Size Matters

I’m beginning again… or at least that’s what it feels like. In my last blogs I was unfairly slut shamed- and then subsequently admitted to being a hormone-raged, bad decision making, overly emotional mess. So since I spent two blogs opening a dark place in my mind not previously seen in the light of day, and it was all the fault of dating, I think I will exhale on my love life for a while- and write about something else.

I’ve already written a couple of blogs about my weight- and how I struggle with it. The focus of those blogs was more in the vein of dealing with the way I see my weight- and what I want to do about it. I’m back to battling the bulge; I haven’t given up. But starting over in this way really opens my eyes to the way other people see weight- and how they can oh-so-sneakily project that onto you. Now I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about my dating life- and I’m not- but I saw a great example when I was exploring this dating site that I’m on, searching profiles. There were a couple of them where the guys would write in their profiles, “No big girls,” or “I’m sorry I don’t like big girls.” I get that everyone has a preference. I GET THAT. But when I read that, I was… confused. The purpose of being on the site is to find what you want- but you go out of your way to make sure that one of the things you put in your profile is what you DON’T want? That confused me. The other thing that was puzzling to me was that I’m sure the weight/ body type preference isn’t your ONLY preference. So if you insist on using profile space to talk about what you don’t want- why focus only on weight? That made me mad. I mean, it’s obvious I’m never going to date these men (which is fine with me), but weight gets such a stigma. It’s crazy and getting worse. Body type has become something either universally celebrated, or universally condemned. Now I’m not talking about just in jokes- people have been making fat jokes all my life. There probably isn’t one that I haven’t heard. But it just seems like it’s turning into something else. Another example. One of my trusted, inner circle, best friends was having dinner at my house- and was talking to one of her (guy) friends on the phone. This guy is on the same dating website, and when he was asked (by her) why he stopped logging in, he said that he was tired of only big girls talking to him. Of course, she has him on speaker, so I’m not too happy with his comments. I mean, it was crass- plain and simple. This is a professional, educated man- he could have simply said, “I didn’t find anyone I was attracted to.” and left it at that. But did he? NO. Just like the profile jerks, he decided to point out SIZE. Because size matters in a way that it apparently never did before. I’m not particularly fond of small penises- but do you see me wasting profile space talking about, “Don’t talk to me unless you’re eight inches or more?” NO!!! You know why? Because that’s crass, and rude- and that’s not what my profile space is for! But because it’s weight, then it’s open season, right? People can just say whatever the fuck they want. Oh. I see… BULLSHIT!!!

I’ve been trying to figure out why size matters so much- to everyone. I mean, if you know someone that you want to be healthier, then of course- I can see that. But if I’m just living my life, and you’re just living yours- why waste time slandering something you don’t like? I mind my business. I don’t take people’s constant gym tweets and “Abs Are Made In The Kitchen” Instagram photos personally- so why bother me? Why go out of your way to make sure everyone knows how much you hate people like me? Maybe to cover up the fact that you secretly like me? I don’t know. People will deny that, but I’ve seen it happen. As a plus sized girl, do you know how many guys I’ve met that wouldn’t walk down the street with me- but would fuck my brains out if they thought no one would know? Unbelievable numbers of undercover chubby chasers… yep, it’s true. My other theory is that some people just have to be the loudest voices in the room, no matter what. We’re living in an age where it’s more okay to be who you really are. So guys that may have been ashamed to tell their friends that they like bigger women, now say it pretty proudly. In the last few years, some of the sexiest voices in the world have called me “soft” with such reverence, lol. It’s kinda cool. But I’ve noticed that sometimes when you’re proud to say you like something, the people who don’t like it feel like they have to be LOUDER- so they seem better. But it’s not a competition. We don’t all like the same shit- that’s life. You don’t have to put something down to prove that you like something else. And trying to destroy something because YOU don’t like it, is childish- especially if it’s a person. Just do you. And leave my size alone.

I know I’m never going to be able to silence all the haters- so I won’t try. I mean, they’re pretty much everywhere. Social media has made these people even more accessible. I swear, the repost/ retweet era is ruining lives. People even have weight requirements for spouses they don’t even have yet!!! Talk about worrying about the wrong things! But it feels good to get these thoughts out of my head. They spin around, and keep me up, and contribute to my overall messiness. Not that my messiness isn’t still pretty profound, but you know…

It’s hard enough to keep a smile on your face when your confidence is shaky. It’s hard enough to find shit to smile about sometimes. I’ve been struggling. Cutting carbs is the hardest thing a french fry loving woman like me has ever done in her LIFE. But I do it- not to conform, and not because my size matters to other people. I do it because my size matters to ME. And not in the way you think. It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t wear two piece bathing suits; it doesn’t matter to me that my thighs rub together. It matters to  me that I take two pills a day for my blood pressure. It matters to me that I have a history of diabetes in my family. So my size matters to me because of that. But why in the hell should my size matter to you?


An Honest Mess

*Disclaimer* This blog entry is about to be exactly what I’ve called it. My thoughts are twisted and jumbled and I’m not really inclined to try to put them in order- I just want them out of my head. So here we go…

I may seem like a chatter box as far as this whole blog thing, but honestly- I’m a thinker. I’m in my head A LOT. For every one thought I speak there are at least twenty that I don’t. Sometimes the thoughts are too mean, sometimes they’re too graphic, other times they’re just not appropriate for the situation. So I hold them- and mull over them privately. I started this blog to try and get some of those thoughts out, since silencing them wasn’t working and a lobotomy is out of the question. On the plus side, there are so many things happening in my life right now that I never run out of things to mull over- and most of these things are positive. I’m trying to save up to buy a new house next year, I’m planning to publish a book (finally), I’m in relatively good health, I got promoted at work, and even though attempting to date sucks 80% of the time, I’m sticking with it for the 20% that’s kind of cool. So you know- lots to think over, but it’s positive, life-changing, growth-inducing stuff. There’s tons to be afraid of- and I think that’s what most of my reflection consists of- trying not be afraid of all that I’m becoming. I have to say though, that when my thoughts take over me, and run me to dark places, and scream for release- these days- it’s usually about dating. And most of my thoughts have led me to the belief that I am a mess. I am the quintessential emotional woman. I am a crazy, crying, yelling mess. I put on so many brave faces I can’t tell one from the other- but I’m a mess. At least with this blog, I get to be an honest mess (see what I did there?)

I’ve been watching a couple of shows that have let me in to this new place- but the main one is Scandal. I wrote about Scandal before, when I talked about being swept away by your emotions and the overall consequences of that. So I think I’ll continue with Scandal.

I have Facebook, and Twitter (@ShamekaErby) and I’ve noticed that Scandal  is one of the most polarizing shows on social networking. Either you love it- or you love to hate it. It’s the only show on TV right now (I think) whose central character is a black woman, which makes it groundbreaking in itself, but I’ve never seen so many people have such strong opinions about something that is NOT REAL. Now, Olivia Pope is based on a real person- but the show is not real.  However, to see tweets and statuses about it- you would think it was reality show, especially from those who love to hate it. I know there are many people who think that Olivia is over-sexualized, and that her character’s power is based in the fact that she’s a mistress to this white man. I’ve seen Olivia Pope called a whore, a cum dumpster, and lots of other names that are angry and nasty. It seems like we’re all for a black woman in the position of leader, boss, and commander- but it bothers the black community that this black woman is not very morally righteous, or very happy. She’s alone- and lonely. She has no real friends, she’s estranged from her family- and she’s a borderline alcoholic who’s in love with a married man. A man who loves her in return but whose very station in life depends on his ability to deny his feelings for her. She keeps so many secrets that she can’t trust anyone- and most of the people in her life don’t know whether they can trust her. In short, Olivia Pope is a mess. A political fixer, a brilliant woman, a fast-talking, fast walking, Prada bag having, Burberry coat wearing dynamo- but also- A MESS. And people can’t stand it. The married and committed set hate her because she’s a home wrecker, and a mistress. They hate that she represents “side chicks.” Guys think she gives women the idea that they too can “win” as the “cum dumpster” of a powerful man. They hate that she’s not a pillar of propriety. They hate that sometimes she’s a villain. Because Olivia wears the “white hat” and most often appears to be standing up for justice- people were also expecting her to be a role model- and it drives them crazy that she’s NOT. She’s not even close. She’s a MESS. A gladiator- but A MESS.

Now, this commentary is not meant to spark a debate about the show- it’s meant as a framework for what I realized about myself. I am a mess- like Olivia Pope. I am a woman who is programmed that right is right and wrong is wrong- but I don’t always walk the line- especially in my dating life. I’m not in love with a married man, but I have been full-blown, completely gone in lust for someone that was not mine. I said no a million times, but I didn’t listen to myself. He called, and I picked up the phone. He put his hands and… other things on me- and I didn’t care who or what was right and wrong. I have been a mess before- sometimes I still am. I don’t always make the right decisions. There have even been times when I’ve deliberately made the wrong decision because I wanted to FEEL good. Even if it was temporary, momentary. I AM A MESS. I can admit that I have had moments when my decisions were questionable because I wanted to FEEL, because I just wanted someone else on the other side of that bed. To me, Olivia Pope’s personal life is every messy, chaotic thing that has ever happened to me in relationships. I am Olivia Pope. And It doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of love. I have sat in my house with a glass of wine and the bottle beside me, staring into space, hoping the phone would ring, fighting LONELINESS. I have had an overload of thoughts and been surrounded by people with whom I could not share them (as well meaning as they might have been). I am Olivia Pope. I have had those moments. I have had those feelings. I have walked that path. And it doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of love.

A lot of the time now, I’m in my head because it’s so much safer there. It’s a place that knows me, knows the ache in my heart, and the rage in my libido. My head knows the war being waged between my hormones and my good sense. And my head understands. My head gets me. I find that it seems easy for people in relationships to draw straight lines about what you should or shouldn’t do. Love, real love, gives you a clean slate- or so it would seem. So I find that sometimes people look at the decisions I make as though they never had a moral dilemma in their lives. As though the love they now share and the relationship they now have cancels out every bottom-feeding, morally bankrupt decision they ever made. Sometimes I feel like they think this shit is easy; that my life is a carefree, whirlwind of dating fun and freedom. Most of the time, it’s a wasteland of weirdos, losers and guys who just want to fuck. And the moment I decide that I want to get fucked, I get looked down on for not making them wait long enough, or for not holding out for something deeper. As though it’s always easy to resist temptation when the alternative is a bottle of wine and a cold bed.  And maybe it is. Maybe it’s just my hormones- maybe it is me. But like I said, I’m a mess. I am Olivia Pope. At least I’m honest about it. And it doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of love.