Monthly Archives: November 2010

fail-odex.

The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough for me at work. I almost got fired once and today, on the coattails of my brush with unemployment, I made a mistake of epic proportions.

For most people, this wouldn’t be so bad. I mean, as of 6:20 PM I still have a job, right?

But for whatever reason I seem to have some sort of Rolodex in my brain where some sadist asshole (read: me) has recorded each and every failure I’ve ever made in my history. Consequently, each time I fail, that Rolodex (or failodex, if you will) comes to life and starts spinning furiously, spitting out painful excerpts from each fail-entry for me to relive. It’s as if each time I fail, I’ve failed each of my past failures all over again.

And I am crushed into nothing. Just a shell of a girl who once had promise.

A few minutes ago as I was soaking in my consolatory not-hot-enough bubble bath (formulated with dish soap because, alas, I’ve failed at buying more bubble bath) chugging my consolatory bottle (not glass) of riesling, the failodex began to rear its ugly head. Under usual circumstances, my next move would be to get out of the bath, dig my journal out of my purse, and begin to scribble down the most hateful, obscene things about myself imaginable.

But this time, I decided to try something different. I decided to turn to my blog, where I’m accountable to my readers.

You see, when it comes to my written journal, I’m the only one (hopefully) that will ever see what’s inside. I have free reign to dig myself into the deepest hole of self-degradation possible, only to go back and read it the next time I fail and remember just how crappy of a person I am. But Lindsay Durrenberger happens to have friends, and I know they don’t want me to talk badly about her on the Internet.

So instead, today, I’d like to create a winodex (if for nothing else, a way for me to stop feeling so darn crappy about myself.)

Here are some examples of times I’ve been a winner at life:

This is a picture of me after I got hit on by a very attractive boy. He gave me his phone number on the dollar. He ended up being a total creep, but for the time being, I was a winner.

This is a picture from my wedding day, where I made the best decision ever. I married the best guy a girl could ask for. WIN.

Here, my good friend Chelsea and I are about to split a weird sausage in Elberta, Alabama. Chelsea got sick to her stomach afterward. I did not because I’m a winner.

Here I’m about to blow out candles on a birthday cake made for me by my very best friend Nikki. My friend Kyle is in the background making a really stupid face. I win because it’s my birthday, and also because my face looks better than Kyle’s.

My good friend Jessica and my husband Dan are making a heart around me because they love me. I win.

I got to go to Scotland when I was studying abroad in London. This is where this picture was taken. Winners are cultured. Hence, I win.

Dan and I went as Jim and Pam for Halloween a couple years ago. We obviously win at this.

This was taken right after Dan proposed to me. Is this picture full of win or what?

For those of you who know me well, you know I hate cold weather. This was taken when Dan and I went to Illinois to visit his family. I didn’t complain ONCE the entire trip about how cold I was. WIN WIN WIN.

Hopefully this will help me with future failures.

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Filed under life, on the job

dropping a bombshell.

Dear Victoria’s Secret,

I’m writing to you today to request that you be consistent in your marketing and the consequent message you are sending your consumers. I can’t speak for all of them but I, for one, am lost.

For the past few months my email inbox has been flooded with Photoshop-laden advertisements for your new “Bombshell” push-up bra, which is guaranteed to increase a woman’s bust by two cup sizes. The bra comes in sizes starting at 32AA and going to 38DD.

(In this letter, I’m not going to address the glaring fact that women come in more shapes and sizes than just the ones you sell. By now you should already be aware of how preposterous this is.)

Now,  I work in marketing so I can kind of understand the thinking behind this product. We live in a culture where breasts are viewed as “the bigger, the better.” (Though don’t you dare have a body with complimenting proportions to big boobs. Then you’re just fat and therefore a disgrace.) But wait, ladies! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the heroic Victoria’s Secret swooping in with a product that is sure to be the answer to the hardships small-chested women face each day.

Now you TOO can be a “bombshell!”

Via this new product, you’re suggesting that women can only be considered to be “bombshells” if they increase their bust by at least two cup sizes. A woman surely can’t be a “bombshell” at her natural size and shape. She must be modified to fit into some sort of “bombshell” mold. If you think that this is just a “bra” and not a “message” with no actual repercussions, I beg you to reconsider the message you’re subtly conveying.

Don’t believe me? Well…

I rest my case.

As a woman who has never really needed a push-up bra (I’m a 36D) I thought I’d try on the “Bombshell” bra for fun. (After all, who doesn’t want to be a bombshell?)

The result? I LOOKED RIDICULOUS. I looked as if I were smuggling party balloons in my shirt. I didn’t look like a “bombshell.” I looked completely unnatural. If I were to wear that bra out in public, I would most definitely turn heads, but not in the way Victoria’s Secret suggests. People would rubberneck not to whistle and cat call but rather to ask themselves, “How much do you think she paid for those? I mean, she doesn’t look particularly wealthy, but those are so fake. Who does she think she’s fooling?”

So. Not only am I not a bombshell at my normal size. But now, I’m not even a bombshell in a bra that promises to make me a bombshell.

How would you feel, VS, if this was you? What do you think this would do to your view of yourself?

FAIL.

Right after I got married I decided to buy some lingerie. Since I’m pretty naive, the only establishment I’m aware of that sells sexy lingerie is you, Victoria’s Secret. When I walked in the store, I felt really uncomfortable trying on anything that I saw on stick-thin mannequins, but I pushed through it. I finally found one piece that I thought was not only sexy, but also really pretty. I thought I’d look really good in it and I was so excited! I started scouring the racks for my size, but I couldn’t find it. I grabbed one of your sweet saleswomen and asked her politely, “Excuse me, but do you have this in a 36D?”

“I’m sorry,” she replied. “This line isn’t made that big.”
I was shocked. “Why’s that?” I asked, trying to remain calm.
“I’m not sure, ” she shrugged. “It’s our ‘Sexy Little Things’ line. It just doesn’t come that big. So sorry.”

What.

Are.

You.

SERIOUS?

Victoria’s Secret, you lost me.
Let’s recap.

  1. I can only be sexy (a “bombshell,” if you will) by increasing my bust by at least two cup sizes.
  2. But I can’t wear “sexy little” lingerie because my bust is just too big.

So. This where the consistency of your message is faulty. Bigger is better, but only if it’s fake and super padded. Real big (the born-with-it-real-big) like myself isn’t sexy.

Where do I fit? What do I have to do to be sexy? Because at this point, all I know is that I can’t do so by wearing anything you sell. Guess I’ll just have to be sexy by being me.

Sincerely,

Lindsay Durrenberger, a natural-born bombshell.
(insert middle finger here.)

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Filed under commentaries, life, rants, transformation

a happy moment.

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when someone feels on top of the world, look no further than this photograph.

Pictured above, I am emanating the smell of sweet heaven thanks to my brand new marshmallow-scented body butter, while wearing new (to me) clothes that fit quite nicely on my body (which, as of this morning, is nine pounds lighter than it was three weeks ago.)

This blog post may seem silly but this is honestly the coolest thing to happen to me in a while.

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Filed under gushes, life

a clueless generation.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Clueless because I have excellent/deplorable taste.

I got the movie on VHS (lols!) when it came out in 1995. I was almost ten years old. One weekend, I played the movie on repeat over and over and over for the entire two days.  I fell asleep in the TV room with it on, and would wake up to it on. I memorized every line (still know them!) and every mannerism. Everything about that movie is forever etched in my brain.

I looked at Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher and completely idolized her. She was everything I wanted to be and more. Boys loved her because she was beautiful, pretty, gorgeous, rich, spoiled…

Um…

And that’s it. Yep. Everything I ever wanted to be.

I was happy that at least I had my hair color going for me. I was naturally blonde like Cher, but alas; my hair is wavy and frizzy. Not straight and sleek like hers. Oh, how desperately I wanted it to be straight! Her hair was beautiful and sexy. She could wear it all sorts of ways and heads would turn.

I wanted to be Cher because she was beautiful on the outside. But she wasn’t smart, unique, or profound. She wasn’t an independent thinker (or a thinker period.) She was essentially a pretty void, but even still boys drooled over her as if she were a Big Mac in lingerie because hot damn is she gorgeous. Cher’s pseudo-attempt at being a decent person is shown when she picks up an equally clueless girl (Brittany Murphy’s character Tai) dressed in “drab” grunge clothes, sans makeup or friends, and gives her a makeover as a favor. Suddenly a shorter skirt and a dye job makes Tai the most popular girl in school. In other words, the message of the entire movie is that the only thing that matters about a woman is what she looks like. Ladies, according to this piece of cinematic genius, your looks are the extent of your value. You are only as good as your appearance is.

And there I was, ten years old, already comparing myself (and falling short) to a girl based solely on appearance. I had fallen into a trap that I’d still be desperately trying to claw my way out of fifteen years later.

It’s kind of a chicken and egg scenario. Was I comparing myself to other women because I was born a girl and that’s just what girls do? Or was I doing so because I was exposed to such negative messages at such a young and impressionable age?

Or both?

The sad part is that fifteen years later it hasn’t gone away. Sure, I’ve matured and learned that beauty (and self-worth) is much more than skin deep. But the poison that is comparison and self-scrutinizing hasn’t been defeated. It’s no secret that traditional forms of media (television, radio, movies) completely distort the realistic view of what women are like and are supposed to be like. But now we have a new enemy: the Internet.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people dress their Facebook profiles up to present the most awesome version of themselves. Take mine, for instance. My current profile picture happens to be one taken from my good side. My political views are listed not as a particular political party or affiliation, but rather a Bible verse to show you just how good of a Christian I am (only the best Christians use Bible verses in their Facebook profile. It proves that they know the Bible better than you.) Under my favorite music, I don’t list my favorite band because if I do, I’m undoubtedly subject to ridicule. Instead, I list semi-obscure local and indie bands to show you just how hip I am.

And this is just one Facebook profile out of over 500 million! Holy reality distortion, Batman!

Even though I’m (thankfully) not watching Clueless on repeat anymore, I find myself constantly refreshing my Facebook and scrolling through profiles and pictures of women my age who are prettier, skinnier, smarter, funnier, more talented, better writers, better wives, better at everything, etc.

Ugh. What have we come to? Why do we do this to ourselves? We are meant to be allies, not enemies. The diversity among us is what makes us beautiful. Unique. Special. Lovely. Precious.

One of my closest friends just gave up Facebook. She still has it, and gets updates on her iPhone, but doesn’t scroll through profiles or pictures because of how unhealthy the behavior has proven to be. When she told me this, I was immediately inspired to do the same thing. How freeing! To be able to go about my day blissfully unaware of how many women there are out there to whom I don’t measure up and, even more importantly, being comfortable with myself and knowing the truth that life is not a competition.

But I haven’t done it yet. Because it’s just too bloody scary.

It’s scary to step into the unknown world of self-acceptance. I’ve never known reality without wishing I was born someone else with other talents, looks, thoughts, passions, life goals…

If I feel comfortable in my own skin, and stop comparing myself to other women, what will I do? Will I lose the motivation that I’ve had since childhood to change into something I’m not?

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Filed under commentaries, life, rants, transformation

legitimate questions for runners.

As we have recently discovered, I am not a professional runner. I don’t do it to win. I do it to finish.

i do it for THIS.

Today I ran 5 kilometers without stopping. For those of you yankees counting that’s 3.1 miles! Holy cow! I was so pumped! Halfway through my run I thought, “Maybe I don’t need to walk for awhile. How cool would it be if I didn’t walk at all?” AND THEN I DIDN’T. Suck. On. THAT.

After my little celebratory photo op (above), I started thinking about the milestone that I’d just hit. I’ve been running since March and it has taken me this long to get to a point where a three-mile-run doesn’t completely kill me. I don’t know if I’m just misinformed, but I honestly thought it wouldn’t take this long. I was positive that roughly one month into my running “career” I’d be blazing through marathons (with the most gorgeous thighs to prove it.) But alas, I was wrong.

And so, I’ve decided, I don’t want to be “pleasantly surprised” about this running crap anymore.

Would you consider yourself “a runner?” Do you like to run? Do you know how to run? Have you seen someone run before?
Well then I need to hear from you!

Calling all runners! I have questions for you! And I need answers!

(Don’t make this blog post a waste of my time, please. Please answer! For real!)

  1. How long did it take for running to actually become fun? Because as it stands right now, running is as high on the “fun” list as cleaning my bathtub with a toothbrush. After my cat pukes in it.
  2. What things do you do to make running less boring? I mean, my “kick-ass chick rock” playlist can only take me so far.
  3. What’s on YOUR running playlist?
  4. Is there some way to make it so that the first mile I run doesn’t feel like I’m trying to maneuver whilst being up to my neck in quicksand? Or Elmer’s glue?
  5. What are the best before and after run foods/drinks?
  6. My feet are flat and are completely mangled from years of ballet. What are the best running shoes for my feet?
  7. How bloody long will it take me to have a smokin’ hot runner’s body?
  8. Are there any supplemental exercises/stretches I should be doing before/after/along with runs?
  9. Is it best to run a little everyday or a LOT every other day?
  10. How bad ass are runners? Seriously?

I look forward to your answers, blogoverse.

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Filed under life, transformation