P.S. I forgot to say it, but HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE! There. I've said it. I'm going back to being grumpy now.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Out of the Mouths of Babes....
Ever notice how kids have an amazing capacity to say whatever it is they're thinking? Ever notice how we, the adults, can sometimes be caught totally unaware when a kid does just that? Here's a story of how I was blindsided by just such an occurrence. The amazing part is that I never saw it coming. Just goes to show how blissfully and, more to the point, how willfully ignorant I can be. As I mentioned before, we were going to Oklahoma for New Years Eve. My father lives up there with his lovely wife, Wendy. Wendy's 2 children and their families also reside in the great state of Oklahoma (you can't tell I'm an Okie and proud of it, huh?). It's always a wonderful time while we're up there. Everyone's so friendly and open and well, heck...it's just plain fun. And, for the most part, this visit was, too. Except for this one little, bitty, tiny part. What's that old saying? Something about "out of the mouths of babes"? There's another saying, too. Let me think...oh yeah, it's "kids say the darndest things". Boy, they sure do! Listen to what transpired this past weekend. There we were, the whole family, sitting around talking about going to Bricktown for a ride on the canal boats to see the Christmas lights. (For those of you who don't know, Bricktown is a revitalized part of downtown Oklahoma City that is just out of this world. It features a beautiful baseball park for the Oklahoma Redhawks, the minor league team for the Texas Rangers, as well as numerous restaurants and charming little stores). There's also something called "The Crystal Bridge", which is an enclosed Botanical Gardens (don't really know all the details about it, but I can say it was full of fascinating plant life and was very prettily lit up for the holidays). Anywho...as we were all sitting around, discussing our plans...my little step-neice, who is a perfectly adorable little 11 year old child, stated loudly and repeatedly that she didn't want to get into the boat with me because I was so fat that it would surely sink. I have to admit, my feelings were a little bit hurt, but hey - don't dish it out if you can't take it right? And I am constantly aggravating that kid (and every other one within reaching distance of me!) so it's not as if she shouldn't have felt it was okay to go at it with me. I was doing pretty good with it, I think. Kind of cringing inside everytime she said it, but thinking it was bound to stop sooner or later. I kind of played along and laughed and smiled...and then she said that I was way too happy about being so big. I, rather stupidly and disingenuously (as it turns out) said, "You've got to be proud of what your are, honey" to which she instantly replied, "What? A fat pig?". I actually gasped at that 'cause man, that kind of hurt. How stupid is that? I got my feelings hurt by an 11 year old. Sheesh. She did immediately apologize, but by then, my chipper outlook was pretty much flat-lined. lol And I very purposefully chose to steer clear of any more one-on-one conversations with her after that. (How's that for maturity?) But the good times weren't over. The next day, a bunch of us were standing and sitting around, laughing and talking and, I forget what led up to it, but my little niece said something and then ended with the comparison of her aunt and myself as being an example of "before and after" (i.e, I was ugly, the aunt was pretty). Hmmm. Okay. I have my moments of being way too thin skinned. I'll admit it. But that almost brought me to tears. Now don't get me wrong. This kid wasn't blurting out rude comments left and right just to be hurtful. I honestly believe she was "playing" and didn't intend to hurt my feelings so much. But that's the thing with kids. You get them going, and the next thing you know, they're saying things that stab you right through your heart and they don't even realize they've drawn blood. I have to say this, though...her comments really hit home. I thought about what all she'd said that night when I went to bed and before I realized it, I was crying like a baby. (Luckily, Randey was snoring his brains out by then and didn't notice because that would have been embarrassing!) This past year has not been my best, that's for sure. I've gained over 15 pounds in 10 months, the circles under my eyes keep getting deeper and deeper and I've made a big decision in the past couple of months that I'm no longer going to color my hair - I'm just letting it all go gray because well, heck, I happen to like the look of my gray hair. But I gotta tell 'ya...I don't know how much more my bruised ego can take. I guess somewhere, deep down inside, I knew I was beyond chubby and waaaaaay on into fat. And I knew I was aging badly because my mirror told me so. In an attempt to greet reality, I actually looked at the pictures Randey took of me this weekend. So, having done that, let me just say this: Hello, my name is Kari and I'm a fat-aholic. (Hi, Kari! faintly heard over and over in the background). In addition to the weight issues, I have to come to grips with the fact that I'm getting older and not doing it particularly well. I faced awhile ago that my days of youthful glory were numbered. After this weekend, I'm thinking that maybe that number is in the negative. lol Looky here: Yeah, that's me on the right. And listen, before any of you kind people decide to send a comment saying "Oh Kari, you're not that big", please remember that, A) I can see the same picture you can and yes, I am that big!, and B) telling someone they're not "that fat" is like saying "oh honey, you're not that ugly!". It's not as big a help as perhaps you would hope, okay? Yeah, okay, so maybe the red shower cap I'm wearing on my head isn't that big of a help, either, but let's not lose focus. I'm coming to realize that my physical appearance is such that young children feel the need to point and laugh. So why post a picture, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I had meant to try and get in touch with my friend, Penny, from junior high while I was up in OKC. Just like I had mentioned to Kat (Just a Beach Kat) that I might be headed to her part of the world in March and that perhaps we could get together for lunch while I was there. I always have the best of intentions when I mention getting together with people. But then I don't follow through. Why? Because I don't want them to see me and say "WOW! She's really let herself go" or "Geez! Kari's HUGE!". So in the interests of full disclosure and to just lay it out there for all to see - here's a picture of me as I really am. (EEEEEeeeeeck! This is hard to do! lol) When did this happen? When did I become so big that I'm just downright ashamed? Why has it taken me so long to admit that to myself? Are fat people really that unlovable...even to themselves? And does being fat bother me enough for me to throw away my stash of Godiva chocolates? Isn't this the time of year for making one of those "I'm going to loose 425 pounds before St. Patrick's Day" kinds of resolutions? You know, when I stopped smoking after 25 years, I thought I could do anything. But losing weight is one battle I don't know if I can win. What's worse, I don't even know if I'm up for the fight. Which brings me to the other piece of bad news we got today upon our return from Oklahoma. I had planned to vent about it, but think I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say, I will be spending most of tomorrow typing a letter to the Veterans Administration and our congressional representative to question just how in the heck they've (the VA) arrived at a particular conclusion that has caused them to claim an "overpayment" to us in excess of $25,000.00. Considering the total we've received from them is nowhere near that amount, I must admit to being baffled by their accounting procedures and will be asking for a "review" of their methods, to say the least. Not to worry, however. They very kindly pointed out that they do take Visa/Mastercard. (Yeah...what a relief. For a minute there, I thought I'd have to sell the yacht we keep moored off of Grand Cayman in order to pay them!). Leave it to Randey and me to incur an overpayment far in excess of any actual receipt of payment. Now that's talent, eh?