Wednesday, December 24, 2008

i wanna know

I confess...that I wonder. A lot.

I wonder what I look like. I know I can't see myself objectively. I wonder what I look like to the outside world...both my face and my body. The former is pretty impossible to show me. The latter...I guess I wonder which people I see daily have similar bodies. My husband pointed one person out to me, but I'd like a more objective opinion. I'd also like to know what I looked like when I was bigger. I don't have clothes from then and (see vanity sizing rant) looking at current store lines don't help.

I wonder if I'll ever be pain-free on a regular basis. I wonder what that even feels like.

I wonder if other people play out as many scenarios in their heads. I run out long stories. Different choices I could have made years ago and things that are simply pure fiction. They sometimes keep me up at night.

I wonder what people think of me. I wonder what true, honest, unabashed descriptions they'd use. I wonder how it would vary among old friends, new friends, acquaintances, strangers, colleagues, clients. I don't so much "care" as I just wonder.

I wonder if there's a "right" answer to what I should be when I grow up. I'm not confident I've found it, but it is hard to find when you don't know where to start.

I wonder how many more questions I'll think of as soon as I post this.

It's a bit ironic. I'm don't ask many questions. And I don't really want to. My wonderings tend to be the "in my head" kind more than the "out loud" kind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

don't i know you??

I confess that....I have imaginary relationships.

People are creatures of habit. I go well beyond the ordinary in that sense...I like to be in the shower at X time, leave the apt at Y, and I need to stand in the same spot for the train. Clearly, I'm not alone in this because I see a lot of the same travelers every day, especially in the AM since we all have more control over schedules at that point in the day.

I notice some of my frequent companions and I tell myself about them. Some of them, I make up stories. Others, I just observe. There's a woman who is always well-dressed...nothing particularly special, business-casual fare, but just well tailored and clean and somehow nicer. I've always wanted to tell her but fear I'd totally freak her out (and that I'd be embarrassed and then have to stand somewhere new). But I haven't seen her lately...have I missed the chance?

Sometimes a very large mentally challenged man gets on later. He rocks back and forth on his feet and announces the stops. The other day he asked someone to tie his shoe...a nice guy in army camouflage helped him which made me smile (he was a bit far from me). Sometimes people move away from him. I want to explain that he is my Gentle Giant.

There are two women who sit together often. They don't work together because they get off separately and I don't think they are related. I go back and forth between roommates and just random travel companions. I think they notice me observing them.

The end point here though...I wonder if they are watching me back. What do they notice? Do they have a story for me? A name or tag-line? Who am I through the eyes of these not-quite-strangers?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I confess...that I totally wish it upon others.

The "proper" thing to say about an illness, or really any trying experience, is that you wouldn't wish it upon anyone else. I'd like to be that noble, but I'm so not. It is someone else's turn to deal with this. Okay, I'd prefer it not be passed to someone I care about, but I'm ready to give it to someone new.

I've dealt with chronic pain as a result of endometriosis for years now (and, in retrospect, for a long time before the diagnosis) and I'm simply tired of it. It takes way too much energy to fight somedays. On the occasions that my pills work and relieve the pain I feel such utter bliss in being that how "normal" people feel every day? Color me jealous. I refuse to take the pills when I don't really really need it, but pain-free is a feeling that I bet few appreciate.

I have an odd relationship too with more serious diseases. Of course, I'm not saying I want something life threatening. But they get so much more attention. It is hard having a non-banner condition. People don't "get it" readily...they don't know how to react to it. And it also doesn't get the attention of researchers and such. They simply throw up their hands and say "oh well...take some pain pills". I'm all for breast cancer research and certainly would pick a pink ribbon product over a similar non-ribbon item. But where's my campaign?? I have ONCE seen a mention of proceeds going to research on this condition...tee shirts at a winery in Cali where I must presume they had a personal connection. Iironically, they didn't have any in my size (see yesterday's post). I wonder too if it would be different if affected men. Somehow, I doubt the (still male dominated) medical world would be as blase about it. If men were doubling over too, someone would be listening.

I am not the best person, but I am not a bad person. The world has bad people. One of them can take this damn disease. They can take the pain and the fatigue and the toil on the immune system that leaves me both more vulnerable to catching things and in more pain when I do because I'm worn down. I've done my time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i DO exist

I confess...that not long ago I would have hated anyone who voiced my recent shopping-related complaint.

I'm at the smallest I've been as an adult. I'll admit, I'm small...which says a lot if you know me well since I'm not so good at seeing myself. But I'm not minuscule or unhealthy, not the kind of thin that makes strangers want to come up to you and feed you a cookie. I run into plenty of women everyday who are my size. And plenty who are smaller (and still healthy).

So, when did stores decide that I don't exist. I was in a department store suit department this weekend and they have maybe four or five pantsuits (ummm...are people really buying skirtsuits in Boston in December??) total available in my size. In other sizes, they had dozens of options. Not long ago, I tried to find a reasonably priced pair of jeans and didn't find a single pair in my size in a given department store.

Then there are the "name" stores. Not the fancy schmancy ones...that's not me...just typical non-department stores for women. I swear my clothing size would change even if my physical size didn't because they just keep vanity sizing more and more. And they are pushing me down and down. I'm a Small. I'm not an XS....or even XXS. I'll be most stores, I'm a one store in particular, 0s can be loose. That just doesn't make sense to me. I'm healthy. I deserve to be able to get dressed!

Where are the women smaller than me shopping? The kids' department?? The irony on that thought is that kids seem to be getting bigger and bigger...I'd wager there are kids growing out of the children's lines (earlier than they should) just as women are being pushed back into them.

It isn't the worst problem in the world. I would have wanted to slap anyone with my complaint...until I became the one complaining. I know plenty of people would trade places (though I've worked DARN HARD at getting to a size that I think is right for me). Nonetheless, its my rant for today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

things unseen

I confess....that I'm jealous of faith.

I wasn't really raised with any religion. I knew my mom's family was Jewish and we occasionally acted the part of cultural Jews, but we were never religious. I was briefly thrown into Hebrew school around 6th grade and it was a miserable failure of an experience since I was thrown into a group that had been studying together for years and given the kindergarten book on language. That's all she wrote on that.

Honestly, I just don't "get" faith. I simply can't conceive of it. I don't know if there's any higher power and I don't believe I can ever know....if there is one, I don't think my mind would be able to conceive of it. And I don't know how to believe in something of that sort. I like tangibility. I think doubt is in my nature. Maybe it was taught to me, maybe it was inborn. I don't take too much at face value. That can be a good thing sometimes, but it certainly stands in the way at other times. It makes it hard to get to the point of trust with people and I can see and touch people. It makes it unfathomable to simply believe.

When I struggled with some eating issues, I briefly attended an OA meeting. It was a 12-step thing. I knew pretty quickly it wouldn't work for me. I need control. And I certainly can't hand it to a higher power that I don't "have."
I am thoroughly jealous of those with a strong faith. There must be an extraordinary comfort in it that I'll never know. I am especially in awe of and respect those who've questioned their faith (vs. just taken it in spoonfuls doled out by some institution) and come to the conclusion that they believe. I wish I knew something that strongly. I wish I had that ability. I also imagine it as such a wonderful antidote to loneliness. Not that I feel lonely right now....just in general, I imagine an added peace in feeling "someone" is always with you.

I'm not looking for a lecture on God. I'm not looking to be converted or brought into the fold. I'm just thinking in print. And admitting to a jealousy that part of me wishes wasn't there.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I confess....that I have a porn addiction.

Food porn.

While other people might troll the Internet for flesh, I look at menus. There's a site with a ton of Boston menus...I could never see them all but I keep tabs on whatever is in the "most viewed" queue. I imagine what I'd get...apps, dinner, dessert, wine. When I have actual plans for a special meal, I have it all set ahead of time. And I get darn pissy if they go and change things on me. I want what was advertised, what I've had in my head all these days, my fantasy. I want the real thing, not the stunt double.

I watch my food porn TV too. In fact, I tend to watch it on Sundays during my long treadmill run. I know I look quite odd sweating away with pictures of burgers and molten chocolate cake on my treadmill's TV screen. Really, it isn't some sadisitc ritual...I'm not punishing away the food thoughts. Food porn works well for my workout because it doesn't require 100% of my attention but occupies enough of my brain to keep me from calling it quits. Okay, there is a little motivation in knowing that one habit makes the other one a bit more okay....the running certainly does let me indulge more than people would expect. I think my fellow gym-goers dislike the habit, not appreciating the "intrusion" of indulgences into their workout time. Oh well. I don't want to see the celeb-gossip or sports headlines you are watching so I'll keep my eyes on my screen and you do the same. 'Kay?

I know women who are recipe-addicts. That's so not me. I can cook, I have the ability to follow a recipe and have done so with success before. I choose not to. I don't enjoy it in the least. I don't watch cooking shows. Totally bore me. I want my meal pre-assembled, pretty, and perfect. I suppose it'd be like watching a "real" porno be isn't as much fun when you have to look at the step-by-step reality, without airbrushing. I'll keep the fantasy.

The Public Transit Code

I confess...that I get quite annoyed when people around me refuse to follow the "rules" on the T (Boston's public transit system). This may be a tad unfair since the rules are primarily in my head. To help remedy this injustice, I'll detail some rules here:
  • My body beats your book/bag/whatever -- Look, I know the ride can be a bit dull, but if the only way you can read is to do so with your book jamming into my back, then you simply shouldn't be reading. Likewise, and this rule goes especially towards women and anyone toting a backpack, bodies beat bags. Bags and such should be adjusted to accommodate bodies...I should not have to contort to avoid your purse. Your Prada may have a higher market value than I do, but I still win.
  • Sharing equals caring -- If you are seated in an end seat next to a half-partition that separates you from a mass of standing people, you should keep your hands neatly tucked in your lap. You should not drape over the side of said partition, taking space away from a crowd of standing folks. You are the lucky seated one, be considerate. As to those standing, if it isn't necessary to cross over the partition, don't. I won't even mention the "I'm so macho, I have to sit with my legs a foot apart" folks.
  • Holding, not hugging -- The poles are there to hold, not to give a full body embrace that effectively prevents anyone else from holding on. If the train's empty, hug away. But if other people need to hold on, then limit the pole PDA.
  • We feel enough like cattle, quit the cud -- I chew way more gum than I should. But I don't do it where my mouth is an inch from someone else's ear. I don't want to hear you smacking away for 20 minutes.
  • I don't care if you use Dial -- But for goodness sakes, use some sort of deodorant. None of us are daisy-fresh at the end of the day, but there's reasonable and there's the rest.
  • Little doesn't mean I lose out-- I'm on the smaller end. But I still get some space. Just because the person next to you takes up a bit less space, doesn't give you leave to push into their seat/standing room/head/whatever. I fully appreciate that the seats don't fit most modern behinds, but why do I always seem to be the one paying the price for that? Don't punish me...I already punish myself in pre-5AM workout sessions...
  • No, there is NOT more room -- If you don't fit, you wait. Simple enough.

There are more. But that's a start. Consider yourself warned. I now feel even more justified in my angry glare