Monday, December 20, 2010

Already in Trouble

Still have 2 1/2 more days of work before I'm on Christmas vacation and I'm already giving my job the middle finger.

Oh, and could this be a sweet sore throat creeping its way into my body?

Would make sense, seeing as my entire body is achy and throwing in the towel.

Holy crabby pants - I have ZERO tolerance for anything at this point.

I wonder if there's a documented inverse relationship between the number of days until Christmas and one's level of anxiety/stress/frustration.

As in, one decreases as the other increases?

All I want to do is sleep.

And crap. I can't seem to stop crapping.

Gosh help me for the next 56 hours.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Here's a Thought to Ponder

I was reading in Chicago magazine about a playwright who's last three projects have been about physical beauty and its meaning to people.

He talked about an experience in which he was waiting to hear a band at Lalapalooza this summer, and he began asking the women around him:

"How would you you feel if you overheard your husband/boyfriend saying the he loved you so much, but your face was just average?"

I know - weird right?

But I thought about it.

It's an interesting question - because you would think that most woman would say that they really just want to be loved above all else, so being considered average-looking would be secondary.

Oh no, my friends.

Most of the woman responded that they would be devastated and a comment like that would be a "dealbreaker," while most of the men were seemingly ambivalent.

And me?

Listen, I'll tell you right off - I'd wanna leap off my second story ledge if my husband thought I was average looking.

Now, let's get something straight. I think I am - on my very best day - average looking.

And that's with makeup on.

And I accept that. In fact, average might be generous. I usually go with "non-descript."

But no matter how ugly I think I personally am, I fully expect my husband to think I am the most beautiful person he ever saw.

Even first thing in the morning.

When I still have those eye crusties.

And hair in four different directions.

In a white wife beater and his old boxer briefs.

If my husband thought of me as anything less than beautiful, I would be really hurt. I admit it.

So I asked my husband - what would he think if he heard that?

Cheese: I don't think I'd care all that much. Guys in general don't. They really just wanna know that they are in the same stadium as a good looking guy, but otherwise they don't put much worth in that.

Me: Really? Because no kidding - I would destroy me.

Cheese: I guess I would much rather to prefer that you respected me, saw me as a good man and a good provider.

Me: I prefer that you think I'm hot.

Shit man, even writing that I feel so shallow.

Come on ladies - I can't be the only one like this, right? I mean, I love that my husband thinks I am funny and smart, but I really love that he thinks I'm hot.

And when we walk into a room, I like him to think that he just brought the most beautiful girl to the party, and that his his friends think that too - that they're not just like, "Oh Cheese is here! And look, he brought his really smart wife with him!"

Because let's be honest - I don't care of his guy friends don't chat me up about Freudian psychology or Bowenian theory over beers - but I might wonder what's wrong if they aren't checking out my sweet rack or watching me walk to the bathroom.

So does that make me shallow? That I care about looks like that?

That is all almost laughable coming from me - me, the Queen of Gym Clothes who has a allergy to hair brushes and wears baseball hats to her office to meet with her supervisees. It was only a few months ago that my sister ridiculed me when she asked me for facial cleanser, I handed her a bar of Dial soap.

What I am trying to say is that I don't work hard trying to make myself (or keep myself) beautiful. I would rather spend time being comfortable that putting on tight clothes or trying to be fashionable. I open my makeup bag twice a year. I don't like to put much of an effort forth at this whole beautiful thing. Maybe that's why - as a general rule of thumb - I don't ever consider myself pretty, much less beautiful.

But yet - I still want my husband to think I am.

That under my uniform of hoodies and running capri tights, and beyond this raggedy ponytail, and aside from my facial hair, he truly believes he landed himself the crown jewel.

So what would you think if you overheard your partner calling you "average looking?"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vanity Sizing

Nice thing about Christmas shopping is that, when it's all done, you can justify buying yourself a thing or two.

In my case, I wandered into the female apparel store with a gift card from a previous birthday.

Genius! I can get myself a gift without having to spend any more real money!

I quickly tried on a bunch of sale dresses (I love a good dress but hate the ordeal of stripping all my Midwest winter layers), and settled on one little sexy number (well, MY version of sexy, which means it wasn't running tights from Target). And the price was RIGHT ON! I'll take it!

I tried on the second dress - a longer, maxi type dress that was super hot.

Only problem was a touch too big. Needed to be a bit smaller in the empire-type waist.

I put all my regular clothes back on (jeans, hoodie and ball cap), stepped outside of the changing stall, and peered around the corner to see if I could just run to the rack and snatch it quick.

"Can I help you with anything?" asks the tiny are-you-even-legal-working-age pixie from behind me.

"Uh yeah. I was just going to grab a different size for this dress," says I, feeling like Buddy the Elf lumbering around a workshop filled with Santa's helpers.

"Oh, I can get that for you. What size do you need?" offers the pixie, so tiny and petite she makes Tinkerbell look like Brian Urlacher.

"Um sure. I need a size (one size smaller than what I was holding)."

And that's when it happened.

Fucking pixie gave me the Manhattan once over.


THEN, as if dropping the last chunk of coal into a stocking filled with elephant turds, she adds:


Bitch, what?

Hell NO I didn't just see this child check me out and then question my size!

In my head I responded, "You minuscule lady-child! What the hell was that?!?! What size do I need, you ask? I need size I'm-an-Ironman-who-spends-as-much-time-working-my-ass-off-in-the-gym-daily-as-you-do-applying-your-pancake-makeup. It's a specialty size-do you carry it? I'm not fucking Shrek for crying out loud! Not all small people have to walk around with their boobies hanging out their tops and jeans so tight you are begging for a yeast infection (see also: yourself). Who do you think you are with your "Really?" You, who's biggest life goal is to organize the shoe section before closing so you can rush home to your Camaro-driving-former-football-captain-now-stoner townie boyfriend, pay his rent, and cook his dinner, all with the promise of a ring and a wedding THAT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Now go flutter your wings over to that rack and get me my dress, or I will slap that blond right off yo' head."

To her face I said, "Yes, thank you so much."


Merry Christmas and God Bless Us Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Complete Randomness

I Got A Fever for TS
Okay, I've got a confession.

I've been carrying this around with me for a while, and it wasn't until I was at the gym the other day that it really kinda took over - and I decided I needed to come clean.

And once I say it, I may forever look different in your eyes.

But I can't pretend it's not part of me anymore.

So here goes.

*Sharp inhale*

I like Taylor Swift.

I know! I know!

*crumples into a ball on the floor, pounding it with fists*

Trust me - I've read all the same musical criticisms of her - her lyrics are childish, she can't sing, she's too sweet, yada, yada, yada.

But it's for all these reason that I find myself loving her.

I mean, I have a 10-year old niece. She's got pictures of the Swiftness on her walls. But she also requested the song "Disco Stick" by Lady Gaga to be played at my wedding (declined).

I would MUCH rather my niece to be bopping around her room listening to the Swiftness bubbly singing about wearing tee-shirts and gyms shoes and flowers on front porches and Romeo and Juliet scenarios than to be harping about taking rides on disco sticks, love not being fun if it isn't rough, smoking cigarettes, and whathaveyou.

(Side not: Is it me or is the word "whathaveyou" one of the top ten signs you have become your parents? Also joining it on the list is the question, "How do parents let their daughter leave the house in that outfit?" and anything about the weather).

And I don't care that her song lyrics sound like they were written by me at age 10 - in fact, that's part of the draw. They are sweet, and for me - they bring me back to the days when I did believe in Prince Charming, and better lifes, and growing up.

In fact, I am pretty sure that Switfy doesn't actually write her songs like she says (this, by the way, is a long-standing argument between my "Team Taylor-Swift-is Hawt-Piece-of-Ass" husband who believes she does, and my "Team Taylor-Swift-is-a-Phony-Fraud" brother-in-law, who doesn't). Frankly, I don't really care if her songs are written by her or a 40-year-old single woman with questionable personal hygeine wearing a howling wolf tee-shirt while watching "Eclipse" on repeat and singing to her Robert Patterson posters while dancing with her cats.

But I digress.

I like that she has a somewhat sweet image (she makes heart signs with her hands!), she is usually fully dressed when out in public and she hasn't yet been caught making out with bongs a la Miley Cyrus.

In fact, here is the most recent addition to my playlist. This was the song that gave me my moment of clarity:

See? Who can't relate to a childhood experience in which they were bullied? I can - in fact, I still remember the names and comments of my bullies. But I like the song because it's also really hopeful. Yeah, the lyrics are simple and cheesy, and the music isn't exactly Beethoven, but who cares? I like belting it out at the top of my lungs in the car.

And I would far prefer my niece value Swifttastic and her "Little House on the Prairie" frocks:

than Miley Cyrus's 18th birthday leather get-up:

Or Katy Perry with fireworks shooting out of her boobies.

And sure - in a few years she may find herself living the life of a coked-out whore that's been used, abused and spit out by the industry, wandering the streets of downtown Nashville and playing her guitar in front of Joe's Crab Shack for spare change, wondering what the hell happened to her life.

But in the meantime, I rather fancy her happy little bouncy songs.

Who Let the Dogs Out? Who? Who? Who?
And for today's edition of "WTF," I offer this:

I know - you're speechless. Did ya watch to the end to see those two college guys really getting into the granny action? Now this is the REAL Cougar Town. Gertrude's showing all the other young college bitches how to bring the boys to the yard.

I imagine the only thing more humiliating to her grandkids is her choice in footwear.

Is This, Like, an NFL Version of "The Beiber?"
Dear Tom Brady:

I'm not talking about your smokin' hot wife whose body makes me weep for the unfairness of genetics.

This beef's about what's happening up there on top of your head.

Did you lose a bet? Is Giselle forcing you to play out some weird warrior/caveman dude fetish?

Missing ye ol' college days, perhaps?

Whatever. I don't care.

Just get yourself to a barber, k?

It's so bad it's actually making your wife less attractive, and that's the true crime here.

You're welcome.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tennessee 2010

This past weekend, a long overdue trip down south (well, south for this Chicago gal), was made to see my younger brother Nolan, his wife Jenny, and sweet face baby Brody.

The last time I saw my brother and his family was in June, when Brody was just about four months old. I've been saying I wanted to go down and see them and chill out in Tennessee (which I love), but I let work get in the way for the last several months.

Finally, completely burned out from my job and really missing my brother, I pulled the trigger on a long weekend trip.

I got into town late Thursday, and on Friday was given the honor of taking care of baby Brody all day while Jenny and Nolan went to work.

I was ecstatic at the idea that I got to spend so much uninterrupted time getting to know my nephew.

But I'm not sure Brody was entirely on board with this plan:

"Hey Brody, this is your aunt Megan."

"And she's going to take care of you today."

We made the best of it though. We ate some Goldfish, we had some milkies, we tried to change a diaper. But when he wouldn't lay still for me to get the saturated diaper off, I was sort of stumped.

So I gave him a bath.

In the middle of the day.

I guess this is sort of weird thing to do, but hey - he didn't seem to mind. Well, at least until he wanted out, and then screamed because I think he was cold.

But we got him dressed - a small miracle on my end, because I can barely manage to get out of my pjs each day and most days don't bother until I go to the gym at the end of the day. Don't hate though - that little benefit of my job is balanced out by the body-beating stress and emotional exhaustion of my line of work.

After a nap for Brody and shower time for me, we hit the local social scene.

Club Wal-Mart.


I really just wanted to get out of the house, and didn't know where the nearest park was, so I opted for the next closest form of amusement we Chicagoans aren't normally privy to - fantastic savings at Wal-Mart.

And in true Megan's-an-Idiot form, I couldn't get his other shoe on so I was like, "Eff it, let's go."

And no, there is absolutely NOTHING weird about walking around Wal-Mart in Tennessee.

With beer in the cart.

And a one-shoed baby.

At noon.

On a weekday.

(seriously though - the beer was for beer bread I was going to make - I swear.)

Check out the pimp lean - "Heeeeey girl! Love the playa, hate the game!"
I am also mildly ashamed that I was 20 minutes into our 30 minute shopping expedition when I noticed Brody tugging on the strap - only to realize I needed to actually strap him in. I guess that explains the forward lean he had going on. I thought he was just really intrigued by the pattern of floor tile.

But of course, it wasn't all fun and Wal-Mart games. Someone took a header into the fireplace and landed himself a black eye.

Oh boy.

My brother and I were on our way home from hunting when Jenny called to tell us about the eye. Shit, I fet horrible. I told them both when they got home from work that he had fallen, but I didn't see a scratch at the time so I thought maybe he had just scared himself - turns out, he was actually hurt. Talk about feeling like an asshat. All these hours of childcare under my belt and Brody has to get the first injury on my watch.

And yeah - you read the first sentence of that last paragraph right - Nolan took me HUNTING.

Nolan started hunting last year, but he bow-and-arrow hunts. I actually think this is pretty cool, because I think that take a lot of skill and seems like a bit of a fairer fight.

But he also uses a gun, which he was using on this particular outing. He was really excited to bring this once-vegan city girl into the thicket to catch herself some deer.

In the end, I was more or less the "company." We didn't get a deer that morning, but I did learn a ton about hunting, things to look for, migration factors, and all sorts of odds and ends when one is out catching deer. I am not sure how I would have handled it if I was actually confronted with taking down my would-be-dinner, but I never had to find out.

Me having a Sarah Palin moment (cue the eye rolling and judgment of my liberal friends and family - hey, unless your vegan, the meat you eat comes from somewhere)

But seriously though - I think the pink really softens things up, yeah?

The rest of the weekend was spent more or less lolly-gagging around, eating bad food and doing no physical activity at all (which I paid for when I can home and tried to do a semi-long run on Monday - gawd, I felt like I had four butt cheeks jumping up and down and trying to escape my tights).

But overall I really had a blast. I love getting out of Chicago, spending time in Tennessee, and letting Brody get to know his Chicago kin. It sometimes makes me sad that he may never know us as well as my sweet nephews Nolan and Aiden, or precious baby Ford, but I hope that in the coming years, there will be more than twice-yearly visits.

I really enjoyed my new experiences with my brother as well. I have never really had a chance to spend time with him in the absence of all the other family, so that was cool. I am grateful that he introduced me to something I knew nothing about, as I really value the learning aspect of "living off the land." I'm proud of him and the life he has he established down there.

And just in case you aren't totally convinced of the cuteness of sweet face Brody, I will leave you with some more delicious evidence.

He's killing me with that face!
Dancing with daddy to 50 cent.

Hey girl. Yeah you. Wanna share a milkie?
Yes. Yes you are.
Our attempt at Christmas card photo. Don't worry - no babies were harmed in the process.
See? He loved it. Well, until he didn't.

Santa's little helper and his momma.

Love you guys - counting down the days until I get to smooch on the face again.