Monday, October 24, 2016

Who are you calling plus sized?

I am a size 12. Size 10 on a good day. An 8 a week before I go on vacation. A 12-14 when I get back from vacation but that’s it. That’s all my sizes.

I watch what I eat from Monday to Thursday. I eat Ketchup chips like a wood chipper on Friday nights with a red wine, of course. On Saturday we BBQ steaks with fully loaded baked potatoes and wine to wash it down. That’s usually followed by a Costco apple pie or Tuxedo Cake. Then Sunday morning I crawl back on my Weight Watchers scales and start all over again.

If it wasn’t for the weekends, I would be as skinny as a rake because I am really good all week. I watch what I eat. Type everything in to “My Fitness Pal” app on my iPhone. I walk the dog to get my steps in and I drink a bucket of water each day.

So I believe I am doing all I can.

I know I am never going to be a size 2 and I don’t care. I don’t want to be a size 2. I am 5 foot 9. If I was a size 2 I would look like a coat hanger or like I was on heroin. I don’t want to see my ribs when I put on a big wool sweater and I certainly don’t want friends telling me “I have no arse!”

I would like to be more toned but I had back surgery and that means I can’t do sit ups. So I will wear Spanx like everyone else.

I am ok with that.

But apparently the world is not.

I walked into a dress store, automatically turned to my left and began looking at clothes. The sales lady calls out “Excuse me Miss. You’re on the wrong side.”
My first through was “Is this the drag queen side. What side do I look like I should be on?” Maybe I am wearing too much makeup. The stuff that runs through my head. I am not good with confrontation!

“What size are you?” she smiles at me as she walks toward me. I feel obligated to tell her because I don’t know what else to do. “Size 10” I lie. I am bloating and I know I can’t pull this off.

She squints as she sizes me up and down. “Your clothes are on the other side. This is the ‘Plus girl’ section. It’s size 14 and up.”

There were two ladies flipping through the sales rack watching my interaction with this sales lady and I felt like saying “Ok I’ll go, but can I take them too. They are obviously a size 8.” But I knew she wouldn’t buy it. They were clearly in the right section.

I walked over to “my” section and started shopping but I felt bad for the two ladies left over on the other side of the store probably wondering why they were not told to take a walk on the wild side.

Why can’t clothes racks go from size 2 to 22?
Why do we need two sides of a store?
Why isn’t there a bathroom in the same section as the change rooms?

I don’t know!

Did our mothers and grandmothers all agree at some point that the size 0-12’s will shop on the right and the size 14-22’s will shop on the left?

I didn’t buy anything there I went to another store. I was looking for a white blouse. I asked the sales lady in the next store if she had any plain white blouses.
“Are you a professional woman?” she inquired.

“No I am amateur one. A broken one really. I leak.” I confessed to her astonishment and just for fun I put on puppy dog eyes and locked stares with her while I let a little drool fall out of my mouth and roll down my chin.

She looked away first.

“We do have white blouses over here.” She brought me to the rack and disappeared to the back room. I assume to update her Facebook status to let all her friends and family know about the crazy lady in the store.

What difference does it make if I am professional or not?
And what profession was she talking about? I was wearing my Hootchie Momma shorts with heals. But who is she to judge me?

We have so many labels to slap on ourselves! Is that a Michael Kors watch? Is that a Coach purse? Are you a size 8 or an 18? Are you a professional woman or a minimum wage worker? I need to know if I should waste my time showing you our white blouses.

A guy once told me if I lost weight I would look really good because I had a pretty face… I was 8 months pregnant! They haven’t found his body yet.
The bottom line is, I am healthy, happy and I like who I am.

I also find it extremely hard not to laugh at people. I am not perfect. Give me a break.

I do try not to judge. I really do. It’s hard I know… You know… We all know. So if I do judge, I do it in my head only or whisper it to hubby or my BFF Nancy and make them laugh. Then sneak away so they look all “judgy” and I don’t.

My point is, what harm was it to let me look through the plus section. I would have found my way out eventually. I can’t help but think what if I was size 14 and wandered into the 2-12 section? Would she have told me to go to the Plus section? Because if she did I would have grabbed a size 10 jeans and stretched that fabric to the breaking point until I got every last celluloid dimple packed in. Then I would have strutted around like a rooster in that store.

I don’t mind a sales lady giving me fashion advice and suggesting some things that would look good on me. But seriously, you don’t know what my day is like. I go into stores because they are my happy place and I can’t afford real therapy.  I don’t want stress. I definitely don’t want to yell my size across a store.

Finally for God sakes, can’t we find a better label than “Plus Sized?” Why not “Womanly” “Under-Womanly” and “Over-Womanly.” That sounds so much better.

Excuse me miss! You’re too over-womanly to shop here. I could be happy with that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Win a copy of "I am Funny Like That"

Now on Amazon’s Best Sellers list, Helen C. Escott's hysterical blog "I am
Funny Like That" has come to life in this witty book!

If you have thrown your back out taking off Spanx, planned your husband's murder in your head or screamed through a Brazilian, this book is for you.

If you need a good laugh, or need to smile, this book is better than Prozac it will make you laugh out loud for days after reading it. 

119,000 blog readers can't be wrong! Join in the laughter. 

Win a copy on Goodreads

or buy a copy at Bookbaby or Amazon 

Monday, September 5, 2016

“I am Funny Like That” The blog is now a Book!

I am so excited I can’t breathe!! I am walking around my office in my house coat at 3 o’clock in the afternoon because I know if I get dressed my top will be covered in sweat within three seconds.

It feels like Bob Barker just called my name and yelled “Helen C. Escott! Come on down!”

This blog is now a book! The book is a blog! Oh my God, it’s real!!!!

As of Sept. 01, 2016 the ebook “I am Funny Like That” is available on line. The hard copy will be available by mid-September.

Buy it now at:
iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Baker & Taylor, Copia, Gardners, eSentral, Scribd, Goodreads, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, Vearsa

I just had the strangest memory. Sister Alphonsis pointing her bony long finger at me in grade three saying “Being the class clown will get you nowhere but the penitentiary.” Boy did I prove her wrong.

I have always seen the “Funny” in everything I do.

In 2012 I had back surgery and was laid up for almost a year. I could not do a lot of things so I would spend my time on Facebook and Twitter making comments about life, new stories or politics and I developed a following.

Then a friend said to me, you should write a blog. So I created this blog called “I am Funny Like That” in April 2012. I honestly didn’t think anyone besides my husband and best friend would read it.

Now the blog has over 118,000 readers. Most of my readers are in Canada and the United States but they are spread out all over the world: Germany, Ukraine, UK, India, France, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

People read the blog because they want to laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

The book is a funny look at life. It’s about being a woman and using my sense of humour to deal with being a mother, wife and daughter while going through menopause and trying to have a career while making supper and doing the laundry.

People who read this blog see themselves. They identify with me.

I chose the title “I am Funny Like That” because it describes me: Sometimes I am funny like that in a humorous way and sometimes I am funny like that in a strange way.

If you need a good laugh, if you need to smile today, this book is better than Prozac it will make you laugh out loud and brighten your day. It also makes a great Christmas gift!

Thanks for being a reader. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

How to travel with other people & not throw them overboard

I love people. Actually that’s a lie. I love my dog. I hate people.

Not all people. Some people are ok.

I may hate them more after I travel with them. It depends.

Traveling with others may be the quickest way to lose a good friend. 

Being cooped up in a car with someone for 10 hours or stuck on a cruise ship with them for 10 days, may test the boundaries of your friendship real fast.

Over the years, I have put together some hard and fast rules about traveling with others. The way I look at it, we spend a year or two sometimes, scrimping and saving every extra nickel and dime so we can take a trip together with our kids and sometimes without the kids. So I am not allowing anyone to hijack our vacation.

Feel free to use these rules yourself:

1.       We are not sharing anything. That means a house, a condo, a hotel room or a car. We learned this one the hard way. We don’t share accommodations because when my kids go to bed I don’t want to deal with yours. Once my kids fall asleep I want to relax with a nice glass of wine. I don’t want your overtired kids running around crying, irritating me. Simply put, I also want to be able to come home from an amusement park or long day at the mall, take off my bra and walk around in my nightdress or nothing (if there are no kids). I don’t want to feel like I can’t unwind after a long hot day in the sun. I also don’t want to have to tip toe around if you go to bed early or sleep in late. I definitely don’t want someone knocking on the bathroom door asking me how long I am going to be!

Sharing accommodations may save a few bucks but it will cost you your sanity in the end. Now I know what you’re saying. “I agree with not sharing accommodations but come on we can’t share a car!” No we can’t. If we get up in the morning and decide we are heading to IHop for breakfast, going for a drive or just want to spend time together, I don’t want to ask anyone if it’s ok for me to use the car I paid to rent.  Or if we decide to sleep late I don’t want someone knocking on our door saying they want the car and then we are without one all day. I certainly don’t want to have to stand in a parking lot and “compromise” on where we are going, how long we are staying or when we are coming home. The solution; rent your own accommodations and your own car. We will meet up with you at some point.

2.       I am not babysitting for you. I learned this one the hard way when a couple we were travelling with asked me if I could take their daughter to the pool with my kids while they were getting ready. Two hours later, they still had not shown up and the kid did not want to swim in the pool that my kids were in and kept running to a bigger pool. So I spent the morning chasing this kid leaving my kids unattended at the other pool. When I finally came to my senses and dragged the kid back to her room, the parents were still in bed because “They were not feeling well.”  It was the third time they pulled this one on me. So I put this rule in effect. I tell people up front, it is great that our kids can hang out together, but I am not babysitting, not for an hour, a minute or a second. I came on this trip to spend time with my kids not yours and I am not being responsible for someone else’s kids.

3.       I am not lending you money. When any family is traveling budgets are tight. Food and eating out take up a big part of your budget and we have to watch every dime. So every $20 I lend you I have to take away from my vacation and I am simply not doing it. Now if you get mugged or you lose your wallet then I will help you out but don’t look at me in a restaurant and say “You get this bill and I’ll get the next one.” Because that never works out. Pay for your own meals and I’ll pay for mine.

4.       Your agenda is not my agenda. If we want to go see a show or a concert and you don’t, do not expect us to cancel our plans. Why, would you? If we want to go to an amusement park five days in a row, don’t look at me and say “I am sick of the parks we are doing something else.” Go do it and we can meet up for drink later. Don’t pick out a list of shows, restaurants and malls you want to go to and expect me to stick to your schedule and don’t criticize me if I want to go shopping several days in a row. Do your own thing and meet up later.

5.       I am not dumbing down my vacation for you. We once traveled with a couple who kept saying “We can’t afford that restaurant, why can’t we go to McDonalds, and we don’t want to spend that much on  a hotel, let’s get one a few miles away from the beach, it’s cheaper.” No way, no how! I can eat McDonalds at home and I came for the beach.

I don’t mind saving a few bucks and I don’t even mind going to McDonalds when we are on the run, but I am not eating there every night to save money. I am also not staying in some flea bag $35 a night motel to save money. When I am traveling, especially with the kids, I want a hotel that’s close to everything and has security. A $35 a night does not offer security or clean beds.

I know what you’re thinking “She’s brilliant or she’s a bitch.” Maybe, but I am a brilliant bitch that’s going to have a great vacation! The bottom line is you don’t save your money all year round to take a vacation then let someone else hijack it. It’s ok to speak up and say thanks but no thanks.

Having said that we have had some amazing vacations with friends. Once you respect each other’s boundaries, it is really fun to have them around. The secret is sit down with those friends beforehand and say “These are the things we are going to do on this vacation if you want to come great, but if you’re not interested that’s great too.” Plan to meet for breakfast before you start out, meet for supper at the end of the day or meet for a drink when you all get back.” Chances are if they are close friends they will want to see most of the shows and events you want to see.

Don’t get miffed if your friends don’t want to go to every show and restaurant you want to. They may have dietary restrictions. For example, my son has a life threatening allergy to all nuts so we are not eating in a Chinese restaurant where they may or may not use peanut oil.

Like I said, you save your money all year round and use your precious vacation days to spend time with your family, not to be at someone else’s beckon call. Don’t feel bad about saying “Thanks but no thanks. We’ll meet up with you later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

That social media over reaction

This week I became Alice in Twitterland. I got sucked down the social media rabbit hole and ended
up in the nonsensical world of Twitter-rants.

I am not proud of it.

I try hard to keep my social media feeds full of funny thoughts and memes. I pry my hands from the keyboard when things become too political because I know you can’t solve or help the world’s problems in 140 characters. But this week I chased that White Rabbit down the hole and gulped from the bottle labeled “Drink Me” until I became as small as the rest.

I told a Monk off. I told you I am not proud of my behaviour.

I made the mistake of thinking Twitter was like Facebook. Then I realized to late that it wasn’t. Twitter is the Wild West with outlaws and gunslingers and makes Facebook look like Downton Abby.

My crime? I Tweeted “For those who convict Police officers without seeing or hearing facts from the investigation, Lord we pray @UnvirtuousAbbey”

It began an avalanche of hate Tweeted back at me. I had no idea what I did wrong. I really didn’t get it. I also posted it to Facebook and received nothing but love.

Apparently you can support cops on Facebook but not on Twitter.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a mean spirited person. I don’t take joy in anyone’s pain. I am active in my church, all about family and spend a lot of time helping charities. I try to be a nice person.

I am also the wife of a retired Police officer and I am a retired Civilian Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During my career 14 of our members were murdered across this country. I lost track of how many died due to accidents or other means. Three people I worked with committed suicide.

I know what it is like to get out of your car in the morning and look up to see the flag at half-mast then wonder “What happened overnight? Who’s dead? Do I know them? Was it here?” I know what it’s like to sit through the funerals and memorial services and hear the muffled crying of those around you. I know what it’s like to see a tear roll down the face of a man you though was bullet proof and feel the chill going up my spine when you know everyone in the room is thinking “There but for the grace of God go I.”

I know what it’s like to get a call from the Communication Centre at 2:00 AM telling me my husband is in the Emergency Unit again. I know what it’s like to watch your husband leave for work then have your heart jump out of your body every time the phone rings or someone knocks on the door because you know you have to be ready for the worst at all times. I know what it’s like to tell kids “You can open the big gifts as soon as Daddy gets home” or “I am sorry I missed your concert I just couldn’t leave work.”

I get passionate when it comes to standing up for Police.

I made a simple statement that those in policing would understand… wait until the investigation is complete and then decide who is right and wrong. I was called “racist”, accused of “praising murders” and interfering with the grieving process.

I did not know any of these people but they felt entitled to spew their hate and anger towards me. I felt like deleting my Twitter account and felt deflated and attacked for days. It really affected me.

These people felt they had a right to say whatever they wanted on Twitter but I didn’t. I think it is indicative of the world we live in. Where people feel they have a right to walk up to a Police officer trying to do his/ her job, hurl insults at them and then record it on their phone so they can post it to social media to gain sympathy.

What if I went to their work place and hurled insults at them and recorded it and posted it to my social media accounts. That would be called harassment, wouldn’t it?

The Police are held to a higher standard. I know. But maybe the public should be held to a higher standard too.

When it comes to issues and problems, there’s a right way and a wrong way to solve and deal with them. Then there is that social media over reaction where ever armchair critic in the world can hide behind their keyboards and belittle celebrities for being overweight, athletes who drop a ball, parents who look away for a second and cops who are trying to do their job.

We all take a slug of that “Drink me” potion every now and again, making us too small.

Mahatma Gandhi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

I am not deleting my Twitter account. I am also not going to get caught up in the social media over reaction anymore. It is a nonsensical world and not a world I want to be part of.