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Caution: curves ahead

22 Mar

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This week I watched a recent video of myself that I made with my son.  I was shocked  at the image I saw reflecting back at me. I’ve had a rough couple of years with some things …and apparently, I am an emotional eater….or possibly an emotional drinker… maybe…I’ve found a fondness for red wine and it found a roomy home on my hips.

Over the last few months, I began moving the clothes that no longer fit to the left side of my closet. I’m still flabbergasted  when I’m unable to pull up the pants I’ve worn for the last 10+ years past my thighs….The pile on the left of the closet  is large.

This means I’ve also had to  purchased new pants – begrudgingly. My collection is minimal in comparison. It was either that or go naked… I had no choice in the matter. Yes, leggings work well and are cheap…but they hide the fact that I appear to be growing – out, not up. At this point, my ass could qualify for it’s own zip code…

So, I’m watching this video thinking – How in the world?  Really.  How did I let myself gain 30 pounds? When I look in the mirror I know I’m bigger…but this video.  Lord, please promise me that the camera adds 10 pounds…that I really don’t look that way in REAL life.

But the truth is I’m now heavier than when I delivered both of my children.  I know I’m teetering on the verge of no return….and I don’t know what to do about it.  Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many women larger than myself. This isn’t about them. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. This is about me feeling good, or not, in my own five-foot-five-and-half skin.

This is how my day starts:  I try on a new black skirt that arrived yesterday.  To tight.  I contemplated keeping it for “when I lose the weight” but more than slightly depressed at the likely hood of that NOT happening, I tossed the skirt on the bed to return later.

I then selected white slacks that I knew were a size or two larger. They fit, but the view from behind was not so cute….On went the Spanx – boy shorts.  Spanx, the well-known by ladies around the world (but rarely seen by men) undergarments that are made to make me look skinner.  Yet, I some how now feel like a sausage.  A bratwurst to be specific…But damn it to heck, I have to go with this outfit because I’ve already worn the other two pants that fit me this week.  Tomorrow it’s jeans….

I tossed on a cute shirt from a local boutique that I haven’t worn since last summer. It was a little snug across the chest but nothing terrible I thought…However, the more I moved my flat iron across my hair, I realized it was too constricting.  I no longer liked it.  Crossing my arms at my waist to lift the fabric….I find I can’t. I was stuck. I couldn’t get this damn shirt off my body.  I twisted, I tried….I grunted…I thought, “Imma have to cut this bitch off.”…For a second I contemplated running downstairs to wake up one of my children to help me pull this sucker off….I’m not sure I’d live that one down…EVVAHH… Five minutes and a few tears later, I wiggled out of  shirt looking like I’d been on a subway fight. Red in the face, hair a mess…

I promptly moved it to the left side of my closet.  My first thought?

You know you are fat when you get stuck in your freakin’ shirt. What the hell…

On to work. As I’m walking up the sidewalk I say a little prayer.  “Lord, I don’t like this. I don’t like how I feel about me. You love me and have helped me in so many ways.  Help me to lose this weight.”

Fast forward through my day.

I’m in the ladies room where a coworker asks How I’m doing. “busy. good.” I say.    I tell her she looks beautiful today.  She shrugs, not believing my words, her eyes drifting away from me.  Then she says, “You look good too. How did you gain your weight? Eating too much.”

Yessssss. She said those words.

Before you get riled up and ready to kick ass, please hear her story.

She is from South America. She LOVES curves.  Which until her recent weight loss, she had — curves for dayyyys!  She tells me, almost too eagerly, she can’t wait until she can put on some pounds.  She is serious…This I know.

I tell her I’ll shift her some of mine – If only it were that easy!   She then says with a large grin and wiggling eyebrows,  “I bet your husband is happy” as she points to my zip code carrying ass….

She is losing weight not because she wants to friends, but because of the chemo.  You see, she has breast cancer.  She wears a scarf to cover the hair loss which makes her self-conscious.  She has a hard time looking me in the eyes,  really – looking anyone in the eyes, these days.  Yet, I think she looks more beautiful than in any day prior.  Her warrior spirit is shining.  She is fighting and it shows. Without the distraction of her hair, which was indeed gorgeous, her eyes become the focal point, dancing in the light.  She is simply stunning.

I get back to my desk and think, “You know your fat when…”

Then I stop.  I close my eyes….I sense God’s hand…and I pray.

I thank God that I’m healthy.  Specifically, I thank him for my cancer free body.  With embarrassment, I apologize for believing anything different. A few extra pounds is nothing in comparison. I thank him for this lesson, for humbling my spirit.  I know I have some work to do…and I will.

Ladies, would you please join me in shifting our focus away from who we want to be and allow ourselves permission to be who we are?  Let’s not put our self-worth in our hair, our bodies, our curves – or lack of…

PS – If no one told you today, let me have the honor of doing so.  I love you. You are beautiful.

Put that on repeat.

Perspective.

Just a little more, please

7 Apr

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Dear Fashion Industry,

 

We need to have a chat…Pull up a chair and settle in.….

 

With summer on the way, I’m slowing emerging from my cocoon of sweaters and boots. Looking for a few new  items to add to my wardrobe is becoming more difficult than I remember it from previous years.

 

Let’s start with tops….Can I make a request?  Please do not  use see-through material to make my shirts.  Every SINGLE shirt I try on is see through….I don’t live in the Midwest and I don’t like to layer.  I want to wear ONE shirt….not six.  When I put my ONE shirt on, I don’t want others to be traumatized by seeing my bellybutton, moles, or random hairs that may or may not be present. Shirts are MADE to cover those suckers up.  Don’t believe me? Just ask, I’ll tell you the truth.

 

While you are at it, can you use a zipper longer than 1.5 inches on my jeans, please? I mean, really. It can’t be THAT much more expensive to throw a girl a couple of inches. I’m thinking 4 should do the trick….Don’t get carried away and use those long suckers you put in “mom jeans” but you know, just a little more zipper would be nice…Know why? Because it means you’ll also need to use a little more material to fully cover my hips. Muffin tops are not cute.  They.are.NOT.  You force me to show my muffin top and I’m not happy about it.

 

While we are talking “mom jeans”, let’s talk about shorts. Of the styles available,  I have to choose from a 1-inch, 3-inch or 24-inch inseam….can we not get something in the middle? I’m freaking serious here.  I’m 40 years old…no one wants to see me in a 1-inch inseam shorts…In fact, I’m pretty sure I own underwear with a longer inseam .……I also don’t want shorts that cover my knees…those are called capris…I just want mid-thigh length shorts.  Why do I have to beg for something that seems so reasonable to me? It is exhausting….

 

Now let’s talk bathing suits….WHY, WHY can you not give me enough material to both cover my crack and my hips simultaneously?  I know it’s possible. I have underwear that can do the job….so….

 

As I’m typing I’m thinking, my underwear kicks ass….maybe I should just wear that and be done with it…I mean if leggings qualify as pants, couldn’t my underwear qualify as shorts??

 

Frustrated and damn near naked,

Lady Chatsalot

 

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Saying Goodbye

4 Mar

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Hey Jack,

Can we..umm… talk?
It’s been a fun few months and we’ve had some good times…for sure…

But…

There just isn’t an easy way to say this…so here it goes…I think it’s time for us to put some space between us….

At first I welcomed the cooler air…the times we spent snuggling with my scarf and the way you admired my boots. But now…now I don’t know….

I’m just tired. Tired of being cold…..and the extra layers…I feel like I’m suffocating.  And, when your family came to visit Jack, they brought the Frost with them…They killed my plants …

KILLED THEM with their FROSTY, frosty ways! Yes, I know, it’s their right…but Jack…it’s just plain rude.  Honestly, I don’t think I can get over it. I’ve tried…Lord knows, I’ve tried.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me just say, NO.

No, there isn’t anyone else. Yes…I know… Spring has been popping his head in every now and again…but he never stays long. I’m not even sure we bat on the same team…He flutters around making things beautiful and primping…talking flowers…singing and smiling…smiling and singing…

Of course! He is so much fun to hang out with and I deeply enjoy his company. Everyone should have some Spring in their life. We just don’t…well, we don’t have that sort of connection….

Summer? What about him?

He can be a bit of a southern bully. He muscles his way past Spring, doesn’t he? Announcing his presence triumphantly…It’s hard to stay mad at him though…He draws me in with his sunny disposition and boundless energy.

If I’m honest, I kind of flush when he’s around…even get a little sweaty…

You noticed??

Must be nervous energy. He comes out full force, guns blazing. It is kinda’ hot

…ummm…anyway….

Look, Jack Frost…I don’t want to talk about others….

You and I need some time apart…I know you will find someone who appreciates your cool style more than I….You deserve to be loved just the way you are….  I hear Boston has a thing for the wintry mix…

I really wish things were different…

It’s not you, it’s me.

I hope we can still be friends….

…Call me, maybe?

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Dear Mrs. Victoria Secret,

3 Jan

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Dear Mrs. Victoria Secret,

I’ve tried on two of your garments in the last two days. One came in the mail, the other in my local shop…..Mrs. Secret, we need to chat….A little heart to heart…girl talk…

First, let’s start with the bathing suit I ordered (on sale) which was received this week. Since I’m now a grandma and all, I thought I may need something to cover my tummy on future boating outings….I mean, I certainly don’t remember my grandma sporting a bikini….

The price was right, the color hot! A bright peachy / pinky coral number, which looks fantastic on my olive skin. I read the dimensions more than once, carefully selecting the correct size. When the tankini (a tank top swim top) arrived, I was eager to try it on.

I ran over two miles that day and walked my dogs…I guess I could have been a little worn out, my muscles a little tired….

After the first 5 seconds of attempting to slip the tankini over my head, I knew this would not end well….

My arms splayed over my head, elbows touching, my eyes blinded by the fabric which is simultaneously gripping  my upper rib cage, it is now cutting off the circulation….my breath is becoming shallow…I sit on the toilet, arms still lifted, trying to fill my lungs…I feel like I’m caught in a bad game of Chinese handcuffs…the more I pull, the tighter it is…

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Breathe in, then out completely, like they taught me in yoga…now try to pull that damn thing down to my hips….it only took a couple of tries…maybe three…or four….I rest on the side of the bathtub before examining in the mirror.

Whewww… It looks fine, I think……smoothing it down, turning side to side…but it feels…It feels a bit like a sausage casing…and I can only imagine how I will get this damn thing off when it is wet…Scissors may be required…

We actually wear these things to swim in right??? Or am I the only one?

Fast forward to yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I land smack dab in the middle of your semi-annual sale. Yippeee…happy dance….My husband and I are just returning from a getaway, I think – ooohhh, I’ll try this little number on…Strappy and black… the bra connected to the skirt. As I walk into the fitting room, I wonder, how exactly does this thing work?

I try stepping into it…nope….

I try pulling it on over my head

….and I’m repeating the day before… Chinese handcuffs….

Now, I’m cussing…and my mood is foul….

Wholly shit…I don’t think I can get this damn thing off…and I’m certain I’m not ‘IN’ it to begin with….

I contemplate calling in the sales staff…I’ve seen three working the floor…flipping through the list, I wonder who would answer the call? The young 20ish, size 0, who could probably somersault into this get-up? Oh my Lawwddd…I close my eyes….shake my head…no, this is an adventure I must tackle alone….

….breathe in, breath out…pull, step… breathe in, breath out, crouch, push, sit….geezzzee…Who knew yoga could come in so handy?

I had no idea the level of athleticism needed for such a small amount of fabric….I mean, I’ve been working out and all…but COME ON VICTORIA!!

Mrs.Secret, I really like the IDEA of your garments…I’m sure they would look super cute…However, should you require six years of gymnastics experience and ownership of a trampoline to get your “outfits” on, it really should be noted in the description.

Exhausted,
Lady Chatsalot

PS – HIRE MORE WOMEN DESIGNERS!!

Courtesy flush, please

11 Nov

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Okay, ladies. Let’s talk.

I’m not sure why bathroom etiquette is not taught in school. It really should be…say starting in kindergarten when they teach you to wash your hands after going.

It appears to be skill that is lacking among some women.  Probably among some men too…but I don’t frequent their bathrooms so I’ll keep this to the ladies in the house.

Rule #1 – If possible, please leave an empty stall between us. Meaning, if a person is in stall 1, skip stall 2, and use stall 3.  There is no need for your feet to touch mine…in fact, it’s a little creepy.

Rule #2 – Flush…Flush…Flush.. Flush often. If in doubt, flush again.  You can never flush too much.

Just FLUSH.

Rule #3 – I’m not in there to have conversation….and frankly neither should you. There are lots of places to make a call…sitting on the bowl should not be one of them.

YES, the person on the other end of the call CAN tell where you are…bathrooms echo. I know this because my husband subjected me to this mental image torture before I put an END.TO.IT.

Once it’s in this mind trap, it’s hard to erase….

To recap ladies, please, please, don’t pee and chat….or worse, poop and chat.

Rule #4 – Which brings us to this…. If you are a public pooper, please have the courtesy to choose the stall that is the furthest away from the entrance. No one needs their nostrils ripped out and handed to them upon entering the room.

It’s just not nice.

Oh, and if you are a serial public pooper, you may want to invest in some poo-pouri for your purse. Just spray in the bowl before you sit.  It’s magic!    (tested out on the husband mentioned above)

Trust me, your friends…heck, everyone,  will love you for it!

Point is, there are rules ladies. Follow them.  Do your part to keep America…and our bathrooms… beautiful.

.…steps off soap box…..

Never heard of Poo-Pouri? Watch this witty commercial for your daily chuckle:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWks4qtrESbtEvrTy0Qt9mQ

Dressed for Success??

28 Jul

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  I’ve heard that as you age you quit giving two cents about the silly things….

Periodically, I make up “life rules” to help make sense of and organize the craziness in my head. One tried and trusty one is “once I’m in, I’m in.” Which translates to once I’m in my home, I’m not going back out, unless the house is on fire…

I came home tonight and did what I always do. I made a beeline for my bedroom and changed into my comfy, well-worn sweats and a tank. (It is 105 outside but the inside of my house is a meat locker, thanks to Mr.K .)

Much to my dismay, I realized that a grocery store run was necessary to prevent a lunch preparation meltdown in the morning. I mean whatevvvaaa would my kid do without a sandwich AND ten snacks for lunch at summer camp???

….hmmmph….

Muling my options for about twenty minutes, it was simply unavoidable…I had to go…and I was going as is, damn it…NO way was I going to the store AND changing back into real clothes….. I mean, I live in a tiny little town and who is going to see me any way, I rationalized?

Apparently two of my co-workers – THAT  is who! Male and female….

I have a reputation….I like heels. I like makeup. I like to dress up….Simply put, I like being a girl. It isn’t a chore for me. It is a part of me. I feel my absolute best when I’m all put together.

Tonight?  Not so much….my hair was pulled messily in a half pony, half not…makeup all but gone from the 105 temps earlier in the day..sloppiness slopping out of every pore…..and I don’t care…or at least that is what I said when I walked out of my house…

First, from a distance I hear, “H, how was YOUR day today?” Assuming…I’m guessing… that I was wrangling bulls, given my appearance. I managed a quick smile,  half a wave, pushing my cart with all my might to the produce section…

Where my fashionable, cutie -putie co-worker caught me browsing the organics. “H, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in sweats.” ….

I responded with a flushed face and absent minded response…. “These are my pajammas.” …

HELLLLLOOO!! Wake up Call!!

What grown lady goes to Publix in her PJ’s on a Monday at 6pm!

Trying my best to escape anyone else who may loud-out my laziness, I start lobbing food from my cart..chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookies, Italian cream cake…three types of cheese….I glance up to make sure I’m not hitting anyone with flying food….

Who do I see? One of my favorite size 0 (–YES ZERO–) gym rats. She says, “I’m going to your house!” as she points to the conveyor belt full of crap-ola…

All I can do is hang my head and chuckle “I’m so busted tonight. Great.”

In the safety of my newly restocked kitchen, I start defending myself to Mr.K who is bewildered that I went out of the house as is….

“They say as you get older you don’t care about the silly stuff. I’m a grandma now…I can go out in curlers and slippers, If I WANT to, rightttt???”

…. Oh well, at least I was wearing a bra….

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