Monday, September 22, 2008

A smattering of nattering.

My brain’s all over the joint so, as a result, this post will probably cover 18 katrillion topics and I’m not 100 percent sure it will make any sense, let alone come to any sort of point. But hey, Monday's almost over. Let’s roll the dice and see what comes out of my idiot head.

I’ve been ruminating on this comment I read over at Jezebel a couple of weeks ago: we ever tell single men to just suck it up and be happy alone? To me, it seems like we just want these older single women to shut up because there aren't any solutions.

It rang my bell something fierce, and since then, I’ve been paying slightly closer attention to the various message boards and whatnots that I peruse and it really is rather striking how older single fellows bemoaning their single status are given the “keep yer chin up, buddy, she’s out there/don’t give up, man, Ms. Right’s right around the corner!!” platitudes and rah-rahing, but us older single women…yeah, why don’t we shut our traps and be happy with what we have, huh? Be grateful that you have friends/family/a roof over your head/a job to go to/two legs to stand on/two eyeballs to see out of/the sun shines/the wind blows etc. etc. etc. and fucking on and on. You don’t NEED a relationship, you know. So BE GRATEFUL, and you’d damn well better keep any of those stupid thoughts about how it pretty much sucks being the third wheel/ignored/alone to yourself so the rest of us aren’t bummed out.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. Bitter and kind of furious at times, actually. I know I trot out this song-and-dance more often than anyone really gives a rat’s ass about, but as I’m preparing to embark on one last ridonk attempt at online dateage, perhaps I’m trying to pump out the last remnants of bitterness from the lower decks of my very large failboat, the U.S.S. Chunky-n-Doom’d in order to embark upon this project with some semblance of optimism. Or, at least, the ability to put on a convincing show of it. But I think we all have that moment of “bwuh!!!” when someone tells us of a double-standard and then we see it in practice for ourselves. And mercy, am I bwuhing my ass off lately. I think it’s the most hurtful when it comes from people who you’re close to, be they family or friends. When my mother trots out the old saw about “Life Lessons” and “Everything happens for a reason”, I would like to put her in the shed because I’m waaaaaaaaaaay over Life Lessons Happening For a Reason. I’m at the point in my life where I would much rather just be presented with a list of all the Reasons the Life Lessons are happening and what I could do in order to pass the next exam. Someone tell me where I can pick up the Cliff’s Notes and I’ll study up something fucking fierce.


I had this thought many times today: JUST FUCKING EAT FUCKING EAT FUCKING EAAAAAAT. No, not directed at myself, but overhearing co-workers getting tight over calorie counts and dress sizes and being "disgusting" and "pigs" and the usual foorahrah, accompanied by oohing and aahing over a co-worker just back from maternity leave. The same woman that insisted I'd lost weight while I was overseas was borderline frothing as she told New Mom she'd lost weight ohyesyouhavethebabyweight'salmostallgoneohmygoodness! I really loathe how diet conversation has become a lo-cal substitute (har har) for CONVERSATION. That discussing one's diet/exercise regimen and how many calories are consumed and what "bad" things you avoid eating and how "bad" you've been if you had a cookie is considered interesting chat while at work or out with friends. Not that I'm looking to have a deep, philosophical chat with my co-workers, but good gravy, could it be chatter that isn't a competition to see who can come up with the most colorfully hatey ways to deride oneself? I suspect I may be repeating myself, but it's appalling to me that self-loathing has become a rite of passage. It's absolutely acceptable for a person to participate in a conversation that consists primarily of which body parts of ours we find to be horrifically disgusting and how we HAVE to get in shape (the only appropriate shape being thin) and coveting bodies that it is downright scientifically impossible to have. I think about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old Olympic swimmer that made so many headlines because she was coming back to compete at *gasp* the ancient age of 41 AND *super-mega-gasp* after having had a BABY! You know goddamned well millions of women saw the photographs of her and her washboard abs and muscular thighs and immediately thought themselves shitty because they didn't have those abs and muscular thighs--never mind the fact that Dara Torres' being a SWIMMER. She spends $100,000 a year on a head coach, a sprint coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor, and a nanny. That's why she's got friggin' washboard abs and muscular thighs--because she can devote every friggin' free moment to flopping around in the friggin' pool, friends. But that kind of logic doesn't penetrate our brains because we are so caught up in the magic being sold to us each and every day that our lives will practically turn into a never-ending utopia of awesome and unicorns if we could just stop being such out-of-control hogbeasts and GET. THIN. Oh, I mean, GET IN SHAPE.


Lastly, I do wish to report I'm in love with something shiny, pretty, and with a blinky light. I bought a 500GB hard drive tonight and it''s a delight, frankly. A couple of years ago, I had a massive hard drive implosion that ate much of my writing, including 15 or so completed screenplays. Yep, a LIFE LESSON if there ever was one. Not that I've been able to write shit since then, but I suddenly came over all "must have external hard drive now" this evening and trotted out to pick myself up my new best friend. We'll just overlook the large amount of surge-protecting power strips I have in my Bachelorette Lair (a.k.a. my room in my parents' house) *cough* because it's important that my bass amp be at the ready at all times in case I feel a need to jam, or it only take mere seconds for my PC to leap to life because dammit, I NEED TO KNOW WHERE CHRIS MAKEPEACE IS.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Strike 193,882,093, Alton Brown.

Paul over at BigFatBlog blows shit at Alton Brown waaay better than I can at the moment because when I'm steamed, coherency is not my friend. Instead, it's a lot of gasping, eye-rolling, and "fu-huh-huck YOU"-ing. Followed by a rant that is plentiful with expletives not ever deleted.

I mean, not that I needed an additional reason to call Alton Brown fucking clownshoes. It just boggles my freaking mind that a cat would feel so comfortable displaying his utter contempt for the people who PAY HIS GODDAMNED BILLS. Well, I should say, the FAT people who pay his goddamned bills. I can only hope that any fat person in anything resembling a non-self-loathing space that is a fan of his stops being a fan of his, stops buying his shit, and stops lining the pockets of this ginormous, throbbing, overrated doucheweasel.

Then, join me in penning a lovely letter to the Food Network. Their physical address appears to be:

75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

And what makes it even more kneeslappingly laughable (in that "I really want to kick the world in its ass right about now" way) is the "Core Values" blabbetty blah on their website (parent company: Scripps).

I'd love it if Alton Brown didn't have a job anymore. I'm dreaming big, I know. But for fuck's sake, Food Network shitcanned the dude from "Dinner Impossible" for fudging his resume'. However, Alton Brown's dish of hatred and contempt is delicious? Yeah, no. Time for Food Network and Alton Brown to be on the receiving end of some major pushback.

(Anyone who has better contact info for Food Network, lay it on me in the comments.)

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Romper stomper bomper Pru.

Dear Prudence (real name: Emily Yoffe),

I read your advice column every Thursday on I'm an avid reader of advice columns, in fact, from Dear Abby to Carolyn Hax to Miss Conduct. I'm always curious to see if they're presented with situations similar to any I may have (or may be) going through at any given time, and I like to see the responses to fat-related scenarios as well. It's not often that an advice columnist surprises me. More often than not, when someone writes in with some sort of fat-related query, it turns into a polite screed about The Evils of Fat: while it's not okay to haterate against fat people, well, they sure do need some fixing is the usual tone. Basically, save the delightful Miss Conduct (a.k.a. Robin Abrahams, who is a friend of Fat Acceptance), advice columnists generally demonstrate Concern Trollesque behavior.

And this week, I knew I was in for a doozy when the video question was titled "Heavier and Hard Up" (a transcript follows after the cut):

Dear Prudence,

I've been living with my boyfriend for a year. I'm 23, and he's 35. He's usually a very gentle and caring man, but two weeks ago he dropped a bomb on me. When I asked him why we don't have sex as often as we used to, he told me he no longer finds me as physically attractive because of my recent weight gain.

I know I've gained weight - I went from a size 16 to a size 20, and I'm not happy about it either. But it didn't bother me much until I found out about his true feelings. He swears up and down that he still loves the person inside just as much as ever. But I can't help but feel that if he won't accept me physically, he doesn't really love me. Now I feel like if I want this to work, I need to change. But I haven't tried to change him. So how is that fair?

Signed, Confused in the Country

Now, Prudence, if I had been presented with this question, I would be dying for more details. What was her activity level like prior to moving in with her boyfriend? Had she been ill? Any major life changes besides moving in with the boyfriend? What is the general relationship like, since there is a sizable age difference? Basically, I'd be hard-pressed to fire off a response without having more information. But we don't want to let human curiosity or the natural inclination to have more facts to go on get in our way of doling out some terribly "fine" advice, do we.

Dear Confused,

You're only 23 and you've gone up two dress sizes in a year, to a size that by any measure puts you in the plus category. (oh god OH GOD NO NOT THE PLUS CATEGORY) It's not unreasonable for your boyfriend to be concerned about this trajectory (sweet mother of Christ YOU ARE GOING TO END UP 500 POUNDS AND BEING TAKEN OUT OF YOUR HOUSE BY A CRANE). Of course we all want to be loved for who we are regardless of what we look like. But hey, people care about what they look like and what their partners look like (so SHAPE THE FUCK UP, FATTY!). Try to separate this issue out from your relationship and instead take a look at your relationship with food (I CAN SENSE YOU SIT ON THE COUCH ALL DAY AND WATCH TV AND EAT DONUTS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT ALL FAT PEOPLE DO). For the sake of your future health (YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, CHUBS), join Weight Watchers (it's not a diet, it's a LIFESTYLE!), get into an exercise program, try to do something to get this problem under control (BECAUSE YOU ARE OUT OF CONTROL FAT FATTERSON).

I strongly suggest watching the video, because my transcript (or even my, uh, editorial whimsy) cannot possibly communicate the kind of...pompous disdain that drips out of Emily's mouth. Of COURSE if you're fat, you've got a fucked up relationship with food. What made my jaw drop a bit more was the "tough shit, people are superficial so get with the program if you want to be loved" tone.'s not cool to be superficial, right? So...why on earth would you endorse asshole behavior? Oh wait, of course, we're talking about OMG KILLER FAT KILLING KILLING KILLING RUN AWAY. And that point's nailed home with the deathly serious "For the sake of your future health". For the SAKE of your FUTURE HEALTH, Confused, JOIN WEIGHT WATCHERS.

*record scratch*

Yeah, that'd be the last thing I'd prescribe anybody, really. If I wanted to teach someone how to be neurotic about what he/she puts into his/her mouth even more so than just regular old-fashioned no-cost dieting does, then yeah, I'd tell them to hop on the Weight Watchers train.

As for the "my boyfriend doesn't want to fuck me because I've gained the weight" thing...well, I'd be inclined to say "then he can go find someone else to fuck and you find someone who wants to fuck you", personally. But of course, let me add on the disclaimer of never having been in a relationship, blah blah blee blah blah. So I've been lucky enough never to be on the receiving end of such a proclamation. I can only imagine what I, at my frostiest and best, would do. Most likely, I would crawl into the nearest liquor cabinet and not come out for a few weeks. Shit, I've crawled into the liquor cabinet for far less emotionally devastating things. And I would be hunting down the nearest Weight Watchers meeting if I wasn't in the mindset that I'm in now, which is "I am who I am and I look the way I look, and it's not my problem if you can't dig on it".

I think about the woman who wrote this letter in the first place. You have to figure she must be a fairly avid reader of ole Prudence, and must think that most of the advice Prudie's dispensing is sound and fair. She must have been thrilled to see that her letter was going to be published AND to discover it was a featured video--! That is ZOMG level of excitement right there. I'd wager she hoped Prudence might assure her that she's not being unreasonable to WTF her boyfriend a little bit for his stance. I'd wager that once Prudence was done informing her she was an out-of-control, lazy sack of unlovable shit, she had a full-snot cry, maybe a few shots, and immediately got rid of any "bad" food in the house. She's probably started "cutting back" and "behaving herself", tracking every single bit of food that goes into her mouth, counting every calorie, every fat gram, every second spent on the treadmill or the walking track.

She is going to be good and worthy of love just as soon as those 20 pounds, those 30 pounds, those 50 pounds come off. You'll see.

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