Written to my grandma with love

Dear Grandma,

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Every time I look at my drawers of makeup and nail polish, you come to mind.

As a child, your bathroom was like a cave of wonders. You had baskets and containers of the most magical colours and powders. I would sneak a little lip colour or eye shadow from time to time, but you already know that.

You embody the sentiment that variety is the spice of life. It was so great to visit you and try a new shampoo every time I had a shower. Your lotions and potions were a constant fascination, and every wash of the hands was a new opportunity to put another lotion on.

I definitely get my love of makeup, nail polish and body products from you. Mom is starting to become this way, but I’m not sure it’s entirely her choice or because she’s Mallory’s and my mom and getting sucked in might be unavoidable. And no one else I know has delicate trays of perfumes on their bureaus. My Girl Room has become a source of entertainment to my girlfriends.

Actually, I’m a lot like you in many ways. I have a drawer full of socks that I never wear. I don’t like fitted tops or scratchy clothes. And like you and mom, I love to cook and I take pride in what I serve people.

We’re gardeners. We love animals. We’re sensitive souls. Grandma, it took me a long time to notice, but I’m a lot like you. I know I haven’t spent much time with you in my adult years, I do wish we lived closer to one another. I wanted to let you know that you’ve helped shape who I am.

You have always been incredibly generous with your time and your things, and I strive to be that way, too.

I was overwhelmed when you baked cookies and squares for my wedding. I should have known that you were going to show up with 5,000 pieces for a 150 people tea reception. But you’re like that. There is always way too much food and there is always room at your table. No one in your life will ever go hungry.

Grandma, I could go on and on. You’re a beautiful woman, from the inside out. I love you very much, and I don’t and haven’t said it nearly enough.

Also, I’m sorry for trying to steal your pyramid paper weight. That thing is a symbol of Grandma’s House and I hope you never give it away.

All my love,
Rochele xoxo

PS- I love grandpa, too, and I’ll never forget the day he took me to the Dollar Store and let me buy whatever I wanted. He’ll get his own letter one day.

 

November

More often than I care to admit, I stand in the kitchen of my office and have an overwhelming desire to drop one of the water glasses on the stone tile floor and watch it shatter. But I don’t. Mostly because my coworker’s workstation faces the kitchen and I look around and find him watching me. It’s like he knows what’s going on inside of my head. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, is what I’d like to say. I don’t drop it, instead I put the glass in the dishwasher or fill it up and go back to my desk.

And sometimes I look at my phone and I want to hurl it off the pier at Crab Park. DROWN THE PHONE! Good riddance! Digital detox here I come! That’s not rational. I need my phone to text people. I realize that I don’t know anyone’s phone number anymore and they probably wouldn’t answer my calls anyway. It’s like, “Why are you calling me? Do you hate me or something? DID YOU JUST LEAVE ME A VOICEMAIL? What is wrong with you?” Ugh people, sometimes I hate you. But also, I can’t log into anything without my phone because I have two-step verification enabled. Maybe that’s a win/win situation.

Talk to me about the time I drowned my Blackberry. Unintentional, but exactly what I needed at the time.

It’s dark, wet, cold and it will go right through you. I hate and I love it. It’s so much easier being miserable when you have wet feet and frizzy hair and mascara that’s bled all over the place. Finally, the outside matches the inside.

Daylight sadness, am I right? This too shall pass.

 

 

 

 

Fall Love

crisp mornings
balmy afternoons
crunchy, brown leaves
damp, dewy grass
hot apple cider
stew and biscuits
flannel sheets and billowy duvets
clouds of breath hanging in the night air
thick socks nestled in tall boots
hot bubble baths
porters and oatmeal stouts
early sunsets
children practicing soccer
condensation on car windows
sweaters that cover your bum
Sunday dinners
mugs of tea
soft, plush robes and slippers
setting the thermostat
watching movies under a blanket
hot chocolate
jackets with a lining
magic gloves
infinity scarves
steamed milk
spiced whiskey
hockey
Thanksgiving
oatmeal

Those things on my chest

Can we chat about breasts for a moment? They’re great, they look nice, they’re fun to play with blah blah blah, okay we’re done with that part.

I sprouted breasts stupidly early, and because young men and women aren’t taught about puberty and respect for one another’s bodies early enough, my breasts were a fascination to everyone else but me. I wanted to tape them down until I was old enough to wear a bikini and let them fulfill their true purpose (I was ten, that’s the only thing boobs seem to be good for when you’re ten.) I dreaded PE and anything that made it obvious that I had breasts. Boys said stupid things like, “Those aren’t real. You’re stuffing.” What do you even say to that? If I bothered to comment on their authenticity, it was often met with, “Prove it.” My mom taught me to tell boys to fuck off at young age.

I was also unusually tall when I was ten. I was the same height as the two tallest boys in my grade, who were very tall. My stepdad walked me to my first day of grade four, looked in the classroom and declared that we were in the wrong place; the children were way too small to be my classmates. The teacher checked my name against her list and assured him that we were in the right place and that his daughter was an exceptional height.

Let’s all take a moment and laugh at the situation. I grew to be a giant 5’3″ and stopped.

But back then, I stood out.

I was tall for ten years old, and I had breasts that garnered unwanted attention. I dressed like a boy for a year in huge t-shirts and track pants; girl’s clothing wouldn’t have fit anyway. I don’t even want to talk about how my parents bought my clothes so that I would grow into them. I didn’t. I wore big clothes for a long time.

I also learned that if I hunched over, my breasts were less visible. Almost 20 years later and I’m still trying to correct my posture.

Puberty is awkward as fuck.

Being an adult is awkward as fuck. Does every affordable bra have to be covered in hot pink zebra print with level 10 push-up? Do I seriously need to have cleavage up to my neck? Why are visible bra straps so risqué? I get mixed messages about breasts all the time. You’re not attractive unless you have big, full breasts. If you have big full breasts, you’re supposed to want people to notice them. If you have small breasts, you should want them to be bigger so people will notice them. Breasts are for the enjoyment of other people, but you can’t enjoy your own breasts without being a show-off. You should be modest about your breasts. You have to wear a bra, but you’re totally indecent if anyone can tell that you’re wearing one. You should be proud of them, except when there is an infant attached, and then they’re gross, please put them away. Pushup bras are fine, but bra straps are a no-no. Gratuitous cleavage is fine, but visibly cold nipples are not. I’m 29 years old and I’m still brutally uncomfortable with my nipples poking out, and I’m not sure why. That’s what nipples do when it’s cold. It’s fine for everyone else to have nipples, but my own are strange to me. Who decides this bullshit? All the things we’re taught about breasts are wrong.

I just made an investment in being a woman and spent $345 on nine bras. I went to a lingerie shop that wasn’t LaSenza and was properly fitted. I’m not a 34, I’m a 30. I’m not a C, I’m an E. And before you lose your marbles, it has everything to do with where the underwire sits. For years and years I’ve been wearing the wrong size and the underwire has been sitting on top of breast tissue. NO WONDER WOMEN HATE WEARING BRAS, it’s not supposed to be that way. I compensated for the wrong cup size by wearing a band size that was much too big. My natural waist is a 27, and now that I think about it, there is no way that the band size under my breasts is seven inches bigger.

I also ditched the molded cup and went for lace. For the first time in my life, my breasts don’t look like they’re sitting on a shelf. They look much more natural and soft than pretend implants. And… the buttons on my shirts are staying closed because my breasts aren’t sitting artificially high on my chest. I also said no to a soft cup, because nipples are real and we should stop pretending they don’t exist. I think I’m confident enough to tell someone to stop looking at them, or at least I will be with some practice. Do one thing every day that scares you, and for a while that will be wearing an unlined bra.

After twenty years, I think I’ve accepted that I have breasts and that I don’t need to dress them up or down for anyone other than myself. I have breasts, they are on my body. And really, they are none of your business.

An important message: Consent still applies to pregnant ladies

The following is from my dear friend affectionately known as Nurse Nathalie, or @howetolove on the Twittersphere:

This maternity shirt was lovingly given to me by an amazing coworker as a jest to my disdain for people touching my belly since being pregnant, but it brings forward the important concept of consent. A wise nurse once modelled to me the importance of obtaining consent from a patient before ever touching her breasts, abdomen, or private areas before an exam, and since then, I’ve always tried to model this for newer staff. It may seem like the abdomen is a normal place to touch or rub a pregnant woman, but truthfully, would you do that to anyone else? I believe that usually it is an area reserved for a consensual intimate relationship, and that fact doesn’t change in pregnancy just because a baby is kicking away. It’s not that you CAN’T touch a pregnant belly, but more that you should gain consent before doing so, even if already implied to close friends, immediate family, and your partner. Imagine for a second, a woman who had been sexually assaulted at some point in her life; a point where consent was taken away from her. Imagine bringing those feelings back, even if your touch was well-intentioned. This is why you have to ask, and respect the answer immediately. This is not a hormone fueled rant, but more a peaceful, thought provoking piece on consent, based on my observations and feelings so far as a pregnant woman.

I know many, many times over how amazing it is to share in the life being created by a woman during pregnancy, but if you weren’t invited to do so, all you have to do is ask. :) <3

can't touch this

Consent: Not actually that complicated

Required reading.

rockstar dinosaur pirate princess

http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517 http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517

A short one today as my life is currently very complicated and conspiring against my preference to spend all of my days working out what to blog. But do you know what isn’t complicated?

Consent.

It’s been much discussed recently; what with college campuses bringing in Affirmative Consent rules, and with the film of the book that managed to make lack of consent look sexy raking it in at the box office. You may not know this, but in the UK we more or less have something similar to ‘affirmative consent’ already. It’s how Ched Evans was convicted while his co-defendant was not – and is along the lines of whether the defendant had a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented. From the court documents it appears that while the jury felt that it was reasonable to believe that the victim had consented to intercourse with the co-defendant, it…

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Giving up Twitter for Lent, Again

I’m giving up Twitter for Lent again. It officially starts on Wednesday February 18th and continues for 40 days and nights, but I just deleted it from my phone in preparation. I need a break from broadcasting my thoughts for a while. I did it last year, and I literally carried around a book and documented all the random little bursts of would-be tweets. You don’t understand how pathetic it feels to write these things down with a pen and paper, especially when there is no one else to validate me.

Anyway, the following was brought to you by Lent 2014:

March 5th – Not stalking is harder than I thought it would be.

March 5th – I’d be the best 16 year old ever.

March 6th – OMG! Glitter everything! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/116671446568878687/

March 6th – Pinterest is broken. My life is over. Goodbye cute crafts and hairstyles that I was never actually going to try anyway.

March 6th – LET THERE BE INTERVIEWS!

March 6th – I made the most amazing mock pad Thai for dinner. I say mock because instead of noodles I used spaghetti squash again.

March 7th- HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

March 7th – Sorry, but the last people I’d send to Mars are a bunch of depressed people that aren’t LIVING on Earth http://digg.com/video/mars-one-way-on-vimeo except maybe the bee keeper.

March 7th – Is it rude if I unfollow my own posts on Facebook?

March 7th – Let sing about the stars
Let’s drive into the night
Forget about the day
And look forward to tonight

March 7th – Up to no good.

March 7th – I learned that the nearest four square check in is the bust stop near my house. So I checked in there for Untappd and now I can’t stop laughing.

March 8th – CREEPY AS FUCK http://www.tickld.com/x/20-two-sentence-horror-stories-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night-7-gave-me-chills

March 8th – Procrastination level 5000 unlocked. I’m going all the way, kids.

March 9th – Attended the scene of a bad car accident last night. Turns out one of the people hurt was my mom’s friend. Small world.

March 9th – Who needs friends when you have chips?

March 9th – It’s soooo sunny, why oh why did I leave homework until today? I’m an idiot.

March 9th – You’re my favourite mistake.

March 9th – Generate is the greatest photo app. Loving it.

March 9th- The women in my family have a lot of balls. Proud of all of them. Especially my sister.

March 11th – Started my day by watching strangers kiss for the first time http://sploid.gizmodo.com/watching-complete-strangers-make-out-is-actually-awkwar-1540921129?utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow <3

March 12th – Sun burnt. Oops.

March 13th – I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music lately, this is great http://www.wimp.com/coinsurprise/

March 13th- Found out the video of strangers kissing is a fake. Feeling jaded.

March 13th- Day 8 of the 100 days of happy challenge and I am grumpy as fuck. Just…. stay away.

March 14th- My Irish drinking name is Filthy McDrunkerson wrote at 9:12am

March 14- I dislike hearing that cars were broken into near my house while I was home alone last night. I need a dog.

March 14th- I told Keiran I was a disaster today and he looked at me sympathetically and told me I’m in good company. I have a lot of love for him right now.

March 16th- Tonight we’re American. I’ve made coleslaw, fried chicken, and waffles. #thisiswhyyourefat

March 16th- It’s been a while since Bill Withers broke my heart

March 17th- Kiss me, I’m actually Irish.

March 17th – Screw #100daysofhappy I’m happy every day and I don’t need photographic evidence to prove that to myself

March 17th- What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear. Yeah, I’m totally not sorry for that one.

March 17th- When someone pushes you away, it’s not an invitation to try harder to stay.

A few days went by and the thoughts became less and less…

March 2oth- playing on twitter for school, legitimately

March 21st – Studying on a Friday night BLOWS.

March 22nd- 30 is not the new 20 <— a compelling TED talks video. Feeling a lot better about *most* of my adult life choices

March 22nd – the blog got a new title and a makeover

March 22nd – I put too much tequila in my drink, but I’m wrapping up final assignments and studying on a Saturday night so I’m going to roll with it

March 23rd – I have no one to share my Buzzfeed quiz results with :( I got John Bender from the Breakfast Club, btw

March 23rd- I’m going to try my hand at a bacon spinach frittata for lunch

March 23rd- It’s really refreshing to clear your browsing history, especially when certain things that are bothering you keep coming up in past searches

March 23rd- For a while I thought I was going to end up like Olivia Wilde’s character in Drinking Buddies. Disaster averted.

March 24th- *hangs head in shame* the hairspray that I love is heartbreakingly expensive. Thank god I have an insider. Even so, I just spent $21 on hairspray.

March 25th- It’s been a long time since I wanted to slow dance, but this song does it. #allthefeels

March 25th- You’re beautiful, and your mind is fucking beautiful. And I can’t pretend that doesn’t mean a thing to me

……..

And that’s when I stopped documenting all the things I would have tweeted. It lost its appeal when there was no one to respond to me. I can tell you that the first few days were very isolating, and it wasn’t pleasant. The people who cared found ways to check in, and of course I had contact information for everyone that I wanted to stay in touch with.

If you really can’t live without me, you can drop me a line stopdropandro at gmail dot com and I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, this is goodbye for now. I hope to be in a better frame of mind when I return. Stay well.