C.G.G.T. Running part deux

A while back I wrote a post entitled Chubby Girl’s Guide to Running it was all about “hey it doesn’t matter if you are a slow ass runner like me – Get out there and do it!”.

Well I am excited to report that I have returned to running. I decided the best way to actually force myself to run more than like 100 feet, was to register for a race…oh and rope a bunch of friends into doing it with me. So that is what I did. On Thanksgiving, no less, Team Muffin Tops will be running the Turkey Trot. I know I know, awesome team name. Alas I can not claim credit for that one.

I have been training my butt off and I have to pat myself on the tush (because the back is hard to get a good pat) and get a wee bit excited by the fact that it is week 5 and I am rocking it…..well in a slow as shit, Chubby Girl kind of way. But rocking it no less.

Now….the latest issue I am encountering is interesting….I want to say unique, but perhaps other chubby girls have experienced this? Basically I can’t keep my pants up!

I literally spend 30 minutes going 10 feet, pulling up pants, 10 feet, pull up pants…and when I say pants I don’t always mean exterior pants. Sometimes it is a combo, but a lot of the time it is an underpants issue. Those bastards just love to fall off when I run.

My 5 weeks of investigation tells me that it is a chub issue. The jiggle of the chub is just making it so my pants are like ‘HOLY FUCK WHAT DO WE HOLD ON TO HERE?!!!!!’ And the answer is, there isn’t anything. The only successful outfit I have found is a pair of high-water, super-elastic waist pants that I wore without anything underneath (which would be super naughty…if I was hotter).

Other than that it is a game of Russian Roulette as to whether it will be a pants issue or an underpants issue. So the solution? I have decided it is time to invent running suspenders. That’s right! Soon all of your friend will be sporting a pair of super awesome suspenders while they run. And obviously they will need to hook to your undies AND pants.

When you start to see them around you will be able to say ‘hey, I know the chick who invented those!’…..actually you probably won’t say that, you will be too busy rolling on the floor laughing. But I am telling you people, there is a real need. There has to be dozens of chubby girls out there that are having this problem. So that means there will be tens of dollars to be made on this venture. Hear that bitches! I’m gonna have enough cash to buy a new pair of pants! Shhiiittt Yeaaaahhh.




So I tend to inadvertently decide to write a super heavy post and then I disappear for a week. Whoopsies. Sorry about that. Basically that was just a 24 hour….actually like a 10 hour dark period and then it was like it never happened.

Thank you all for your amazing words of support via comment, via text, via e-mail, all that shit. You are awesome. I couldn’t buy better support (shhh your checks are in the mail…they aren’t linked to an active bank account, but I figured it would make everyone’s day to receive a check for $1 million dollars…..please don’t try to cash it).

Let’s see. I am trying to remember what all happened after that night. Andy and I went on a date after work the next day and we sort of talked about it. In a good, even-keeled sort of way. Bottom line is, shit is not all figured out, but all is well.

I had a business trip all last week. It went great…well minus the massive hangover I gave myself and the cough and runny nose I contracted, but whatcha gonna do? You win some you lose some.

I couldn’t wait to get home to my men. Jack is getting his 4th molar right now, so basically I returned in time to not sleep, but it was a weekend, so I appreciate his timing. I laid with him on my chest listening to him trying to breathe through his stuffy nose and remembering what it was like when he didn’t span from my collar bone all the way half-way down my thigh. Baby is getting big….not really a baby anymore.

Which brings up my last news of this post – acupuncture. An appointment has been made. I am hanging my flag of surrender and admitting that my body needs something a little extra to push it along. As much as I had hoped, I am not going to be like those whores I know who easily got pregnant with their #2s. But it seems only fair when you look at the big picture. I endured a few months of acupuncture with Jack and they all had to be poked and prodded and wanded. Some of them paying 20 times what I paid to get their little miracles. So I am glad they were total whores and got pregnant with #2 easily. I basically have to go lay on a table without pants on (score!) and listen to calming flute music, while a chick burns tiny aromatherapy cones over my ovaries and puts little pins all over. Man being a hippie is sorta awesome, but mostly hilarious.

I know we will all achieve the same end, even if our journeys are very different.

Not Strong Enough Today

There are those days where things get way down to depths you didn’t expect and you find yourself feeling like the wind was knocked out of you as you were just strolling along. These days happen to all of us. I have come to appreciate them as a sort of Karmic balance. Things can’t always be up, unfortunately, they sometimes have to come down.

I was certainly not expecting what happened yesterday. I had an amazing day at work. My project outlook is really promising, I had a serious discussion with my boss about possible article ideas that these projects have inspired and found myself full of passion for my job for the first time in a while. I started thinking maybe just maybe I can find what I am looking for right in front of my face.

When I got in my car to head home, the world was my oyster….at least it was my oyster for the first half of the day. My aunt had texted me a few days before to tell me the transition for C.G. was going slowly and she gave me her new phone number. I decided to try her on my ride home….I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy talk, but I wasn’t expecting what happened.

C.G. started out by saying ‘I don’t know why I am here and no one will sit down and tell me’. So I told her what happened with the hospital and how the family wanted her down there where more people could look after her, etc. She would go around and around about how she understood and then go back to ‘I don’t understand what I did to deserve this’. She talked about it as if it were a punishment and ‘they put her away!’. She talked about how horrible the place was, how she couldn’t leave on her own, no one was there to take her outside, she couldn’t eat with these people who can’t even feed themselves, etc. The conversation went on and by the end she was in tears telling me she wants to come home, she wants to go to the nursing home here, where she had always planned to go, and she wants to be near me, her real family. She kept saying how the people down there weren’t her family, etc…..it was really terrible. I tried my best to explain what was going on to her and assure her that her house was still here and no one had done anything to her house, etc. That she wasn’t trapped down there, they just wanted her nearby for a while….I think I might have messed up with that part.

I felt really helpless though. What do you tell your grandma when she says ‘I want to come home’? I couldn’t tell her that she can’t come home….I just don’t have the ability to say that to her. I told her the only thing I could think of…..the most passive aggressive stance a person can take, really….the chicken shit way out – Okay Grandma I will talk to dad. Yeahhh…because we all know that will make it better….damn it Natalie….

I called my dad right after, he was at work, so I called his wife. We talked for a bit and deduced this was part of the transition, etc. Obviously by saying she wants to come home she means she wants to come back to her house. If we moved her to the nursing home here she would still be going through this same transition and to be honest, the facility here is not that nice. It isn’t awful, but it definitely isn’t as nice as the place she is at now.

I talked to my uncle and aunt this morniong. I spoke with them for a while and what it all boils down to is manipulation. C.G. was trying to manipulate me. The people there are all still functioning independently. It is more of an apartment complex for retired people than what she was describing. They can leave and go places any time they want. In fact a neighbor took grandma shopping a couple of days ago. The people can feed themselves just fine and she has been attending the activities there….basically I am a big old pawn. She played me like a fiddle…and I offered her up the bow.

I felt infinitely better after talking to my aunt and uncle. I feel absolutely terrible for them. My uncle is the villan here. My grandmother doesn’t even want to see him she is so angry that ‘he tried to confuse me and put me away!’. Poor guy. The one who stepped up with a proposed solution, the one who came up to see her about once a month if not more. I feel genuinely bad for him.

I really do see both sides. On the one hand, I wish we had just moved her to the nursing home she wanted. Sure we’d probably still be dealing with some of this stuff, but maybe then no one person would be the villan. Maybe it would have been a bit easier…who knows. What I do know is I need to be crystal clear in my will or something of where I want to go and probably I need to put myself there well before I think I need to go.

But back to yesterday. After my talk with Grandma I was an emotional wreck by the time I walked in the door. I talked to Andy about it and we ate dinner, laughed at Jack and his newfound love for dried cranberries “more more more more” (which come out the same way they go in). We turned on some stand-up and were just sitting around…..then shit went wrong.

I can’t fully explain what happened. Andy sort of has this amazing ability to pick fights. Not just with me, with everyone. I have told him this is why he should become a lawyer because he likes to fight about anything and everything. He doesn’t even care which side you are on, he will argue the other, even if deep down he agrees with you. He just likes to argue. It is like the challenge sparks him.

So anyway he picked an arbitrary fight. I got pissed and decided the best thing was to go to bed…it being a work night and me reaching my capacity. But Andy doesn’t always let things end. He followed me downstairs and continued to tout his stance. I continued to defend myself and try to get him to back down. Then things got ugly. He opened up some old scars basically. Obviously I am neglectful and not loving enough – that is the gist of it. I called bullshit and gates were opened. Suddenly I am staring at a scene I can’t explain.

One of the strongest people I know is standing in front of me the most vulnerable I have ever seen him and I am hitting a brick wall. He won’t come near me, he won’t let me in. He was standing there 15 feet away, but it felt like 500. The only thing I can do after this sort of thing is to try to rationalize what was happening. So here it is…maybe way off base, but here it is:

There is deep dark damage in there. Damage that I might never be able to touch. Even if I could touch it, I am not sure how I could help. Andy doesn’t like realizing that he is in someway damaged. It turns him into a wounded predator who’s only card to play is to attack.

This isn’t the only time I have peeked into that darkness and I know it won’t be the last. It happens every so often. It is the reason he drinks, it is the reason he will talk to his best friend for hours on end out in the garage, it is also the reason he has trouble making new friends. The two people closest to him are the two people that were there. There through the darkness. I get to know pieces of things because I was sorta there. I was at home, worrying and working and trying to keep believing that someday he would come home. I earned the right to know some of it, but I don’t know all of it. And he reminded me last night that I never will. That it wouldn’t do me any good to know and despite my protests, he doesn’t believe it will do him any good either to tell me.

But how could he ever get close to anyone else? How could anyone ever understand what he has been through and how could he relate to anyone who hasn’t done the things he’s done? I think that is where he stands. I think that is why, despite how I try to encourage him to hang out with new acquaintances he meets, he repels against the idea.

It is rough….this situation is rough. Believe me this dark is always smothered out by the light that occurs in our life together. I know that our tiny bandit is slowly working his charm into Andy’s life and healing some of the things that neither of us thought could be healed. Andy has smiled more and enjoyed more than I have seen in a really long time. I know Jack has been good for him. Shown him that he has the ability to do wonderful things despite his past. Shown him that it is okay to be silly and dance and show love….

But when things get to the place they got last night, I can’t help but feel that maybe – despite what I tell myself – I am not strong enough. I let him say whatever he needs to say to get to the point where he will admit this isn’t about us. This is about him. Even though the path to get to that point almost always means he tries to shove me the farthest possible distance. Even when I want to be like ‘fuck it you’re right, we’re fucked’ I think no this is a defense mechanism this isn’t about you. And so I stick to him like glue….I am the most annoying person in the world to him I am sure.

All he wants is to bite and get away and here I am standing there letting him bite me with my arms wrapped as tightly around him as possible. I get it. I am a pest. But that is all I can do. That is the only way for me to get through it. To try to turn the situation in where I feel completely hopeless into a situation where no matter what he says I tell him and show him that I am not going anywhere.  Sometimes I don’t feel strong enough….but I keep on telling myself that I am.

My “Don’t Ask” Policy

I have learned a few things the hard way. See I am a good listener. I will actually make you believe that I care about you and what is going on with you because, guess what?, I do! I know it is whacky-town! I am waaaayyy too nice for my own good. You’re an ASSHAT!…whew, just trying that out…nope it doesn’t really fit. I apologize.

Let’s talk about the hard way…because without it I wouldn’t have a “Don’t Ask” policy to tell you all about.

Our landlord in NY was actually my friend’s dad. It was one of those fate things that everything worked the way it did. I applied for grad school in a state and town I had never been to, meanwhile living 1,000 miles away in San Diego. I get accepted and then realize ‘holy fuck! now what do I do?’. Then my friend is like ‘oh yeah by the way I am from there and my dad rents out the house I grew up in, you need a place to rent?’…WTF? Yeah I don’t know either. It just happened and I was like ‘fuck yeah the universe is looking out for me!!!’.

Anyway maybe it was because he was my friend’s dad, or maybe it was just because that is who he is, but he was a WAAAaaaayyyy over-sharer type. You know the kind. Like you know about ailments his stepdaughter’s cat is experiencing. That sort of thing. He was a great landlord though. Very laid back and friendly. Helped us out when things needed fixing and what not.

One such day he came over and I made the mistake of asking how things were going. He proceeded to tell me that he had just had a colonoscopy….it didn’t end there…I got to hear all about it…..ALL ABOUT IT!!!! I don’t even think my dad would tell me all about his colonoscopy….his wife would probably tell me all about it, but he wouldn’t. Anyway I was horrified. I had no idea what to do…and because I am an idiot and didn’t want him to feel awkward I continued to act interested and ask questions about the things he said and what not. OHHHH GOOODDDDD what a disaster.

I would say that people along the way had taught me small lessons that helped formulate my “don’t ask” policy, but that one was the pinnacle. From that point on I started getting better and deciphering when it was time to get out of a conversation. Preferably before the word colonoscopy is mentioned.

Oh I should point out that I heard about his colonoscopy on two other occasions after that….alright so it took me a while to learn that lesson. It isn’t my fault!

Last Friday was my morning to bring breakfast to work. We rotate every week yada yada yada. Anyway I decided to try out a new recipe. It was a spicy breakfast casserole of sorts, with chorizo and hot sauce. Basically it was amazing and I had been hearing from everyone how much they liked it, etc. When I went into the break room to pack everything up, one of my guy co-workers was in there. This guy and my old landlord could have been long-lost twins. Anyway he’s filling up his water and this conversation occurs:

Me: how’s your day going Guy

Guy: Oh pretty good…your breakfast looked really good. I couldn’t have any today, but I took a couple of squares of it and am saving it for tomorrow (expectant look)

Me: *ALARM****ALARM**** (this sounds like it is leaning towards a conversation that has to do with his ass or something I don’t want to hear about. Packing up quickly I say): well I hope you like it, have a great weekend byyyyeeeeee (running out of the room).

And that is how I am now a big grown up person with a “Don’t Ask” Policy of my own.

Sometimes You Have to Give In

For those of you long-timers out there, you know that Crazy Grandma is aptly named. If there are any newbies, let me just catch you up….my Grandma is a little Crazy…..there you go. I think as younger people – hey I am still young! – we try to justify what we are seeing happening to our parents and grandparents. After watching her slowly deteriorate over the past decade…and luckily it has been fairly slow… I have come to the observation that what is happening to her is a result of being alone to turn your thoughts around and around and around.

Over a year ago I received a call that she was in the hospital and needed a ride home. I could see her room at the end of the hall I was walking down and she was sitting in the hospital chair. I figured she was just watching tv, but when I got into the room I realized she wasn’t. She was just sitting there…..quietly staring straight ahead. Which for my grandmother is literally amazing. Until this point I was convinced she must talk to herself nonstop all day. The woman can literally go on for hours. Granted you are hearing the same 7 things, but gosh darn it she will tell it to you like she didn’t already say it four sentences ago.

I classify her as the epitome of an “old biddy”. She would talk about her and her friend Eileen and all the adventures they would go on, etc. Anyway, when I realized she was sitting there just staring into space it occurred to me that she was just turning the things she’s heard, the things she’s done, the things she thinks she heard and did, over and over all the time. You could tell this was the case because her stories would be filled with fibs.

She once told me my cousin was going to drop out of grad school to have a baby. It sort of became an inside joke between my cousins and I. That we would always verify a story to make sure we weren’t falling into her traps. She would tell me how brilliant my one boy cousin was (who was in college at the time) and how average my other boy cousin was. ‘Well you know Ken isn’t really all that smart!’. Um Grandma Ken is an electrical engineer and works on lasers. ‘Yeah well he just wasn’t the smart one of the family’. Hmmmm. The collection of Grandma’s made up stories has almost become more precious to us all than the real stories she tells.

Don’t get me wrong it isn’t all fun and games. She has a cutting edge to her words as well. And when you hear her cut down each and every person in the family, you just know that she has to say things about you too. Luckily she has the filter to wait until you aren’t around….well not always.

Once Bret came with me to drop Christmas presents off at my Grandpa’s nursing home, she later told me that everyone was asking which one was her granddaughter  “And I told them she is the heavy-set one”……wow you couldn’t have said the brunette?

So yeah. No one was immune all the time, but I had it easy to say the least. The day I left to visit Oak, I received a call from the hospital that she again needed a ride home. Problem was, I was in Minnesota and my Dad just so happened to be on vacation in Montana. By some stroke of luck Big Butter happened to be in town on business and was able to go get her. But to say that it panicked the entire family would be an understatement. My Uncle and Aunt, who both live in different states, realized that we all couldn’t live in denial much longer about her condition.

I think the story about the hospital situation is that she heard a pop in her shoulder while getting into bed and drove herself to the E.R. But she couldn’t remember this information the next day when Big Butter came to get her. They gave her some sort of pain meds that she responded terribly to. She was saying how she had come to bring flowers to a friend in the hospital and then later that a nice nurse came in at night and laid in bed with her and rubbed her back so she could sleep….yeah you can see how that might not be the greatest story to tell.

They realized she was whacked out and gave her some other meds to draw out the first medication or something…anyway it wasn’t until we received her medical records several days later that we found out some of the real pieces of the story. But even after you told her what happened, 10 minutes later she would say, ‘well do we even know what happened? because I have no idea’. She is like the main character from Momento, unable to maintain her short-term memories.

My Aunts and Uncle decided that she should come down to New Mexico and look at assisted living facilities. My dad and I agreed that this would be a good thing. There are 4 families down there who could be less than 10 minutes away from her, whereas here my dad and I are both about an hour away.

My grandma went back and forth about the idea. She would sit and tell me ‘you know I am moving to N.M right?’ And then she would babble on about it and then say ‘well I haven’t actually decided I might want to stay here and live on my own, or I had always planned to go to the retirement home here’. She was attached to the home my grandpa was at. She would tell us fibs about how they offered her a job there…oh because she was a nurse…yeah…so she worked as a candy-striper at the hospital when she was in high school (basically they changed the linens and cleaned the rooms). I think she wanted to go to nursing school, but she married my grandpa the weekend after she graduated high school and then had my dad a year later. So she was never a nurse, but tells people that she was…..again dangerous. Don’t trust any 75-year-old “nurses” okay?

I don’t think they ever offered her a job there. I am sure they encouraged her to come volunteer and that probably transformed into getting a job offer for her. Anyway she would talk about moving to N.M but then come back to the retirement home here.

I decided to back away from the situation and let my dad and his siblings figure everything out. My uncle took my grandma down to N.M and showed her several places. She seemed reluctant to sign, but about a week later, I received a text that they would be moving her down.

I had a break down on the car ride up to her house. I felt like maybe I should have stood up for her, if she really wanted to be at this certain home she should be able to. Did I fail her? Did they force her into something? Or was she just nervous and not ready for a change? I calmed myself down by the time I arrived and within the first 30 minutes I realized this really was going to be just fine. Although I still feel a little guilty like we didn’t respect her wishes, I think she will like being close to my uncle and his kids.

She is a baby fanatic and two of my cousins are expecting down there, so there will be a steady stream of fresh children to smother with affection. It is an easy flight from here and we all try to get together a couple of times a year. I think this will be better in the long run and the great thing is that she is on a month-to-month basis there, so if in 6 months she wants to come back and instead go to the facility here, then she can. I guess I just realized that sometimes you have to give in.

Gasp! don’t go spreading this around, but basically I don’t always know what is best. Also getting old is fucking scary and sad dudes. All in favor of never getting old and crazy?

Grandparent Tranquilizers

I wish there was some sort of tranquilizers for grandparents or like a smoke bomb that you could set off so you can get away. I am running into a whole lotta grandparent static recently.

We went to see my grandma on Sunday morning and Jack was feeling like total crap. So much so that as soon as we got to her house, I put him back in the car to go get some acetaminophen. I rocked him in my grandma’s chair, but then realized that it would be a while until she got to see him again*, so she should be able to rock him. He apparently was feeling like such crap that he didn’t care who rocked him. My aunt and uncle were there and we all sat around and chatted. Every once in a while my grandma would be like ‘Jack! should we go walk around in the grass outside and tickle our toes?’

My uncle would then say ‘I don’t think Jack is going anywhere grandma, he doesn’t feel well’. So then she would just be silent and rock him. Say things like ‘you’re grandma’s little doll aren’t you?’ and other adorable things. But some time would pass and then she would say ‘should we go tickle our toes on the grass Jack?’. And again one of us would say ‘I don’t think he wants to move grandma’.

Poor guy was trying his darndest to fall asleep and she just kept waking him up with her talking. He would get soooo droopy eyed that I would think he would finally pass out and then she would wake him back up again with talk of playing in the grass. Needless to say, she is not all there.

Finally it was like a light switch went off. I imagined Jack thought this:

Alright I can either get up and play with that basket of balls and cups and random shit that grandma put in the toy bin, or I can stay here and listen to her talk about going outside some more….

Because just like that he popped up, walked over to the basket of toys and started throwing balls…some of them directly at grandma’s face.

I felt bad for him, but it was also awesome and this was sweet:

Basically a whole plethora of emotions in one afternoon.

Another incident of grandparent’s needing to be tranquilized culminated today, when my dad’s wife asked for the third time in two weeks if she could have Jack overnight on Friday.

So here’s how things went down. They were home on a Staycation last week. Emmicakes was having a birthday and wanted to go to a comedy show. So I asked them if they might take Jack on Friday night so we could go to a show. She responded that they were going to be climbing but gave me a list of the next three Fridays basically, in which they would gladly take Jack.

Normally when I am doing date nights I don’t really care when they occur, but this was kind of a specific night so I said no worries, we had alternatives. Thinking she would get that we don’t need a different day instead. Anyway, Sunday she mentioned again ‘hey should we take Jack overnight this next Friday then?’. No thanks, I said, we went to that show for emily’s birthday’. I was silly in thinking that was the end of it.

Then yesterday I get a text about them coming down to dinner on Friday and they wanted us to meet them and then could they take Jack home with them for the night. Ooo sorry we have plans Friday evening but thanks for the invite. You think that was the end don’t you? Nope silly you.

Just an hour ago I get ANOTHER text about how Saturday is free day at the art museum and would we want to go with them, also they could bring Jack back at that time if we let them take him overnight……I mean…am I wrong to think this feels a LOT like bullying? I mean to be honest I am sort of wondering if she wants to like eat my child or something. She just doesn’t seem to want to stop.

Then we have the additional issue of Andy’s mom who wants to skype with us….granted that is the least annoying grandparent interaction possible, because you basically chase Jack around with the laptop for 15 minutes and they say ‘okay we gotta go!’.

Listen, I get that grandparents are super excited about babies and what not, but seriously?….they need tranquilizers sometimes.

*remind me to get back to this in another post

A Want Ad

Wanted: Man-friends for my husband so I don’t have to pretend like I know what he is talking about when he comes home excited that his 451 Cleveland motor does some sort of special magic tricks or something and that he is more in love with Herb every day and that Herb needs his own Christmas present because he is now a member of the family and does such-and-such bronco website have a “wishlist” option like amazon? and oil changes are now super critical because of some-reason-or-another….man-friends please come to my rescue!

I really just don’t think I have the ability to dispense the adequate amount of emotion when I don’t know what Andy is talking about. I want to be able to display an adequate amount of concern when I hear that some component might need replacing soon. Or get insanely excited when he tells me how awesome some doo-dad is, but what is really going on is this.

I Hear: Blah blah blah blah

I See: mouth moving, words coming out

I Say to Myself: Wow I should probably know what is going on here considering we have been together for 13 years…..nope still don’t know what he is saying….hmmm does his inflection suggest something bad or something good? quick say something ‘Oh awesome!’….nope he saw right through that….’so that’s neat’….hmm that seemed to work kind of. Man there has to be someone somewhere who would know what he is saying. I need to find that person and pay them to take over right now.

I mean I seriously try here people. I do. I get the general idea of how engines work and what not, but when he starts talking about gear ratios and other technical things my mind just shuts down. As if it is allergic to car talk or something. I want to be more interested in it, I am just not. *sigh*

Anyone have a spare man-friend around that I could borrow?