Tara Tuesdays! This is the best alliteration I could come up with

Hi! Do you know what today is?! Tara Tuesday! The day where I post shorter (well not so much THIS Tuesday, but usually) posts, about how my week is going. On this first Tara Tuesday, we have very important things to talk about. Like:

Chick-fil-a

I don’t feel sorry for these cows. Being afraid that people are going to eat you is no excuse for illiteracy.

I’ve been boycotting Chick-fil-a. I know that after reading that last sentence a lot of you conservatives out there are probably saying, “That’s enough for me, I’m out!” But chill out. Yes, I’m boycotting them, but I’m not about to get all political on you. I mean, I AM boycotting them because I think they are wrong in their stance against gay marriage, but I knew about that before the whole controversy blew up this summer. The thing is, I just don’t need to be eating there. It isn’t good for me, I don’t agree with their policies, so why not stop going there? We could argue about the politics all day, but this post isn’t about that!

It’s about how I have a sauce problem.

Recently I decided to go to Chick-fil-a for dinner  because the Huffington Post ran this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-organizations-funding-ceased_n_1896580.html

about how they were changing their policies. They were going to stop funding anti-gay groups.

Well, I say it’s because of that, but it’s also because Chick-fil-a was my favorite fast food place before this whole firestorm started. As soon as this article came out I was like, on my way to the drive thru line.

I had not been to Chick-fil-a in two months, and going through the drive thru made me realize something about myself. Everyone says that Chick-fil-a is awesome because of the chicken. Getting this food for the first time in two months made me realize that I don’t care about the chicken at all, I care about the sauce.

All of my dreams.

I wish they would put it out on the customer counter with the ketchup and straws so that I could shovel it into my purse inconspicuously.

I really have no explanation; I just LOVE their specific sauces. No matter what I get at Chick-fil-a, I absolutely have to get two packets of ranch sauce, two packets of Polynesian, and two packets of Chick-fil-a sauce. This is so that I have extra sauce to eat with other, different foods later. Actually, that’s not even true enough; I could PROBABLY just eat it alone if I tried. The thing is that usually when I go to Chick-fil-a, all I get is 8 chicken nuggets. So, if the staff at these restaurants is assuming that I’m just a girl who likes to drink dipping sauces, well, they are basically right.

Dinner of champions.

So somewhere along the line I started ordering extra food which I did not consume, so that my massive amounts of sauce wouldn’t look strange. That’s how my family got hooked on Chick-fil-a. Not because I’m a loving family member, who feeds my hungry family, but because I didn’t want strange looks from the people who work at Chick-fil-a.

I have to stop going again because, as you might notice from the correction in the article above, it turns out that they have changed nothing. No policies have been altered, and it was all just rumors and speculation. I also have to stop going because sauce addiction just isn’t healthy. There is no way I can rationalize 6 packets of sauce for 8 nuggets.

The other thing about this week was that I found out that my dad is even more clueless about comic book characters than your 85 year old grandma. In the last year, I’ve actually kind of gotten into them. My mom says it’s because I want to impress the guys at the comic book shop. I found out from a friend that they all think I’m cute, so now every time I go there I try to look effortlessly glamorous.

But the REAL reason is that I’m secretly a huge geek.

This is at a midnight release party for a Harry Potter Novel. The 6th one. I read the book so fast that I skipped a page. Like, I was reading so fast that I turned two pages at once and didn’t even care about the fact that nothing made sense.  

Anyways, three days ago, this conversation happened:

My Dad: “Girls…what superhero could I be…?”

Mom,(jokingly): “Supergirl!”

Dad: “No, no, someone else….Tara, isn’t there a grey haired superhero in the Justice League? Yes, there’s a grey haired guy in Justice League, I’ll be that one.”

Me,(distractedly): “No, there is no one in the Justice League with grey hair, you’re just crazy.”

Dad: “Yes! Isn’t there a character that controls the weather? Storm, or Thunder, or something?”

Me: “Wait, what??? Storm is on the X-men! Also, she’s African American. And a woman.”

Dad: “Justice League, X-men, whatever. I could dress up as a woman. I’ve done it before.

Me:

If you’re curious, my dad was tinker bell for Halloween once. My mom was Peter Pan.

For the little poofs on her feet, my dad took two green loofah’s and glued them to a pair of sandals. It was pretty hot.

That’s it for Tara Tuesdays! These are supposed to be short posts. I promise that someday you will see a Tara blog post that is not the length of a novel.

-Tara

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Skinny Jeans: Do I look hot, or like I stole pants from a small child? It’s hard to decide.

It’s time for me to make some true confessions. I am not a fashionable person. I mean,  I’m trying to be, but it’s hard! First of all, as we’ve discussed, I am a giant. Size will always be an issue, even though I’m not really fat anymore. I’m just always going to be a large woman. Second of all though, I’m cheap. I admit it. In most clothing stores I go right to the clearance section. I won’t pay more than 12 dollars for a pair of sunglasses.

I’ll give you a buck fifty.

Recently though, I’ve decided that I want to be at least passable when I walk down the street. I never want to be ambushed by the What Not to Wear TV crew. My first step to making this never happen was to try to find good jeans that flatter my body.

Now,  just so you know what we’re dealing with when it comes to me and fashion, here is a picture of me in my favorite jeans from middle school. I have not had a pair of jeans that I loved as much as these since then:

As a side note, evidently when I was 14 I thought nothing would complement Tye-Dye pants better than white platform sandals.

Oh man I loved those jeans. I got them from a clothing catalogue that was made specifically for large, young girls called Girlfriends. Every time I ordered things I was tempted to start the conversation with the phone operator like this, “Hey GURRLLLLLFRIEND!!!!! CAN YOU HOOK ME UP WITH SOME STYLIN’ JEANS!?”  You should know that I loved these pants SO MUCH that when my original pair got holes, I ordered a second pair. After a year and a half the catalogue was still carrying these flare, maroon fade to red pants! Can you believe it! And they were on clearance!

Whenever I tell people about how horribly I dressed myself in public school days, I always reference those pants, but I have to be honest and say that I’ve never found a pair that I love more since then. I think that my fashion sense has marginally improved since high school, but I still don’t have a lot of options.

It’s hard for me to find good looking jeans because I have giant dinosaur feet, no butt, and crooked legs. I walk like a duck, my dad says that my legs are crooked, and one of the consequences of being tall is that it usually comes with big feet. Also, as I’ve said, I have no butt. No matter how much weight I lose or gain my persistently flat butt is here to stay.

My dad has ACTUALLY voiced the opinion that maybe he should have put me in leg braces like Forrest Gump. I wish you had suggested this earlier dad, then I could have been a former college running back and owner of a successful shrimp boat company long since.

This week, I decided to go on a quest. First, to become more educated about fashion, (It turns out that “jeggings” are a thing?) and second, to find a pair of flattering, long lasting jeans.

Well it turns out I’m more behind in fashion than I thought. Apparently skinny jeans are the biggest thing since sliced bread.

You would think that based on my jeans from middle school, this trend would be right up my alley. Not so. I have a vendetta against skinny jeans because they just do not look good. Well, they look fine on you, but not on me. I have to offer that second part because I once said I hate skinny jeans to my best friend and she was offended because she wears skinny jeans. No, they look great on certain types of women. “Giant Tarasaurus Rex” is not one of those types.

So, obviously I was already skeptical of the whole fad before I even got to the mall, but upon getting there, I figured I would do the hip thing, and try out a bunch of different kinds of jeans, just to keep my options open. Before this trip I had never actually tried skinny jeans, so it was worth a shot. Maybe they would look good!

My first stop was Urban Outfitters. I went over to their pants section and encountered a problem immediately. I couldn’t tell if they were girl jeans or guy jeans. I mean, they were in all sorts of girly colors and designs, but the sizing was all wrong. Instead of saying normal girl sizes, (like 2, 12, 14, 8) they were like guy sizes, but not. They all said things like “22. 30” and, “28.26”

I literally had to look around to make sure I was in the girl section. I walked around the store trying to look casual while I tried to decide what these numbers might mean. Finally, after a lot of confused label reading, I found the pair of pants with the highest beginning number. I was embarrassed to be seen with these blue leopard print pants that might be a totally wrong size, and decided that I would randomly pick up two shirts to disguise the fact that I was trying on skinny jeans from the sales people at the fitting room.

This idea failed utterly. I put the jeans subtly under my two decoy shirts, but the fashionable gay salesman at the fitting room must have seen through me.

Salesman: “I’ll take those.”

Me: “Um, I can carry…I don’t really need…”

Salesman: “Give them to me.”

Not only did he take them, but when we got to the dressing room he took each individual item and hung it up for me, so that the shame of my blue, leopard patterned, wrong sized skinny jeans would be on display for both of us. Then he wrote my name on the dressing room door so that all the world would know.

Getting into those jeans might have been one of the most awkward moments of my life. It turns out that skinny jeans were not made for women with thick, sturdy calves. I was alone in the dressing room and I felt self conscious. I felt like at any moment the button might fly off and bounce around the room in a cartoonish fashion, but finally I got those jeans to squeeze around my hips just barely. Here is a photo of the result:

I’m sorry the picture is bad, but the fitting rooms at urban outfitters had dim lighting and crooked mirrors so that you feel like you’re trying on clothing at an abandoned warehouse.

Ok, the first problem with these pants is obviously that it looks like I had to grease down with baby oil just to get into them. Also, it doesn’t really look like I’m wearing skinny jeans, it just looks like I took my old pants from 3rd grade and somehow got them onto my body.

So, I didn’t try on the fake shirts, I just threw everything back on the return table and escaped the shop.

The next place I went to was Forever 21. Literally every woman I know doesn’t just shop there, she LOVES to shop there. So much so, that they got rid of the old Forever 21 store at my mall, and put a new one where the food court used to be. There is no food court at the mall anymore. The people who run the mall had a meeting and said, “You know what? People need to be providing their bodies with sustenance LESS, and shopping at this women’s clothing store MORE.”

 How dare you? How dare you keep me from that generically named hot lamp chinese food and reheated brick oven pizza? 

 I grabbed ANOTHER pair of skinny jeans because the choice seemed to be between skinny or super skinny. Forever 21 used normal sizes, and the one good thing about the new giant, food court sized store is that they now have a plus-sized section. Now it’s time for a second true confession. Sometimes I love tacky things just because they are tacky. So the pair of pants I chose were glittery silver. With a leopard pattern. Because as I’ve said before, as a large woman, I’ve learned that subtlety in my outfits is important.

The situation was the same as at Urban Outfitters. I tried to hide the glitter pants, and the salesgirl found me out. We had a stare down at the dressing room, but eventually I relented and handed the pants over. Because apparently clothing stores think that we are incapable of walking the clothes another 4 feet to a dressing room.

This dressing room is well lit, so that my desperation is at its most visible.

The other problem with me and jeans that we haven’t really addressed yet is my giant feet. All pants look a little more awkward on me because of those giant gorilla feet sticking out of the bottom. They face outward like a duck, my toes are strange, and they are just generally big. Look at my left foot! If you put me on a tree branch it looks like I’d be able to wrap my whole foot around it like some crazy monkey.

When I left the dressing room and handed over the clothes the girl asked me in an incredulous voice, “NONE of these worked out???”

No miss. The silver, calf squeezing pants were NOT becoming, thank you for asking.

I wasn’t willing to give up yet though. After Forever 21 I went to Aeropostale. They had the same strange size system as Urban Outfitters, but this time I KNEW I was in the right section because all of the jeans had names like, Starlet!, and DIVA! So I’m pretty sure those were for girls. I guess I could be wrong, maybe all the men I know are rocking the Starlet! While they hang out with their bros and watch the football game.

Probably the most baffling places I went to were Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. Their jeans might have fit me better, but honestly it was hard to find them because both shops were set up like a dimly lit maze in the middle of a tropical cabana. There were giant, larger than life photos of thin models in both stores, but they were even more noticeable in Hollister, where I imagined them judging me as I looked at jeggings.

 

Really Tara? Put the pink pants down and get out.

I felt self conscious in Hollister again, because the sales girl was folding shirts right next to the jeans wall. And I couldn’t be stealthy about looking at the jeans because I kept bumping into, and rustling the many fake green plants that were set up everywhere. Seriously, I’m not kidding about cabana motif. I couldn’t figure out if they were trying to sell me clothing, or a sultry, dimly lit beach vacation.

Abercrombie & Fitch was essentially the same store all over again.  They had slightly fewer plants and giant model photos, but what they lacked in those two things, they made up for in an over abundance of cologne and strange, out of place wall décor:

A Moose head. Because nothing goes better with the “sexy tropical bungalo” theme than the wall art from a mountain hunting lodge.

I couldn’t stay in that store long because I was getting a headache. Seriously, the whole store smelled like a high school locker room after all the boys have doused themselves in Axe body spray.

So by now you must be asking yourself, “Did you find any jeans Tara, or did you just act like a weirdo in every store you went into?”

Well….yeah.

 Unfortunately, there were no jeans to be had. I haven’t given up though, until I’m successful I’ll just have to wear dresses forever.

 

See mom? I don’t ONLY post unflattering photos of myself on this blog.

So, if you don’t want to be blinded by the sight of my pale white calves forever,  find a likely place for jeans, and  let me know about it!

Yours gigantically,

Tara

Prom: A step by step guide for how to react when your limo breaks down, Part 2

I met my prom date through the theatre. I met him when we both starred in a production of The Wizard of OZ in our senior year. His name was Bradlee. He was the Cowardly Lion, and I was Glinda the Good Witch. Cute right? And I just thought he was really talented, and sweet, and just great.

I’ll get that lion courage! Lions  love courage!

There’s something you should know about me though. I’m really nervous for men to know when I’m interested in them until suddenly, I’m just not anymore. It’s like word vomit. Several times in my life I just haven’t been able to take it anymore, an idea gets in my head, and I just have to act on it. One day, when prom was a month away, I opened up to my friends Caitlin and Kirk  about my desire to ask Bradlee to prom.

 

Nothing I could say can better express how awesome these two people are better than this photo.

The setting: after school. Brad had gone to get his truck, I want to go to prom with him, and I have seconds to decide about whether or not to ask him, but I need encouragement. This is basically how it unfolded:

Me: “…IWANNAASKBRADTOPROM.”

Caitlin:”Oh my gosh, really??? Wow, you should totally go for it.”

Kirk:”Totally, you go girl!”

Me: “Ok, ok, but how should I do it? What should I say?”

Caitlin: “When he gets back with his truck, just talk casual, and gradually lead in to it. Like, ‘so, are you going to prom? I was thinking about going, you wanna maybe go together?”

Kirk:”Yeah, just casually suggest the idea.”

Tara: “Right right, casual. Gradual. Friendly. Got it.”

Brad rolled up in his truck, Caitlin and Kirk subtlety backed away. My moment had come. This is the conversation that followed:

Brad: “Hey Tara, are you coming to starbucks with us after school?”

Me: “Nahit’sbeenalongdayandIhavehomeworkbutanywaysWANTTOGOTOPROMWITHME?”

(I’m sorry, I know it’s hard to read when I don’t provide spaces, but spaces would suggest that there were pauses for breath in that speech, which there were not.)

Me:

Brad:

I swear to God, it took his face 30 full seconds to form this expression. It was the longest half minute of my life.

Anyways though, he obviously said yes, because you saw us in that group picture together. And also because I’m just generally a suave person.

The embarrassing thing about this photo is that I am 100% sober.

 Brad was a kick ass date. Two days after I asked him to prom he asked me if he could wear a purple tuxedo. At that moment I knew I had made the right decision.

Here is Brad, refusing to smile, like he did in every photo that night. Later he told me that he would have worn the purple tux but he couldn’t find purple pants. Because evidently someone had made HALF of a purple tuxedo. The fact that he didn’t get to wear a pimp tux was probably the only real tragedy of the evening.

We went to prom with a group of 8 other people. Tim, Caitlin, and Kirk were among them.

Here’s Tim again. I know the photo I posted of us in Part one was strange, but going through these old albums has made me realize that there are no photos of Tim and I where we both look like normal human beings.

Our limo arrived. I don’t know if the boys knew that they were ordering from the retro model limo company, but they must have been, because ours was clearly from no later than 1995. In addition to that, there were a series of phone numbers on the side. Classy.

I didn’t take a photo of the whole limo because I didn’t want to give any company free advertising.       

The second problem with the limo was that it was an 8 person limo, and there were very clearly 10 people(several of them large) in our party. The limo driver offered no explanation, and seemed very unconcerned throughout the whole series of events that followed.

It was exactly as comfortable as it looks.

I feel like we could have all fit better in this limo if they hadn’t designated so much space for pimp accessories.

We squeezed in though. We paid for the stupid thing, and really, what difference were two people going to make to a vehicle that size?

Well, we broke it. I could claim that it wasn’t us that broke it, but I’m pretty sure we were weighing it down, and we all heard its death cry as the bottom scraped painfully over the curb when we arrived at the restaurant. So we took photos in front of the broken limo, then ate dinner, and then lied and said it was one or our birthdays to get free cake from the wait staff, just to kill time while somebody figured out a way to get the rest of the way to prom.

Luckily, one of the members of our party was part of a mafia family or something because he called some “family friends” to drive us the rest of the way to prom in shiny black SUV’s. His parents also paid for our entire meal at the restaurant so obviously something was going on.

Do you kids need anything else “taken care of”?

We all got into separate cars to get to prom, and we finally made it to the big venue. As soon as I stepped out of the car I stepped on my dress hem and tore right through it.

Actually it wasn’t too much of a tragedy because I’m a giant and people are always looking up at me,  and not down at my tattered prom dress. Also, all the punch was gone by the time we got there so everyone was probably wasted anyways.

Once we got to Prom, Brad and I actually didn’t spend that much time together because I spent a lot of time wading through 300 people so I could find my friends and take pictures of us together with me with my eyes closed.

Also, because I wanted to highlight just how much of an albino I am.

In the middle of taking pictures I decided to try extra hard to keep my eyes open.

That’s…better?

Sometime during all this we all jumped around together during “Yeah!’ by Usher, and Brad and I awkwardly avoided eye contact while slow dancing to “Lips Of an Angel”. Then later there were class favorites. Caitlin got class clown and I told her afterwards that I was mad that there was no class favorite award for “tallest in the class”. Which I would have won. Later at the theatre department banquet she remedied this.

I’m sorry the picture is blurry, but the award was for “Coolest Tall Girl”. I won a college scholarship from both the theatre and choir departments, but I consider this to be my greatest achievement.

I’m pretty sure everyone in my group had a decent time, except for maybe Tim. He was really worried about how we would get home from prom, you know, like a responsible person, and spent the whole evening asking everyone in the entire senior class if they had extra room in their limo for him and his date.

He did pause so that he could once again not pose in a normal way in one of my photos.

Then prom was over. It was time to violently destroy the decorative centerpiece.

I don’t know why this happened. You don’t usually rip down the altar after a wedding.

After that we called taxis and waited for them to pick us up and take us to Tim’s house, where he would hopefully be, since he actually was successful in finding a ride. We were the last ones to leave prom. Us, and the school cop who sighed impatiently while we sat on the curb waiting for the cabs to arrive.

And that was my prom! I didn’t go to any wild alcohol after-parties because I wasn’t the wild alcohol parties kind of girl(yet). Despite all of my joking, I have no regrets about prom. It’s a little overhyped yes, but it’s a high school rite of passage. It was the first time I rode in a limo! It was the second time I got to ride in a taxi! I really liked  all of the people I got to go with, I got to wear a dress that I wanted (even if it ripped), and I got to take a date that let me stage our stereotypical professional prom photo like this:

Like I keep saying, Pimpin’. Ain’t. Easy.

Until next time, I am vertically yours,

Tara

Prom: A step by step guide for how to react when your limo breaks down, Part 1:

Prom was always going to be a little awkward for me because in high school I was fat. I feel mean saying that about another human being, even if it’s just myself, but we have to be honest with ourselves. I was pretty lucky though, I was not ridiculed or teased very often. It might have been because I’ve always been a generally nice person, who gets along with almost everyone. However, I think it’s because I dressed like this:

Pimpin’ ain’t easy

(Full disclosure time: I went to the internet to look at pimp quotes when I first saw this picture, and I found a lot of gems at this website: Pimpsandhoessociety.org.uk

The pimp quotes are under the “pimpology” section, where you can also get, “Hoe Slapping Practice”. )

Anyways, about prom, when it’s prom time at a 5A high school, shit gets real. Everyone goes. Well, supposedly there is an “Anti-prom”. During high school, I think I assumed that all the kids who went to that smoked, drank alcohol, and had an anti-conformist devil orgy. Now though, I think it was mostly just a small group of kids who got together for 4 hours on the night of prom, brooded, and talked about how much prom was probably sucking.

I should say that there are reasons not to go to prom. There are legitimate ways in which it can be not very fun, but I personally wanted to fit in and have a blast. I wanted to have a normal, girlish, happy prom experience. But by that point in life, I should have known that “normal” wasn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. Here are pictures from some of my other public school dance appearances:

A dance for the theatre department. I think there was a costume theme. I’m wearing tube socks, so evidently my costume was, “horrible formal accessories.”

This is the scariest photo of me on record. This was taken after a choir dance. Not only am I obviously just pouring sweat from every skin cell, but I can’t imagine the person who started to take this photo, looked at the camera’s display, and thought, “Should I wait until Tara get’s that drunk insanity look off her face? Nah.”

Oh, another thing that I should mention about me, is that I frequently want to take pictures with ridiculous faces and poses. I also frequently forget to tell this to the other people in the photo with me.

I was always surrounded by cool people at these dances:

Another thing about me is that usually when the other person wants to be silly in the photo, I have no idea.

I’m not trying to make a silly face in this photo, that’s just the normal, creepy way I look if I smile and raise my eyebrows at the same time. I like to think I look a little like Jack Nicholson in the shining right after he bashes the bathroom door in with an axe.

The joke here was that Tim(the man solemnly rubbing my stomach) wanted to mock the pose of the couple next to us in a comedic fashion. I didn’t realize this until about three years later, and consequently was confused and baffled by this photo.  

Whatever these photo’s make you think, I had a lot of generally fun, sweaty experiences at high school dances. There were a lot of electric slides, a lot of Macarena’s, and a lot of sitting sadly in the corner every time they played a slow couples song, and I had no partner.

That was all going to change for prom though. It was one thing to go alone and wear the same lavender dress and tube socks to every OTHER dance, but prom was the big one. I made my mind up months in advance that no matter what happened, I was going to have a kick ass dress, and I was going to have a kick ass date.

The dress was the first problem. Like I’ve alluded to earlier, I was pretty fat in high school. So obviously I wasn’t going to find a dress at dillards. It’s at moments like this that I really have to hand it to my mother. She took me to TONS of places. And it wasn’t a fun, “Hehehe, prom dresses are awesome, yay!” shopping trip, it was more like a sad, documentary-film-about-obesity shopping trip. If the camera crew from TLC had been with us, it would have been a very depressing episode of “Say yes to the dress”. After finding nothing, and feeling discouraged, my mom told me that she would make my prom dress.

I decided on bright, shiny hot pink. Because as someone who already stuck out from the crowd, I recognized that subtlety at this formal event was important.

If you’re having trouble finding me, I’m standing at the end of this photo. Also, the limo behind us is not in working order. But we’ll get to that later.  

I got the works for prom, too. It was the second time in my life that I’ve gotten my hair professionally fixed, I got special makeup from the counter at the department store, and I got my eyebrows waxed.

The eyebrow waxing was a particularly special experience for me. First, because I had been growing two caterpillars on my forehead and the transformation of my brow was truly stunning. Second, I got it done in what seemed like the laundry closet of a small Chinese nail salon. The specialist that did the job ushered me into a tiny backroom, and spent the whole experience having a passive aggressive discussion with her boyfriend on speaker phone.

See? She did a good job, but I don’t know how things turned out between her and her boyfriend.

Check out part two, where I secure my prom date, rip my dress, and Tim (stomach ruby-guy from before) spends the entirety of prom asking other people for a ride home.