times, by nature. It is how they are, and frankly, it is not healthy for them to be staring at a screen for hours playing computer games when they could be running around and expressing creativity.
  2. A phone. There is NO reason that a young child should ever be far enough away from an adult to need their own phone. Most adults have a phone on them at all times, so if she should ever need to talk to me (assuming I am ever capable of letting someone else watch her) she can use the phone of the responsible adult she is with.
  3. Candy. She is two. She does not need candy. There is zero point to candy other than sugar, and she is sweet enough without it. (She is hyper enough as well.)
  4. A living animal. Do I really need to go into detail on this one? she’s two.
  5. A video game console. See #1.

What you CAN get her if you like

  1. Books. She LOVES to read, she brings me several every day wanting me to read to her, and then she tries to read it to herself. Specifically, I am looking for The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.
  2. Cars. She has a growing car collection and she just loves cars. Every time we go to Mansfields, she goes straight to the toy room and grabs a new car.
  3. Balls. Again, she is two. Balls are kind of her thing.
  4. Coloring books. (Preferably with lots of hearts) she has a thing for coloring lately, so this would be a good one.
  5. Clothes. She will (hopefully) be in a size 24 months by Christmas. She wears 18s right now, but I am hoping she will grow a bit.
  6. Hair ties. She loves hair ties.
  7. Age appropriate craft supplies. She loves the home made play dough, and painting as well. (Steph, you would be SO proud).
  8. Anything you can think of that may help her decide to use the potty.
  9. Stickers. I can not stress this enough. She is addicted to stickers.
  10. Learning toys. Anything that will help her learn is greatly appreciated.

So here is a list of what she can and can not have for Christmas and birthdays, please, if you think of something that is not on this list, feel free to ask. I want her to have a proper childhood where she is active. I want her to play outside, catch frogs and grass hoppers, jump rope, climb trees, jump in puddles. I don’t want her to have her nose stuck on a screen 24/7. Just my personal preference.