Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Butt Blog

I love when things just fall into place sometimes. Not wrong place wrong time but instead right place right time. For me today the right place right time was reading an essay by Erin J Aubry, called "The Butt: it's politics, it's profanity, it's power" (part of the "Body Outlaws" anthology.

As I write this I'm sitting on a small plane headed from Portland to San Francisco (eventually making my way to San Diego). When I say small plane I mean put your carry on luggage below because the overheads are the size of a bread box, four seats across small.

The airline doesn't matter.

What does matter is today, this flight, was the first time I EVER in my nearly 10 years of flying as an adult, had to ask for a seat belt extension.

I was mortified.

Despite being size 26, and having good ol' fashioned birthing hips and a big butt I've always been able to wear a standard airline seat belt. 

Yes they've always fit snug over my hips but it's supposed to. Sometimes I've had to sit up straight, slip the belt under my belly to
have it sit across my lap.

But never have I had it not fit.
Not click into itself.

Thankfully I was one of the first on the plane and there were not that many people in the back of the plane when I slipped beside the flight attendant and had to ask for a "belt extension". The flight attendant smiled and politely asked what seat I was in as she handed me the balled up belt.

Did it have to be a different color?
Did she have to ask what seat I was in so everyone around knew the woman in 11D didn't fit in her seat?

Now to be fair to myself I fit in the seat. My hips and thighs don't spill over into my neighbors seat. It's just the combination of my hips, butt and stomach just were two or three inches too big to fit into the airlines expectation of "maximum size".

No matter how you look at it. No matter what spin you put to it. It was still the first time I had the thought "I'm too fat to fly".

Enter Erin Aubry's "The Butt".

Now while I cannot claim to know first hand the social stigmas and perceptions the country/world puts onto woman of color and their butts. A number of things that Aubry discusses in her essay spoke to me and I could relate my own personal experiences of being a big butt

"I have a big butt. Not wide hips, not a preening, weightlifting-enhanced butt thrust up like a chin, not an occasionally saucy rear that throws coqettish glances at strangers when it's in the mood and withdraw like a turtle when it's not. Every day, my butt wears me...."

I often feel this way. That no matter what I wear, how I try to camaflage it, there is no hiding that I have a BUTT! Although (perhaps) unlike Erin Aubry I also have wide hips. And there are days when I'm convinced my butt and hips are teaming up and flirting with strangers when I'm not looking. Winking and giving come hither looks to every man on the street.

I have no control over it and it gets me in trouble. My butt/hips are out there socializing away and then when the men come up to me and use such original come-ons like "Hey there Momma" and "Mmm. Damn girl"- I have to be the bitch that turns them down... It also doesn't help that
I think my breasts are in on the scam with my hips and butt.

There are days when I just cannot stand my butt/hip duo and want to vote them off the island.

Days when it doesn't matter how many pairs of pants I try on I just can't find a pair that fits. Either they fit around my waist but have too much fabric in the seat so it looks lime I've got a load back there. Or they fit fantastic over my butt, with curves in all the right places but I can't make the button up. Because I'm telling you now I don't do elastic waist bands unless we're talking pjs or lounge pants.

Days like today when something as insignificant as an airplane seat belt makes me hyperaware that I have a "larger than average" sized body and society isn't sure what to do with it.

"I'll admit: For all my hand wringing, I'm growing accustomed to my butt. It's a strange and wonderful I've gotten heavier I've actually gotten more comfortable with how I look....So what if America, in it's infinite generosity, wants to hp me get rid of this bothersome behind....More and more, my response has been: I am going to eat cake. I will wear the things that fit-whatever ones I can find-with impunity. I will walk this way. I don't have an issue, I have a groove thing. Kiss my you know what."

This last piece of Aubry's essay is really what sang out to me. I am currently near the heaviest weight I have ever been (actually the heaviest was approximately three years ago but only by about fifteen or twenty pounds more) but I believe I'm also the most comfortable with my body...until days like today.

(End Note. I returned via this same airline on my way home from San Diego. This time on a standard 747 and my seat belt fit just fine)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ready to Turn 30?

I'm not sure why I'm suddenly obsessing with (almost) being 30....?

Yes, my birthday is 2 1/2 months away but I'll be turning 29 not 30.

Maybe it's because I'm a "planner". I like to be to know what to expect before something (large) happens. Plan ahead for any possible unexpected twists and turns.

This way, starting to think about the "Big 3-0" before it happens, I have time to get my life (somewhat) to a place that I'm (more) happy with.

I came across these "Tips All 30-Year-Old Women Should Know Before 30" in Madame Noire. And I thought it might be useful to go through these tips and see how "ready" I am.

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Tip #1 How to cook a complete gourmet meal: "You don’t have to be Betty Crocker to know how to cook at least one decent meal. Maybe you can only whip up one complete meal, but anything beats spaghetti as your ‘specialty’. Everyone should know how to cook a meal edible enough for not only yourself, but guests as well."

Haha! I've got this one nooooo problem! I'm known for my cooking. I pride myself in my cooking. I love throwing dinner parties for large groups and/or small intimate dinners for two. I definitely know how to cook more than "at least one decent meal." 

Consider this one "Checked"

Tip #2 How to manage your finances: "Shopping until you drop or broke, whichever comes first, is definitely something that should be left in your 20s. Before turning 30, women should have a savings account, an emergency fund, and a checking account complete with next month’s expenses. In addition, knowing how to manage your money and not let it manage you is another trait you should possess before you turn 30."

Okay so this one I still need work on. (See this is why I'm starting to think about being 30 over a year ahead of schedule). I do have a retirement fund with my company, I have a checking account, have recently paid off a credit card (that hadn't been paid off properly...eek) and haven't had a bounced check in a while. However, if I lost my job tomorrow I'd be f***ed. I don't have a savings account and I have (maybe) just over $100.00 in my bank account (hooray for payday coming soon). However, now that the credit card has been paid off and 1/2 my monthly paychecks aren't going to pay off furniture from 6-7 years ago....I'm planning on starting to tuck away money for a nest egg (and hopefully not allowing my shoe fetish to eat away at it).

For now, I'll mark this one as "In Progress"

Tip #3 How to live alone: "If you’re accustomed to city life where living accommodations can become quite costly, you either have or have had your fair share of roommates; but before turning 30, if your funds permit, you should have experienced living on your own sans a friend, roommate, boyfriend, or especially parents."

Holy smokes am I ready for this again. I lived alone for a number of years however, because of relocation and financial situations I've been living with roommates and/or family for the last four years (give or take). Now it's time to start saving the money and find my own place again... hopefully long before I turn 30!

Checked and In Progress

Tip #4 What you will or won’t do for love or money: "Maybe you’ll air out your business on a reality show for a little extra change, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll spend your 30s attempting to be a basketball wife or maybe you’d prefer to make your own money. Whatever your choice, you should know before turning 30 what you will or won’t do for love or money. Understanding yourself and your limits is very important."

I don't think I've ever really thought much about it. But I think I'm pretty secure in myself, my values and my choices that I know what I would or wouldn't do for money and/or love. But I don't have a list in my wallet or anything. 


Tip #5 How to have a healthy relationship with the other sex: "You’ve dealt with the cheaters, or maybe you were the cheater. You’ve been lied to or done the lying. You’ve had your heart broken and possibly broke a few hearts in the process. But through the negative, you’ve experienced a somewhat stable relationship with a man (other than your father). You’ve realized that men and women are completely different and our thought processes are even more distinct. Still, you’ve learned to work around the differences and how to sustain a healthy relationship with a man."

I have to say I laughed at the "other than your father" piece... but my "daddy-issues" aside and the list of "unhealthy" relationships I may or may not have had. I think I have had "healthy relationship(s) with the other sex". There are, of course, some bumps in the road with any and all relationships. 

Checked and In Progress

Tip #6 How to have a healthy relationship with yourself: "Before 30 you should know that you are worth the investment, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You understand that beauty is only skin deep and that keeping yourself up physically is on half of the battle. Before 30 you should know how to have a healthy relationship with yourself or at least on the path to doing so."

I have the occasional moment of amnesia but for the most part yea...I got this covered.


Tip #7 How to dress according to your shape, size, and style: "By 30 you should know that everything doesn’t look good on everybody. With that in mind, you know what works for your body shape, what colors compliment you the best, and different looks to don on different occasions. Simply put, you know exactly how to look fabulous."

You mean that "Juicy" written across my butt and buying tees from the Junior section isn't a smart idea? Oh.... DUH!!! I love clothes. I love fine tuning my style. And I think I do it very well. So consider this:


Tip #8 How to pick your battles wisely: "By now you should know that every argument doesn’t require a response. Learning to choose your battles wisely is a characteristic that comes with getting older."

Yea. So we're not ending on the best note. I still have a lot to learn about picking my battles. But then I'm a stubborn hot blooded Italian woman. Oh well. I knew I wouldn't be 100% ready (according to Madame Noir) to turn 30. 

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Anyone out there 30+ with other tips or suggestions for preparing for the big ol' 3-0?

Almost 30

So I have 1 year, 2 months and 27 days until I turn 30 years old. 

Yes - I know I'm jumping the gun and haven't even had my 29th birthday yet. 
No - I'm not dreading turning "the big 3-0"

What I am wondering is what to do with my "Surviving 20-Something" blog once I'm no longer a 20-something. 

That's where you come in. 

Do I change the title of this blog to allow for my life adventures as a 30-something woman? Do I start a new blog and just link the last entry of this blog to the new one?

What are your thoughts?

Little Black Dress

So I'm on the Holiday Party Planning committee for this year's company party. And of course, being an organizer and party planner, I want everything to be perfect.

Aside from making sure the party doesn't resemble a frat boy's 21st birthday (no offense to fraternities or 21 year olds) I want to make sure I look perfect as well. haha

I found this dress on and while I loved it I just wasn't sure if I could pull it off....but after some "fashion consultation" with a few friends I went for it!

The party is happening at a local Wine Bar and Lounge - so nothing fancy (last year it was held at a ballroom) but I still thought I needed something special. After I don't get much chance to put a dress and get dolled up. 

Besides every woman needs a little black dress right?

So it finally arrived and I couldn't wait to try it on (despite not having the proper push-me-pull-you-panties) and here it is (just ignore the look on my face - the flash startled me). 

I'm happy with the purchase and can't wait to wear it to the Holiday Party.  

Now to just accessorize.  I figured a killer pair of shoes and some fantastic earrings should be enough. Although if I can find a new bling-ring I'll be set. 

The other day while Christmas shopping I stumbled on these earrings and of course had to buy them. They'll go great with the dress I think. 

$6.80 at Forever XXI! 

Okay. Shoes time. I haven't really settled on what I want them to look like. I had come across a pair of shoes like this a while back (these are not the exact ones because of course now I can't find them). 

While they are super fun and I'll probably buy them "just because" I don't think they fit with what I'm looking for to wear at the Holiday Party. 

Friday I went to a Payless Shoes and fell in love with these. 

Holy Smokes! I'm in love. They also had them in black....can't I buy both? The red is sooo sexy but the black would go better with the dress. 

Sadly I left without any of them but the woman did say that another shipment of shoes would be arriving Monday. I think I'll have to be going after work and see what they've got in. But my gut says to just get these while I can. 

Soooo cute!!

If you have thoughts, suggestions of links to some killer accessories send them my way!