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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On Femininity.. last one {The Ballad of Mr. Snot Rocket}

If you're just tuning in, I've been whining about how I was dressed like a boy growing up and how it affected my life.
You can get caught up here: Part One, Part Two.

So I after two years of unsuccessful adulthood, terrible depression and a nervous breakdown, I moved back in with my mom. It was at that time I met the friend of a friend at a concert who was looking for a bassist for his band. The band consisted of 5 young hip white guys and very quickly I fit in and mushed into the group as just "one of the guys" again. I didn't really care since I wasn't attracted to any of them so it was no big deal to be seen this way.

One of my band-mates blew a SNOT ROCKET in front of me. Do you know what that is?
That's where you hold down one nostril and blow snot from the other... not into a hanky or anything like that. But just right on the ground. It's something you just generally don't do in front of other people 

I was absolutely mortified that a man would do that in front of me and I was certain that he would never ever do that in front of any other girl. But alas, I wasn't just any girl.

That's when I began to notice the girls in the other bands...

When we played shows I saw the other girls in little skirts, scarves, hip vintage cowboy boots, lacy things and jewelry. They were thin and willowy, wore makeup and had long messy curls in effortlessly beautiful I-don't-care hairstyles. I saw the way my band-mates and other guys looked at them and talked to them and I was crushed because I was so far from that.
These were the kind of girls with boyfriends. These were the kind of girls that were never confused as lesbians. These were the kind of girls you don't fart in front of.

I loved the way they looked and I desired nothing more than to be seen and treated like one of  them. I wanted to be skinny and frail and pretty because no decent gentlemen would ever blow a snot rocket in front of a girl like that, right? 

I had finally had enough of being just one of the guys. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and began working on becoming the woman that I wanted to be.
I began to learn belly dance from several DVDs and danced 4 hours a day. I practically starved myself - sometimes eating nothing more than a cereal bar and flavored water. After 4 months I lost 40 pounds. I was incredibly confident and I felt beautiful.

Baby doll dresses, tights, purple eye shadow and cowboy boots became my daily uniform. I refused to wear jeans that weren't skinny and I felt so "in charge" of myself. 
I was finally getting noticed and respected.
Now mind you, I didn't change just so I could catch a man. I changed for ME and the guys came later. I even dun got meself a husband. A man that loves me no matter what I wear. A man I can drink beer with and be crude with but he'll never forget that I'm a lady.

Headless hipster baby doll dress me. 2008?

So in a nutshell, one disgusting action motivated me to become the hip and elegant weirdo I've always desired to be. One snot-rocket later and I can't bring myself to wear jeans or a tee shirt in public. I don't want to see a man spit in front of me and I cringe when someone refers to me as dude or bro.
I'm not a dude and I'm definitely not your bro.
I'm a lady and I've worked too hard to be referred to as anything that suggests otherwise.

This is the story of Hollie.
{Thank you Mr. Snot Rocket.}
2010,  Me and my former band-mates at my wedding reception. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

On femininity... part two

Ah, let's see. Where was I?
So in my last post I revealed how I was dressed like a boy growing up and how it affected my life. You can get caught up HERE on that. I ended my last post to continue at a part in my life that needed to come in a later post. So this might be part 2/3 or 2/45. We'll see.

I know some of you were confused in my last post wondering why I didn't just buy my own clothes. When I was younger my parents were very, very dominant I didn't have much a say in anything I did.  Mom's word was law and I was kind of afraid of her. By the time I had money to buy my own clothing, I just simply didn't understand how to dress like a "proper girl".


During high school I still dressed like a boy but I'll never forget one day I managed to scrounge up a head-turning outfit. I wore a tight long sleeved shirt that had a geisha and cherry blossoms printed on it, my mom's  navy blue suede mini skirt, fishnet stockings and knee high platform boots. That day in English class, my crush of several years noticed me and wouldn't leave my side. I was elated. But lo and behold, I would never be able to pull together another outfit like that again so bye-bye attention. But really, if he didn't like me for who I was in men's jeans, then he didn't deserve me in a suede mini-skirt. So whatever, dude.

At my senior prom I made my friend's moms cry with my Cinderella-esque transformation. My mother was pleased with her masterpiece and so was I. After that, my mom was a little more into my appearance, encouraging me to look more presentable - like how she made me look for prom. Pretty confusing, huh?
(By the way prom is dumb but you should let your daughter's go so they can be a princess for a day. They might never get the chance to look and feel that beautiful ever again!)

After my first year of college I moved out of town with a couple of my friends. As soon as I stepped foot in our new apartment, my depression began to spiral completely out of control. I was so, so very lonely and all I wanted was to experience being in love for the first time. But thanks to my roommates being prettier (and looser) than me, any guy that I had a glimmer of hope with was quickly distracted by the other girls or just plain taken away. The guys wanted to be my friends, watch funny movies, hang out, fart and do fun guy things... but never, ever , ever was I seen as someone worthy of a good wooing.
Well there was that one guy, but desperation and alcohol were involved.

A real shot to the heart was when I joined a dating website. I uploaded photos of me and my roommate being silly and a guy messaged me: "Your roommate is hot. What's her name?"

My loneliness and depression began to show. I was often unemployed, didn't take care of myself and wore the same jeans and plain white tee shirt over and over. I even started questioning my own sexuality. Maybe I am gay? Maybe I just don't have what it takes to attract a guy because I'm a big lez?
Nope. I lika-tha dudes.

On my good days, I did my best to dress up. With what little money I had, I would go shopping and hit up the ladies section and tried my darnedest to be pretty. And I was! I knew I was. I even got approached by a lady to model Avon makeup for her portfolio. I had makeup and skirts and it felt good to look this way but my masculinity was just too overpowering and no matter what I did or how I dressed, I was still seen as just one of the guys.

Stay tuned for part 3, maybe the last of these "On femininity" posts.

Part Three: The Girls in the Other Bands

Featuring: the great transformation of 2006.

Oooh the suspense! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

on femininity... part one

"What? You wanna do sumfin about it? Come at me, bro!"

Here's a fun and disturbing bit of Hollie history for you:

When I was young, my mom dressed me like a boy.
Yup. From the time I was a wee tot until I was in high school.
This isn't a joke.
I've been wanting to blog about this topic for a while to kind of explain my disdain for pants, tee shirts and baseball caps. I think I've mentioned it to a couple of bloggers in comments before - but never a full post. To spare you having to read an entire novel, I'll break this up into a few parts.

Me receiving my first bass for my 16th birthday, dressed in a men's undershirt and wide-leg goth pants. An extra large men's bowling shirt usually accompanied this outfit.

So anywho, my mother said she dressed me in boys clothing because I was a terrible tomboy and she was tired of me ruining my clothes, so she dressed me daily in something more durable.
Yes, I was very very much a tomboy but I was the girliest tomboy you could ever meet.

I played with my barbies and all that good stuff but I also climbed trees, played in the mud, caught bugs, rode a three-wheeler, swam in a dirty pond, happily slopped the hogs, practiced whip-cracking and shot birds with my BB gun (I'm not proud of that last one. That's just something country kids do).
I would have done all that and more in an a formal gown, tiara and heels if my mother allowed it.

When my mother was away I would go in her massive walk-in closet and try on her fancy clothes and jewelry, play in her makeup and perfumes just so I could see what it was like to feel and look like a lady.
At school, no boys liked me and there was rumor that I was a lesbian.
It was a rather safe assumption for them to make considering my super close best friend at the time was a bi-sexual goth who dressed in over-sized tee shirts and jeans and with me looking the way I did - I can totally see how people thought I was gay.

But this hurt me so much. I wanted a boyfriend so bad - I was absolutely loco for boys. I was the kind of girl that would fall completely in love with any boy who gave me a smile.
But since they thought I was gay AND I dressed like a boy... welp, no boyfriends for me and barely a shred of attention from any crush I had. There were a couple mini high-school romances but nothing that went beyond holding hands outside after lunch.

The crazy thing is, I wasn't even aware that I looked, dressed and acted like a boy.
It had become a part of my identity and I didn't know how to be anything or anyone else.

When I would stay with my father and sister for the weekend, they would take me shopping and buy me boys clothes too. My sister was a hip high-schooler and dressing like a boy in baggy clothes was the cool thing for black girls to at her school (circa late 90s) . They would make sure their hair was perfect, nails and makeup done but wore basketball jerseys and even men's boxer shorts under their saggy jeans.
My sister would dress me like this so I could look presentable and fit in when she took me to hang out with her friends. I still looked like a boy and hated what I was wearing but at least I looked "cool". My sister and dad preferred a more polished gentlemen's look though, so I was dressed in the most fashionable Bugle Boy polo shirts, Dockers khakis and the finest high-top Reebok basketball shoes money could buy for a 13 year old girl.

Stay tuned for part 2: Just one of the guys

Monday, August 8, 2016

the lumberjack dance

Last month was strange and stressful and this month isn't showing any signs of improvement.
Both of my children have turned into absolute terrors.
River wets himself several times a day, either on purpose to show his frustration with me or simply just because he wants to. This has been going on for weeks now and I'm soooo very sick of it.

He spends well over 10 to 15 minutes in the bathroom just sitting on the toilet, thinking about quantum physics and singing to himself. He takes another 5 minutes to wash his hands - mesmerized by the water as if he's never seen it before.

Now I have to monitor his every potty visit. That means dropping everything that I'm doing several times a day to watch him tinkle and bark orders for how to use the bathroom properly.

Get up! Flush! Pull your pants up! No, wait - pull them back down you got to get the underwear too. Wash your hands! Get the soap... it's right in front of you! Turn on the water! Hurry up son! I've got food on the stove! C'mon!! How have you forgotten how to use the bathroom??? Move it!
Crap! My tilapia is burning!

Well, looks like we're having fish jerky soup for dinner again kids. 

Cedar has become EXTREMELY disobedient over the past few weeks. I have never seen such a strong-willed child in my life. According to Caleb's mom, she takes after him. Out of his 5 brothers and sisters, my husband was the problem child. No spanking, grounding, time-out or any alternative punishment could stop him from disobeying. He did whatever he wanted and punishment was worth it to him. Our 23 month old warrior princess is turning out to be the same way.

 I know a lot of you can't relate to what I'm talking about with the mommy frustrations and all but if you've ever cared for two puppies at the same time... then you get it.
It's kind of like that only... crate training is rather frowned upon for human children.

In other news. Here's what I wore to church.
The dress is a hand-me-down
A scarf-to-vest thingy
Hand-me-down boots 
Cheap jewelry

I think I might go join one of those link-up party things you guys always do on Monday.
Am I old enough? Is there an age limit for those?
I think I only follow three bloggers who aren't old enough to be my mom. I should be an honorary 40+ blogger club member.
Maybe I'll start my own group called the "40+ Bloggers Little Sisters Guild"?
Sounds cute!

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