Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring has sprung

In case there was any doubt, I will point to this post from one year ago as confirmation that I am a complete hypocrite. But I accepted this fact a long time ago, so let's move on.

Spring: the season between winter and summer.
Season: a division of the year (usually quarterly), as denoted by varying temperatures.
Temperatures: how hot or cold it is on any given day.
Days: ... Well, hopefully you get the point.

It is spring where I live. It has officially been spring since March 21, and will continue to be spring until June 20. Spring is the connector season between the cold season, which we call winter, and the hot season which we call summer. As a transitional season, spring is often marked by days which mirror the season before it as well as the season after it. Those days will contain varying levels of heat and chill, and switch and repeat until we find ourselves happily sweaty in the hot, hot dog days of summer.

Which brings me to my point: can everyone just shut the f#$% up about this spring already. Yes, it has been a chilly one. But you know what? We had a SUPER mild winter. And after the past two brutal winters, you would think that would be enough to buy some good will. That good will lasted til mid-April when I started to hear rumblings of "it's so cold" and "where is spring?" Spring is here. This is spring. It rains and it's chilly in the morning and sometimes gets hot in the afternoon. And some days are cold. That is spring. That has always been spring. Nothing has changed. If global warming has anything to do with it, that might change one day. But not yet. Not now. And not for a while.

If the mindless banter I am privy to (nay, a part of) is any indication, everyone is done with spring. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to sundresses and shorts and flip flops every day. I long for the ease of knowing that just a t-shirt will be enough to keep me comfortable from the time I leave the house in the morning until I get home in the evening. I like summer too. But can we stop being so ungrateful for these 50+ days. I can state with certainty that I would have given my right nut* last winter for 50+ days. Yes, there are going to be a few cold days throughout the spring. It's not summer. It was just winter. Spring is nature's way of shaking off the cold. It doesn't happen overnight, or we would just have winter and summer as our two seasons.

So, for those of you who, like me, choose to live in a place that has four seasons, please sit back and enjoy the ride. This is why we live where we live. For light jackets and flats. For cropped jeans and a thin cotton scarf. Embrace spring as the road to warmth that it is. Don't hate on spring for its ties to winter. It can't help it. It's only here to help get us where we want to go... summer. After all, the 60+ days are nearly here to stay and then it won't be long until I'm complaining of sweating an inordinate amount for a woman my age.

*I don't actually have a nut to give.
Sweet buds of spring. Note: I will have killed this plant by the time summer arrives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Getting to know you

For the most part, I hate people. Ok, not all people. Really what it is, is that I hate meeting people. Several factors have contributed to why I hate encounters with strangers.

1-I wasn't blessed with the chit-chat gene. I can talk about the weather or sports, but unless the person I am talking to is initiating conversation, we will most likely devolve into an awkward silence.
2- I don't mind awkward silences. I find them to be far less work than having to be interesting and seemingly interested. I have so much going on in my head that it's not easy to slough through it to find something to talk about with everyone I meet. Sometimes sitting in silence, as rarely as I can find silence these days, is preferable.
3- One of the unfortunate aspects of having so much going on in your head is that I am a terrible listener. When I meet a new person, in order to hide that fact from them, it makes more sense to avoid the opportunity to show them I'm not really paying attention.

If you didn't know me growing up, there was a very good chance you never would, or that it would take a while for me to be comfortable enough to start being funny/silly in front of you. I just didn't think my freak flag was worth flying for some folks. Now that I'm older, I simply don't care as much what other people think. As a result, I have started to show myself a bit sooner in the getting to know you phase with new friends.

Despite my anti-social behavior and my best efforts to avoid meeting new people, sometimes new people sneak into my life. Occasionally some of them even become *gasp* friends. But even those friends don't know everything about me. They know what I want them to know. Which is actually a lot since I have, over time, gotten more comfortable with letting people see who I am.

Case in point, the other night:

I had a meeting with a bunch of people. People, but I guess you could call them new friends. After weeks of knowing each other, I have already attempted to make these people laugh, revealing one huge part of myself. But there are other parts of me that I am not always quite as eager to share with newbies.

Some people brought snacks, so there was a junk food buffet in the middle of the table. As these are new friends, they don't know me well enough to know I am a Phat Phuck. Well, they didn't until that night. As we sat there pitching ideas and laughing about a bunch of stuff, I grabbed an Oreo cookie and a mini Reese's peanut butter cup. While the girl across the table from me spoke to the group, I twisted the cookie open, bit the end off the cup, smooshed it between the cookies and took a bite.

Let me just interrupt this story to say: What the hell? Why haven't I done this before? That was delicious. The crunch of the Oreo cookie, the smooth creaminess of the cookie cream to balance the creamy nuttiness of the peanut butter cup... I mean, this was some other-world kind of shit. I know Oreo has a Reese's flavor variety, but I prefer the DIY method. To my friends reading this (you know who you are), run, don't walk to try this... although, to those same friends, you probably have already tried this. In fact, we may have dedicated entire text/email chains to it but I already forgot. Apologies. But back to the story.

As I sat there, staring at my creation in some combination of pride and awe, I realized that I was in the company of people that might not appreciate this. Even worse, I could be with people who are disgusted by this. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character. I believe, at this point in my life, that I do a pretty good job avoiding those people that would be appalled by such a creation. But by revealing myself as the kind of person who does this, I was revealing a large portion of myself, the fat side, (pun intended). This shows a tremendous amount of personal growth from me, in more than just my belly.

Unlike my girls who join me on the FAFT (Fat Ass Food Tour), or my family who have influenced, caused, and supported my dedication to finding and sampling the best (and best-worst) life has to offer, my new friends were not terribly impressed by my mash-up. Well, I think a few of them may have been impressed by my comfort of being that gross in front of new friends, but no one else tried it. And that is OK. I have my Phat Phuck friends. Wasn't looking to recruit new members of the Fat Ass club necessarily. But it is nice, given my years of hiding myself from people, to finally be at a stage in my life when I am unafraid to show exactly who I am.

I am a Fat Ass who likes good bad food. I stick Reese's peanut butter cups in between Oreo cookies on a Thursday night for no other reason than they were there. And I am OK with that.