Archive for the ‘Health and Wellness’ Category

an edible thanksgiving

In Health and Wellness on April 28, 2020 at 6:57 am

In my defense, it wasn’t the first time my parents and I had done edibles together. It would, however, be the last.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love food, I love football, I love naps. My mom’s stuffing was something to write home about – every time she made it, she had to make me my own pan to take home and feast on for the next week or so. For years, we had spent it with my sister and brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, and eventually their spouses and children. Then, my sister and brother-in-law started going south for Thanksgiving, and my niece and nephew went to the homes of their spouses’ families. Starting in about 2016, Thanksgiving was just me, my parents, and our dogs.

Thanksgiving 2017 started out rough. I had loaded up the car with my dog and a special treat before discovering my battery was dead. On a holiday. I called my parents, who lived almost an hour away. As he had done may times before, Daddy came to my rescue with a new battery that we managed to install with a minimum of swearing, bickering, and injury. We were on the road and would barely miss any of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The special treat seemed like an even better idea after all that. One small candy that I ate half of, and gave a quarter to each of my adorable, elderly parents (at this point, they were in their late 70s/early 80s). I started the broth for the stuffing, Mom settled into her chair with both dogs on her lap, and Daddy got into his solitaire groove for the day. Daddy proclaimed that “he didn’t feel anything” but Mom got quiet.

“I don’t feel good,” she said. Oh dear. Okay. I’ve been here before. This is not, by any means, my first rodeo. Mom needed food, water, maybe some coffee. You’ll be fine, Mom, I said. Just relax and we’ll get you feeling better. I went into the other room.

When I came back out, what felt like 30 seconds later, they were gone. Their car was gone. The dogs were still there, looking at me expectantly, knowing something was going on but not sure how to react to my panic. I started calling their cell phones. No answer. Hours go by.

Finally, my phone rings. “Hi, Daddy! Where are you?!” I say, a little too loud. We’re at the emergency room, he replies.

Oh. Shit.

Mom felt like her heart was racing, and with a history of cardiovascular issues, when she told Daddy she wanted to go to the hospital, Daddy was going to take her to the hospital. He tells me that she felt like her heart was racing, so they are going to do some tests.

Oh. Shit.

I tell Daddy that I have a very important question, as he is distracted by my mom, the hospital, and his own brain. Daddy, I said, did you tell the nurses that Mom had edible marijuana prior to these symptoms. Of course not, he says. He whispers, “I don’t want us to get in trouble.”

I beg him to tell them immediately that she has had an edible and that it’s vital to their diagnosis. He assures me he will tell them and that he will call me back as soon as they talk to the doctor. An hour passes. Another hour. I call and text with no response. I’m ready to drive to the hospital when I finally hear from him. After inconclusive results from blood tests, a CT scan, and whatever else got billed over the course of those hours, they fear she has had a stroke.


Nope. I tell Daddy that it’s absolutely required that he tell them she had what I’m starting to realize was one hell of an edible. “I’m coming there. Do NOT do anything else or go anywhere until I get there” I say, turning off the oven (goodbye, turkey).

As I approach the hospital’s emergency room entrance, I see an ambulance pulling away. You know how sometimes you get a psychic feeling and just know that you’re right? I knew my mom was in that ambulance before the nurse in the ER told me she was, being brought to another hospital so she could get an MRI. They thought she might have had a stroke, she tells me. Yeah. I heard.

But where’s my father? Their car was outside. Did he go with her? No. Daddy had taken a tumble in the ER and attributed it to low blood sugar from his type II diabetes. They had set him up in a room and once they checked his blood sugar and found it normal, decided to run some tests of their own. Did my dad have dementia, they asked.

Oh. Shit.

Daddy didn’t have dementia. I found him in a little room, sitting in a chair next to the bed that had until recently held my mom. “Am I wearing a seat belt?” he said. No, Daddy. You’re not currently wearing a seat belt.

After nearly an hour of no one talking to us, finally a nurse comes in. I ask her if either of them had shared the incredibly important fact that they had each taken a marijuana edible. Her reaction indicates that they had not. Daddy adds that he takes it for medicinal purposes.

Another couple hours of waiting (an ER is not going to just release an elderly person who fell in front of the nurses’ desk without covering their ass), and we’re released at last, around 11:30PM. I tell Daddy that we are going to have to go get Mom in the morning at this point. He replies, “This will make a really great chapter in your book.”

Early on Black Friday, we show up at the hospital to which my mom was transferred. As we enter her room, they are doing an ultrasound. “Hi!” I say to the doctor, once again too loudly. “Has anyone told you that she had edible marijuana?” His reaction indicates that they had not.

The MRI is cancelled, and mom is discharged with paperwork about responsible cannabis use (the same paperwork my dad received the night before).

“I’m done with edibles,” Mom says. “Me too,” adds Daddy. This goes without saying. I’m a bit off my feed as well. The hospital bills get paid, eventually. The turkey is thrown away. We have an amended holiday dinner of stuffing and pie. And, with that, the chapter is closed. For now.

it’s not delivery, it’s decisions

In Health and Wellness on December 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm

“I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can.” – Lucille Ball

There are a lot of quotes about knowing your limits that posit the notion that those limits are then a new baseline for the inevitable growth that comes with self-awareness. It’s the more appealing option, of course. Thinking you’re only going to get better in the future is the basis of business for self-help books, diet plans, and gyms. There are no seminars on just staying where you are. You can change; you can surpass limits.

Except that’s not what limits means. It means the end. No matter how increasingly nebulous the edge of the universe becomes, there is still an edge. I know my limits. I know what I can and can’t do. And while I think there is always room for self help, it’s also important to know what you should just let go.

I had back surgery in 2012 and at about 4:00 AM, the nurse said I had to empty my bladder before the doctor saw me in a few hours. I said, great, unhook me from these excellent drugs and I’ll pop in the loo. With the carefree nature of someone who got to pee in toilets, the nurse laughed. She handed me the bedpan. I said, “I won’t be able to go in this.”

She’s heard that before. (Probably) no one really enjoys going in a bedpan. She said that everyone says that until the catheter’s brought out (a straight catheter, because I had not planned on staying the night and therefore forgot to bring my own).

I tried. I tried for 45 minutes. I tried leaning forward. I tried leaning back. I tried thinking of waterfalls. The nurse ran water in the sink. I tried to do whatever it is I imagine women having babies do. The only thing that bedpan did was make an semi-permanent butt tattoo. When she brought the bedpan, I already knew what was waiting for me. A straight catheter from me to an almost-not-big-enough bowl for an entire SportsCenter Top 10. I can’t make myself pee in the woods, so when I say I can’t pee in a bedpan, I’m not lying. My peeing limit? A port-a-potty.

Similarly, I knew riding the bus by myself had the potential for disaster. My first day of first grade, I got on the wrong bus and ended up riding the entire way until the bus driver turned around and found a tiny girl with a Lionel Richie poodle mullet realizing she had made a huge mistake. Fortunately, even though this was before the time of cell phones or pagers or even caller ID or call waiting, I was reunited with my mom back at the school, where my mom asked me how I could possibly stay on the bus the entire time without saying anything to the driver. I don’t know. It never occurred to me.

That lesson stayed with me when I decided to take my first solo ride as an adult, a New Year’s Eve where I lamed out early and decided the best solution to the variety of issues complicating this decision (no car, only person leaving, lameness, etc) was to take the bus. The story of that bus trip and the rest of my journey home is a story for another day, but trust that I missed my stop and accidentally rode to the end of the route and ended up walking 3 miles home through Mt. Airy Forest. My bus riding limit is obviously the last stop.

Everyone loves getting pizza delivered. No one likes ordering pizza. I hate ordering pizza. I hate that I have to call to order my favorite pizza instead of ordering it online. I hate ordering pizza for more than two people because it involves endless choices of crust/sauce/toppings and doing math and compromising, which is all time better spent eating pizza. I have never ordered pizza for more than four people. When I go to a #Pizzanati outing (two pizza lovers on a quest for Cincinnati’s best plain pizza who let me tag along), I often order my own pizza just so I don’t have to participate in the nightmare of a 10-person order.

It should come as no surprise that my recent experience of ordering pizza for 30 people crashed and wood-fired burned into the ground – a disaster of near-Hindenburg proportions. I won’t go into details but the absurdity of how much pizza I ordered will now be in my personnel file, which I understand is the grown-up version of a permanent record. My pizza-ordering limit? Four people.

I learn from these life experiences, slowly. Sometimes, I learn that what I thought was my limit was porous – I now ride the bus alone to work and back. (Maybe someday I’ll set a new limit is riding the bus alone to anywhere else.) Often, I learn that some limits are just that: limits. Why push limits that are inevitable when I can concentrate on building upon what has no ceiling? I generally know where my time and energy is best spent. There’s nothing wrong with acquiescing to a limit of little consequence (although in my case, the matters of little consequence usually find their way to chaos) in favor of reaching for the nebulae of life.

And for the last piece of my own pizza.

the chronic

In Health and Wellness on November 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I was sick this weekend. Not the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching kind that afflicts so many commercial actors and NFL players. Not the had too much fun Friday night and spent the weekend mourning my liver and wishing I could cut my head off of my body because that would hurt less. Not the XX-hour flu that tries to determine if your stomach can be turned inside out and negates the need for sit-ups for the next month. This was more like herpes.

I don’t have herpes (except the cold sore kind). But I do have bipolar and I’ve used this analogy before. I’m viscerally averse to going into details of the darkness of bipolar because, well, I hate pity. I feel strongly about not using my disease as an excuse for poor behavior, whether it’s hurting someone’s feelings or fucking up a project or hating everyone in the world once I start driving. To ensure that I’m not dismissed (or assumed inferior) because I experience the symptoms of an illness no one can see or even comprehend, I don’t talk about the lows.

But after this weekend, I am going to tell you what it’s like in the dark. There are so many people silently suffering and there are too many people who have no idea what people with mental illnesses experience and therefore dismiss or assume them inferior. The ignorance and stigma are touching all parts of society, from poverty to gun violence to the penal system and still no one talks about the elephant in the room. And so, let’s get pachyderm.

When starlets are admitted to the hospital with exhaustion and it eventually turns out they are mentally ill, they aren’t really lying. Exhaustion is the first and most overwhelming symptom. Upon waking Saturday morning, I already felt the weight on my chest. Getting out of bed and into the recliner felt like a major accomplishment worthy of a medal or at least a certificate with quality paper and color printing. Despite sleeping 9 or 10 hours, I felt like I’d been awake all night. My eyes featured the expected bags and circles associated with fatigue or a date with Chris Brown. If someone had seen me in that state, they would have just cause to believe I was a zombie and should have alerted the authorities (AMC).

The exhaustion doesn’t leave; instead, it’s joined by its partner in misery, pain. Yes, physical pain is a symptom of bipolar (and depression). It’s similar to the dull ache of the flu (in fact, I took my temperature, thinking I had waited too long on my vaccination), but tighter. My body naturally curls into the security of the fetal position and my muscles twitch like they are shaking off a spider. Stretching has the effect of getting a freshly unrolled poster to lie flat. Whatever temporary relief results from my made-up version of yoga is as delicately held as a snap bracelet. I’m wearing layers not necessarily because I’m cold, but because it feels like extra protection against the cerebral demons.

As this was a particularly difficult episode, there was the sobbing – for no particular reason. Like a toddler past her naptime, the tears are merely the manifestation of the inevitable surrender. It comes from deep in my chest, tears that don’t start at the eyes but at the gut, and there is more heaving of shoulders than shedding of tears. Dumb & Dumber is on the television but it may as well be Schindler’s List. There is only one thing left to do: go to bed.

I have to take Valium to sleep on the best days (my insomnia goes back to childhood). An extra V for a deep sleep (my psychiatrist knows every detail of my pharmaceutical usage, so don’t worry about the extra 5 milligrams) is well worth it. I don’t drift off to sleep. I plunk into it like an anchor.

The epilogue: I felt a little better on Sunday but still not well enough to leave the house (besides an unavoidable trip to the grocery). By yesterday, I was in much better shape besides some spaciness that will linger until my Ritalin dosage is adjusted. I cancelled both appointments that I had on Saturday, both of which were good and fun appointments, not the dentist or car maintenance. But as I remind myself in the lows, this too shall pass.

This post will probably surprise some people – the people who generally just see the goofy, cheerful, vivacious Dale who is as essentially me as is this weekend’s Dale. It will really surprise the people who don’t know much about mental illness. To those people, let me add: while my bipolar is severe, I am about as stable and healthy as is possible. This weekend happening 1 to 3 times per year is the best-case scenario for a person with bipolar disorder. And I am a rare bird among the flock – most struggle far more intensely and far more often. I am one of the lucky ones.

Mental illness is a chronic disease. There’s no cure. It never goes away. There is no combination of medicine and therapy and stress avoidance that will eliminate weekends like this. I often say that bipolar isn’t necessarily fatal (although it can be – it has the highest suicide rate of any mental illness), it is terminal. You will have it until you die. Just like herpes.


More quick facts about bipolar can be found here if you’re interested.

she drives me crazy

In Communication, Health and Wellness, Relationships on June 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I am pretty open about having bipolar disorder. If someone sees a stigma in it, they would have probably found in me another unforgivable trait like how often I mention poop. Some people ask questions; most don’t. I’m fine with either. But since my diagnosis, I have learned a lot about the disease – just as you would if you found out you had diabetes or cancer or herpes. It’s been especially on my mind in the past year and I’ve felt called to talk about it.

What has spurred this deeper study in the past year was a new psychiatrist. I am no longer seeing the kind of assembly line doctor who made me feel like I was in line at the methadone clinic. We have started tinkering with my medications, finding out that not only could I sometimes feel not shitty, I could even feel good once in a while! This was a major breakthrough in what is essentially a terminal disease. A correlating diagnosis of ADD to add to the OCD and anxiety platter made me the wet dream of pharmaceutical companies everywhere. But the brain is a complicated thing, and it’s very inter-connected. So what makes one neuron manic or depressed can then also make me count my steps and forget most of my life experiences. Anyway, that’s just technical stuff – I’ve also been studying neurology in general so I get really excited about generating new connections between the brain cells I haven’t killed yet.

What spurred me to pick up the laptop and write the first post on Snarkler in over a year was a tweet. Stupid fucking Twitter is going to go and affect my life again. Mandy Stadtmiller, a writer at xoJane, tweeted to Amanda Bynes that she should DM her about writing for the site.

I am a fan of Mandy’s writing, although I don’t always agree with her. She’s smart and she gives good advice. Her writing is open and raw without reservations of vulnerability. When I read her popular article about the hit piece written about her, I was disappointed that she called being labeled bipolar a libelous act. It’s a disease, as indiscriminate with its destruction as any deadly illness and should cause no more shame than a congenital heart defect. Then last night, I saw her reach out to Amanda Bynes.

Wednesday, former Chappelle’s Show writer and current stand-up comic Neal Brennan tweeted this:

You know Amanda Bynes is mentally ill, right? You might as well be mocking someone having a heart attack or a seizure.

I don’t think Mandy is mocking Amanda Bynes. And this post isn’t about Mandy Stadtmiller. It’s about not understanding mental illness as what it is: a disease to be managed, a part of one’s self but not its totality, and impossible to understand with a normal brain. Like white people can never truly know what life is like as a black person, and men can never truly know what life is like as a woman, the sane cannot comprehend the distortion going on between our ears.

The empathy is kind, but trying to relate to the symptoms of true illness only keeps you from learning what you need to know. 30% of people with bipolar attempt suicide. Your rainy day doldrums are not comparable. I don’t mean to diminish the real struggle people have with depression, anxiety, and the stresses of the shit show we call life. But there is an instability at work with bipolar that makes it more of a tornado than a hurricane. It’s unpredictable. Its intensity and direction swing wildly such that you aren’t quite sure where you landed. There is no control. Your mind cannot defeat matter. (Please appreciate that I didn’t go for the very punny reference to gray matter in that allusion.)

These words aren’t meant to invoke sympathy or debate and most certainly are not intended to diminish the struggle of every human life. It’s just to point out that it’s serious shit. Amanda Bynes’ behavior (and Britney Spears’ before her) reminded me of my own psychotic episode. It was about 10 years ago, and fortunately only lasted a week before my very smart mother determined through conversation that I was having delusions and hallucinations. Amanda Bynes doesn’t have my mom. She doesn’t have Britney’s dad. I don’t know who she has. I do know that it should be treated as gravely as a heart attack. This shouldn’t be a story. This should be a mission.

Don’t let all this bummer shit think I don’t still love life. I manage and monitor my disease carefully and lead a pretty normal life, or at least a safely interesting life. It’s just… this.

god and other unacceptable topics

In Communication, Health and Wellness, Home, News and Politics, Relationships, Science on March 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

For the people who thought they knew what tonight’s post was about: Sorry. That’s for another day.

Religion is one of those things, along with sex, politics, and poop, that you aren’t supposed to talk about in mixed company. As you may guess, I enjoy talking about things that should not be discussed in mixed company.

My personal take on religion is that, like relationships, it’s a personal thing that is no one else’s business. In other words, I don’t give a shit what you think, and what I think is not your concern.

Still. Sometimes I feel like there is a dichotomy that religion boils down to, and it’s whether there is an omnimpotent being. God-ish, you may say.

I’m willing to admit that I’m in the fold of belief in God-ish. And I hesitate to narrow it further, as my beliefs are varied and broad and as far as I’m concerned, not mutually exclusive nor any of your business. What events result in that faith are pretty simple.

When I’m at the end of my rope, there’s a knot. I know that is totally 5th grade book fair poster involving a kitten philosophy. But it’s true. Yesterday was mad shitty. I mean, mad shitty. Think about the shittiest day, dial back someone dying, and that was my Wednesday. It really fucked up the whole week. I figured that life as Wednesday was barely worth it.

Then today happened. And it wasn’t perfect. There was still no sun. But I got a surprise gift from someone who thinks about me when I’m not around, which, let’s face it, is a pretty awesome compliment. Then a bit of good company sandwiched between the next slice of awesome: a childhood career dream come true. To settle the day, good conversation with good friends and a cuddle with my dog.

I suppose it could be a coincidence that a horrible day was followed by a day full of steady pick-me-ups. But it’s happened far too often to make me think that it’s not statistically significant. There’s too many times where I get to learn my lesson, but then get my scrapes bandaged and my lollipop received to think that someone isn’t looking out for me. Whether it’s the soul of my grandmother, a God, or magnetic energy from the sun in the form of Tom Cruise, I can’t help but feel like I’m not alone. Which is nice.

charlie sheen is not cool

In Entertainment and Nightlife, Health and Wellness, Home, News and Politics, Science, Work on March 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

As much as I hate to be one of the billion people talking about Charlie Sheen when there are far more important matters in the world (Libya, unions, Bockfest), I feel like mine might be a minority (or solitary) opinion.

Charlie Sheen is not cool.

He’s not funny. He’s not winning. He’s definitely not inspiring. He’s sick.

Whether his brain was fried before the drugs is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that this is a grown man with 5 children. What would be mildly entertaining if he were a 22-year-old guy drunk at a party is a serious problem when it’s a 45-year-old man with responsibilities he is ignoring. As quotable as he has been in the past few weeks, he has 4 children under the age of 10. His youngest two children are with a woman who has plenty of her problems of her own. I don’t think any of us suspected that Denise Richards would come out of this family looking like the smart one.

Charlie Sheen is tragic. The likelihood of this ending happily ever after is slim. The United States is cheering the destruction of a human being, while ignoring the thousands who are losing their livelihoods and their lives.

I hate to be such a Debbie Downer, trust me. I prefer to keep this and my Twitter account as light and as bummer-free as possible. But the admiration people are showing for Charlie Sheen is distressing. Mental illness isn’t cool. Drug abuse isn’t cool. Having a harem isn’t cool (no, really. It’s not).

Charlie Sheen is not cool.

And he’s definitely not winning.

be careful what you wish for

In Health and Wellness, Home on February 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

As a child, I had a huge gap between my two front teeth. More accurately, I had it well into adulthood. I prayed and prayed that my gap would close. It was the only thing about my appearance that really bothered me (and I spent a great deal of my childhood with a poodle perm and spent high school with eyebrows that could serve as toupees).

Over the years, the gap has closed gradually. A few years ago, when my wisdom teeth started coming in, the gap is all but closed. In fact, now I have a new concern. Is something in my teeth? (Yes, there is.)

While I’m thrilled to have one of my dreams come true, another wish I had ended up being granted a little differently. I always wanted dimples. I have dimples in my chin, which is not cute once you’re past your first birthday. So when I was little, I would pass the time while I was pooping by poking in my right cheek (the one on my face) (I preferred to only have one dimple, as I felt the asymmetry would be more interesting). Strangely enough, even after years of poop-time spent poking my finger into my own face, I did not develop a dimple.

Now that I’m aged (32, to be exact), I’ve noticed a few changes in my appearance. While I still look pretty good for my age, there is one wrinkle in particular that is very pronounced.

Right where a dimple should be.

don’t want your stacks, just crack my back

In Communication, Health and Wellness, Science, Work on February 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I was brought up to distrust chiropractors. I grew up in Detroit, where they had a reputation for offering to cure back pain, acne, cancer, and social awkardness. Needless to say, my parents were skeptical, and therefore, so was I. As another indication of how much my parents influence my choices, I still have never tasted a Brussel sprout, because both of my parents hate them.

My doubt about chiropractic was only enforced when I was in a car accident in 2006. As I was turning left onto a side street, a driver on the side street didn’t see me and pulled out and hit my car, t-bone style, directly into my driver’s side door. He had insurance, so my car (eventually) got fixed. Plus, I got to drive a Pontiac Grand Prix for a couple weeks, which feels like a race car compared to my Saturn.

One of my co-workers bugged me to go see a chiropractor, because after the accident, I had a problem with my back in that it hurt so much I couldn’t walk. I didn’t want to go, but finally, he bugged me so much that I went ahead and made an appointment to see his chiropractor. Without touching me once and only asking a couple of questions, the he told me I would have to come in 3 times a week for at least 6 months. So I left.

Fast forward 5 years, and my back is still messed up. Sometimes I throw it out in an attempt to carry things or bend over or walk. I’d get massages at the massage school where they would try to rub out the knot in my back, and I’d end up with bruises.

Then my mom’s best friend recommended that she go see a chiropractor in their town. My mom went, because she trusts her best friend even more than I trust my co-workers. And she liked him. She trusted him. And she felt better. I decided to give it another try.

I feel better. I’m a convert. But only for my chiropractor- I still won’t go to any other one. And not just because he’s hot (even though that obviously helps). But because he’s honest with me about what he can and can’t do, and he doesn’t try to get me to come see him more often that I want to (again, the hotness helps here). As much as I enjoy having hot guys on top of me, I wouldn’t pay $25 a pop for it if it didn’t cure back pain.

Now if there was only something he could do about my social awkwardness…

putting the period in periodical

In Communication, Health and Wellness, News and Politics, Relationships, Technology on February 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I have subscriptions to a lot of magazines. Like, 8. And that doesn’t include the 2 subscriptions I share with my mom, or the free subscription I have to Martha Stewart Living. Granted, I’m pretty good at getting deals on them- I pay about $5/year for 26 issues of ESPN Magazine. But still. For an environmentally-sensitive person like myself, it’s a bit extreme, but I can’t help it. I love magazines.

My periodical collection runs the gamut from girly (Cosmopolitan and Lucky) to issues that appeal to my more masculine sensibilities (Esquire). To illustrate what a frat boy I can be, I used to also subscribe to FHM and Maxim. I even had a letter to the editor published in FHM (PS – I got paid $50 for it!). Granted, they thought I was a dude (if they knew I was a chick, I would have only gotten $38.50).

There has always seemed to be something a bit off about women’s magazines- something that bugged me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Finally, when I was trying to come up with details about what I would do differently (besides just create a female’s version of Esquire), I realized that every magazine whose target demographic was female was comprised only of advice on how to overcome our innate deficiencies- of character, ability, worth, and beauty. As far as Glamour, Cosmo, and Marie Claire are concerned, there isn’t anything wrong with you that a 6-week exercise regimen, new beauty product, and personality transplant can’t fix. Cosmo gives explicit directions on how to shake hands with people (make eye contact, grasp firmly, slight smile- those explicit directions are generally repeated in another type of Cosmo feature).

Conversely, men’s magazines treat every man like he is perfectly fine the way he is, but just in case he was wondering how to find good scotch, fine suits, and loose women, they have some suggestions. Esquire does not have quizzes for their readers to determine if they are too much of an attention-seeker. GQ may recommend their readers use moisturizer, but they certainly won’t condemn you if you don’t. It has never occurred to an editor at Details to give step-by-step instructions on how to meet women (then again, I’m not sure Details‘ readers are all that keen on meeting women). Men’s magazines treat each reader as a whole person, who doesn’t need a mate, perfectly groomed eyebrows, or a home that is welcoming to the opposite sex in order to be happy.

Men’s magazines also tend to respect the intelligence of their reader more than their counterparts. There are stories that involved research and investigative journalism and aren’t just about women who are being repressed. Hey, I’m all for stories about repressed women, don’t get me wrong. But women need to read about men who are oppressed. They need to know what their government is doing, and to assume we only care about that affects our uterus is insulting. For the record, my uterus will remain under my jurisdiction no matter what the Republican Party says.

Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith, ACP, and all you other publishers: Women are smart and capable and just fine the way they are. Give them more credit.  For pete’s sake, even Playboy treats women like they are beautiful creatures instead of works-in-progress.

But if you do find any fat-melting foods, will you let me know?

damn girl

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Health and Wellness, Relationships on January 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Many moons ago, my cell phone ring tone was “Damn Girl” by Justin Timberlake (featuring Will.I.Am, but who cares). Every time someone called me, Justin would croon, “Dammmmmn, girl, you’re so fine!” Corny? For sure. But I loved it- a consistent reminder that I am hot shit.

Related to the last post, part of the whole knowing my body thing has another positive side effect: I think I’m hot shit. I’m cute and all. I’m not skinny; I’m not fat. I’m not ugly; I wouldn’t say I’m classically beautiful either. I’ve been told I have a great smile and a nice ass (both true) and I like my eyes and wrists (weird but still true). And I have tits to die for, but don’t we all?

But I respect my body. It’s doing a pretty decent job for me (especially given how I treat it). I respect it when I have PMS, and my body is punishing me for not using it for its intended purpose. I really respect it when I’m ovulating and am beyond convinced that I’m the sexiest woman in the world (and my body is giving me a second chance at fulfilling its goal).

That’s not all, though. I surround myself with people who reinforce a positive impression of me. My first encounter with this was in 1997. In high school, I was a nerdy girl with huge eyebrows. But senior year, my mom had plucked them, and I turned 18 and met boys at dance clubs who didn’t know that I was a nerdy girl with huge eyebrows. In college, I joined a sorority, and all of a sudden, I had all sorts of guys who wanted to know this cute girl with the big boobs and the well-shaped brows.

I have female friends who are sources of constant support. Who, on my occasional down day, will remind me that George Clooney would throw his vow of celibacy (the marriage kind) out of the window for the likes of me. Sometimes, when they have a bit too much to drink, they will dry-hump me on the dance floor, and I’ll feel irresistible.

It’s been more than a decade since my first fraternity party, and medicine and age have taken their toll on my metabolism. Gravity does not love boobs as much as everyone else does. I still have pretty awesome eyebrows, but I realized something important along the way. Chris Rock put it best: show me the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll show you a dude who is sick of fucking her. In the same way, every woman in the world has got someone who wants to fuck her. I have beautiful, smart, smoking-hot friends who find imaginary flaws in their body that they think will turn a man off once they get into bed. And I tell them: the only thing that will get a man to kick you out of bed is having a penis. And that won’t even stop all of them.

Confidence really is the #1 ingredient in sex appeal. There are men who don’t want to get this, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to get a man who doesn’t want this. There are plenty of smart, funny, grade-A hotness men who would love nothing more than to get all conjugal with me. I don’t concern myself with the men who don’t. Just as I don’t find all men attractive, I don’t expect all of them to find me attractive.

But maybe they should get their eyes checked just in case.