Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I've Heard it Both Ways

I've been watching the show Psych. And by watching I mean completely, unhealthily binging. Like all the time. I love it. One of the continuous bits is the plethora of jobs the main character has had. I was thinking to myself - haha, silly Shawn Spencer, no one has had that many jobs. Wait. I have. 

I've had many, many a job - partially since I started working right when I turned 16 and partially because I spent many a moon being a lost little ship.

I've decided to list the various life lessons I learned at some of my past places of employment.

My very first job was at a DRY CLEANERS:

- Humans are disgusting. Like, grosser than you could ever imagine. Like, clumps of downstairs hair in zippers gross. Shudder. Some things never leave you. 

I then moved on to work in the three year-old class room at a DAYCARE:

- If you can get 30 three year-olds into swimsuits and their 30 different sunscreens on, there's little that will intimidate you going forward in life. The saying should not be"herding cats" but "herding a gaggle of three year-olds hopped up on sugar and excited for swim time all greased up with sunscreen."

My first job in college was as a TELEMARKETER:

- This job sucks just as much on the making side as the receiving side. "THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AHOLE!" is an appropriate expression for a variety of settings. 

Spent a summer as a file clerk at a TRASH COMPANY: 

- The variety of trash related problems in the world are shocking. And the passion people feel about these trash related problems is much, much larger than you'd guess. Don't take not having trash problems for granted.

Another summer as a PERSONAL ASSISTANT:

- Me woken up at 6am: "Snergfhhh. Yup." Her: "I need a car charger for my phone in the next thirty minutes." Me: "Gah. Where are you? What kind of phone." Her: "Home. It's orange." Click. Yup. Devil Wears Prada is a real thing, but with less fashion and more confusion. If you speak with enough authority, apparently people will just do things for you.

Another summer as a DOG WALKER:

- I am not equipped for anything outside of man to man coverage when it comes for caring for things that are alive. Like dogs. They smell incompetence. 

I proceeded to spend most of my college years at a BURGER PLACE:

- I know how many 2 oz condiment cups it takes to empty a Crown Royal bottle between three people. I also know you shouldn't let three young adults be in charge of or left alone at an establishment.

Also in college I was a YOUTH INTERN:

- Despite the above life lesson, they let me work with impressionable young people... and I have never learned so much or felt so hopeful for the future as I did in that job.

My first job out of college was as an executive assistant at a NON-PROFIT THRIFT STORE:

- I actually learned a lot at this job, largely because my desk (and who I reported to) was between two married people who had a ... volatile... way of relating to each other. I learned how to hum loudly and lose myself in Farmville. Also, people are capable of much more than we give them credit for and organizations that strive to help people who are shunted by society are to be commended... regardless of how loud the executive assistant has to hum to not go bananas. 

My next job was as a HR ASSISTANT: 

- With great power comes great responsibility. Oh. The secrets you find out. The power. THE POWER. It was too much. Fade to black.

After we moved to Denver I started working at an OB/GYN:

- You CAN make this face for a year straight.

I then moved to NEUROLOGY:

- There are not many places or people where I don't feel like sass is appropriate - all sass all the time. However, neurosurgeons are the exception to this (and I include sassing rocket scientists in this statement). It's hard to argue with someone who operates on brains - successfully. However, McDreamy is a big, fat false advertisement. 

During grad school I worked at an INSURANCE COMPANY:

- Working with some of your best friends is a hootenanny. Working in a male dominated field, not so much. Making it rain every time proving all the sexists wrong, brings us back up to hootenanny level.   
I am now a THERAPIST (among other things):

- People are crazy. I'm crazy. We're all crazy. Isn't it glorious? 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Obviously, You're Single

An open letter to the man I met last week.

When you stated to me, "well, you're obviously single" and gestured up and down my body a la Hiccup's father from How to Train Your Dragon, you joined an illustrious group of people.

The lady at the grocery store who pulled me aside to ask, "do you need help picking out vegetables since you don't usually buy them?"

The doctor who stated, "you'd be so beautiful if you could just lose thirty pounds."

The dietitian that said, "it's a good thing your husband does not mind fat chicks."

As I sat across from you trying not to cry, because by George I have my pride if nothing else, many thoughts and feelings crossed my mind.

There's so much I could say that is empowering and truthful. I'm not attractive despite being overweight, I'm hot as hell. Period. I could site a plethora of empowering, body positive thoughts and mantras. I love myself. You don't get to take that away from me. I could tell you all about my supermodel eyebrows or my baby doll skin; that I don't just feel attractive a lot of the time, I am attractive.

I could wax poetic about how there's nothing wrong with my husband for thinking I'm spectacular,
even though, yes, I'm fat. Gasp! He loves me anyway! He'd choose me over any other woman, every time - the horror! Sorry. I descended into sarcasm there for a bit. Yes. My husband is an Adonis, the total package. He's handsome, successful, intelligent, humorous, and caring. And he's crazy for me. He thinks I'm the total package. Not despite my weight. Period.

We could journey down the long road that is a frustrating mixture of nature and nurture that has lead me to this hefty predicament: my slow metabolism, my poor coping skills, various cognitive distortions that have created an unhealthy dependency on food, America. There could be an explanation of if there was an easy fix (just stop it! stop eating!), I'd do it, damn it. I do worry about my health. I do care about my future. I'm not dumb.

I could bear my soul and tell you how I cry in dressing rooms because I hate seeing myself in those three way mirrors with the lighting from Satan himself. That I hate myself when I lay down to go to sleep, if I have eaten something that does not have 100 percent nutritional value. How I explore the infinite ways life could be better if I was just skinnier. The fear I live in to see pity or disgust in peoples' eyes, or worse, comments like the one you made. To know they are justified and it is true, my weight is shockingly noticeable.    

I could say all of that, or none of it. It does not matter. There is nothing I can say that will change the snap judgment you made about me, based on my weight. The fact that in your eyes my value was summed up and discarded in lieu of my rotund appearance.

There's not really a point to this letter. You can't take back what you said. I can't deny how it cut me to the core, how it stirred up so many things inside of me. What I can do is put some of it in writing. For you, and others, to see weight is not a simple issue. It is not simple how I "got" this way. There is no simple solution. It's not simple if I even want a solution. There is no simple way to sum up how it impacts me.

All of that said, you sir, are an asshole. Unlike my body and image issues, that's pretty straight forward. I hope you get a permanent paper cut and have to juice lemons the rest of your life.

Best Regards,

Anna Kristine