Posts Tagged ‘holiday party’

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

New Holiday Experiences

December 4, 2014

Happening here.

I am going to holiday parties with my beau.

We have been messaging back and forth and he put it really simple and succinct, basically, if you want me to come ask and I will, I’m your boyfriend, that’s what I do.

Oh goody.

I am a little nervous about this specific holiday party, there’s a lot of my friends that will be there.  The invite already has over 50 RSVPs responding to it, plus I know that there are more folks that have been sent e-mail invites as well.

I received two separate invites to the event, and so I jokingly asked on the RSVP list to one of them if I could bring my beau?

Last year I went with a darling friend who was unexpectedly in town for the evening and we danced so hard.

I also remember having a teary moment with her in the hallway when I expressed to her a romantic disappointment–something that happens when you sleep with friends–they become a romantic disappointment.

Though truth be told, I don’t think my heart was ever really there, it was more the idea of having a boyfriend and wanting to have an escort, a partner, a lover with me.

And one year later, voila, “Boyfriend By Christmas” has happened.

I really never suspected it would happen the way that it has and I am extraordinarily grateful for all the work I have done to get here.

And here is just beginning.

I suspect that this is just the augur of a brighter future than I can possibly imagine.

Suffice to say, I am excited for the holiday party season.

Not a sentence that would have fallen out of my mouth the last few years, despite loving the holidays quite a bit more than I might admit to under normal circumstances.

I love the way things smell–all holly and evergreen, spicy and rich and sweet and chocolate, and oh cinnamon and nutmeg and egg nog goodness.

The perfume of the holidays and Christmas is so satisfying to my soul.

Wood fire smoke, popcorn balls, mistletoe.

Oh!

I know who’s getting kissed under the mistletoe this year.

Ha.

“You sound happy,” my mom said to me as she asked after my Thanksgiving and how it was.

I am happy.

And well dressed.

Yes.

I found the jacket to go with my dress.

A vintage style cropped leopard print faux fur with a hot pink satin lining.

Uh, yeah.

It looks freaking smashing with the dress.

And I found the best clutch ever at Wonderland SF and for no apparent reason, other than perhaps she was feeling my vibe, the owner of the store took off 40% of the bag price–it had been $79.

Sweet.

Now I just need the shoes to come in the mail and I am set up.

I may even allow myself another Christmas frock for the holiday party I’m heading to on the 12th.

Although, I probably don’t have to, it’s fun to have a few pretty party dresses to wear out.

EEK!

And New Years.

Lord have mercy.

I am going to have a date for New Years.

And my birthday.

“Dinner reservations at 8p.m. too late for you?” He asked me this past week when we were discussing it.

I think I can hold off until then.

“What’s your favorite food?” He asked.

I could almost see him rolling through the menus of a number of restaurants, he’s well aware that I don’t eat sugar and flour, so a pasta dinner is probably out.

“Steak,” I said, “rare, blue-black, I love a really good filet.”

Or porterhouse or some tartare, or an aged rib eye, I’m not particular, as long as it is raw or damn close to it.

I could actually see him relax a little, “ah, then, I know exactly where I am going to take you.”

Then he said something about dry aged Kobe beef and my eyes may have glazed over and some drool may have pooled in the corner of my mouth.

Seriously.

I might be having the most fun a girl can have and I was so not expecting this experience.

I am still avoiding writing about a lot of the relationship, it’s mine and I am enjoying finding all the eccentricities of it and the ups and downs and the flow and while I do so, I don’t want to be airing it all out here.

I am just giddy with the holiday cheer and actually having someone to share the experience with.

I won’t be house sitting for anyone this Christmas.

I won’t be nannying this New Years Eve.

I am actually going to be an adult woman on the town in San Francisco with my boyfriend.

Delicious.

What else is delicious?

Not having to go to work until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

It’s the mom’s birthday and the dad is surprising her with a spa day for her and her three best girlfriends.

Dad is going to surprise mom at school, show up to pick up the oldest boy from preschool and two of his school friends and then the mom of said friends, who is in cahoots, will spirit the mom away to the spa.

Afterwards dad is taking mom to Michael Minna’s for dinner.

Go dad.

I’ll be staying late, doing dinner for the boys and bed time and working a little over time.

Which I am more than fine with.

I won’t be able to see my man until Friday, we both have had a really busy week, although time was made Monday evening for some shared canoodling, and I will want the extra money on hand.

It looks like I need to get another party dress.

Or two.

And Like That

December 1, 2014

We went “official” this weekend.

That is we changed relationship status on facecrack to “in a relationship”.

Nothing like changing my single status to in a relationship to stir up the social webs.

It doesn’t feel much different then before I was “single” and dating my guy.

Just a little more out there.

Not that we have been hiding it from anyone, all my close friends pretty much know, oh, I suppose, there are a few folks out there whom I have not talked to, although not for lack of trying.

But its a busy time of year.

Holidays have taken hold.

The Thanksgiving turkey has been picked apart and eaten and the Christmas tree lots are in full swing and so too is my debit card.

I have a holiday party to attend with my guy next Saturday and I tried on my dress tonight from ModCloth, it’s quite retro/vintage, definitely for a gal with some curves, and I have a few.

It reminds me a little of Mad Men and I like that kind of vibe.

I am pairing it with cream fishnet stockings and pumps.

I was going to wear it with cream wedge heels that I have from Seychelles, but the look was just not quite right.

It went from looking retro glam to sort of retro hooker glam.

I don’t want to look hooker for the holiday party.

I tried looking at the shoes from every angle and they just didn’t work, so hopped onto Zappos and bingo!

An adorable pair of cream mary jane pumps with a sweet low wood heel.

Vintage, va va voom, and not too sexy.

Just sexy enough.

Hell, I tend toward sexy without really trying and I am aware of it and sometimes I have to tone it down.

Not today, though, I brought out the leopard print leggings and the brown lace tank top and tight black hoodie, I was with my guy and I loved that.

I like walking hand in hand and well, er, gah, I wasn’t going to write about the boyfriend, so never mind.

Suffice to say that does not mean that I will spend the entire time blogging tonight about clothes and shoes; although it is tempting since I still need to find a wrap for the dress and perhaps a little bag to carry too.

I am really enjoying being in the relationship, let me say that.

And we spent the entire weekend together.

It has been some time since I have spent Thanksgiving weekend with another person.

It was lovely.

I got to see lots of friends and there was much sleeping in, late breakfasts, coffee, staying up late, road trips, small and big, on the back of the Harley Sportster.

Yesterday afternoon we took it up the coast, crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, heading past Sausalito, threading down the highway in between the slower moving tourist traffic that was turning to view the city by the Bay, to the quick fast overpass and down into Sausalito and then left toward Tamalpais and then Shoreline Highway toward Muir Beach, and onto Highway One and Stinson Beach

Curving up and over the canyons and hills, the green trees, the smell of Eucalyptus, the wet, damp earth–it was wetter than anticipated and the rich earth smell beguiled me along as I held tight onto the man in front of me.

Often I was closing my eyes.

I just smelled the smells, the green, the brown, then the smoke of a wood fire burning.

I inhaled deeply and was happy.

I thought of all the times I had climbed through these self-same hills and canyons on my way to Stinson Beach or Muir and smiled with satisfaction to be adding another layer of memory onto the trip, the journey.

Sometimes I double back on the path, as though I have to do it again properly and lay down another trail of memory to expand my love of a place and also my love for myself and the joy of living, just knowing that I am alive and riding along having yet another new experience.

I have never ridden to Muir Beach or Stinson on a motorcycle.

Or to Olema either.

That is where the afternoon ride ended.

Stopping a roadside cafe for hot lunch and coffee.

I updated my status on facebook.

I uploaded the photograph of us smiling from Stinson Beach and I sat back and felt the feelings.

On one hand it took something delicious and private to open air.

And I felt a ping of sorrow for letting the cat out of the bag.

On the other hand.

It felt gleeful and giddy and right.

Here we go.

It’s official.

We are a couple.

Yowza.

And there is so much I am learning about this person and about how to be intimate.

Yet.

There’s even more I am learning about myself and frankly, that is astounding.

One embarrassing thing, a defect I suppose, a character trait that used to work for me but doesn’t any longer, although I default to it all the time, I have to admit to is that I don’t give a straight answer.

Yes or no.

Simple right?

Are you hungry?

Yes.

Or.

No.

Not let me tell you a story about how I had a late breakfast and I probably won’t need anything until later, but if you….

Oh.

My.

God.

I am that fucking person.

Do you want a bottle of water?

I have an apple in my bag.

What the fuck?

I am mortified when this stuff comes out of my mouth.

Yes, please.

Or no, thank you.

Oof.

I am learning how to do this relationship thing and it is a challenge.

But a sweet, tender, revealing challenge.

And despite not wanting to voice my needs or wants or desires, of not wanting to ask for myself, I find that I am finding my voice.

Creakily.

Slowly.

But it is there.

I am not lost in the relationship, but oh, it is cozy to curl up in the blankets, listen to the rain, the jazz, and snuggle into his arms.

Yet I did burrow out and set about my day.

I cooked.

I cleaned.

I made my bed and said my prayers.

I took my shower and did some writing and met with a lady and had some coffee.

But when I went grocery shopping, it was not on my bike, it was in his car and he was there to hold my hand, to open the car door, to carry my groceries for me.

It’s a nice balance I am finding.

Just like finding the right pair of shoes to match my pretty new dress.

Challenging.

But not impossible.

 


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