There were two great things about being taller than my older sister by age five.
- She couldn’t beat me up anymore.
- I didn’t have to wear her hand-me-downs.
Instead, I got a new dress for the first day of kindergarten. My parents actually asked what color I wanted. I wore that dress at least twice a week until my growth spurts made it into a crop top. Continue reading Hand-Me-Downs & Halloween (#266)
I didn’t have an easy pregnancy. There were six months of puking. There was weight loss, weight gain, anemia, and cankles.
Pregnancy was miserable, but I didn’t think you could actually become allergic to being pregnant.
Turns out, you can.
My arms started to itch. I looked for bug bites. Nothing. Just light redness.
Continue reading The Itch (#248)
I’ve never been fragile. Born into a large family of semi-feral children, I learned to guard my food and my stuffed animals early. I mowed lawns, lifted weights, and fought dirty with siblings when necessary (also when unnecessary).
Sympathy and coddling were in short supply. Like most young women, I powered through feeling like crap when I had cramps, headaches, and nausea.
The “I can endure misery” mindset was helpful when I was pregnant. I continued working out and playing volleyball, since the endorphins helped me not puke all the time. I still walked my rescue dogs for miles. My only concession to pregnancy was lighter weights and no squats.
This astounded people.
Continue reading To Coddle, or Not to Coddle? (#246)
When I was a little girl, my mother organized caroling and a party on Christmas Eve. We sang our way around the block in Washington D.C. We were met with universal delight. Those were magical times.
My Ex-Stepmother carried on the tradition in the suburbs of D.C. and then New England.
Until I dated a guy from rural Tennessee over the holiday season, I never thought some people might find caroling…odd.
Continue reading The Dogs of Christmas (#242)
I thought I’d made peace with the freaky-assed crawl space below our house in Los Angeles. It’s not a nice, solid basement, but makes sense to have easy access to plumbing and the electrical lines for our drip system. And after multiple years, the only scary thing lurking under our house had turned out to be our own mischievous dog.
Until recently. Continue reading Something Is Under the House (#236)
I love food. So do my siblings, probably because there wasn’t quite enough of it to go around when we were kids. Free Candy Night — i.e., Halloween — was my favorite holiday. I dreamed of being able to eat all the Little Debbie Snack Cakes I wanted.
Once I grew up and had money, though, I discovered that I could not, in fact, gorge on Little Debbie. Not if I wanted to fit into my work clothes. And if I wanted to fit into the skin-tight costumes for competitive dance? Hell, no.
Some people are blessed with the kind of metabolism that allows them to eat a lot, exercise moderately, and not gain weight.
These people are called men. Continue reading The Weight of Pregnancy (#234)
Parents always say they don’t have a favorite child.
Everyone eventually learns that’s bullshit. I knew it earlier than most. I have four baby siblings, born anywhere from 9-12 years after me. And hell, yeah, I had a favorite.
Pretty Space Cadet Sister spat up on everything as a baby. She was not my favorite. Continue reading Gender & Preference (#231)
Much like the Monty Python plague victim…
Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. Thank you for your patience while I’m off having adventures in the Northeast, which is green and quiet and soothing and far away from the Chinese mother-in-law telling me that I should be eating celery to lose weight while also insisting that I should go to dim sum daily. (No, celery is not a dish served at dim sum. You see my issue.)
The rural Northeast is also soothing because cell service and WiFi are questionable, at best. More than once I’ve hiked 2 miles to get a decent signal for a phone call. Continue reading Not Dead Yet (#229)
My mother loved being pregnant. When I was 10 and she was pregnant with Baby Brother, she gave up alcohol and cigarettes without complaint. Same thing when I was 11 and she had Baby Singing Sister. She rarely threw up and was always cheerful.
My older sister, the Judgmental Genius Doctor, had miserable pregnancies. Continue reading Wretch (#218)
I had headaches most of my childhood. Maybe it was my poor eyesight. Maybe it was bad nutrition. Maybe it was the stress of divorces, remarrying parents, and more siblings. I tried all the drugs in various parents’ medicine cabinets, to no avail. I learned to power through head-pounding misery.
I worked as a cashier in high school. An assistant manager noticed one night that I was more sullen than usual. She asked if I was okay. I explained that I had a headache.
She said, “I have something that will fix that right up.”
“It won’t work,” I told her. “I’ve tried aspirin, Tylenol, Excedrin. Nothing helps.”
“Give it a shot,” she said, handing me a maroonish, brownish pill with “Advil” written on it.
Twenty minutes later, my headache was gone. I turned cartwheels and called it a miracle. Continue reading Like a Pill (#208)