the only thing left for me to do is try on swimsuits and scream “ACK!”

Today was one of those days that could pass for a plotline in a Cathy comic strip. Witness the following themes:

I was late for work! Let me tell you something: I have zero personal time management skills. For all my grinding, churning internal cynicism, when it comes to the clock I am an eternal optimist. I can be buck naked out of the shower, glance at the time, and calculate that I can do my skincare routine, dress, apply eye makeup and fix my hair, scrounge for food in the kitchen, make coffee, pack up my computer, put on my shoes and coat, and be out the door in under five minutes flat. “I’ll be gone by 8:30, no problem!” I’ll crow to myself, still toweling off even as the minute hand ticks over to 8:27. You know what? This isn’t even optimism. I’m the victim of my own twisted god complex which causes me to believe I can simply conjure spare time out of thin air. That I can bend physical laws to my will!

Spoiler alert: I CAN’T.


I am bloated! Yeah, I know bloat happens, and it goes away in due time — after you have paid your tithings, done your time in solitary emotional confinement, performed your ablutions, and said your prayers to the volatile uterus gods, of course. But this is some serious bloat. My stomach region is currently so rounded and puffy that when I looked down in the shower this morning from above, it resembled a perfectly round remote tropical island, the kind often depicted by Gary Larsen in his Far Side cartoons. I half expected to see a palm tree sprout from my belly button. I half expected to spot Gilligan and the Skipper making a landing after their disastrous three-hour tour. I half expected people to start asking when the baby was due. Oh, you knew I was going there.1

All I am saying is that it’s sad when you fall back on leggings for the sake of comfort and the even the leggings are tight.

Then, to heap insult upon insult, I was picking up my laptop bag in my frantic dash out the door when I spotted Brooklyn Decker atop a stack of magazines on the coffee table. And I was like, you know what Brooklyn Decker? I am not in the mood for you right now. I have saddlebags larger than your head. That’s right, I have saddlebags like a full rack of ribs, Brooklyn. One rack per leg. I could just slather a thigh in barbecue sauce and gnaw on it for lunch. In fact, that would be a great timesaver, because then I wouldn’t have to bother packing meals for work. So at least, you know, I have that going on. Brooklyn.

So I did what any rational person whose leggings are restricting the flow of blood between her upper and lower body would do and grabbed another magazine from the stack and slammed it down on top of ‘ol Brook. Except guess what? It was this!

Obviously, our Esquire subscription needs to be cancelled immediately.

I am gross! Some days you look in the mirror and think, yeah, I’d hit that. But this morning, when I gazed upon my countenance, I didn’t even know where to start. Do I despair at the shiny oil slick across my forehead, or the smattering of red bumps on my upper lip? What about this disconcerting whisker-type hair protruding from my chin? And surely the crinkled and papery skin under my eyes deserves some mournful reflection. But there’s no time for that, remember? I must stagger on! Quickly, now!

I grabbed a dull liner pencil — no moment to spare for sharpening — and raked it haphazardly across my eyelids before lunging for the blowdryer. Yet even though I poured my heart and soul into that roll-brush, my hair could not be convinced to behave. It insisted on being frisky on one side, slothlike on the other. And since it’s so short now, I couldn’t even rely on my last-ditch hair-taming method of pulling it up into a clip. Oh well. The damage was done.

Then I dashed into the bedroom and plucked a pair of boots from the closet only to realize as I was pulling them on that they didn’t quite go with what I was wearing. But I couldn’t change my leggings, because those were the leggings with the loosest waistband, and lord did I need the extra forgiveness. And I couldn’t change my dress because then I’d be back to square one. Also, I should have already left the house 20 minutes ago. So I went with it.

Needless to say, by the time I finally made it out the door, I looked reminiscent of this:

Drawing by Allie Brosh, of course.

I am old! My coworker’s 30th birthday is tomorrow, so I told her I’d take her out to lunch. She wanted to go to The Cantina in Isla Vista, which is the community adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Stop me if you already knew this, but the quickest way to feel old and completely irrelevant is be a 30-year-old on a college campus. There I was, sitting on plastic patio furniture inside a tiny Mexican joint whose sound system was blaring pop and club tracks, surrounded by backpack-toting people who appeared to be twelve. I had 20 pounds of water weight strapped to my midsection, I was wearing mismatched clothing, and my hair was committing all kinds of crimes that defied gravity and reason when — wait for it — “Single Ladies” came blasting onto the speakers. “IF YOU LIKED IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON IT,” Beyoncé admonished me at full volume as I shoved a burrito down my gullet.

Ah, yes! Here were all of my problems insecurities, encapsulated into one strange tableau. The perfect pinnacle to the perfect day. No?

Note: this actually happened last Thursday. Due to reasons such as my job transition (busy!) and the fact that it takes me 47 hours to write anything (even an email consisting of one sentence!), I am only just now getting around to finishing and posting it. I am not actually working on this federal holiday in the U.S., I have lost roughly half of the aforementioned water weight, and my hair and I are on speaking terms again. It’s the little things.


1 Sidebar: the other night I had a dream in which I found out I was pregnant, counted forward, figured the baby would be born in October (which doesn’t even make sense; that’s only 8 months from now), and then felt relieved because 1) the baby would be born while I was still 30, as if it’s a race, and 2) I would still be able to celebrate my 31st birthday in November! Ostensibly at a bar! Then I realized that we still hadn’t gotten married yet, and I got really mad that I’d have to go through the wedding sober. CLEARLY I HAVE ALL OF MY PRIORITIES IN ORDER.

16 Responses to “the only thing left for me to do is try on swimsuits and scream “ACK!””

  1. Dude. I spent a considerable amount of my early twenties being freaked at the idea of getting knocked up and having to go through a sober wedding. And I was AWAKE.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets bloated that way. It’s completely unfair to have to have two seperate wardrobes in your closet and one you only wear for 12 weeks of the year and you never, ever enjoy yourself while wearing it.

    And everyone who wears cropped shirts like that chick on the cover can just go to hell.


  2. I have been wearing skirts and dresses with leggings a lot in the last month or so because they are the most comfortable thing in my closet. Aside from sweats. And it is cold here, so leggings keep me from freezing in the skirts.

    I guess I have the same problem with time that you seem to have. I somehow always overestimate what I can accomplish in a given amount of time. Sigh. Maybe one day my estimations will get more accurate?

  3. I had to google saddlebags. You teach me all the slang for body stuff.

  4. I get so angry with my body leading up to my time of month. I roll around like a bloated salt-craving blob. Also, my tummy stops working properly and I get bloated from that. In fact, it’s bad enough that I purposely scheduled my wedding around crazy TOM body behaviors. That’s right, 18 months ago I took out a little calendar and marked off all the “I can’t get married due to PMS symptoms or the actual TOM” days. This left me with two available weekends each month.

    Also, I went to one of those bars recently. I think they’re always named Cantina something, possibly to warn off the aged 30-something olds. Cantina announces “Hey you! We have cheap margaritas and plastic chairs! Go back to your comfy dive bar with darts and quiz night if you know what’s good for you, old person.”

    • YES. Beware of “Cantina,” “Lounge,” and those one-word club names like “Blush” or “Tonic.” I have learned these things perhaps too late.

  5. I do the exact same thing with giving myself superpowers of getting to some place within a certain amount of time and I’ve decided that it’s just something I’m giving up on. I stress and overprepare and am just in general classic Type A for just about everything, but I give up on timing for everyday things, so I can save up the energy for when there’s something extremely important, like an interview or a presentation to my boss’ boss. Dan’s in charge of getting us to places on time and he knows to build in buffer time for me being unable to estimate anything correctly.

    I have also been pretty much living in leggings this winter, for an additional reason of leggings + boots = I can wear entirely mismatched, crazy socks underneath and noone will ever know!

  6. This is my life on a daily basis — I work at a university.

  7. HILARIOUS. I had a day like this TODAY except NO WORK, which makes it even more pathetic, I think. I burned myself on my Chi, which I’m always bragging to Isaiah “gets up to ___ degrees in 30 seconds!” My hair…despite being washed this morning was holding on to enough oil to grease down a pig for his cameo on Family Guy and wouldn’t do anything and all of my clothes…oh, my clothes. Disaster.

    I’m with you, lady, some days, Allie Brosh draws us all.

  8. Every time you see one of those covers remember that Ann Taylor got in trouble for Photoshopping out half of the model’s arms to get that “I’m too skinny to live” look. If staid ol’ Ann Taylor does that, then imagine what Esquire does. These magazines are fucking paid to make you feel bad. That’s their schtick.

  9. But, on the plus side . . . you had a burrito.


  10. This is why I don’t get Esquire –we subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and Zymurgy and Homebrew something or other–no chicks in those, and most don’t even have dudes! Just booze and food!

    And why I don’t look in the mirror. Because I would cry.

    i’m positive I’m going to be pregnant so I have to be sober yet still be on my period so I’ll be miserable during my wedding. I’m placing a whole lot of faith in this Paragard! 🙂

  11. Dude. Can I tell you how bloated my RIGHT BOOB is? It’s like double the size of my left and I swear if The Candyman gets anywhere near me, I’m going to knock his lights out.

    And I was contemplating a post today about my Winter Weight, but since you and Becca have already addressed it, I might venture elsewhere in my ramblings.

    At least you can wear leggings. Even if I weren’t so self conscious about my saddlebags (and someone didn’t know what they were? WTF?) and fat knees to actually wear leggings, I couldn’t anyway because they rarely make leggings for tall people. The feeling of the crotch area being about 4 inches away from my crotch is worse than any Saddlebag Shame.

    And just so you know, drinking a glass of wine A DAY while you’re pregnant is allowed. Really, it is. 🙂

    • Awww, you’re a no-leggings lady! I never realized some people have that issue. And god, I hated that when I was a kid. I’m not claiming I was tall as a child, but I feel like it’s some kind of cruel law that all girls’ tights have to have crotches that start at mid-thigh.

      Also: selective boob bloatage? That’s a new one for me! That sounds highly undesireable at best.

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