Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 24, 2010

What’s So Awesome About You?

There’s been something in the air of late. The first inkling I got was when my esteemed colleague wrote about how to take a compliment, already. And seriously, if you haven’t read it go do so right now. It’s a wonderful and important article we all should read.

But then I saw this post on Shapely Prose, which should also be required reading. Warning, the language is far saltier there than it is here. We are PG, SP is hard R. Just so’s you know what you’re getting yourself in for. And this isn’t the only place I’ve seen this concept. It’s starting to float around the Fatosphere in a big way, and I – for one – am completely in favor of it.

If you haven’t gone to see what the concept is, it happens to be standing up to be counted as brilliant at something, no apologies.

So here are a few things that make me, Twistie, pretty darn fabulous:

I’m a terrific self-taught cook and baker. In over forty years of baking, I have never made a bad pie crust. I can put together a good meal out of unlikely resources. If you come to Casa Twistie, chances are you will not leave hungry.

Over the course of the last three years or so, I have overcome my lifelong phobia of dogs. No longer do I quail in the face of corgis. Not only that, I have been adopted by my neighbor’s chihuahua and another friends’ tribe of rotts. I still approach strange dogs with caution, but the sight of a perfectly well-behaved small dog on a short leash no longer fills me with such panic that I have to cross the street.

Cats and small children instinctively trust me.

I taught myself to make bobbin lace and made all eleven yards of lace for my own wedding gown.

I can find the upside or the funny in almost any situation, and get the joke across to someone else.

I come up with quips and aphorisms off the top of my head that people assume were written by someone famous.

I have had people literally stop me in public places to tell me how fabulous I am. You can’t ask for better proof of awesome than that, can you?

When I sing out loud, I can be heard half a block away without benefit of a microphone.

So what about all of you? I want you to come right out and tell me what’s so special about you, and I want it without quibbles, apologies, or caveats. Be proud of yourselves.


  1. This is a hard one…okay….all ego… People come when I call: I motivate large crowds.

    I love with all of my being.

    Comment by Peaches — April 24, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  2. My three greatest aspects of ‘fabulous-ness”:
    1)I am fearless. Looking back over my life, if there is one thing that has remained the same, it’s that I didn’t care what people thought of me. Recently, that has developed into doing things that I always wanted to do but never got around to doing, such as learning to play the fiddle, going to a shoemaking course in Washington State, learning how to make men’s dress hats, and having my own blog. I am also starting my own business. In the middle of (despite what some economists are saying otherwise) of the Great Recession. Definitely fearless.
    2) I am a horizontal thinker. Computer programmers and engineers are vertical thinkers; I see everything at once. That has enabled me to analyze problems, situations, people’s personal issues, take stuff and apply it to other issues and circumstances; design, fit, and sew clothing for people who, like me, are not a standard size. Forest AND trees, simultaneously. (yes, I was brought to earth by alien beings; how nice of you to ask)
    3) I can make people laugh.

    Comment by Toby Wollin — April 24, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  3. I am street-smart and intuitive. I saved my daughter’s life when she was only 10 weeks old (the doctors told me she had a stomach virus, I didn’t believe it and it turned out an ovary had come loose, was strangling her intestines which is why she cried whenever she fed) and saved my son when he was 31 months (he was performing at a 15 month level and I suspected something was wrong; he was diagnosed with suspected autism but we gave him the help he needed, in time and now he’s skipping 8th grade!).

    I’m organized, a great researcher, an award-winning writer and motivating to many. I’m willing to acknowledge and work on the problems I do have.

    Thanks for having such an uplifting blog.

    Comment by Dawn — April 24, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  4. Twistie,

    I’m cutting and pasting my reply from Kate’s blog – edited for the audience of course.

    I write maintenance manuals that tell the United effing States Navy how to repair their helicopters. I do it on a two effing year associates degree in history because I can learn any effing thing I set my mind to.

    Oh… and the naval forces of Greece, Australia, China, Singapore, Thailand, and g.d. Turkey listen up as well.

    I am a woman thriving in a man’s world and they all take effing note because I am in my element.

    My lasagna is better than your mother’s. I can navigate the entire United States with a simple map and never get lost. I read and undereffingstand everything I put my hands on. And if you are my friend I am fiercly loyal to death. I’ve got your back – always.

    I am Posh effing Peasant.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, there were some fabulous shoes on sale at Bloomies.

    Comment by Melissa — April 24, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  5. I have a completely natural, practically from birth, I hope that’s your profession because otherwise you’re really wasting a gift talent for teaching. I’m also a pretty kick ass writer, and the MDs I work with are frequently in awe of this.

    I’m a problem solver, I take every opportunity I can get, and I can (and do!) make major life decisions on gut instinct. I have complete faith in my ability to land on my feet.

    Comment by Evie — April 24, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

  6. 1. I am generous. If I see a person or an animal who needs help, and I have the ability to help them, then I will do so without judgment and with no questions asked.

    2. I have a freakishly good memory, great intuition, and a good eye for detail, so I often both notice and remember things that most people do not.

    3. I have a quick wit, the ability to see the humor in nearly any situation, and the ability to laugh at myself.

    4. I thoroughly enjoy my own company.

    5. I stand firmly for the things I believe in and refuse to be intimidated by those who disagree with me.

    6. I have a strong spirit that refuses to be broken by adversity.

    7. I smell delicious.

    Comment by Cat — April 24, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  7. I am super-amazingly adaptable. I’ve lived rich, I’ve lived poor and I’ve lived in between and I’ve been able to make the most out of my life no matter what my surroundings are.

    Kind of related to the above, I learn fast. I learned MSOffice on the fly on my first job. I learned three years’ worth of Latin in one school year. My grandfather used to say that I wasn’t learning things, I already KNEW them and someone just had to remind me every so often.

    I am smart – like, scarily so, the only person I know with an IQ higher than mine is my son – and I have no problem using it to get things done. I’m legendary among my friends for accomplishing miracles from non-obvious directions.

    There is very little I’m afraid of – when you’ve already lost everything and come back, the idea doesn’t bother you so much any more.

    If I believe in you, I really believe and I will move heaven and earth on your behalf. And if someone hurts my friends…well, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, but only if Petunia leaveth me any.”

    I can fly! Well, single engine planes, at any rate. Still working on the personal levitation thing.

    Lastly, I have fantastic eyes.

    Comment by Petunia Chowder — April 24, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  8. I can teach Luther’s religious ethics and Einstein’s mechanics, one right after the other, at the college level and with a damn high degree of effectiveness. I can negotiate any public transit system I have ever encountered, I put up tomatoes, pickles and pesto every fall, I knit lace and I do triathlons.

    I drink bourbon, have hiked hundreds of miles by myself and I have a fabulous collection of scarves.

    Comment by Cedar — April 24, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  9. I totally love this idea!

    I am a kick-ass knitter. I can read charts, knit intarsia, fair isle and lace, and I can knock a pair of socks out of the damn park. I am also very generous in that I give away a lot of this kick-ass knitting to friends and family.

    Multi-tasking is my best work skill. Need four things done well, RIGHT NOW? I’m your girl. I can type an email, answer a question and file papers all at the same time, usually while on the phone.

    I have a very agile mind. I go from A, to G, then back to C, then over to N, then to B. It’s never dull. Other people don’t always get my reasoning, but it makes perfect sense to me, and I find out things that other people never do.

    I’m funny, dammit! Even in the darkest moments, I can and do find humor. I love the absurdity of our modern lives and truly enjoy pointing it out at every opportunity.

    I have a very soft heart, especially for animals. I want to save them all. Abuse and neglect saddens and sickens me. I put my money where my mouth is and volunteer at an animal shelter.

    I am pretty damn awesome (as are all the other Manolo Big Girls)!

    Comment by Orora — April 24, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  10. Oh wow, this is so bloody difficult to actually do without qualifications…

    I have an ear for music. I play piano well enough for my own enjoyment, and when I took music theory in college (as a fly-by-night music minor), I scored better than the majority of the class of music majors, aka people who are gonna do this deal for money. I have been able to accurately carry a tune and remain in pitch while singing along with recorded music or other singers since the age of 3.

    I am not afraid to experiment in the kitchen, and I’ve had very few actual disasters of cooking, and only my picky, vegetable fearing friends have outright refused anything I’ve made them.

    I’ve got gorgeous hair.

    I am tough. I am rarely sick, can count on one hand my number of insomnia bouts, and have never once had a migraine. I also pushed out a 7 pound infant in 16 minutes after only 6 hours of labor (with Pitocin contractions).

    I have remained in compos mentis after five years worth of soap opera style drama, both relationally and medically, from both my husband’s family and my own. I have kept going, kept taking care of myself and those I love on the days when I wanted to just pull the covers over my head,

    Comment by KW — April 24, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

  11. When I was sixteen I was my (1200 person) high school’s top scorer on the American Mathematics Competition; the first woman to ever be the individual top scorer at my school. I graduated with honors from one of the best frakking universities on the planet. Before I entered law school I was able to draft a better Chapter 13 plan than most bankruptcy attorneys. My Google-fu is good enough that I made a living from it for six months.

    I also have excellent hair.

    Comment by Maureen — April 24, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

  12. Like Petunia Chowder, I too can fly single-engine aircraft — a feat for which I worked my butt off, and I am very proud of it. I have a great ability to see both the big picture AND the humour in things, which results in my having incredibly harmonious relationships with most everybody, as I am able to avoid sweating the small stuff. I travel extremely well and pack light, I’m photogenic as all-get-out, and have organized four internationally-attended nuclear disarmament conferences on a shoe-string budget (one, while I was 8 months pregnant.) I am very quick with a quip, and am constantly being told how hilarious I am. I can schmooze with anybody, from a hobo on the street to Dutch royalty, and when unexpectedly asked to “say a few words” at an event, can give an eloquent, funny, well-organized short speech, completely off the cuff.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — April 24, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  13. Wow, I love all the previous responses and want to be a BFF with all of you.

    I’m a kick ass baker of cookies and pound cakes. My nick name in certain circles is Cookie Connie.

    People come to me for advice because I’m a good listener and I can play devil’s advocate.

    My smile is amazing.

    After three years of the most stressful events (losing a job, getting hit by a truck, bancruptcy, the death of both parents) I remained sane.

    My sense of humor is broad, and sometimes juvenile, and I love making people laugh.

    My friends think I’m awesome and, frankly, so do I.

    Comment by Constance — April 25, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  14. I can draw. If someone says nothing else about me, they at least know that I am an artist.

    I can sing and dance, and even act a little sometimes.

    I design and make my own knitwear without patterns (and have started writing patterns for sale).

    I take apart clothes and make other clothes from them.

    I love animals and they love me.

    I notice details that other people don’t.

    I can see the colors of letters, numbers and sounds, and I see words spelled as they’re spoken. Once I’ve seen a word written, I will never ever misspell it.

    I have big man-sized hands that are freakishly graceful. Even people who don’t like me have commented on this. Also my fingernails naturally grow long and strong without my having to do anything to them.

    At 44 I’m consistently mistaken for being in my early 30s.

    I’m just now starting to find a few colorless strands in my hair…and it looks as if eventually they’ll be forming a really cool streak right where I part it.

    I’ve always taken 100% responsibility for my own birth control. This may not be important to anyone else, but it matters a lot to me.

    I picked up and moved across the country a couple of times, just to see what living somewhere else was like. Now I’ve picked up and moved across the ocean, and I’m loving my life. I am Big effing Scary American Girl.

    Comment by BSAG — April 25, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  15. 1. I taught myself to draft and grade sewing patterns, and to illustrate the instructions, and said patterns have substantially raised the standards of Renaissance costume recreation.

    2. At 53, I’m completely comfortable with my body and my sexuality, and my 27 year old friends wish I would give lessons in how to be sexy.

    3. I have a terrific singing voice.

    4. My bellydance teacher says I’m the best dancer in the class, which has students half my weight and a third my age.

    5. I’m a great mother.

    6. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue in six seconds.

    Comment by Margo A — April 26, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  16. What the heck? Who’s Matt? (I did not copy and re-post my own comment.)

    Comment by BSAG — April 26, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  17. @BSAG: I suspect “Matt” was a spammer who wanted us to click on his name, which would have transported us to some questionable website that probably would have given us all a trojan or a virus or something like that.

    Comment by Cat — April 26, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  18. 1 – I teach Sunday School since no one else was willing to and I am 55 and have not had any children nor am I a teacher. I love the children in my class and they have taught me a great deal.
    2 – I have maintained a friendship for 44 year with my 7th grad locker partner.
    3 – I moved back home and in with my mother at age 52 and enjoyed our time together until she unexpectedly passed away.
    4 – I am a good friend.
    5 – I dress well.
    6 – I am grateful for all the blessings in my life and recognize that I am blessed.

    Comment by Jane H. — April 26, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  19. When I was sixteen I was my (1200 person) high school’s top scorer on the American Mathematics Competition; the first woman to ever be the individual top scorer at my school. I graduated with honors from one of the best frakking universities on the planet. Before I entered law school I was able to draft a better Chapter 13 plan than most bankruptcy attorneys. My Google-fu is good enough that I made a living from it for six months.

    I also have excellent hair.

    Comment by Simon — April 28, 2010 @ 2:37 am

  20. Thank you..really informative!!

    Comment by freesoft — May 17, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  21. To promote awareness for anything you could do to inform the public would be greatly received.

    Comment by Mesothelioma Cancer — August 9, 2010 @ 6:51 am

  22. By the large volume of comments here, it seems that this article did it’s job and got people stirred up. Hey, at least it’s generating a conversation. That’s always a good thing.

    Comment by Rosalind Craigwell — October 10, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

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