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Bullet-Dodging Fat, Cake and the Truth About Donkey Shows

There aren’t many situations where I’m grateful for my fat.

Other than when I’m clothes shopping or that brief moment of anxiety approaching an unusually narrow turnstile or arm chair, I don’t really think about my fat much at all.

For example:

I’m grateful for my Big Girl status now that I live in Mexico because it makes me potentially harder to kidnap.

Before you get all up on my magical-thinking Kool-Aid, I know there’s a whole mess of flawed logic that goes into this, not the least which is kidnapping isn’t a problem in my state.

Still, I imagine potential abductors seeing me –almost certainly bigger than they are in every regard and clearly able to cause some damage, not to mention the difficulty of transporting me– and opting for some smaller victim, at least until the day they can ransom by the kilo.

I’m also grateful for being fat when it comes to dating.

No, seriously.

I read Kate at Eat the Damn Cake’s hackle-raising article  The Chunky/Gorgeous Woman on the Subway and was flooded with borrowed anxiety and personal relief.

At one point Kate, a woman who was once quite thin and is now merely slender with the most adorable hint of belly, butt and boobs pointed out a gorgeous woman on the subway.

Her husband dismissed the woman as “chunky”.

Kate told him:

“It’s just hard. I am a lot heavier now. And the whole world is full of people who say ‘chunky.’ I am chunky. I am chunky and beautiful. And even if you don’t think I’m chunky—I want to be able to be chunky. I want to be able to gain more weight without having to feel ugly. And I don’t want it to be because I have a pretty face.”

Anxiety because I cannot imagine being in a relationship where my partner’s attraction to me would balance so precariously on body size with a relatively small margin of error, and relief because, for the most part, my larger-than-life size kicks those unacceptable applicants from the Get-Inside-My-Jeans pool before they’ve even inflated their floatie wings.

I’m sure Kate’s husband Bear would love and be attracted to her regardless of size, but I know of so many relationships where I’d be willing to bet my life savings (which you know means giving up my dreams of a bionic liver) that a woman’s weight gain of 30 pounds would spell splitsville for the couple.

Meanwhile, it’s been my experience men who are attracted to bigger bodies have a wider appreciation for variation and a swing of 30 pounds in either direction might not even register as long as she still packs an extra scoop in her sundae and her hourglass –provided she had one in the first place– still tells time.

Case in point:

When I went back to Austin in July to tell my stunned friends and family I was selling the Cadillac and moving to live on the beach in Mexico, there was a lot of cake.

There was International Move Stress Cake, Too Sick To Eat Anything Else Cake, Better Eat This Because They Don’t Have Real Texas Sheet Cake in Baja Cake, Goodbye We’ll Miss You Cake, Are You Really Sure You Want To Do This Cake, Vague Racist References to White Slave Trade Cake, New Birth Control Makes Me Want To Eat Everything Cake, Wake Up in the Middle of the Night Wondering If They Really Do Have Donkey Shows in Tijuana* Cake…I think you get the picture.

The upshot was, I gained 30 pounds from July to January.

I knew this wouldn’t bother Hot Latin Boy, my body has done crazy things since we met (and not just in the dirty way, though also totally in the dirty way) but since my vanity knows no limits, I was concerned the small stable of admirers I’d collected during my previous stay wouldn’t find me as attractive.

I still wasn’t going to give ’em any, but I still wanted them to want it.

And they did, so the Duchess of Neediness-Two-Bourbons was satisfied for another day.


Which isn’t to say my dating history as Professional Fat Girl has been all Ativan-covered roses.

Just like the FDA allows a certain number of grasshopper parts in your peanut butter, any romantic career spanning over a decade has to allow its share of freaks, pervs, fetishists and nogoodniks who spread rumors about you and several members of the Episcopal clergy having  such loud and enthusiastic orgies (clorgies?) at conventions that a bishop had to pass a resolution to make you bite the pillow. Fantastic had it been true –you can’t buy that sort of press– but more than a little worrisome when made up by someone whose five year plan includes the hope of ever seeing you topless.

I’d like to think most healthy relationships allow room for both partners to change both emotionally and physically, and that most of the men who  can’t find beauty in anything but the narrowest of spectrums end up broadening their horizons or weeding themselves out of the DNA buffet, but I know my size has let me dodge that bullet many times and for that…plus the whole kidnapping thing (hey, it’s worked so far)…I am grateful.



*They don’t. It’s a scam invented by enterprising taxi drivers in Tijuana’s red light district to take advantage of drunk tourists. They drive around racking up the fare, pretending they’re looking for the illegal event that is forever on the move, finally dropping the boozy pervs off at a barnyard animal-free strip club/brothel with which the drivers have an arrangement, but not before lightening their wallets considerably.

What Miss Plumcake is…

Greetings my little firecrackers of love, how’s every little thing? Me, I’m great. I’ve never spent the Fourth of July outside the United States before…surprisingly it’s not QUITE as big a deal here. It reminded me of the time I was in Ireland doing one of those double decker bus tours of Dublin (we were tired, okay?) and the tour conductor seemed to take less than a warm and tender view re: the English Reformation I –as the World’s Most Glamorous Anglican ™– know and love.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday which means it’s time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…


Your Weekly Humpletter: Admittedly Less Weekly Edition

Kiyonna is one of my favorite plus size boutiques but their coupon codes run few and far between. Use GOODBUY20 until midnight tonight to save 20% off and get free shipping too.

Here they thoughtfully provide you with Flaunt, aka your First Date Dress and your Third Date Dress (your third dates may vary) with the Satin Siren, all in one convenient location and made in the U.S.A. Thanks Kiyonna!

Saks Fifth Avenue is having a Designer Sale with items up to 40% off. I will not know a moment’s peace until I track down this Kay Unger silk dupioni party dress in my size, and not that I’ve been married once, but how cute would this be for an informal second or third wedding? I’m also digging this intarsia striped linen-blend drawstring “sweater” from Lafayette 148. I just know it’d be one of those things I’d hem and haw about spending money on, and then wear it twice a week for the next million summers.

Bluefly has an additional 20% discount all clearance items, making some products up to 80% off. I would be lying if I told you “it looks like you’re giving someone the finger…elegantly” is not on the list of reasons I love this gold-plated starfish ring from Kenneth Jay Lane and as long as we’re going Mrs Roper, we should go the FULL Mrs Roper and give a little love to this beetle ring.

No one does great summer jewelry like KJL, and it’s hard to find proper Kenneth Jay Lane at prices as good as these. Get you some.

Sealed With a Kiss Designs
is also knocking off 20% if you use code MEMORIAL2011. I love this Sweet Pea Dress I’m buying this one for myself, because there are few things I love more than white cotton eyelet for summer, but how perfect would this be for a graduation dress? Also it’s, lined and bra-strap friendly. What more could a girl want in a sundress?

The Audrey Dress is one of those classic day-to-night pieces that you’ll grab again and again, so why not grab it on sale? Sizes and colors are limited, but I think the SWAK girls will still go above and beyond to help a sister out when the items are out of stock.

Ashley Stewart
has some very pretty baubles available for a song in their clearance section including the turquoise-colored stone necklace that is shockingly similar to one I paid $300 for on sale at Nieman’s in 2008 and this fun stacked-look stretch bracelet, which is a smart option for those of us who yearn to wear bracelets but shy away because it makes our arms look short. The clear stones give sparkle and polish without the visual weight and associated enstumpening.

Enstumpening is totally a word, don’t pretend it’s not.

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little gangsters of love, how’s every little thing? I hope you all are recovered from yesterday’s Monday Hotness, because now it’s Tuesday and time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda – Dual Language Edition Do you want to know how good Pablo Neruda’s love poems are? They got me into a co…commi….into one of those things, with the two people and the feelings and the listening instead of replaying Gareth Bale’s jaw-dropping hat trick at the San Siro in your head until it’s your turn to talk again. That’s powerful mojo.

Watching: Turtles Can Fly I say watching because I can only get through about fifteen minutes at a time. The first movie filmed in Iraq after Hussein’s fall, it takes place on the eve of the American invasion and tells the story of 13 year-old Satellite and his young friends who clear minefields in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Turkish border. Equal parts Les 400 Coups, The Great Escape and Waiting for Godot, it’s not easy to watch but it’s as important a film that’s been made in the past decade.

Hearing: Cultura Profetica – DiarioHot hot babymakin’ reggae en Español. Sure back in college I owned Bob Marley “Legend” and watched The Harder They Come with a bunch of my trustafarian pals one night, but that’s about as far as I got. Until, of course, I get this dropped on me –in Spanish– by my…uh…person friend:

I would like to live in your legs
Creeping up you like ivy
Or sail the thousand leagues
fixed at the helm of your hips


Smelling: Serge Lutens – Ambre Sultan Let us make a hypothetical situation. Let us say that once upon a time, and definitely not like, the first weekend in January or anything, there was a girl who had a special friend (and that was totally okay because it was before her person friend came in the picture) and that special friend happened to be a scorchin’ hot former professional soccer player from Casablanca. And let’s hypothetically say that one day this special friend invited the girl over to his house for a homemade Moroccan meal and to watch Casablanca in the traditional way, which apparently involves a several-hour massage with sweet almond oil and some mysterious green stuff he got at the souk followed by some premier grade necking, something just highly ill-advised involving mint tea and eventually breakfast. With me so far? All of that, without the mint (which seriously, I give points for creative enthusiasm, but that was just poor planning all around). That’s Ambre Sultan. Or so I’ve heard.

Loving: Better Business Bureau Charity Checker (click here for a list of BBB-approved organizations doing relief work in Japan). Chip in if you can.

Hating: Everyone in town for SXSW. Listen, I get it. I love Austin too, that’s why I live here. But you and your girl jeans and your ironic facial hair can just go back to Cleveland now. Stand up straight, get that hair out of your eyes and get a soul-killing job like the rest of us!

Wanting: Jeanne Moreau’s buffalo plaid cap from Jules et Jim. WHY? WHY is it so hard to find this thing? I just don’t understand.

Buying: Dream Curves Seamless Hi-Waist Bike Short Man I love these things. Alluring? Not so much, but I like the way they smooth my stuff out without locking it down. There’s nothing worse than shapewear that pancakes your butt or causes the Vesuvius of all muffin tops. Plus they don’t roll, by which I mean they roll a little but not so much they make me want to die and or kill.

‘Tis the Season for the Ladies’ Man

The Way I See It by Raphael Saadiq Babymakin’ music of the highest, and most tasteful, order.

She Comes First by Ian Kerner, PhD. Dear Gentlemen: Miss Plumcake is lucky enough to have a gentleman friend who is a sex therapist and educator who went to an Ivy League school on an athletic scholarship. This is your romantic competition. He knows these pages intimately. How confident are you?

Cary Grant-style Tortoise Natural Bristle Toothbrush. Keep a spare. (Seriously, you think we don’t notice these things?)

Cocoa Long Staple Egyptian Cotton 1000 Thread-Count Sheets Everybody and every body looks better on dark, warm-colored sheets. Look into it.

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

More Important Than Lipstick

Today I was going to write about something incredibly important: Namely, I found a really fantastic long-wearing neutral-but-better lip color for cheap yesterday and I want to shout my love for it over the reverberate hills. However, today the base color is pilling a little bit (I think I would’ve preferred a gloss to a balm as the top coat) and I’ve got something even nearer and dearer to my heart than functional and affordable cosmetics.


DAMN I love men.

I mean sure, individually they can be problematic and loathsome, but generally speaking I like guys.

Now let’s not pretend I’m breaking new ground, or have a single thing figured out about relationships that’s going to make your life better. I’m not and I don’t, but I do like men and I think it’s a damn shame there are so many barriers we put up, especially as big girls, that –although we probably come by them honestly– put us in an adversarial relationship with men at, uh, large.

Because men? Are kinda great.

First of all, you can sleep with them. I really feel this can’t be overstated. You certainly don’t have to sleep with them (ever!) and plenty of women don’t, but it’s a nice option to have. Plus they’re not women. Now don’t get me wrong, I think women are fab. Some of my best friends are women, many of whom were born that way, and yet there’s something to be said for the whole la différence thing that’s been vive-ing for years in France and although the idea of dating a French man ever EVER again takes me from zero-to-fetal position in under six seconds, (and frankly I already have a Birkin, so I don’t need to!) they’ve got a point.

And the reciprocal side is: Men love me too.

Yes, even though I’m fat, opinionated, and crazy as a a hamster in a g-string a good 40-50% of my waking life, they still love me.

You may think I’ve got some special potent allure. Hell no. I assure you, I’m a pretty enough girl but I’ve got all special potent allure of a decomposing ferret. Men like me for two reasons (no, not those two reasons, although thank YOU Lane Bryant plunge bra): I like myself and I like them.

That’s it. No special allure, no seven simple tricks. I got nothin’ but a loud mouth, a flawless rack and a great appreciation for men –even the ones I don’t want to see naked– and myself.

And let’s talk about the guys we don’t want to sleep with. The guys at work, our guy friends, because unless you’re the reincarnation of Blanche Devereaux, odds are the vast majority of the men you meet will fall into this category.

It’s important to like these guys too. Or heck, maybe it isn’t important, but it makes life a lot more fun if you can flirt shamelessly and harmlessly with these fellas instead of becoming “One of the Boys” (ASK ME how much I hate that term. You do not have to give up your gender identity to have male friends. I promise.) or living in an Us vs Them dichotomy of grimness, pink books and cats.

And then there are the guys we DO want to sleep with.

I worry about my big sisters who say they want to date but haven’t been out with a man in X years.

Sure there are guys who are dicks out there, especially if you’re fat. But you don’t want to waste your time with them anyway so it’s no loss.

However, there are also a ton of great guys out there and a lot more of them than maybe you’d think are perfectly happy to go out with bigger women. I get asked out on dates all the time (sometimes even by guys who are neither drunk nor homeless!) and as I said before, I assure you I have no special man-trapping qualities, I’m not a bad lookin’ gal but no one’s going to confuse me with Carmen Dell’orefice any time soon. The best I can figure is they keep coming because they want to buy what I’m selling, and they want it because I believe and more importantly project what I’ve got going on –and I’m talking the whole package, body, brains, crazy and all– isn’t just worth having, it’s worth getting on all fours and begging for.

What do you all think about the “gender wars”, men and big girls, men as friends in general and the whole shebang?

Can We Talk Seriously For a Moment?

Last night, I read this terrifying and heartbreaking piece by Claudia at The Embodiment of Fat charting the progression of a violent relationship she used to be in. We all like to think this couldn’t happen to us, but the fact is that domestic violence is found in every segment of society. Rich or poor, young or old, fat or thin, straight or gay, male or female,  this could happen to anyone. I know women who have survived domestic abuse. It blows my mind that women so strong, so confident, and so centered have lived through precisely what Claudia describes.

If you suspect that your relationship may be edging into abuse, if you think someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, or if you fear that your behavior may be becoming abusive toward someone you love, please print out this list of warning signs and read it carefully.

If you recognize your relationship in that list, please call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1 (800) 799-SAFE for help and more information.

Someone who really does love you will be glad you did.

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