1

Tour Through Blogland!

Posted by Princess Dianne on October 6, 2014 in General Hoo-Hah

Today we’re traveling, peeps. We’re going on a Tour Through Blogland, thanks to HMP fan Ashley from This Pretty Little Life. Ashley’s quite a blogger herself and when she contacted me about this opportunity it sounded like a hell of a lotta fun. So I said yes.

TTB

If you haven’t read Ashley’s blog, you need to go check it out. Here are a few of my favorite posts of hers:

The letter she wrote to her younger self. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Well, she did it! It’s moving to read and don’t we wish we all had a time machine so we could go back and smack some sense into our younger selves?

This Pretty Little Spring Cleaning: Kitchen – Under the Sink  Honestly, Ashley’s “before” picture doesn’t look nearly as bad as what my under sink cabinet looks like right now – but I’m betting she doesn’t live with a Hot Mess redneck like I do. Seriously, HMH can be a real challenge sometimes…and there’s only so many hours in a damn day. But I love spring cleaning and I love before/after pictures of home organization – so this one really got me.

And finally, My Weight Loss Journey – Support is just simply a good read. It’s incredibly hard to change and Ashley’s take on what really matters is open and real.

You can find Ashley on all the major social media networks. My favorite is her Pinterest boards, but she’s everywhere in social media – so click here to go to her blog and look at the social icons on the upper right to see which ones suit you best.

Ashley’s asked me to answer certain questions as part of this tour, so here I go!

Question 1: What am I working on right now?

The answer is…many things. I have a post waiting in the wings about change. Are you ready for it? How do you know? I’m also working on checking items off my list of 50 awesome things to do before I turn 50…and that day is getting closer. Eeek! And I’m working on writing my first book, but I procrastinate that one a lot because the idea of finding someone to publish it is daunting as hell. (Yes, I realize I can self-publish these days…but I’d rather have a publishing house do all the work for me.)

Question 2: How does my work differ from others in the same genre?

Well, for one thing…what the hell genre am I in? Weight loss? God, I hope not. I have a huge problem with the weight loss industry. I don’t like people who make money off of fat people. Bottom line. I don’t mind paying for goods or services if there’s an end in sight, but if I have to keep buying your shit then there’s a problem with that. So I’m not sure what genre you’d put me in but I’ll tell you this much: my central message is that you have to do what works for you. I’m not a weight loss blog…I’m a hot mess and I’m just blabbing about my life and my path and my process. I’m unique and so are you.

Question 3: Why do I create/write what I do?

That’s easy. Because I can’t help it. I started this blog because I knew there were others out there like me and I was reaching out. And I found you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support and I know, thanks to comments here and the many private messages and emails I receive, that many of you have been helped by this blog. So I do what I do because I’m called to it. I can’t imagine things ever being any different.

Question 4: How does my creative/writing process work?

I have two very distinct, separate methods for writing: one for the blog and one for fiction. My methods for writing this blog are very organic. I write what I write because it comes to me. I can’t put it off and I can’t plan it. When I first started the blog, I tried to create an editorial calendar and schedule certain posts for certain days…but it didn’t work. I can’t schedule any of the shit I spew through my keyboard because it’s all coming from the heart. Fiction is different. Fiction is created completely. It’s crafted. Embellished. It’s bullshit, basically, so it’s a lot easier to manipulate. The Hot Mess thing is real.

So those are the questions and my answers. Now? I’m super proud and happy to introduce you to my pal Brenda’s blog “One Awesome at a Time”. You might remember Brenda from the 2013 DFW Penis Expedition…or at least you should. It’s hard to forget this girl once you meet her. She rocks!

Brenda is a wonderful, funny, loving, creative, amazing work in progress and I’m proud to be her friend. You can find Brenda on her blog…you can even subscribe to new posts via email.

Here are a few of my favorite posts of Brenda’s:

Her post on creating the life you love. Brenda is all about color, life and creativity and this post totally shows it!

Her own 50 Things Before 50 post. She’s turning 50 a month before me (hahahahah!) and she’s well on her way to completing her list.

Her amazing “Shame – Today I am ENOUGH!” post. It’s beyond description. Grab a cup o’ something and read away. It’s wonderful.

I can’t wait to see what Brenda cooks up for her post next Monday. Until then, big thanks to Ashley from This Pretty Little Life for inviting me along…this was really fun!

 


Nylon Butterfly Decorations (36 pc)

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4

How I’m Riding an Emotional Rollercoaster…

and enjoying the ride!
Posted by Princess Dianne on October 3, 2014 in Battle of the Butt, Motivation

Today we’re going to chat about the internal struggles emotional eaters can face if they decide to use bariatric surgery as a tool, so grab a cup o’ whatever and nestle down. This is a long one…because I want to talk about our emotional struggles as a whole, first.

Emotional eaters are a weird animal. We don’t eat because we’re hungry. We eat because we’re bored. Happy. Sad. Mad. Anxious. Sometimes we don’t even need a reason. The simple act of putting food in our mouths and chewing is somehow a soothing balm to whatever woes we’re facing in the big bad world.

What makes things more difficult is that it’s not usually crystal clear what’s bothering us in the first place. If you have a bad day, you most likely end up angry at a person or situation and it’s clear to you what happened. A manager at work is such an asshole. Tiffany the Executive Assistant forgot to give your boss a message and now you look like a jerk. The bitch in front of you at the grocery store argued with the cashier forever over a 10 cent coupon. Whatever it was, regular people vent about it and then they feel better. I don’t think that’s usually the case for people who deal with emotional eating…or any addiction, for that matter. I don’t think it’s that clear. At least, it wasn’t for me.

Most of the time there was no one pissing me off. There was usually nothing fresh and new that was bothering me. For me, the specter that my dance teacher created in my head was enough. I walked the earth knowing that I was an ugly, fat, unacceptable excuse for a human being who didn’t deserve love. It was always in the back of my head. Talking to me. Reminding me. Showing me.

You didn’t get that promotion at work because you’re ugly. You don’t get asked out for dates because you’re fat. You have too much hair on your forearms…you look like a monkey. Who could love you? You can’t wear dresses; your legs look like tree trunks. You should feel embarrassed. Stay home in your sweatpants and eat a pizza. No one loves you. No one will ever love you. Get some ice cream, too. That always makes you feel better. Maybe grab some chips for tomorrow because the game is on and the only person who wants to watch it with you is your Mom. How pitiful is that? When’s the last time you even tried to work out? You’re ridiculous. And weak. And stupid. Better grab a candy bar.

I can’t speak for every overweight person on the planet, I can only speak for me…and I can honestly tell you that there is a mindless eating machine at the heart of my subconscious. She is my food demon…and she is a hateful bitch. She has never cared how bad I felt when I went up a size in clothes. In the past, the guilt I’ve felt over the number on the scale has only served to fuel her fire. She wants to eat. She is never full. She is never satisfied. And she is always louder than any other voice in my head that tells me to suck it up…go for a walk…eat a carrot. She is insatiable.

So how do we stop this destructive, self-absorbed bitch? I’ll tell you what’s working for me in a minute. Hear me out first.

If you’ve read my blog for a while you know that I’m a huge believer that each of us has to do what’s right for us. We’re not all the same, so applying cookie cutter solutions to our issues with our food demons is not going to be helpful. If that shit worked, there wouldn’t be fad diets…because the first one would have cured us all, right? There is no Brown Rice Diet or North Beach Diet or Dog Fart Diet that’s going to solve our problems…because what really solves our problems is sitting down and spending the time to figure out what works for us as individuals. And it’s all different. Because what made me a Hot Mess Princess is not what made you a…whatever you are. Amazing Ninja Woman? Incredible Kickass Chick? Fabulous Dude? Superman? (because some things don’t change).

worth it

So how do you handle this food demon that has somehow attached itself to your life and won’t let go? That depends on who you are. Not on who I am. Not on which Kardashian lost 5 pounds on the amazing placenta diet. Not on Dr. Oz. It depends on you.

How do you learn best? By doing? By seeing? By reading? Do you do better with a regimented routine or do you need the freedom to go with the flow? If you need freedom, how much freedom can you give yourself without exercising the freedom to eat a whole box of Little Debbies during Dancing With the Stars? Are you trying to force yourself to follow a plan that doesn’t work for you? Because if you’re fighting it, doesn’t that mean you’re not ready for it? Doesn’t that mean it’s not working in some way? As sucky as it sounds, you have to pick each one of these things up and examine it. Hold it up close. Look it over. Notice things about it. Figure it out. In the end, if you decide it works for you…keep it. If it doesn’t work, is it worth forcing yourself to do it? For me, the answer is no.

I spent 20 years of my life being obese – and before that, I spent too much time believing I was ugly, fat and disgusting. Because someone else told me so when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve spent my life trying to figure out how to stop the self-loathing, totally jacked up behavior that I used to comfort myself from an emotional terrorist. In the process, I found enough of myself to grab hold of…but I went from 125 pounds to 383 pounds before I completely sobered up.

So last November, when everyone else was planning their Thanksgiving dinners, I had gastric sleeve surgery. Almost 11 months later, I’ve lost 106 pounds and have dropped 5 sizes in clothes. But you know what? I didn’t have brain surgery.

Sleeve surgery allowed me to grab the food demon by the throat, throw her black-hearted ass in a crate, and nail the fucker shut – but she’s still around. I have more than 20 years worth of bad habits under my belt. Having 85% of my stomach removed didn’t change that. Never being hungry doesn’t change that. If I wasn’t mentally and emotionally ready for this surgery, it wouldn’t stop the demon bitch from hell.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

Making sure I had a positive behavior ready to replace my eating with was fucking brilliant. She might be locked up in a box, but every once in a while I can still hear her screaming. Sleeve surgery has afforded me the luxury of never feeling hungry, so I no longer feel a physical, urgent need to eat. I have regularly scheduled, small meals and I stick to that schedule religiously because I find comfort in the routine. That works for me. So when the food demon starts screaming from inside her crate, I calmly tell her to shut the hell up…and I go to my needlework and start stitching. Needlework makes me focus on something else. I have to count. I have to concentrate. And my hands are busy. If I’m at work when it happens, I get up from my desk and go walk around the floor. I stretch my legs…and as soon as I’m up and walking, I feel grateful that I’m no longer walking around in pain. I’m instantly reminded that I’m far from the 383 pound walking corpse I was last year. I am an awesome, kick ass ninja butterfly who gets stronger every damn day.

ninja-butterfly1

In contrast, i know people who’ve had bariatric surgery and weren’t ready. They had no plan for shit like this. They didn’t think it through. For them, surgery was the solution…not a tool. After surgery they couldn’t overeat anymore, so that destructive behavior manifested itself in new ways. Some turned into total sluts. I’m not trying to be funny here. They made scary decisions that they never would have made before. Some became angry and bitter. They couldn’t eat anymore so they got pissed at the world instead of dealing with their shit. One developed a serious spending issue.

All of them have gained most, if not all, of their weight back. I didn’t want to go down that road…so I made a plan.

There’s a difference between real hunger and a gurgling tummy. If you don’t eat for 8 hours or so does your tummy gurgle? Probably. Do you also feel empty? That’s important. That hollow feeling in your stomach is probably hunger. What happens if you eat spicy food? What if your tummy is just gassy? It gurgles, right? That’s not hunger. I knew the difference between the two before I had surgery and I didn’t realize how important it was until I was home from the hospital and my tummy was gurgling like I swallowed a box of fireworks. But I didn’t feel hungry. Weak at first, sure. I’d had major surgery. But as I slowly adjusted my diet back to real food over the weeks following my surgery, my tummy would gurgle with each new stage…and I didn’t freak out about it because I knew the difference between hunger and a gurgly tummy.

Change is challenging and fun. At first, it wasn’t so fun. It was just work. So much work. Life after sleeve surgery was just me fielding one curve ball after another. It felt like it took forever for me to feel comfortable in my own skin. I had to learn how to eat all over again. I was learning to live all over again. Once I’d lost my 46th pound, I started to get excited. (I’d gained and lost the same 45 pounds repeatedly…so I felt like the first 45 pounds was a do-over.) The excitement was a welcome distraction – because right around the third month I hit the “OMG I’m so tired of thinking about eating” wall. It happens. I was used to thinking about eating bad foods. I’d plan my day around that shit. After surgery I was still thinking about food, but it was “Okay, how much protein have I had so far? Do I have room for more yet? Have I had enough water? What do I need to eat today in order to hit my protein goal?” That is some boring shit for a girl who used to think Twizzlers was a food group. There’s no magic formula for how to beat that if it happens. I muscled through it. I didn’t want to be the girl who failed at weight loss even after surgery. I still don’t want to be that girl. But now I realize that I won’t be…because I’ve changed.

When I look back at who I was a year ago, I look forward to the changes I can only imagine are coming. After all, I’m only half way to my goal. When I think about it that way, the road ahead opens wide up and I’m excited about the possibilities that wait for me.

Yes, there are struggles. Yes, there are hurdles. But it’s all an adventure…because I finally embraced change.

If you have questions, please ask. I try to be an open book about my experience because I know what it feels like to be lost in a fog and not knowing where to turn or who to talk to. While I can’t say what will work for you, I can tell you what’s worked for me…and that might just help you find another piece of your puzzle. Until then, just remember that it’s okay if your tiara’s crooked. Perfection is for pussies.

Be original.

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Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black

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1

Follow Up: 50 Awesome Things

Posted by Princess Dianne on September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Peeps!

I just had gallbladder surgery on Thursday and since I’m restricted from doing pretty much anything else, I thought I’d post an update on my list of 50 awesome things I want to accomplish before my 50th birthday this November. So let’s check off a few!!!

1. Give blood

I did it…even though I’m petrified of needles and some dude totally fainted just as I walked in. I still did it. Thank God for my patient pal Laura who was there to hold my hand. LOL.

Don't let the smile fool ya...I was freaked OUT.

Don’t let the smile fool ya…I was freaked OUT.

2. Volunteer
3. Visit my cousin in Florida

Me with my gorgeous and talented cousin, Nancy

Me with my gorgeous and talented cousin, Nancy


4. Sketch something
5. Rollerskate
6. Enter the State Fair of Texas needlework competition

Done! My needlework received an Honorable Mention ribbon. I’ll post a picture when the State Fair opens and I go see it!

7. Send flowers to someone
8. Take a CHL class  (cancelled – will explain in another post)
9. Write a short story
10. Play with sidewalk chalk
11. Finish the watercolor painting I started in Florida
12. Get my passport
13. Buy a new bike
14. Take a knitting class
15. Walk a 5K (in process…I’m registered for one next month!)
16. Design my first cross stitch pattern
17. Over-tip a waitress
18. Attend a live performance
19. Play in the rain
20. Lose 100 pounds

Done! I can’t believe how heavy these 50 pound bags were…it’s overwhelming to think I once carried this extra weight on my body!

100
21. Serve myself breakfast in bed
22. Clean out my closet to donate clothes
23. Eat ice cream for the first time in a year
24. Embroider something
25. Clean out the trunk of my car (talk about a hot mess…)

Done! It looks fabulous, trust me. If I waited to take pictures it would take even longer to post this!

26. Watch a movie outside
27. Eat a popsicle

Done! Nothing like major surgery and general anesthesia to give you a sore throat.

28. Get a new floor stand for needlework
29. Watch a sunrise
30.
31. Inspire a rebel
32. Surprise my Mom with a weekend visit

I don’t have pictures, but I did stop in Orange County on my way home from Kauai…but I was exhausted. LOL. Mom was over-the-moon excited to see her baby girl, I promise.

33. Make a really cool craft project
34. Teach a child a new skill
35. Help someone think better of himself or herself
36.
37. Make a new friend
38. Read a book

I read the first book in the Outlander series and started the second. Boom!

39. Go to the movies again (it’s like pulling teeth to get HMH to go)

40. Buy a stranger a drink
41.
42. Random act of baking kindness
43.
44. Ride a rollercoaster
45. 2014 DFW Penis Expedition (Confused? Read this: I live in a penis!)
46. Make a candle
47. Go to the top of the ball at Reunion Tower in Dallas
48.
49. Surprise HMH with a super awesome home-cooked dinner
50. Perform a random act of kindness every day for a week

As for the blank spots, I’m still working on filling those in. Any ideas?

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4

50 Awesome Things Before I Turn 50

Posted by Princess Dianne on September 3, 2014 in General Hoo-Hah

If I don’t get this post out today, I feel like I’ll never get it out. Life is pulling me in 300 directions at once…and my blog has suffered for it. Until now. I’m forcing myself right back up on the horse. The internet is about to get a bit less quiet and a lot more Hot Mess.

Peeps, today I start a series of posts called “50 Awesome Things Before I Turn 50″.

50 things

I got the idea from a Facebook friend who’s doing 40 awesome things before her 40th birthday. Unfortunately, 40 passed me a while ago. This November, I’ll turn the big 5-0…and to make things interesting I’ve decided to do 50 awesome things before my birthday.

If you’re not a fan on Facebook, you might want to be…because I’m going to open some of these activities up to anyone who wants to join me. I’ll post the info on my Facebook fan page – so watch for that!

Now…I also need your help with a slight problem. When I started this list, there was more than enough time to plan and save up for some of the bigger items – but as life interfered and my budget shrank, I had to remove quite a few things from the list. Now it’s full of holes…and my imagination is stretched on this topic. That’s where you come in.

For the love o’ God, please…if you have an idea for something I can do to fill this list, leave a comment and tell me. One thing, though: no tattoos. I have many loved ones with tattoos, so I have nothing against it whatsoever (even HMH has a tattoo). It’s not for me. It’s a needle thing, not a judgy thing. So if you have any other ideas, shout ‘em out!

Here’s my list thus far:

1. Give blood
2. Volunteer
3. Visit my cousin in Florida
4. Sketch something
5. Rollerskate
6. Enter the State Fair of Texas needlework competition
7. Send flowers to someone
8. Take a CHL class
9. Write a short story
10. Play with sidewalk chalk
11. Finish the watercolor painting I started in Florida
12. Get my passport
13. Buy a new bike
14. Take a knitting class
15. Walk a 5K
16. Design my first cross stitch pattern
17. Over-tip a waitress
18. Attend a live performance
19. Play in the rain
20. Lose 100 pounds
21. Serve myself breakfast in bed
22. Clean out my closet to donate clothes
23. Eat ice cream for the first time in a year
24. Embroider something
25. Clean out the trunk of my car (talk about a hot mess…)
26. Watch a movie outside
27. Eat a popsicle
28.
29. Watch a sunrise
30.
31. Inspire a rebel
32. Surprise my Mom with a weekend visit
33. Make a really cool craft project
34. Teach a child a new skill
35. Help someone think better of himself or herself
36.
37. Make a new friend
38. Read a book
39. Go to the movies again (it’s like pulling teeth to get HMH to go)
40. Buy a stranger a drink
41.
42. Random act of baking kindness
43.
44. Ride a rollercoaster
45. 2014 DFW Penis Expedition (Confused? Read this: I live in a penis!)
46. Make a candle
47. Go to the top of the ball at Reunion Tower in Dallas
48.
49. Surprise HMH with a super awesome home-cooked dinner
50. Perform a random act of kindness every day for a week

I’ve even done a few of these already because it’s taken me so damn long to write this post. Let’s get busy crossing a few off…and filling in the holes. Who’s with me?

 

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6

37 strikes and…you’re OUT!

Posted by Princess Dianne on July 6, 2014 in General Hoo-Hah

I’m talking to you, Avenue clothing stores. You’re outta here.

I spent years on the big side of a size 32 (meaning I could squeeze into them but I’d be covered in red welts by the time I waddled my way home from work). When you’re on the plus side of plus size, your choice in clothing stores is limited. Lane Bryant only carries up to size 26/28. And Catherine’s? Well…I probably could have found some things that fit me, but their styles are not for me. I prefer to wear clothes that are somewhat understated and conservative…and Catherine’s seems to want me to look like a giant tropical flower bedecked in sequins and glitter. Not my thing. So I was stuck with the Avenue.

Going by baseball rules, they should have been out after three strikes but since my choices were limited I had to stick with them until I figured my shit out. Now I have…and I’ve dropped five sizes. Last weekend, I dared to step into another clothing store and was treated to something I haven’t seen in a very long time: customer service.

But let’s go back to the Avenue for a minute. Let’s talk about the three biggest strikes they have against them in my book.

Strike 1: impersonal staff.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into one of these stores and heard someone lethargically yell “Welcome to the Avenue!” from the back with about as much enthusiasm as I have going to the gyno. (Oh God….do I really have to do this? Can’t they just xray my vag and tell me I’m okay? GROSS!)

I try not to be a rude bitch on a daily basis, so I always yell back “Thanks!” to the disembodied voice in the back of the store. No one actually steps forward to say hello or ask if I need help.

There’s usually only one person on the floor at a time. If there are two, they’re usually back there together…talking about how they’re going to put the merchandise on the floor or about the customer who stayed in the store until 9:02 pm last night. I once stood next to two employees, one who was working in the store where I was shopping and the other who was visiting from another store, as they had a conversation about an irate customer. My arms were loaded with clothing I wanted to try on. Both of them ignored me completely while they went on and on about this irate customer. I’m too big to be invisible, folks. I was standing right there within four feet of them…obviously waiting to be helped…and, nope, nothing. I finally interrupted them and asked for a fitting room.

WTF

Strike 2: Lame-ass failures

Tired of sewing my workout pants back together for the umpteenth time, I went over to the Avenue to buy a new pair. I walked around looking for some but couldn’t find any. The closest thing they had was a pair of bright blue velour lounging pants. Velour. As I neared the back of the store, an employee approached and asked if she could help me find something. (It has been known to happen, I’ve just learned not to rely on it).

“Yes, thanks,” I said. “I’m looking for some workout pants. You know…like the nylon or polyester blend ones we had to wear in gym class in high school?”

“Ohhhhh, no,” laments the Avenue chick. “We don’t have anything like that, I’m sorry.”

“Why not?” I asked incredulously.

“Well, we only carry workout stuff in January,” she offers back. “You know…because of resolutions.”

……

………

This was one of those times for me when I could feel myself wanting to open up and vent and my filter was frantically trying to get me to stop. Think. Don’t say something rude, HMP!!! Don’t do it!!!

I shook my head, rolled my eyes, and replied “Oh riiiiight. Because the fatties only work out after New Years, I’d forgotten. How silly of me…it’s June. We’ve all failed by now, right?”

Poor Avenue chick. She didn’t know what to say. To her credit, she tried to be helpful by pointing out the velour lounging pants.

“We do have these…”

Now I’m pissed at the ridiculousness of the situation.

“Well, those are made of velour. If I workout in those the thigh friction alone would have the inside legs bald in no time. The gym floor would look like someone murdered the Cookie Monster.”

Nothing.

Crickets.

“Well, I guess you’re right. I’ll have to quit working out and wait for next January. Thanks for your help.”

I skulked off to Catherine’s, thinking I couldn’t get more pissed off. I was wrong. They didn’t have any workout gear either. But they had chocolate for sale by the register.

Strike 3: Bad fashion advice

I walked into the Avenue last week, eager to see if I could fit into a size 24. An employee was straightening a table near the entrance. And, by the way, this reminds me…why are some customers such dillholes? Do they really not realize that someone just set up that beautiful display of tshirts? I’ll never understand people who unfold something to look at it and then toss it on the table. Rude.

Sorry…I digress. I said “I’m looking for dress pants.”

The girl nodded and, quite seriously, pointed out a rack of black dress pants. Then she offered “You’re lucky. This is all we have.”

“Ohhh…yeah,” I answered. “Because they’re black and it’s summertime, right?”

She shook her head negatively. “No.”

I guess I wasn’t going to get an explanation and, as much as I knew I would regret it, I had to ask why. So I did.

“Because people just aren’t wearing pants anymore.”

Blink.

What?

You can’t say shit like that to me, okay? My mind goes from innocent to dirty in 3 seconds.

“My God, why not?”

“Everyone’s wearing shorts and capris now. Or dresses.”

Oh, I see. Everyone is. Then I looked down. “You’re wearing pants…”

Maybe she thought I wouldn’t notice?

255-420323

Just as a bonus, let me add this little tidbit: I went to buy new bras at the Avenue but I couldn’t see the size on the tag anymore. I asked the girl to measure me. She’s worked there a while and I always recognize her.

“Oh! You’re at least an H cup and we don’t carry anything that big.”

Um…no. I explained to the girl that I’d purchased the bra I was wearing less than a year before. It’s a DDD.

“No, you’re at least an H. Where did you go to buy it? They measured you wrong.”

Without missing a beat, I replied that I’d purchased the bra at…the Avenue.

“Oh, which store?”

This one.

“Well, the person who measured you must have done it wrong. I’m sorry.”

You measured me.”

You’re outta here!

There have been countless other failures that I won’t list out entirely. I think I’ve made my point. Out of habit, I’ve just kept going back there…even though I’ve dropped from a tight size 32 to a 22 now. Until last week when I walked into a Torrid store.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by Rachel. I know her name is Rachel because she (shocker) told me her name. With a smile on her face. Right before she asked me if she could help me with anything.

Yes, perhaps you could help me up off the floor because I’m not used to being greeted with such courtesy.

Rachel asked my name and explained the sales they were having. My favorite was the yellow tag sale. Buy something with a yellow tag and get another yellow tag item for $1. Then there was the red tag sale. And the jeans for $19. And the rest of the store was on sale as well. Buy one item, get 50% off another.

Most of their stuff is casual, which is okay…but I’m always running short on clothes for work, which have to be professional. I asked Rachel, who was a whirlwind as she moved around the floor greeting and helping customers, but always seemed to have time for each of us. She pointed out their dress slacks, which looked absolutely perfect for work. I was relieved.

Rachel also pointed out that they had suit jackets to match those dress slacks. $54 for the jacket. I think it was slightly more for the pants, but with the “buy one, get 1/2 off the next” sale, I was quite pleased.

She set up a fitting room for me. As I moved around the floor, other employees would occasionally check on me. They all knew my name. They all used my name. I have to say…it was quite refreshing.

I was on a budget, so I couldn’t spend much. I ended up walking out of there with a $43 denim jacket that would have been $60 at the Avenue. Because it was a yellow tag item, I got a khaki military style jacket for $1.

As it so happens, there’s a Lane Bryant next door to the Torrid in my area. I had to go in. I haven’t been in a Lane Bryant in years and I wanted to see what they had going on.

Marble floors. Some pretty clothes. Not a soul in sight. I walked over to a suit jacket that caught my eye. $99. For a suit jacket. Buh-bye. I left…and never saw one employee anywhere in the store.

Now I need to go shopping again. The bras that the H-cup chick at the Avenue sold me are too small. Guess where I’m headed?

Yep. Torrid.

(And no, I haven’t been financially compensated for this post in any way…they’re just that awesome.)

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