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“That’s when you know you’ve found somebody really special: you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence.” ~Pulp Fiction

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fat Girls

I have had a problem with fat girls all my life. Not that I hate them for being fat. Not at all. But, I hate
If anyone ever buys me this shirt I will commit murder.
them for always thinking because I am chubby, that makes us confidantes. I can't tell you how many times I met a fellow chunkster and within the first couple meetings she bashes some skinny girl and says something like, "Us big girls need to stick together, amirite?"


I mean, why do we need to bring up the fact that I am fat? I don't think the fact that we are both overweight means we are buddies. Or did I miss something? All that is accomplished by saying something like that is me feeling completely unflattering and disliking you for pointing out that it is mega obvious how fat I am. I like to live in a beautiful state of denial sometimes.

In my experience, any mention or back-handed compliment referring to my weight has been stored in a mental filing cabinet to scar me for the rest of my life.

For instance: my mother is a beautiful woman. To put it in perspective, she was voted Ms. Centerfold in high school. So, that's a lot to live up to. But, I remember getting dressed for my 6th grade Christmas concert in front of her and her making mention that I get my "poochy belly" from her. Up until that point, I had not really considered my belly that "poochy." Now, 15 years later that's all I think about when I look in the mirror and the first thing I want to fix if I ever go under the knife.

People just don't understand that you should never make mention to a woman about her weight even if you are as vague as possible. Another example: my darling Grandmother. My whole life every time I see her she either mentions that I look like I have lost weight or she doesn't. The fact that she says I look good makes me feel wonderful. But, when I don't hear it, that's the equivalent of oinking at me upon entrance in my book.

So please, even if your intentions are meant to make me feel like you and I have something in common, please do not. I don't need the constant reminder that I am overweight. I am very much aware.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Site!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life; That word is love." -Sophocles

It's been a while. Why, you may ask? Well, I fell in love.

It's hard to slam away at the keyboard when you don't have resentment/bitterness/heartbreak beating the keys. I have spent my entire life filling journals, notepads, blogs, etc. with ramblings on love and how much I needed it in my life. I have been told every cheerful "Just hang in there" or "You'll find it when you least expect it." But I do have to say, while being told my true love was just lost on the interstate, I never believed it. I had actually started to plan my life filled with little fat dogs and many hours in front of Days of Our Lives knitting afghans and sweaters for said dogs. But, all of a sudden, he was there.

I won't get into the mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey, hippy-dippy or any other two-word rhyme (I stole that line from him. I know, meant to be, right?) because it doesn't matter. All that matters is we have found each other.

I expected this to be more monumental. Actually, I expected to die a painful death days before meeting him because that's just how Murphy's Law plays it's game in my life. But in all actuality, it was like I found some Xanax in my couch cushions. My brain has calmed and I have soothed.

Now, it's all about keeping him around. I have never lived with a any suitor before and I am at a constant battle with myself not to be the wet blanket that I normally am. But, this time it's a little bit different. This time it isn't about what I'm doing wrong or what impending doom is destined, it's just about being us.

Who would have thought there would be a day that I didn't have a ten paragraph rant on the male ability to crush me with a single sentence? Now, I have a beautiful man who watches me fall asleep, who's rendition of raunchy songs makes me laugh until I almost pee my pants, who lets me be the crazy worrier/lunatic that I am, who makes fun of me when I turn the faucet on in the bathroom every time I pee, who doesn't care that I can't cook/clean or who tells me that I'm his best friend.

This moment is something I just need to remember. This moment in my life is just a feeling that I will treasure when I'm 90 years old looking back on the gems in my life. No matter the outcome, this past couple months has changed who I am and will change my path for the rest of my life.

Love's a funny thing...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ashley Rae Berken: The Grenade

As I may have noted earlier in my blog, I have a bit of a temper. I have never been in a physical altercation, but, this may be because my blood boils so quickly that no one really wants to go toe-to-toe with this lunatic. But today, my pride suffered a blow thanks to my hair-trigger attitude.

I was shopping with a friend at Best Buy this afternoon. After picking out a delicious scary movie for All Hallow's Eve, we headed back to the car. As we are getting in, Cassandra notices something in the minivan ahead of us and moans. I look and notice two teens playing one vicious game of tonsil hockey in the front seat. I mean, this girl's esophagus got a thorough once-over by that pubescent boy. Instantly, I said "Holy disgusting!" After the words leave my mouth, I notice the girl's window is open and the two awkwardly compose themselves. Attempting to wipe the horniness off their faces.

As they back out of their spot, the boy stares vehemently at me. I mean, death glare. He backs the minivan up and stops, but continues to stare at me. The awkwardness builds for probably 10 seconds of this showdown before I reach up and flip the little cocky brat off. I hold my hand up like it's a Colt 45 and he flinches a little bit. He slips the van into drive but as he's rolling by, he ferociously waves his arms in front of him. At first, I thought he was mimicking my large chest, but judging by the bulging vein in his forehead, I gathered he was mocking my weight, not complimenting my rack. He then followed up with screaming, "Grenade! Grenade! GRENADE!" Which is a nice salutation to MTV's Jersey Shore meaning I'm not exactly the cutest pickle in the jar. Cassandra says she's convinced he said "Look away," but I don't agree.

The rest of today, I have been licking my wounds. I almost feel like I have time traveled back to fourth grade where I fell victim to bullying as the chubby ten-year old in not-so-flatting stirrup stretch pants and over-sized sweaters. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. At least I cock-blocked the little fucker.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I have always been good at making friends. Ever since school began, I have always had gaggles of friends. For crying out loud, my grandma still talks about Grandparents' Day when I was in third grade and was BFFs with every little girl no matter how much she looked like a ragamuffin.

I do have to say, I am now much more picky about my posse, but I still have lots of friends. I have rules with friends: they must be pretty and they must be funny/get my sense of humor. I don't go whoring my friendship around. This is a priceless commodity people.

There are plenty of people I consider "friends" that aren't exactly spectacular. But those are friends by default. What I'm talking about are people who you just know upon the first couple minutes of your interaction that you're going to be friends. It's almost like you're on a date. Instantly your gabbing about your inner quirks, sex lives, secrets, dancing to the Cupid Shuffle, etc. You just know.

But, I guess my point, being the horrendous dater I am, is why can't actual dating be this easy. I would rather gnaw off three toes than be completely myself with a guy that fast. As soon as testosterone hits the room it's like my inner dating representative comes out to play. There's no mention of sex (not classy). I all of a sudden cook every night, have a gym membership and only listen to Led Zeppelin. When in reality: macaroni and cheese instructions send me into a panic, I had a membership at the Y for like two months because it was free and went twice three years ago and my iPod is full of gangster rap and bubblegum pop music.

The funniest part of it all is I am willing to give pretty much any thing with a pulse and a penis a fair shot at love. If I won't even do that with my friendship, why am I so willing to do that with my heart? I guess my inner spinster/grandma bubbles to the surface whispering you're going to die alone and your cats are going to eat your body and nobody is going to care...and I, naturally, grasp at straws.

I say all of this like I'm a sideshow, but I actually am well aware I am not the only one with this problem. There are millions of relationships that start this way. I would even venture to say all of my friends' relationships started all Leave it to Beaver and then after two months they let the act fall to the wayside. But, who has that kind of patience? Or better yet, who has that much faith? Really, if I'm lying about my love of the oven, what is he lying about? It's like that complex cheaters get that they immediately assume their spouse is cheating and become psychotic and dig through their belongings searching for a clue just because they are dishonest.

I guess there's no solution but to just jump in with my freak flag flying and hope that there's someone out there who's quirks (defects?) match mine.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dates: Free to Good Home

So, I finally bit the bullet and rejoined eHarmony again. I waited until the spam e-mails they sent me begging me for my return seemed desperate. I mean, I have my pride. I settled on a mere $10 a month and one month free.

Since I hadn't been on the site since my last I-live-with-my-mom-and-our-house-smells-like-cat-piss date a year ago, I had a lot of revamping to do. There were things in my profile that were outdated, like my undying desperation for love and my photos which, in a new light, kind of make me look like a fat gym teacher. Also, I had over 200 matches to weed through.

I tell you what, there is nothing more ego boosting than weeding through 200 + potential lovers. But I think I got a little bit of a power trip. Initially I judged purely on photo alone. Not my type and you're in the garbage. If you're my type I send the initial round of blase questions to attempt to lure you into my snare. Then I thought how shallow I seemed with this frame of mind. So, I started reading profiles. Can't spell: immediate out. Unemployed: out, out, out! Write poetry: Ew, out. Live with mother: for the love of GOD, I have learned my lesson on this one.

But then, last night, after my eyes were bleeding trying to mill through the potentials, I realized how unfair this all is. I mean, really, somewhere in the Midwest, men are doing the exact same thing to my profile whispering maniacal reassurances to themselves. I suddenly hear my ego deflating.

But what does a single working girl do to find a guy? My life isn't like the movies where Prince Charming is a customer at work who carries me out the doors of my employ while I put his Navy hat on my head and the credits roll. It's more like, truckers with AARP memberships who's gingivitis has rotted their gums into black mush wink at me and show me their own eHarmony profiles and tell me I would look so sexy on the back of their Harleys.

I feel like I need a divine intervention. Maybe I'll consult the Ouija, or at the very least I could dig around in my closet for my Magic 8 Ball...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shitty Karma

I had lunch today with my oldest and dearest friend Allison. We met at a restaurant in my hometown so my mom and I could ogle her brand-new baby. After laughing over the trials and tribulations of motherhood and giving overdue hugs and "I love yous," I began to reminisce. I started to think of how far we've come as adults and the lessons we've learned together since our middle school years. I then realized the most important lesson we (or more so, I) learned very early in our friendship: that sneaky bitch, karma.

It was the summer before our freshmen year of high school. We already had our first-day-of-high-school-outfits picked out and had already hashed and rehashed our plans for the upcoming year. We called dibs on boys for each and every dance, figured our best route from locker to locker between classes and made a game plan for how to get out of riding the school bus during our last pre-driver's license year. To put it bluntly, we were bored. Summer had lost it's luster and we were itching for something more exciting to do than sit around her room calling boys who we heard hit puberty during the last couple of months. We came up with a plan.

As you may already have gathered from my blog, I grew up in a small town, and Alli's house epitomized small town. She grew up on a dairy farm. We both spent many summer nights milking cows and this was where the idea for our summer entertainment blossomed.

One day before my mom dropped me off at her house, I ransacked my mom's closet for old purses while Alli did the same to her mom's castoffs. My mom wondered what was going on but was easily convinced that we were having a rummage sale and I needed to turn a quick profit.

So, upon getting to Alli's house I raced inside, said a quick "hello" to her mom and then dumped my loot on Alli's bed along with her collection. We were ready. So, we stuffed a garbage bag full of fringed, stonewashed and studded bags and started down her winding driveway.

Halfway through our trip we stopped by the cow pen. We whipped open the bag of bags and grabbed a shovel, precariously filling each satchel with manure and then gently putting them back in the garbage bag and heading back down the drive.

Now, Alli lived on a country highway with very deep, grassy ditches. So we would place a purse in the middle of the road and climb in the ditch and wait. We wouldn't wait long, maybe five eager minutes, suddenly having to pee and dying to see what would happen. Oh, and were we ever brilliant. Nearly 95% of passerby came to a screeching halt and grabbed the bag. Most of which, would take off like they just won a hillbilly lottery only to be severely dismayed about a hundred feet down the road. They would each do the same thing, scream "You *@#%*#(@*# kids!!!!!!" and squeal away. Meanwhile, Alli and I would squeal with laughter in the ditch, rolling in the weeds doubled over with glee.

Some would get so furious we would get scared for a quick second, sure were were busted. But, they would just fling the purses in the woods in a fury and we would just pick up and start over again after they tore away. This went on for hours, and maybe even days if I remember correctly. Each stop becoming more hilarious than the next. We were Laverne and Shirley, Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and Sundance...we were unstoppable.

Well, like all good heists, this one had to come to an end. And for me, the end came the day before my freshmen year. I woke up to quite the kick in the ass: I was covered head-to-toe in poison ivy sores. Even my eyelids were weighed down with the pus-filled itch-factories. My mom took me to the hospital where I was put on steroids and lathered with creams.

Needless to say, I missed my first day of high school and wasn't exactly the cat's meow later that week when I returned with my bottle of calamine lotion and a case of what, I'm sure, everyone deduced was scabies.

And if any of my readers were or know someone who fell for my childhood shenanigan, know this, he who laughs last, laughs loudest.