Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Raise arms above the head and, (in a sweeping motion), twist from the waist to the right, down to touch the toes, around to the left and back up to the original position,  repeat twice to the right and reverse”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

ImageSo since I’ve put on a little weight, I guess I’d better slim down or I’ll never get a husband.  Arlene gives a very detailed exercise routine for every possible body flaw, so I’m going to try a new one every night this week until I have a whole routine worked out.

This one is designed to reduce spare tire and slim waist.  Now since I generally have no waist to speak of, maybe I can create one.  

I did 15 reps per side an OH MY GOD I HURT.  This is TOUGH.

I’m going to be beautiful!


Body Issues and Other Fun Topics

“The men who insist they like girls plump are the ones who prefer cleaning rifles or exchanging jokes in the locker room to flirtation.  they aren’t sure of their masculinity and appeal, so a chic, glamorous woman challenges them.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

I’ve never had a problem staying thin.  I come from a slender family, I didn’t drink in college (the easiest way to avoid the Freshman 15) or eat a ton of junk food (although Eeon will testify to my amazing ability to smell a fresh BG’s Pizza from half a campus away) and I’ve had exactly eight McNuggets in the last decade.  More importantly, I never uttered the phrase “OMG, I am, like, totes fat” in hopes that people would feel sorry for me.

But after I returned home from AWP, Ian commented that I had put on “noticeable” weight.  A trip to the doctor’s confirmed that in the last few months, I’ve packed 10 pounds onto my 5’3″ frame.  I almost started to cry.

Maybe this isn’t a big deal.  Maybe some of you are saying, “Get over it, Twiggie, and eat a Twinkie.”  But like all food-related issues, it goes down to something much, much deeper.  For me, it’s a reminder that I’m edging up on 30 and will not always be effortlessly lithe and that’s sort of a drag.  But more than that, it’s intricately linked with fears of failure.

I am terrified of being perceived as lazy.  My generation is looked down upon by Gen-Xers as being spoiled little marshmallows, and the Baby Boomers that raised us think we’re a bunch of moochers who selfishly want them to give us jobs after college.  And worse, we’ve got a squishly little (redacted) like Lena Dunham prancing around pretending to be the “voice” of our generation when really she’s just a rich girl writing in her diary about how hard life is for a girl to make it when her parents gave her everything, like a TV show.  Life is TOTES UNFAIR, LENA.

Point is, if you’re not working three jobs eight days a week 24 hours a day, politicians in ugly suits will tell you that you are WORTHLESS SCUMBAGS and FOOD-STAMP GRUBBING WELFARE QUEENS who take the HARD EARNED MONEY (left over from their parent’s fortune) and have A HUNDRED ABORTIONS each.  So I work.  And I work and I work and I work and at 30 I’m homeless, unmarried and underwater on my student loans.

But with laziness also comes not being beautiful.  I know wives who resent their husbands for desiring them and who believe it’s their right to wear nothing but sweatpants and eat bags of chips and watch TV, because that’s what being a woman has become to them.  And I always laughed at them, thinking how selfish they were being, because honestly, if you want your husband to not be a fat lazy toad, you can’t be one yourself.  I have always tried to dress for every occasion, even if it’s searching around a junkyard, because I hate looking slovenly.  Looking nice was a way of telling the world, “I take this seriously.”

But for the first time in my life, I felt a little of that kind of resentment.  I was angry, because I too wanted a little space to breathe, to eat, to relax without feeling guilty.  I was mad at him for saying something because I wanted to believe that I had earned the right to go a little soft after everything that’s happened in the last few months.  I worry that there’s a divide between wanting to be fed and wanting to be loved.  

I also have major food issues that I’ve never told anyone about.  I do love food, but when I get depressed (usually because I haven’t eaten), it becomes about “deserving” food.  I’ve gone hungry more than once. I’ve eaten lunches made up of free samples, but when your choices are pay rent or eat, well, sometimes you have to take the risk that someone else will feed you because no one’s going to pay your rent but you.  Or there are days when I get so caught up in work that there isn’t time to eat.  I used to work a lot of terrible retail jobs that gave you 15 minutes break for six hours work.  I know what it’s like to go hungry, and it’s a raw, brutal fear that burrows into your gut until you feel so sick you can’t eat, even though you know you have to, until the actual act of eating becomes either a forced chore or all-out gluttony as I try and eat as much as I can for fear that there won’t be any tomorrow.

But Ian’s making me lunch now.  And I’ll start working out again (Arlene Style!), trying to take time for meals.  And maybe somewhere in this mixed-up crazy stunt, I might actually find a way to love myself.

Doubtful, but hey, HGB has a diet where you drink wine and eat steaks, so there’s that to look forward to.


Glam Geek Gets Double Crossed (Stitch)

I had a sick day last week, but because I can’t just sit still, I decided that if I was going to be stuck in bed all day, I might as well take up a new hobby.

When we moved, I found a cross-stitch program that I’d ordered back in Binghamton back when I used to order tons of free stuff to supplement my poverty–I only recently let go of the Beechnut baby bowl that was once my only bowl–and decided now was as good a time as any to take up needlework.  My grandma was awesome at embroidery, quilting and cross-stitch, taught me to sew and knit, so I felt like I was doing this in her memory.

Maybe it’s not in any of my beauty books, but cross-stitch is RAD.  Crafts are RAD.  And Ian thinks it’s so awesome, he wants me to teach him how to do it, so we’re going to make a cross-stitch date. 

Cross-stitch also allows me to indulge in my love of geeky chibi things.  And with MyPhotoStitch, I can make all sorts of nerdy crafts.  Like this.  Or This.  OR THIS.  And it’s easy.  Really easy. Easy enough that I can do it when I’m sick.



Nearly Stranded and Almost Fabulous

“The ancient custom of foot-binding in China, makes a girl feminine and helpless, and she can’t run away” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

This is how I found myself standing in 4″ platform open-toed spike booties in the middle of a sleet storm in Boston.

Believing, foolishly, that I would be inside and sitting through most of the AWP Conference in Boston, I packed my favorite Betsey Johnson booties, the ones that make men motion me over just so they can tell me how beautiful I looked (this happened last week at the B-Side Ballroom–I’ve never had a man compliment me on my shoes ever).  We had to go to see my friends Lexa, Jaed and Suzanne read at the Boston Public Library, and since we were one of the flagship events, I wanted to look fine.

So I wore the booties with skinny jeans and a sparkly grey sweater, strutting through the mall that connected our hotel to the conference center.  Yeah, I looked good.

But when I got outside, it was sleeting.  Matthew was also trying to look good, so he wore is Kenneth Cole shoes, which are also not designed for hoofing through Boston in the middle of a snowstorm. I clung to his arm and he tried not to slip on the sloppy sidewalks.  

I was in a bad mood already, and I give him all the credit in the world for not stranding me in the middle of the sidewalk, because I wouldn’t have made it home and would still be standing out there, ankle-deep in slush.  

And he should give me credit for not forcing him to carry me like the foot-bound beauty that I was.

Geek Girl Goes On Vacation

Your Geek Girl is at the AWP convention, overwhelmed, exhausted and with sore feet from stupidly walking in spike heels in the middle of a Boston blizzard, because she always has to be fab (and refer to herself in the 3rd person)

If you’re at AWP, come find me and get a FREE STICKER!  And check back Sunday for updates.

The End of Spanx Week . . . Finally

My Gay-Gay, in a famous piece of family lore, ditched her girdle in the ladies room at the officer’s club in Okinawa, Japan, while my grandfather was stationed there.

Clearly, we are a family who is not into rubber slips.  But I survived, and I’m going to be honest–I’ll probably hang onto them for special occasions.  They work, which makes me hate them, but I, being vain and shallow, also enjoy the attention the bring me.  And the good posture. 

Dinner Date #3–Pizza in Spanx

I didn’t tell Chris that he was picking my dinner.  The Deadstring Brothers were playing the B-Side Ballroom, and since they’re on the same record label as Justin Townes Earle, I had to ask Chris to go with me, since he’s responsible for getting me into JTE and we saw him together back when he played Foothills.

But I woke up in a lot of pain because I spent all of yesterday huddled over a tiny picture of a geranium teaching myself to cross-stitch, so after trying a horse-sized dose of ibuprofin, got out the big guns, downed a latte and took a muscle relaxant, hoping the two would balance each other out.

I continued to cross-stitch until my brain went numb, then went upstairs to lie still and hope to God I didn’t sink into the floor like Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting.  When I woke up, I realized it was 5 p.m. and I had a date in two hours.  A date I was wearing heels for.  And the muscle relaxant hadn’t quite worn off.

But I figured if drunk girls could walk in cheap, too-big heels from Rue 21, I could handle myself in Betsey Johnson stiletto booties.  In the snow.  And Spanx.  Because I’m tough.

Chris suggested pizza because he is chill and thus proved Arlene’s rule that it’s better to eat hot dogs with a man than caviar by yourself.  I pretended not to know what I wanted and let him get a slice for me, and he ordered broccoli, which I never get but actually enjoy.  Later, at the B-Side Ballroom, he ordered us french fries, which pretty much solidifies him as the Best Date Ever.  And since I now know the power of Spanx, I can eat junk food with abandon, mwa ha ha!

A few words about Chris.  He’s perfect.  I want to put him up on Ebay.  He told me I looked nice with specifics about my shoes and haircut, let me take his arm so I didn’t fall in the snow.  He is a gentleman of the utmost order, a genuinely good and kind person with not an ounce of malice, even when he’s making fun of people.

He’s also from Cobleskill, my much-hated hometown, so we talked about our alcoholic choir director, little league teams, senior quotes and high school pictures.  I’m not from Cobleskill, I just grew up there, and even though some of us, like Chris and I, manage to escape, it gets in you, stays in your blood like a virus.  But the good part of this is that I can turn to him and point at a guy with a white fluffy mullet and say “Cobleskill Hair” and he understands what that means and laughs.

Chris also doesn’t drink, which is cool, especially because I didn’t want to explain that I couldn’t drink tonight because of the massive doses of horse tranquilizers I have to swallow in order to turn my head.  So we got ginger ales and sat in the corner and felt like teenagers sneaking into the place where the grown-ups have all the fun. 

The Deadstring Brothers had the place rocking.  It was like Roadhouse without the chicken wire or the Swayze.   And when the band called for “Ladies Choice” we slow danced (he was an excellent sport about this even though by that time, Ian had arrived and was talking with a friend), and he smelled like cool water cologne, and he didn’t grope me the way the guy with Cobleskill Hair was doing to his date.  

A note about dancing in Spanx.  You can do it, in theory, but your perfectly sculpted legs are reduced to a C-3PO-like shuffle.  So you’re stuck only moving your arms and your hips, which can look good or it can make you look like a drunk mess.  I like to think that I looked great, but this has yet to be confirmed.


. . . And He Will

We stayed out until 12:30.  I can’t even remember the last time I stayed out that late.  But the B-Side is my new music destination, and Chris is my new music date . . . my Saturday Night Thing, if you will.