does this count as therapy? does this count as anything?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ice Treats and Not So Deep V's...

    It's become increasingly obvious to me that I will have to 1) Go through extensive therapy to reconcile my current relationship with food to have ANY kind of a healthy lifestyle, 2) Write about it A LOT (yes, as a form of therapy) to share and take away the shame, 3) Resign myself to being a fatass. 

#'s 1 and 2 are looking REAL good. #3 can suck it. I wasn't meant to be a fatass. When I was... 14(?) my dad told me that he didn't see me as a fat person on the inside. It took me a little while (a long ass time) to build up the self-confidence to respond by saying, "yeah no shit, Dad. NO ONE is a shape on the inside."

He had already left the room by then. 

BUT. I was NOT meant to be a fatass. And I will not live the rest of my life like this.

Story time!

Last night, I was riding the M42 bus down 42nd street last night after a brief shopping trip to Forever21 in Times Square, and talking on the phone to one of my best friends, BH. 

Yes. I know I'm 30, and not 21. And? 

What I also know is that this F21 is the only one that carries the plus size line in the store in all of Manhattan, and has been a dream come true/godsend to me. It's not that I celebrate being fat, but I absolutely refuse to be shoddily clothed while being fat. I may be a social outcast, but I will not, I REFUSE, to be a fashion outcast as well. So. I shop at F21 for the big girls. Also? It's like they know how to make the experience less... agonizing for me. You walk straight in the front doors from the heart of Times Square, hit the down escalator, and the F21+ is right off the escalator to the left, and has its own little wing of the store where you can walk around and marvel at all the choices given, some cute, some atrocious, and not have to be among the lean and lithe 12 year old girls/aliens that are as beautiful and worldly looking as women used to be when they reached their 30's. Do you know what it does to the self esteem to be intimidated by someone I am overqualified to babysit, but who's age should still indicate the necessity for parental/adult supervision? Nothing good is happening there. And I mean like, intimidated as a WOMAN. Not as like, a gymnast. 5 year-olds can tell me what's what on some damn tumbling mats all day long and I don't feel shit. I'll even high-5 the little turds. I hate feeling like I'm in a sexual competition with women who shouldn't even be sexually aware of themselves yet. IT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW. Is someone looking into this?

Ahem. Back to the clothes. You with me?

Another thing worth mentioning, at the F21's. the price points CANNOT be beat. No, I am not being paid to promote. This is a personal/public journaling. Get a grip. I just have love for F21, and they have love for me.

No, the fashions are not all wins. The good stuff is awesome, but the bad... well. Some of them are literally build for super-sized skinny girls, which we all know is not how people get fat. 

You don't get to keep your long torso and your proportionate boobs. You get folds. FOLDS. I mean, it has to go somewhere, but trying to logically explain to yourself that you are beautiful while looking in the dressing room mirror at the accordion of skin, the way it's all one piece but looks like a shirt waiting to be tie-dyed... that is a hard sell. You grow spare boobs near your armpits. Your BACK gets fat. Who ever even heard of such a thing? It does, though. Your long legs that have no rubbage at the tops of the thighs? Gone. You're building fires with them shits and wearing out the fabric of your jeans in the meantime. The calves that flow to your knees to your thighs with barely a discernible widening until, OOPS, here we are at the vagine! Absent. Infidels! Who the FUCK attached these... these BALLOONS to my hips? Do I want to talk about the width of my calves and how tall boots aren't an option for me because no zipper in the world should be put through that kind of torture? Hell no I do not, and eff you for asking. Oh, do you need some cute boy-short unders for that downstairs of yours? NOPE. Your ass cheeks are too large to fit in the panels of fabric that wrap around at the same size front to back and are supposed to give you that accessibly sexy look for any boy interested. In addition, any chonies you buy that don't fully fit will actually work themselves DOWN your ass until they are rolled up in that special place where your ass ends and your legs begin. I say special because you have to get almost fully nude to remedy this particular situation, as it entails unrolling said undergarments and smoothing them over the wide planes of your ass, where you hope they will stay at least until you can get off the train at Grand Central and walk the 3 avenues and 2 streets home, because it's hard to feel anything but vulnerable and unprepared when you can't even get your underwear to stay in place. That shit shows up like a neon sign here and that is some attention you do not want. Thongs are almost a better option, but don't get me started on how that shit gets lost... I just can't.
So, I'm on the bus home from Times Square, on the phone with my girl B, and recounting MY wins during the trip to F21 this particular evening. She lives in Eugene, OR. I lived there for about 2 years. I also almost killed myself there, but that might be a story for another time. Suffice to say, there was no F21+ there.

Among my favorite scores for the night were two v-neck shirts (no, not deep V's. Regs. Who do you think I am? D.Tosh? Psh.). One is a nice blush/rose color, and the other... the other is the  color of Daiquiri Ice. 

B: "What the fuck is Daiquiri Ice?"

Me: "Uh, only the ONLY flavor of ice cream-that-wasn't-even-ice-cream I was allowed to get in public as a child."

B: *laughs* "Excuse me?"

Me: "Oh yeah! 31derful flavors my ASS. If there was a family trip that involved Baskin-Robbins, I ALWAYS got the same shit. Fucking lame. Dessert after the family goes out to dinner? Sure! We won a baseball game? Let's go! Ugh."

B: *More laughter, but this time sounding distinctly uncomfortable and confused at the amount of emotion evident in my voice over some dessert-treat* 

Here's the thing:

I'm allergic to milk. Not lactose intolerant. Allergic. Like to the actual proteins in milk. I know, right? Weak sauce. In the age before diet restrictions and elective eliminations of things like gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed ANYTHING was all the rage, I grew up already not eating those things. Kind of. Now that I'm thinking back, though, I bet A LOT of my friend's parents thought that I was actually lactose intolerant. This explains their vigilance in keeping me from the various milk-laden treats provided at any one of many sleep-overs, because no one wants to be the parent in charge when one of the kids shits the room because someone didn't see them snarf a slice of cheese pizza...

Few things are worse while growing up than feeling singled out for freaky shit. Well, at least that USED to be the case. Nowadays, it's like these damn kids crave that bullshit. And you know what? More power to them, but I did not handle it well at all. To the tune of two dinners a night (one eaten in secret, one in public) for years. YEARS. Anyway, yes. I used to sneak the occasional plain slice from the pizza box. No, I never shit the room. Thanks for your concern.

Moving on. Daiquiri Ice was THE ONLY non-dairy dessert that Baskin-Robbins offered in the stone age... I mean, the 90's. What does THAT mean? I'll tell you. Dad/Mom says, "Hey Gang (Yeah, my Dad DID actually say "gang" while addressing us during my childhood, and it happened more than once. Love you, Dad. *sigh*), let's go get some cool treats!" The Gang (not including me), "YEAH!". Dad/Mom, The Gang, and I all pile in the car and head to my personal hell. Well. One of many. What? I was a mostly sullen child. I mean, I was A JOY, but a fucking sullen joy. You SHOULD be proud of my level of commitment that I could find an ICE CREAM PARLOR to be a place of torment. Talent. I had it in spades. 

The fam-bam would be in the minivan (one of three we had during my childhood), all but one of us (It was me. Just making sure you know.) already going over the choices ahead of us that needed to be made to bring about a mini emotional rainbow and unicorn frolic session on our tongues, careening (IF Dad was driving. Dad REALLY liked his sugar) though the streets of West Seattle towards our destination of the Admiral District Baskin-Robbins. Once we arrived in the parking lot, the side door of the minivan (yes, there was only one. Weren't you listening when I told you it was the 90's? I know the sliding doors these days fold laundry and put kids to bed, but back then they had ONE handle and you had to break out the elbow grease for that shit.) would slide open, and everyone would pile out of the car and into the galley-style shop that was Baskin-Robbins in West Seattle. Once inside, everyone would push to the front of the line and press their noses and hands to the glass separating them from vats and vats of delicious, shiny, cold, milky (save one!) dessert treats. 

Now, those who were a little more distractible (ALL of the kids in my family. Okay, and my Dad. Did you know ADD is hereditary? SQUIRREL!) might first look at the beauty of the ice cream cakes nestled in their pristine white boxes with the clear cellophane panels, tucked safely in orderly rows of dessert perfection in the display freezer. 

UNF! The colors! The visible sugar! We were tasting everything with our eyes and were insatiable! I think we actually physically fought the urge to blink as often when we were inside that store gazing upon those lovely things, feeling our eyeballs dry out and become cold... and it was totally worth it. When we would finally blink again, our eyes were watering so much that it looked like we were weeping in the face of such gorgeous confections, and when we would look at one another, noting the teary gazes, we would nod in solidarity. It didn't matter WHY we had tears in our eyes, DID YOU SEE THOSE FUCKING CAKES?!?? The blink-resist or welling up of emotions, no one was there to judge, and all were there to absorb even a fraction of that magic.

And right next to the beauty of the dessert cakes, wonder of wonders, there were the upside-down clown face ice cream cones, grounded by a small ruffled paper cup serving as a collar for multitudes of frosting-painted faces. So... beautiful. So completely fantastic. Everything was laid out on gold foil die-cut circle and rectangle boards with scalloped edges. I'm not sure what law of physics it is that determines this, but everything looks better when on one of those. 

We were helpless is what we were. We would stare and breathe on the glass until our views were obscured by the fog we made with our exalted exhalations. Then, and only then, would we move forward. 

Side bar: maybe I should invest in a way to make pillows out of that material... Imagine waking up every day with your head resting on the beauty of one of those bad boys? It's something about the way it reflects the light. It's so warm. So non-judgmental. Who doesn't look better with a nice golden glow about them. Hello, halos, anyone? Worked for Jesus and Mary, s'all I'm saying...

Now, I am and always have been down to look at and admire some damn sugar, and I was definitely one of the kids leaving my DNA on the glass by breathing all up on that shit. However, when the moving forward part came around, the selecting ice cream portion of the trip would find me sitting alone at a table, slightly slumped over (I say slightly because I mean, I WAS getting a frozen treat after all), and waiting. Why waiting? Well. I never had a choice when we went to Baskin-Robbins. Never. They say (no, I don't know who "they" are. Go with it.) that everything is a choice. Well, I am here to tell you that in Baskin-Robbins, that was not the case for me. My choice was made before we got in the damn car to even GO, and that was not a choice made by me. 

I mean, I guess you could say that my BODY made the choice, therefore the choice WAS made by me, but I'm not trying to get all metaphysical and shit, you hear me? Soul/self and body = separate. Clear? Good. That's where we're going with that. No further. 

Anyway. I would sit and wait for my dad or one of my brothers to bring me my Daiquiri Ice "ice cream" cone on a sugar cone. If it was my dad, the treat was usually handed over without ceremony, but if it was one of my brothers handing it to me, the statement 'I get Abi's cone!" would invariably ring out. Especially Tim. He would say it in a clear voice WHILE making prolonged eye contact with me. Why did they lay claim to my cone? 


I couldn't have anything with gluten/wheat either. 

Guess what makes cones so awesome? It's gluten. Well, and sugar. But if you've ever tasted a cone without gluten, fuck, if you've ever tasted ANYTHING without gluten, you know that shit is whack. Once, via my bro-in-leezy, I heard a comic say, "I was in the health food store, and one of those sample ladies offered me some gluten-free crackers. Now, I don't know what the fuck gluten is, but I know it's delicious, because that was the most disgusting cracker. Ever."

Spot on, sir. 

So yeah. No gluten. No dairy. AND? No citrus. There was a brief period of time where nuts were off limits too, but then my dad caught me dipping almonds in peanut butter (What? oh, the fat content on that? I couldn't tell ya.) and since I didn't die, figured nuts were probably okay. 

I did generally hand over my cone to my brothers, but sometimes would sort of slowly nibble the edges down WHILE eating my flavored ice so that by the time I was actually done with the frozen "delish", the cone was as tall as a quarter, and pooled inside was warmish melted Daiquiri Ice mixed with my saliva. I would hand it over to one of my brothers with a "What, IT CAME LIKE THAT!" expression on my face and begin to plot the first food I was going to sneak when we got back home. 

If I gave it to Tim: *shaking head* "AAAaaaaabbbiiiiiii??? Where did the rest of your coooone goooooo?" *eats cone* (Mostly dramatic effect for our parents. Hardly ever worked.) 

If I gave it to Jonas: *brow wrinkling in distaste* "Uh... what is... is that your SPIT?!??" *gags* *then eats cone*

If I gave it to Jason: "Sweet!" *eats cone*

Now that I'm an adult, I eat whatever the fuck I feel like most of the time. Sometimes this means I eat an almost completely raw food diet. Sometimes this means I buy the 20 piece chicken nugget box from McDonald's across the street and eat it in the dark. In shame. I mean, it IS only 4.99$, which since anything under 7$ in Manhattan is basically free, doesn't really cost me anything but my future... *sigh* I will figure this out, and a balance will be found. 

And for the record, my favorite frozen treat is Rocky Road. I think the closest I may ever come to Daiquiri Ice again is wearing my beautiful new t-shirt, and that is just fine with me.

Love, Abs

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