I’ve been meaning to have my friend Chary and her daughter Maxine guest post on my blog for a while now, because Chary’s a writer (and really quite hilarious), and Max is an artist. A really good one too! Check out the painting she made for her parents for Valentine’s Day.
She’s TEN YEARS OLD, folks. How cool is that?
So yeah I had Chary write away one day, and then we wanted Max to illustrate. But umm… well… that didn’t happen due to some artistic differences.
So okay FINE, I decided to illustrate it myself. So here goes…. a guest blog by my friend and fellow fab fortysomething - Chary Mercado!!! - with illustrations by me. :)
People Have a Right to Their Delusions
“I bet in your youth, you must have been sexy,” the saleslady said to me matter of factly, as I crammed my hefty frame into a dress most heartlessly labeled as size 4XL.
IN MY YOUTH?!? Isn’t this something octogenarians say as they describe chasing fireflies at night in the time before electricity was invented?!?! How old does this saleslady think I am??
I realize that this was her attempt at a compliment. But really, all I could do was think of the ways it was sooooo not.
First off, the declaration that the blush of youth was long gone was a jab to my heart. I am turning 45 this year, definitely middle-aged, but Lord don’t we all think we don’t look it? I certainly don’t even feel like an adult. I’ve got the brain of a 13-year-old ticking away inside.
Obsessed with food and shopping, happy as a clam when hanging out with the girls, prone to checking my cellphone at intervals for new messages… I am admittedly a teen in many ways. Scary, I know, especially since I am raising a 13-year-old too. How is it that this saleslady sees only an old crone? Clearly, my joie de vivre wasn’t doing enough for me.
Second layer of offense — upon further reflection, I realized there was another veiled insult in her comment. Her theory that I had probably been sexy was presumably based on her observation that I was still picking clothes that only a sexy person would wear. Obviously, the woman felt I needed a reality check – which she was only too willing to provide.
You may disagree with me but I think there is nothing as painful to behold as an old person dressing young, or a fat person dressing foxy.
I was apparently hitting two sorry birds with one stone.
I really should have been offended enough to lumber out of that store, but honestly, there was some really good stuff there that the shopper in me couldn’t ignore. I spotted a beautiful Roberto Cavalli cocktail dress hiding at the back of a rack. I had her bring it out. She did, accompanied by another zinger.
After informing me that Mr. Cavalli did not make any dresses in my size, she cheerfully suggested that I buy it for my daughter instead.
"MY DAUGHTER IS 10 YEARS OLD!!" I wanted to scream. She ain’t going to no cocktail parties for another 10 years! She wears One Direction t-shirts when she wants to look mature!! But I held my tongue and finally left.
As any teen would do, I promptly texted my friends about this incident. And true to form, they were profuse in their support for me and condemnation of her.
Did I mention that they are all the same age and roughly of the same build as I?
So I am now blogging about this affront to rally a virtual mob to boycott all stores with outspoken (and overly honest) salespeople!
Down with honesty! People have a right to their delusions!
I may look middle aged, and heck now I have no choice but to dress like it. But I will be damned if I will act like it!!!
If age is really all in the mind, then my advice is to try to keep your mind young if your body betrays you. And stay away from people who make you feel any different! Keep the poisonous truth away! You don’t need to go there.
Oh and btw, she was wrong. I’ve always been a chubster. So there.
I’m pretty used to my own type of blogging — with all the doodles — so even when I read other people’s blogs I sometimes illustrate them in my head. In some cases, I actually do draw them for real, but I haven’t done that in a while … until today. Because Kat George’s Thought Catalog post on The Art of the Fart and Depart was just too funny to ignore.
Yes, as unladylike as it may be, I’m a sucker for funny stories about embarrassing bodily functions.
It started like this:
One of the most terrifying feelings you can have in an otherwise entirely mundane public scenario is instinctively knowing the fart threatening to breach your butthole has been stewing in the sulphurous bowels of hell for the past millennia, and is intent on emerging RIGHT EFFING NOW to rain locusts and vengeance upon the earth and its unsuspecting denizens.
OMG. Hilarious. I was hooked. And then it went on to lay out a very well-thought out “Fart and Depart” strategy that I think everyone can relate to/benefit from. So here goes…
The Art of the Fart and Depart (An Illustrated Game Plan)
Take a look around with your Terminator eyes (you know, the ones where everything is red and little squares hone in on important details). Where are the closest exits? Can you mark a mental escape route in your head? Are you going to be able to move fast enough so that the smell doesn’t follow you? Most importantly, is there someone nearby you can pin this on?
It’s imperative that you leave the fart with someone that looks like they could have done it. A petite little girl with shiny hair and a pretty smile is not going to work; people look at her and think she poops rose petals, which is going to make everyone hate you even more for farting on her. Look for people that look drunk or who are eating McDonalds or any other fast food that might lead to irritable bowels. Huge men are also great, especially dudes that look like sports fans, because people just expect huge sports fans to be pretty uncouth generally. Crying babies are always a perfect scapegoat too; they might be small but babies are the worst offenders when it comes to diaper smells, and the crying just makes it all the more believable that the dumb baby crapped its pants.
Now, once you’ve chosen your mark, everything else comes down to timing. Wait for the subway doors to open and let it go, hard and fast. Or if you’re in a situation you can’t physically remove yourself from, get nice and close to the chump who’s going to take the fart hit for you and squeeze it out, being sure to turn to your neighbor as the smell permeates waving your hand in front of your face and throwing disgusted sideways glances at the frat bro you’re pinning your awfulness on.
In the worst case scenario, when there’s no one to take the blame, you have one option, and one option only. Unleash and run. Drop your bomb, keep your chin up, and hightail out of there.
You might not be able to return to the scene of the crime (like do you really want the bodega guy to know you as “Fart Girl”?), but you will have escaped with a portion of your dignity intact. OK, I’m lying. At least you will have escaped.
OMG I’m still laughing. :D
You can read the whole article here. Enjoy! :)
The other day when I was feeling kind of SAD, my friend Michelle sent me an email to cheer me up, and I swear it was the funniest thing I’d ever read. Her sister Marta told me to rewrite it with illustrations, but really, it was too good — I couldn’t possibly top it, so I decided just to illustrate instead and post the original text here.
And so I present… The Adventures of the Anonymous Swimsuit Shopper (with illustrations by yours truly). Enjoy! :)
When I was a child in the 1950’s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.
Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.
The mature woman has a choice: she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney’s Fantasia…
…or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.
What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.
The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.
I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror… my boobs had disappeared!
Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.
The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.
The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.
As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.
I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.
I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.
I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.
I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.
Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.
When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."
So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!