Posted in Beauty, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Women

Fat Girls Drive Slow Cars


Tis the season for car commercials.

There is a Lexus ad that seems to come on every commercial break, and since we’ve been iced in and watching a lot of TV, I’ve seen it a few thousand times.  A gorgeous brunette works at a sewing machine, making giant bows for cars.  A decent looking man drives one of said cars.

I don’t know what men think about when they see these ads, but I caught myself having a thought that gave me pause.  After wondering if people really buy each other cars for Christmas, I found myself thinking that if I were thinner and more chic, I could have a fancy car, but as long as I was overweight, I would never so much as see the inside of the dealership.

It only takes a couple of seconds to rifle through a few hundreds thoughts, so I went from “Do people really buy each other cars for Christmas,” to, “If I lost weight, I could work in The Industry again, and make better money, and buy a car like that,” to, “If I were thinner and dressed better–maybe had a few enhancements done back in the day, I might have married into a car like that*,” to, “As long as I am overweight, I will never have a Lexus.”

Funnily, I realized I have that conversation in my head about a lot of things.  From jewelry and underwear, to cars–apparently–I’ve got it in my head that until I am 5’10”, and wear a size 4, I will never have that bracelet, that bra, or that Lexus.  The bad news is that while I quit growing vertically in 1992, and never topped 5’3″, my width fluctuates almost seasonally.  I’m fattest in the summer, in case you wondered.  I don’t like to move around in the heat.

Anyway, my point is that I really thought I was immune to all of that!  I really thought I had myself together when it came to body image (because I am totally cute), and it wasn’t until I heard this back-of-my-head voice, matter-of-factly (and it was!  it was so blase.  “You are overweight, and you will never have X, Y, Z until you look better.”  Not shaming, not lecturing, just, “These are the facts, ma’am.”) telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I realized how insidious the issue is.

I did not think, “If I go back to school and study X, I can get a higher paying job doing Y, and I can buy that car.”  My immediate thought was that if I quit eating for a few months, had some air bags installed in my fender, and put on more lipstick, I could end up in that car.  Yes, because I could get paid more as an actor, but all based on my looks.  Not based on talent.  Not based on ability.  Based on zero body fat and fake boobs.  I’d be hungry, but I’d be in a car that supermodels drive.  (Do supermodels drive?)

I also ran through the cost of the plastic surgery it would require to get me up to code, and that little voice in my head said, “You have to spend money to make money.”

I was thinking all that and the trick is that I HAVE EXCELLENT SELF ESTEEM.  What about the women and girls who don’t?

Later in the day, I came across this video of a lecture by Jean Kilbourne, in which she discusses how the media reduces women to Things in advertising, and how that affects so much more than just self image.

It’s really worth the five minute watch.

Meanwhile, I am busy deconstructing two things:  Why I feel like I have to look a certain way to have certain things, and why I feel like certain things equal a better life.  (Because I am totally cute AND I love my Saturn.  That Saturn is an awesome vehicle, and I wasn’t interested in trading it in for a Mercedes when I had the employee option to do it very inexpensively.)

Meanwhile, meanwhile, I would not trade all the luxury items in the world for how it feels to sit on my sofa with Thor in my lap, and B snoring beside me, watching the Eagles destroy the Lions in the middle of a blizzard.  Maybe nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but nothing feels as good as my life–and my life comes with some cushion.

 

 

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Posted in B, Family, Thor

The Way You Look Tonight


While shifting some things around at my mom’s house, I found the cd B & I played at our wedding.  I popped it in the car today, and though Thor howled at Etta James’ At Last vocals, like Hoo howls at police sirens, I had a great time listening.  The boy was dropped off at school before Etta had finished, so I got to listen to the rest by myself.

We’re coming up on our 10th anniversary.  The really nice thing is that if you’d asked me in December of 2003, what I thought December of 2013 would look like, I’d have described something like this exactly.  B and I have both progressed in our chosen fields.  We have a great kid.  We live in a place where we are all happy.  We have a goofy dog, wonderful family and friends, and we still like watching football from the sofa.  (I still don’t know what 4th and Down means, or whatever.  But I still like watching.)

I feel very fortunate to have this life, and very proud of all we have accomplished as individuals, and as a family unit.  Life can be hard, but we’ve all worked together to try to make life a little easier for each other.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always appreciated.

One of the songs on the cd is The Way You Look Tonight.  Sinatra’s version.  I love the opening lines.  “Some day, when I’m awfully low, when the world is cold, I will get a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight.”  I’m that way about B.

I can think about him and feel warm down to my toes.  You throw Thor into the mix?  Well, I couldn’t have imagined a world I love more.

Some day, when I am an old, old lady, I’m going to remember these days and feel so very, very blessed.

Posted in A Day in the Life, Counting Blessings, Cozy Cat Press, Destinee Faith Miller Mystery, Family, Friends of Mine, Lane is Writing, Marketing the BOok

YOU Light Up My Life


Thank you for making my dream come true.  Without you, I wouldn't have needed to sign any books!
Thank you for making my dream come true. Without you, I wouldn’t have needed to sign any books!

Today was a dream come true, and I owe that entirely to the kindness and love of friends and family.  I walked in to Barnes & Noble and set up my table with 25 books, and I left with no books.  22 had sold, and 3 were going on an end-cap to sell later.  My wonderful, wonderful People had come in and made me look like I was a New York Times Best Selling Author.  By the time I was packing up to leave, my table was gloriously bare.

YOU, friends and family, made this event a success, and I don’t know how to thank you all other than to just keep telling everyone how amazing you are.

The tiaras were a big hit, and I was pretty excited when the book sellers wanted to wear them, too.  I think everyone could use a little sparkle.  B even wore one for a split second, but refused to be photographed.

I think the biggest hit for me was the official B&N poster with my big face on it.  As soon as the event was over, I walked right next door to the Michael’s there and headed back to the framing section.  In two weeks, I’ll have an official B&N poster with my big face on it to hang somewhere in my house.  Where, I have no idea.  I can’t very well hang it over the fireplace.  I have to at least pretend to have some modesty and humility about me.

Next week is the Boston Book Festival, then the book signing at my alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, and then I’ll be going on blog tours.  I’ve been prepping interviews and guest posts for those, and I hope you’re going to enjoy reading what I’ve had to say.  I’m trying to make sure there is something new for you to read at every stop, and making sure you haven’t read it here first.  That’s not easy!  I always want to share it with you first.

Once all that is done, it’s nose to the grindstone to finish MISS MAYHEM, and then I need to get to work on Destinee’s final book in the series.  I’ve already decided she’s going to have some competition from Texas in book 3.  I’ll keep you posted.  Meanwhile…

Official B&N sign with my big face on it. Thank you, Linda, for taking these photos.
Official B&N sign with my big face on it.
Thank you, Linda, for taking these photos.

 

 

Posted in 2the9s, A Day in the Life, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Thor

Photogenic. Photogenetic.


hockaday   It was 6th Grade, and I insisted upon doing my own hair for picture day–the oxford and blazer were part of the uniform, but the hair?  All mine.  I was arguing with my mother about it out the door, and I know what Lane-has-been-crying face looks like–that’s it.  I remember standing in line for my picture and realizing that all the other girls, from the neck up, looked like they’d been styled for a wedding.  From the neck down, we looked like a Green and White episode of Facts of Life the Middle School Years. One of the teachers asked me if my mother had forgotten it was picture day.  The photographer pulled out a comb and made a tent flap in my bangs so that my eyes would show.  I felt a sting of regret.  My mother had been right.  I should have let her fix my hair.  But, I wasn’t going down like that.  Oh no.  I held my wooby, little head high and said I meant to look that way, and that I liked it.  Pride.  Proud.  Defiant. When the pictures came home, my mother was grim.   It was the only time in my life that she ever asked for retakes.  She called the school and asked for retakes. For what it’s worth, I look back on the day with pride.  Still proud.  Still defiant.  I was twelve, and I had hot rollers.  Don’t give a kid hot rollers, if you don’t want her to use them. It’s also funny how dark the picture is.  My hair looks auburn, and my blazer looks black.  My hair was strawberry blonde, and my blazer was a medium green. Today is picture day at Thor’s school.  Last night, after telling me he’d like me to go buy him a black suit, white shirt, and fancy tie to wear (far too late in the day to even think of making that happen), and after going through several mental wardrobe changes until we got down to shorts and a polo shirt, he woke up asking for a tie.  He had to wear a tie. It didn’t matter that it didn’t match.  It didn’t matter that it was too long.  It didn’t matter that he was wearing it with a polo shirt.  He. had. to. wear. a. tie. I put one of B’s ties on him, and it was like turning on the Christmas lights.  That kid was proud.  Delighted. He stood in front of the mirror for a long time, declared himself very cool, wetted down and tamed his own cowlick, then went to find his shoes. Of all the shoes he could choose, he came out of his room with his plaid Vans.  Proud.  Delighted. I did point out the problem with mixing a white, blue, and pink striped shirt, with a navy, gold, and olive dotted tie, and red, white, and blue plaid shoes.  He said, “I think I look cool.”  I thought, “He’s watched too much Doctor Who.”  I said, “You are cool.”  He said, “You need to call me Mr. B because of the tie.”  I said, “All right, Mr. B, grab your backpack and let’s go.  Your close-up awaits you.” When he looks back at today’s picture in 30 years, I want him to be able to say, “That was such a great morning.” It’s his school picture.  He should be happy.  We’ll be going to buy him a tie that fits. thorsday1 He does look cool.

Posted in 2the9s, A Day in the Life, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Thor

hockaday

 

It was 6th Grade, and I insisted upon doing my own hair for picture day–the oxford and blazer were part of the uniform, but the hair?  All mine.  I was arguing with my mother about it out the door, and I know what Lane-has-been-crying face looks like–that’s it.  I remember standing in line for my picture and realizing that all the other girls, from the neck up, looked like they’d been styled for a wedding.  From the neck down, we looked like a Green and White episode of Facts of Life the Middle School Years.

One of the teachers asked me if my mother had forgotten it was picture day.  The photographer pulled out a comb and made a tent flap in my bangs so that my eyes would show.  I felt a sting of regret.  My mother had been right.  I should have let her fix my hair.  But, I wasn’t going down like that.  Oh no.  I held my wooby, little head high and said I meant to look that way, and that I liked it.  Pride.  Proud.  Defiant.

When the pictures came home, my mother was grim.   It was the only time in my life that she ever asked for retakes.  She called the school and asked for retakes.

For what it’s worth, I look back on the day with pride.  Still proud.  Still defiant.  I was twelve, and I had hot rollers.  Don’t give a kid hot rollers, if you don’t want her to use them.

It’s also funny how dark the picture is.  My hair looks auburn, and my blazer looks black.  My hair was strawberry blonde, and my blazer was a medium green.

Today is picture day at Thor’s school.  Last night, after telling me he’d like me to go buy him a black suit, white shirt, and fancy tie to wear (far too late in the day to even think of making that happen), and after going through several mental wardrobe changes until we got down to shorts and a polo shirt, he woke up asking for a tie.  He had to wear a tie.

It didn’t matter that it didn’t match.  It didn’t matter that it was too long.  It didn’t matter that he was wearing it with a polo shirt.  He. had. to. wear. a. tie.

I put one of B’s ties on him, and it was like turning on the Christmas lights.  That kid was proud.  Delighted.

He stood in front of the mirror for a long time, declared himself very cool, wetted down and tamed his own cowlick, then went to find his shoes.

Of all the shoes he could choose, he came out of his room with his plaid Vans.  Proud.  Delighted.

I did point out the problem with mixing a white, blue, and pink striped shirt, with a navy, gold, and olive dotted tie, and red, white, and blue plaid shoes.  He said, “I think I look cool.”  I thought, “He’s watched too much Doctor Who.”  I said, “You are cool.”  He said, “You need to call me Mr. B because of the tie.”  I said, “All right, Mr. B, grab your backpack and let’s go.  Your close-up awaits you.”

When he looks back at today’s picture in 30 years, I want him to be able to say, “That was such a great morning.”

It’s his school picture.  He should be happy.  We’ll be going to buy him a tie that fits.

thorsday1

He does look cool.