A little secret about… my feet.

standard July 17, 2009 9 responses

So yesterday I completely copped out and posted some ramblings and a picture of my new shoes. Considering the migraine that had been pummeling me for hours by the time I made it to my computer, it’s kind of miraculous that I was even able to find the computer let alone type a few coherent words. Good thing I didn’t attempt full sentences.

A few very kind souls commented on my super cute new shoes and my gorgeous toes, which leads me to the following somewhat embarrassing confession.

I don’t have gorgeous toes. I have creepy non toenails. I just know how to hide them.

Let me explain…

See this picture? The one I posted yesterday?
Gorgeous toes, right?

Wrong.

Look closer:
Do you see it yet?

No? Well, I essentially have no toenails.

Really. No joke. Let me show you without nail polish.
I know! Gross, right? Be thankful I spared you the close-up of the little toe. Ugh.

Sorry. I hope you weren’t eating. But now that you’ve gotten this far would you like to know how I go from stubby non-toenails to gorgeous peep toe sandal ready feet?

Easy. I paint on fake nails. Very tricky technique I discovered thanks to some very clumsy nail polish application one day. And that’s how I pretend I have gorgeous toes.

Tah dah!

But that’s just between you and me. OK? I’d hate for everyone to know my dirty little secret. I mean, don’t you wish you didn’t know?

The two numbers that rule my life

standard June 1, 2009 4 responses

I once resolved to kick my scale habit because daily weigh-ins were making me nuts. I managed to stick to one weekly weigh in for months, but slowly the scale has called to me more and more often and I’m back to stepping on every morning.

I can’t help it. It’s like a drug. I don’t want to weigh myself, I don’t really want to know, but I see the scale and I start to wonder. I think, “I was really good yesterday. I stuck to my Weight Watchers points. I exercised, did it pay off?”

So I step on. I step off, shift the scale a bit. Step on. Step off, shift the scale again. Step on. After three or five tries I finally decide that I’m not going to see a lower number and I step off one last time. It doesn’t matter how well I slept or how great a day I have planned, if the number has gone up from the day before my day is shot. If the number has gone down I’ll be on cloud nine all day.

It’s absurd. It’s stupid. But again, I can’t help it. The number on the scale rules my day. It’ll determine if my pants feel tight or I feel sexy in my top. It’ll dictate how I feel about my meals throughout the day. And it even seeps into how I feel about everything else in my life. I feel like a better, smarter writer on the days the scale has gone down.

And that’s when the other number that increasingly rules my days comes into play. Because once I’ve gotten dressed and attempted to move on, I turn on the computer and check my blog stats for the day.

That too is a sickness. Nothing rides on these stats. It’s not like I’m getting paid to entertain you all with my daily neuroses insights. I tell myself I just want to see who’s linked to me, where new readers are coming from, anything to justify clicking through to GetClicky multiple times a day.

I know you’ll be shocked, but when I click through and the numbers are lower than the day before, well, I get depressed. I know! Shocking. Told you so.

Again, I know that it’s absurd and stupid, but I can’t help myself. The number on the scale reflects how I feel about myself. And I worry that the number on GetClicky reflects how the rest of the world feels about me. I told you, I have issues.

I wish I had the strength to throw away my scale and disconnect my blog from statistics software. I wish I didn’t let it all get to me so much. But mostly I wish I knew in my gut and my heart that I’m good enough they way I am and I didn’t need numbers to validate me.

Stepping into a whole new world.

standard May 3, 2009 6 responses

Just before the polished elevator door starts to open I take a deep breath and I glance at my reflection. I look OK, not great, but not bad either, at least my hair is behaving today. I square my shoulders back and step out onto the floor.

“Excuse me?” I ask a passing hotel employee. “Where can I find the Executive Boardroom?”

She directs me to the second door on the left around the corner and I head in that direction. With any luck no one can tell that butterflies are doing jumping jacks in the pit of my stomach. What kinds of people attend Romance Writer’s Association meetings? Heck, who writes romance novels? My stories aren’t romances. Are they? I’m pretty sure they aren’t. Are these people going to know? Are they going to care? Are they going think I’m a fraud?

The door to the boardroom is wide open and I step in unnoticed. A group of women, all ages, all types, walk around with bunches of bookmarks and fliers which they’re adding to the already towering stacks on the large boardroom table. None of the women look like what I would expect, but I watch them and realize I’m not surprised. If you have no expectations they can’t be dashed. Three weeks ago I didn’t even know the Romance Writer’s Association existed. Three weeks ago I hadn’t given it any thought at all.

I interrupt the excited banter with a quiet greeting. I want to stay unnoticed. I need to observe these people for a moment, just to see if I can fit in, but I don’t get a chance. I take the stack of postcards a member hands me and I join the women already gathered around the table. For a minute we move awkwardly around each other, darting in and out, adding our things to the stacks, then we fall into a rhythm, all of us dancing around the table in the same direction, at the same speed.

I don’t talk much save for a few murmured hellos. I just strain to listen.

“Are you pitching tomorrow?”
“What are you working on?”
“Hey! How’s that new story coming along?”
“What are you going to pitch? The finished one or the new one?”

The chatter is energetic and friendly. I don’t hear jealousy, just support and honest interest. I listen more intently, but I just get more of the same – advice, support, even genuine affection. In a group of bloggers there’s often an undercurrent of tension and competition. There are many of us fighting to be heard in one small overcrowded space. I can’t detect that same undercurrent here. This is a group of women coming together to support each other, not size each other up.

“Hey! Jessica, want to come get some coffee?”

I look around to see if the words are being directed at someone else, but the speaker is looking straight at me. I nod, still a bit unsure, and she smiles at me. I’m still not sure that what I write fits under the Romance genre, but don’t think that’s going to matter all that much.

*************
I ended up learning a ton this weekend, including the fact that I don’t write Chick Lit, I write Women’s Fiction, which falls broadly under the Romance Writer’s umbrella, so all was truly well.

More bare naked embarrassment

standard April 30, 2009 3 responses

I had probably babysat for this little boy once, maybe twice. He was an adorable baby; huge blue eyes and a shock of dark curly hair. He was an easy baby, a joy to watch, and I really, really wanted the parents to keep hiring me.

In an effort to make a good impression I showed up a few minutes early, and, again in an effort to make a good impression instead of sitting quietly on the couch, waiting for the parents to leave, I called to the little boy so I could start playing with him right away.

On my honor, after I called out to him his mother called back from her bedroom, “He’s in here!”

Seriously, what would you have done? I took that to mean “He’s in here, come and get him.”

I was wrong.

She must have heard my footsteps because I heard her scramble. I think I knew before going into the room that I was making a huge mistake, but I remember not being able to stop and turn back. The door was wide open and I stepped into the room, still prattling some nonsense directed at the baby.

And there she was. 100% in the buff. Clutching her little boy to her front in the hopes that his tiny body would somewhat shield her from my eyes. Let’s just say that he was really small, and not so good as a cover up.

I blushed from the roots of my hair to the tips of my toes and backed out of the room spouting off repeated apologies and hurried to go sit on the couch that should have been my original destination. Minutes later she walked out, fully dressed, and handed me her adorable son. She walked me through the routine instructions and we did our best to not make eye contact for the rest of the evening.

She never mentioned the incident. I never mentioned the incident. And I went on to babysit for them for years, so clearly she forgave me. But that was almost 18 years ago and I still remember every single painful slow-mo second of that moment when I realized I was about to walk in on my naked employer and I was powerless to stop or turn around before seeing more than I was every supposed to see.

That memory is almost as painful as the time years later when I broke that same little boy’s tooth while giving him a bath, but that’s a whole other story.

***************

I was overwhelmed by the response to my last post on embarrassment. I blush every time I think of how my loyal readers rushed to defend me. Then, the author of the email I was so embarrassed about left a comment… and well, I swooned. Nothing makes a blogger happier than when readers show their love, unless it’s being able to spark a little controversy.

I rode that high and somewhere along the way I inadvertently agreed to blog about the naked babysitting story I mentioned at the start of that post. Sharing it was the least I could do for my awesome readers! Of course, since y’all are insatiable, I bet you’re going to want to know the broken tooth story next!