Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

30 03 2013

I was diagnosed with skin Cancer last year.

I was not surprised when my fantastic dermatologist identified the Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) by sight, before confirming his diagnosis with a biopsy.

The procedure to treat this, call Mohs surgery, was no big deal but, as with most invasive medical procedures, it’s not something one would be keen to experience on their own. You want your people around, even if you don’t need them. I went in for my appointment armed with a short list of post-op phone calls to make.

I called. I left voicemails. I received no response, save for breezy next day text messages, asking how things had gone.

It was a lightbulb moment. It was the departure of who I once had been and the end of an old life. It was the birth of who I was to become.

It was a very hard night, the first of what would become a particularly difficult year.

Several weeks ago, my doc took a look at the area he’d previously treated and the span of skin which surrounded it. He was not pleased with his findings and he prescribed a cream for me to apply on a nightly basis, a topical form of chemotherapy.

He warned me that the treatment would be unpleasant and that it would require significant downtime. We did not go into the specifics, the long list of potential side effects, but I of course scurried right home and educated myself via an extensive Google search.

Google is not your friend. It attaches itself to your paranoia and drags you to site after site of horror stories, to tummy churning images of oozing, crusty sores, the likes of which convince you that you are soon to become a monster, a being from whose path protective parents will forcefully remove their children. Google is a fear-monger of grand proportions.

Google is also pretty dead on.

I’ve been treated to several of the scarier side effects: chronic fatigue, nausea, mild fever and headache.

And then there are the superficial benefits:


It’s a great big ball of fun, this chemo cream.

This time around the Cancer block, I’ve made no outgoing calls, I’ve left no voicemails, I’ve asked for no support.

I’ve not been disappointed.

I’ve learned that it is better this way. I’ve nursed my own wounds, held my own hand, eased my own moments of suffering.

I’ve gone it alone.

I’ve learned that, for me, this is the best course of action. I am my own best friend, my own strongest shoulder, my own greatest supporter.

I am my nurse, my sympathizer, my greatest love, my emergency contact. I will get through this, I will survive. I will have no one but myself to thank for it.

I’m completely good with that.


18 03 2013

2012 was a thoroughly rotten year.

We can go into the many, many reasons for this later, but trust when I say that it truly was horrible, terrible, awful, the worst.

I spent most of those twelve months holed up in my apartment, where my alcohol consumption skyrocketed from a few glasses of wine per week to a full bottle of wine per day.

“Why not?” I rationalized, filling my glass to its rim. “It was a shitty day, a crappy month, a bitch of a season. Have a drink. Have three. F*ck it.”

I quickly put on a fair amount of weight, an alarming layer of excess, and did so in all the wrong places. Where I had once been plump and pleasingly so, I had strayed two dress sizes outside of my comfort zone. Seemingly overnight, I had grown out of my skinny jeans. Days later, my “regular” ensembles felt a bit snug. Within hours, my fat pants looked enviably teeny-tiny. Before I knew it, I had become a BBW – a big, beautiful woman, only without that beauty bit.

So now, not only was I bummed out about the state of my existence, I felt physically hideous. As my pant size went up in number, so did my unwillingness to go out and socialize.

I declined invitations, I cancelled on previously accepted ones. I allowed myself to become an island – a huge, unattractive island, an island which I willed to be off the map, undiscovered. Uninhabited.

I was ashamed. I was ashamed to be fat.

I was not used to these feelings. Despite living my entire life as a heavier woman, as a bigger girl, I’ve always felt attractive. Always. Sure, I’ve wished my hips were smaller or my arms more toned, but I was largely content with my, well, largeness.

This time? Not so.

Three months in to 2013, I’m no longer drowning in wine. I’ve made an effort to mind my diet. I walk the dogs a little further, a little more often.

It’s not made a lick of difference. Welcome to your 40s, metabolism! Enjoy working ten times as hard for every individual pound you wish to lose. Basically, Fatty, you. are. f*cked.

So tonight, I hit the treadmill, and I hit it hard. No lollygagging, no excuses. I must achieve my goal. This weight is too cumbersome for my self-esteem to carry. This desire to hide is too harmful to my psyche.

While I don’t need to fall into a societal standard of what is considered beautiful, it is imperative that my own standards for this be met.

I have to do it, and I will. I will lose the weight. I will work at it and I will succeed. Wait and see, Readers. This is my mission statement, my grand declaration, and I expect to be held accountable for every word of it.


9 03 2013

I’m currently putting my dating life into the hands of OKCupid.

Take that statement in again, will you?

I’m currently putting my dating life into the hands of OKCupid.

The full realization of this is enough to send shivers up one’s spine. My life. Its hands.

Next week, I should really look into that rhinoplasty my podiatrist is running a Groupon on.

Last Tuesday, on the eve of a massive snowstorm that was certain to bring DC to a complete standstill, my inbox buzzed with a new message.

Great smile! Hope you have tomorrow off.

The sender had a basic, benign profile that was punctuated with a photo of a cheerful looking chap, he himself sporting a grin, wide and friendly. I responded.

Thank you! So do you. Nope, not working tomorrow. Looking forward to a day off.

The next evening, I logged back into the site and was treated to a barrage of messages:

10:06am – Good morning!

11:34am – What are you doing?

1:06pm – Hey! We should meet up today!

2:47pm – Let’s go out!

4:58pm – Wanna get a drink?

8:12pm – Ugh. You are just a stupid fake, like most of these other profiles. Have a nice life. MUAH!

Muah? We haven’t even met and within one day have already broken up. I responded.

Hey! Not a fake, just hadn’t been online today. Apologies for the late response.

Now, most people, after unabashedly blowing up someone’s email and accusing them of being a fraudulent being when they hadn’t responded straight away? Well, they would – or should – feel like a right spaz and slink away in utter mortification.

The next day:

10:15am – Okay, you’re not a fake. Sorry. We should hang out sometime.

12:42pm – What are you doing tonight?

3:15pm – Wanna go to Happy Hour?

My life. Its hands.

That foot doctor nose job is looking pretty darn swell right about now.

Whomp Whomp

8 03 2013

Heya, Kittens. Long time. Hope you’re happy and healthy and having the best life ever.

I’m still here. And I’ve missed you.

I’m writing this from the back of a cab, on the way home from an evening with someone lovely. A first date with someone I spent a great deal of time talking with prior to meeting. I’m not a phone person. The fact that I spent three hours a night, every night, getting to *know* this person was kind of a big deal for me. I don’t engage. I set a date, I show up, I form my opinion and I then go home. But this? I had developed a friendship and an intimacy with someone I’d yet to physically meet. I came to like him, this voice over the line, this contributor to my mailbox. He was good people.

And then we met. And he was a trooper. He was lovely, he was engaging, he was kind.

He wasn’t the least bit interested in me.

I knew this going in. I knew that I would be an exception to what was his typical type. I headed out tonight, not with hope of being the rule nor the exception. I was sure that, once face to face, any previous tension felt would dissolve into the comfort that comes with familiarity. I went out tonight knowing that I would would depart with a new friend.

I was dead on. On the mark. I called it. While fluffing my hair, while deciding which outfit to wear, while downing a glass of wine, in order to calm my nerves, I knew. On the cab ride over, when reaching out to embrace him, when clinking glasses and sharing stories, I knew.

He wants my friendship. Nothing beyond that. He likes me, and that’s as far as that will ever go.

That’s good, right? That’s a compliment, yes? A good guy enjoys you, your company? He likes you enough to sit at a bar, clink glasses with you, listen to your stories and nod in approval, encouraging you to share those mundane tales from when you were young? It’s a good thing, wouldn’t you say? When he puts you in a cab, sends you off with a warm hug goodbye and a request to be notified of a safe arrival home?

It’s certainly not a bad thing. It’s most definitely not a bad person. It’s decidedly not an unfortunate evening.

So why do I feel this? This ugh? This whomp whomp? I KNEW. I didn’t allow myself to entertain an alternative. He was not going to be interested in me, not in that way. I knew this. There was no question, no doubt.

He will be my friend. It will be good and I will be more than satisfied with this. It’s not a bad thing, it’s not a sad outcome.

So why this whomp whomp? Why this? It’s nonsensical, and yet it’s present.

It needs to bugger off. But tonight, still in the makeup, the heels, the buzz of the evening’s cocktails? The whomp is very much with me. He’s staying for a cuddle, a cuppa, then he’ll be on his way, off to rain melancholy upon some other unsuspecting pessimist.

Bless her. I hope she’s gotten herself an iron umbrella. Or a script for Xanax. Or both.

Ideally both.

Highs and Lows

22 11 2011



What to say, what to say, what to say?

The last several months have been overrun with highs and lows. The highs, as the highs are wont to do, are short-lived; it is the lows that linger, overstaying their welcome, keeping company until the highs make their reappearance, stopping by for a quick cup of coffee and blowing through before the cup has cooled and found its way to the kitchen sink.

It is difficult to not feel depressed. It is even more difficult to feel happy.

The holidays are wicked hard around these parts.

For years, I have held an Orphan’s Thanksgiving, inviting friends over for booze with a side of turkey. As the years pass, more and more of my orphans have found their forever homes, have coupled, have married, have built families.

This year, I am the lone orphan. I will attend another’s Orphan Thanksgiving, where I will thank my foster family for having me, for including me in their group of those who have nowhere to go or no one to go with. I will drink and chat and laugh. I will pose for pictures and add new friends to Facebook. I will have a brilliant time. I will leave kissing cheeks and making plans for future reunions.

But, when I arrive home, I know it will be in tears.

Highs and lows.


Earlier this year, I reconnected with someone who had, years prior, utterly destroyed me. When they reemerged this year, they had changed. They were contrite, they were attentive, they were seemingly more interested in my happiness than they were their own. They had become the person I’d always wanted for them to be, and it was gorgeous. History would indicate that this change would be temporary but, to my delight, History appeared to be mistaken.
History is never mistaken. The change, though very much delayed, was indeed temporary. I’m now back in the very same position I was all those years ago, on the precipice of destruction.
I don’t want for it to come. I fear it. I want to change the outcome, but I know that the effort is futile, and will only serve to ruin me further.
Highs and lows.
I have hope. I have friends. I have stability. There is love. This is what I tell myself when those lows sneak in through the windows and the cracks in the floorboards.
I look for quotes, for inspiration. Through a very wise friend, I was gifted this quote from Maya Angelou:
“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option”
Through another friend, there was this:
“Stop caring so much about people who don’t care about you. Just stop.”
I look back on these words, and I soak them up, I drink them in. I absorb them and I remind myself to adhere to their wisdom.
Do not feed the lows. Do not focus on them. Shoo them away. Do not dwell, do not pine, do not mourn. Keep moving, keep reaching, keep believing that change is possible, that situations are temporary, that there will be other highs – look out for them and make sure to welcome them warmly upon their arrival. Be grateful for words of wisdom, for invitations to holiday dinners. Be grateful for your huge heart, for your capacity for forgiveness, for your willingness to believe that people can change.
And, if proven wrong, do not beat yourself up. Know that you will deal with the eventual ache, that you will not be destroyed by it, and that you’ll carry on. Your highs will come again.

Rachel Ray and Pantless Lads

16 09 2011

Head’s up: I’m all over the place today. This cool, crisp weather is making me giddy, and maybe just a wee bit of a bobblehead.

Last night, I attempted to bikini wax myself, using on-sale, no-name brand wax strips that were purchased at CVS. Not a good idea, folks. We’ll just say that my left inner thigh looks as if it’s been in one hell of a fight…either that, or teeny tiny fairies flew into my room as I slept last night and administered thirty of the tiniest hickeys one ever did see. Decidedly fug.

Tonight, I will head home and clean the apartment, as the cleaning folks are coming tomorrow, and I wouldn’t want for them to think me a total slob. I’ll make sure to leave it slightly grimy, though, just to get a small portion of my money’s worth.

Tomorrow, I will spend the afternoon pouring bloody marys and mimosas, making my very best effort at charming the form-fitting pants off the Gay Army of Dupont. I may not turn them, but I can at least turn them out, if only for an hour or three.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to return to my twice-cleaned and, hopefully, sparkling apartment, where I will get to work at re-sullying up my kitchen. I’ve a 5th date with Bachelor #1, whom I’ve yet to come up with a moniker for, and whose pants I’m most definitely going to charm off, wooing him with a Lemmonex-inspired salad (spinach, strawberries, sesame seeds, poppyseeds, candied walnuts and goat cheese – with a sweet oil and white wine vinegar dressing) and (DON’T LAUGH!!) a Rachel Ray-inspired pasta dish that is mortifyingly named “You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta.” Dessert? Um? We’ll see how the depantsing charm works out for me; I may have to go out and buy a cake, just as a back up, particularly after he spots those fairy love bites I’ve got going on.

Last, but most certainly not least, I have a Sunday Brunch date with The Singleship. Bottomless mimosas and anecdotes that are far too personal to post – even for an anonymous blog such as mine – are on the menu. George and Mabel will hopefully get to come along, weather willing, and are guaranteed to shamelessly beg and whine incessantly for poor Ms. J to hand over the contents of her plate for their consumption. Mommy never feeds them, you know, and they spend their days wasting away, dreaming of French Toast with all the trimmings.

So, starving mongrels and thigh hickeys aside, it looks as if it’s going to be a good weekend. Hope that y’all have good ones, yourselves.



Update: Ooops! AND I just got dumped. I should’ve made that pasta sooner!

Hash Hash

9 09 2011


I’m a rehasher of epic proportions. I’d argue that more than half my time is spent rehashing — it’s what I do. I’m genius at it.

After Tuesday night’s date, I woke up in a good mood and with a clear mind. I was a bit aggressive with the snooze button so, instead of grooming myself properly, I instead took a wet cloth to the day-old mascara caked under my eyes, brushed my hair and got out the door as soon as possible. I made it to the office with two minutes to spare.

By the time I’d drained my first cup of coffee, I was in full rehash mode.

“Wait….did he ask me out for this weekend, or did I invite myself out? Do we even have a date planned? We talked about when to next go out. Did he bring it up or did I? I know that he said he had a baseball game to go to, but didn’t know which night that would be. Was that a subtle blow-off? Does he want to see me again? Does he even like me? He did pay for my drinks and he held my hand a whole heck of a lot, but that could mean anything. The kiss was pretty special. Hot. Maybe he just wants to get laid. Do I just want to get laid? No, I like him. Maybe if we do go out again I should try hard not to sleep with him. That would be a good idea. How am I not going to sleep with him? I mean, let’s face it, I can be kind of a tramp sometimes. Maybe I shouldn’t shave my legs, just in case. But then I’ll probably still sleep with him, and then I’ll be the trampy girl with the hairy legs. No, I most definitely won’t sleep with him, except that I probably will. Hopefully, I’ll get my period and that will act as an extra deterrent. When was my period?”

By dinner, it had only gotten worse.

“He doesn’t like me. I had a piece of pork meatball stuck to my face, forcryingoutloud. And I was wearing my glasses. I don’t think I’m going to hear from him again. I should probably make alternate plans for this weekend, because I think he’s probably going to flake out and completely disappear. Maybe I should go out with that other guy, the one from last week? He was nice. But what if this guy does call and I’ve already committed to plans with the other guy? I’d rather go out with this guy. But what if he doesn’t call? Then I will just end up with nothing to do, and will find myself alone at the gay bar again. There’s a lot of guys there but, aside from the occasional motorboat, none of them really want to be my boyfriend. Why doesn’t this guy want to be my boyfriend? It’s the pork meatball face, I’m sure. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted….Oh, wait! New text. It’s from him. Yay! He wants to go out on Saturday night. Dinner and a movie. That’ll be fun. I’ll tell him yes. Okay, good. Saturday night date. Dinner and a movie. We’re all set.”

Five seconds later:

“What do you wear to dinner and a movie? I want to wear a dress. Can you wear a dress to a movie? Is that too much? I like my dresses. But then I’ll have to shave my legs and we decided we weren’t going to do that. Okay, then. Jeans. Let’s go see what I have. Hmmmm….I like my jeans, but where are all my cute blouses? These are all terrible. I look a mess. I need to go shopping. I don’t have time to go shopping, so I’m just going to pick something already. Okay, this is fine, I guess. It doesn’t really do me any favors, though. He’s not going to want to have sex with me while I’m wearing this. Maybe I should wear a dress. No, I can’t. Just wear the frumpy outfit. It doesn’t matter — he doesn’t really like you anyway…..”


As of today, I’m planning on Saturday night, dinner and a movie, jeans and a blouse that I’m not too thrilled with, stubble on my legs and the arrival of my period.

I’m sure we’ll have a lovely time.


Enjoy your weekends, my lovelies. xo



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