Growing Pains

As I sit here, several things are making me crazy. The bubbling of the fountain on my desk, a welcome sound all day, now makes me want to throw it out the window onto Michigan Avenue below. The whirring of the HVAC system constantly reminds me of how unseasonably cold it is in here. And my pants. Don’t get me started on those.

This is what my three full-time jobs (work for pay, school, and looking for better work for pay) have reduced me to: a whining, ugly-pants wearing, buzz kill.

Honestly, I think what’s truly making me crazy it is that I managed to schedule about forty minutes off from my jobs to write a little for myself, and in the absence of ringing phones and meeting chatter and trains, the silence of these few minutes of calm is really, really loud.

I’ve been going full on since classes began in the last week of March. Almost every moment of every night and weekend day is devoted to studying, writing assignments, reading, classes, or traveling to and fro. And I’m doing it, so far. I’m handling it all, getting my work done, writing good papers, and learning so much – about women’s health and art history, sure – but also about being a student again, and human nature and submitting assignments through email. Crazy stuff. I like it.

There’s a woman at work who has such a perfect look that it’s almost painful for me to see her everyday. She has great style – excellent po-mo skirts and vintage look boots that aren’t too pointy and that whole upscale thirft store thing that I love.

I guess what pains me is not that I resent her for being who she is – on the contrary, I love her expressiveness and originality. I just really, really envy her. I think that about 10 years ago, I was her. Before everyone bought all the great stuff at Goodwill and started re-selling it at boutiques downtown for way too much; before my size put me out of almost all of the stores at the mall; before all of those stores shifted their sizes down, so that last decade’s 14 is now a 12. I don’t know what all this means, except I miss feeling like myself in my clothes. Superficial? Sort of. But it is important, in its way, and something to think about.

But! But! Have you all read this?

I quote:
April 19, 2005, 2:58PM

CDC: Dangers of being overweight overstated
Associated Press

CHICAGO : Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation’s leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated today that packing on too many pounds accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the United States. As recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths…

And this is the second time the CDC has corrected itself on this issue. Their first estimate was 400,000 “obesity related” deaths, but when experts began to question the CDCs methods in computing it, they changed it to 365,000. Now, 25,814. That’s an overstatement of 1400% Jesus!

As my friend Paul said, the CDC is SO busted. That erroneous, bogus, crazy 365,000 figure has been used in the government’s big war on obesity to scare the public into throwing their money down into more and more diets, and has been used to ramp up the hate and derision of fat people (Super Size Me, much?). Now I guess the public will have to be honest with themselves, and go back to hating us because of the way we look.

And my forty minutes are up. That was really fast.

2 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. “whining, ugly-pants wearing, buzz kill.”

    No time for the self will do that… I know so well. And now I know why you said my life was eerily familiar. 😉 Are you going for a degree? If so, which?

    “I just really, really envy her. I think that about 10 years ago, I was her…I miss feeling like myself in my clothes. Superficial?”

    I don’t think it is superficial, though. Not even sort of. What is wrong in any way about wanting to feel like yourself? Nothing, that’s what. Our clothes are so much a part of our outward expression of ourselves that they stand psychologically and sociologically for more than just coverings.

    Anyhow… 🙂 Sending my love from here to there.



  2. Hi there. I like the new look of the site…

    Wardrobe suggestion:
    Suede, & lots of it.
    With fringes, if necessary.

    It is impossible to feel anything but fabulous & cool when draped in butter-soft suede. No feeling fat, old, dowdy or frumpy for us! : )

    It’s nice to see you back.



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