What’s worse than being a murderer?


Catfishing (From urbandictionary.com):

The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).

Possible motivations: revenge, loneliness, curiosity, boredom

The term catfishing was inspired by the 2010 documentary “Catfish.”

Gwen was worried that her online boyfriend was a phoney after she saw a TVprogram about Catfishing.”

A few years ago, the hubs and I found out about this documentary called “Catfish.”  It starred a guy who figured out that this beautiful, young, fabulous girl he was sending gifts and money and love to was actually an old, married woman from a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.  He now has a show on MTV where he helps people who think they are being catfished figure out if they are or not.  He’ll help them do research, fly them to where their person lives, and make them ‘fess up.

For a while, I wondered why B and I still watch this show, mostly because it is the SADDEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE.  And it is the kind of sad that just makes you feel like the world is ending.  Worse than the Sarah McLachlan-song-abused-animal-commercial kind of sadness.

It is the kind of sadness that shows, to me, a fundamental horrible part of society that is probably the root of a lot of things. Allow me to explain.

The episode that we watched this week starred a boy who had contracted a virus which had left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.  He had been in an online relationship with a girl (a beautiful, blue-eyed, blond girl) for years, and according to him, she had helped carry him through his darkest moments.  Moments where he thought he would die, where he was totally alone and even sometimes suicidal.  He loved her so much and wanted to marry her (he was ready to propose), but she refused to meet with him in person or video-chat.

So, the hosts of the show set out to meet the mystery girl.  When they arrive, they find a quiet, timid, sweet girl who has had a terrible life.  Emotionally abused, always told she wasn’t worth it, both her parents had died and even though they didn’t really deserve it, she nursed them until their deaths.

But … and I bet you’ve guessed it by now, she wasn’t the “hot girl” from the photos she had been sending him.  She was in tears, telling them that she just couldn’t bring herself to meet him.  “He won’t like me anymore once he sees its me,” she says to the camera.

I’m always screaming at the TV when I watch this show.  “Yes, he will, honey!  You GO GET YOUR MAN!  You are WORTH IT, GIRL!”  B rolls his eyes and laughs at me.

OH!  WAIT! I forgot to tell you about the part where they goggled her name or phone number or something and it turns out that someone by that name has a mugshot and was CONVICTED OF MURDER.  When asked if that was a deal breaker?  “Well, I mean, I really love her!” he says.  Who cares if she’s a murderer–he loves her!

She arrives.  From first glance, you can immediately tell IT. IS. OVER.  She is overweight.  She is not “classically” beautiful.  She has no self-confidence whatsoever.  You can see it ALL OVER HIS FACE.  She tells him she loves him.  She tells him it’s ok if he is sick and that he can’t move from his chair. She will take care of him.  She doesn’t mind; she’s always done it for everyone else.

He does not reply.

A month later, they check in with him.  Are they in a relationship?  “Uh, no, I’m actually dating someone else,” he says.

Would it be ok if take a second to recap?  This man, who has gone through an almost life-ending experience, who is paralyzed, who has been in love with someone for years, who LOVES HER SO MUCH THAT HE IS OK IF SHE ACTUALLY MURDERED SOMEONE, suddenly wants nothing to do with her. She’s fat, after all.

I went and watched my daughter sleeping after this episode ended.  What do I wish for her?  Honestly, sometimes I just wish that it’s easy for her.  “Please, please, let her be thin and healthy and popular so she knows she is worth it.”  But then…but THEN, I think, “Please somehow, just let her find someone who knows she is worth MORE THAN HER LOOKS.  Please, please let that happen.”

We live in a society where it’s more ok to be a murderer than it is to be fat.  And people all around you are so lonely and so desperate to be loved and are being left behind.  We are so stuck in our ridiculous notions of what we should look like and dress like and what our houses should be like and we are leaving goodness behind.


I have so many dreams for my children, but I worry about my daughter so much more than my son.  As a woman, I know how much my worth relies on how I look.  I got somehow totally, totally lucky, because my husband does not love me for how I look.  I know this because I am not “beautiful.”  I am overweight. And he loves ME.  I can’t even handle how lucky I am.  But that shouldn’t be the exception.

Each year I talk to my 4th graders about what character is. “It’s who you are when no one is watching,” I tell them, over and over.  I try to show them, I try to model for them what good character means.  I admit to them that I have insecurities but I hope they don’t.  And each year I have 9 year-olds who don’t like how they look, who think they are fat, who throw over half their lunches away so that they don’t get fatter.

I don’t know how to make this end.  I don’t.  You can debate obesity and health and fat-shaming and blah-blah-blah, but what I want is GOODNESS.

I don’t want acceptance.  I want more than that.  I want people to see what is true-that we are so obsessed with sex and being “hot” and being embarrassed to not look “perfect” that some of us are missing out on the best stuff.

The deep, dark roots of all of this, though, is that this girl from my story, she is so desperately sad and alone.  She is forgotten.  We are forgetting people, and this is part of why I think mental illness is running rampant in our country.  People are just being forgotten.

Here is my plan for what I can do TODAY to combat this:

  1.  Greet everyone you see.
  2. SMILE.
  3. Extend a hand and MEAN IT.
  4. Practice humility.
  5. Try to quiet that “judgy” voice in your head (you know the one, omg she is so fat she should not be wearing that, I’m so grateful I don’t look like THAT).
  6. Stop talking aloud about superficial things in front of our children.  Don’t talk about how you hate your nose, how you wish your legs were longer, how you need to go on a diet, how your clothes are ugly.




I Hate Hot Dogs.

You Guys.

Most of the time I have so many ideas for blog posts in my head that it’s almost scary.  As in, I have to shake the thoughts outta my head so that I can focus on my day.  I always thought writers were totally making it up when they said that their fictional characters “talked to them” or whatever.

I know I’m not a “famous” writer (Although I have been “recognized” at both Subway and the Y, so I mean … ).  It’s kind of self-depricating to say that I know I never will be, but—well, you know.  But at the same time, I already feel a responsibility to this blog and Facebook page.  I haven’t made a dime off of it-I’m guessing I never will.  Instead, I spend my very little extra money to “boost” posts, or host giveaways.  The funny thing is, I’m not quite sure why.  I’m working on growing my followers list because…well, because in a little way it makes me feel like I’m doing something.

People can relate to me, I’m told.  People connect with my words.  I can feel that.  I love it.  I do!  But, I also have to be so careful with my words because I don’t want to sound egotistical or rude or dumb or selfish.  Just like all of the rest of my life, I want you all to like me, and I know some of you don’t.  Or won’t.  And, in my experience, most of the blog posts that hit the Huff Post, the kind that are shared a trillion times on Facebook, they’re shared because they are one of those things.  They strike a nerve with something and they’re the kind that make half of us scream, “Oh, HELL NO!” and the other half scream “Amen!”  That’s what makes something go viral.

So, since I know this won’t be making the rounds on the Huffington Circuit, here is my list of random thoughts:



  1.  I’m afraid that my kids are turning into unselfish, ungrateful jerks.  I try so hard not to buy them everything they want, and I say no a lot, but they expect it anyway.  I feel disappointed, mostly in myself.
  2. I saw myself in a full-length mirror today.  I cried.  My husband made me eat ice cream bc we are on vacation and it was a famous ice cream shop and it was homemade, but I just hated myself the entire time.
  3. I’m on an “adventure” ( I refuse anymore to call this a vacation) with my family to Omaha, Nebraska.  We love it here!  But, let me tell you.  On an average day, my kids say my name 45,000 times.  On a trip?  7,893,782, 012 times.
  4. Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic.  Yep.
  5. I’ve read so many books, though!  Everything, Everything was so good.  At first I thought it was going to be just like the Fault in Our Stars, but it wasn’t and I loved it.  I finished the second book in a YA series, something like the Throne and Glass or something like that.  I’m hooked.  Don’t know why they call it YA, though.  I read “Final Girls,” my book of the month club pick, and I loved it.  Now, I’m reading a memoir by Sherman Alexie and I’m absolutely riveted.  (We spent a lot of time driving)
  6. My husband has taken to playing Candy Crush.  This makes me SO happy.  I don’t even know what that game is, but hubs is a chronic workaholic, so to see him mindlessly playing on his phone is AMAZE! (He just exclaimed, “YASSSSS!  My piggy bank is full!  Ohhhhh, you have to pay to open it?  That is BULL!) LOVE!
  7. I hate continental hotel breakfast.  Everyone bumps into each other. Everything has gluten.  My kids over-eat.  Stuff is stale.  But, you know….free.  So, yeah.
  8. Admission fees are, like, over the top.  It costs us $150 bucks to go to the zoo.  We had fun and stayed all day, and blah, blah, but whatever.  That included the IMAX, where my kids were terrified of the Great-White Sharks they showed in order to teach us that we’re not supposed to be afraid of them.
  9. I found a tiny local bookstore called “The Bookworm” and I was so happy.  I found a beautiful copy of Gone With the Wind and I’m so excited.
  10. My kids are playing with some other kids in the hotel pool while I write this.  It is SO FREAKING AMAZING when you don’t have to get in the pool with them anymore unless you want to.  WOOHOO!
  11. Hubs just yelled, “Oh, yeah, baby!  Chocolate Mountains are done!” and did a raise the roof gesture with his hands.  So, we’re kinda stuck in the 90s.  Whatever.
  12. I will always, always feel like I’m never good enough.  There is something ALWAYS tugging at me.  Which people from work still hate me?  How do I be around someone who doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore?  Why will I always be fat?  Why am I not asked to be on stuff at work anymore-I’m just the “average” joe, and it bugs me!!!  Why did I spend so much money?
  13. Today, my son told me, in his adorable 4-year-old voice, “Hey, mama?  Astronauts wear diapers, Bay-BEEEEEE”  No clue.  Anyone?
  14. I am depressed that I missed Big Brother this year.  NEED DVR BACK!
  15. And, last but not least, I hate hot dogs.  I have always hated them.  I will always hate them.  Why do they just assume that everyone loves them?  And when I was a kid I just at the bun (I know…) but I can’t even eat the damn bun anymore.  DOWN WITH HOT DOGS.

Peace out, yo.

The Pain Olympics

I feel so sad that I lost my job.

Well, at least you had a good one for a while, I’ve been unemployed for months.

Ugh, I’m lonely.

Welcome to my world.  At least you…

My baby died.

At least you got to be pregnant.  At least you didn’t get to know them first.  At least you…

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have heard “At least…”  We are so good at making everything about ourselves.  Well, that and just making a feeble attempt to make someone feel better.

I find it incredible how many ways we passive aggressively insult people.  From “Oh my gosh, you have WAY too much time on your hands” when someone is sharing their passion, to “Oh, no, not me, I would never/could never do that.”

(My favorite was when I was so sad about going back to work after my maternity leave ended and people said, “Oh, I could NEVER leave my baby and go back to work.”  Well, lady, I kind of want a house to live in.  So, there’s that.)

The constant battle to be better than everyone else, or to let them know that YOU have it worse is so tiring to me.  I think we’ve lost the ability to just support each other.  We have lost the ability to be happy for each other and think to ourselves, “How great for her.  My time will come.”

When someone is hurting, “I’m sorry. That really sucks,” goes such a long way.  Figure out what will help the person and tell them, “I’m going to do this for you.  Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.”

I mean, ok, we all have those people in our lives that seriously just complain about anything and everything.  “OMG, you will NOT believe it.  The phone rang JUST as I was starting to file my nails.  Now when will I do it?  I mean, the one is just so bad right now.”

Complainers aside, as humans we need to vent.  Sometimes it goes such a long way to just say aloud what is bugging us.  However, we need to vent somewhere where we feel safe.  Where we know that the person we are spilling to won’t just turn the whole thing around and remind us about how tough their life is.

And honestly, maybe their life is tougher.  We all have a story, right?  I remember that I was TERRIBLE at this after I lost my twins.  In my head I was always thinking, “That’s what’s wrong with you right now?  My babies are dead.”

This leads to the biggest problem, though, which I like to call the Pain Olympics.  Who is hurting worst?  Who needs more attention?  Who needs to be comforted more?

Just like any other kind of comparison, it’s hard not to do it.  It’s CRAZY hard not to do it.  But, we need to try.  We need to work so much harder at being active listeners and remember that most of the time there are much deeper issues than what the person can put into words.

And I do understand that sometimes we use at least to try to help the person put things into perspective.  There are times when someone just really has it wrong, and you mean well.

But, if you ask me, it’s time to stop qualifying things with “At least.”

What do you think?  Has someone done this to you?  Have you done this to someone else?