Cooney Island

She knows how to bring it.

Lou and I have a Lin Sue Cooney sighting every couple of months. She shops at “our” Safeway.

“Look!” Lou will say. “It’s Lin Sue Cooney!”

“Awwww, she makes me so sad!” is usually my response.

For you out-of-towners, Lin Sue Cooney is a local newscaster. She’s been on T.V. since I was a child.

In real life, Lin Sue Cooney is absolutely stunning. Each time we’ve seen Lin, her petite frame is impeccably dressed. She’s always sporting stiletto heels as she pushes her cart through the aisles. She’s friendly to the Safeway staff and seems very sweet.

One time, I saw her crouching down to pick up a heavy item from a lower shelf. In her 5″ heels and short dress, she masterfully managed a complicated maneuver with grace and class.

And that’s when I started to feel sorry for her.

“It must be so exhausting,” I say to Lou. “She always has to be on.”

Of course, it’s the life she chose. And she’s obviously really, really good at it. In fact, she probably doesn’t even think about it anymore. She has perfected this skill.

And it’s a skill I can’t put on my resume. Sure, I’m able to temporarily pull it together for a nice occasion. But that daily, high level of beauty achievement is beyond my capabilities.

So while I’m feeling sorry for Lin, I have to wonder if she might feel pity for me? Maybe she would say, “Aw, that poor girl…if only she put in a little more effort.”

Dear Lilia

Today is my 31st birthday and, naturally, it’s a good time to reflect. This morning, I imagined what adolescent Lilia would think of adult Lilia.

Here’s a fictional letter from my 16-year-old self to my 31-year-old self. And, for the record, 16-year-old Lilia wasn’t actually this mean to other people…only to herself.

Vintage Adam Ant shirt, mailman pants, spike bracelets, and a JEM lunchbox that I carried as a purse. This was my favorite outfit at 16.

Lilia,

Wow. You didn’t turn out the way I thought you would at all.

First, let’s talk about your style. Blonde? Really? What happened to your jet black hair? And where’s the eyeliner? No tattoos? No piercings? What happened?!?

Also, I can’t believe you own and wear khaki pants. Don’t you remember how you wrote an essay about the evils of khaki? Stop shopping for clothes at the mall (sweet Jesus, not the mall!) and consider returning to the thrift store for your outfits. It’s cheaper and more authentic.

I see you’ve turned into one of those women who won’t show her feet unless they are pedicured. That’s pretty superficial, don’t you think?

Next comes the love life. You married a red head. That was random. Also, waiting until 29 to get married? Dude, that is old.

And as for your career, actually, I think it’s pretty cool that you’re a writer. Since that’s been a secret dream of mine (not that I would ever admit to it) I’m really happy to see that this worked out. I’m also glad you’ve figured out the whole exercising regularly thing…that was always a tough one. Also, I see you have become a punctual person. Nice improvement there.

In spite of these accomplishments, I have to wonder…what are you still doing in Phoenix? Why didn’t you ever move away to a big city like you planned? And you still don’t speak Spanish? It’s probably too late now, you know. Because your brain can’t absorb new languages at age 31.

All in all, however, you seem happy and I know that’s the most important thing.

Love,

Lilia

P.S.

Your cats are really cute.

Thin It to Win It

By skenmy, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Self-portrait.

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

Kate Moss said this a few years ago. She pissed off a lot of people.

Sorry folks, but I’m siding with her on this one.

There are very few things in the world that feel better than skinny. And those few things are not food-related.

I should know. Because, for my entire life, I’ve been thin.

I’ve wanted to write about this for a while. But I didn’t because I was afraid of being hated. And, to avoid it, I momentarily considered writing this post as a weight loss story.

Six years ago, I weighed 175 pounds. I shed 40 pounds after a break-up. And, with the exception of minor gains and losses over the years, I’ve kept it off.

But that angle would have been deceiving.

Even though the numbers are true, I was never fat or even chubby. When I was at my “heaviest” someone told me I looked like a marathon runner. And I didn’t try to lose weight. I just threw my life into a crisis and lost my appetite.

But had I written this post as “the girl who lost weight” rather than “that skinny bitch who never gains a pound” I could back Moss’s statement full-force without any consequence.

The girl with the weight loss would be cheered when describing how fantastic it feels to throw on a dress, look in the mirror, and love how it looks.

When I write that, however, I’m a jerk.

So I guess I’ll be a jerk and spill it all.

I love being thin. LOVE it.

Who wouldn’t?

When I see people I haven’t run into in ten years, I never have to worry about that person judging me for my weight. If anything, I’m assured that they are marveling at my skinny arms.

When I’m feeling self-conscious about my crummy little car or my less-than-50k-per-year career or my bad manners, I always take comfort in knowing that I’ve been successful at something. And it happens to be the something that so many people can’t seem to manage.

I know Lou loves being with a thin woman. Mostly because I know I look great and he rarely has to manage a self-esteem melt-down.

I enjoy shopping for bikinis.

If I’m hungry and I want to chow down on a good meal, I fucking go for it. And I don’t care what other people think of me as I do it. Why not? Because I’m thinner than they are.

And, yes, I throw on a dress, look in the mirror, and love how it looks. I even twirl and dance and pose. This happens frequently.

It feels great.

Now, here’s the part where someone who hates me for being thin tells me that I don’t understand how tough it is because I’m tall and I have a kick-butt metabolism and blah blah blah.

It’s true. I don’t understand how tough it is to lose weight.

But, I do understand how tough it is to stay thin.

I don’t eat meat. In fact, I don’t eat much, to be honest.

Breakfast is coffee and a Luna bar. Lunch is a handful of cherry tomatoes, fat free cottage cheese, and crackers. I eat a big meal for dinner, but it’s vegetarian so I don’t have to sweat the portion.

When someone in the office brings in donuts, cake, or cookies, I don’t eat them.

I never, ever order dessert. Ever.

Oh, and I also hike.

Sure, feeling hungry from time to time is uncomfortable (and if it gets to the place where it hurts, I drink a Low Sodium V8 as a snack). I’m not going to lie, there are times on the trail where I want to jump off the cliff just to end the pain of cardio.

And, dammit, I miss bacon.

But, then I think about twirling in the mirror.

There’s just not enough bacon in the world that will make me give that up.

Caveat: At the risk of sounding insensitive to people who actually have medical problems or terrible metabolisms…I’m talking about the people who gain weight even though they eat healthy and work out…my heart goes out to you, it really does. That’s just a shit gig.

Oh, Make Me Over

Attention all chicks and gay men: This is a makeover story!

Since I’m now a real freelancer, my husband and I thought the time was right to finally put together a proper office.

Plus, we can write this shit off at the end of the year, right? Right? Please tell me this is true.

Here’s our “office” before:

My husband is going to kill me for showing our shame to the public.

Don’t judge us. With a remodel on it’s way, Lou and I recklessly embraced the opportunity to chuck any and all junk in this room. It’s filled with all the mismatched furniture from our apartment days.

Terrible, isn’t it?

Two Saturdays, a can of hastily-chosen rust-colored paint, $500 worth of IKEA furniture, and some folk art was all it took to get this office in proper condition.

Here’s our office after:

Even the cat likes it.

Some highlights from our journey…

I was left alone to paint a wall.

Lou hates it when I paint messages because he says it ruins the integrity of the paint job. But how can I resist?

Mia is a camera whore.

I didn’t wear proper work clothing. After a day of taping, painting, and assembling IKEA furniture while crawling on carpet, I got some sweet rug burns.

Bobby Pin Surprise

 

The Bobby Pin Surprise will make you feel so good, you'll make your husband take a picture of you half-naked.

I wore my hair like this to work yesterday and all the chicks in the office freaked out.

And now, I shall share my brilliant beauty secret technique with you:

Do a few twisty moves and shove in a crap-ton of bobby pins.

Ta-daaaaaa!

The best thing about this ‘do is that it looks classy without looking like you paid someone to do it. And it actually stays in place…which is a problem for the slick-straight-haired kind of woman (me).

Directions:

1. Pull top and sides of hair back and secure with bobby pins

2. Grab ends in chunks, twist, and secure to back of head with bobby pins

3. Look for loose ends or funky-looking areas, adjust, then (guess what?) secure with bobby pins

4. Spray

Camera lens smudge or melanoma? You be the judge.

Tip: When undoing this style at the end of the day, keep track of the bobby pins. Because your husband won’t like it when he hears the vacuum cleaner suck them up.