Sunday, May 29, 2016

How It Works

This is how you love someone who is mentally ill:

You don't tell her that what she is feeling is wrong.

You don't tell him that he is being irrational.

You ask her to describe how she feels, and if she can tell you what she needs.

You tell him you love him.

You remind her that depression lies.

You ask him if everyone on his care team knows how he is feeling right now. If he says no, you ask if you can alert everyone, because all of those people care about him.

You give her as many hugs as she will tolerate.

You remind him that, when he is ready, there are tons of people who love him who want to see him.

You tell her that she is worthy and amazing, and remind her that you need her here.

You reach out to the people who love him and ask them to reach out to him so they can also tell him that he is valuable and necessary.

You don't walk away from her.

You hold his hand whenever he needs it.

You never give up.

You never give up.

You never give up.

Do not give up on us.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Randoms


"I have formally decided that 'assholery' is now a word. And also that it should be proper etiquette to smack people who are displaying said assholery."

"I agree with this movement."

"If I'm going to start a movement, it's going to be one that the people can get behind."


"So, I'm starting a new diet where I can't really have meat, dairy, sugar, or soy. Or gluten."


"I may be asking you to kill me soon."


"Ugh, I'm all cranky pants. Oh wait, I'm not wearing pants. UGH. I'm all crankyskirt."


"Nothing really says, 'I'm a huge jerk' like when your brain keeps insisting that it's Wednesday when in reality it is only Tuesday. Like, brain. Really? We have NOT travelled forward in time. IT'S NOT A THING THAT WE DO."


"I had a fruit salad for lunch and then I had some raw veggies for a snack."


"I know, I don't even recognize myself anymore."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Food 101

If you've been following this blog for any length of time (and by the way, if you have? GOD BLESS YOU because really, I've just been nattering on for YEARS now) then you know that I have a complicated relationship with dieting and food and my body. It's a thing.

If you're my friend on Facebook (and you should be if you are not! Why are we not friends already? Get on that!) then you also know that I recently started an anti-inflammatory diet and I've been going on and on about it.

I have done a lot of stupid fad diet bullshit weight loss ridiculousness in the past.  Like, okay, almost all of them. Weight Watchers? Did it. Nutrisytem? Did it. Low carb? Did it. Low fat? Did it. Deal-a-Meal? Did it. Slim Fast? Did it.

Oh, and I also had an eating disorder, but that's another story entirely.

All I've ended up with was an empty wallet and an effed up metabolism. That's what I got. I couldn't follow them successfully. There are many many reasons for that, I think, but the underlying one is simple: I was tired of living my life in a way that revolved around what I weigh and my screwed up relationship with food, so when I was on a weight loss oriented diet plan I would eventually rebel because the anxiety of having every single bite weighed and measured and calculated and accounted for was worse than just being fat.

Now you are probably thinking, but you JUST said you were on an anti-inflammatory diet. YOU SAID THE D WORD. What's up with that?

It's not really a diet, though. It's a lifestyle change, and it's a lifestyle change that I am making for health reasons. Losing weight (and I am, I will be honest) is secondary to the fact that I am trying to improve my allover health. I have been feeling terrible for some time, and if there's something I can do to feel better that doesn't involve taking more medication, I want to do it. I'm tired of feeling horrible.

The interesting thing -- at least to me -- is that by subtracting the "COUNT ALL THE CALORIES WEIGH ALL THE FOODS" portion of the program, I don't have a hard time sticking with it. I don't feel deprived by my inability to eat bagels. I'm not super sad that I can't drink diet coke anymore (well, I'm a little sad). I feel ... great, actually.

Losing weight is a side benefit to changing things for the better, and that doesn't suck. Not even a little.

Who knew?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Live Long and Prosper (In Whatever Bathroom Works for You)

It occurs to me that I might be a Vulcan.


I do have slightly pointed ears, and I can do that thing with my hands, and also?

I become IRATE when people create arguments that are not based on logic or reason.

Like, trans people can't use the bathroom of the gender that they identify with because pedophiles and sex offenders. Here's my problem with that argument:

Trans people? Are not the same as pedophiles and sex offenders. They don't belong in the same category. Let's not make trans people criminals because their biological gender doesn't match their psychological gender (and I think I might have used those terms wrong -- if so I am sorry, trans people). Feeling trapped in the wrong kind of body is not a crime.

Should pedophiles and sex offenders be kept out of the bathroom of their preferred victimology? Probably, but laws restricting public bathroom use to people of a specific biological gender won't actually prevent that because -- and I can't believe that I am having to point this out -- some individuals prey on people of their same gender. Ergo, if a man is intent on molesting a little boy? This law does not help. Not even a little.

Someone said to me, well, but you don't want a man in the ladies room.

But you WILL have men in the women's room, y'all. You'll have biological women who identify as men and, as far as I'm concerned, that MAKES them men. You're going to have men in there, ladies. Bearded, buff, clearly male men.

And the men's room? Will have ladies in it. Ladies who look like ladies. Ladies in dresses and makeup. Ladies in shorts and skirts. LADIES.

If we're going to talk about safety, let's talk about the fact that by forcing trans people to use the bathroom of their biology and not their identity, you are painting a big old target on their foreheads simply because they have to pee.  Transgendered women are ALREADY 1.8 times more likely to experience sexual violence than the rest of the population*, and that's without having to go into a bathroom that forces them to out themselves. In 2013, 72% of hate violence homicide victims were transgendered women and a large percentage of those were transgendered women of color.

Let's also talk about the women who have been assaulted because they are actually trying to use the bathroom that matches their biological and psychological gender because -- wait for it -- they don't look FEMALE enough. Like Aimee Toms, who had the audacity to have short hair and a ball cap in the bathroom. Yep, she's a lady. Yep, she has lady parts. Yep, another woman flipped out at her because she decided that she didn't look like she belonged.

How's that going to work out for the people who have those same lady parts but are fully bearded because they identify as men?

Logic says it's going to be horrible.

You guys. Life is hard. It's hard for everyone.

Let's make it LESS hard. Let's take one thing off of our plate of things to worry about. When you go into the bathroom, worry about doing your business. Worry about germs. Worry about how much you hate the hand drier.

Don't worry about what kind of genitalia the person in the neighboring stall has. That's -- creepy. And weird. And not cool.

Be cool.

Maybe then we could all live long and prosperous lives.

In the meantime, if you live somewhere that has this kind of bullshit law, you can help by being a buddy as part of #illgowithyou. Check them out here. Let's all keep each other safe, okay?


Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Randoms


"Oh, hey, there is a red pecker woodhead on the ..."


"A red pecker ... a wood pecker ... a ... FUCK IT I'M DONE TALKING."


"I was going to tell you something but now I can't remember what it was."

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault my brain is hiding the words.  Maybe it will release them from captivity later."


"I have the Spice Girls stuck in my head."

"Tell me what you want, what you really really want!"

"I really really really wanna zig a zig aaaaaah!"


"To be honest, I don't know what that means."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Say Goodbye

There's sort of a standard for how to behave when a romantic relationship ends. Like, your friends take you out to cheer you up, you maybe watch Dirty Dancing six or seven times ... a day ... a la The New Girl, you go out with Ben & Jerry, you cry, you buy some shoes you don't need because shoes, you snuggle the cat a lot.

Okay, some of this might just be me. 

At any rate, people are generally understanding when a romantic relationship ends and when you are devastated, they get it. 

There isn't anything for when a friendship ends. There's no process. There's no outlet. There's just an empty space where there used to be inside jokes.

It sucks. 

It sucks when the person that you thought understood you better than anyone turns out not to understand you at all, when you've moved in such opposite directions that you can't even see each other anymore. It's craptastic when you look at the same shared history and you are not only not on the same page about what has happened, but you're not in the same book -- you're not even in the same library.  And then one day you realize that it's just over. That's all. You fight with the idea for a while, but no matter how you try to bend it around, the reality is that it's done. You're done.

You try to be gracious but sometimes you're bitter. You try to be kind but sometimes you get angry. You say some things that you don't regret, but that you would not normally have said. And then you realize, maybe if you had said them sooner? You wouldn't be here. (Of course, you might have been here more quickly. There's no way to know now.)

There's no real way to explain to other people what has happened, either. With a romantic partner, when someone asks, you can say "We broke up." When a friendship ends, what do you say? "We don't talk anymore?" "We stopped being friends?" "Everything imploded?" If there's a proper term for that, I don't know what it is. 

Much like a romantic relationship, though, you have to stop sifting through the rubble of memory and just let go. Put the pieces down. They are sharp and they keep cutting you. In order to heal, you have to set them aside and walk away.

You have to say goodbye. You have to figure out how and then you have to do it. 

It's hard.

But you have to. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Name Is No. My Number Is No.

I recently saw a post on Twitter that showed screenshots of a conversation between a man and a woman. The man said, "When am I taking you to dinner?" and the woman politely responded that she had a boyfriend, and that by friending him on Facebook she had not meant to give him the impression that she wanted to go out.

He came back at her with a TIRADE, in which he said she was fat, she was ugly, she was a pig, he had asked her out because fat girls work harder to please their sexual partners and were easier to kick to the curb, and that she was flattering herself if she thought she was all that. 

She posted his diatribe online, as well she should have because really?


When I get all angry about rape culture and people don't get it, these are the exchanges I think about. The ones where women have to defend themselves and risk abuse -- verbal and physical -- for having the audacity to do something as simple as turning down a dinner date.

Like, excuse the FUCK out of me if I politely decline the opportunity to dine with you. I clearly don't have that right as a person with two X chromosomes, and you should feel completely justified to abuse me at that point.


I have heard people say they wish they could go back to their twenties, and it always makes me wonder why. Being a woman in my twenties was terrifying. Going out was terrifying. Feeling like I didn't have the ability to say no without risking my safety was the scariest thing I could imagine, but it was also reality: when you said no, you were taking a risk. That meant that you gave your phone number out when you didn't want to. You accepted drinks you didn't want. You went on dates you didn't want to.

I don't know what it's like to be a young woman now, obviously, as I am not one, but I suspect it's not much different. I do know that the conditioning to be polite, be nice, not to say no -- starts young. So does the harassment. Walking down the street and having someone honk at you from their car (and, y'all, what is this supposed to do except for frighten someone? It's not cool!), or having people whistle and make comments about how you look. You're supposed to be flattered, I guess, except that it's not flattering when you're fifteen and it's a grown-assed man telling you that you're fiiiiiiiiiiiine.

But you should be polite to adults. It's a compliment, right? You should smile.  Because if you don't, you're an uppity bitch. And no one wants to be that.


I'd love for a man to chime in here and say that he turned down a date and got flamed. That a woman asked for his number and when he declined, she went OFF on him. I suspect that it might happen? But it doesn't happen often because society doesn't support that behavior in the same way that it supports the notion that women are here to be attractive for men, should be flattered by the attention of men, and should accept those attentions whether or not they are wanted.


Here's the deal, y'all. I own this body. I OWN THIS MUTHA, as the song goes. It's mine. I live in here. And I decide what to do with it, where it goes, how it gets there.

I decide if I look fiiiiiiiiiiine (and by the way, I totally do).

I decide if I'm going to dinner and who I'm going with and if it's not you because I happen to have a fabulous Fella, man up. Accept it. I'm going to thank you politely for the invitation and then decline. Be cool. Don't be an asshole.

If you ask for my number, you're not getting it. Again, don't be an asshole. No woman owes you anything just because you've decided that you find her attractive.

I'm going to repeat that:


She doesn't owe you her number, or a date, or her time, or sex. She just doesn't. And when she declines, you don't have the right to flip out or get violent or scary. Dude, just move on. Don't keep spending time and energy and emotion on someone who has let you know that she's not into you. Let her go without being a total dick about it.

Can we all give this a try, please? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Random

"So I was having this crazy dream where there was a giant sinkhole in our yard and it was winter and people kept missing or sliding through the corner and going right into it and there was nothing we could do but stand there, helplessly, watching them disappear. I finally decided that I couldn't take it anymore and that we needed to do something? And that's when the cat stuck her paw in my mouth and I woke up."

"So, what do you feel like the lesson was?"

"... Don't sleep with my mouth open?"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wash It Out

Let's be clear about one thing:

I don't do laundry.

I mean, I'm capable of doing laundry, lest you imagine that for the last few years I've just been wearing really dirty clothes. This is not the case. I have also not simply been wearing things and then tossing them out. That would be wasteful and weird.

I can do laundry.

But The Fella does it.

There are multiple reasons for this. One is that the laundry room in our building is a bit of a hike, and I have a bum shoulder. He doesn't mind carrying the laundry around, and, honestly, I don't mind letting him. (I do other stuff instead of laundry. Like cooking and meal planning. I'm all over it. I also love to clean.)

Another reason he does the laundry is that he's just plain better at it. He separates things as he throws them into the machines. He's better at sorting.

I don't sort.

I get that you're supposed to sort? I've had more than one friend gasp in horror at the sight of my laundry pile, where the delicates are all mixed in with whatever you call the opposite of a delicate (a bruiser? Do I have clothing that qualifies for bruiser status?), the whites are cozied up with the darks, and the towels and shirts are all chummy.

"You're ... gonna separate that, right?"

"Nope!" I said cheerfully, and dumped it all in the washer. My friends inevitably look at me as though I've bitten the head off a bat and screamed "ANARCHY!"

My theory is that the stuff will survive, or it won't. If something is labeled dry clean only, either I don't purchase it in the first place or I play Casino Laundry (aka, go ahead and gamble! It's going to be great or it's going to be a disaster). I have to pay to wash this stuff, so it's going in as few loads as possible. I'm not messing around.

The strong survive.

This might be one of the reasons why the majority of my clothing is either black or grey. I'm not saying it is, but I'm also not saying it isn't. I'm just saying that there COULD be a connection.

The Fella does an outstanding job with the laundry. He hasn't ruined a single thing (unlike me, who may have destroyed a thing or two with my "good luck in there, clothes" process).

I help, though. Sort of.

I fold things. Warm, delightful smelling things that are freshly cleaned. I'm all about the clean laundry.

Just not, you know, washing it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

What. The Actual. Ever.

I find going to the hairdresser to be super therapeutic, and not just because I generally get offered an adult beverage the moment I walk through the door. (Although, let's be honest, that's a thing and it doesn't suck.) First? My hairdresser is a friend, and she is awesome. (Shout out, Chemistry Hair Studio!) Second, I like to have other people mess with my hair because -- well, because I don't really mess with it. I don't even wash it that often.* Third, because while it's processing (and it ALWAYS needs to process because coloring your hair is fun!) and I'm sitting under the dryer without my glasses on, it's like being in a warm, slightly whirring, blurry cocoon, where I can do some thinking. 

See? Therapy. And I get to leave looking and feeling great. 

Anyway. While the whirry warm processing was going on and I was staring kind of blindly (okay, wicked blindly because of the lack of glasses) into space I was thinking about lunch, because I was hungry. Here's the thoughts that were happening:

What to have for lunch, what to have. I had eggs for breakfast, and I was going to make chili for dinner, so I should probably just have a meal replacement shake for lunch because calories and I'm so FAT right now. Like, seriously. They're gonna take my picture for my new awesome hair and I don't want anyone to see me because so fat. So maybe I just shouldn't even have lunch. Or dinner. I should probably not eat again today. But I'm hungry. I could just have water? Maybe? I don't know. I have got to lose weight. Gotta do that soon. So, water then?

And then I thought: Seriously Danielle? (You know I'm having a serious talk with myself in my head when I don't refer to myself as Yellie!)



You know what? I'm fat. I have health issues that are contributing to the fatness, but screw it. I'll be goddamned if I skip another meal because I'm fat. Fuck that noise. You know what's stupid? Feeling guilty for EATING. Like you're not allowed to enjoy a meal because you have a big old booty. You know who else has a big old booty? J Lo. You know what she did? SHE WROTE A SONG ABOUT IT. Helllllllooo booty. You are big! AND YOU STILL DESERVE TO EAT LUNCH.

So yeah. This is the most I've weighed in a long while. It's going to take some time for my body to decide where it wants to be, weight wise, and there's not a ton I can do right now except love the skin I'm in. As I've mentioned before, I'm not always great at that. But you know what? If I'm going to obsess about something (and I AM going to obsess about something, because that's what I do), I want to obsess about whether or not I'm being kind enough to myself, whether I'm taking care of myself and being generous with myself, and not whether or not I'm "allowed" to eat lunch. 

Because you know what? I am TOTALLY allowed to eat lunch. And to enjoy the shit out of it.

So I took Dan out to lunch. I had fish tacos.


So here's what I'm going to do, and it's what you should do too:

Love yourself. Love your body. Treat yourself gently and with generosity. You deserve it. You are awesome. You are beautiful and sexy and amazing and you deserve wonderful things. Sometimes those things are tacos.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Well, Huh

I have been using the same air freshener in my various dwelling spaces for, like, six years? Which, while technically not being forever, is definitely forever. It's made by a famous company that has a name that rhymes with ... um ... Spankey Bandle. Anyway, it smells like the beach and sunscreen and sand and my childhood and happiness.

Okay, mostly it just smells like Coppertone, which I have traditionally associated with the beach and sand and my childhood and happiness. But whatever.

The thing is, I vividly remember the first time I smelled this. It was in ... BANDLE form. (Okay, it was a candle. I can't sneak anything past y'all.) It was a candle and I smelled it and I was like, HOLY SHIT THIS SMELLS LIKE HOPES AND DREAMS.

Or, again, like Coppertone.

I was hooked. I bought the candle. And then melty tart things. And then I discovered that it came in room spray form and I was like, Praise Be for ALL OF THE GOODNESS!

So, yeah. My house has pretty much smelled like sunscreen for six years. Spend some, ahem, quality time in the loo? Spritz! Now it smells like you've been hanging out on a towel at Short Sands listening to the waves and shooing sea gulls away from your lunch! Burn garlic on the stove? Spritz! Now it smells like walking the pier in Old Orchard Beach, thinking about french fries with malt vinegar! Cat unleash what can only be described as an atomic poo? Spritz! Now it smells like you and Fluffy have been out at the jetty in Wells, watching the water swoosh in between the rocks and dreaming beachy dreams!

I loved that smell.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I sprayed it in the house and I thought: You know? This is ... terrible.


I don't know what happened! It still smells like Coppertone? BUT NOW I HATE IT. Frankly, at this point, I'd actually rather smell the cat poop because now?

Spritz! I smell sadness and mild anger and the time my bathing suit fell off in front of my friend's dad.

I need a new smell. Pronto.

Guess I better go back into Spankey Bandle and do something about that.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Healthy. Or, Not

I had a conversation with my mom over the weekend that made even more determined to get a grip on my health.

My niece, Miss Kennie, has a birthday that, like mine, falls between Christmas and the New Year. My mom and I were talking about how that impacts plans, and I said, "Plus, for my birthday, we always had to be near a hospital."

I got sick -- really sick, catastrophically sick -- every year. On my birthday.

It sucked.

My mom agreed and then said, Hey, remember that time we had company on your birthday and you were WICKED sick? And you spent the whole time on the couch and then I slept on the floor by the couch because I was kind of afraid that you would stop breathing?

(She had to do that more than once, by the way.)

I recently discussed here how I suddenly realized I was an adult because I accept that I'm not the only person who's impacted by my decisions, but when she said that to me, I also realized -- for the first time -- how much my health has sucked for OTHER people, and how it interfered with the lives of everyone in my family.

It makes me feel ... bad. I know it's not my fault, but I feel bad anyway, especially since my MO as an adult has been "eh, whatever."

It also makes me feel better about my resolve to take more care when it comes to my health. I don't want my sickness to make anyone else's life harder again.

Here's to health!