NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Fat and Fear

March18

For years I have joined and participated in fat related facebook groups discussing a myriad of topics. One thing I have noticed more in the last twelve months, more than ever before, is a very real fear being voiced in these groups. Fear of what? So many things, but it all seems to be under the umbrella of being treated with cruelty and/or fear of the validity of their concerns being questioned/ridiculed/ignored/worse. It has been absolutely heartbreaking but at the same time very understandable. As a fat person, I simply cannot know if every new service or treatment or whatever is going to welcome me as a regular human being. I feel this has worsened in the pandemic, but I have stayed home, except for once a week visits to my empty office.  

Let's Talk Fat Phobia – KTSW 89.9


I am in fat groups specific to fashion, bargains, health things, accommodations/adaptations for easier home life/care, cooking, movement, you name it! I love it. I love hearing about experiences from fat people all over the world. Certainly the experiences of people the world over would be similar, regardless of body size, right? It should be! Sadly, that is not what I am seeing and hearing. Some of the things I have seen most often is finding regular items in the world that can hold/support/last in accommodating a fat body. Such as furniture, for both home and work, and being able to access and afford such things. Chairs, of all sorts, though very often portable or folding options are sought out. Sofas and couches that will last for years without breaking or degrading over time. Bed frames that can support two fat partners, or even mixed sized partners. Office chairs have got to be the number one thing I see folks searching for and how difficult it is to find and afford them with higher weight limits. The pricing and quality do not align, and I say this as a very experienced office manager who has tested and ordered hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of office furniture in the last three years. It may have a higher weight limit, but often the quality of materials is subpar, in my opinion. Or maybe I just hate pleather? The styles are dreadful as well, but I guess I’m used to a specific look and feel from my professional life. It is upsetting though. 


I found myself in that very same battle, hunting and searching, and looking up specs on manufacturer’s websites looking for my own home-office chair last August. I finally found one I liked the look of, was confident in the weight limit, and then I got hit with a medical predicament that left me unable to sit in said chair for many months. Having to sit on my couch to work has had its ups and downs. Mostly it’s a mix of cushions that provide the back support I so sorely need, but I have a rolling laptop table that is old as hell that is always my handy helper. It has also made me reconsider my lil’ Macy’s loveseat I bought 5 or so years ago. I had no idea then just how much use I would get out of it but I am wondering at what point one should replace such things. I think I will hold out. Flexsteel is the brand/material everyone recommends for couches and such for fat folks. It is expensive, but about the same pricing as Joy Bird and similar modern furniture places. I cannot recommend a specific brand or style for an office chair, however. With everything shut down it’s impossible to try things before you buy them and office chairs require assembly. 


Fat people put up with a lot of hate and cruelty from a variety of service providers. I have seen fat people afraid that they would be refused services such as hair, nails, tattoos, physical therapy, massage, spa services, buying a bicycle, buying a car, and so much more. It is so upsetting to see the stories and experiences folks have shared in the fat groups I’m in. Their fears and experiences are very real and very reasonable in my opinion. Not that the way they’ve been treated is reasonable, but the fear in response to past cruelty is. The truth is I have not personally experienced fat hate while seeking these same services myself, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or didn’t happen. That is something we all need to work on I think. Just because you haven’t seen or heard or personally experienced something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. And there is no reason anyone should have to fear for their safety or health or sanity when wanting such services. (I’m hoping one day aps like “All Go” will provide a way for us to all report on such things.)


The number one thing fat people are afraid of during the pandemic has been health care. Needing health care, seeking it, being taken seriously (regardless of the need at hand), affording it, getting existing insurance to cover things, getting/having covid while fat, and so much more. Body size should not prevent people from seeing us as human, and yet here the hell we are. We get treated as though having a fat body is something like forgetting to take out the trash to the extent that it has taken over your life and you are a lesser human for it. We know this isn’t reality, but it is akin to how we are often treated in medical environments. I have been incredibly fortunate to have received care from so many medical care professionals in the last six month while trying to figure out my medical mysteries and not one has mentioned my weight. That is not the norm. I have had to advocate for myself and have even had physicians stand up and walk across the room to get in my face in the past simply because I refused to listen to them insist my stomach required amputating. It does not. My stomach is fucking fine! Ahem!


The barriers and obstacles of life are everywhere for everyone, but for some they are greater and carry far more impact on our daily lives and well being. These fears are based on past experiences. Not everyone is able to fight back or advocate for themselves. Often it is our own loved ones that make us feel these fears or even that we somehow deserve to be treated poorly. (If you love someone you would never suggest such a thing, in my opinion, but I don’t have a lot of friends or close people in my life because I cut out that nonsense immediately. Your mileage may vary.) No one deserves to be treated poorly for their body size, period. I will say that it does help to have someone present to simply act as a witness or to ask follow up questions when we’re in these more intimidating situations such as health care. So often we are not believed. So often we are blamed. 


To live in this world in a fat body is to know that every time you leave the house there is a great likelihood of being subjected to harassment, shame, ridicule, abuse, violence, denial of services and then some. Simply existing in a larger body pisses people off and that is the real shame. Fat people have always existed. These fat groups are a way for us to connect, share stories, share resources and tips, and to witness and hold each other up when we cannot on our own. It is a beautiful thing to have such a community to be a part of and rely on. I would want such a community even if we weren’t so often marginalized. Having these groups has helped me even when I had no need to post or comment myself. Seeing what fat people experience in the world is important to me. It validates and confirms so much of what we’re told “can’t be true”. Ha! I had an ex who would say that so often to me I question why I stayed in that empty relationship for so long. Ugh!  

Divi Meetup Network Community Update: May 2020 | Elegant Themes Blog


Fear is such a fucked up thing to live with and under the constant influence of. We cannot live the lives we choose for ourselves when it feels the world wants us all dead. That is the harsh truth. How can anyone find their true and best authentic self when constantly fearing for their lives? No one can convince me that fat folks are weak, that is for certain. We have found ways to support and accommodate and connect and to find ways to improve our lives through community. Community is how things get done! Community is how people thrive. It’s just a fact! We see it everyday at this point, people coming together to support a cause or person or need in the world. How many go fund me campaigns have you seen for medical and funeral expenses in the last year? Countless! That is a form of community helping itself. The internet has broadened what community is and means. I am so glad that we have it. 


What online communities are you a part of? What have you seen as a need for fat folks in the last year? What resources do you wish were more readily available to fat people? Is there a big fat need you haven’t been able to find a solution for? Share it! 

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! I’m also on Space Hey “NotBlueAtAll”

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Then Let’s Keep Dancing

December21
The Millenary Meets The Monsieur: Marcello Mastroianni | The Monsieur
Marcello Mastroianni

I spent this past weekend in a bit of a daze. Intentionally trying to get out of my own head and existential thoughts and into some wonderful, or at the least, far gone place that may or may not have ever existed. Fantasy! Well, for me that meant the new season of Summer Camp Island (HBO Max), 4 new episodes of Apple & Onion (Cartoon Network) and a few Marcello Mastroianni films.

Summer Camp Island is just the most charming show there is. It’s sweet and snarky and just a big comfy blanket for my weather beaten heart. Apple & Onion is just silliness for the most part, but Onion is voiced by Richard Ayoade and I have the biggest crush on him. I can listen to him all day…or, well, after Marcello! Ugh! That voice! I don’t speak Italian, but I don’t mind subtitles. I mean, it sort of forces me to pay attention and not fall prey to distraction. And Marcello’s voice is so swoon worthy.

Richard Ayoade | British actors, Richard ayoade, Actors
Richard Ayoade


As I was watching those films, all made in the early 1960’s, it made me realize that my Gomez Addams seeking may be coming back in full effect. And then I watched another. Ha! There’s no direct comparison to be made here, only that I have realized that what I want and what I tend to seek out doesn’t always match up. I was done “seeking” anyway, right? I have had exactly one year of no dating activity of any kind. No dates, no apps, no chatting, nothing. I had planned this last December, not realizing both how easy and necessary that would be.

I’ve had quite a few people say that they admired or were impressed with my former dating life. Little did they know how little I cared about it though. Dating seemed a necessary evil in a way that only lead to disappointment and frustration. I still feel that way. Modern dating is all about instant gratification, and being demisexual, that just doesn’t work for me. Yet I would still dip my toes into the dating pool on a quarterly basis. I would have genuine interest, go on a few dates, realize how awful the world is, and go back to my solitude.

Taking a year off dating sounded so cool. A year seemed a long enough time to get my priorities straightened out. Respectable even! Even as I had made that decision, though, I had found myself swept up in something false that only made the choice that much easier. I had a boyfriend for two weeks last November. Knowing all that I know and have been through, I still looked that person in the face and believed them. And I think they tried to be who they thought they were supposed to be, but made no effort what so ever to get to know me. Then they disrespected me in my home and I have no tolerance for that shit. Period.

So here I am, more than a year later, and I’m overwhelmed at the thought of even trying again, let alone during a global pandemic. The truth is, most single folks are lying to themselves and the world. Posturing to attract, saying the right things, doing all they can to appear a certain way even if it isn’t them at all. As someone who does all they can to live as honestly and for the truth as I do, I just don’t want to pollute my head/life/waters with others lies and messes. This year what I have taken away from all of that has given me clarity. What a gift!

I have seen and interacted with fewer humans than I can count on one hand. I have been so careful about the quarantine/shutdown orders. I only go into my empty office once a week to process the mail and handle any physical office needs that may arise. That’s it! I had already had my groceries delivered for almost a year before the shutdown. While I had a difficult time at first, I soon found myself nearly thriving in my isolation.

I cooked like never before and started to bake again. I spent time in my little garden and even repotted some of my much loved plants that had outgrown their pots. I was taking dance classes a couple of time a week on Zoom. I was engaged in anti racism activism and felt connected to my community. And then the summer began and I caught two large rats in my kitchen. That lead to a resurgence of obsessive/frantic cleaning episodes, to the point of exhaustion. Soon after depression invited itself in again and well such is life, eh?

Next thing I knew it was August and I was just starting to come out of my funk when the fires and heatwave began. Then the power outages. And then out of nowhere PAIN! Enough pain for two weeks that I drove myself to the emergency room nearby at 7 am on a Saturday morning. I thought I was dying. I learned so much about myself during that visit. For one, when I am terrified and desperate, I will be unable to actually show that I am in pain and afraid. Instead I get an unending flow of overly friendly dialogue spewing from my mouth uncontrollably. To the extent that anyone interacting with me in that setting would think I was there for entertainment rather than treatment. I had them laughing, so they had to see me as human and autonomous and help me, right?!

The attending physician actually questioned if I had anything going on at all once the labs and scans came back. I explained that I was in horrific pain. She actually said to me, “I’m not so sure about that.” Ugh! I had walked in shaking and doubled over in pain after no sleep for two days because of it. The emergency room really only serves one purpose: to save lives in an immediate way. If you have something life threatening going on, regardless of symptoms, they will save your life. If they find that there is nothing immediate they can find or do, they will kick your ass out the door. And they did.

I then spent the next 3 months on various meds for various conditions they insisted I had when my instincts told me back in August what was going on but was ignored by that ER doc: my gallbladder stopped working. They didn’t find any stones because I have none. I had severe pain episodes for 3-4 days every week for 3 months with no end in sight and no solid answers.

Then I had a consult with a surgeon regarding a mystery mass they discovered while looking at my other organs. She explained that they wanted more tests and finally a biopsy of the mass to rule out cancer and other scary things. At the end of that call she asked about the rest of my life and lifestyle. She was asking about and seeing me as a whole and human being! What a revelation! When I told her about the pain episodes and all I had been through since August she was hesitant at first, not wanting to step on other MD’s toes, but insisted that it all sounded like gallbladder malfunction. Since that is her actual area of expertise she ordered a new and different scan and sure enough! My gallbladder just won’t empty on it’s own anymore. Ah!

I have since had an upper endoscopy (to rule out ulcer and gastritis which they insisted I had, but I do not) and the scary biopsy for the mystery mass, which came back with all good news. So yeah, I need my gallbladder removed, but because I’m in a massive covid hot spot, they aren’t scheduling outpatient surgeries until things calm down. Oddly, but thankfully, the pain has not returned in over a month. I am grateful every second for that! And I’m eating regular foods again, for the most part. I was eating nothing but broth, rice, cabbage, and small amounts of chicken and fruits for months. Ugh!

I’m finally feeling more like myself. I’ve had another consult with that surgeon and I thanked her profusely, though I’m not sure she got my main point. Had she not asked about me, my lifestyle and all of that, I wouldn’t have had the answers to my issues. I had seen I don’t know how many doctors, but it was this surgeon on the phone that got it right by seeing all of me, though she was and remains concerned that I’m over isolating. I can’t help but wonder (or know deep down) that had this been in person or on video that I may not have received the same care as a visibly fat person. Though I have since had 2 video calls with her and she is truly empathetic and delightful. I know when a medical care professional is writing me off as fat. May the universe bless and provide for those who do this work with care and compassion, without bigotry.

Truthfully, I have withdrawn from everything. I stopped the dance classes and dancing all together because of the pain. I didn’t even really wanna talk to friends. Being on Zoom based anything became an upsetting proposition. My head was all over the place as the mysteries of my body took over my every waking thought. I would calm myself at night by going over an imaginary will, planning for my inevitable and forthcoming demise. I still do it sometimes when I can’t fall asleep. I don’t know why it’s comforting when I don’t actually have a will. I know my life is not in immediate danger. I’m not even in any real pain outside of creaky old lady knee.

I think as my organ failed, unbeknownst to me, I became disconnected from myself and my body. The more runaround I got from MD’s, the further from myself I withdrew. I was absolutely miserable and felt helpless. Having said that, my tried and true besties were there for me when I needed a ride to and from the hospital for various sedated procedures. We have all had medical stuff going on this year. We have a weekly check in via text filled with jokes and gifs. It is a bright spot in my week for sure.

Watching Marcello playing a film director and a writer and all that those roles entail, reminded me that I saw myself as a writer years ago. Shit, I’ve had this blog for twelve years already, though much of that has been dormant. After my divorce I just never got my writing groove back. I think about that time a lot lately. How much I was writing and how connected I felt to fat community. That evolved over time as I started my new single life. I no longer feel that sense of purpose, that drive that kept my fingers going on the keyboard everyday. It was so easy then.

I also realized how much and how long I carried my own traumas inside while helping so many others heal from their own. I think that served me for a time, but a few of those former friends were merely a lesson to be learned. It felt good to help people carry their burdens for a time. Not everyone is interested in growth or healing though. Some I think just enjoy seeing how much, how far, and for how long others with go for them. It’s gross and quite boring.

So here I am wondering how I strayed so far from the life of poetry and music I always longed for and saw for myself. How did I get so swayed by so many, only to shut myself off from everything. It’s maddening but perhaps now is a starting point. The timing certainly makes sense. It is said that we go through massive life shifts every 7 years. For some that means new friends or losing old ones. For others it’s romantic relationships, we’ve all heard of the 7-year itch. Well, it’s been 7 years since my divorce, 8 living un-partnered.

I would very much like to write again. I have started posts only to abandon them many times. I think it was two years ago almost exactly that I started to write about some childhood stuff that kind of fucked me up. I don’t have that same spite in me these days. My solitude may seem worrisome to others, but it has brought me great peace. I’m so very glad that I went to Hawaii for my birthday last year. That was my first taste of peace. I think about that trip a lot. And when I went to Seattle last December. I got so much out of both of those trips. I hadn’t traveled for years before that. Now I dream of returning to everywhere I’ve ever visited! Especially Florence, Paris and Ireland (my honeymoon was 3 weeks in those locales).

Would I find the thread that leads to my life filled with poetry and art and music in Paris or Florence? Would being in my ancestral home again (Ireland) reconnect me to my life’s purpose? It all sounds so lovely, but the realist in me knows better. There’s nothing “out there” that isn’t already within. There is so much of life I wish to sip from like some great goblet or fount. The past has lost its grip on me in many ways. Dealing with health stuff and thinking about your own mortality certainly takes some of the romance out of things. Like, I’m okay, but…

“Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing!”

federico fellini GIF by Maudit

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Tuna, Rubber

August10

That awkward moment where a song comes on, that you maybe haven’t heard in “ages”, and a vivid memory arrives suddenly and you’re struck with how awful that was and how strong you were to persevere. Fuck! The memory, long forgotten, of how my abuser would insist on “clearing” or approving of what music I listened to. He hated Bush so I blasted “sixteen Stone” a lot. And a fuck ton of L7, specifically their song, “Slide”. I think he feared my getting boosted up by strong female messaging. Not that he’d have said as much. Little did he know how much Tori Amos “Boys for Pele” album would give me so much food for my broken and battered soul then. This morning the song, “Marianne” came on, I keep music on throughout the day when I’m working to avoid other distractions. I usually have it so that my Pandora stations are shuffled and when the song begins, the memory of his grabbing my discman and insisting on listening to it as I grinned from ear to ear. I could see his face change from insistence, anger, confusion, and then when he handed it back to me and said it was “fine” and that he liked “That song about tuna rubber” and I realized that he had only listened to 5-10 seconds of the beginning of each song and how little that could mean or convey. Internally I laughed my ass off. Externally I was the ever grateful actress for him. 


We lived in a shared house with his best friend and that friend’s grandma. Weirder still is that my very first boyfriend (and kiss, tbh) rented the garage in back as well. There was a constant tension of how much the grandma would allow in the house, and how much she actually knew of what was going on. Drugs aplenty, though his friend was strictly an alcoholic and wouldn’t touch anything else. It was a delicate dance for me to keep peace between the friend and grandma, the grandma and me, my abuser’s ever changing demands and cruelty, and keeping the house in semi order as I was the only one in the house with the grandma half the time. I cooked, I cleaned, I applied for jobs everywhere I could when I could get out of the house. I honestly don’t know how long I lived in that house, a year or two, I am only starting to retrieve some of those memories, and none intentionally.


I remember my insomnia has reached its absolute worst and I would walk to the 7-11 about a half mile from the house for nachos. What else does one buy at 3 am? Ha-ha! I was 18, but my every moment was tracked and accounted for by my abuser. What I wore, what I ate, what I listened to was only part of it. He insisted on a rundown of everything spoken between myself and the grandma, what I did for her, what I did for the house, if the ex-bf in the garage said anything to anyone at all when he came to use the shower. To say this was an exhausting existence is putting it mildly. He would also lock me in the back bedroom for hours if anything wasn’t to his liking. It was around this time I got into Anne Rice books. I needed to pass the time and had seen the movie Interview with a Vampire the previous year. I had no recollection at the time that my bio mother was super into her books as well, as I’d had no contact in years and hadn’t paid much attention as a child. 


It was at this time that my abuser somehow met a woman who helped him with his various schemes. Drugs sure, he sold those for ages but always weed or pills and in such small quantities that no one would notice. But when he met Olga it got bigger and broader and I don’t know what else was involved, honestly nothing would surprise me. He once insisted I meet her, much to my revulsion, and forced me to get super dressed up to meet her for dinner at The Pasta Market. I laugh now because that place was such a dump by today’s standards, but considered “fancy” to me and many others back then. I don’t remember much except her face, how pleasant she seemed, and the horrific pressure and stress he put on me throughout that evening. I figured he was fucking her, but after meeting her I wasn’t so sure. Maybe they pimped other women out, at least I suspected as much for a brief period. I know she helped him sell stolen jewelry and goods. 


That house. Ugh! I had visited that house once previously, not sure if this was before I met my abuser. Time is fuzzy, but it’s possible he left me there while he went out drinking with his buddy. I was hanging out with some stoner friends I knew in high school there, smoking weed, listening to 60’s music (we were hippies, sort of) and they were drinking Goldschläger (I refused to drink at that time) and we all marveled at the gold flakes in the bottle as it swirled around. Okay they may have been on harder drugs, but I remember laughing and having a great time. One of those guys would later save my life by reading the situation as bad and offering me a place to live 20 miles away. I do not believe that I would have lived much longer had he not done that on my 19th birthday. I left the very next day. I never saw that dreadful house, his friend, or the grandma ever again. Some of you may think that’s awful to leave the old woman alone in that house with two drunken monsters, but I can assure you that she a) did not live in that house much longer, b) likely knew some of what was going on and didn’t care, and c) treated me like shit along with the other two so I don’t really give a fuck about her. 


That boy that saved me though? What a beacon of light in the darkest of nights! He had come by the house to give something to the grandma, he had married and divorced her granddaughter (they had a child together), and caught me in the house without my abuser there. He simply said, “I don’t know what is going on, but I have an empty bedroom if you need somewhere to stay, you wouldn’t have to pay rent or anything, no strings attached.” and I immediately accepted and asked if the next day would work. Ha-ha! The first few months in that apartment were bliss. We just did silly and nerdy stuff and tried to find footing in the world. He, recovering from a divorce he rarely spoke of and me figuring out what life even is after giving up hope of ever having a say of my own for the last five years. We had a whipped cream fight one night after buying bogo pumpkin pies and just being super dorks. I know how that sounds, but it was all strictly platonic, at least on my part. Only once did he admit to ever having an inclination towards me and he was very intoxicated on multiple substances at the time so I never gave it much thought. 


I do wish I could have been a better friend to him later on when a mutual friend (another ex-bf, but these were all non-sexual bfs, I was 14 and younger when I dated these boys hahahah) stayed the night once and refused to leave ever after. That friend got him into harder and harder drugs and truly wrecked his life, in my opinion. At one point there were four guys and me living in that apartment. That ex-bf that used to live in that grandma’s garage? He moved into the walk-in closet in the bigger bedroom. I had my own room with a lock on the door, thank the stars. The dumbass that refused to leave and some kid whose dad would come check on him from time to time shared the living room. We were all mostly happy stoners, but that dumbass introduced meth into the equation at some point and it all went downhill from there, even getting us evicted. The level of filth was worsened by the meth introduction as well. It went from hilarious dinners where I’d make spaghetti and they’d give me a bag of weed to mix into the sauce, which led to my painting an exact likeness of a Dr. Pepper can that we all seemed very entertained by. To just barely be able to make out that there was in fact a table in there, under a mass of trash and discarded things they would use to make or smoke their meth (I was sooooo unaware of the meth, except for the worsening odor). When I caught them freebasing in the kitchen one night I had assumed it was crack and got really upset about it. I was off in my own world creating my new life and at that time wasn’t at the apartment very much at all.


Almost exactly a year after moving into that apartment I fell in love and then was so heartbroken I nearly took my own life on my 20th birthday. “I get by with a little help from my friends” is putting it mildly. Friends I had reunited with after escaping my abuser were there for me in the ways they could be and we drank Cuervo Gold to forget about the rest. We lived on Pepsi and Taco Bell, Lean Cuisine frozen dinners and Marlboro Lights. I was soon introduced to the goth scene and a club in SF called The So What. I met my best friend who later became my husband very soon after. In a year’s time I built a whole new life for myself. I can’t say that I was happy though. I mean, no one really knew what happened to me, no one asked and it was never spoken of. I hated myself, had zero self esteem, and while not exactly self harming, I drank more that year than I did for the next 20! 


When we got evicted from the apartment I moved into my grandma’s house with my family, my grandpa had passed away a couple of years previously and she had extra rooms. The internet was still new and my bff was in college in Oregon. Email was so damned exciting! I would sit in that tiny bedroom my grandpa had used as a den (and mostly still looked the part), up late into the night unable to sleep and I would do shots of cuervo with diet 7up until I didn’t want to die anymore. I would talk to people in chat rooms on Prodigy and AOL, and even made some friends that way. I remember feeling so hollow and wishing that I knew how to feel real because I always felt so invisible. To this day the smell of Cuervo makes my stomach do backflips, I cannot even consider drinking the stuff. Truthfully, once I turned 21 I didn’t want to drink anymore. I had found my life’s love and didn’t feel as though I deserved to die or live in perpetual pain anymore. I found a new family in friends that started as coworkers. It was a really good period of my life, especially once my love and I moved in together. It felt like freedom in a way I hadn’t ever felt before. I had a say, in everything! Wow! 


All these years later it’s hard to believe sometimes all that happened during the 1990’s to me. I started high school feeling like I could conquer the world and ended that same first year wanting to take my own life every moment I had to myself just so my abuser wouldn’t get the satisfaction of doing it himself. Now I am single, living my life on my own terms, with my sweet lil’ puggo knowing that my walls are strong for a reason and that if I never have another “life’s love” again that I will be okay. There is so much more to life than only that, though I lost years believing otherwise.  

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Foraging for Cottagecore

July17

Cottagecore (also Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centred on ideas around a more simple life and harmony with nature. A quick look at some pinterest images with this tag and you’ll soon find yourself lost in hazy forests and country scenes, evoking Little House on the Prairie and forest fairy vibes. I grew up with Holly Hobby and watching Little House and often pretended to be Laura Ingles when playing as a child. I was already on my own edwardian vibe when I started to see and hear little things about cottagecore popping up in some of the groups I’m in on Facebook. And Gah! Half this stuff looks like the Gunne Sax dresses my mother and her sisters all had in the 70’s (that I used to play dress up with in her closet as a child). Of course she was my size then and thus couldn’t wear them, just as I can’t now, though I would LOVE to get my hands on some. 

Plus size cottage core fashion items are so difficult to find. There isn’t any single retailer offering these styles or items in plus sizes that I have been able to find. So, I’ve been tracking down pieces one by one. I’m a 26/28 in most things (54″ bust, 62″ hips, big B-belly, mostly pear-shaped). While I have had some luck in random places, such as the cream cotton and lace tiered steampunk skirt I got for $15 on HipsAndCurves, they were one-offs and not reliable enough to share. That is until today when a brand I used to shop popped into my head. You may or may not have heard of them, but when I was searching eBay for ivory peasant tops “dirndl” tops popped up in the search (thought not in my size of course) and that is when it hit me! Ulla Popken! I had bought one of their full dirndl dresses with the apron and everything years ago, but it was too big and at the time too expensive for me so I had to return it. I don’t think I’ve given that brand much thought since, though I know I kept something else from that order but memory escapes me at the moment.


So I go over to their site and sick of my endless searching I go to the clothing tab, then look at their list of “Collections” and immediately see, “Oktoberfest“! Yep, talk about nail on the head, the dirndl dresses were there in fun colors, but also some plain white dirndl tops! Not remembering their size range I click to see, sizes from 12 – 32 for the dirndl top I wanted. Some items go up to 42! That is rare, and while they do not offer everything in the upper size range, to even have them at these prices is pretty awesome, I think. They also have a boho collection and a fantastic amount of clothing in their “Sustainable” collection, even swimwear! Yeah! They have cute stuff at decent prices, too! I got a bit swept up in the moment, to be honest, and started really digging around. Now most of my searches have been around white and ivory items, but I can assure you that this is a brand that is not afraid of color.


I cannot comment on the construction or quality of their entire line, but I can say that what I have seen and received in my own life has been good quality, not luxury level, but great for working class folks, in my opinion. Like you know it won’t fall apart after two washes? Ha-ha! They even have an “Influencer” collection, it’s all worth taking a look. I was particularly taken with their lounge and sleep items, nightgowns in 2-packs, undies in 5 packs (in either cotton or microfiber), front closing comfort bras in 2-packs…this stuff is rare AND affordable! I highly recommend checking it out if any of these things are of interest to you. They are having a sale with a coupon code right now but I don’t know how long it will last but it’s at the top of the page, so if that is a motivator, get to it!


My issue now is choosing something to purchase! Ha-ha! I know, first-world problem, but I had intended to only buy second hand this year, so I want to be sure I’m buying for the right reasons as well. Sometime in April I got on this whole Edwardian thing after rereading some old favorites of that era and discovering a guide to Edwardian hair care online, I bought some silk satin ribbons for my hair and went at it with true dedication. It was just what I needed as I had lived with my hair in a constant bun for over a month by that point, only taking it out and brushing before washing. I get obsessive and go down rabbit holes and this one pulled me out of a scary anxiety-fueled funk. I was braiding my hair and brushing it twice a day and going to bed with it long and flowing (it’s down to my ass at this point). I would use the ribbons to braid through or simply to secure whatever random hair style I chose for the day, starting with more period accurate ones to just whatever I could manage.
This is also why I am starting my searches with ivory/cream/white colored garments.Those are WAY out of my comfort zone, but I figured if I’m going to be home anyway and these are truly just for me (I really don’t see wearing any of it to work, can you imagine?! Ha!), why the hell shouldn’t I have some fantasy outfit to fritter away my days in?! If it feels good, fucking do it! I had grown so hopeless in my hunting that yesterday I spent a decent chunk of time looking for lightweight linen by the yard in the hopes of one day sewing my own skirts and such. This Ulla Popken realization has saved me from that, at least temporarily (I’m very much a beginner, but also my sewing machine is in need of repair before it’s functioning again). I have this vision of gauzy ivory layers, with a generous apron, all soft and lovely. I have a small garden and am starting to really enjoy being amongst my little plot of greenery (don’t ask about my fern, I am obsessed and so proud!).


Honestly, I’ve been watching a lot of Miyazaki films, as well, which only makes me love these styles of dresses all the more. I feel like I AM Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle at times! Ha! Or Kiki, that week I wore a red silk bow on my head. I haven’t been able to watch the things that I used to love, like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. I have full seasons of both on my DVR that I just can’t bring myself to watch yet. But along with the fanciful fashion fantasies, I’ve also been obsessed with baking competition shows, which is nothing new for me, but it’s all be renewed with that show “Crazy Delicious” (troubling name, but a fun watch…Fat woman host in a gorgeous costume, but her standup is problematic af so I won’t recommend at all). Which then finally led me to diving head first into the Great British Baking Show because OBVIOUSLY I knew I would be obsessed the moment I sat down to watch it, so I put it off for years. Yes, I know, it’s awesome and I enjoy it immensely. But now I’m in my kitchen in 90+ degree heat baking layer cakes with Nutella buttercream! Ha-ha!

Oh yes, I have fully domesticated myself during this CoVid19 shutdown. I bought two basic/cotton aprons and one had an odd tag on the front that made no sense so I tore it off and tried my hand at some embroidery for the first time in many years. I’m quite pleased with the result for a first try! I had started a crochet wrap for myself at the start of the shutdown but haven’t picked it up again since April. Oh well. I’ve done some doodling and lots of cooking and to be honest I’m quite sick of eating as a general and seemingly constant thing I have to think/worry/clean/do for. UGH! But that aside, I have enjoyed the challenge and creativity that baking has always held for me. At least once a week I threaten to marry myself a la Elizabeth the first. What?! I’m fucking awesome and if I’m doing all this I’m doing it for myself, thanks. Although the puggo gets some benefit since I usually give him bits of whatever fruit or veg I’m chopping up. Ha!


I’ve been mostly a homebody for many years anyway and while some things won’t change, I’m still contacting my local leadership to defund the police (yes, I’m an abolitionist but my local mayor is a fucking bootlicker who refuses to listen to the community) and emailing the prosecutors for Breona Taylor’s muder case and calling my representative in congress nearly every day, BLACK LIVES MATTER and I have not ceased my support, before or after George Floyd was murdered. This is a lifelong thing for me and one I don’t always feel the need to shout or get in folks’ faces about it because of that. The things I can do and change for myself in the day to day to help my mental health have had to become slightly more at the forefront of my day to day life. It all just feels like day to day, one blending into the next, none feel real and yet it’s all too real and surreal and this is life right now and I’m mostly okay with it. My mental health did take a very steep dive a few weeks ago that forced me to step back from some things that I would have loved to participate in or organize, I know I would not have been able to “show up” for those things in a way that felt right. I’m fine now, but taking it day by day because shit happens and I barely slept 3-4 hours a night for a week solid and that takes its toll. I’m still me, just slightly more kind to myself, I think/hope. I’m a chamomile drinker now! Who’d a thunk it! Ha-ha!


What have you been keeping yourself occupied with? Any new obsessions? Leads on fun finds or projects? A recipe I must try? Lay it all on me, friends! Or, maybe you’re just feeling a bit lonely? That’s okay, too. Email me or leave a comment below and I’ll happily provide an unbiased ear/shoulder/venting space. I do hope you’re well and staying safe and at home as much as possible. I started to wear a face shield instead of my face mask on my daily dog walks. I still carry a mask just in case, but since I’m outside and there’s very few people around my neighborhood usually, it’s a great way to have a protective layer without having a sweaty face. Ha! It has helped a lot. Have you figured out ways to stay safe and comfortable? I have only left the house once a week for work (post office and then visit to the empty office so very low exposure if any).

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Sunday Dinner Prayer

June17

Growing up, most Sundays were spent at my grandma’s house. The whole family would spend much of the day and evening there, usually with me or my siblings nodding off in the car on the drive home, around 9 pm. I always enjoyed myself and looked forward to seeing my grandparents and well, my grandma always had special little surprises for us too. Things like those magnetic board things you can draw with or any other such toys and games you’d find at your local drug store toy aisle (her favorite was Long’s drug store). Ha-ha! I never cared where it was from, I was just happy to have anything new and my grandparents were very good about giving me their undivided attention. My grandpa was the first to show me a computer keyboard and how it worked. He tried to show me some math stuff but I was too young and I’ve never liked math. My grandma and I, for a time, would go through her old magazines and cut out anything we thought was beautiful and put the clippings into a self adhesive photo album. Seems silly and frivolous, I’m sure, but I can see how that simple past time actually helped me so much later on, even through grieving her passing.

My grandparents met in WWII, in the army, my grandma was a nurse. My grandpa was a school teacher and a postman. They were so smart and so empathetic. They never raised their voices in my presence. I don’t remember my grandpa’s voice but he was very quiet, but my grandma’s voice I don’t think I’ll ever forget. She had the best sense of humor, loved the movies Blazing Saddles and Born in East L.A.. I can hear her laugh always! When they couldn’t conceive at first they fostered children. Later when my dad came along, he grew up with a young Black boy (I cannot recall his name and for that I feel awful but I haven’t talked to my dad in years and years). He used to tell stories of their fun times as kids in the late 50’s/early 60’s. I don’t recall anyone mentioning what happened to him or that they stayed in touch.   

At home we never had sweets in the house unless my mom baked, and she usually burned whatever it was she was baking or cooking. My dad would always joke that the extra charcoal was good for you. A treat in my house was watered down cherry Kool Aid or pickles, especially in the summer. My family was poor, my dad worked retail and my mom stayed home with 3 kids. We rarely had real milk in the house, it was usually powdered milk that went into our cereal or oatmeal. Before my sister was born, I remember many a Friday night anxiously waiting for my dad to come home because it was his payday. He worked at Gemco which had a grocery department, so he would come home with groceries. By that time there was nothing left in the house to eat. Family dinners at home consisted of mostly ground beef and whatever medley of frozen veggies, rice or noodles we had on hand. My dad would throw a week’s worth of leftovers into a pot, dump cream of mushroom soup and some water into it, ramen noodles too, cook it all together, and worst of all, he called it “Goop”. “Goop” haunted my childhood. It was a grey gelatinous mass of unidentifiable ingredients, but there was no missing one ingredient, salt. Oof! My dad once made my siblings and I a pot of mac n’ cheese so salty I physically couldn’t eat it. My brother didn’t mind it.

So Sunday dinners at my grandparents house were always special! My grandma would always make a small green salad and I would often help prepare or just set the table. I took great pride in trying to fold the paper napkins in new and fancy ways, I had no idea what I was doing, but she encouraged me. I looked forward to that salad all week!  She usually had iceberg lettuce, tomato, green onion, celery, cucumber, but she always had a few types of dressing, which seemed so fancy to my young self. She would put the salad in these little clear glass bowls shaped like lettuce. I would be my most careful when assisting with placing those bowls on the table, but I don’t remember her ever warning or admonishing me about it. I think it is just how I am with other people’s stuff. Ha-ha! Once the table was set, my grandma would announce for everyone to wash up and to have a seat at the table.

Now I was raised Catholic. My whole family went to church, I went to catechism and had my first communion, and all of that. I remember my grandma liked to poke fun at Pope John Paul II because he was a few months younger than she was. It was fucking adorable, I can assure you. She never went to church with us, not sure she ever went that I can recall. Maybe a midnight mass? Not sure. My grandpa went to a different church because he liked to sing in their choir (First congregational church, not sure what denomination that is). At home we didn’t pray or anything. We didn’t read the bible or even talk about it. At bedtime we’d sing a “Now I lay me down to sleep” song, but that’s about it. 

On Sunday evenings, however, at my grandma’s house? We would say grace, together, and hold hands as a family. “God is great and god is good, I wish to thank him for our food…” and at the end my grandma would add, with her head still bowed and eyes still closed and very focused, “And lord please take care of all of the babies and the hungry children in the world. Lord, please take care of all of the animals in the world and keep them from pain. Lord, look after the mothers and take care of the elderly.” Sometimes she would go on and on, adding more and more of the lord’s flock to the list she really needed to remind him to look after. I don’t think I could really feel her intentions fully then, but now when I think of her voice, it hits me pretty hard. I know for a fact I got all of my empathy and compassion from her directly.

Her capacity to give a shit never ceased. She wasn’t perfect, and she was very petite woman, but she had an air and an attitude that was warm and caring and just full of love. Even if she was chewing someone out for a parking lot incident (there were many, it’s the SF Bay area!), she did it with humor and humility.

Now I am an atheist. I don’t believe in much. Faith in humanity is certainly in short supply these days. And while I wish I could talk with her about the pandemic and all of that, I am more interested in what she would have to say about the police brutality and demonstrations of protest. After all, she was from the Great/Silent generation. My dad was a bit too young for the civil rights movement of the 60’s. I remember in Junior High when I was obsessed with the sixties culture and music and my dad just being so damned confused by it.

One thing I do hold onto and believe in is that we’re all made up of the same elements from the universe, stardust if you will. Everything else is a construct and thus can be reconstructed. I want to believe in a future where the babies and the animals and the elders and the mothers all are taken care of and looked after and are not suffering in pain or in silence. I think right now we have an opportunity to make that so. Certainly I am not the one who knows how that can happen, but I do know that listening to Black women specifically is the key! I think my grandma would agree with me completely on that. Part of me is grateful she didn’t live to see how we (the USA) are handling all of this right now. She was Catholic, but she hated the GOP with a special sort of venom I never saw directed elsewhere. I carry on that tradition.

BLACK LIVES MATTER!  

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!
I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com



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