Being Me


So the Office is doing this Biggest Loser type competition (only they are obnoxiously calling it Biggest Winner instead, true story) and almost 50% of our site is participating. Not being one to be left behind, and despite never in my life ever having to lose any weight, I decided to get on board.

Millions of people reading this blog (true story) probably just threw up in their mouths right now. “never in my life ever having to lose any weight” they may be asking themselves with several exclamation points and question marks and maybe even some stuff that looks like this: $@#&%!  You horrible bitch, how dare your complain, they are thinking.  They may even say I am making a mockery of something that a lot of other people may be taking seriously and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve your health through frivolous office programs so just STFU you skinny biznatch!

And here comes the disclaimer: For those of you who have been playing along since, oh 1993 you’ll remember that I have a HORRIBLE INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISORDER AND HAVE NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER OVER THE FOLLOWING: my ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients like a normal person, when and how often I visit the ladies room, whether or not a particular food is going to make my stomach explode, and, among a number of other things, whether or not I gain or lose weight.

Why bother then?  Well the program promises to offer an exercise routine (I hate exercising but still should do it to keep my heart in good shape and help prevent the inevitable osteoporosis) as well as nutritional information (never hurts to get a reminder).  Also, Matthew is considering making more improvements towards the healthy, so maybe I can pass along what I learn.

So anyway. In order to join the program, you have to go in and meet with the health counselor (yeah, we have one in our office two days a week, wtf) and she takes your measurements.  Not surprisingly, my weight, BMI and hip to waist ratio are all in good shape, but today apparently my blood pressure, which is typically on point at 120/80 was super duper high.  I blame this on a number of things causing stress in my life these days (none of which are ready for primetime) and have now fostered much resentment for the actual, PHYSICAL trouble they are causing me.  I resent you, problems!!

Needless to say, with the exception of a hopefully lower BP, not a whole lot is probably going to change for me as a result of this little program.  I don’t foresee any of these types of pictures making their rounds any time soon.

This is real.

This is real.

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Let’s face it, we all like a lot of things that are actually sort of inappropriate. Take, for instance, things like Papa John’s Tuscan Six Cheese Pizza, Family Guy and unprotected casual sex.  We laugh a jokes that are racist, bigoted or otherwise just in poor taste and then feel guilty about it afterward (if you’re like me, you also make a vow not to repeat the joke in order to make up for thinking it was funny for a second).

The “Mad Men” I’m talking about here is of course the AMC Emmy Nominated series about a 1960s advertising agency (this is not a “why do women always go for the bad guy” diatribe).  If you’ve ever watched it or read a review of it or even heard of it, you probably know my conflict here: overt sexism. The series is rife with it; secretaries (that’s what they were called back then!) are sexually harassed, sexuality is used as a weapon by both men and women, and cheating, beating and berating your wife is seen as a milestone in every relationship.

The excuse? That’s the point. Part of the draw of the show, I think, is to see how times they are a changin’ since 1960s Manhattan.  No longer do secretaries administrative assistants worry about what their boss thinks about what they are wearing or who in the office is the most advantageous to sleep with.  No longer do our male co-workers ogle us from the other side of a one-way mirror.  We do not have nicknames like hun and we don’t feel forced to cover for indiscretions in our boss’ personal life.  I don’t keep a fifth of whiskey in my drawer because I know that’s what Mr. Draper prefers.  Best of all, my administrative colleagues and I don’t face a glass ceiling and have just as much opportunity as our male equivalents.

What’s unfortunate here, is that to a large extent, none of that is actually true.  I am not Post-Fem enough to think that that these things don’t happen, at least to some extent, on a regular basis.  While none of my male (or female for that matter) co-workers have ever gone so far as to make me feel uncomfortable in the office, there is still a lot of this happening in offices all around the country. The thought of that glass ceiling pressing down on us is not only very real, it’s stifling, and very much exists.

A large percentage of this may be due to the actual nature of the job. It is the role of the executive assistant to do for the executive what he or she doesn’t have the time to do or learn how to do for themselves. By that very description, we aren’t meant to move on, but to stay forever to make them feel better about their day and handle the stuff only we know how to handle. Like reminding them to eat or go home for instance.

These details of the job haven’t changed, and to some extent, neither has the environment.  Watching something like Mad Men on TV reminds us that on the one hand, things have changed for the better and thanks to things like the Lilly Ledbetter Act, it’s being addressed by the right people.  On the other hand, standing at the photocopier, pencil behind ear, bosses coffee in hand, I sometimes feel very close to my sisters from the 60s.

Well, that’s not really what this is about, but I did want to try to use the poll function and I am considering doing the following:

Buying an iPhone.

Follwoing are arguments for:

  • I love and have always loved nifty phones. This one is perhaps one of the niftiest, arguably.
  • Matt has an iPhone, therefore I want one too.
  • But going beyond that, switching to AT&T could provide us with valuable monthly savings via some sort of family plan.
  • I can probably afford to buy an iPhone in no less than six weeks of saving the dinero.

Following are arguments against:

  • My contract with Verizon isn’t up until like 2023. True story. There will totally be some sort of penalty fee.
  • What if I can’t keep my phone number, because that possibility exists. When I was toying with this idea initially, I plugged my number into the AT&T site and it said it wouldn’t port.  Of course normally there are ways around these things, but what if the number I’ve had since 1999 (true story) is suddenly no longer mine. It’s like my identity. It’s like my other middle name. (Then again, I could switch to a cool 202 number.)
  • If I’m going to be saving money for something, shouldn’t it be like tile, or paint, or a cleaning lady?  I mean, I want a Mexican to spend 3 days cleaning our house with a toothbrush as much as I want an iPhone I think.
  • Matt doesn’t get very good reception on his iPhone.  Then again, he also drops it in the toilet an average of once a week.

So there you have it, fair readers.  Pls halp!