12 years ago a lifelong friendship ended due to a ridiculous situation surrounding an event that is now null and void. At the time it seemed like, and in fairness WAS, the biggest deal ever. My friend was engaged to be married and wanted me, as a bridesmaid, to cover my tattoos for the ceremony. Ok. Sure. No problem, I guess. Just wear a pashmina or whatever. No biggie. No. She said a wrap or shawl wouldn't match everyone else and would mess up the pictures. Okaaaaay. So, what do you want me to do? She wanted me to cover them with make up. Huh? You want me in full body make up? At the [non televised] most important day of your life? Within inches of your WEDDING DRESS? Your thousands and thousands of dollars wedding dress? Seriously? Have you been sniffing glue? And why do I REALLY have to cover them? You're EMBARRASSED of me? Im not good enough for your in-laws? WTF? We'd been friends since birth. If you can't accept me for who I am, go scratch. I'm not being in your stupid wedding then. Oh, and PS: don't send your lame ass fiancee into my work giving me ultimatums. Oh, and PPS: He's a loser. And a liar. (Exhale.) And we haven't spoke since. Not true, we ran into each other almost 2 years ago in our hometown. Shed a few tears, chatted a bit. She got to see Nora. I thought maybe we'd get back in touch. But it just never really happened. So sad. Well, it makes me sad. Just stupid, really. And all because I wouldn't change. For just ONE DAY. I wouldn't change something that I thought made me, well, "ME."
Why was I convinced at the time that my tattoos had anything to do with who I really was? And why was I SO offended that my friend wanted to hide them. I wasn't BORN with them. They're not REALLY a part of me. I PUT them there. I made that choice. Hair lip? Lazy eye? I mean, yeah. If that was the case and she thought something like that would ruin her precious wedding pix...total bitch. But what was the big deal? I should've just covered them. I don't live my life with regret. I don't see the point. But if I did, that would be a big one. Oh, and in case you're curious which I know you are, Mr. Hotshot Fiancée did turn out to be a loser. And a liar. And they were divorced faster than you can say "Tattooed floosey."
It's just crazy the things we think DEFINE us as human beings. Nothing defines me as a person aside from the way I conduct my self on a daily basis. And how I react to things in the moment. Good and bad. My tattoos don't define me. Not my hair. Not my height. Not my career. Even motherhood. It's a part of my life, obviously a HUGE part, but it's not WHO I am. People always talk about looking out for number 1. Not changing for anyone. Be true to yourself. But that's a little silly. And a little selfish. How could I be a mother and FULLY stay "myself," never changing. I'd be raiding the sale rack at Loehmann's everyday, and having long lazy lunches with friends before disco napping and then hanging with Jeremy after his show drinking infused vodka and getting into fights in cabs every night. I sure as Hell wouldn't be on my hands and knees cleaning up brown rice off the floor while "Ratatouille" blares in the background for the hundredth time. (I've found as far as rice clean up goes, my natural procrastination prevails. If you can wait awhile and let it dry up a little bit its cuts the chore in half. Just a little tip) Anyhoo. I mean, you HAVE to change for other people at some point, right? It's not NOT being true to yourself, it's called growing up. And who says you are who you have yourself all figured and are complete and whole when you're 23? Or 37? Or 80? Shouldn't we keep evolving and growing and learning and CHANGING?? We make sacrifices for people. It's called LOVE. We put others needs and interests first in some cases. It's called... POLITENESS.
The "I'm not gonna change for any man" attitude is, well quite frankly lame. It makes no sense. Let's say, you fall in love with some guy and then out of the blue he starts using Axe body wash. And he LOVES it. It's like, all he talks about. How its now "a part of him." "Who he is", he says. So now what gives? Axe Body Wash smells fucking gross so someone's gonna have to bend. Either you burn the inside of your nostrils out with battery acid, or he finds a new soap. Obvi, he'll give it up. See? And you would do the same for any man, woman or child that you cared deeply for. I don't care how long you've had your fave oversized faux cashmere sweater that your ex-roomate left for you and how it comforts you on almost a spiritual level. If your husband or baby is allergic to it, you toss it. Period. It's hard to see it sometimes but our hobbies, interests, hair style, signature scent, even political views DON'T define us as people. Don't define us as wives, mothers, or lovers. Sometimes it's necessary to let these things go for the sake of people we care for and relationships worth keeping. I'm not saying join a cult for a guy you think is hot and funny, but if he likes you in boot cut as opposed to skinny jeans is that really a deal breaker? Really? Get over yourself. Humor him. They're JEANS. He's not trying to control you. Relax. Honestly, he's probably trying to tell you, without telling you, that you don't look that great in skinny jeans. Cause let's face it, most of us don't.
Now for a classic comfort food recipe that is actually could use a little change up. My Hungarian grandmother made the BEST stuffed cabbage. Cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice in a tomato sauce and baked. Maybe not something you grew up with but definitely a part of "who I am!" However, the time it takes to blanch the cabbage leaves and fill them and roll them all up when you're just gonna chop it up in a bowl anyway, kinda makes no sense to me. So this is my version. I've also eliminated the meat making it super healthy and really low calorie. Maybe those skinny jeans will be calling your name after all. No matter what he says!
1 large yellow onion (Spanish or Vidalia are good choices)
3 tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika (optional, but adds something special)
1 head of green cabbage
2 cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 c brown rice
Salt and pepper
Chop onion and toss into a large soup pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the paprika. Coat the onions and let it cook for a few minutes. Add the cabbage to the pot, chopped. Salt and pepper to taste. Incorporate cabbage into the onions until it softens a bit. Add tomatoes, water, vinegar, and sugar. Stir in uncooked rice. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it go for at least 2 hrs. Just gets better and better. Taste it, and add salt and pepper accordingly. If you really wanna add meat, go right ahead. Ground beef or pork if you like. That's traditional. Ground turkey would be fine too if you're watching it. My favorite way to serve is with really good rye bread and butter. If you're on a skinny jeans mission, have two bowls and skip the bread! You can even omit the rice and eat the whole pot yourself. You'll be a bloated, walking fart, but when that settles you'll be full and skinny.