-Boobies & Assholes-
In 6th grade the school district required all girls to wear a bra. In 2000, big butts were irrelevant and it was all about the boobs. And I was flatter than a kitchen table, much to my dismay.
My mom did me a solid and bought me a padded bra. I. Was. Thrilled.
I showed up to school the next day with boobs, y’all! Grew them over night! It was a miracle! Not huge ones, but an appropriate size for my frame. Even though the day before I was boob-less, I figured no one would notice them as a drastic change.
Oh, but they noticed. And they stared. And they whispered.
I came back the next day with no jacket, figuring it was a fluke, and they’d just get used to little ol’ me and my brand new tata’s. Wrong.
People whispered, people stared. Girls whispered and laughed as I walked the halls.
Gym time was the worst, because we had to change in front of each other. Let me tell you, it is possible to change clothes without removing your existing clothes first. It’s a gift.
I was a fraud. But a committed fraud at this point. I couldn’t come back the next day without my new additions, I had to see this through. They would all forget, right? Nope.
The crazy thing is, no one ever actually said anything to me. But I wasn’t deaf, and 11 year old girls are shitty whisperers.
I wore a jacket every day from there on out. But I kept my padded bra on. I kept my books in front of my chest as I walked the halls. And when we dressed out in P.E., I begged to wear my hoody, but the teachers said no. Instead, I hunched my back over, trying to hide them in my baggy, smelly, P.E. shirt.
School became an exhaustive mental fucking. At night, I would list out the names of those who actually spoke to me throughout the day, counting their names and finding comfort that I did indeed have friends. It was a lie, though. None of them were my friends. And I knew this, but it was easier to pretend.
My parents never noticed how I was feeling, and I never told anyone. I never attempted suicide, but the thoughts crossed my mind. Every day was a nightmare, all over a bra.
Now that I’m a mother, and a grown-up, it’s my job to make sure my daughters don’t grow up being bullied, or worse, grow up being the asshole.
My youngest is in 5th grade now, so the proverbial poo is progressively hitting the fan. This morning she cried due to the thought of getting a new iPad case, even though it was her idea. She was worried it would hurt my feelings because I’m the one who bought her the case two years ago.
Back to the original story: My 5th grader came to me in the restroom this morning all excited, “Guess what the girls told me about Ashley (fake name). I’m like trying to pee in peace, but whatever, I indulge and ask what.
She tells me Ashley needs to wear a bra.
Hmm… “Okay. Good to know. And how do you know this?” Kids are freaking weird.
“Because Friend1 and Friend2 both told me!”
I don’t remember my exact words, but it was somewhere along the lines of “You’re talking crap. Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if someone talked about you like that behind your back?”
It also took everything I had to not say ‘talk shit get hit.’ It’s a legit motto to follow.
Anyways, my kid is a naïve, sweet little girl with a sensitive heart. The tears began flowing like Niagara when she realized what she’d partaken in. She can’t control what others tell her, I get this. But she can tell her friends to shut their yappers.
We aren’t born simply knowing what’s right or wrong, what’s gossiping or shit talking. We have to be TAUGHT. She has to be taught. Those whispers, those teeny tiny harmless comments- they hurt. They add up.
To further the epic life lesson I was dishing out as I sat on the toilet, I told her of my 6th grade booby debacle. Her response, “Could you have taken the bra of at school?”
Eh. I guess I could have. Never really occurred to me. Like I said, I was committed to my fraudulent double lattes.
I didn’t think of the words then, but after dropping her off at school, the shock hit.
Why was my kid telling me to change my bra? Rather than ‘wow, those kids weren’t nice’.
That’s victim blaming. No matter how absolutely ridiculous I looked, those kids should have stared, rolled their eyes, and MOVED THE EF ON.
Moral of the story: Things add up. Little comments and little whispers make little insecure girls grow to be insecure women. Little gossiping girls and boys grow to be gossiping adults.
That shit stops here.
-Ridiculous Shit In A 1940’s Cosmopolitan Magazine-
Interesting things from a 1940’s Cosmopolitan magazine I bought at an estate sale:
(Also, follow me on Instagram. @candacereads
1. A Marlboro advertisement, “the cigarettes of successful men… and lovely women.”
2. Allure used to advertise their make-up as “Pan-Cake” makeup, as though it was a positive thing. They even trademarked the word.
3. A 17 year old girl was described as luscious. Yuck.
4. There are TONS of job advertisements for women. One read “but I’ve never worked! What kind of job can I do?” Then Cosmo lists all the jobs that you’re capable of doing. This was obviously a turning point for women.
5. A questionnaire: “Is the war affecting the health of America’s young children? Fatalities from childhood diseases are at an all time low. The mothers of our youngest generation deserve a great big bouquet. They realized that the most valuable wartime service the could render is to safeguard the health of their children.” Mental health, anyone??
6. There’s a friggin’ Motorola advertisement for a “handie-talkie.”
7. John Wayne was hot as hell.
8. Unemployment of soldiers was a HUGE deal.
9. If you don’t have the right soap, no man will marry you.
10. The articles are so long… I’m realizing I have the attention span of a gold fish.
11. Soap… can apparently answer all of our life’s problems.
12. Not using paper has been mentioned multiple times, because “our army needs paper.” The irony.
13. Boss talking to employee: “We want you to be happy here. You’re pretty and capable- you can be popular, too!” It was an advert for deodorant
15. More fucking soap.
16. If you don’t have white teeth, no man will want you.
17. More soap. “Want to be a girl with date appeal?” 😂 Shit.
18. Oh. A cream that removes freckles. “If you have to live with freckles, make it as pleasant as possible.” Ouch.
19. Soap. I’m going to stop mentioning this.
20. OMG. Lysol suggested cleaning out your vagina… with Lysol. Then there’s a story about a girl who’s husband left her because of her “ignorance” over hygiene. I mean… with all the soap, I think she’s fine.
DESIGNED BY THE MUGGLE HUSBAND AND I!
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-Do The Damn Thing-
I worry because I am good at it.
Do you want to know every possible outcome of your situation? Just ask me. Because I’ve envisioned them all, and I am a hundred steps ahead.
Anxiety is taking what should be a normal drive across the freeway, and turning it into a fatal car crash. It’s leaving the house and wondering if you turned your straightener off.
Did I lock the door? Is the gas on the stove off? Did I jiggle the handle of the door too much? Is it going to fall off because I keep shaking it? The answer is yes, the overly priced door knob will fall off. (Equating to an expensive trip to Home Depot. True Story.)
Anxiety is turning to your husband thirty minutes into the drive across the freeway, and asking about the straightener, the door, and the stove. Each and every time he patiently responds, assuring me all things were double checked and done.
It’s gasping as every car passes you, just knowing this is the one that will swerve into your lane and kill everyone you love.
Why am I like this? I have the perfect life… I’m going to put humbleness aside for a moment. My husband is a saint, a hot one at that. My kids are sweet to the core. My pets are adorable and fluffy. My house is beautiful and decorated exactly how I want it. We are well educated, successful adults, who for the most part have accomplished all of our dreams. I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter. So why am I so worried?
When I had nothing to my name, I had no time to be anxious, as I was always in survival mode. Now, I have everything I’ve ever wanted, and it terrifies me. I squeeze my babies, husband, and puppies a little tighter, because I know it can all be over in an instant.
I’ve learned to enjoy life regardless of my increasing paranoia. I make time to stop and smell the roses, even if that means I may get mowed down my a car whose driver is texting and not paying attention. (See, that’s anxiety.)
The ball will drop. Everything will come crashing down and the pieces will leave nothing unscathed. I know this, because I’ve been through it. But I rebuilt, albeit with a little bit of baggage attached to me now, but I did it.
If the ball ever drops again, I want to catch it.
Anxiety is angry, scared, and powerful. But we are good people to have around, because we will always catch you If, or when, the ball drops.
Anxiety is my superpower. Since I can’t cure it, I might as well embrace it.
So yes, Taylor Swift, I am ready for it.
-Faleena Hopkins and Cocky-Gate-
This is difficult for me to write, because it pisses me off. But I’m a professional, so I will try and stick to the facts, and not go off on a bitch-rant tangent. Fingers crossed.
Faleena Hopkins is an author. She wrote a series titled Cocker Brothers. Each individual book includes the word cocky. I have never heard of this author before Cocky-Gate started.
So, what is Cocky-Gate? Faleena believes other authors are trying to capitalize on her self-proclaimed success in the industry, by using the word cocky in their book titles.
Faleena has decided to trademark the word cocky. Here is the letter she is sending to authors who have used cocky in their title:
Amazon banned the digital copy of The Wild by K. Webster for its taboo content. I read for enjoyment, not as a social experiment to see if my brain is going to tell my stomach to barf.
This book would make me barf.
Here’s the gist of it. Man adopts a baby girl, man falls in love with girl, even more so as she becomes a teenager. So, when she turns 16, they run off to have sex. Lots of it, because this is a romance novel. Oh, and the girl doesn’t know that he’s her ‘adoptive’ father. (not that it matters)
I’m always an advocate for freedom to read whatever the hell you please. But this… It’s too much. Incest is taboo, yes… The Wild is more than incest, it is child pornography. I don’t think I need to convince anyone how awful the content is, so i’ll refrain from quoting the disgusting details of the book.
Men and women go to jail for having sex with an underage CHILD. How is this any different? Glorifying this as a fantasy is disgusting.
The overview of The Wild offers a warning of its taboo material, and how it may make you squirm… Uh, yeah. No duh. Also, this isn’t taboo, this is bullshit.
I find it disturbing that a novel this horrific is coming from a notable romance author. The world works in a shitty way, and when one person does something bad, it reflects on everyone. The Wild book does not represent the world of contemporary romance authors, or taboo topics. Authors get enough shit for their covers, they don’t need this garbage on their plate, too.
-I’m a Millennial- Duh.-
I’m a Millennial. I really hate the word. I woke up one day and it was everywhere; I had to Google what it was. I surely didn’t want to be categorized as a Millennial, not after reading the awful things being associated with the word. But then I discovered via Google (shame on me for using the internet) and Buzzfeed (Millennial Hot Spot), what it truly meant to be a child born in the early 80’s to the mid 90’s.
The word came about as an easy way for scientists to describe our generation. Then, it turned into an insulting word to be thrown at us. For everything.
“Candace ate chips today.”
“Fucking Millennials, always eating chips.”
LET’S GET STEREOTYPED, Y’ALL! BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE MILLENNIALS JUST LOVE THAT.
- We are entitled. Yeah, I expected my parents to pay for my college… Because they said they would. Then these lovely words left my mother’s mouth, “we will not pay for your college, because we don’t think you’ll finish.” Basically, they looked at me as a bad investment, because….
- We don’t know what hard work is. Kind of true. I don’t work harder, I work smarter. Why? Because I watched my dad, the hardest working man I know, work 12 hour days in 100+ degree weather. And he’s still doing it. His favorite quote: “I’ll sleep when I die”.
*Wore shit eating grin at my college graduation while my mother scowled for every picture.* And no, they didn’t pay for my education. Obviously. But, just because I work a cushy in-home job, doesn’t mean my friends do as well. Houston is a Chemical Plant town, the money is at the Plants. If you work at the Plants, then you know extreme working conditions. It makes me sad… Weird, since-
- We don’t understand true friendship. I’ve got nothing… That’s just weird. Lol.
- We love selfies. Sue me.
- Because we are selfish. Selfish, eh? Partially true. I don’t share food well. Ask my kids, or my husband who is down one finger. Oops. Just kidding. As a child, I was told “you are mean, selfish, a brat”… Those words hurt my poor, snowflake heart. Worst part: I believed it, because I heard it every day. Really screwed me up, to be honest. I look at myself and friends and see advocates EVERYWHERE. I’m not gay, but I advocate for the LGBT community. I’m not a dog, but I adopt and don’t shop. I’m not a woman… wait, I am. I advocate equal pay! So does my vaginaless husband.
- We blame other generations. Honestly, I don’t give it much thought. I’m pretty happy that these previous generations marched, picketed, and stood up for what’s right. Because YAY, I get to vote now. Me and my vagina gets to vote. Speaking of vaginas…
- We are obsessed with sex.
- We are obsessed with technology. You got me there. I am a tad obsessed with sex… and technology. I can’t help it that my Kindle has oodles of smut novels. I’ll agree that sometimes we need to set the phones down, though.
- We can’t handle money. Every day my dad would say “Always have a nest egg”, and I listened to my previous generation dad. I always have a nest egg. And now he says “You’re so cheap, money is for spending”. So confusing. Still, I’ve got my nest egg.
- We are rude. You know what’s rude? This list.
- Being too sensitive. Yes, I’m so sensitive, I care for other human beings and get offended when people are being mistreated. Unlike this older woman I met who said “I can’t get on board with blacks and whites getting married”. But yea, I’m the sensitive one. I politely had a discussion with her, though, in hopes to understand her thought-process… Maybe even change it. I wanted to ring her neck. But I didn’t, where’s my blue ribbon I am entitled to?
- We don’t respect our elders. FML. If you’re an asshole, I’m not going to respect you. I don’t care if you are 25, 35, or 85. Assholes don’t get my respect. Respect is EARNED. Now, if I’m on the bus and I see an elderly woman standing, duh- I’m giving her my seat. That’s manners. Another lovely trait that we are told we do not possess.
Anyways, at the end of the day, call me what you want. I’m 27 and I stopped caring a long time ago what people think of me. I will raise my children to love technology, and the outdoors. My nine year old will never judge someone because they’re gay, or black, or have ten arms… And they will never, ever, blindly respect me if I become a shitty parent.
-It’s Not What You Think-
I read to learn. I also Google to learn. And today, I learned that I don’t know shit. Do you know how many quotes we use entirely wrong? A LOT. Everything I’ve ever known is basically a lie. I’m being dramatic. Lets begin…
“GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE.”
The Full Quote: “Great minds think alike, small minds rarely differ” or “Great minds think alike, and fools seldom differ.” It’s almost the same thing, but the fuller quote is much bitchier and I like it.
“CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT.”
The Full Quote: “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” HOW BOW DAH!? Next time someone throws that crap quote in your face, you now have a comeback. Be curious, my friends!
“ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY.”
The Full Quote: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it burnt in one.” Something great can easily be taken down. Womp Womp.
“WELL BEHAVED WOMEN RARELY MAKE HISTORY.”
This is the actual quote, but you’ll typically see it on Facebook with Marilyn Monroe’s name underneath. Like most of the memes made with her, this one is bullshit as well. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said it. You may not know who she is, but you should, she teaches Women’s and American History at Harvard. Not only that, she has written oodles of books, including one published in 2007, titled ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History‘.
“NO REST FOR THE WICKED.”
The Full Quote: “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” You can no longer use this as an excuse for being late because you didn’t get any rest due to all of your wickedness. You’re really telling people you’re trying to find inner peace.
“BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER.”
The Full Quote: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This is by far my favorite REAL quote. In laymen’s terms, just because someone is family, doesn’t mean they will be as loyal to you as a friend. In my own personal experience, I’ve learned that blood has absolutely nothing to do with how a person will treat you, respect you, or back you.
“NICE GUYS FINISH LAST.”
The Full Quote: “All nice guys. They’ll finish last.” Baseball hall of famer Leo Durocher had his words twisted and taken out of context. See that very important period in the quote in between “guys” and “they”? PUNCTUATION MATTERS.
“LET THEM EAT CAKE.”
The Full Quote: “If they have no bread, let them eat cake.” I’m going to burst your bubble, Marie Antoinette said neither of these things… I’m just as confused as you.
“THE BRITISH ARE COMING.”
The Full Quote: Paul Revere actually said “The Regulars are out.”
10. “I CANNOT TELL A LIE. IT WAS I WHO CHOPPED DOWN THE CHERRY TREE.”
The Full Quote: Washington never said it. (I swear my history teacher said Lincoln chopped the tree down, anyone else remember this?) Anyways, WASHINGTON NEVER SAID IT. EVER. Parson Weems, Washington’s biographer made up crap to fill the pages of his book, this quote being one of them.
-Nazi Banned Books-
In 1933 Nazis set aflame to over 25,000 books that were deemed “un-German”. Fast forward to 2017, Argentine artist Marta Minujin is using art to fight censorship. At the very place where the Nazi’s burned those books, Marta is building a large structure made solely out of Banned Books. Marta is replicating the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The structure is made up of over 100,000 copies of 170 novels, some are currently banned, others are from the Nazi era.
Some notable Nazi era Banned Books are: The Bible, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Little Prince & The Satanic Versus.
Banned Books is NOT a problem of the past. Every day books are being challenged: Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games- ALL have been or are being challenged!
For more on Banned Books: Banned Books & Retro Alice
-Wendy Higgins Announces New Book-
Wendy Higgins announced earlier this week she has sold a YA Contemporary Romance to HarperTeen titled Kiss Collector!
From Higgins’ Website:
“It’s slated to publish next year, in fall of 2018! 🙂 It’s an upper/mature YA, meaning the characters swear and there are sexual references. It’s got family drama, friend drama, boy drama, humor, angst, and lots of subsequent kissing of lots of cute boys. It’s going to be a fun ride, Sweeties.”
What’s It All About:
All around her, Zae Monroe sees boys using girls for their own pleasures. After being cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, and then watching her parents’ marriage crumble, she becomes anti-love and pro-fun. It’s time to turn the tables on the stupid boys of the world. It’s time for girls to take what they want. Zae’s preferred pleasure is kissing. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys–their lips are all on her agenda. When she and her best friends have a contest to see who can kiss the most boys between spring break and summer of their Junior year, Zae keeps her eye on the prize while the other girls fall left and right for their victims. It’s not until someone rejects her drunken advances at a party, and her mystery poem writer is revealed, that she gains perspective on the reasons behind her boy hatred, and starts to wonder if she wasn’t wrong about the male race…or at least one of them.
YOU MAY REMEMBER MY PIECE ON LEAGUE CITY TITLED ‘TEA, ANTIQUES & BOOKS‘ WHERE MY DAUGHTERS AND I DISCOVERED THE WHIMSICAL SIDE OF HISTORICAL LEAGUE CITY, TX. WE WENT BACK AND EXPLORED A LITTLE BIT FURTHER DOWN MAIN ST, AND REVISITED OUR FAVORITE COTTAGE SHOPS! HERE’S THE PICTURES FROM OUR FUN DAY!
I’ve written about being the “Belle” of the family; you know, being the weird one because she had her nose stuck in a book. I’ve also written how books can improve your sex life. What I haven’t written about, is how books helped me with my anxiety. So, here goes.
Very early on I was labeled as ‘shy’ by my parents. They would also say, “Once you get her talking, though, she won’t shut up.” I wasn’t shy, I was calculating. And once I was done calculating, indeed, you could not get me to shut up. Over the years, I heard my parents say this hundreds of times. Eventually, I started to believe that people did not care about what I had to say, everyone just wanted me to shut-up. Ultimately, I became quiet, too nervous to speak up. And further retreated into my book-corner, living vicariously through the wonderfully rebellious and powerful women I read about. Read more…
ARE YOU READING A BODICE RIPPER? WAIT, WHAT IS A BODICE RIPPER?
FOLLOW THE SEXY ROMANCE COVER PICTURE AND FIND OUT!
League City, TX is the home of a little over 90,000 residents and about forty-five minutes from Downtown Houston. One thing I love about Texas is, towns always keep their “Main Street” from going mainstream. I’m not being creative by calling it Main Street, either. Just about every town in Texas has a street named Main, and 9/10 it is in the Historical District. League City being no different. Here are the pictures from our adventure.
Before the internet, the library came to YOU! And guess what, there are still Bookmobiles out there! I’ve found some amazing pictures of vintage Bookmobiles, and information on how you can find one near you!
In 2011, something amazing happened. Sex went mainstream for soccer-moms. Hallelujah! I remember this very distinctly, listening to the radio, sitting in traffic, and hearing of 50 Shades of Grey for the first time.
A young man called in to the radio station, telling a tale of a mother in a mini-van parked in front of Barnes & Noble, with her sleeping child in the backseat. She beckoned him over and asked a favor. “Would you please run in there and grab a book for me, my baby just fell asleep?” Well, as any good southern man would, he obliged. Taking her twenty dollar bill; now on a mission for this sweet mother who only wants to read. Read more…
I will repeat myself, audio-books are not for the lazy. Do you know how much effort and acquired skill it takes to not space out while listening to an audio book!? A LOT. I just completed my first audio-book, Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between (long title, I know), and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised!
Let’s do this in list format, it’ll be less painful than having to jumble my words together and make a coherently written sentence. My brain is tired. Read more…
My Dad and I do not have much in common. When I was little, I took up an interest in things I believed that he would enjoy: hunting (regret that one), fishing, building… I may have not loved what we were doing, but I loved that we were spending time together. Eventually, though, as all children do, I found a hobby of my own. Reading. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm wasn’t returned.
I believe I was 24 or so when he told me “all you do is read and drink wine”, if a friend were to have told me this, we would laugh at the hilarity and truth of it; except for the drinking part, I consume maybe three drinks a year. But he didn’t say those words to be kind, he said it because he disapproved, he spit those words with venom that was meant to hurt. It did. And over the years, the hits kept coming. Read More..