Tag Archives: vanity

Like a vampire except really just the bit about being pale and aged.

My doctor recently did some blood work for me and told me that I am substantially vitamin D deficient. This is mostly pathetic considering you really only need semi-regular exposure to the sun to remain within the 30-80 “normal” range.

Mine is 15.

Admittedly I’m not a big sun worshipper. I like a sunny day and I appreciate warmth but when it comes to exposing my porcine flesh to the outside world only dressed in a tank top and shorts, I’d just as much stay indoors in some nice climate controlled room wearing full coverage clothing because the AC makes the room I’m in just a *touch* on the cold side.

I don’t enjoy laying on the beach for two reasons: I hate being hot and I also hate sand. I’m terrified I might contract skin cancer from UV exposure, or whatever it is in the sun that causes cancer. Save from the time I was born to around the age of 7 (a.k.a. a time when I knew no better) I have had no reasonable desire to bake myself naked on a beach towel for a few hours under an unforgiving sun.

Somewhere down the line I convinced myself that any prolonged sun exposure was going to cause not only skin cancer but (god forbid!) premature aging so now I just don’t go out and if I do I’m slathered in an SPF anywhere between a 50 to an 80. This practice has left me so translucently pale that on a cloudy day you are bound to hear me before you actually see me.

Given the day and age we live in and the fact that I’m both Italian and from New Jersey, it is virtually unheard of for someone like me to exist in our society. I realize that my appearance is an embarrassment to this culture of tanned, fun-seeking, willfully unemployable miscreants and I’m basically OK with that.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that, although still technically a 20-something, I’ve felt more like a septuagenarian in terms of my curmudgeonly ways. I don’t like “going out” and I generally dislike “doing things” if it involves leaving the house after 7PM. This sort of paints a picture of me a few small steps away from being an invalid which would not be entirely inaccurate depending on the day.

I also frequently complain about “kids”. How they’re overly “self-involved”, “entitled” and “tech-obsessed”. Phrases like “Why I aughta!” (with exasperated fist-shake) and “Get a job!” frequently cross my mind but then I realize they’re all too busy sex-texting each other’s SpaceBook pages.

So…  why bother?

But, unless I’m alright with being pork-belly white and potentially, very ill in the long run… (zoinks!) I need to start taking care of myself. It’s just funny how you think you’ve got one part of your life sorted out; you eat better, exercise regularly and you find out that you’ve still been overlooking basic things like making the time to leave your darkened basement of a life for a little time with the living every now and again.

Sheesh!

*****

I thought I might include a completely un-retouched photograph of myself in case I decide to get serious and chart my progress back to health via my skin tone:

For instance, it might seem unclear from the photo but the shirt I’m wearing is actually white. That’s just the effect my ghostly pallor has on everything. Also, I’m noticing now that the “squat” position I’m assuming in this image is far from flattering.

Let’s ignore that part entirely…

Thanks.

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The Quest for Perfection Only Leads to Despair

Growing up I longed to have green eyes like my grandmother. I thought by having green eyes I’d be just that much better: prettier, confident, more likeable. It’s not like I had a PROBLEM with brown eyes in general, just the fact that I had to have them. I wanted to be different and unordinary and in my immediate family filled with eyes of brown, their presence became my oppressor.  

In the 8th grade I wore a pair of disposable purple contacts for almost the entire school year. I wore them long after their life-span until they were yellowed and itchy. (There’s a really good reason they’re labeled as disposable.) I didn’t care though. I suffered through it because I wanted to be just that much closer to my idea of personal perfection.  

It was also around this time that I bought my first straightening iron. With that discovery I was taking great strides toward finding my “best” self. One without kinky-frizzy hair overtaking my head and face. Now I had the sleek and smooth strands that it seemed all the rest of the world had without struggle.  

i was making "sexy-face" in this picture which is WAY more embarrassment than i'm ready to deal with just yet...

I soon learned that all these methods of “improvement” were really just a means of trickery to hide my own self-loathing. For the moment I would feel better about myself because it was like I had duped mother nature: “Haha, bitch. Look at me now! I’m AWESOME! No thanks to you… ”  

living the lie

But contacts must come out at night (unless you want to peel them off your eyeballs the next morning) and at the slightest hint of humidity, even the most fastidiously flattened hair will curl when confronted with moisture. It’s physics. Or something…  

After years of fighting my ocular pigmentation and follicular genetics I decided to toss the lenses once and for all and chop off my hair. I no longer had to worry about spending hours on my tresses or what might happen to it if exposed to certain elements. Extra hold hairspray and Bed Head wax were my good friends and little, if anything, could permeate my super coif…  

giving the camera my best "jerk-face" and Ronald McDonald a run for his money

It wasn’t too long before I began to miss my long hair and all the hassle it had once caused me. Talk about indecisiveness. I just couldn’t figure out what it was that would make me happy with the way I looked. If it wasn’t my hair bothering me then it was my jiggly thighs, chunky arms, convex belly, excessive body hair, et al.  

I began to realize that something had to give. Since I was kind of stuck with my physical attributes no matter how much it des-troyed me to accept, it became clear that something had to be me. I had to start being happy with what I did have and not focus so much on the flaws.   

Isn’t it less plausible that “perfect” people are not without flaw themselves but rather that they refuse to let it ruin them? Food for thought…  

I know I’m not covering ground-breaking content by saying all this. I think most sane/living people have this revelation at one point or another otherwise they end up insane/dead. Since I’m not all that keen on joining the latter just yet, it became clear that I had to start thinking highly of myself* otherwise I couldn’t expect anyone else to.  

I mention all this because for most of my adulthood my “career” has existed in complete opposition with this theory.  

Instead of looking for change inside of myself I kept expecting each of my jobs to hold the answers to my professional pursuits. I never had a good idea of what it was I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I figured with enough time and effort put forth I could shape my job(s) into something that would last the test of time, make me happy and secure. Clearly, this never happened.  

I have never had a job that I wanted. I have only had work that I needed. For the last 5 years I have had 3 jobs all of which I have taken on out of sheer desperation. The need for money has always been the determining factor in seeking employment; my personal needs from a job have always taken a back burner because of this.  

It’s not that I think my story is all that different or all that much worse than anybody elses out there. We have all hated our jobs at one point or another. We have all faced workplace injustices and convinced ourselves that we deserve better than (because in my experience we usually do) what our jobs can offer us.  

The difference is this: I’m not playing second fiddle in my life anymore.  

When I started at my current job, 3 years ago, I was definitely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was eager to please and willing to take on ANYTHING that was up for grabs. It was never a means to be a show-off or better than anyone but to prove, mainly to myself, that I was a hard-working, fast-learner who would rather be busy at work than twiddling my thumbs, clockwatching and praying for day’s end.  

I won’t bore you with the specifics now since I’ve gone into quite elaborate detail about both my rise and fall from grace at work before. I will, however, say this: There was a time when I thought I could make my current job work for me. I envisioned an almost perfect future for myself and my family given the opportunities this job could afford me. I considered myself lucky for having a job that some people work towards and look forward to having their whole life.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my quest for “perfection” in a career path I hadn’t really wanted was only leading me to despair. I needed to be happy and if I couldn’t feel that way with what I was doing then I had to be the one to make the change because lord knows the job wasn’t going to just start getting better. I had to learn to accept imperfection from both life AND myself.  

It certainly hasn’t been easy but I’m not about to give up.  

It’s been incredibly hard for the über practical person I am to commit to taking such a risk. To embark upon a chapter full of the unknown has left me riddled with questions in search of answers:  

Q: What if I quit my job and then CAN’T just CANNOT find another job and I have to shuffle back with my tail between my legs begging for employment?  

A: That’s not going to happen because the fact of the matter is that job is NOT right for me. I’ve done my time there, worked my butt off and if it comes down to absolutely needing money I WILL find another job; full-time/part-time/whatever it takes. Even if it means I must take a considerable pay cut, as long as I am happily living in the moment and satisfied by my way of life then that’s all that matters.  

Q: What if I find myself completely unable to handle the prospects of self-employment/entrepreneurship and all the hardships/inconsistencies that are involved?  

A: Then I get myself another crappy corporate job somewhere else and hope it’s not as bad as the place I left behind except I can’t imagine ever being that desperate because I’d rather have sold off all my personal property and/or sell oranges by the freeway than go back to cube-hell. (15 internet points if you can correctly identify the origins of the probably imprecise, definitely pilfered orange quotes!!!)  

Q: What if I realize I’ve made a terrible mistake and the 9-5 corporate life really is for me?  

A: Not gonna happen. Not now, not never. Just, NO.  

I will never be perfect and, moreover, do not wish that for myself anymore. Perfection is boring, stagnant, tepid, flat and EASY. That’s right, the quest for perfection is a pursuit for the easy way out. It always has been for me, anyway. Looking perfect makes it easier to get by, you don’t have to use your intelligence or personality as much and that’s just sad. Working the perfect job is also easy because you will likely never feel the rush of a real challenge, the thrill of seeking out something new and unfamiliar.  

I’m not looking for that anymore. I’m looking to live the shit out of my life.  

Starting… NOW.  

So, if you’re looking for a hard-working, smart-mouthed, wannabe writer/blogger extraordinaire, cat obsessed, manic-depressive misanthrope… I’m totes your gal. 

*My definition of thinking highly of myself fluctuates often. One day thom could mean: I am the effin’ cat’s pajamas! I totally rock at life and I’m going to conquer the pants off of the UNIVERSE!!! Give it another day and thom sounds more like: At least I’m not the biggest heinous-faced loser on the planet. Probably…

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Hair Apparent

I am a hairy beast.

I fucking hate it.

It’s embarrassing and time consuming and a source of major shame and body image issues for me. It’s unfortunate because I feel that I’m actually a very low-maintenance person save for my obsessive need to rid my body of any and all excess hair. If I was trapped on a desert island and I could only have one luxury item you could bet your bottom dollar that mine would be a set of tweezers.

I once went a week without shaving my legs and the result was horrifying. Each leg contained enough black bristly hair that I could have brushed my own head with that shit. All it takes is a soft breeze to come rustling by and my set of freshly shaven legs will immediately sprout porcupine quills.

I remember first shaving my legs in the 5th grade or so. Admittedly, this might have attributed to the problem I have now. I probably started a bit young but you have to understand that puberty, for me, came with some very unexpected surprises for a girl who, up until that time, was naturally fair-haired. As the hormones started coursing through my body so did the immergence of my Italian heritage. At least that’s who Imma blame for this shit.

I’m half Italian. This, in itself, says a lot.

1/4 from my dad & 1/4 from my mom and for whatever reason I think that made me like DOUBLY hairy. I’m also a bunch of other shit but that did little to balance out the hirsute-ness imbedded within my genetic code. Before I started shaving I used depilatories which, needless to say, with my EXTREMELY sensitive skin resulted in nothing short of disaster. And, as I’m sure you’ll agree if you are even remotely furry, that once you START ridding your body of hair it’s almost impossible to stop unless you want to look even WORSE than you did before.

I had heard the old wives tales that said the more you shave the darker and thicker the hair would return and that scared the living SHIT out of me. I mean, I was already behind the 8 ball with hairiness and I certainly didn’t want to screw myself over any more than Mother Nature already had. By the time I hit the 6th grade I had started waxing… EV-ER-Y-WHERE. Legs, arms, face, stomach, back, anywhere I felt the presence of hair unacceptable. If I could find some peach fuzz, that shit was immediately sentenced to death by the ol’ hot & sticky wax and riiiiiiiiiiiiip.

This, also, was probably not the best idea I ever had. I can remember the day I decided to wax my upper lip even though I really didn’t need to. By the time I had ripped the strip from my mouth I had turned my nonexistent lip fuzz into a red skin mustache. I went to school the next day and told everyone that I had scrubbed my face too hard the night before. Yeah. Pretty sure nobody bought that.

I try to be thankful for what I’ve been given because lord knows there are fates worse than being hairier than a wildebeest. Were I not this way, I’m sure I would just find another area of my physical form to obsess over and focus my disgust upon. Shit, I do that anyway: cheesy thighs, flabby arms, double chin, flat ass, giant square hips, fistfuls of love handles, spare tire stomach…

Damn. If I wasn’t already spoken for, I’m pretty sure folks would be crawling through the innernet to get a date with the sexy-piece that I am.

I’ve spent a lot of my life lying to myself or living in denial about certain realities. I know I’m not alone with that practice. It’s just been recently that I’ve even been able to consider facing some of the harsher truths in my world. The more I embrace them the more I find myself “OK” with them and able to move forward to become the person I want to be. It’s weirdly refreshing; I only wish it hadn’t taken me 27 years to realize all this. I was born 3 weeks overdue so I guess being a “late bloomer” is just inherent to my nature.

So there you have it!

Perhaps as part of my desperate need for weekly therapy that I’m too cheap to pay a professional for weekly blogging schedule I will include an expose’ item, such as this one, where I mostly embarrass myself but in actuality help myself by being more open & honest and likely connecting with at least ONE other person out there who has a similar issue.

What are your thoughts on this idea?

Would you like to share a tidbit about your most unfavorable physical attribute?

Damn straight you will!

I just outted myself as a wooly mammoth, yo…

The least you can do is leave me a comment with tales of your horrendous toenail fungus or pervasive back-ne.

Oh, and before I forget…

Make sure you check out Mean Girl Garage to vote for this season’s Out of Tune Idol Winner! (Jules was nice enough to ask me to be a judge even though I totally flaked out on my duties last week…)

So hit those comments, bitches!

I’ll wait…

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Hairy Situation

I have been having a series of bad hair days lately. Having bad hair puts me in the worst funk, I tell ya. I could do without having make-up on (though my appearance IS vastly improved by its presence) and I can do without being dressed to the nines, but if my hair looks like crap, then I cannot help but feel my entire existence is marred by its disarray. My hair is, if nothing else, not straight. There is no part of my hair that is remotely straight or smooth naturally. If you see me with gloriously shiny, flowing waves of ginger hair, then know that I probably spent between 1-2 hours to get it that way. Shit, I’m not even a natural redhead.

If I left things up to nature I would have a frizzy, half crinkled half curly, coarse, somewhere in the dirty blonde vicinity, mass of mess on my head.

this could be me on any ol' day, only with more face dirt

I’ve done everything imaginable to my hair save for a perm because, SERIOUSLY? That’s the last thing I need. I’ve had hair 2 inches long and 2 inches short of my ass. I’ve bleached it platinum blonde, black (so NOT recommended if your skin is already 2 shades lighter than snow), blonde on top, brown underneath, brown all over with a bleached stripe a’la Sweeney Todd, a skunk, or a Wino and literally every shade between tangerine and fire engine red.

See here, here, here and here for examples.

Before I first started fucking with my follicles I was advised by a friend to “never cut your hair!”. She had always had straight hair, cut into a perfect and what I imagine was a totally manageable “bob”, so as much as she enjoyed the looks of my hair from afar, she never had to deal with the dark side of having ALL THAT HAIR. Before I hacked it off, my hair was always long long loooooooooooong. So long in fact that I was cast as Rapunzel in the 8th Grade musical because I didn’t require a wig. I shit you not.

For the first time in ages, I haven’t dyed my hair. I calculate the last time I took a bottle to my head was at least 6 months ago. So now my hair is in this weird, not really sure what is going on with it, phase. I sort of came to the decision that I wanted my hair to be at least somewhat natural for when we get married. Though every time I see someone with truly carrot colored hair my black eyes go green and I want to dash into the nearest drug store for a bottle of Autumn Sunrise.

I’m thinking this might all mean something more than me simply tiring of having to do my roots every few weeks. I’m thinking this might all be indicative of the whole “growing up” thing. Like, what’s really important here, kid? Spending 2 hours ironing out the kinks or using it to SLEEP which lately, it seems there is never enough time for? Also, I just can’t be bothered to care about my hair right now. That’s right, world; I demand you accept me and my rat’s nest once and for all as I no longer have the strength to uphold the guise of attractiveness.

So now you know.

Cat, meet the outside of the bag.

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The Barber & The Bee

The other day the Bee got himself a haircut! His hair was getting really long and had since grown out of two previous haircuts, each slightly better than the one that followed so the cut was loooooong overdue.

seriously out of control

seriously out of control

Technically, I gave him said haircut so I’ll take the credit for inspiring in him the desire to take the fantastic voyage back to a time which encapsulates the height of WTF-fashion and just plain ugly.

I present to you the super-rad-tastic boss-ome (see what i did there?) braided rat tail!!! A.C. Slater and his mullet got NOTHIN’ on this…

DSC04101

Just look at how it delicately dangles from the nape of the neck.

DSC04104

Observe how it taunts you with its beauty as it trails down the back.

You wish you had one now, don’t you? It would be pretty bad ass to rock that piece without a care in the world but currently no one I know is above the long-term public humiliation. For now, the tail resides on my bedside table to be attached for special occasions where the viewer will likely be more embarrassed than the wearer.

DSC04392

meandthebee: bringing back hideous trends since today

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