Friday, May 27, 2016

"Most unattractive event ever held. It's gonna be the worst"

Pone and I have been together for ten years.  About two years ago we got engaged on our anniversary.  It was an odd anniversary because I wasn't well.  I had recently had a physical reaction to stress, after the death of Pone's grandfather.  My doctor assumed I had shingles because I was breaking out in weird hives.  I was prescribed a medication that is used to treat herpes and shingles, and I had quite the reaction.  First, my right hand went numb and my heart started beating more rapidly.  This of course triggered a panic attack, and then the temporary blindness in my right eye started.  After that I lacked the ability to speak coherently for a bit, and my thoughts and words came out all jumbled.  The nurse at the doctor's office recommended I take Benedryl, to help with the side effects.  It helped, in that it kicked in and knocked me out.  After the incident, I began to feel a general malaise.  My Sedimentation Rate dropped and I was having daily migraines, brought on by exposure to this drug.

It was our anniversary and I should have known there would be some sort of problem.  Not to seem like the eternal pessimist, but February 11th usually rolls in with some sort of issue.  Like the time the plumbing in the kitchen backed up and we had to wash our dishes in the bathroom.

The morning we got engaged started off like any other.  We got up, had our tea and coffee and exchanged small gifts.  I gave Pone a copy of Jaws on blu-ray and he gave me a cute little taxidermied mouse, holding a heart.  I went to get my hair done and then we went out to dinner.  Because nothing ever goes as planned on our anniversary, the food was mediocre and we got seated next to the bathroom.  So every time the door opened we got a big whiff of toilet.

After dinner we came home and I got into my frumpy jammies, like I always do when I get home.  Pone told me he had one more, small gift for me and didn't know if I was going to like it.  He came out with a box and asked me "could you maybe?" while presenting me with a ring.  Incidentally, "Could you maybe," is usually something we say to one of the dogs when we're trying to convince her to eat.  As I said yes, I went to hug Pone, but before I could our other dog got in the way and stood in between us on the couch.

Pone called his family to let them know and I posted a picture of the ring on Facebook.  Pone's family was overjoyed, my family called immediately and they were overjoyed as well.  My friend in San Diego pointed out that we had put the ring on the wrong hand, because I'm not girly enough to know that shit, and how the fuck would Pone know?  I had to take another picture of the ring on the correct hand to post to everyone on Facebook.

Wrong hand!

After everything died down and people stopped calling and texting, Pone and I thought about some wedding ideas.   My first thought was that no matter what you do for your wedding, there will always be someone there to criticize your decision making and tell you what ideas you really should be implementing.  We discussed having a nice, fancy wedding, but we soon concluded that we weren't nice, fancy people.  I mean, at the time Pone had a Charlie Manson beard, and I'm the type of person that usually has on a shirt with the dog's asshole on it, while walking around with food on my face. So we started pitching ideas back and forth, and didn't really come up with anything good.  In fact, what we came up with and settled on, was a list of the worst ideas for a wedding.

Wedding Colors: brown, yellow, salmon, pea green
70's tuxes and awful dresses 
No one allowed in without the proper - awful dress code
White platform shoes for Pone
Pone's pants one leg too short 
Pone wears a shit brown suit
My dress is yellow, possibly with a stain on it and the dress is too big 
Serious photos no smiling, everyone with hands at their sides
Film cameras not digital, photos to have that reddish tint 
50's, 60's, 70's foods, jello molds and loafs deviled eggs, foods with faces
BYOC bring your own chair
Only bad songs from the 70s?
Or only music by Tiny Tim (wedding march to song about the melting ice caps)
Pone will grow his hair and do a combover and have huge chops that form a mustache
Or Pone will have just the chops and "toothbrush" mustache
T-shirts that say "I ate the food at Pone's wedding"
Invitation that are in the form of a scroll, coming out of a photo of the dog's asshole
Invitations to read "Most unattractive event ever held. It's gonna be the worst"
Cake with Freddie mercury done badly
Paper plates brown napkins
At the grossest venue possible vfw or legion, knights of columbus has place that looks like a castle
If at the castle, drunken tricycle jousting
Or tell everyone to wear medieval garb, and we show up in jeans
Pea green and paneled station wagon get away car
Russian rhinestone cowboy to do the ceremony, yells, speaks no English
Fire drill during wedding (sprinklers go off)
Another event also going on at the same venue, but a nicer reception
Twisted sister to play "I wanna rock" after the "I now pronounce you" bit
An 80's curly mullet for my hairstyle, also sporting a sideburn curl on my face
Ceremony to be held in Mianus CT, invitations that say "wedding in Mianus"
Carried in and dropped like at Jewish events, with the chair dance
Pone could have a Kermit the frog afro wig, like in Muppets Take Manhattan
Throw toupe instead of bouquet (whoever catches toupe goes bald next)
Poorly done erotic cake
Turd hat for bridesmaids
Bridesmaid dresses to long, or too tight
Horse shit outside the exit, for people wearing nice shoes
Pledge of allegiance before the entrance of the bride
BYOU bring your own utensils 
"Awful wedded wife" and heckling wedding vows 
Spider plant in macrame in way of the open bar

After two years we still haven't set a date for the wedding.  But I think we're off to a good start.  So far only four people actually want to attend this event, and everyone else has already voiced their opinion on what they think we should do.  I'd say it's coming along swimmingly.  What do you think?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

You can call me Ray, or you can call me J, but most people call me Touchhole

     I call my fiancé Pone.  Pone and I have been together for 10 years.  The first day we were together he asked me if there was anything I would like, since he was getting up to go to the kitchen to make pancakes.  I said I wanted a pony.  I thought it would be funny if I combined the words "pony," and "pancake," and started calling him "ponecake."  But that got to be too long and so I began calling him "Pone." Pone also calls me Pone, or "Mcgee." I'm completely against calling people by their real names.

     The other day I sent Pone grocery shopping.  There's this woman cashier that I normally go to if her lane is open, when it's time to check out.  So while Pone was checking out he got to overhear her telling the bagger that she has a room in a boarding house.  In that room there is no bathroom, so she explained that she uses a bucket. She went on to say: "And in the morning, boy is it full." Pone was horrified.  When he told me, I was hysterical.  He couldn't believe that the woman ringing him out, and touching all of our groceries had a routine that included dumping a full bed pan every morning.

     Yesterday, we went grocery shopping together.  When we were getting ready to check out, I saw that she was working.  So I turned to him and asked him if he would rather go through the self-checkout or go see his old friend "Betty Pans." He hates me now.

     Pone has a 93 year old grandmother that we all call "Nana." Nana is the best!  She is a Massachusetts native, and from the generation where everyone still gets dressed up even if they're going to the grocery store.  Nana gets her hair done every Thursday, and is the type to have the fancy living room that no one is allowed to sit in.

    The first time I met Nana, she was telling a story about how she and Pone's grandfather (Papa), were driving through town on their way out to dinner, as they did every night.  At some point in the conversation Nana was describing how they were about to get on the highway and some "Cuntita," cut them off.  I wasn't expecting her to rock the "c-bomb."  I mean here's this adorable, little old couple sitting at their kitchen table all dressed up. She's got her hair done, her nails done and wearing a nice blouse and slacks, sitting across from her husband that's wearing a dress shirt and tie. There's white carpet in an untouched living room around the corner.  So the word "cunt," could not have been further from my mind. It was at that moment that I knew I loved Nana, and pulled my chair closer to her, so I could hear more of the story.

   Nana and Pone's mother were concerned at first that I was uppity or something, because I didn't swear in front of them.  Pone explained that I was just trying to be polite and that I actually start off most sentences with the words "well shit," or "what the fuck is this?"  They told me that I didn't have to censor myself around them, which was a relief.  Then Nana showed me that she has really bad arthritis, but a lot of time uses it as an excuse to flip people off.

   I love seeing Nana interact with the family, and lovingly call them "asshole." One Christmas she truly touched my heart by looking right at me and telling me that Pone's sister was "a real pain in the ass." However, my favorite term that she uses is the word "Touchhole."  I had never heard it before, but it's a word that's synonymous with the word asshole.  

     I began using the word freely.  One year for my birthday Pone even had a custom shirt made for me that said "touchhole," on the front and on the back, there was a picture of my dog's touchhole with eyes. So it looked like a face, with eyes and a mouth.  But really you're just staring into a dog's asshole.  It's always been one of my favorite birthday gifts.

     A few weeks ago, I was on Twitter explaining the word "touchhole," in reference to a presidential candidate.  My Twitter handle is the same as my blog address and is read as "I'm a touchhole too."  In talking about Nana and the way we used the word, I decided to do a Google search for "touchhole."  At which point, I found that a "touchhole," it is a small hole in the breech part of a cannon.  As I continued my research I pulled up something from the Urban Dictionary which said that "touchhole," is an Irish slang term, used predominantly by an older generation, from western Massachusetts.  Also, the word "touchhole," is a more derogatory insult than just being called an asshole.  I was floored!  I ran to tell Pone who was dumbfounded, because a word that he just assumed his grandmother made up, was in fact a real word.

     I was so proud of my findings, I felt like a little kid turning in a research paper or a science fair project.  Only I'm 34, and sitting on a computer blogging about touchholes.  Which totally makes me a touchhole.  Queen of all touchholes, maybe.  But I guess I'd rather be called that than have some touchhole refer to me as "Betty Pans."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The great mouse fiasco

     I went to visit my parent's today.  While I was there my father was taking the tarp off the "pond," that they have in the backyard, and getting it ready for the season.  It isn't so much of a pond as it is an above ground, kidney shaped tub with a fountain; which may or may not work.  The pond has an old frog statue in it, and they usually fill it with plants that bob around in the water.  Every year my father uncovers the pond and complains that some woodland creature has chewed though his tarp.  He then proceeds to find said woodland creature, living inside the pond.

     I was outside on the deck talking to my mother and watching their dog pee on all of the tarps and supplies that my father was working with.  As we conversed about business and other things, I noticed my father was taking out the shop vac to clean the pond.  He began vacuuming and stopped suddenly.  I saw him make a face, and then stare at the vacuum.  From where I was sitting I could see him and I could swear that he was talking to the shop vac.  He began to remove the hose and shake it furiously.  After watching him for a few minutes, he started taking the vacuum apart.

     I was not even listening to my mother anymore. I was completely engrossed in what was going on over by the pond.  I couldn't take it anymore and finally stood up and asked him what he was doing. He looked up at me with the most flabbergasted look on his face and informed me that he'd just sucked up a mouse with the shop vac.  I asked if it's a dead mouse and he told me matter factly that it was most certainly a live mouse and that was why he was trying to get it out of his machine.

     By this point my mother and I had stopped talking and were playing the role of useless spectators.  My father flipped over the vacuum and emptied the canister into a trash bag.  We saw leaves and cobwebs and dust come out.  All of a sudden a tiny mouse popped out of the debris.  For some reason, up until I saw the mouse, it was possible that I thought my father was being dramatic and making it all up.  But there it was. A tiny mouse, in all of its vacuumed up glory.

     The mouse started to head toward the dog.  My father called out to my mother and asked her to hand him a snow shovel, from the storage cabinet on the deck.  He grabbed it from my mother and hurried back to the spot where the trash bag was.  I assumed that he was going to clean up any of the remaining mess on the lawn made by the shop vac.  Nope.  My father was about to attempt to shoo a mouse, away from a dog, with a snow shovel.

     There was something almost mesmerizing about seeing a 6ft tall, 240lb man, with a snow shovel, in May, chasing a tiny mouse through a yard.  I wanted to go inside and grab my phone, so I could record it, but I honestly could not look away.  The mouse would stop and change course, and my father would stop and follow in the new direction of the mouse.  After many twists and turns, the mouse finally headed towards the fence, out of the yard and into the field.

      On the way home from my parent's house, I reflected on what I had just witnessed.  In a dazed attempt to try to fully understand what had just happened.  People always say I'm the only one that witnesses these strange events.  They always tell that they've never met anyone quite like me.  Today, I got the feeling that that "something,"was totally genetic.  And weirdness- like mental illness, not only runs in my family but also skips, saunters, and hums a tune, while pulling a wagon. Or in this case, pushing a shovel.

      Today my father sucked up a mouse with a shop vac, and proceeded to shoo it into a field, with a snow shovel.  This is who I am.  This is my family.  These are real things that I witness.  They really do  happen.  You might call it stupid or weird, but around here we call it "Thursday."

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I'll take my stupid pie and go cry in the shower

     I looked at the pie I made last night and I gained 8 pounds.  Unbelievable.  Normal people would say things like"Oh what's 8 pounds." But for me it was one of those, "I'll be back soon, I just need to go cry in the shower," moments.
     I was the fat girl that looked Bruce Vilanch.  It all started in 2011, during Facebook doppelgänger week.  There're nothing more startling than the realization that the celebrity you look most like is a fat, male, comedy writer, with a closet full of ridiculous t-shirts.

    Maybe I should start over.  During the past 6 years, I've been trying to lose weight.  I spent the first 3 years trying to get over my addictions to things like fast food, soda, frozen pizza, Snapple, ice cream and all easily prepared foods.  I had also just quit smoking after 15 years.  At the age of 30 I was 187 pounds.  Which is something that people in the health care field generally frown upon if you're only 5'4.  My solution was to start cooking more and trying to make better choices when it came to food.  I tried cutting out meat and going the vegetarian route.  It was a nice effort that lasted about 4 months, and then Thanksgiving happened.  I'm clearly have no willpower and am a shitty vegetarian.

     At the beginning of 2012 my fiancé became severely ill.  I was trying to keep him company while he was out of commission, but one day I just needed to get out of the house.  So I decided to take our dogs for a walk, one at a time.  I chose taking them one at a time, because at that point they weren't properly leash trained and I was afraid that a 47 pound dog and a 75 pound dog would drag me down the hill.  And what an ugly sight that would have been.  I took our smaller dog around the block first.  She was so thrilled to be out and about that she decided we should try to run from the corner of the street to our house, exactly one house down.  I've never felt so winded and out of shape in all of my life.  Panting, snorting, slobbering, all over the kitchen, and that was just me.  I think it took me 40 minutes to recover, before I was able to take our other dog for his walk around the block.  When I thought being pulled down a hill would be an ugly sight, it was no match for the terrific mess that returned after the second walk.  I'm pretty sure that it was the most exercise that any of us had gotten in years.  But I was proud, I did what I had set out to do. This was a great first step, it got me out of the house and it was helping the dogs to burn off some of their energy as well.

     Walking soon became a part of our daily routine.  When my fiancé recovered from his illness, he joined in and we began having our "family walk."  I was still massively out of shape and would get completely winded by just the walk around the block.  About 6 months into this routine I decided I needed to pair my eating habits and walking habits with one more for of exercise.  I dug out our Nintendo Wii and set up the Wii Fit.  The Wii Fit was designed not only for family gaming, but with fitness in mind.  I began doing the basic Yoga on there and charting my weight and daily exercise routines.  Just being able to visually see the progress I was making was probably the most helpful part.  Seeing the chart go from obese to overweight was a giant step.

     It was still 2012 and I was really in to watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and my favorite contestant of all time, Sharon Needles won season 4.  Months earlier, a video on her website had encouraged people to be nicer to those with weight problems.  For some reason this really resonated with me.  If she could overcome the stigma of being different and achieve her goal, so could I.  I vowed then and there to make a real change in my life. It was now the spring of 2013 and I had already come down 20 pounds from where I began, but I was bound and goddamned determined to shed it all.  A week after my birthday I saw that a club in Rhode Island was hosting a meet and greet with none other than Sharon Needles.  I was nervous about meeting her and when we met, I may have drunkenly blurted out something stupid that made her laugh. I may have also started talking about what a pivotal role she was playing in my weight loss.  She congratulated me on accomplishment and encouraged me to continue on my path.  Sharon Needles was such an inspiration to me, at that point that I knew what I had to do.  The next week I joined a gym.

     Over a 2 year period I have gone to the gym every other day.  I've managed not only to get to a point where I don't get winded as easily, but I no longer pant, snort, slobber and sweat profusely during a workout.  The Wii Fit chart went from overweight to normal.  I lost 60 pounds.  It was not easy.  Keeping to a fitness schedule, charting that progress on the Wii Fit, and trying to do well with portion control and better food choices wasn't easy.  I mean have you ever tasted a cannoli?  Who wants to have an apple when there's fucking Gelato!
 In the spring of 2015 I achieved my goal, and actually reached my BMI.  Hell, I even made it 4 pounds under my BMI.  At first I was proud of myself, however I noticed other people starting to resent me for it.  People would make passive aggressive comments or they would say things that were unintentional insults.  When someone would say "wow, you look so amazing now!" It would always seem like they were emphasizing on the "now," part and make me feel more insecure.  I have had body image issues every since having my breast reduction surgery, back in 2007.  Being big and top heavy was one thing, but after the surgery I thought I looked like the Grimace.  Having everything even out should have been a huge boost to my self esteem, but it only reinforced my insecurities.  Can't have anything nice.

     So one of my problems is my need to self destruct.  Hitting my BMI was a major achievement.  However, it didn't come without consequences.  One of the things I would do on a regular basis was to peruse the internet for new and fantastic dinner recipes.  Since we were cooking more, I also took up baking.  Because when you're looking for a good salad recipe on Pintrest and Carmel, chocolate, peanut butter-mousse pie, comes up; who can say no to that?  Someone suggested that maybe this was a self destructive way to "test the bounds of reality," because of some subconscious guilt over the weight loss.

     I kept up my routines, but would sneak in snacks.  One of my biggest routine changes involved never eating after 9pm.  In the fall my doctor told me I could stand to put back on a few pounds so I "don't start to look weird."  Apparently, nobody in the doctor's office remembered my Bruce Vilanch phase.  I allowed myself to have a little something now and again after 9pm.  After Thanksgiving I went up 4 points from my BMI.  It was the impending doom of winter, but I was certain anything I gained would be gone by April.  Because of the unusually warm winter, I fluctuated up and down.  It's May now.  I was doing pretty well until last week.  I still go to the gym every other day, and it's going on 3 years now.  I don't know if it's stress or not being able to walk the dogs because of the cold and rainy weather or what?  All I know is that last night I made that pie, and when I got on the scale after the gym today, there was an extra 8 pounds.  I was beside myself.  I don't know how it happened, but there it was.  Unbelievable. Stupid self esteem!  Stupid self destruction!  Stupid fat! Stupid pie! Give me the stupid pie and let me go cry in the shower!

P.S. I hate ending this on such a down note.  I feel like Dante, from Clerks talking about "life being a series of down endings."  So here's a photo of me on New Years Eve of 2005, looking like Bruce Vilanch, wearing a shirt that says Fuck Me I'm Fat.