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Category Archives: childhood

It’s my party and I’ll glare if I want to

I don’t like surprises.

I have NEVER liked surprises.

I know most people say that, but they’re really ok with them. Like, if they woke up and found that their spouse had bought them a new car with one of those ridiculous huge bows on it, like in the Christmas car commercials, or if they showed up at work and right before lunch their coworkers threw a gigantic surprise baby shower for them, they’d maybe shriek a little, but deep down they’d think “oh, my. Am I ever loved” and they’d be secretly so happy.

Me? Nope. I’d shriek a little, then I’d furiously rearrange my face into what I think would pass for happiness because that’s what’s expected, then I’d go through the motions of whatever was required, like package-opening or little-meatball-eating and such, and when it was all over and I could escape from that, I would probably shake like my own private earthquake and be SO SO ANGRY.

"Do you think they know I'm mad? Do I look happy? I do, right?"

“Do you think they know I’m mad? Do I look happy? I do, right?”

I wouldn’t be thinking I was super-loved. I’d be thinking “THESE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ME AT ALL.”

This all sounds very petulant, doesn’t it? Yeah. Sorry. Can’t help it. I don’t like surprises. I don’t like people leaping out at me, and I don’t like people assuming they know what I’d like (unless they know me really well, in which case, they’d know me well enough to know NOT to leap out of a dark corner and trigger my PTSD) and I don’t like things I couldn’t think around corners about. I know that all seems very not-able-to-roll-with-the-punches of me. I’m not the kind of person that can’t go on a spur-of-the-moment trip, or something. I just don’t like that people were talking and planning and scheming behind my back and coming up with something.

This is a very long intro for what I can only deem THE WORST BIRTHDAY OF MY LIFE.

I don’t know how old I was. I’m thinking probably 6 or 7. Yes, it was a long time ago. Yes, I should probably be over this by now. No, I’m not.

It wasn’t my actual birthday. The weekend before, is my thought. I’m guessing a Saturday.

A thing you have to know about young-Amy is: there was nothing, nothing, NOTHING I loved more than running errands with my dad.

Running errands with my mom was a dull affair. You’d go buy groceries and she NEVER let you get a candy bar. You’d end up at K-Mart having to try on terrible dresses that were on clearance FOR A REASON and she got so mad if you hid in the middle of the clothes racks. (I had such a thing about hiding in the middle of those circular clothing racks. It was like my secret wonderland. Yeah, I don’t know, either.) You’d run into friends of hers and have to stand there and they’d talk about the MOST BORING THINGS. Like, clothes-shopping and grocery-shopping. WE JUST DID THAT. Can we go HOME now?

But! Running errands with Dad was the best best BEST. We went to the coolest places ever. Like NAPA Auto Parts which smelled like motor oil and had a gumball machine that he always gave me pennies for and the guys working there were always nice and funny and would cuss sometimes and say, “Sorry, kiddo!” Or to go buy a new car and we’d have to wear our old clothes and “act poor” so the guy would give us the lowest price. Or – possibly best – just driving around looking at things and and he’d tell me stories like “this is the bridge that your uncle told your grandmother I made him pee off, and he was so scared now he’s scared of all bridges, but if he ever tells you that, it’s not true. IT IS A LIE.”

That day, Dad said, “Amy! Do you want to go to the dump?”

DID I WANT TO GO TO THE DUMP? Boy howdy, did I want to go to the dump!

DUMP!!!

DUMP!!!

Now, the dump was AWESOME. Don’t even be turning up your nose. The dump smelled terrible, sure. This was long before you paid money and had to have things all neatly recycled. This was a pile of willy-nilly GARBAGE. Couches and dolls and food and dead animals and parts of cars and a million seagulls and everywhere you looked, there was a new thing. The dump was ADVENTURE. And Dad would drive in all fast and it was all hilly in there and the truck would bump all over and I would laugh and laugh.

Shush. I grew up in a small town. We took adventure where we could get it.

So Dad and I packed up into the dump-going truck and I put on my little red riding hood (it was the BEST red hoodie, so I was wearing hoodies before they were cool, yo) and we took off to the dump.

I don’t remember exactly what happened at the dump. I’m going to guess just dump-stuff. Dropping off garbage. Dad saying, “DON’T TOUCH THAT! IT IS FILTHY! WE DO NOT NEED THAT!” (I don’t know if I was ever really going to touch anything at the dump, but I wanted a closer look at it. It was like archaeology of castoffs. I was so fascinated.)

We went home. Now, the savvy grownup that I am would probably have picked up that something was going DOWN, you guys. But I was 6-or-7-year-old-Amy in my sassy red hoodie and a VERY successful trip to the dump on a happy October Saturday behind me, and I wasn’t much of a detective then.

I sincerely felt like Supergirl in my red hoodie. I need to get another one of these things.

I sincerely felt like Supergirl in my red hoodie. I need to get another one of these things.

Now, this is where, if I could find it, I would insert a photo that would make you laugh so, so hard, because it kind of perfectly sums up young-Amy in a single picture, but I have torn this place APART and it is not to be found. I have to assume that my mother has it, because I only have one album of young-Amy photos and it’s not in there.

Instead, I am going to include this very-well-executed internet drawing. YOU ARE WELCOME.

I'm pretty sure I'm the next Warhol, yo. Look right out.

I’m pretty sure I’m the next Warhol, yo. I especially like my red hoodie. It’s perplexingly terrible.

I opened the front door of my house and there was a deafening “SURPRISE!” and my whole family was crammed in there – I mean, all my cousins and aunts and uncles and my mom and my dad was all laughing behind me and you would THINK that would be such a happy surprise for a 6-or-7-year-old kiddo.

Nope.

I did the same thing I do now, when surprised. I froze, then I made the most fake smile ever, and ever single photo of me from that party – every one – is me with this terrible false frozen party-face on, but with gritted teeth and flared nostrils. I did not want to come home to a house full of people (albeit people I did then, and do now, love.) I did not want this terrible surprise. I did not want this thing that had been plotted behind my back.

My parents are totally apologetic now (even though they still think I’m weird.) They know better than to ever, ever have any sort of surprise function for me ever again, as long as I live, up to and including my funeral. (I have that planned to the LETTER. I just have to hope I die before my parents.)

And just so you know, it’s gotten worse – now, when people jump out at me from behind things, my first reaction has become to protect myself with whatever’s handy. Once it was a painbrush, pointy-side out. Once it was a pen. Once it was a cast-iron fireplace poker. So if you need further proof that maybe you should announce yourself before you get into my general vicinity, there’s that. I really don’t want to stab and/or bludgeon you. I have this fight-or-flight reaction…and it’s totally fighty.

So! Yes. I love birthdays. And Christmas. And, in general, all the holidays. And I will always be happy if you think of me!

Just please, for the love of Pete (and your own well-being) DO NOT LEAP OUT FROM BEHIND SOMETHING SHOUTING SURPRISE AT ME.

Thanks. Love your faces.

 

(This post was written for the lovely Emily’s Remember the Time blog hop! Have you visited Emily’s amazingness lately? You should! She’s one of my favorite humans!)

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The leader of the children of the damned

Through most of my teen years, I was a fairly quiet, bullied kid.

Except for the time I bullied someone myself.

And, because I have always been a go-big-or-go-home person, I didn’t choose a kid to bully. Oh, no, not me.

I chose a TEACHER.

Mr. P was fresh out of teachers’ college when he showed up in our seventh grade classroom. He looked like a J. Crew model. He was all preppy cashmere sweaters and perfectly blowdried blonde hair and way too many very-white teeth. He laughed heartily. He had pink cheeks and sparkly eyes.

Immediately, my class decided they must destroy him.

Why we came to this decision, I’m not sure. We were a small school in a farm town. Did he represent the other, and we feared that? Was he too gung-ho? Was he trying too hard? Was he just TOO DAMN BLONDE?

I’m not sure why the rest of the class didn’t like him, but my dislike of him was twofold.

First, historically, teachers had been my only safe place. Especially English teachers. They praised my writing and they called on me when no one else would answer their questions because they knew I’d done the reading (hell, I’d probably finished the book on the first day) and they were kind when the kids weren’t.

Mr. P. wasn’t. For whatever reason, he had no time to be kind to the quiet, bullied kid. He graded me more harshly than I thought I deserved (whether or not I was right, I’m not sure – I was twelve, what the hell did I know) and snapped at me quite often in class. He also forced me to participate in things that other teachers would let slide – things where I had to talk in front of the class. Which was my biggest fear. And when I asked him, as I always did, if there was a way I could get around such a thing, he SNEERED at me.

This didn’t fly with the shy, but snotty about her intelligence, kid that I was.

The second reason was a lot more selfish.

All of the other kids were doing it. Dammit, I wanted to be cool. I wanted to be cool SO BADLY. Even though I knew, on some level, I never would be, this seemed like a way to be cool.

It was hard to be cool when you were the school's Napoleon Dynamite, yo.

It was hard to be cool when you were the school’s Napoleon Dynamite, yo.

So I led the class in a campaign of terror against Mr. P.

See, I was quiet, and I was shy…but I was smart as hell. And I read. A lot. I had ideas about how to be cruel to people that the other kids hadn’t even THOUGHT of. (Mostly because they’d taught them to me by being cruel to me all those years.)

Things we did to Mr. P. over the two years we tormented him, that I can remember:

  • all brought apples back from lunch and, one at a time, loudly rolled them up the aisles at his desk when his back was turned and pretended we didn’t know where they came from
  • he brought in an “heirloom mug” to teach us the meaning of the word heirloom (I’m pretty sure seventh graders don’t need an object lesson for such a thing) and one of my classmates broke it (this was NOT on me, I’d just like to make that clear, but I did laugh along with everyone else)
  • we refused to answer any questions in class, raise our hands, etc., until he instituted “participation points” and we were FORCED to, but then we’d answer briefly and in snotty tones
  • we had a class spelling bee, and he was SO EXCITED, and I knew I could win, but just didn’t give a shit, so when it was down to me and another kid I refused to continue spelling and he was all “BUT THE PRIZE IS A CANDY BAR!” all sad-eyed and I laughed like he’d offered me a mudpie and said “you can’t do better than that?” and sat down
  • and, our coup de grace, another student and I took the musical thingy out of a musical birthday card and hid it under his desk, so there was this tinny “happy birthday” music playing all day, and he was all “WHAT IS THAT MUSIC” and everyone pretended they couldn’t hear it and we walked past on a free period and saw that he’d torn all the drawers out of his desk and was sitting in his chair and he was CRYING.

After that, it wasn’t as much fun anymore. I mean, seriously, we made this guy CRY. We BROKE an ADULT.

The worst part, though (I KNOW, there’s a WORSE THING) was that he’d started a junior-high drama club. He actually got me into acting. I should be thanking the poor guy for this, you know? So in seventh grade, we did Heidi. I was Heidi’s bitchy aunt. I sprained my ankle so badly the day before the show I couldn’t perform and my understudy had to go on for me and I was HEARTBROKEN.

In eighth grade, we did The Diary of Anne Frank (I know, this guy was really optimistic about our talent – well, until we got through with him) and I was Anne’s mother. (Yes, I always got cast in the parent roles, or the bitchy roles. I apparently have always looked old and always read bitchy.) In news of ZOMG, my crush was in the play, too (but I didn’t know at the time he was only in the show because HIS crush was playing his wife. Sigh.) At this point, we had bullied Mr. P. to a point of constant nerves. He was no longer cashmere sweaters and perfect hair; he was more often greasy and sweaty, he’d grown a weird, patchy beard, and he had this constant thousand-yard stare.

I’m not sure what, exactly, happened, the night he had the nervous breakdown. We were acting jerky, I’m sure…but keep in mind we were 13- and 14-year-olds. That’s how those kids act, usually. They’re bundles of hormones and jackassery.

I just remember him screaming “THIS PLAY IS CANCELLED!” and it was an hour before the afterschool bus was coming, and he stormed out of the auditorium, and we kind of whispered and then crept out into the lobby to use the pay phone to call our parents to see if they could pick us up early and he was sitting in the lobby, looking furiously through a phone book and rocking.

“What are you doing, Mr. P.?” one of the kids asked him.

“I AM LOOKING FOR BICYCLE STORES,” he said. “I’m going to RIDE a BIKE across the COUNTRY and eat nothing but BEANS for the rest of my LIFE.”

The kids we were thought this was HYSTERICAL. The woman I am now is HORRIFIED. (Seriously, though, we were kids. The word “beans” made us think of “farts” and “farts” was SO FUNNY. Come on, it still kind of is.)

This was near the end of the school year. He did finish out the school year, but the play didn’t happen, and he didn’t come back the following year (his tormentors – us – had moved onto high school at that point, so he’d have probably been safe, but I can’t blame him that he wanted nothing more to do with my school.)

I seriously think back on this time and cringe.

I was TERRIBLE. I wasn’t the only one – we were all little sharks who had scented blood – but a lot of these things wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t said “hey, why don’t we try…” because THOSE KIDS WOULD NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF THEM. I had no empathy for this poor man, who was new in town, new to his job, and probably trying really hard. And who knows why he was (what I perceived to be) dickish to me? Maybe he was trying to get me to work harder; maybe he wanted me to be able to talk in front of people, and thought this was the best way to go about it. Who knows.

I know. I was twelve, and I was a lonely bullied kid. I did a lot of things that were, in retrospect, not good choices. (I also made some brave choices, but the bad ones probably equaled those out.) But this poor guy, sincerely. And he talked me into acting! Which changed the whole course of my life! And my actions (well, mine and others, but I totally egged those other kids on) MADE THE MAN QUIT TEACHING!

I still feel terrible about this. I’ve totally tried to find him on Facebook and on Google and I cannot. I sadly imagine he is still riding solo across the country on his bike, subsisting on nothing but legumes, like a Forrest Gump without a Jenny to come home to. He’s probably about 50 now. Still pedaling. Trying to escape the mean kids and the tinkling “happy birthday” that won’t leave him alone and just…won’t…stop.

Mr. P., it’s too late, and it won’t fix anything now, but I am very, very sorry for the time I decided the best way to deal with an adult was to bully him into a nervous breakdown and to make him quit his job. As an adult now, I know how mean children can be, and I sincerely cringe at that child I used to be. You have no reason to forgive me (and I am quite sure you’re probably never going to read this – what are the odds, right?) but I do hope you’re well, and you found your happiness somewhere, and you were able to forget about those two terrible years in the late 80s when the children of the damned of upstate New York used you as a punching bag.

(I promise I’m doing penance for this on the regular, now. I’m nice to old people AND animals AND children and one time I found a lost kid in the Target and totally brought him up to the customer service desk so he wasn’t stolen by a pervert and his dad tried to give me money and cried. I REALLY AM TRYING TO MAKE UP FOR MY PAST TRANSGRESSIONS.)


You’re gonna carry that weight; carry that weight a long time

I was a skinny kid. Photos of me from back then are all pigtails and smeary glasses and I’m usually covered in mud. And I’m sometimes brandishing things like frogs or buckets of mucky water, for whatever reason. I probably had a plan for those buckets. Maybe I was going to put the frog in them. I don’t know.

Then puberty hit. You can’t fight science, people. I come from hearty peasant stock on both sides of my family. Dad’s side are all, in his words, “built like tops – big on the top, skinny on the bottom.” (I attempted to explain to him that’s not exactly how tops work, and also we don’t spin very well, but he was all “WE ARE LIKE TOPS!” so who am I to argue with him?) and my mom’s side are all built like the Goddess of Willendorf. Curvy doesn’t even begin to explain it. Genetics decided I needed a little of both, apparently.

Now, Dad had been heavy growing up, and teased about it mercilessly. He lost quite a bit of weight when he married my mother (who was, and remains, thin; she’s the only one in her family that is.) Dad saw that I was starting to gain weight and immediately feared that I was going to be teased about it at school.

His solution? Constantly watch everything I put in my mouth, tell me how disgusting being fat was, tell me I needed to be working out and/or being active every single minute of every single day, tell me I was never going to find anyone to love me if I was fat, and call me things like “elephant.” If I got upset about this, he was genuinely confused. “I just want you to be happy,” he’d say. “I just want you to be pretty and thin.”

Now, I don’t know what size you’re imagining me in high school, but if I remember correctly, I was about a size twelve. A twelve. I was probably around…oh, I don’t know. 140 pounds, maybe? 150? Just about the thinnest I’ve ever been in my adulthood, anyway. I certainly wasn’t fat. And I’m fairly tall. 5’8.

I WAS COMPLETELY NORMAL.

However, years and years of being told, by the person you love and admire most in the whole world, that you are ugly, fat and worthless, take their toll. My self-esteem, never overly good to begin with, wasn’t getting much better.

Senior year, I was tired of being so ugly and fat (although I was neither – I look at photos of myself from that time and think “GOOD GRIEF, WHY DIDN”T YOU REALIZE HOW GORGEOUS YOU WERE?!?!”) and went on a crash diet. This diet was basically a bowl of cereal at breakfast and a can of Chinese vegetables at dinner. Sometimes some chicken. No lunch. This was what I ate every day for about 8 months. I worked out for hours at a time daily. I lost about fifty pounds. I could see my hipbones and my ribs and my cheekbones. My collarbones were so prominent I would sometimes accidentally bump them and leave bruises.

It was the first time my father ever told me I was beautiful. He followed it with “See? All you had to do was lose weight. I knew you were beautiful underneath that.”

I was starving. I had headaches constantly. I was tired all the time. But I was THIN. Boys were paying attention to me. One of my teachers told me, “Don’t you dare ever gain weight again. Don’t you DARE” which at the time I was all “Aw, nice!” and now, looking back, I’m all, “Um. CREEPSTER!”

I think you can see where this is going. Can anyone maintain that kind of diet and exercise regimen in the long-term? And not get scurvy? And not go CRAZY? I mean, I couldn’t eat ANYTHING. I was counting the calories in CORNSTARCH. I’m not even kidding you about this. This is not a way to live a life.

I gained the weight back over about a year. I felt terrible shame. I’d let everyone down. I was disgusting. I was ugly and fat again. I had no self-esteem; I didn’t like to go out in public, I didn’t like to go out with my friends, I didn’t date because who would have me? I drank a lot, though. Liquid courage, right? Mmm-hmm. Works every time, except when you start needing it for everything, ever. Like getting out of bed in the morning, or to get to sleep at night. Or for everything in between.

I’ve fluctuated in weight ever since. Sometimes I’m heavier; sometimes I’m lighter. And here’s the thing; as I age, it matters less to me. I still don’t love what I see in the mirror every day; I still see photos of myself and think, “Good grief, that’s an unflattering photo.” I still have residual shame. I still think “If only I was thinner, life would be easier, in a million different ways.” But it’s not a daily thing. It’s not even all that often anymore.

And before you start to hate him, Dad understands, and has repeatedly apologized, for what he did when I was younger. I often think most of parenting is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants affair. He really, truly thought he was doing the right thing. He thought he was stopping me from the ridicule he’d experienced as a teen. He didn’t realize – and did anyone, back then? – the long-standing effect that kind of treatment would have on my psyche. I’ve forgiven him. He doesn’t say a word now. And he’s said, without prompting, many times since, that I’m beautiful – no matter what size I am. He loves his daughter.

We live in a culture where it is not allowed (well, it still happens, but it’s not appropriate) to make racial jokes, or jokes about someone’s sexuality, or mental illness. But we’re still allowed to make fat jokes. Because fat jokes are funny. Fat PEOPLE are funny, right? Because, well, we CHOSE this. We chose this because we eat ALL the Twinkies and chips and cake and pie and sit around all day doing nothing. We chose this, and because we are fat, we are lazy and we also smell. Of course we do! And sometimes we fall. Ha ha! How funny!

So the best thing to do is make fun of us. To shame us. Because, as this VERY scientific study proves, it’s the only way to make us get off our lazy asses and get thin. Thin and therefore healthy. Oh, because, I don’t know if you’re aware – if you’re fat, you’re immediately unhealthy. There’s no such thing as a healthy fat person. We’re all one HoHo away from our first (or second, or third, or last) coronary. So the thing to do is shame us. According to this “prominent bioethicist” (I don’t see “ethics” coming into this at all) what you should say to any fat people you know, I mean, if you care about them at all, is “If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?” Because of COURSE they’re not! And they just didn’t realize it until you shamed them! Oh, what a favor you are doing for them. They will thank you on the finish line of their first triathalon! They will shout your name from the top of Kilimanjaro!

Or they might tell you to shut your nosy piehole. Because I’m going to tell you something right now, and if you take anything away from this, I want it to be this.

My body, his body, her body, their bodies – anyone’s body but your own – ARE NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

I don’t care if you’re fat-shaming them, thin-shaming them (yes, it exists, please read sj’s amazing post about it, and the comments, and I know from personal experience, as I have a dear loved one who has constantly been picked on about being too thin, which she can help JUST about as much as I can help my body shape, so it’s real) or ANYTHING shaming-them, or if you say you’re doing it because you’re worried about their health, or what, exactly, your impetus for putting your nose in someone else’s business is. You have no right. None. You have no right to tell them they should lose weight (unless you are their doctor, and even then, sometimes, it gets worrisome, because there are some doctors who prescribe weightloss as an easy out for everything from asthma to a sprained toe because they don’t treat the patient, they just see a fat person and think, “I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG IT IS FATNESS!”); you have no right to say things about their lifestyle choices, their clothing choices, who they’re dating, what they’re eating, how loud they’re talking, or anything whatsoever. Keep your eyes on your own test, buckaroo. I’m sure you have something you’re not proud of. Would you like someone walking up to you and saying, “Man, that’s a huge nose you have there. You should get that surgically reduced. You know, for health reasons.” Or, “I noticed you have a very small penis, Man I’m About to Have Sex With. Have you thought about getting that surgically enhanced? You know, for health reasons?” IT WOULD BE THE SAME THING.

Here’s some Fun With Fat-Shaming. Don’t even think I didn’t research the hell out of this.

First, we have Kate Upton. Who is, I think we can all agree, STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS.

She also really likes bikini shots, so it was hard to find a photo of her clothed. Hell, good for her. She is smoking hot.

She also really likes bikini shots, so it was hard to find a photo of her clothed. Hell, good for her. She is smoking hot.

Well! Were you also aware she is “well-marbled,” “thick,” “vulgar,” and – this one’s my favorite – a “little piggie?” Or – well, how about a whole paragraph of hate? Sure!

Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!

YES! She has been called out as too fat to model by a VERY reputable blog site called Skinny Gossip. Two things I loathe! People who judge others’ bodies and gossip! (Also, she tagged the post with “fatties” and “thunder thighs,” because, well, why not?)

Guess why she’s not model-material? BECAUSE SHE’S NORMAL-HUMAN SIZED. Well, no. She’s actually quite a bit less than normal human sized, as normal humans are, what, a size 12 now? 14? Something like that? I don’t think she’s that size. But she’s not waif-thin, and apparently, Skinny Gossip thinks that’s what size you have to be to model clothing.

Psst, Skinny Gossip, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. She’s stunning. And it can’t possibly make you feel any better about yourself to call people pigs, can it? Really? Do you sleep well at night knowing you put something like that out there in the world? That kind of hate?

Next: employees at CVS will now be forced to take a BMI test and a blood-glucose screen to remain on their healthcare plan, or risk a fine. Why?

The company’s rationale? Coercing employees to submit to health testing will provide incentive for workers to get—and stay—in shape.

Huh. “Coercing.” Forcing, really, because the fine is $600 and they don’t pay much above minimum to work at CVS. And what happens once you take the test? Do you have to see a counselor about your totally fat fatness? Are you told if you don’t lose weight, you’ll be let go? Are your test results posted in the breakroom next to a photo of a bag of Cheetos with a red circle and a line through it? WHO KNOWS.

Or, how about, let’s fat-shame our children with this new ad campaign? Because there’s nothing that kids need more than to be shamed. I mean, it’s worked out so well for me, right?

Please read the article that accompanies this photo. It’s kickass. It has excellent examples of fat-shaming. HEARTBREAKING examples. And, sadly, TRUE examples. People think it is ok to walk up to perfect strangers in the grocery store and QUESTION THEIR FOOD CHOICES.

(True story: I had a woman come up to me in the grocery store and tell me she worked for Herbalife and they had an excellent line of diet pills I might like to try. First thought: shame. Second thought: WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE. Second thought won out over first thought; I told her I was not at all interested in a pyramid scheme for products that don’t work in the first place, and I was sorry she felt the need to walk up to strangers and judge their body type, and walked away. She was offering them to the next woman that walked past as I checked out. So apparently my words meant nothing.)

So, anyway. Yes, that’s an ad campaign for (well, against, I guess) childhood obesity, targeting overweight children. Because they probably aren’t aware they’re fat. So let’s do a whole ad campaign for it. That’s a good way to help kids with positive self-esteem. Way to go, guys.

Of course, there’s also good old Southwest Airlines, who expect their fat passengers to spring for two seats. And even their not-so-fat passengers. Whoever THEY deem as a little too fat. They SAY it’s if the passenger can’t put the armrests down, but as Kevin Smith found out a few years ago, that’s not it at all – it’s racial profiling, only with your weight. It’s fat-profiling. He was able to put his armrests down; the passengers on either side of him told the flight attendant they had plenty of room. They still kicked him off the plane. And when he got back on a later flight that they hurriedly put him on once they realized who he was and that he was tweeting millions of people about this practice, they fat-profiled another person, then put her in his row, so she’d tell him about it, and he’d know it wasn’t just him, and feel better.

DEFINITELY taking up way too much room. He should have purchased the WHOLE DAMN PLANE. *eyeroll*

DEFINITELY taking up way too much room. He should have purchased the WHOLE DAMN PLANE. *eyeroll*

Yes! Because nothing makes us feel better than to be shamed in front of a crowd of people than to do it to someone else. NOTHING. (I read his book Tough Shit recently which went in detail into the incident, and my heart just broke for him. Because no matter what you think of Kevin Smith – you all know I think he’s fantastic, but you can hate him if you want, just don’t tell me about it, ok? – when that happened, he was just an average guy, being fat-shamed in front of a full airplane of people. Worse, he was a FAMOUS guy being fat-shamed in front of a crowd of people, and if it was an average guy, it might be a laugh or two, but with a famous person, it’s news, you know? He took control of the news and labeled it “too fat to fly” himself – he’s very good at self-deprecating – but it hurt. Of course it did. Because no matter who you are, where you are in the world, being shamed for your body size is not something you can laugh off. It just isn’t. The shame should be on Southwest Airlines, not the people they’re profiling.)

Then there’s this. I can’t embed a Facebook thread, so sadly, you will have to click. Here’s a screenshot, though, because pretty pictures, right?

Now, you have to click to see the comments. The comments are really what makes this. Because this STARTS OUT as normal, then this person shows up who hates fat people. HATES THEM. Only, no no! She doesn’t HATE them. She has MANY FAT FRIENDS! (Does this sound at all like someone who makes a lot of racist comments, then says, “What? I’m not a racist! I have MANY MANY BLACK FRIENDS!” Yeah, to me, too.) So she starts writing things like “no, it’s a known fact that all fat people are unhealthy and many doctors refuse to operate on them because, well, they’ll just die on the table. Because, well, fat, you know?”

Don’t worry. There are some kickass commenters on there. They give her the smackdown. She doesn’t ever shut up, but they win intelligence. She doesn’t win anything but idiocy and mouth-flappery.

This is, by the way, called “concern-trolling.” It’s like being a troll, only you’re pretending it’s because you CARE. Isn’t that nice? A whole new way to be a douchecanoe!

Sara, from Laments and Lullabies, wrote an amazing post recently about fat-shaming, which you all should read. Her post, and the terrible comments on that Facebook post up there, were what finally made me realize I needed to write my own post. Here’s her post. You should all a., read, and b., comment. Oh, and c., follow her blog.

There are more. There are so many more. But this is edging into way too many words for a Saturday territory, and also I’d like to get to bed at some point.

I will leave you with some bullet points. Because, who doesn’t like bullet points, am I right?

  • Other people’s bodies are none of your business. Keep your words off them. Unless you’re telling them they’re beautiful. Everyone likes that shit. Even if they pretend they don’t.
  • Pretending you’re “worried about someone’s health” is not an excuse for commenting on someone’s weight, whether they’re heavy or thin. Again, see the first bullet point. Even if they’re naked with you, their size is none of your business. Whose business is it then, Amy? THEIRS. No one’s but theirs.
  • Making fat jokes is a., not funny, and b., lazy. There are actual funny things in the world to point out. Like misspellings. Who doesn’t like a good misplaced apostrophe or missing comma? The answer to that is NO ONE.
  • To reiterate what we learned in the first bullet point: before making a comment about someone’s weight, please think the following quietly to yourself: “What is my least-favorite attribute. Now, would I like someone to loudly mention it and say it is ugly and/or unhealthy for me to have, and publicly shame me about it?” The answer to that question is always no. ALWAYS.
  • Also: if you think you are too fat, and everyone’s judging you, and you’re ugly, and OMG I CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE, guess what. No, seriously, guess. Hardly anyone even notices. The only people that do are assholes. And who cares what assholes think? I hope you don’t.
  • Finally: I’m going to tell you something I’ve learned in my old age. Ready? Shh, don’t share this one around, it’s kind of radical. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. I know! Every single last one of us. Fat. Thin. Tall. Short. We’re a lovely bunch of coconuts. Except – there is one thing that makes you ugly. Guess what that is? Hatefulness. Being hateful. You can’t be beautiful with hate in your mind, soul, or mouth. So get rid of that, and guess what? You’re gorgeous again. And everyone will see it. I can see it right now! Whoa, babe, dial that back, you’re blinding me with it.

We’ve become a culture of shaming. We’re rape-shaming and we’re slut-shaming and we’re thin-shaming and we’re fat-shaming. It’s repulsive and this shit’s gotta stop. Like, immediately.

Stop shaming anyone. Including yourself. You are beautiful. The people around you are beautiful. No one should be shamed for how they look. The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, be amazed at how gorgeous you are. And tell the people around you how beautiful they are. Don’t allow them to blow it off and say things like, “Oh, I look like a cow in this top” or whatever, either. Nope. Not today, buckaroos. Tell them they’re beautiful AGAIN. Until they actually believe it.

Then, all of that stuff? Do quadruple that for your kids. Make sure your kids enter the world with the strongest self-esteem possible. They’re going to need it, and you can help them with that.

We might be surrounded by shame, but we can combat that with love. Is that the opposite of shame? Don’t care. For our purposes it is.

Love you guys. You’re gorgeous. Every last one of you.


I’ve seen the future, and you are it.

Let’s go back to a simpler time. Bad hair. Acid-washed jeans. Jelly bracelets. Awkward teenage Amy with gigantic glasses and her nose in a book.

What was different about this time, other than Amy’s fashion sense (shh, don’t mention that her fashion sense hasn’t gotten much better, at least her jeans aren’t acid-washed now and her glasses are smaller) and the programs on television?

Oh, everything.

I was thinking the other day, after a conversation with Andreas about the FUUUUU-TURE, how awesome it is to be living in it.

Ooh, Andreas, look at THIS future! FANCY.

Ooh, Andreas, look at THIS future! FANCY.

(Andreas disagrees. Well, I think half-jokingly disagrees. Andreas wants moonstations and flying cars and is VERY DISAPPOINTED that these things haven’t come to pass. THEY WERE PROMISED TO A YOUNG ANDREAS DAMMIT. As a side note, I like to imagine a young Andreas. I think he would have been very opinionated and a joy to behold. Little intelligent kiddos are some of my favorite humans.)

Let’s think about how we USED to do things, and how we get to do them NOW. And then laugh at ourselves. Sadly.

HOW WE USED TO TALK TO EACH OTHER

Back in the day, if you wanted to keep in touch with a person who was far-away, you wrote to them. But you wrote LETTERS. With a PEN. And PAPER. And then you waited for them to respond. And it took FOREVER. This was not easy for those of us who needed instant gratification. Me. I mean me.

Young Amy wrote a LOT of letters. A LOT of them. To a lot of people. I’d write them in school and also at home and I think I might have single-handedly kept the postal service afloat from 1986 to 1992.

I also wrote notes to people I saw every day. I think maybe I was a blogger before I was a blogger. Someday someone’s going to find all those notes and letters and publish them and make a billion dollars off the collected letters of Lucy’s Football, aren’t they? Oh, I shudder to think. I can’t imagine they were exactly scintillating. And I think I might have used those colored gel pens for a while.

NOW, we can talk to someone IMMEDIATELY. With email or Facebook or Twitter or however you talk to your people, I don’t know. If I want to talk to someone halfway around the world I don’t have to send a letter and wait and wait and WAIT. I can type and they usually respond in a timely fashion. This is so much better for impatient Amy. SO much better.

When I first discovered the wonders of email back in…um…I want to say 1992? 1992-ish? Beginning of college. We had a whole computer LAB. And it was like the worst email program EVER, but it was VERY EXCITING. It was like a whole new world. I could talk to friend M. who was in college in a whole other TOWN like right AWAY. Also we played some sort of terrible roleplaying game where gross people would try to hit on you and then you would log out and then log back in and they were telling people you were married and it was all very confusing and there were no graphics. I was not very good at that.

Even BETTER, now that our phones are teeny-tiny computers, we can have our email and such with us EVERYWHERE. I don’t care about flying cars, Andreas. I get to take all of you with me in my purse EVERYWHERE I GO.

Also, even though letters in the mailbox are kind of the best thing (even now), I get just as excited seeing an email from one of my most beloveds in my email inbox. It doesn’t matter what format love comes in, my little pot pies. As long as you’re getting the love, it’s all the same and it’s all wonderful. Now with email, we can get that love more quickly and frequently. (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.)

HOW WE USED TO LEARN THINGS

Now, kids, gather ’round, and I will tell you a HORRIFYING STORY about the DAYS OF YORE. Where, if you were tasked with researching something, you had to look it up in the encyclopedia. THE ENCYCLOPEDIA! Or on MICROFICHE! Also, if you wanted to learn something ON YOUR OWN (very few of us wanted to do this) you had similar options. Encyclopedia. Or you asked someone if they know. People used to be like Wikipedia only less reliable. Plus you had to talk to people and who wants to TALK to people? Exactly.

Do you remember these things? They were so headache-inducing.

Do you remember these things? They were so headache-inducing.

One time I was doing a research project in high school and I had to get reams and reams of photocopied articles sent to me from a billion libraries in New York State and the librarian hated me because I was making her do all kinds of work. THIS IS HOW WE USED TO DO THINGS.

Now if you want to know something? Well. YOU HIT THE INTERWEBS.

Today I wanted to translate Fahrenheit to Celsius. You know how I did that? I typed “fahrenheit to celsius” into Google and they gave me a site where THAT WAS ALL IT DID. And I put in MY temperature and it popped it out as ANDREAS’ temperature. Could we have done that twenty-five years ago? No we could NOT have. (Also I didn’ t know Andreas 25 years ago. And also 25 years ago I lived up near Canada so our themometers all had both measurements on them, so I suppose I could have found out that way, but that is BESIDE THE POINT.)

BOTH MEASUREMENTS!!!

BOTH MEASUREMENTS!!!

I know, we’re all nostalgic about libraries. Well, they’re still there, and books are still there for you. But I don’t know that anyone’s nostalgic for the waste of time researching shit on microfiche or in encyclopedias was. NO ONE. My time is very important to me. I never have enough of it. Think of all the things I wouldn’t have time to learn if we didn’t have the internet! And oh, oh, oh do I love to learn things. I love to learn new things EVERY DAY. Sometimes MULTIPLE things! And I CAN!

HOW WE USED TO LISTEN TO THINGS

If you wanted music, you went to the store and you bought it. If you were fancy (I was not fancy) you watched MTV and I guess you knew when the albums were coming out. I did not get MTV because that was cable. We did not have cable. We got something called Video Hits on Canadian television. It was not good. And if I remember correctly, the host had terrible hair.

Yep, I remember correctly. He did. Also, MAN, was he falsely cheerful.

Anyway, so you went to the store and you bought the album (on tape, or if – like my store often was – they were out of tapes, you bought it on vinyl, which they still stocked) and then you listened to it. On a Walkman. Or on your boombox.

Classy-fun times.

Now if you like a song, you can listen to it for FREE over and over and over online and then you can download it, if you want. And you can listen to it on your teeny-tiny iPod or whatever you listen to your music on. (I don’t even have an iPod. I can’t afford one. Shush, I know, I have a billion CDs instead. I do have a terrible off-name-brand MP3 player but it won’t load any new music so it’s all stuff I loved five years ago. Which I still love, but it never changes, so that’s a little sad.)

I kind of want one of these. Shiny things make me excited.

I kind of want one of these. Shiny things make me excited.

Again, the instant gratification of this makes me very happy.

HOW WE USED TO WATCH THINGS

If you missed a television show back in the old days, too bad, bub, you were shit out of luck. We got a VCR when I was in…um…high school, maybe? The remote was attached with a cord. It was a Betamax. We thought we were living the high life, yo.

Hee! Oh, technology, how I love you. SO CLASSY.

Hee! Oh, technology, how I love you. SO CLASSY.

(SIDE NOTE: my brother found that old VCR a while ago and tried to make it work. Yes, apparently we are hoarders in my family and still have outdated technology from 25 years ago just sitting around. “Well? Did you make it work?” I said. “Yep. Guess what was in there? A Beauty and the Beast tape. Remember that show? That tape’s stuck in there and won’t come out, but it plays just fine. So if we want to watch all the Beauty and the Beast, I guess we could do that. Why did we tape that show? She was a LAWYER. Who was in love with a BEAST. Who lived in the SEWER. You know what he would smell like? SEWER. So THAT would be romantic,” my brother said. He makes me laugh, that brother of mine.)

"What is that SMELL? Oh, Vincent, it's YOU. Ergh."

“What is that SMELL? Oh, Vincent, it’s YOU. Ergh.”

Now we have OPTIONS. We can DVR them or we can watch them LEGALLY online or we can watch them ILLEGALLY online (don’t do this, of course, cough cough) or we can read recaps online or we can ask our people what happened or any of a million things. ANY of a million things.

You can probably do this with movies, too. I’ve never illegally watched a movie online. It seems like a lot of work and could totally give you a virus. More so than a short television show. LISTEN SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SEE SHERLOCK AND YOU CANNOT WAIT TIL IT COMES TO MERKA OK?

I’ve decided this post really is a celebration of instant gratification. I promise I like some slow things, too. Like…um…roasts. And kissing. And…um…slow lorises.

SLOW LORIS!!!

SLOW LORIS!!!

HOW WE USED TO BUY THINGS

Too bad for YOU if you lived in a small town with only a KMart! THAT IS WHERE YOU BOUGHT YOUR THINGS. Also sometimes you could mailorder some things from Sears. That was it. Our lives were all about the things we wanted but knew we would never ever have. YOU HAD NOTHING AND YOU LIKED IT.

HA HA NOT NOW SUCKERS! You want it, you find it online, you buy it. Well, if you can afford it, I suppose. NOTHING IS BEYOND OUR GRASP.

It makes me kind of sad that people growing up have always HAD these things. I’m not saying I want people to suffer through adversity or anything, just that it’s a lot easier to appreciate these things when you grew up with technology that barely worked, if ever, and it was so stinkin’ SLOW.

I realize that in writing this I sound like a cranky old person saying “back in MY day” and I suppose I kind of am. Don’t even care. I just think of sad lonely little young-Amy scribbling a million letters to faraway loved ones and waiting waiting waiting for responses and I so wish she could see this. She’d love this. She would be VERY pleased with this future.

Also she’d be very keen on precooked bacon. Can’t blame her, really. It is kind of the best. THANK YOU FUTURE!


And you’ve got your father’s eyes; lovely bold eyes

I was talking to Dad today. Dad gave blood today, see.

Dad believes very highly in giving blood. He does it on the exact day he’s allowed to every…whatever it is, three months or something? I don’t know. I’m not allowed to give blood. Because I have mad cow disease, remember? (If you read that – well, the formatting is terrible. I just don’t have time to go back in and fix it. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am sleepy and need to go to bed, like, immediately. Pardon my rudeness.)

So he was telling me this WHOLE DETAILED STORY. And you guys. YOU GUYS. Listen, it was so like reading one of my blog posts or listening to myself talk. And I was just seriously in tears of laughter.

“So I went to give blood, because it was TIME, and the first lady asked me a whole bunch of questions, and then they sent over this OTHER lady. And she was trying to be my FRIEND. I didn’t want to be friends. I just wanted to give BLOOD. Because that’s what a person DOES. Unless they have MAD COW DISEASE. Because they lived in ENGLAND for like half a YEAR and a person couldn’t even TALK to them because of the TIME difference. So the lady first asked me a bunch of questions and she kept laughing but the answers weren’t even FUNNY. And then she told me to lie down on the table and then she told me my veins looked better when I was on the table. Do you think she was flirting with me? Because she was old and kind of strange-looking. Then she asked if I was allergic to iodine. WHO IS ALLERGIC TO IODINE? Only maybe people in the CIRCUS. So then she said ‘you have to let me rub this on your arm for thirty full seconds.’ That seems excessive. I’ve been giving blood since I was old enough to. I KNOW ABOUT IODINE. Also, did you know when you get old, your blood doesn’t flow as quickly as it used to? I don’t even win awards for the fastest blood anymore. I think my blood is the kind of blood a person has right before they’re about to die. So then she said, ‘are you ready for a little poke?’ NO ONE SHOULD SAY THAT. Don’t TELL someone they’re going to get a poke. DON’T DO THAT. Then she said, ‘ok, you have VERY THICK SKIN!’ and POKED ME SO SO HARD. My feet FLEW OFF THE TABLE. And she said, ‘did I hurt you ha ha?’ and I think that needle was very dull because I have EXCELLENT skin. Then when it was done she said she was sorry she hurt me and I said, ‘I am very tough. You didn’t hurt me. You SURPRISED me, that’s all. Where’s my coupon for free ice cream.” AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MORE COUPONS. They gave me a coupon for a free oil change at that place where they screwed over your mother that time and we don’t go there because they’re dead to us so I will burn it in the stove. There’s a story for you, now I’m going to go have some cheese. Your mother bought me CHEESE today. CHEESE, Amy!”

This made me think about genetics. And also learned behavior. Nature vs. nurture, if you will. (And also how nice it would be if someone bought me some cheese.)

*Homer Simpson drool*

The things we get from our parents – well, we get lots of things. I have my dad’s eyes and my mom’s face and my mom’s widow’s peak and my dad’s cleft chin and my dad’s feet and my mom’s smile and am built from the waist up like my mom’s side of the family and from the waist down like my dad’s side of the family. So I’m kind of like a Build-a-Bear. A weirdly-shaped Build-a-Bear. (Don’t even ask me where my unruly hair came from. I have no idea who to blame for this nonsense.)

Oh, I want to be this Build a Bear, LOOK HOW FANCY.

But then we start acquiring other traits once we get old enough to learn things. And that’s where it starts getting really interesting. Because we can’t do much about the genetic stuff. I mean, well, I suppose we COULD, if we wanted to spend money on plastic surgery (or, on a smaller scale, hair dye, or something.) But we CAN do something about the learned traits. Or we can do nothing and allow them to become part of us, if we want.

Oh, I like this. Andreas, what do we think of this?

I somehow got very little from my mom (which, as I’ve mentioned, is ironic, as she was my primary caregiver growing up.) I got my work ethic from her, I think (although Dad has a pretty kickass work ethic, too. They’re both pretty worky.) She’s more accepting of the “other” (“other” what, Amy? Other anything. Beliefs, races, etc. Dad’s…more…slow to…um. Be accepting. He does not like things that are different. DIFFERENCE IS SCARY!) I’m kind of trying to think of what else is Mom-influenced and I’m at a loss. Mom and I kind of run in different circles.

Now, I’m not talking about what we LEARN from our parents. Like crocheting or cooking how to change a wiper blade or something. Not things that we’re taught on purpose. I’m talking about things we see and imitate, either consciously or subconsciously.

I might not have gotten much from Mom. Dad, however? Dad and I are sympatico.

We might not agree* (*completely disagree to the point of screaming at one another) on things like politics and women’s issues, but you know how some people are all “ZOMG I AM TURNING INTO MY MOTHER?” Yeah. I’m turning into my Dad. (NO NOT IN A WEIRD WAY. I’m not growing chest hair or something. Wait, am I? No. No, I’m not.)

I like the slippers. Dad TOTALLY has slippers. He says he wants to be buried with them.

Dad is insanely loyal. Dad has a very small group of very close friends for whom he would do just about anything (and has, and would continue to.) Dad’s people’s enemies are his enemies – heaven help you if you cross one of Dad’s friends, because you bought yourself TWO enemies, bub. Dad is sarcastic just about always, except when he’s being sappy. Dad wants a lot of attention but also he wants you to leave him alone. Dad tells these long, convoluted stories (see above.) Dad doesn’t believe in telling people things – not unless they’re for sure. NO COUNTING CHICKENS FOR DAD. (And honestly just about ever. He’s horrified I tell strangers things online. UTTERLY HORRIFIED. Every once and a while I’ll find out something about him and I’ll be all, “WTH? Dad? Why were we not telling me this for like, my whole life?” He’ll shrug and say “Didn’t think you needed to know.”) Dad has very little time for pompous blowhards. (And often makes faces at them behind their backs. Not that I’d ever do that.) (I always do that.) Dad refuses to give people compliments when they’re making that face. You know that face, right? That, “I just got a haircut DON’T I LOOK PRETTY TELL ME TELL ME!” face. Dad will give compliments – but only when they’re genuine and unsolicited. (I refuse to give false compliments. If you hear/see me complimenting something, or you? It’s genuine. Because false compliments are like ashes in my mouth. I hate them so much. They make my soul feel dirty.) Dad is a performer – not onstage, so much, but at parties and in social gatherings and such. He’s the one everyone wants to talk to and he’s the one that’s the life of the party. Thing is? He hates parties and social gatherings and it’s all a front. He comes home exhausted because he’s been acting all night. Dad doesn’t talk to kids like they’re adults with brain injuries – he talks to them like they’re little people. (Watching him and The Nephew is such a joyous thing, I can’t even describe.) If someone he loved once betrays his trust (and it’s an utter and complete trust, the trust we give to our people), they are dead to him. DEAD. (I’ve seen this happen. It’s uncomfortable and it’s not pretty. The other day, one of my friends said, “Oh, Amy’s the best friend ever – but don’t cross her. She’ll kill you with her eyes if she hates you.” I WILL, TOO. Don’t even tempt me. I use mind-bullets. So, yeah, the dead-to-me thing? I do that. I do that, too. And people know. And it PETRIFIES them, apparently. I should probably feel worse about this, and I don’t know that the person saying it meant it as a compliment, but mostly my first thought was, “well, that person shouldn’t have pissed me off. Also, I AM the best friend ever. I’d want me for a friend.”)

You know how you don’t mess with a mama bear? I won’t flat-out TELL you I get all teeth and claws if you think you can mess with my people…but you can draw your own conclusions.

These may not all be NORMAL things, but they’re all things I grew up observing – and I picked them all up. They’re all mine now.

This tickles him to no end. “Oh, I do that!” he’ll say when I act a certain way or do a certain thing. It just utterly delights him. He can’t for the life of him figure out how he’s partially responsible, DNA-wise, for a bleeding-heart liberal feminist who wants to live in a big city and loves theater (he blames the government, of course), but he loves that despite these “flaws,” something of his stuck.

“Of course you don’t give people compliments if they want them that badly,” he’ll say. “That’s just begging. You don’t give to beggars. That just encourages them.”

Or:

“Of course people are dead to you. Listen, if you are friends with someone and they’re your friend, that’s like an unwritten contract. And you don’t break that contract. That’s not something we do. But if that friend does? Well. They’re dead. DEAD. Sometimes they apologize, and I guess you can decide whether or not you want to forgive them. But some things are unforgivable. So they should just not bother, because who talks to dead people? Only people who see ghosts like that douche on that ghost hunter show you’re always trying to get me to watch.”

So when people debate nature vs. nurture and such, here’s my thought.

You pick up things from the people that raise you. Then you can decide what you keep and what you don’t. Maybe it’s that you keep more things from the people you admire? If that’s the case, well, yeah, that works. I admire my dad. I admire him a lot. Most little girls want to be their moms when they grow up; I always wanted to be my dad. (Only with boobs. I wanted to be a lady-version of my dad. Like when Bugs Bunny wore the lady-clothes, I guess.)

I jettisoned (almost immediately) the religion and the political ideology and the small-town-ideals. They didn’t fit in my backpack. And you have to carry that backpack with you through your whole life. You really have to make sure you have enough room for everything.

But I kept a lot more than I threw away in that backpack.

And when I look in the mirror, I might see my mom’s face (mostly) looking back at me, but I see my dad’s twinkle in my eye. And my brain works like his. And I love my friends to the point I’d jump in front of herds of stampeding water buffalo for them, and I tell The Nephew long words like “antiquated” and he laughs and laughs and repeats it which makes my heart sing and if anyone messes with my people I go all Sharks and Jets in my head (and sometimes more – I’m all give peace a chance unless you dare hurt my loved ones, and that is a fact, so probably don’t try it) and I play my personal shit very, very close to the vest. (Yes, I write about stuff on here. The things I DON’T tell you, though. Whoo, boy.)

I’m a lady of a billion weird contradictions. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

So I guess, if you like the blog, even though he’d never admit it and probably wants nothing to do with it?

You’ve got to thank Amy’s Dad.

He’s the original storyteller.

Even though he’s apparently on the way out. Because he’s got slow old-man blood.

(Title from The Story’s lovely “So Much Mine,” which sometimes I listen to and it always makes me melancholy. When I was younger it made me think of myself. Now I’m old and it makes me think of The Nephew. And it’s the CIRCLE of LIFEEEEEEE!)


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