Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cause Dukan-kan-kan

So, the Dukan Diet. From what I’ve read it’s Atkins with a side of South Beach. Because eating good quality food, but less of it, and exercising regularly is obviously too simple to work.

But, as a survivor of Atkins, South Beach, Pritikin, The Zone, the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet, SlimFast, Metabolife and about another dozen other crazy diets, I think I can claim some moral authority in saying – please, can we just not?

I don’t mean that I did any of those. I mean I survived working in an office where half my co-workers were on one of those regimes (and I mean regime in the same tone of voice that I would say totalitarian regime or Pol Pot). Most of them caused nearly psychotic breaks where someone in ketosis was yelling at their office mate for writing too loudly, or two women got into a fist fight because there was a missing can of double-chocolate SlimFast in the break room and nobody likes the strawberry flavor, or somebody cracked out on Metabolife passes out in the bathroom and has to be wheeled out on a stretcher with a pressure bandage on a bleeding head wound. That kind of stuff. Of course, the cabbage soup diet had it’s own little difficulties (like if it’s one week on and one week off the soup, why can’t the whole office coordinate which week is on and which week is off, and why does it have to stink of boiled cabbage every day for months on end?!?!?!?!?! Yeah, I’m bitter.)

So, please, if you want to lose weight, could we please, please, please just try eating fewer calories, exercising a little more, drinking enough water and sleeping 8 hours a night? I know. I know. It’s insane. But really. It could work. And as far as I know, it has never caused a fist fight.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not saving the date, as a matter of fact

I’m kind of having trouble comprehending why I should care about Prince William and Kate Whats-her-butt’s wedding. Much less why some people seem to be borderline obsessed. Somebody actually asked me if I was going to get up to watch it on the live broadcast. Uhm, no. I’d decline an invitation from a close relative if they had the sauce to try to get me up early to attend their wedding (any relative of mine should know better). And while Wills and Kate seem like a lovely young couple, and I wish them all the happiness in the world, please, stop, enough already.

And buying royal wedding memorabilia? What? Really? It’s a damn good wedding favor that I keep from somebody I know’s wedding. (Bookmark with your names on it? No. Straight in the garbage. Two words, folks, Jordan and almonds. Everybody loves Jordan almonds. And after sitting through a boring-ass ceremony, I need the pick-me-up.) But to actually go out and purchase basically a wedding favor with the picture of two people (thought admittedly attractive people) whom I don’t know and won’t be making it to Westminster Abbey for their nuptials? Nah.

Sure, I get as much fun out of the doings of the rich and blue-blooded as the next person (or maybe somewhat less considering the penetration into the meme-stream this wedding currently has), but this event is a 5-page People spread, at best. Pretty much, flip, ooo, she went with McQueen, flip, oh, look, Elton John, flip, hello, Harry, you naughty ginger, flip, flip, flip, what’s Sandra Bullock up to?

Monday, April 18, 2011

I know it.

Okay, this column from Since You Asked really hit a note with me. Not because I have to deal with know-it-alls. It’s because I am a recovering know-it-all. Yeah, I know. You’re shocked.

It’s something I’ve struggled with for years. I think I was in college when I realized the extent of the problem. How much it just really turns people off. I had this sort of out of body experience where I just kind of saw myself. And was truly appalled. I think I was a little tipsy at the time, and I tend to get that sort of two personality thing. One is the drunk girl, and one is the sober sister who can kind of see the nonsense but not do anything to stop it. And I was kind of freaked out to see how pushy I was with my mouth. And you know, once you notice something, you see it all the time. I was a k-i-a all the time. Yikes.

It happens. I’m naturally hyper-verbal. Damn close to being a verbal ninja. And I have this in-born need to absorb information, synthesize, then disseminate. It’s kind of who I am. College didn’t help either. As an English major, you’re taught to present your ideas confidently. Eliminate the “I thinks” and present your thesis assertively. If you don’t believe you, who else will? The example I always give is “I think you’re an asshole” doesn’t work nearly as well as “You’re an asshole.” Positive assertion. Which is fine when you’re presenting a thesis about the role of the fool in Shakespearean drama. Not so much when you’re just shooting the shit with friends.

So, I had to learn to shut up. I had to learn that I could learn from other people. That I could hear other opinions and just let them stand, whether I agree or not. If somebody uses the word forte incorrectly, I don’t actually have to correct them, and then give the linguistic reason why I’M RIGHT AND YOU’RE WRONG. Just shut up. And of course, then you start to take joy in listening to other people. There's a world of things you can learn with your mouth shut and your ears open. Of course, then I’m also going to want to take that information, synthesize and disseminate. But gently. Gently.

I’m always going to be recovering. Being a know-it-all is in my DNA. I might even be able to point, ahem, at some family members who have the same issue (in fact, play spin the bottle at a family reunion and you’re more likely than not going to hit one). But I try. Every day. Some days are better than others. But all you can do is try.

TIME: Quotes of the Day