Category: Angst

No Sense of Proportion

“I don’t see how an article of clothing can be indecent.  A person, yes.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

Alright, ladies, am I completely alone in this or are there other proportion victims out there?

I’m barely five feet tall, with an exactly one inch space between my ribs and my hips.  Those same ribs are rather wide but my shoulders are rather narrow, and my hips are rather rounded.  My legs are short (duh) and taper downward, long and lanky we are not!

I need normal size pants to fit around what Casanova calls “birthin’ hips” (he’s from Georgia, we’ll excuse it), but those pants usually hang past my feet by a good six inches.  I routinely by Ankle Length trousers from the Gap and Banana Republic, but that’s a misnomer for a short girl if ever there was one.  I still have to wear three inch heels to keep them from dragging.  Also, because of my high hips, low cut jeans or pants of any kind are unflattering in the extreme…so why do almost all trousers winkingly advertise “our lowest cut ever!”

Really, Victoria Secret models don't look good in bad pants, how much less we mere mortals?

Medium size shirts fit around my ribs, but I’d need the 80’s-est of 80’s shoulder pads to fill those gaping shoulders, and they always manage to make me look pregnant.  However, size small shirts fit shoulders and stomach perfectly while straining to cover, not my breasts, but my lower rib cage (which, unlike my legs, tapers not at all).

So, apart from having to work extra hard on exercising my abs to create the illusion of a waist, shopping for clothes on a good day is rough.  And let’s face it, most of what’s in the petite sections are not made for 24 year old, fashion conscious career girls!

Also, I admit, I’ve put on 10 pounds since I got married.  Hence my fab exercise bike, Harley.  It’s working.  Slowly.

Yesterday I finally replaced my torn trousers, it took nearly 2 hours.  I also tried on my bridesmaids dress for Marie’s upcoming nuptials and wilted a bit in front of the mirror.  It’s an adorable dress, I absolutely love it, but the cut of it does nothing for my figure.  Sort of like this:

Pretty dress, pretty woman (pun!), not so happy together

However, I am happy to report that, even though it took a while, I found trousers that are three-inch heel friendly, hit at the waist, and make my bum look good.  I also scored two new work shirts that don’t strain across my breasts/ribs (is there anything more tacky than a too tight shirt?  Yikes, everyone gets a view!)  And with that, my Fall/Winter work wardrobe is complete.  Which means that, if I’m lucky, I won’t have to buy new trousers – and take the requisite shopping aspirin – for another year.

That Time Again

“No supervisor becomes the quarterback in this situation.”
– Richard Hirsch

About this time last year, we organized a meeting in which to hold student supervisor’s feet to the fire about their negligent hiring practices.  The Great Uprising of the Secretaries had some effect since the University complimented our department on having no hiring errors since then.  HA!

However, seeing as it’s been a whole year, and what with some people being raised to the position of student without being trained how to do the job, the fact that some supervisors don’t like to read forms, and that the same supervisors have developed the habit of letting the University auto-terminate their students instead of doing the work themselves (actually, telling us to do the work) and not telling us students have quit…we must again go over the same information we did last year.  And none of the information has changed.

I am imagining throwing this phone at you.

I long to be able to shake a stack of paperwork, uniforms, and gear in their faces and say, “We do all of this.  We get them hired, outfitted, in compliance with state and federal laws, and keep them that way.  We keep track of the last time you, their supervisor, with whom they have contact every day, gave them a raise.  We get them access to all secured areas, programs, and even sometimes personally hand them pepper spray (at great personal risk).  We do this, for 150 of them a year.  Literally all we ask of you is to have this form filled out so we know what timetable to do all this on…please explain to me, WHY IS THAT SO HARD?”

Making a Cake of Myself

“If you wait a few minutes you can have a piece of cake.  Baked it chock-full of love, actually chock-full of unrelenting, all-consuming rage and hostility.  But still tasty.”
-Grey’s Anatomy

I made light of it but yesterday’s brush off (you know, when I delivered fifty years of an otherwise undocumented perspective on the growth of the university, state, and country through some of the most turbulent social decades of the previous century…nothing big) was a crushing blow.  I’ve been coasting along blissfully at work ever since my rage stroke without caring too much about the administrative snafus that I seem to see everywhere.

But then this happened and my entire academic life flashed before my eyes.  I wondered if all my education even mattered, if I’d ever be able to use it again, what would become of me, blah blah blah.  It was rough.  To make it worse it was compounded with hormones and J. wanting to talk about our future (grad school, loans, working now, internships).  The overwhelming sense of uncertainty blended nicely into the tempest already brewing in my teapot.

Cue minor meltdown.  I started baking immediately.  I hate cooking of all forms so for me it’s the ultimate cathartic experience: I can take out my emotions by beating eggs, shredding carrots, and pummeling dough into submission, and come out with something sugary at the end.  Perfect.  Luckily Venice and I met somewhere in the middle – she needed butter, I needed Midol – and I got a nice heaping dose of perspective, as she’d had a pretty wretched day too.

She’s been suffering at work for years now.  And unlike me, she doesn’t have lots of really great co-workers and supervisors to make the stupidity and drudgery less irksome.  (Don’t go, Venice!  Er…ahem…)  Twenty minutes complaining about work, mutual resolve to learn to cope better, and I was ready to talk grad school with J.

Summary: Friends and muffins make everything, even the occasional crisis of faith, better.