Monday, December 14, 2009

To All the Hot RA Chics Out There!

One common theme I've noticed when I explore the RA blogs is this: the "old me" vs. "new me" syndrome. Or the "before-RA person" vs. "After RA person."

Well, let me add a post toward the continuation of that theme. ;)

Before RA, I, your RA superbitch, was a knockout. I know it is common these days for any skinny girl with stringy straight flat hair to claim she is "hot," but I promise you, Pamela Anderson had nothing on me. Thick lustrous blonde hair, tiny waist, curves in all the right places and a smile to die for. Yep, that was me. I stopped traffic and I knew it. I once went a six-month period where I paid for nothing, I mean not a taco at taco bell, not for a movie ticket even if I were out with my girlfriends, not entry into any club. Everywhere I went, some poor guy at the door would say, "No charge for you, Sweetie."

Now before you decide that you hate me. Let me explain two things.

First, I didn't plan to be a stunner. I had grown up with babyfat, and my face always held that round Irish look. But after college, I transformed, the babyfat melted away, the highlights came from the salon and I learned to buy clothes that accentuated my waist. And before I knew it, Bam! I am causing traffic accidents.

Second, there was a downside to all this beauty. See, because I had grown up as only the "cute girl," I had a very friendly, outgoing, upbeat personality. I never formed the "I'm too hot to care about your opinion" attitude that most of my friends had cultivated. If women hated me, I cared...a lot. As in, I would obsess about how I could make those women like me. I went home and baked cookies, bought them bath products, offered to lend them clothes, pretty much do anything to win 'em over. It never worked. I finally figured out sometime in my late twenties that a woman determined to hate you because she envies you will hate you regardless of how much you kiss her ass.

And no women were meaner to me than those women working in minimum wage jobs: grocery clerks, fast food workers, the list goes on. It was something I had been so accustomed to, I barely noticed anymore when I pulled up to a drive-thru window only to be given a sneer and an eye-roll along with my change and my ketchup.

And then RA happened.

First came steroid weight, then the baby weight. And by the time I lost both of these, I had grown accustomed to sweats and ponytails. Oh, and did I mention the hair loss? Yep. Bye, bye to the long lustrous hair. Here came a short pixie cut.

Slowly, over time, I transformed physically from the person I had come to know in the mirror. Yet, this physical transformation honestly barely appeared on my radar. I was too busy trying to survive the pain and frustration of the rheumatoid arthritis.

This brings me up to today. Ok, so a few years have gone by. The drs. have learned that leucovorin given with methotrexate can slow hair loss, and I have achieved a shoulder length thick haircut again. My baby is now a child, which means I no longer have to leave the house in milk stained sweats. I slowly started pulling out jeans and fitted shirts again. All those days spent in the pool and gym to try to keep my joint function have paid off. The muscles and curves are back.

Last week, my husband and I pulled into Burger King. I was in the driver's seat for once. (The hubby makes a bad passenger, so its rarely worth the trouble of asking for the steering wheel.) Since he usually does the ordering when we are together, he was shocked to see the reaction of the girl who took my bills. As was the pattern of the past, she silently took my money, rolled her eyes at me and sighed without my having to say anything remotely rude or insulting.

My husband immediately got angry. With digust clearly written all over his face, he said, "That was rude!"

And suddenly it dawned on me, "It was rude, wasn't it?"

And then I smiled. Yes, smiled!

Why?

Because now I know I'm hot enough to be a bitch again...and not just an RA bitch.

Thanks tacky drive-thru witch for giving me back a piece of the old me!

18 comments:

  1. There is nothing like a good self-image to give a woman confidence in herself. Trite but true. I'm glad for you, SB. I've never been a raving beauty (nor have I been rude to women who are beautiful unless they were rude to me, first), but losing about 50 pounds over the last year has done wonders for me. I still have RA; I still hurt more days than I don't. But feeling attractive (and getting the occasional appreciative look from the opposite gender) is wonderful and encouraging.

    Just one thing: I'm sorry you've had to put up with meanness over the years because of how you look. People can be monsters.
    -Wren

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  2. Good for you Wren for losing that weight - no small task! You SHOULD feel good about yourself!

    It is o.k. about the women. It is funny that something that used to bother me so much barely hurts anymore. I guess that is one thing for which I can be grateful to RA.

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  3. Good for you!!!! I love to hear about people "getting it back" because I feel like we have to give up so much with this dang RA. I also think the general public needs to know that you CAN be a hottie and still have RA. Oh, and I have a little trick for women like that, because I'm the same way with wanting people to like me. The ruder they are, the sweeter I am, and the more I smile at them. It makes them look really dumb.

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  4. Good for you SB. Great achievement. You are a knockout, RA and all. Keep thinking positive and dont let RA get you down.

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  5. I remember being hot lol! I am the largest I have ever been thanks to the steroids and being less active due to RA. (sigh)....of course, I appreciate the little things more now...I still would love to be a knockout like in the old days. When you are overweight...you are looked over...not just by men but by women...like you aren't there. And when you run into someone who knew you when you were thin and they hated you then...they smirk when they see you. Women can be so cruel. I dont remember being mean to anyone when I was thin...but I do remember people treating me different...good and bad. I'm glad you got your "groove" back lol....I hope to get mine back too....but will always keep that smile on my face....if they dont like it..they can eat their heart out baby....:)

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  6. AllFlaredUp- Thanks hon. That's good advice. I'll try it!!! :)

    LivingitLovingIt - Thank you. I will try to keep being positive. You are my role-model!!!

    Leslie-You still ARE hot!!! But you are right - women can be cruel. And just think, it'll be that much sweeter when you do bounce back. Their jaws will hit the ground!

    Love to all my hot RA bitches!!! ;)

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  7. Hey- I'm working on something RA/blog related and need to send you an email. I tried the one you used in a comment and it came back to me. Can you shoot me a quick email to amanda@bucklemeupmovement.com and I'll respond? Pretty please?

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  8. Hi SB -
    It's been quite a while since you posted. Are you OK? Miss your "voice"!
    -Wren

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  9. Great post - you had me in stitches. I love the fact that you make me feel so lucky that I've always been overweight and only passably attractive at my best!

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  10. How are you doing? You are missed when you don't post. I hope everything is okay.

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  11. Hey Wren, Polly and Warmsocks,

    Sorry I haven't been here...I'm planning a "comeback in the next day or so." Promise!!!

    -RA SB

    P.S. Polly, your comment was so funny...and all of you made me smile with your warm words. Thank you.

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  12. Hello,
    As someone who blogs about RA, I thought you may be interested in a campaign called Hand in Hand for RA (www.handinhandforRA.com) that encourages people with RA get back at their RA and show what they can do by volunteering, sharing their stories and inspiring others. Please check it out and spread the word.
    Thank you for your time.

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  13. My dear SB -- Still thinking about you and hoping you're all right. Hoping your RA is bearable and that life is treating you gently. And if it isn't, I'm wishing you the calm and strength you need to deal with it.

    Looking forward to another post from you, or, if you'd like, you can email me at bluewren56@gmail.com. I have good shoulders. ;o)

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  14. Way to go for losing all that weight! People with rheumatoid arthritis often struggle with weight gain due to the medications they have to take to control the pain. It sounds like you are leveling out and getting to a point where you can balance coping with RA and a healthy lifestyle. Good work!

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  15. You go girl! I am also a young woman with RA, desperately clinging to the foxy me! My hair is also growing back (got off Metho) and my steroid moon face is gone, so the doors are starting to open again ;-)

    Funny enough, though, I'm thinking about deliberating gaining weight now - by maybe becoming a mom! I just started a new blog to see if I can connect with other RA moms (or moms-to-be), to help me figure out if this is something I really want to do - and CAN do (I fear my RA may limit me).

    If you have any thoughts to share, I'd love to hear from you.
    ~RA (maybe) Mamma
    ramamma.blogspot.com

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  16. Super RA Bitch... It has a nice ring to it. Love the story. I've had a similar experience and am grateful for my blonde hair which fell out years ago and my figure, though 10 lbs heavier, but overall still look great! Jillian

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  17. Good for you Jillian! I'm sure you look fantastic. :)

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