Gentlemen, May I Have a Word With You?

And that word would be “rape.”

Just so we’re clear: when you hold someone down and force a broomstick inside of them against their will, you are raping them.  If you open a door into a room and see a group of boys holding someone down and looking like they’re on the verge of sticking a broom inside of someone you don’t tell them to break it up and assume everything is okay.  What you are witnessing is attempted rape.

See, I bring this up because I see over on Yahoo this headline–“Horrific football hazing case shakes NM town” and I read the description of this case, which involves football players holding down other football players and shoving broomsticks up their butts while the coaches acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening (and perhaps nothing out of the ordinary was happening, if you’d like a sickening thought for the afternoon.  Maybe this is what boys on the team had done to them and that’s why they’re turning around and doing it to others.  I don’t know.) and I keep waiting for the term “rape” or “attempted rape” to come up.

Yeah, sure we get into some sexual assault stuff there towards the end.

But the reason I bring this up is that it occurs to me upon reading this article that the coaches literally did not understand what they were seeing or hearing about.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not at all letting them off the hook.  I’m just saying that that’s fucked up, so fucked up you have to say it “fu-u-ucked up.”

You’d think “Don’t put things inside other people without their permission” would be an easy concept for folks to understand, but there’s always some bullshit–“But what if she’s wearing a really short skirt?  Then can I put something inside her even if she doesn’t want me to?”  “But what if he wants to join the football team?  Is it okay then?”

Seriously, no.  Just don’t put things inside other people if they don’t want you to.

It’s just not that difficult.

I suspect that this kind of sexual assault is far more common than I’m aware of and I suspect that part of the problem of even beginning to address it is that so many people refuse to recognize it for what it is.  I mean, look at this article, calling it “hazing” or “bullying.”  No, it’s raping.  You have a bunch of rapists on your football team.  And a bunch of coaches who don’t think that’s such a big deal.

And let’s be frank about why that is: Because it’s happening to boys.

And that’s unacceptable.

My Body and Me

I just want to state my biases up front.  I believe that dieting is an incredible waste of time, even if it leads to weight-loss.  I think that sitting around obsessing about calories and fat grams and so on is ridiculous and a way of getting women to accept a useless, but time-consuming task with the promise of happiness at the end in order to keep us distracted and busy while fun stuff happens elsewhere.

I have no use for it.

I do believe that, if you eat good food, you will feel good, and believe me, I am all about feeling good.  If I had to choose between a quarter pounder and a home-made tamale, I’m picking the tamale every time.  And I would eat that spinich and peanut sauce Thai dish whose name I don’t know all the time if I could.

And I think moving around is great.

But, in general, I don’t give a shit if you eat well or not, if you move around or not.  Maybe it’s coming from a long line of fat people and people with various mobility issues, but I just could not give a shit less about what kind of shape other people are in.  I mean, I love you, ladies, but Christ Jesus, the amount of time and self-worth you put in to being thinner just boggles my mind.  Perfectly beautiful people that folks already want to spend time with right now who are going to be happier ten, twenty, fifty pounds from now.  I just don’t want to hear it.

And I myself have believed that I am only thirty pounds away from true happiness.  The Shill and I were flipping through old photographs of me and even at my thinnest, I believed I was fat.  Even in college, when I look now at photos and see a perfectly ordinary sized person, I thought I was fat.

So, to recap–I believe people have a right to feel good, right now, as they are.  I don’t give a shit if you lay in bed all day eating bon bons if that makes you feel good; in fact, scooch over, I’m coming in.

But of course, I live in a society in which a woman’s worth is based a great deal on how thin she is (though, as I’m sure thin people will point out, you don’t want to be too thin or that’s a problem, so it’s lose/lose, which is just how it works).

So, I come in to work today and everyone has decided that I’ve lost weight and look great.  This is particularly funny to me because I spent all yesterday feeling like I might, just for fun, bleed to death or barf or both.  In other words, there’s just no objective way I could “look great” because I feel like shit.

And yet, apparently, losing weight is enough.

And again, girls, I love you, but no, I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight or, if so, how much.  And I don’t like talking about it like I’m achieving some victory for woman-kind.  I don’t own a scale.  I try to get on them facing the other way at the doctor so that I don’t have to have a number in my head that defines (or not) myself to me.  I don’t scrutinize myself in the mirror, so, no, I don’t know if I’ve lost weight.

And if I have, women in my office building, you know it’s because I’ve been sick.  Which I know you know because you’re making jokes about how you wish you’d get diagnosed with some disease so that the doctor would give you a pill that made you lose weight.

I don’t know how to respond to that.  Really?  Being thinner is so much better than being fatter that you’d take an illness to get that way?  I find that baffling.

On the other hand, though, I want to acknowledge that the whole PCOS treatment has changed my body in ways I’m kind of still making heads or tails of.  For one, I do feel like I have different energy than I used to, not more, exactly, but kind of long-term sustainable energy.  I feel like my appetite is a lot different, that, depending on what I’m eating, I lose interest in what I’m eating long before I finish it.  Or I’ll order something because I love it–like chicken fried steak–and it doesn’t please me to eat it.

I don’t know how else to describe this change.  But I used to take great pleasure in, say, running over to the other building where there is a candy machine and getting some M&Ms in the middle of the afternoon and it doesn’t even cross my mind to do it now.

I don’t feel better after eating them.  I don’t crave them.

I’m going to have to think about this some when I have more time, but the thing that strikes me most is that all my life I’ve believed my weight was a moral failing.  Even when I could completely change my diet and my activity level and see no real weight loss, I still believed it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough, just didn’t want it bad enough.  And now that I’m sitting here with a system full of metformin, what I keep wondering, the thought I can’t let go of, is this–Is this how “normal” people feel in their bodies?

And it really upsets me and kind of makes me mad, because this is not how I’ve felt at any point in my entire life.  I mean, two months ago, if I’d had three quarters of a hamburger and half a large fry at lunch, I would have been dying by two or three in the afternoon.  I would be so hungry and tired and I’d have been running to the candy machine for something to get me through until dinner for fear I’d be sick otherwise.

Yesterday, I ate my burger until I lost interest and ate my fries until I lost interest and I had a quarter of the burger left and half of the fries.  It’s not like that all the time.  I gladly ate at McDonalds like it was going out of style with the Shill.  But I’m just saying, yesterday, I ate some of my lunch and I wasn’t hungry until supper and even then, I wasn’t starving, but just hungry.

And I want to be clear that I know that every fat person is not like me, but I literally am finding this experience just pisses me off.  I mean, sure, if this is what you feel like all the time, having a salad for lunch seems like a swimming idea.  Skipping sugary snacks?  No bigging.  Exercising more?  Okay, yeah, I have energy I didn’t know I had and I’m finding it weirdly pleasurable to move around in it in ways I’ve never experienced before.  I mean, holy shit, okay, yeah, now I get what folks are saying.

But I had to completely alter the chemistry of my body.

I mean, just call me Tireseus or something, folks, because I’m here to tell you that it’s different and not in a way you can know if you haven’t lived in both ways.

And I don’t like “both” either, because I just mean that, in my case, there are two ways (at least).

But what I mean is that all the lecturing and hectoring and diet modification in the world did me no good and only made me miserably unhappy.  And it was a stupid waste of time.

And I’m grossed out by the idea that I’m supposed to be happy about being thinner, as if I lucked out by responding to that medicine in this way, when the fact that I need that medicine in the first place isn’t… I mean, it doesn’t suck or anything, but it’s not like I wake up every morning and am like “Woo hoo, I used to take no medicine and now I take this stuff in the morning and this stuff with dinner and wear this mask and…” I don’t know.  I am glad to have stuff that makes me feel better, but I am having a hard time resolving myself to the idea that my own body and what it does on its own isn’t enough for me.

And, too, it’s not like I lost 20 pounds over the weekend. I think I look exactly the same as I did.

So… Yeah… I don’t know.  The whole thing’s weird.  And I want to be graceous about it, but I can’t quite figure out how to do that.

Is It Just Me?

Or is Steve Earle looking more and more like a Muppet every day?

I have to admit, I kind of like the idea of men hitting a certain age and coming to resemble the puppets of my youth, but I watched a lot of public television, so I wonder if it bothers other folks.

I Kick My To-Do List’s Butt and Take Names

1.  Cable guy?  To the house but then denied the ability to DRILL HOLES IN MY FLOOR!!!!!!!!  Jesus Christ, of course I want you to reschedule and send someone who can fish a line down a wall.

2.  Cleaning crew?  Scheduled and will walk through the apartment tomorrow and give me an estimate.

3.  Truck?  Scheduled.

4.  Dad?  Arrived and given tasks.

5.  The Butcher?  Grouched at and fussed over.  But let me just say this, if you are the Butcher’s friend and he has ever done anything for you like helping you move or helping you paint and you do not show up on Saturday to help us move, you are forbidden from ever coming to our house.  Seriously, if I catch you in my house, I will stab you with a knife or my dog, whichever is closer at hand.  So far the list of folks thus allowed at our house who know the Butcher are the girl who helped paint, her husband, and the Redheaded Kid.

6.  Walmart?  I have turned EVEN MY FATHER–who I assumed was just going to go to work for Walmart as a greeter when he retired he loved them so much–against them.  We went to Walmart last night to get keys made, ibuprofen, and covers for switches and outlets.  There were no switch covers on the shelf so we had the chick who was making our keys page once for help in hardware, no one came.  We had electronics page once for help in hardware, no one came, and then electronics paged twice for a manager, because they were frustrated no one came to hardware and a manager never showed up.  So, we put everything but the keys and the ibuprofen back and went over to Lowe’s.

At Lowe’s we were greated by a dude who knew immediately which aisles had the things we needed in them and (and this is where I was like “Oh, Walmart, you may be in real trouble”), they were stocked and a penny cheaper than at Walmart.

Because Walmart can get away with a lot if they’re the cheapest game in town, but when they’re not?

Cue the ominous music.

7.  Mack?  Listened to tough but reassuring things from.

8.  The Professor?  Listened to tough but reassuring things from.

9.  The dog?  Switched to Target’s glucosamine pills and I can’t decide if I’m seeing a marked difference or just imagining it, but let’s go with seeing one.

10.  Naps?  Two hours in the afternoon while I waited for my dad and one on the couch after dinner and before bed.

11.  Girly problems?  Subdued.

12.  Correct Tiny Cat Pants anniversary?  Duly noted.

13.  World Economy?  Well, I have tried repeatedly this month to completely collapse it, but clearly I’ve only been able to bring it to the brink.  I’ll try again today.