Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Toilet Seat Wars

Picture this -

It's 3:00 AM, and you've been lying awake in bed for the last 10 minutes trying to convince yourself that you don't actually have to go to the bathroom. I have yet to figure out why we do this; it's not like if you ignore your full bladder, it's just going to go away. Nonetheless, you try to convince yourself, and eventually you come to the realization that if you just get up and go pee, you can finally get back to sleep.

So, with a sigh of groggy irritation, you thrust your covers aside and crawl out of bed. With your arms stretched out like a toddler, you stagger through your dark bedroom, possibly tripping on the underwear that you lazily did not put your hamper when you took it off.

Then it's into the hallway where you try desperately not to make too much noise on the squeaky floors. This ultimately results in you making more noise than if you had simply been walking normally. Finally, after staggering, stumbling, and fumbling, you make it to the bathroom and slip inside.

At this point, you have a critical decision to make: turn the light on or leave it off?

Opting to save your retinas, you let the door shut quietly behind you and rely on your spectacular photographic memory to find your way to the toilet. After bumping into the counter twice, stubbing your toe on the cat box, and banging your knuckles against the tank of the toilet, you arrive and sit down with a sigh of relief.

....and topple backwards, falling into the toilet and dropping your cheeks right into the fantastically appalling toilet water. You try to scramble out, but your knees are shoved into your chest,  your back is crammed into the back of the toilet, and you can't see a damn thing because someone didn't turn the lights on.

You squirm and struggle against the relentless clutches of the toilet, feeling the toilet water caress your cheeks like the cold hand of reality. Finally you find traction, and with a surge of victory, you vault out of the toilet like an Olympic gymnast.

Breathing hard, you kick off your pajamas and rush over to the light, flipping the switch and promptly blinding yourself. The water is now dripping down your butt and onto your upper thighs, and you still can't see because you've been blinded. Fumbling around, you find the faucet in the shower, and crank it on, throwing yourself inside before the water is even warm, desperate to get the toilet water off your butt.

You spend five minutes scrubbing your butt and only your butt until it's pink and you've convinced yourself that it's clean enough that you might be able to put the whole ordeal out of your mind. Slowly, you reach out and shut off the water. Your bloodshot eyes turn to the toilet to see it sitting there, victoriously mocking you with it's seat held high.

And the worst of it all? You still have to pee.

Can we all just agree to leave the lid closed? It's physically impossible to fall into a closed toilet.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Fat-Skinny Dichotomy

It's no small secret, in America we are obsessed with weight. If people don't weigh too much they weigh too little. We have magazines that butcher people from head to toe - cutting and cropping, smoothing and blurring, and even engorging when necessary (small boobs are small boobs, people, let's stop trying to make them something they're not). Yet, at the very same time, we have article after article about people battling with their weight, tricks celebrities use to stay thin, how to lose ten pounds, the easy guide to eating better, the 7 minute workout guaranteed to help you lose weight (sure, if you tack it onto the end of an hour-long session in the gym).

Magazines offer us a difficult, if not impossible, standard to live up to; however, in those very same magazines are pieces about how important it is to be proud of your body no matter what size you are, big, little, curvy...no boobs, love your body! But media, you just told me that my body isn't good enough and that I need to lose weight, and now you're telling me to be proud of it?

We have a media culture that is telling us we're too fat and that's not okay, but that we should be happy about being too fat and proud of who we are. How is that possible? At what point is it not okay to be proud that you are carrying an extra 50-100+ pounds?

Now, don't get me wrong - the self-loathing that often accompanies body image can be crippling and devastating on so many levels. Obesity has not only spread from an epidemic, but is now considered a disease, and I fully comprehend that "just lose some weight," is like saying, "just go lift up that car." And I can appreciate the movement that you should love you, and it's absolutely right. You SHOULD love you. You're great!

But loving you and being okay with being unhealthily overweight are not the same thing. Loving you enough to do something about it is where the true strength lies.

I believe that these problems run far deeper than just surface level media. Much of it starts with ignorance about what a good diet should look like, this spills over into healthy foods being drastically more expensive than unhealthy foods (seriously, go price a loaf of white Wonderbread at the store), and then the entire cake is iced with a delicious frosting of "You're too fat and need to lose weight, but hey! Don't forget to love yourself for it!"

By calling obesity a disease, we have turned it into something that can be "cured," and I think that helps provide a goal to strive for. But when the media presents us with this weird it's okay to be fat, only it's really not dichotomy, I think they not only set unrealistic expectations for what's actually attainable, but send an extremely mixed message -"You should feel bad about being fat because you don't look like Gorgeous Bombshell on our cover, but if you can find a way to feel good about it, then good for you. Have a guilt-free cookie, Chubs."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's...Cough...How Much?

Beaver Creek ski resort got 2-3 feet of snow last week, and I spent the week plowing my way through it with a dog-with-it's-head-out-the-window grin. It was blissful. Beaver Creek is a stunning ski resort with great runs, friendly people, and free cookies at the end of every day. What more could a girl ask for?

Well, I'll tell you...

I could ask for food that is worth what I pay for it. At Beaver Creek, if you want to purchase 2 Gatorades, 1 cookie, and 1 muffin, you will pay ~$20.00. Sound steep? Perhaps just a cup of tea then...at ~$5.00....if it's that expensive for a beverage and a baked good, what does a meal cost? Indentured servitude?

Want to know the real kicker? The food is mediocre at best. That muffin will likely be a pitiful, sticky, but somehow dry, excuse for a pastry, and you're running 50/50 odds on the quality of the cookie (trust me, I'm a cookie connoisseur).

Now, I get it. You're at the top of the mountain; it's expensive to get food up there, but if I'm paying $5.00 for a single muffin, then it should at least be Starbucks quality. But it's not. The quality of food at ski resorts is deplorable. You could get better pizza at Costco.

I can't tell you how disappointing it is to pay $20.00 for food that doesn't taste good. People pay $150 per day to ski at Beaver Creek, and will spend around $20 a head for lunch. Is it unreasonable to expect that for that kind of money the ski hill provide decent food?

I'm not talking 5-star dining here, but, goodness, you can have my first born child for a decent slice of pizza.