Is that a cervix in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

I’ve flown twice this month: once to my hometown in California and once to New York City, and the experiences I’ve had with the TSA have been as different as the cities I visited.

I used to joke with the TSA at DFW Airport that I must have a tumor or something, because my lower left leg always sets the damn body scanner off. But lately, my voluptuous bod seems to be pissing off more and more scanners. On my flight home from California earlier this month, a very polite and well-mannered female TSA agent asked me to step aside so that she could pat me down.

She was very polite and asked if I’d prefer a private screening. No, I answered. I never do. Maybe if they’re going to ask me to take off my bra and give me a mammogram or something, but just to pat me down? I’m made of sterner stuff than that.

“I’m going to start with your chest and arms, going in this direction,” she told me as she gestured with blue rubber gloved hands. “But I’m going to use the backs of my hands.”

I shrugged the equivalent of “Yeah, okay.” What am I going to do? Start running for my gate? Besides, if we all get to our destinations safely I honestly don’t care if she cops a feel with the backs of her hands. I’m sure it’s even less a thrill for her than for me.

She went on to pat me down everywhere, but kept stopping to explain what she was going to do…and always “but I’m going to use the backs of my hands”. Got it. After a few minutes and a good swabbing of my hands for bomby things, I was on my way to my gate. No big.
 photo TSA1_zpsx666b8p4.jpg

Yesterday, as I was leaving La Guardia Airport in New York City, I had the exact opposite of this experience.

As usual, my lumpy body set off the body scanners. If our lack of decent presidential candidates didn’t concern me enough, now I’m a bit worried that the TSA can’t tell the difference between a terrorist and a chubby girl like me. Why the hell do I always set off those scanners! I wasn’t even wearing Spanx, for fucks sake.

There were two female TSA agents working the security side of the body scanners. One was a regular looking lady in her mid-fifties, I’d guess. The other was an incredibly surly chick with an attitude I can only describe as something between a Jerry Springer talk show guest and an LA gang member with a rap sheet as long as my arm. She had to be at least 6 feet tall…and she could’ve easily palmed a basketball. Shit, she could have palmed a Mini Cooper.

I don’t know her name, but let’s call her Tiffany because it sounds dainty and feminine, which she was not and that shit’s just funny. I was too afraid she’d see me look at her badge, lest I end up floating in the Hudson River like in an episode of Law & Order. Visiting, delightful, warm-hearted tourist from Texas is found floating boobs-up in the river…Benson & Stabler arrive on the scene…donk donk!

Here’s now my pat down went:

Tiffany, pointing one 9 inch finger to the floor mat in front of her: “Step here.”

I step here.

Without another word, Tiffany proceeds to use her gigantic fucking meat hook hands to push and slap my shoulders and arms, then runs her frying pan sized palms down the front of my legs and then back up between my legs until BAM! Karate chop right in the vagina. The fuck?

Tiffany didn’t use the backs of her Andre the Giant hands. She just manhandled the shit out of me and punched in me in the lady bits.

I was still reeling from the violation when she turned around and yelled (I’m totally not shitting you here) at this tiny little woman in the body scanner, who was apparently not understanding the other agent who was telling her to step out.

“COME OUT! COME OUUUUUUT!!!! HEY!!!! COME OUT!”

Not. Even. Shitting you.

Almost as an after thought, Tiffany told me I could go. She turned and stomped back to her post, her blue rubber covered knuckles nearly dragging on the ground behind her. Bitch.
 photo TSA2_zpsru0ual04.jpg

As I was seated on the plane, being safely jetted away from Tiffany and her beefy fingers, I realized that the TSA is rather like a visit to the gyno – except with a gyno you can change doctors if you’re not happy.

The TSA agent in California was like my beloved gyno here in Texas: soft spoken, gentle and pleasant…in spite of the task that’s been handed her. In contrast, Tiffany from NYC was like the doctor who uses a teaspoon of lube on a freezing cold speculum and just aims in the general direction of your birth canal. Pfffffffp! Good enough! NEXT!!!

Jesus.

I wanted to cross my legs all the way to Texas, but I was in coach.

I’m sorry, I know I’ve been talking about my vagina a lot. It’s really not that special or fantastic, but it’s the only one I have…and I really don’t want to share it with Tiffany and her man hands.

In all seriousness, though, it makes me wonder how a person like that keeps their job. Is no one watching her? Why is she allowed to be that horrible to people? Why is she so fucking angry? Maybe I’d be angry too if I had to frisk people all day long, but maybe I’d go look for another job where I didn’t have to touch vaginas all day…ya know, if that wasn’t my kind of thing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are many of us who might choose to do something else for a living if we could. I grew up wanting to be a tap dancing astronaut writer. I am not an astronaut. I can tap dance. I’m a writer. But I didn’t achieve the trifecta career of my childhood dreams. That doesn’t mean I can run around punching people in the vagina and yelling all day.

We need to find a way to be happy with ourselves in some way. We need to find at least one spot of joy in this world…or we end up like Tiffany.

Don’t be Tiffany. That’s all I’m saying.


Calm the Fuck Down adult coloring book

 

Never thought I’d see the day…

The primary source of my self-worth has been a number on the scale…or a size in clothes…for as long as I can remember. It started when I was a 9 year old little girl being made to stand in front of a mirror in a dance studio while my intimidating, 40+ year old male dance teacher pointed out all the parts on my little body that were too fat. By the time I was a pre-teen, he was publicly humiliating me at the dance studio in an effort to bully me into losing 5 pounds. By high school, it was 10 pounds. I eventually quit dance, at which time all hell broke loose on the scale. But the founding message in all of this was…I am nothing because I am fat. I am a 9 year old fat person. That part of my brain still exists.

I used to think I needed to banish that, but honestly I can’t. And the reason, I think, is because there was never anything wrong with that 9 year old little girl. She was awesome. I can’t banish her. She’s part of me. And I love her.

I’ve paid so much money to therapists, talked and talked and talked to friends, read countless books on emotional eating, loving myself, children of alcoholics…you name it. And still I’ve spent my entire life evaluating myself on what the scale says and what the tags on my clothes say.

A little over two years ago, I had gastric sleeve surgery. I was so ready. I’d spent a long time speaking out against surgeries because I’d seen so many friends do it and gain all their weight back. Sometimes more. But what I didn’t realize is that, even though they thought they were, they just weren’t ready.

I wasn’t sure how much weight I would lose after surgery. I was amazed and grateful and elated that I lost 116 pounds. But I had 220 total to lose…and after I had my gallbladder removed, things really screeched to a halt. Why? Well, there’s only so much weight that you can lose by nutritional changes alone. I hit that threshold.

I can lose the rest of the weight if I exercise, but I keep hitting a wall. I keep pushing against the wall. Sometimes it seems to budge, but it never really does. In my head, it’s all about the weight. The tags on my clothes. The number on the scale. So I push. Nothing happens. Then I start to think “My God, Dianne, let’s go. Let’s do this! Let’s finish it.”

And nothing. Again.

There’s some stress going on at home right now. Nothing to do with HMH and me, but another family member going through something and we’re caught in the wake. There’s an end to it on the horizon, so I’m thankful for that – but it’s been a little tumultuous. And you’ll remember…I had gastric sleeve surgery, not brain surgery. When stress hits, I want to eat the universe. I just can’t anymore.

If you follow my Facebook fan page, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of needlework project updates lately. Quite simply, needlework is my replacement for binge eating.

One of the things I noticed about all my friends who had surgery before me and gained it all back is that they never found a substitute behavior for eating. Well, let’s say they never found a healthy substitute for eating. I saw that I needed to do it. I was determined that it would be something that was purely selfish and just for me. The natural choice was needlework. It makes me count. It requires focus and skill. And I can’t do it with Cheetoh dust on my fingers.

I’ve been doing a lot of needlework lately because I’m under stress. I’m worrying a lot. And I want to eat. All. The. Time. And I’m not going back down that road. That road sucks ass. So I stitch. Carefully. Skillfully. I stitch.

All of this stitching has brought my thoughts back into my head and away from my mouth. And I’ve slowly realized…I’m done. I’m fucking done.

The road ahead is full of possibilities
The road ahead is full of possibilities

No, I’m not done losing weight. And I’m not done with my story. But I am absolutely done being evaluated by my size. I’m done letting others do it. I’m done letting myself do it. I’m done.

It’s taken me what feels like a million years to realize that I don’t deserve this shit. At all. And I’ll tell you what: it’s pretty freeing. LOL. It’s fan-fucking-tastic is what it is.

I totally want to get to goal weight. I want to drop more weight for my health. Hell, I even still want to make exercise a habit! But I’m done letting all of this define whether I’m a successful human being or not. I’m done.

Feeling like I must lose weight to succeed has even subconsciously kept me from writing more in this blog. I realized that I’ve been avoiding writing here because I had no fabulous weight loss news to report. And so I’ve avoided it…like you avoid an old flame when you’re not wearing any make-up and you see him in a grocery store. No, no…I have to wait until everything’s fabulous before I can speak up.

No I don’t!

There are so many other things I want to write about (like tea bags for the vagina, hello!) and I’m going to write them. I’m done waiting for a number on the scale or a tag on clothes for me to be able to talk about anything else. And you know what? I’m amazed at how awesome I feel about all of this.

My dance teacher was an asshole. And he was wrong. I don’t want to carry that around in my head anymore. I know I’ll never forget it. I know it’ll always be part of who I am, but he was wrong. And for the first time since I looked in that mirror through my 9 year old eyes…I know he was wrong.

I am not a number on the scale. I am not the size of my clothes. I am a beautiful, hot mess. And I’m proud of myself…whether I ever lose another pound.

More later.

Much more. ♥


The Sweary Coloring Book for Adults (Swear Word Coloring Book)

My favorite Valentine’s day tradition

Hey y’all!

I recently posted an informal poll for my followers on my Facebook fan page asking readers to vote on which blog topic they wanted me to write about this week. The winning topic was “My favorite Valentine’s day tradition”.

You’re probably not going to like my answer. I usually get all schmoopy around holidays, but Valentine’s day is another story. It’s a retail holiday, you guys. There’s no spiritual meaning to it. No patriotic meaning. No meaning at all except that we’re all made to feel that we have to observe it or it means we don’t love our husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends…whatever.

If I’m being honest, the last time I had fun on Valentine’s day was when I was a little girl. Remember what it was like to be a kid and go to the store and see all those red and pink little boxes with differently themed Valentine cards? How exciting!

At my school, we were given a brown paper lunch sack to decorate with red and pink tissue and glue and glitter and crayons. Any blank piece of paper, even a bag, was an inspiration to me. I was always so excited for Valentine’s day…and I loved picking out just the perfect box of Valentines to give to my friends and classmates.

By the time I was a teenager, Valentine’s Day was already losing its appeal. I was a cute enough girl, but I was beyond shy around boys and I didn’t wear all the cute, fashionable clothes or flirt or go to dances. I didn’t know what to do around boys. So every Valentine’s Day the girls would get all giggly and the boys would give out valentines to the girls who caught their eye…but it was never me. So by the time I graduated high school, it was already just another reminder that I wasn’t enough of something. Not pretty enough. Not skinny enough. Not…enough.

As a single woman in my twenties and thirties, it just got worse. If I was dating someone, everything was rainbows and kittens. If I wasn’t, I was just made to feel more alone by the endless sappy jewelry commercials and news stories about romantic proposals. It was everywhere. And work is the worst on Valentine’s Day. An endless parade of florists delivering huge expensive bouquets to my female co-workers who were either married or dating Mr. Right.


Royal Albert New Country Roses Formal Vintage Teacup and Saucer Boxed Set, White

And then I met HMH. Well, we were friends for five years on the phone (via work) before we ever met in person – but once we met in person, we were inseparable. We moved in together on Valentine’s Day weekend. The following year, he made the world’s worst marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day (it’s a long story and he’s damn lucky I said yes). After that, we just settled into normal life and that was that.

So my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is…paying no attention whatsoever to Valentine’s Day. And I invite you to do the same.

It made me feel shitty for years as a single girl. It puts seriously awful pressure on a lot of men, honestly. Just yesterday I saw a commercial for jewelry where a guy gives his wife or girlfriend a gift box over dinner, she opens it with excitement…and then her smile fades and she looks up at him and says something like “Where’s the real one?”

What the actual fuck, people!

Other ads prey on men by guilt tripping them into paying five times more for a bouquet of flowers that they’d pay much less for on any other damn day. Jewelry store ads attempt to pull at our heartstrings with step-dads giving little step-daughters diamond pendants that match the one he just gave mommy. Restaurants woo guys with special dinner prices and heart shaped desserts.

As women, we’re pressured with ads for lingerie and magazine articles telling us how to get that hot body before the big day. Or, my favorite, top ten tips for pleasing your man in bed. Wow. You’re with someone who wants to boink you. Know how to find out how to please him? ASK. Holy shit. Just talk about what you like and don’t like.

The Valentine thing is all bullshit. Seriously.

HMH and I both work hard for our money and the things we have – but HMH has a very physically demanding job. He works his ass off. How loving is it of me to throw a bunch of bullshit expectations on him about a made-up holiday? When I see those commercials, I don’t want HMH to buy me jewelry or roses…I want to smack the shit out of the advertising jerks who insinuate that my darling hubby is some sort of failure if he doesn’t buy me their crap.

When you’re in a healthy, loving relationship every day is Valentine’s Day…and that should be the same whether your relationship is with yourself OR a significant other. Just because you’re not dating anyone doesn’t mean you’re lacking in some way. Don’t buy into the bullshit.

Valentine’s Day is a giant guilt trip.

It’s as simple as this: if you’re single and Valentine’s Day smacks of loneliness I want you to stand up, square your shoulders and yell BULLSHIT at the top of your damn lungs. DO IT!!! Because that’s what it is. BULLSHIT.

If you have a significant other, take it easy on them. Give them a break. If you both enjoy schmooping out on Valentine’s Day, then I say go for it…but if you’re both spending tons of time wondering what the hell to buy the other one, then why? What’s the purpose really?

When HMH wants a new vinyl record or I want a new needlework pattern, we get it. That’s how we are. If I’m at the antique mall with the girls and I see some vinyl he’d like…I pick it up. And yes, HMH actually bought me a needlework pattern for my Christmas stocking one year. Occasionally, we buy each other our favorite candy…or some other trinket we see around. But we don’t need to be bought stuff in order to feel that we’re loved.

The only people I’m inclined to buy Valentine’s gifts for are my co-workers sometimes…or my fur persons. Those things are still fun for me when they’re in the budget. Otherwise, it’s just another day…as it should be. Except the day after. Candy is 50% off, bitches.

Let’s all go buy ourselves a treat.

Maybe we should start a new Valentine’s Day tradition. Instead of being pressured to spend money on others in the name of love, maybe we could just look in the mirror and smile at the person smiling back at us. Let’s accept that we’re all beautifully flawed, amazing humans worthy of love.

And maybe go back to decorating paper sacks…because that shit’s always fun.

So what’s YOUR favorite Valentine’s Day tradition?


Jusalpha Vintage Rose Bone China Teacup Spoon and Saucer Set TCS03

What the H?

So earlier this week I was sitting, weirdly enough, in the waiting room at my gyno doctor’s office…scrolling through Facebook on my phone…and I see this article from Yahoo! Health:

Please Don’t Stick Herbs Up Your Vagina. Please.

What the actual fuck? Did I read that right?

I felt an odd mixture of horror and curiosity that I haven’t felt since Gwyneth told us all we should be steaming our lady bits if we wanted to be cool like her. (I’d link you to her blog post about all that, but it mysteriously disappeared after the entire universe laughed at the ridiculousness of it all). That’s okay. My vagina decided back then that it didn’t want to be cool like Gwyneth. I’m not in the habit of scalding the shit out of my girly parts even if Ironman’s girlfriend is telling me to do it.

To be fair, I’ll link you to this article about the famous vaginal steaming post. It’s the best I can do.

Anyway, I clicked on the Yahoo article. How could I not? I was not disappointed. I mean, I’m thankful that I was paying attention in school the day they told me not to mess with my vag’s eco-system, as it were, but for those of you who think differently…this article is awesome on multiple levels. When it comes to all the reasons why you shouldn’t put herbs up your vagina, Amy Rushlow (with Yahoo Health) puts it all together for us in an effing hysterical package.

Apparently, “vaginal detoxing” is actually a thing that some women are taking seriously. Like…they’re buying herbal tampons and shoving them up their vajayjays to get a good detox. For three days. THREE. DAYS.

Ladies…c’mon…really?

My favorite part of the article was when she talks about where to buy these ridiculous things. Are you ready? Etsy. Yes! Etsy…the homemade crafting website. “Because when you want to buy something that goes up your vagina, the first person you think of is the guy who made that super-cool necklace for your aunt,” says Rushlow. LOL. I love this chick! (I clicked over to Twitter and followed her so fast.)

I read the damn thing twice while I was sitting in the waiting room, then I was called back to have my own lady bits inspected, giggling the entire time. But as I walked back to the exam room, I realized that these herbal tampons look like…tea bags. Don’t they?

Holy CRAP! Tea bags for the vag!!!

Okay, now this is exciting. If you’ve read my blog or followed me on Facebook for any length of time, you’re well aware that I’m a big fan of Downton Abbey. So now I’m thinking…vag…tea bags…tea…Downton…vag…tea….

Sometimes my mind is like a runaway train, honestly. And once it’s off the tracks there’s just no stopping the damn thing. Before I knew it, my imagination exploded with images of Lady Mary doing magazine ads for this remarkable breakthrough in feminine hygiene.

“I’m Lady Mary Crawley…and when I want to get the funk of a dead Turk’s peenie out of my vag, I turn to Mrs. Tiddlywink’s Detox Tea Bags.”

Poor Mr. Pamuk was no match for Lady Mary’s vag. Perhaps if she’d had a damn detox beforehand he’d still be alive!

Remember when Lady Mary made Anna go to the pharmacy to get a diaphragm so she could bump uglies with Tony Gillingham out of wedlock?

Pharmacy lady: “May I help you?”

Anna (embarrassed): “Yes, uh…I’d like…I’d like to get one of these please.”

(She hesitates a moment.)

Anna: “Oh, bullocks. Can I also get a dozen of the Cinnamon Cervix tea bags? Lady Mary’s whoring around again.”

I’m sure you’re all thinking what I’m thinking: I never would have survived back in the days when the working class couldn’t say what they thought. If I’d lived back then…with my mouth, I’d have ended up scrubbing underpants at the local whorehouse or something – and scrubbing my knuckles raw cleaning crotches all day just seems a waste of my talent.

And what about the Dowager’s naughty history with Russian Prince Kuragin?

Perhaps a little of “Lady Violet’s Echinacea and Olive Oil Downton Estate Vag Tea”…for when you need to add a little moisture back to that crusty, 80 year old hoo-hah. With a touch of Retinol to give your labia a rejuvinated, youthful appearance!

 photo dowager lol_zpssheedmut.jpg

And, of course, there’s the obvious seasonal blends we could play with:

  • Spring Fling – leaves an essence of clean laundry and freshly mowed grass
  • Summer Daze – perhaps something that smells like the ocean. Without the fish or…that might be weird.
  • Pumpkin Spice in the fall, y’all!
  • Holiday Hymen Surprise in December, maybe? I’m just thinking out loud…

It’s true that I haven’t had to suffer through a period since I had my evil bitch uterus sandblasted a year ago, but for you ladies who still have deal with that crap how about a nice Menstrual Mint?

There’s no limit to the money we can make with this scheme, ladies, really. Which one of you has the capital to invest? We should talk. Get me Downton creator Julian Fellowes on the phone. STAT!

I’ll be back later. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately and I’m going to try my hand at mixing up a batch of Lavender Labia. I know I’m probably kidding myself, but at least my vagina will be well rested…


Royal Albert Old Country Roses Boxed Cup and Saucer

2016, here I come!

Yeah, I suck.

I keep thinking “Wow, it’s been a couple weeks since my last blog post…I need to get moving.” And then I think it again. And again. And again. Meanwhile, it’s nearly 2016 and the last thing I wrote was fucking Halloween? Really???

I’m sorry, guys. I need to do a better job at organizing myself.

I used to hate new years resolutions. A lot. It seemed to me that the best way to guarantee that I wouldn’t accomplish something was to make it a new years resolution so I could procrastinate the shit out of it. Something about losing 116 pounds has changed my perspective, though, and I now look at them like fun little challenges. I never get them all done, but I do get some of them done…and it gives me a little twinge of pride to check one off my list.

For example, two years ago I one of my resolutions was to get my Concealed Handgun License (CHL). It took me a few months to realize that I wasn’t ready for it yet. A traumatic experience I had when I was 15 years old was still hanging on and I couldn’t shake it yet, so I put it off for the year. This year, thanks to a women’s shooting group I found, I gradually felt ready to take it on – so, even though it wasn’t a resolution this year, I did it anyway. Kick ass!

I never know what I’m going to put on the list, and I try not to make most of them about weight loss or physical appearance. I try to make them things that are either fun or interesting or challenging…or all three. So here we go. Here’s my 2016 new years resolutions:

  1. Visit another country. Do y’all know how long I’ve wanted to go to Europe? And I have no excuse. I work in the travel industry, for goodness’ sake! What am I waiting for? Well, I don’t have a passport yet. I know, I know, I know. You can see why this is a goal.
  2. Buy a dining room table. It pains me to admit it, but I haven’t had a dining table and chairs for three years. My dining room looks like a staging area for the old tv show “Clean House”. I have boxes of crap in there that have no home. It’s the holidays, so that means there are four large rubber bins in there as well. I took all the ornaments and decorations out but I never put the bins back in the closet. They’re guarded by the two white wire deer that I always mean to put out on the lawn for Christmas, but I can never find the damn prongs that secure them into the ground…so they end up sprawled on the dining room floor like they’re napping. Or drunk. After the holidays are over, I’ll get everything back in the closet…but the pile of Crap That Has No Home will still remain. We need to stop eating around the coffee table like savages, yo.
  3. Have 18 inch calves. No, I’m not kidding. You may be wondering why this is a goal. Let me just say…I need to make exercise a consistent habit, but if I say that then I’ll psych myself out. I feel myself shrinking away from it and I’m tired of that shit. Meanwhile, I love boots in the fall and winter but my calves are still too big – even for the wide calf boots. If I make 18 inch calves my goal, I still have to make exercise a consistent habit but I don’t heap unwanted expectations on my hot mess head. This way, I’m just tantalized by the idea of wearing sexy boots. It’s a win-win.
  4. Decorate the damn bedroom. Seriously. My bedroom is so damn ugly. The walls are still an ugly chalky white. The curtains are left over from the devil condo in California. Our furniture is old and has Kirby tooth marks on part of it (when she was a hell raising puppy). It’s hideous and ugly, not restful and serene. And the worst part? Sometimes when HMH starts putting the moves on me, I look up and think “My God this is the ugliest room ever!” So now you know how ugly it is, because if it can distract me from sexy time it’s gotta be pretty hideous…am I right?
  5. Have my picture professionally taken. This one makes me cringe, but it’s necessary. I need some pics taken…for my “about me” page here and for the blog I never write about my fiction endeavors. Maybe if I get new pictures I’ll be inspired to finish that book, right? Seems legit.
  6. Publish something. Anything, damn it. My God!
  7. This one is scary and that’s why I picked it: learn to sing. Way back in my days at the dance studio, the King would require us to sing show tunes while we danced to them. For example, every year at the county fair we were required to perform an entire show of songs from Oklahoma – which is funny when I think about it now because Orange County, California is about as country as New York City…but with more Republicans. Anyway, I never felt like I measured up and I love to sing. I mean, I looooove to sing. So I don’t want to start a new career or anything, but it would be nice to be able to carry a tune and not be embarrassed. That’s all I’m after: non-embarrassed singing.
  8. Ride a rollercoaster. I think I’m going to need to head to the Queen Mother of all amusement parks for this one, peeps. Yes, I’m talking about my first ever place of employment: Disneyland, California. It’s a goal.
  9. Be able to do 100 crunches all at once. Yeah, I couldn’t get out of this without setting at least one exercise goal. That’s it. 100. Just reading that feels like I just signed up for an Ironman competition. Shit.

2016 resolutions

So that’s it, peeps. Those are my 2016 new years resolutions. Are you setting resolutions this year? If so, feel free to share in the comments below!


Tools4Wisdom Planner 2016 Calendar 4-in-1: Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Organizer – Purpose Driven Goals Planning Book – Personal Life Progress Journal Notebook (8.5 x 11 / 200 Pages / Spiral)