Monday, January 6, 2014

Dear Online Retailers...

I realize that I am a plus size woman and I might represent only a small portion of your overall bottom line, however, there are some things you need to know about me:
1) I shop.  A lot.  I like to buy clothes.  I like to feel pretty.  In fact, I probably spend more than anyone else I know on clothes each year.
2) I don't like it when I go on line to look around and in the PLUS SIZE section of your website and see photos like this one:
How am I supposed to see what something might potentially look like on me when my upper arms are probably larger than the model's thighs?  Granted, not all photos are like that on all websites, but if you're going to just use a photo from the misses piece then perhaps you shouldn't include it. 
Every item looks absolutely fabulous on those twigs but when I order it and try it on, it looks NOTHING LIKE THAT.  Thankfully I know my body type, what looks good and what designers I can regularly order from and consistently know my size.  Not everybody can order with confidence like I can and it's not fair to the curvy girls to keep showing all these stick figures wearing things that will not flatter our bodies.  Shame on you.
3) I despise getting e-mails from people like The Bay who advertise one day sales on ladies clothing only to find out it doesn't apply to Plus Sizes.  Since when aren't plus size women ladies?  I've attempted on more than one occasion to reach someone at The Bay to help them understand that the message they are sending out is wrong.  If they are going to put ladies' sweaters on sale, then all size ranges in their stores (on-line and brick/mortar) should be included. 
I'm frustrated.  I get to travel lots to the US and get to actually try things on.  I can't imagine what it's like for someone who lives in a remote location and doesn't have the same access I do to real stores. 
I doubt anything will ever be done about this, but it's been on my mind and I don't think it's fair.  I think if retailers just spent a little extra money and posted pictures of what things look like on plus size women (heck, I'll take a mannequin over a skinny girl any day!) they might see their sales increase, returns decrease and have overall higher customer satisfaction.  And it would sure be lovely if we were acknowledged along with everyone else as ladies.  Cause we are.  We are people and it's time retailers started treating us like them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pa Rump Pa Pum Pum

Why is everyone so upset that winter programs at schools don't have traditional Christmas carols?  I can understand it if your kid goes to a Christian/Catholic school, but if your child is in a public school what's the big deal if they are singing about snowflakes and Santa vs Baby Jesus?  Just because the majority of people celebrate something does not mean we shouldn't be aware or inclusive of other people and respect their cultures. 
Immigrating to Canada does not mean assimilation, or does it?  When did we start that?  Should people have to give up their own personal beliefs because they moved here because we give them freedom to practice their beliefs?  Holy hypocritical.
I have been reading how people are so upset because it's so different from when we were kids.  Of course it's different from when we were kids!  Since the 1970's:
- Kids have to sit in carseats and wear seatbelts.  I never had to.  I remember laying down in the back seat of the truck to have a good sleep.  I never got a sore neck from having to try and sleep sitting up because it was "safer".
- Kids have to wear helmets and pads to ride bikes and skateboards and ski.  I don't remember ever having to do that.
- Parents no longer smoke in vehicles when their kids are in the car (for the most part).  It was common practice for both parents to smoke in a vehicle and just open the window a tiny crack. 
- LGBT folks are allowed to marry and be openly in love with the one they love.  Heck, they are even allowed to have children (gasp!).
And the list goes on. 
I'm all about everyone believing in what they believe in - EVERYONE.  Just because I don't share the same beliefs as you doesn't mean I want yours shoved down my throat and especially down my child's throat.  My suggestion is that if you want to hear traditional Christmas carols attend church.  Churches have lots of services this time of year and you can sing your heart out.
Please please accept that our world is changing and we too need to change and learn how to get along.  Our differences are what make us so very wonderful and we need to start showing our new immigrants that they are welcome and not slam them for being there because now our kids can't sing "Little Drummer Boy" at school.  Seriously?  Am I think only one that thinks that is just a little ridiculous?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Religious Anonymous

Hi, my name is Kerry and I'm an atheist.

I don't believe in God.  This may come as a shock to some, not so shocking to others.  What I believe is that there is good in everyone and people are in my lives for a reason.  I don't practice any religion but I suppose if I did the one I would most closely affiliate myself with is Buddhism. 

I have a lot of family members and friends that are Christians.  For the most part, religion does not play a part in my relationship with any of these wonderful people.  I'm never made to feel bad for not sharing their beliefs and for that, I'm truly grateful.  I don't talk to them about my disbelief in God and consciously or not, they don't talk to me about their beliefs.  It's worked great.

And then today an acquaintance posted this on facebook with a big ol' AMEN in front of it:

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer are not allowed in most public schools anymore Because the word “God” is mentioned….
A kid in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer :Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school ‘s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!


Now, this is where I take offense.  First of all, this came from America and you can tell it's American - we don't have a Pledge of Allegiance in Canada.  I simply put a comment underneath the post that I find it interesting that people keep trying to put God in public schools.  As more and more people are immigrating to our country and bringing their cultures and beliefs with them, how are we being accepting to them by forcing God down their throats?  Is it right to ask a Muslim child to promise something to God if that is not what they believe?  I simply stated that if you want God in your school then send your kid to a Christian school.

And I was one of those blue haired kids - I turned out just fine.  It's just hair.  Maybe the pregnant teen made a mistake and trust me, she's going to be well aware of that mistake for the rest of her life.  Why be so judgemental?  For those of you who are anti-abortion, keeping the baby is what you want them to do and you shouldn't belittle someone for making the choice that you support and protest for.  Why can't anyone live their life without being judged?  You NEVER know what is happening on the other side of the street and the ones who hide behind their goodness because of their Christianity are the ones that send me over the edge.

Funny, I just put a few thoughts underneath the post and now I've been unfriended on facebook because of it.  Obviously, we were just acquaintances so I don't REALLY care, but the fact that it happened because I was just trying to add a different dimension to the conversation is bothersome to me.

Hey, this is Canada and it's 2013.  I'm entitled to my beliefs as is everyone else.  I don't think that God belongs in public schools any longer.  Even if 90% of the school is Christian, there is 10% of the school that is being alienated and is that fair?  Why don't we celebrate the religions of every student in the school?  Isn't it easier to just keep religion where it belongs - at home, in your community and in your life?  Does it have to come into mine?  What purpose does it serve at a public school?

I have very strong feelings about that, this is my blog and this is my spot to say something about it. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

That Kid

I, friends, am the mother of "that kid".  Apparently my child is teaching the other kids at daycare how to swear, kicking over block towers and yesterday, he punched a kid in the face because "he was bothering me".  All in one week. 
Vaughn goes through phases and I read somewhere that between the ages of 4 and 5 little boys' testosterone levels double which helps to explain some of the aggression.  He's also been used to a dayhome and is the only child of a single parent so he's not been around a lot of kids all at once.
Excuses aside, it's very hard to hear these things because for the most part, I know Vaughn is a sweet and funny little boy.  I don't want him to be "that kid" so it looks like we have some work to do.
Thankfully though, the daycare completely understands and he's certainly charmed the pants off just about everyone who works there so they are very forgiving with him.  He always runs ahead to open the doors for the staff and insists that ladies go first, gentlemen go last.  He makes them laugh with stories of how his penis won't let him do something.  And the very first day he sat down across from his new teacher and told him that there was something she needed to know about him.  He said "I'm a hugger.  I am going to hug you." I know, right?  Super cute.  Where is that kid now?
Today was show and tell day at daycare and Vaughn didn't get to take anything.  It was a consequence for his behaviour yesterday and I don't think it really hit him until he got to school.  When we got there, he instantly ran in and apologized to his teacher for being a bully and I think he thought that was enough.  Just before I left he came up to me and said he really wanted show and tell and I told him no and the waterworks started.  I'm sure hoping that it sticks with him but I will continue to take away his privileges until he gets it.
It's just so hard trying to be good at my career and balance being a good mom as well.  I am exceeding all expectations at the office and having a banner year in sales.  The wonderful thing about my company is that they are supportive of me and understand if I need to take some time to be a mom.  Maybe I'm not taking enough time away to be a mom. 
Deep breath, I'm just going to let these past few days go.  I have to.  I can't always second guess my choices - I have to work hard so we can have a nice home and my son needs to learn that life is tough and he can't just push his way around.  It's not enough to say "I'm sorry", but it's a good start.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Drop In

Last week I requested a meeting with a client and suggested Monday.  The time I asked for was 11:00, have a meeting and then go for lunch.  She told me the only time she wasn't free Monday was between 11:30 and 1 because she was volunteering serving lunch at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.  She told me I should come.  I said sure.

We met at the parking lot across the street and walked in.  You can't get into the centre unless you're an employee, volunteer or have been approved entry (by way of bio-metrics).  Up the stairs and into the volunteer holding room we went.

Jorge came in and explained to us all that the centre is now 10 years old and originally was meant to house around 500 people/night but has been expanded to house almost 1200 people.  Many of these people are working homeless, in transition or down on their luck in general. 

The kitchen has a staff of 2 and welcomes volunteers from their client base and various volunteers from in and around Calgary to make meal services work.  There were approximately 15-16 people there today and they had 8 in the kitchen and 8 out serving the meals.

Jorge explained to us that the clients come and sit down at a table prior to the meal times and that the volunteers bring the food to the table instead of making people go through a line.  Portions are controlled and it also gives the clients a certain amount of dignity.

We were serving the tables today.  The kitchen team rations out the food and then puts the plates up on the counter.  The servers grab the cutlery from a bin, put it on a plate and then start serving the meals.  During the meal, an announcement came on to thank the volunteers and everyone gives a round of applause.

I have to say everyone was extremely appreciative of the meal they were served, quite friendly and made the experience amazing.  When we (the volunteers) were walking back through the tables to go retrieve our stuff from the volunteer room, we received another round of applause the whole time we were walking out.  Tears were in my eyes and everyone was saying "thank you so much" - person after person was so grateful for us being there.

From what I can see and what I learned, the Drop In Centre relies heavily on volunteers and I plan on going back as often as I can.  It is humbling and rewarding knowing that I'm giving back to my community.  It's also nice to see that the people who go there are being treated with respect and dignity and kindness. 

I think Calgary is an awesome place to live and it made me really happy to be able to give back.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Plenty Off-ish

So I have taken the plunge and have tried to start dating again.  I signed up on only to be matched with men whose sole criteria in a partner was that they were thin or athletic/toned.  Sole. Criteria.  Glad so many men have their priorities in check.  Waste of $60.00, that's what that was.  And when I tried to tell them why I was leaving them, they just wanted to give me another 3 months free.  Why?  So I can continually be reminded that 90% of the men on your site are shallow and can't look at the woman within? 

I thought then, why fight it?  I'm a big girl, there has to be a website out there for men who like big girls, so I joined  I met one guy who I thought was pretty awesome only to be told that he has issues with self-confidence and that's why he thought he would try dating a fat chick (he didn't call me that, I'm calling me that).  I'm so glad I could be some dickwad's science experiment.  Goodbye bbpeople.

On to - hey, guess what?  I'm a single parent too!  Let's get together and do some family friendly activities - perfect for me who has my son full time and never gets to do very much outside of momville.  Oh, no, we're back in the shallowness, where men only care about superficial things.  Apparently, one has to be a MILF to be on this website, and I don't fit the bill.  There are also a tremendous amount of men who don't actually have children on this website - they just like single moms - why?  They think we put out?  Go to Hell.

Do I dare?  I'm so tired of paying someone to look at other people's pictures and deal with their bullshit lies.  So I caved.  I went on Plenty of Fish.  It's free.  It's also full of weirdos.  You would think out of all the people on there that there might be a few good men.  Like Greek Guy.  I shot him a quick message to tell him he was handsome and I liked his profile.  Pretty easy breezy, nothing big.  He writes me back telling me he thinks I'm cute.  Excellent!  We're off to a great start.

I suggest we move off POF to our phones where we are now texting feverishly, like 2 school kids.  He's an engineer, been married, has a teenage daughter, sounds responsible.  Wants photos of me (tasteful) and goes skiing for the weekend with his buddies, texting me all the while.  He's totally into me (I think).  Fast forward 2 days and I'm in Minneapolis out for dinner with a co-worker and I get this text:

"Tara's blowing me - wanna see a pic?"

Uh. Huh? What just happened?  Apparently, he's making a joke with a buddy and doesn't know how to text.  Nope, dude, you just got caught.  I don't care who's blowing or not blowing you, but it's not something you share with me.  It's rude, distasteful and disrespectful.  I get called a prude.  I ask him how he would feel if 2 guys were texting eachother about his daughter that way.  All of a sudden I'm right, he's sorry.

I'm so not interested.

What's a girl to do?  I resort to Twitter - why not give this online dating thing a bit of a break?  I see a tweet from Perez Hilton about  How bad can it be?

Well, this is a to be continued, because I just joined up and so far, I'm kind of liking it.  The more questions you answer, the more it can match with others who feel the same way.  My favourite part so far though is the determination of how bad enemies you would be with someone.  It's interesting to read your similiarities but even more intriguing to see how you differ from someone.  So far, I'm very attractive to men in Oklahoma, but I think I'll give them a pass.  Since I have such limitation on time, I'm picky about who I see and when I see them. 

I do know if this doesn't work then I'm taking a good long break and will just love the crap out of my little boy and hope something comes along off-line.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Let It Go

Many months ago, my cousin Katie was in the hospital after a horrible car accident.  I visited her often and got to know a few of my Auntie Shannon's relatives and friends as they also came to visit.  As I was talking about my issues one day, her friend Jill said to me "just let it go".  

Of course, at the time, I was slightly put off - who was she to tell me what to do and how to act or react? But you know what?  She was right.

I have a friend who is using a phrase or a word to get her through a year.  Alicia, I'm stealing your idea and taking the phrase "let it go". Every time I get angry or upset I'm just going to let it go.
I have realized I can't change T - he is who he is.  His relationship with our son is going to be what it is, I can't manipulate it, I can't control it and I just need to let it go already.

It's not healthy for me to be angry all the time because T. isn't who I want him to be.  I have to try and see the positive, because my bad attitude will eventually effect the relationship that Vaughn has with him, and that's not right.  So he's not as thoughtful around holidays as I would like him to be - that's my thing, not his.  Holidays and birthdays don't mean as much to Tim as me, so I just need to let it go.

I'm doing okay financially.  Whether Vaughn gets his child support or not, he has a good life, he's well fed and well dressed, I take my responsibility seriously and am working my ass off so we can have a good life.  When it comes to financial obligations with T., he's paid me what he owes me but it's been on his schedule, not mine.  I'm letting it go, it's not worth fretting over.

At work, there's only so much I can do in a day.  Not everyone sees things the way I do and that's okay.  Not everyone works the same way I do and that's also okay.  See?  Letting it go.

I don't want to let the negativity get me down - I always tell my son that cheerful people have better lives and I need to start being that way for myself as well.  So, today, January 14, 2013 - I'm letting it go.

Wish me luck.