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Congratulations to our April Raffle Winner: Nikki Collins from Chicago Illinois  

Issue #40 - July 2007

Welcome to the Large In Charge Newsletter

 

In this Issue of L.I.C

 

Feature of the Month - Plus Sized Author Alicia Rice
 

Cover Model of the Month - Florida's Own Meghan Holbrook

 

CONFESSIONS - Let it go and Confess!   Get it off your Chest!

 

Raqui's Spot - Stand up at last ~ Raqui

 

Super Sized Sounds - Desdemona ~ Spanishfly Lynx

 

From the Plus Side - The Bet ~ Emily Smiltneck

 

Why, OH Why - Come Fly the Unfriendly Skies ~ Diabolique

 

Papi's Peace - Step out of your Comfort Zone

 

Good 4 U Food - The Day of Dead Bread ~ Xander

 

Guest Spot - Submit your work to show up in LargeInCharge!

 

Fashion Furious - Fashion Finds with Plus Size style.  Submit a Find!

 

Product of the Month -  Products for People of Size

 

Ask Raqui - Get some advice from one Big person to another.

 

FREE RAFFLE - T-shirt is sizes large -5xl by Thickalicious

 

Events & Pictures - Events, Parties, Press Releases, Pic's & More.

 

LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!

 

LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

Plus Sized Author

Alicia Rice

 

Alicia Rice at a Book Signing

Plus Sized Author Alicia Rice

 

     With two books out the gate Ms. Rice has shown that hard work and determination will reap rewards.

 

This talented lady is one to watch, I believe this is only the beginning for her.

 

Her writing style is one that keeps you entertained.  It is a nice relaxed read that you can take your time and enjoy.

 

Ms. Rice is a shining example to all plus sized people that when you have a dream, take it into your hands and do whatever is necessary to bring it to reality!

 

Raqui

                                            

      Alicia w/ Children                             Alicia's Books                     Alicia with Supportive Hubby     Alicia First Book Signing 

Interview with Alicia Rice

 

www.LargeInCharge.com: What is your name (Real and or Stage)?

 

Alicia Rice-Haynes is my real name. My author name is Alicia Rice

www.LargeInCharge.com: Where are you originally from, and where is your home state now?

 

Born and raised in Saint Louis, MO; it's still my home

www.LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your home life, children, marital status, etc.

 

I've been married for six years now to a wonderful and loving husband. We have two children: Jacqueline is 6 and Julian is 3. I also have a cat named Carmen, who I love dearly.

www.LargeInCharge.com: We would like to know about your home life, how you grew up?

 

I was raised by my grandmother and aunt. My mom worked a lot, so my time with her was far and few in between. She makes up for it now; she's an awesome friend and a phenomenal grandmother. I do not know who my biological father is, nor do I care to.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Do you consider yourself a person of Size?

 

I am a proud BBW and lovin' it!

www.LargeInCharge.com: Have you always been a person of size or did you grown into your body?

 

I've been a thick girl my entire life

www.LargeInCharge.com: Have you always shown an interest in writing?

 

I have. Writing has always been a fun way to express myself.

www.LargeInCharge.com: What would you say is your favorite book genre?

 

I would have to lean more towards fantasy/romance and horror.

www.LargeInCharge.com: How old where you when you began to write and what did you write?

 

I wrote my first poem when I was 8; it was a mother's day poem for my mom and grandmother.

www.LargeInCharge.com: What inspired you to write as a child and what made you take the step toward making it a career?

 

I believe writing has always been one of my spiritual gifts. With that being said, I would have to say that life inspired me. Things that were going in on with my life, friends, relatives, weird dreams, etc. Once I saw or felt something interesting, I would pick up my journal and start writing.

www.LargeInCharge.com: When did you publish your first book and what was it about?

 

I published Diaries of a Dead Woman in September of 2006. Diaries is about a young, successful BBW who's reunited with her high school sweetheart. Their strong connection leads them down an unexpected path where they are faced to choose life or redemption.

www.LargeInCharge.com: How did you get your work published, self published, publishing company?

 

I decided to go with self publishing instead of traditional so I could learn more about the business as well as have the hands on experience. This is to prepare me for my own publishing company, "Epiphany Corner Publications". The self publishing company I chose was www.Lulu.com

www.LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about some of the difficulties you have experienced in publishing your work?

 

The publishing piece was easy. The marketing piece....that's another story! I took marketing in school but it really wasn't my thing. Now that I am a self published author with the dream of getting my publishing company off the ground, I am now getting into it. The marketing piece is extremely important because you want to get your book into as many hands as possible. The second runner up would be editing. I am blessed to have one of my best girlfriends be my editor.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Who has helped you along the way in your writing career?

 

A lot of people: My family has always lifted me up in that regards; believing in me and encouraging me to not give up. My dearest friends: Dionne, Rachelle, DJ and Tonya. They are always there at the signings, first ones to purchase a book, helping me coordinate events, etc. Lastly my Author friends: Lesley Nowlin, Torrian Ferguson and Versel Lewis

www.LargeInCharge.com: Who is your manager, PR person etc.?

 

I'm really my own manager, but my PR person is Torrian Ferguson - Essence Best selling author of Swingers and owner of Ferguson Literary Group. Lesley Nowlin - Best selling Author of Dirt Ball Bad is my local PR contact. God has empowered both Lesley and Torrian in being instrumental in my success.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about the first time you saw your published book, how did you feel?

 

It was 2am in the morning on September 16th. I was on Lulu because I received notification that my book was available via the online retailers. I went to www.Amazon.com  and when I saw my book there I woke up my husband because I was screaming so loud "THANK YOU JESUS!"

www.LargeInCharge.com: How many books have you published so far, what are you working on for the near future?

 

I have published two books. Fatal Marriage is only available for purchase through Lulu or directly from me via my website. I hope to have Fatal Marriage through online retailers by the end of July 2007. I am currently working on my third novel called, "The Epiphany" and hope to have it done by September; releasing to retailers early 2008. I have other novel ideas as well, which the details are available through my website. The major thing I am working on in the near future is my publishing company, "Epiphany Corner Publications" It's my goal that by the time I am ready to publish my 5th book, I will be able to publish it through my own company.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about the Characters in your books. Are they plus sized?

 

Arista (the main character in Diaries of a Dead Woman), Courtni (the main character in Fatal Marriage) and Celeste (one of the main characters in The Epiphany) are all plus size women. These characters have my characteristics, with some slight modifications. I personally cannot relate to anything other than plus size, so I am confident that all of my main characters will be plus sized. The sub main characters (which are mostly men) are not. In regards to future novel plans, I know that some of the male characters will be plus sized men.

www.LargeInCharge.com: How do people of size feel about your books, do you get more positive or negative feedback?

 

All of the plus sized customers that I have direct interaction with love my books; the feedback has been positive thus far. I have received some negative feedback, but I cannot confirm if these individuals are plus sized are not.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us about appearances, tours, book signings you have done?

 

I really started touring this year. I've been to Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and some events locally. The best one to date was my event with DC Bookman. He's a popular, charismatic and awesome street vendor who sells books in the DC area. I not only sold the most books that I ever has since touring, but I had so much fun being in his presence and learning from him.

www.LargeInCharge.com: What have been some of the obstacles you have overcome as far as your career goes?

 

Money and PTO. With having a regular 9 to 5, I am limited in the funds I can invest for tours I want to go on. If money isn't an issue then it's accruing the paid time off (PTO) to go on the tour.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Are you currently on tour?

 

I am taking a brief break to rebuild PTO, but I have some offers on the table in regards to some events in July. I know I will be in Baltimore and Memphis in August; September I will be in Jackson. I try my best to keep my website updated, so please feel free to check it out to see where I am going to be.

www.LargeInCharge.com: Who are some of Authors that you admire?

 

Maya Angelou (she always have and always will be my #1 favorite person and author), Lesley Hal, Lesley Nowlin, CS Lewis, JK Rowling, JR Tolkien, Stephen King and Torrian Ferguson

www.LargeInCharge.com: What would you say to other aspiring authors?

 

Step out on faith! There are so many resources available now then there was 10 years ago. Don't let anyone or anything hold you back. If you are serious about doing it, then get out there and get going. It's not as hard as some may think. And hey, when you are ready look me up and see if I've started my publishing company. I'd be more than happy to help you out and even sign you!

www.LargeInCharge.com: Sum up your writing style in one word?

 

I am more narrative with some expository characteristics. I say that because I like to tell the characters story from their point of view; with the twist of inviting you to understand and feel the characters story.

 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

Meghan Holbrook

 

 

Interview with Meghan Holbrook

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Meghan Holbrook

LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I am originally from Bridgeport, CT and currently reside in Orlando, FL.

LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am 31 African American, single, with no children. I am a size 22/24.
 

LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?
I have always been a big girl.

LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?
I embraced my size at an early age. I never let my size hold me back. I was the always the big girl in my dance classes as well as on the basketball team in high school.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?
I decided to enter the LargeInCharge model search because I see they are doing great things for size acceptance and showing women of size in a positive light.

LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?
No, I because I have always accepted my size. I am a firm believer that how you see yourself is how others will see you.

LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
Yes I am fortunate enough to have supportive family and friends.
 

LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
My relationship with God and all that I have accomplished as well as my belly dancing.


LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary job?
I am a systems engineer for major defense contractor as well as a tribal fusion belly dancer with a professional troupe.

LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I went to a technical high school in hopes of studying hairdressing and cosmetology. During the exploratory shop phase my freshman year I found that I had a knack for all things electrical. This led me to choose electrical-mechanical as my trade. I eventually went away to college in my mid twenties graduated with a bachelors of science in electrical engineering. I also have some course credits towards a Masters in Technical Management.


As far as belly dancing I have always loved to dance but as I got older and dealing with life changes I had to give it up for many years. I recently found dance again by going to one belly dance class. I have been hooked ever since.



LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
Yes, it really doesn’t matter in my field.
When it comes to belly dancing I get more positive feedback than negative.


LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I think a person should be judged by their credentials and not clothing size.

LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
A lot of things are plain, matronly, and overpriced.

LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?
I would like to see trendier clothing as well as lower prices and more stores that carry plus sizes.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
Society’s views will change towards people of size. Clothing selections will be expanded

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.
Lane Bryant, Ross, Simply Fashions, and Macys.


LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
I gargle with peroxide everyday. Wash my face with cold cream and use a moisturizer. As far as make-up I am a MAC girl.

LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
I am not in the modeling industry yet so I don’t have any tips at this point.

LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I see more designers are coming up to the times and offering larger sizes as well as an increase in plus size designers.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
I think we will see more people of size in mainstream as well better clothing selections.

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.
I would like to find and agency for representation.

LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.
It was my troupes premiere performance at an arts festival many women of size came up to me to say how much they were inspired. I even signed a few autographs. This was truly a tear jerking moment.

LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?
I would have to say my mom. She has always stood behind me in all that I do.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?
Never give up! When one door closes another will open up. Always believe in yourself.


LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you admire?
Paris model Velvet. At a size 28 she is really working it!

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Inspirational

 
   

Thank you for Finding out more about our Cover Model

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

Raqui's Spot

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge Magazine.  This spot is dedicated to her thoughts, vents, and observations of Plus Sized Life.  Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought hundreds to her blogs and thousands to LargeInCharge.com.  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality.

 

     For the past 4 years moving into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.   Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.

 

Stand up at Last

     I have been feeling down in the dumps lately.  And I have been wondering why. I mean here I am, Raqui a very well known figure in the Plus Sized Community.  Either you know about me because I am Queen Raqui the Wrestler Squasher.  You might have seen an announcement about documentaries I have been in a magazine appearance.  I get a lot of emails when people find me after my Good Morning American appearance.  My face can be found at BBW Party events and many places on the Internet especially Myspace.  Then there is LargeInCharge... my baby... my daily and monthly dedication.  I have my family and friends and I do have happiness at a super sized big beautiful woman size.  I am doing quite well in mind and body.  Even with my occasional illness for some strange reason or another.

 

     But something is bothering me.  I guess inside myself I thought that making LargeInCharge would change the world.  That finally all plus sized people would STAND UP and make the move because they believed.  But it isn't so, even with a resource as unique and special as LargeInCharge plus sized people are not standing up and believing they can do whatever they want to.

 

     Today I am sitting here writing about my inner feelings and downcast thoughts.  Trying to make sense of it all when I decided to take charge.  I am LargeInCharge and I don't mean just the Magazine your reading right now.  I mean inside. 

 

     All I can do is give you the equipment, you have to do the work.  You have to stand up and say that you will also be LargeInCharge.  I cannot make you believe... I cannot make you change... I cannot make you decide when you will STAND UP and do more than what your doing right now.  I cannot determine your fate because your the only one who can.  I cannot stop you from complaining about your life while you wait for life to change.  I can give you the key to your salvation but if your not going to get up and open the door, how can I then blame myself?

 

    Some of you might say what is this woman talking about?  Well I remember a time when you could not find information about plus sized resources.  You didn't know nothing about clothing, websites, talented people, organizations etc.  There was just no such thing and it was hard to find a place where you can get all the information you wanted.  That is why I started LargeInCharge Newletter (Now we are a Magazine)  I wanted a place where all plus sized people men and women can come and get just about all the information they wanted and needed easily.  Not only that but you can express yourself and read entertaining articles there are written with the public in mind.  Easy to read, relaxing, interesting and inspirational.

 

     That is why we feature an inspirational person every month.  That is why we now have a great music section where artists can submit there work to be featured.  That is why we have a food section with recipes and stories food related. That is why we have four writers with four different styles (including myself) who all dedicate themselves (WITH OUT PAY) to giving you something to read and relate to.  We feature products and clothing and have sections with resources all for you.  I believed I could change the whole world and everyone would jump up and say I am plus sized and it doesn't stop me from living!

 

     Then I felt so down about it because it didn't seem like people were talking all this great information and using it.  But I know many of you do, I get emails and thank you's.  People come up to me and say, I love LargeInCharge.  It makes my heart soar.  I had to realize I cant save everyone.  And it hurts when I put my effort and many times my heart into helping individuals.  In taking an interest in people and yet i cant seem to help them open the door to a life where you don't blame weight but your actions when your life doesn't work out right.  Weight doesn't stop you, your belief in yourself it the real show stopper.

 

     I guess what I am saying is it is time to cut the cord.  To all the people who ask and beg for my help.  It is time to help yourself.  I cant baby you and give you the world.  It is time to STAND UP AT LAST!  If your not going to get up and make a move I cant be there to push you.  I can give you some inspiration but I cant pave the road for you.  You have to get over the stumbling blocks on your own.  I hope you decide to finally Stand Up and make that move.

 

 

Raqui

   
 

Raqui's Cool Links

www.raqui.com

Raqui's Blog-Spot Page 

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Raqui's BBWVibe Page

 

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

Super Sized Sounds

with

Lynx

     Super Sized Sounds will be a Music Column that will feature those who are in the industry or up and coming who are size positive. Giving recognition to the plus sized people who are out there and showcasing themselves.  Reviews, Interview, News and more from our new writer Super Sized Spanishfly Lynx.

 

      Lynx Garcia, also known as "SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY", is a Latina BBW from Queens NYC.  Lynx is an activist speaking out against size discrimination and began performing back in 1996 at social events for big beautiful women and big handsome males and their admirers. Her special mixture of sound held true as she sang, spat, danced and performed spoken word, soon she was in demand by Big and Beautiful parties nationwide.  Lynx taking her "look" and sound mainstream was rejected because of her size. She did not let this break her spirit, hurt her confidence or minimize her drive. Instead she rose up and started a public access show (LYNX' LAIR) aired in Queens on TIME WARNER QPTV . Combination of comedy and sexy style, she showcased underground artists of all walks of life. The response to her show was PHENOMENAL....in less than a year she has showcased many artist, some who moved to bigger and better things.

 

     Currently Lynx has caught the attention of Joey Mekkah of BLACK SOLARIS ENTERTAINMENT and found herself on the Grandmaster MELLE MEL's SOLO ALBUM "MUSCLES" featured on the hot latin hip-hop track called 'DIMELO", she is the only collaboration on the album. Lynx recently has started her own radio show on EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO.COM  called Ladies Night. EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO is #1 on the itunes network.

 

     WANT TO SUBMIT YOUR VOICE FOR REVIEW? See Below

 

 

My people , mi gente…you all are in big, I mean BIG trouble. I usually start my reviews with a little antidote or some insightful story, not this time The Queen "Raqui" has a few choice words for you all. I told you all ….Here she is

 From Raqui - I have never been so disappointed as I have in seeing that our Plus Sized Artist are not stepping up to the plate and make there dreams come true.  I am tired of hearing that you have a dream, and your going for it, but seeing no action.  How many interviews have I sent out and nothing comes back!  How many times do I just ask for contact information and no email arrives!  How many times do I hear, no one wants to show case plus sized people!  Well here LargeInCharge is showcasing Plus sized artists since day ONE.  Showcasing those who are accepting and are supporters of people of size.

What really pisses me off more is that now that we got Miss Lynx here with LargeInCharge and she is the bomb taking time to donate her experience and none of you are submitting your work.  What is worse is when someone says I have one song feature me.  You cannot be featured with one song.  You have to submit a sampling of your music to show talent and versatility.  Before I was saying NO only plus sized people can be showcased.  Well you know there are many small persons, supporters of size out here ready with work on point, and they are just wishing they can get into LargeInCharge Magazine.

So now Everyone who is a Supporter of Size who is not bashing People of Size is allowed into our Music Section.  Not only that but any plus sized person who cannot come correct with Love, Drive, Talent and Desire of music cannot be in our Music section.  We want the up and coming artists of the Future here, Not the wanna bee's who think one track is all they need.  We don't like One hit wonders.

In other words stop complaining if your not putting the work in.  Don't claim no one will hear your voice.  Because someone who loves music does it for the Soul not the Bucks.  You live it and breathe it.  I hope those of you who are plus sized and trying to get some recognition submit your work.  This also applies to those of you who do Spoken Word.  We want to hear from you also.

Whew!!Nuff said.

 Now allow me to introduce to you this month’s featured artist  

 

 

Photography: Hannan Saleh

Hair:  Erin Shields

Makeup:  Deanna Hagan-Cruz

 

DESDAMONA

Album: The Source

Genre: Spoken word/hip-hop

 

One would find it hard to believe that this curly haired angel faced buxom beauty has had some issues with body image. She said that she always felt this pressure that she needed to look a certain way in order to remain and or succeed in this music industry. At a size 12 Desdemona felt uncomfortable with her size. I suppose in mainstream America this is borderline plus size. Mainstream doesn’t have a clue, a size12… hmm… that is skinny to me.

 

 Well, despite her issues with her weight, Desdamona went on to grace some of the most famous stages across America with her sultry style and fiery lyrics. She refers to herself as The Pinnacle and I would have to agree. She reigns supreme in the Midwest as the 5 time winner of The Best Spoken Word Artist Award. She has opened up for artists such as Faith Evans, Wyclef Jean and Mint Condition.

 

Once you listen to The Source, you will understand why. Desdamona can sing, rap and speak her way into you heart and mind. There is a spoken word track on the album that really touched me.  The piece is titled ‘Too Big for My Skin”. My favorite line is “and if they tell you you’re too big for a woman/tell them you’re just too big for your skin/tell them a body just can’t hold all this beauty/tell them they only wish they had hills and valleys like the earth” What a revelation of the human spirit what intense raw honesty. Preach, my sister, preach. As far as I am concerned it is the Star Spangled Banner for big beautiful women everywhere.

 

Desdamona told me that the inspiration for this piece came right from the television set. After an entire day of watching television she realized that we are being bombarded by images of little women and every other commercial tells us we need to lose weight. ”.  “Too Big For My Skin” is the response. I love it and so will you.

 

She believes that we are affected by everything that is told to us even what we say to ourselves. She says ”You have to constantly tell yourself you love yourself, you must counteract the negative ,become spiritual whatever way that may be and always focus on the positive”.  Amen Des.

 

Desdamona plays with words like a painters plays with the colors of a pallet and paints a beautiful tapestry of rhymes, verses and catchy hooks with a sexy sultry voice, smooth and crisp, wistful and flirty, disarming and prolific all at once with a welcoming hip-hop edge.

 

 So my people, mi gente, if you want to hear the “Hymn of the Human Spirit” if you want to hear what the colors “Orange and Blue” or “Mellow Blue” sound like and evoke a “Planetarium” of a consolation of words, a combustion of “Faulty Fuses”, ill chemistry and “Refracted Light” or rather a ray of light from our buxom beautiful size 12 “Miss America” Desdamona then tap into “The Source”

 

Available for purchase at http://cdbaby.com/cd/desdamonamusic

Don’t forget to check out Desdamona’s my space page at  http://www.myspace.com/desdamona

*Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics , strong language on one track

       
Want to send in your Voice in for review? Are you a singer, rapper, or poet who performs spoken word?  Up and Coming, already established?  Contact Lynx through her Myspace page or email articles@largeincharge.com and all information will be forwarded to her (PUT "FOR LYNX" IN THE SUBJECT AREA) 

You must be a Size Positive Artist, or a Plus Sized Supporter.

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx

articles@largeincharge.com

 

Lynx Cool Links

www.myspace.com/supersizespanishfly

www.myspace.com/somemorelynx

www.Extravagangstaradio.com

From the Plus Side

with

Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.

 

     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.

 

The Bet 

            The dark room was full of bar smog.  Cigarette smoke glowing blue and pink in front of neon beer signs offered the only light in the room aside from the low hanging lights above the pool tables.  The air was heavy with the sultry heat of summer nights and charged with a kind of electricity.  And Sasha was on a mission.

 

            She walked down the steps leading from the hotel into the bar, and then through the room, with confidence in her step and a swing in her hip, boldly catching the eye of anyone who looked her way.  She greeted every person she passed with a smile that seemed to cast an aura of light around her.  Quietly, she settled herself on a bar stool in a corner.  She wanted to hide for the moment, steal secret glances at the people around her.  She wasn’t ready to attract any attention, just yet.  And anonymity came easily here, in a smoky room full of dancing bodies, whiskey fumes, and sweat.  Any empty spaces were quickly filled with loud, fast country music and the quiet rumblings of conversation, and Sasha was grateful.

 

            Anyone who saw Sasha sitting there, who didn’t know her, would have thought that she fit into the scene perfectly.  She sat alone at the bar tracing pictures in the condensation on the outside of a tall glass of beer.  Next to her was a couple who seemed to be completely unaware that there was anyone else around them.  Beyond them was an older man sitting by himself and staring at a television that was mounted on the wall over Sasha’s head.  And past him, there was another couple who seemed to be arguing with a stocky, athletic young man who had a frat boy look about him. 

 

Sasha didn’t quite feel as if she belonged there, though.  She never did, in bars, especially alone.  The music was too loud, the air was too smoky, and the place was always full of beautiful, vibrant women who made her feel inadequate, at best.  And yet, here she was, alone among the enemy, trying desperately to become one of them.  All because of a stupid bet.

 

“Oh, come on.  Get over yourself,” he had said.  “You’re hot, you know it.  You could pick up just about any guy you want.”

            “No, I couldn’t.  I can’t.  Trust me.  Guys don’t want what I have to offer.”

            “What, they don’t want a woman who’s beautiful and intelligent?  You know that’s not true.”

            “That isn’t the point I’m trying to argue.  That’s exactly what they do want.  It just isn’t what I am.  To most men, I am not beautiful.  Not even close.  And even if I am intelligent, it never comes across, because in the presence of men, I can barely speak words, much less put intelligent-sounding sentences together.  I am just not what they are looking for.”

            “You talk fine to me.”

“That’s because I don’t have to try and impress you.  You already like me.”

“Well, there isn’t any reason anybody else shouldn’t.”

“There might not be a reason for it, but they don’t.  Or if they do, they never tell me.  See, with you, I didn’t have to risk much.  You e-mailed me, you called me, you forced me to get over myself when I was afraid.  I’m not good enough to expect that from anyone else.”

“Yes, you are, you just don’t know it yet.  Your problems are that your attitude sucks and that you intimidate men with your beauty and smarts.  And if you changed your attitude, you wouldn’t have to expect anyone to make you get over yourself.  You’d be the one taking charge.”

            “Oh, yeah, I’m very intimidating.  And that was sarcasm, if you missed it.  I am about the least intimidating person in the world, Kevin.”  There was a silence that was just beginning to be uncomfortable when Kevin cleared his throat and spoke again.

            “All right, Sasha.  How about a little bet?”

            “A bet?”

            “Yeah.  I bet you that if you really put on the charm, really try, you could spend one night in a bar and land yourself a man.”

            “Right.  Like that would happen.”

            “Well, you would have to go into it with a better attitude than that, obviously, or it won’t work.  You’d sabotage yourself.”

            “Okay, so say I do decide to accept the bet.  What’s in it for me?”

            “I don’t know, what do you want from me?”

            “You know what I want.”

            “I have explained to you a thousand times why things wouldn’t work between us, babe.  I’m too old and you’re too young and there is a world of differences between  us.  What we have right now works, but you and I, together?  Really together?  It just wouldn’t be fair to you.  You need someone young and energetic, someone to make lots of beautiful babies with.  And that someone just can’t be me, even if we both wish it could.”

            “Well, you asked me what I wanted from you.  And besides, I’m not asking you to marry me, for Christ’s sake.  I just want to meet you.  One time, in person, a half hour, maybe.  Nothing more than that.  That’s what I want from you.”

            “You know I can’t do that.”

            “Why?  I never question, I just agree with you, because I’m afraid if I argue, you’ll run away.  But I want to know.  Why? Why can’t you meet me, just once?”

            “Because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid it wouldn’t be enough for either one of us.”

            “You can be so frustrating.  Sometimes I feel like that’s nothing but a cop out and you really just don’t want to meet me.”

            For a minute, there was nothing.  Sasha was afraid she had said too much.  And then Kevin sighed.

            “Okay, fine.  If that’s what I have to do to prove to you that I am right and you are wrong, then that’s what I’ll do.  If you can spend one night in a bar and attract a man’s interest, I’ll come visit you.  I’m not promising anything more than that, but I will come and see you.”

            “You want me to just pick up some random guy in a bar?  It’s never worked before, why should it now?”

            “Because there is something more at stake now.  You may think you have tried before, but you really haven’t.  If you really put yourself out there, you wouldn’t have any problems at all.”

            “Okay, fine.  But I don’t even know if I want to pick up some random guy.  I mean, I’d rather it be someone I know, someone I feel comfortable with.”

            “You told me there is no one in your life like that.  And besides, I didn’t say you should sleep with the guy or anything.  Just get him to ask you out.  That’s what dating is all about, Sash.”

“Yeah, but in a bar, if you meet someone, it is just sort of expected that you are going home with them.  That’s what it seems like, anyway.  And I don’t know how to get myself out of a situation like that, if I happen to get into one.  I’m not good at these things.”

  “There’s nothing wrong with going home with a guy, you know.  You’re an adult, it’s your body, and you can do with it what you like.  And there’s nothing wrong with not going home with him, either.  Stop worrying about who expects what and just be.”

“I’ll try.  That’s all I can promise.”

“All right.  You go out, strut your stuff, and get a guy to ask you out.  Or ask him out, whatever.  And if you do that, then I will come and see you.”

            “You’re on.”

 

            And so that was how Sasha came to be sitting in a bar by herself on a Friday night, pretending to be beautiful and thin and confident, when she really just wanted to go home, turn off all the lights, crawl into bed, and cry.  Silently, she kept reminding herself that it was all for a good cause, that she only had to get through one night of horror and humiliation, convince one man that she was worth a few hours of his time, and then she could reap the rewards.  She would finally meet the man she had been in love with through months of e-mails and telephone conversations.  Confidence, she whispered to herself, confidence.

 

            Sasha stared intently into her beer and carefully slid a smile onto her face, making sure its light reached her eyes.  A false smile would not do in this situation.  Besides, she had read once that the simple act of smiling can make one happy.  Slowly, she lifted her head.  She looked directly at the older man who was absorbed by whatever was on the television.  She didn’t think that he would be the one, but he was alone and there was something in his eyes that told Sasha he was lonely.  He might be a good place to start, to practice.  Maybe if he was lonely enough, the fact that she was young and fresh-faced and friendly would overpower the fact that she was short and fat and scared.  She slid from her stool and walked hesitantly around the corner of the bar to where the lonely man was sitting.  She paused, drew in a deep breath, consciously relaxed her muscles.  Just as she approached the man, she lost her nerve.  She continued past him toward the restroom.  Once safely locked into a stall, she sat down on the toilet and slumped to the side.  The cool smoothness of the cinderblock wall against her cheek soothed her as she forced herself to breathe deeply and evenly.

 

            If the stakes weren’t so high, she would just go home.  She was perfectly sure that she couldn’t win the bet anyway.  Hard as she tried, she couldn’t begin to envision the scene in which she would approach a man and try to evoke his interest in her, couldn’t think of a single way to even start a conversation that would hold any man’s interest.  She didn’t have the well-groomed hair and model-perfect body that seemed to intrigue men.  All she had was her wit and her smile, which didn’t quite cut it.  But, she had a bet to win.  She had to do it, had to at least try.  She couldn’t give up on Kevin.

 

            She sat up straight.  I am beautiful, she told herself.   I am six feet tall and thin with a mane of blonde hair dancing around me, and my jeans are tight in all the right places and every man in the world wants me.  I.  Am.  Invincible.  She stood and held her head high, shook her hair, let the door of the bathroom stall swing open, and strutted out.  She carefully avoided the mirrors, which she knew would completely derail her confidence.

 

            Quickly, deliberately, she walked back to the bar and slid onto the stool next to the lonely man.  It was a baseball game he was watching, and Sasha struggled to find something to say about it.  Damnit, this is always so hard, she thought.  All it would take to make things go badly was for her to open with the wrong words.  There were so many things working against her, she knew, that her words had to be exactly right.  There was no room to falter.  And then she saw her in.  His beer glass.  It was empty.  She waited for a commercial to come on and then maneuvered her face into a bright smile.  When he turned away from the TV, she was ready.

 

            “Hey, uh- you want another one of those?”  She jabbed her thumb toward his beer glass.  The man grunted at her, surprised, then shrugged his shoulders.

            “Yeh.”  He turned his attention to the bartender.  “Eh, Brenda, gimme another one.  ‘S on the lady, here,” he rumbled, indicating Sasha with a tilt of his head.

            “Awright, Jim, I gotcha.  She want somethin’?”

            Sasha tipped her head to the side and let out an awkward giggle.  It seemed as though she had been taken completely out of the equation.  Her feeble attempt at starting a conversation with a man, even a grubby-looking, lonely man, had obviously failed, and just because there was a bleached-blonde, eye-linered bartender to contend with.  Sasha managed to nod weakly when the guy, Jim, looked at her questioningly.  

            “Yeh.  She’ll get one too.”

            The bartender filled two glasses with beer and thumped them onto the bar in front of Sasha and Jim.  Sasha handed her a fistful of bills and then waved away the change the bartender provided.

            “Kinda cute, eh, Jim? Little lady getting’ yer beer?”

            “Yeh.  Ain’t so little, though, eh?”  He smiled at Sasha and chuckled, then returned his attention to the television as the game came back on.

 

            Sasha didn’t quite know where to look or what to do, other than that she had to avoid meeting the bartender’s eye at all costs.  Her cheeks burned and her eyes watered and she couldn’t let a single person in the bar see that she was upset.  Agree with the insults and laugh at yourself, she knew how to play the game.  The rules never changed.  Fat girls are supposed to be funny, and if they know how to laugh at themselves, they’re okay to have some fun with.  If not, fuck ‘em.  Not literally, of course.  Never literally.  Sasha had learned early on how to survive, a fat girl in a thin world, and tonight, she was glad she had.  It made it easier than she thought it would be to covertly brush the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand and hide, once again, behind her smile.  Shoving her beer toward the man sitting next to her, she turned her stool so that she was facing the door and started to slide off of it.  Time to give up, go home. 

 

            Except that suddenly there was a man next to her, leaning on the bar and waving some money at the bartender. 

            “Hey, can I get a drink over here?” he called out.

            His voice was deep and resonated through the smoky air.  It seemed to send vibrations through every part of Sasha’s body.  There was something about his voice that was soothing and familiar even as it was exotic and exciting.  The very sound made her heart just about stop beating for a second, and then when it started beating again, it seemed as if the beats were visible in the skin of her chest.

Even if he hadn’t been so close that there wasn’t room to get up, Sasha doubted whether she could have stood.  Her knees were weak.  She was short of breath.  The logical part of her was completely gone and she had no control at all over her speech.  She had never had such an intense reaction to any man, ever.  There was something absolutely familiar about him, but Sasha couldn’t gather her thoughts enough to consider what it might be.  Without any permission whatsoever from her brain, Sasha’s voice spoke.

            “Hey, there, nice shirt.”  Sasha started at the sound of her own voice and quickly analyzed what she had said.  Shirt, his shirt.  She had admired his shirt.  Shit, what did it even look like?  She forced her eyes to focus on him and saw that he was wearing a plain black t-shirt.  She felt her cheeks redden, but once again she couldn’t stop herself from speaking.  “I love a man in black.”  Damn it, even worse.  Now it was going to look like she was coming on to him.

            Which she was, of course, but it wasn’t a natural thing for her, not something she knew how to handle.  Too late now, though.

            “Thanks, I like yours too.”  He was grinning at her, and when she followed the path of his eyes, she saw that he was looking specifically at the neckline of her shirt, which was cut rather low.  She blushed again.

            “Thanks.  You from around here?  I come in here a lot, and you don’t look familiar.”  Oh, God, now she was lying, besides saying stupid things.  What if he came in here every night?  Sasha resigned herself to the fact that as long as she was speaking to this man, she would have no control over her words or actions, and prepared herself for humiliation.

            “Actually, no.  I’m from Montana, but I’m here for work.  Building an office complex out that way.”  He gestured vaguely in some direction or another, which Sasha did not see because she was staring into his eyes, his big, dark eyes that seemed to completely surround her as she lost herself in them.

            “Oh.”  And whatever force had been powering the speech center of her brain left her.  No more words came to her.  So, she simply looked at this man.  And he looked back at her.  When the bartender came over to take his order, neither of them took any notice of her.  She shrugged her shoulders and glanced at Jim.

            “Guess she lost interest in ya, man.”

            Jim tore himself away from the game and looked at Sasha.

            “Yeh.  Guess so.”

 

            Sasha, now totally unaware of anyone else in the bar, somehow reclaimed her ability to speak.

            “What’s your name?  When I’m telling my friends about you later, I’ll want to call you something other than ‘the guy I couldn’t stop staring at’.”

            “I’m Mark.  And you?  So I can call you something other than “the woman that couldn’t stop staring at me’?”

            “Sasha.”

            “That’s a beautiful name.  Not quite as beautiful as you, but definitely beautiful.”

            The two of them lapsed into silence again and merely sat, looking at one another.  Sasha’s smile was no longer forced and she was now completely at ease.  She couldn’t think of a thing to say, but she was comfortable with the silence.  She wasn’t struggling for words; instead, she let his presence wash over her.  She noticed without really noticing that he had called her beautiful, and it never crossed her mind to wonder if he was attracted to her.  It was enough to just be there with him, the way that they were, and he seemed comfortable, too.  After a while, he stood without saying a word and walked toward a table in the back of the room.  Instead of fearing that he was trying to escape her company, as she normally would have done, Sasha stood and followed him.  Somehow, she knew that it was the right thing to do.

            And once they were away from the bar, away from the juke box speakers and the television, they began talking easily. 

“It feels like I know you, like I’ve known you forever.  You don’t look familiar to me at all, but I can’t shake the feeling.  And it feels like you know me.”

Mark did not speak immediately.  It seemed, a few times, as if he was about to speak, but his words faded before they crossed his lips.  Sasha watched him, partially awaiting his answer and partially just losing herself in his eyes.  The reaction she was having was almost exactly the same as the reaction she had had to Kevin, that first time they talked on the phone.  It was something she had never thought she would find with anyone else, and it almost felt like a betrayal to her.  But this was all for Kevin, she reassured herself, so it must be alright.  Her rambling thoughts were interrupted, at last, by Mark’s response.

“Maybe we knew each other in another life or something,” he said carefully.  Sasha sensed that there was something he was not saying that meant even more than what he was saying, but the smile he offered her made her lose all control of her thoughts again before she could wonder what he wasn’t saying.  And then their conversation flowed and there was no more time to wonder.

It was with great surprise that Sasha looked up at last and realized that they were among the last few people in the bar.  Everyone else was slowly and unsteadily making their way toward the door and up the stairs. 

            “I guess we should leave, too,” Mark said to her, smiling.  “Time flies.”

            “Yes, it does.  I don’t want to go.  I’m not ready to leave you yet.”

            “So don’t.  I have a room upstairs, come back to it with me.”

            Sasha hesitated.  Going back to this man’s room with him would be totally unlike her.  On the other hand, she wanted to, more than anything.  She couldn’t stand the thought of walking away from him quite yet.  And she felt as if she knew him; that was almost as good as knowing him, right?  Kevin’s words echoed in her mind: “You’re an adult, it’s your body, and you can do with it what you like.” 

“Alright, let’s go,” she said bravely.  She followed him out of the bar and up the stairs.  As he dug into his pocket for his room key, she stepped behind him, where he couldn’t see her, and bowed her head.  She breathed deeply and slowly as she studied her trembling hands.  These things hadn’t gone well for her in the past, but this was something she couldn’t give up on.  She wanted it too badly.  She wanted this man, and she wanted Kevin.  She had to trust herself, she had to trust that this time she wouldn’t freeze up, or be unsure, that this time she would be able to relax and enjoy herself, step outside of herself, and be bold.

            He opened the door and she started to follow him inside.  He hesitated and looked back at her.

“Are you sure about this?  We can just go somewhere else and talk or something.  You don’t have to come in.”

Sasha smiled.

“What kind of a guy asks that question?  Aren’t you guys supposed to be all about what you want and not about what might be good for us?”

“No.  Never.  I want this, more than anything, but not if you’re not sure.”

“I’m sure.”

Once alone, with the door firmly closed behind them, their hesitation disappeared.  It was just like Kevin had always told her it would be when she came across the right man.  She really didn’t need to follow his lead; she could do exactly what she wanted to, and let him follow her.  She walked to the bed and sat down with a gentle smile on her face.

            He dropped his key and cell phone onto the table next to the bed and sat down next to her.  She didn’t wait to see what his next move was.

            “I’ve been waiting all night, all my life, to do this,” she said.  “I have been afraid for too long.”  Sasha gave him no explanation for her words, but he didn’t question her as she leaned toward him, took his head gently in her hands, and kissed him.  Slowly she pushed him back onto the bed, and then she was leaning over him, in full contact with him, as they kissed. 

            It was as if someone else had taken over her body.  She waited for no cues from Mark, she just did what she felt.  Later, when she was lying naked, next to him, in the morning sun, and reliving every sensation, every second of the night, she could not remember who had done what, who had started the whole thing.  It was with victory that she considered the distinct possibility that it may have been her.  If she could just lay here, with him, like this, forever, her life would be perfect.  She had never felt so satisfied with herself, so unafraid, so completely sated and at ease.  And all she had to do was turn her head and look at his naked body to make the blood start rushing through her veins again.

            As if he had heard her thoughts, Mark turned toward her, his eyes heavy with sleep.  He rested an arm on her stomach.

            “Morning, Beautiful.”

            Now that they were both awake, and the sun was shining, and there wasn’t the noise of the bar or the distraction of sex to hide behind, Sasha’s newfound courage faltered just a little.  For just a second, her mind raced, trying to decide upon the most graceful way to cover herself from his probing eyes.  But he had called her beautiful.  There was no reason to hide.  And it wasn’t the old, shy, afraid Sasha that he liked.  It was the Sasha he had met last night in a loud bar full of people, and it was she he had brought back to his room, not any of the other more beautiful women that Sasha had always been so envious of.  He liked her.  And so, she pushed her insecurities away, met his gaze, and greeted him with a passionate kiss.  And she smiled.

 

            “Well, I did it.  I really did.”

            “I’m proud of you.  When’s the date?”

            “There—there is no date.”  Sasha blushed, even in the privacy of her own bedroom, as she said it.

            “So, you mean—?”

            “Yes.  He was a guy from out of town.  I went back to his room with him.”

            “And how was it?”

            “It was—it—well, I don’t know.  I felt like I knew him before I ever met him, and somehow I just let it happen.  There aren’t any words.  I was a whole different person and now I don’t know who I am anymore.  Am I who I was last night?  Or am I the same old me again?  I really don’t know.  All I know is that whenever I think about last night, my heart speeds up and my eyes glaze over and I can’t form sentences.  I can’t believe I really did it.”  Sasha trailed off into a whisper as she finished.  There was a long pause before Kevin answered her, and when he did, his voice came slowly.

            “I’m proud of you, babe.  I really am.  I wish it could have been me.  Dare I say I told you so?”

            “Don’t even.  You have no idea how hard it was for me.  At least in the beginning.  It was horrible.  It was just like I told you it would be, the first time I tried to talk to someone.  I had to go into the bathroom and give myself this little pep talk and pretend I was a beautiful, hundred-pound, six foot tall blonde before I could even talk to him, and then when I did it just went all wrong.”

“Well, why did you lie to yourself like that?  If you lie to yourself, things never work out quite right.”

“Huh?”

“Why did you pretend?  Why didn’t you tell yourself the truth, that you are a beautiful, smart, three-hundred-pound brunette with a dazzling personality?”

“Because it is a lot easier for me to survive when I pretend.  It’s a lot more realistic to envision good things happening when I pretend I am someone else.”

“No, it’s NOT.  You proved that.  That guy picked you, not a six foot tall stick.”

“I was going to leave, you know.  I almost didn’t go through with it.  But then when I tried to leave, I literally ran into this guy, and totally forgot myself.”

“I told you.  I did.”

“Okay, okay.  You were right, whatever.  So when you coming to visit me?

Kevin didn’t answer right away.  Sasha’s heart sank.  On some level, she had known that he would back out.  The hope that he wouldn’t had kept her going, but down deep in the pit of her stomach, she had known all along.  She breathed deeply and slowly to calm herself, to mask the sound of tears in her voice. 

“Never mind.  It’s alright, you don’t have to.”

Kevin still didn’t speak.  Sasha was trembling, and it was getting harder and harder not to break into a full blown fit of tears.  She prayed that he would just say something and get it over with so she could hang up the phone and die.

“No, babe.  I told you I would come.  I won’t back out, I would never do that to you.  It’s just that things are a little more complicated now.”

Sasha fought with herself to control her emotions.  It seemed like it was years before she could make herself talk; she seemed to be frozen, stuck in purgatory, wavering between the throes of ecstasy and the depths of hell.  When she spoke, her voice was barely audible.  The act of speaking a single word caused her physical pain.

“Why?”

“I can’t tell you.  It has nothing to do with you, or anything that will change our relationship, really.  It’s just something I don’t want to face.”

“But will you?  Will you face it?”

“Yes.  I will.  But you are going to find something out about me when we meet.  I hope you don’t take it the wrong way.”

His words did nothing to comfort her.  They only served to force her into a series of sleepless nights and days filled with fear and doubt.  She could not begin to imagine what it was that he was so worried about, but wondering completely consumed her.

 

“On my first day of kindergarten, my mom dropped me off at the door of the classroom, hugged me, and left,” he told her on the phone.  “When we went outside for recess, I saw her car parked on the street outside of the classroom.  It killed me.  I was proud, so proud, of myself for being a big, bad kindergartener.  I was out in the world on my own, invincible.  I was positive that my mom didn’t trust me, that she was there to pick me up when I fell, take me home when I couldn’t handle the real world.  Later she told me that she just wanted to watch, that she had spent my whole life preparing me for that one day, my first shot at independence, and she wanted to see how I did.  She wanted to share my joy when I succeeded.  It took me a long time to believe that, but eventually I did.”

Sasha was confused.  He didn’t often share with her stories of his past.  And when he did, they were specific to the conversation of the moment.  This story had come completely out of blue, seemed to have no relationship with anything, really.

“Mothers are like that,” she replied.  “They like to be there to share in our victories, and to save us when we get into trouble.”

“But that’s just it.  She wasn’t there to save me.  She knew I could save myself.  She just wanted to watch me when I did, to pat herself on the back, maybe, for helping to shape me into someone who could take on the world.  When we meet, I need you to remember this.”

Sasha was confused.  The whole conversation didn’t seem to make any sense.  But she could feel Kevin’s anxiety in her very bones and needed to comfort him.

“I will remember.”

 

The next day, Sasha set her alarm clock to wake her early.  She was meeting Kevin at the airport, and she wanted to look her absolute best, prepare herself, bathe herself in a confidence she had not felt since her night with Mark.  When she drove to the airport, it was with trepidation.  She couldn’t stop wondering what it was that she was going to find out about him, what it was that could be so horrible.  She hoped she could handle it, whatever it was, with grace.  On shaking legs, she made her way into the airport lobby and sat near the fountain they had selected as their first meeting place.

 

Carefully, she searched the crowd.  Time slowly passed her by.  Soon it was only thirty more minutes until he would be there, then twenty, then ten.  And then he was five minutes late, and then ten, fifteen, twenty.  His plane was on time, and he had called when he stopped to transfer flights to reassure her that he was coming.  Sasha pictured him getting off the plane and then turning around and getting right back on, afraid to face whatever it was that he was so worried about.  But finally, finally, she heard footsteps approaching her from behind.  Somehow, she knew that they belonged to Kevin.  It was almost as if she had heard those exact footsteps before.  She turned toward the sound, smiling.

Her smile faded rapidly when she saw the man standing behind her. It was replaced by dancing, swirling confusion.

“Mark?” she asked.

“Kevin,” he replied.

   
   
 

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From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck

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Why, OH Why

with

Diabolique Belle

     Why, OH Why will be column dedicated to all the experiences Plus Sized people go through that make you want to say WHY OH WHY does this have to be.  Part vent, part inspiration this column will surely be one that readers will related to. Diabolique Belle was chosen for this position because of her flare for telling it like it is and turning it around for the better. 

 

     Diabolique Belle originates from Brooklyn, NY. She is a computer specialist who passionately loves making toiletries and designing gift baskets. She is capricious and dynamically outgoing and loves to say what she means and she means what she says. Diabolique is currently working on several entrepreneurial endeavors, including taking her toiletry hobby to a professional level and transitioning her writing hobby into an erotic mystery novel series.

 

Come fly the unfriendly skies….

What do Southwest, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic all have in common?  They have all been in the spotlight for their policies concerning overweight individuals. 

In June of 2002, Southwest Airlines announced that they would be strictly and uniformly enforcing their policy of requiring larger passengers to purchase two seats on their airplanes.

Jean-Jacques Jauffret, a French scriptwriter was humiliated at New Delhi airport in 2005 when he was told he was too fat and asked to buy an extra seat to accommodate his large frame.

            My mouth gaped open in shock as I was reading this information.  However, the best was yet to come… Here are some comments that I found from various readers.

  -   If anyone is big enough to have to take up two seats, then I think this person has more problems then fighting about paying for an extra seat. Maybe they should direct their energy on "narrowing" down the odds of this happening again in the future.  Quote:  Mr.  Jauffret stated that he was referred to as 'fat and 'enormous' on numerous occasions. I wonder if he would have been less humiliated if they lied and called him Slim.  When the shoe fits, wear it Cinderella.  If the seat is 12" and your butt is 24" inches, you need to pay for two seats.  It is what it is.

-     If he spent as much time and energy exercising instead of filing frivolous lawsuits he would not be in these "embarrassing" situations.

-          Well done, Air France!! Thank you for not being overly "politically correct" and not demurring to some whiny "offend no one" attitude.

-          The comments posted here are horrifying! This is a person that you are judging. I can't believe the insensitive comments. Pure prejudice in it's most hateful and allowed form! Outrageous! Would you be making these comments if that man were your father or brother?????   What a disgrace.

-          No man is an island and smokers are no longer allowed on planes. They have accepted this as it interferes with the comfort of other passengers. Obesity isn't normal and neither is smoking, therefore the concessions must be made by these people

-          As a person who is 140 pounds and 5'7" I am sick and tired of having a 300 pound slob's fat rolling over into my seat. I agree; if you cannot fit into one seat you must buy two.

-          Absolutely agree that if you are overweight you need to pay more for your space...on another note: once, traveling (on a free upgrade) in business class I was seated next to an overweight gentleman who seemed also to be rather uncoordinated. Half way through dinner, his elbow shot out across the 12" divide and knocked over my wine (red)...needless to say, it went all over me. NICE. Give them their own section? nice idea

-          This is a matter of being fair, not of discrimination. Every passenger pays for his or her own seat, and overweight people should pay for two seats if they occupy two. That is to say, they are not paying extra, but paying for the space they use. If they feel reluctant to pay that money, they will inflict their uncomfortable situation on others. If they cannot afford or refuse to shell out the money, stay home, perhaps.

-          I am 6' 2" and 240lbs and in perfect health. Airline seats are way too small for me, and I am not fat or abnormal for the country I come from. Yet every airline I fly with has seats designed for infants. One airline's seats were so close together I could not fit even my legs in. Most headrests do not extend high enough to reach my head so I end up with severe neck cramps if I dare to fall asleep. I would never pay the extra money for larger seats simply because there is medically nothing wrong with me. I believe that airlines should increase all their 'cattle class' seats and then re-examine whether or not obese passengers should pay more.

-          If obese people are forced to pay for two seats, does this mean they are entitled to two meals? Won't that just make the problem worse?

-          If you make people pay extra for being overweight, are you going to fine people with children that cry or make disruptions on a flight? What about passengers with body odor, will you deny them a seat on the plane? There are so many inconveniences one can experience on any type of transportation. You can't just single out one, without penalizing others who will make for a less comfortable flight

-          As usual we read and hear the varied opinions of the public but we hear nothing from the companies directly responsible for the problems. These companies are not doing us a favor by running airlines they are providing us with a service which we pay greatly for. They should take responsibility for managing seating accordingly, mothers with children, very tall and obese passengers all catered for with everyone else to make for pleasant comfortable flying.

I could go on and on sharing clips of what people said but you get the general drift.  All I can say is: WOW!  Who the hell do people think they are…

            Now, we as overweight individuals are quite used to the public’s brash and calloused comments; but some of these take the cake.  I wonder how many of these people would feel the same way if the airlines suddenly imposed an additional fee for something that affected them.  It is amazing the lack compassion that society as a whole feels.  Now, yes being overweight is a choice.  However, the one comment that I wholeheartedly agree with is how everyone wants first class privileges on an economy budget.  You can’t have Ruth Chris appetite on a Krystal’s budget. Now, how is this any different from the bus or train situation? It isn’t. It is the same concept.  You pay your fare to get on the bus or train and if you sit next to an overweight person or obnoxious person; you simply deal with it until you reach your destination.  I have yet to hear of MTA making overweight people pay an extra fare.  I agree that you should not be overly inconvenienced; however, let’s be reasonable. 

            Let’s just get the facts straight. The airplane companies could care less about comfort or inconvenience. All they care about is another way to make a dollar.  If they could charge for every little thing under the sun and get away with it… they would.  They cannot.  Why don’t pregnant women have to buy an extra seat? How about a woman pregnant with twins?  Why don’t tall people have to buy an extra seat? Their legs often push into the seat in front of them which creates an uncomfortable situation; however, there are no mandates for that.  They do, however, get away with charging overweight people extra money because of public intolerance.  They saw an opportunity and have capitalized on it.  End of story.

            Next, let’s dig into the issue of bigger people having to pay for an extra seat. Do they get two meals? Do they get double the service? What are the airlines doing about overweight people being inconvenienced?  Who in their right mind wants to be squeezed into the infant sized seats?  It amazes me how the small mindedness of the many is more valuable than the reality of the few.  In all honesty, the same way the elite skinny expect us to sit in economy in a seat modeled for a child without any difficulties; they need to realize that the cheap price they paid guaranteed them a seat on the plane. It did not guarantee them comfort or grandeur.  Funny how uneven the scales are when it comes to who is supposed to accept certain realities? If the skinny elite want room…why don’t they upgrade to business or first class? It’s funny how the same rules they dictate don’t apply to them.

Taking a deeper look, why AREN’T the airline companies being held accountable?  They manufacture these seats as small as possible to fit as many people in as possible to make a greater profit.  Why aren’t the regulations on seat sizes a bit more realistic?  I am not asking for an entire plane of super sized seats but please, please can I have a seat that is big enough to fit a real grown up?

Are the people complaining about being squished this bold at work? Do you complain to your boss if you have to share your row with an overweight person?  Do you get up and move at church if someone overweight sits next to you? I wonder if the person who suggested that the overweight person who refused to shell out extra money for an extra seat was the surgeon needed to save the life of one of his beloved family members. I bet you his tune would greatly change then. 

Yes, being overweight is a choice. The same as being rude, ignorant, illiterate, or oblivious… but I don’t see any of them being required to shell out extra money for these obscenities. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, please return your realities to the upright position!

   
   
 

Thanks for reading

Why, OH Why with Diabolique Belle

articles@largeincharge.com

 

Diabolique Cool Links

360.yahoo.com/taystee_lique 

Papi's Peace

     Papi's Peace A column dedicated to the Large man and his mind.  Papi a Chicago native takes the concerns of the Big man and brings it to light, realizing that sometimes his thoughts and feelings are not always so secure.  A how to column that deals with the issues that many men deal with in today's society.  He also hits the many aspects of living life large and putting your best foot forward as a big person.  Papi was chosen because of his dedication to motivate and weekly inspirational emails he sends to many people across the net has helped and captured many.  Papi has a flair for making difficult situations a bit more easier to deal with.  Part motivation, part realism, lots of observation and a big helping of tell it like it is.  Papi has used humor with to deliver every month.

   

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

 

Hello family. As we celebrate our independence as Americans, I want us to look at ourselves as people. Are we independent in our own lives? Or are we dependent on the security of our current comfort zones in life?

 

  • In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot in the ring to which the bull returns. Each bull has a different querencia, but as the bullfight continues, and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to his spot. As he returns to his querencia, he becomes more predictable. And so, in the end, the matador is able to kill the bull because instead of trying something new, the bull returns to what is familiar. His comfort zone. - Carly Fiorina

  • If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out, Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt. - Unknown

  • Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. - Brian Tracy

  • I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail. The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail. - Unknown

  • My friend, leaving one's comfort zone is no small chore! Trust me, I've learned this first hand. I can say that when all's said and done it's worth it! - Josh Hinds

  • If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness. - Les Brown

  • Although when you first step out of your comfort zone it may feel difficult and fearful, you will at some point become comfortable again. - Wendy Hearn

  • A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. - Denis Waitley

  • Life loses its meaning when we get stuck up in comfort zone. - M.K. Soni

  • We tend to be held back from our goals by the simplicity of our comfort zones . . . but just how comfortable are we? Wouldn't we be more content living in our dreams? - Michelle C. Ustaszeski

  • To the degree we're not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves. - Peter McWilliams

  • If you remain in your comfort zone you will not go any further. - Catherine Pulsifer

  • If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. - C.S. Lewis

  • Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. - Billy Graham

  • Part of the reason scientists stay in the comfort zone is that they can always say: well we dont know enough - David Carlson

  • If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone. - John Maxwell

  • There's a lot of reasons why we're doing this. One is we really just wanted to send a very strong message about stepping outside of your boundaries, pushing your limits and just getting out of your comfort zone, not to mention getting off the couch. - Alison Levine

  • I have enjoyed my time here, but after 18 years I think it is time for me to go somewhere else. For me to keep growing as a coach I need to get out of my comfort zone and this is a way to do that. - Bryan Price

  • The biggest thing is to take a chance outside of your comfort zone. - Gordon Ricketts

  • The companies that can quickly adapt their business models, product and service offerings, and industry relationships to meet the industry's changing dynamics will be the ones to succeed in the long run. And with all these changes taking place, the companies that stay too close to their comfort zone will most likely get swamped by the innovators. - Frank Gens

 

Be Uncomfortable & Transform Your World by Pegine Echevarria

What makes you feel uncomfortable?

* Attending a party where you don't know anyone?

* Making a presentation?

* Talking to someone who is different than you in gender, race, ethnicity or religion?

* Going to dinner with a diverse group?

Why not let yourself be uncomfortable and do the following actions, even if you get tongue tied, nervous, or frustrated:

* When you go to a party where you don't know someone, breathe deeply, and head directly to someone who is different, put your hand out to introduce yourself, ask their name and what brought them to the event.

* When making a presentation give them a piece of candy as a prize. You will quickly make friends and they will love you for it! May not be healthy but it works.

* When talking to someone who is different than you say, "What would I find surprising about you that I couldn't tell from looking at you?" It is amazing what you will learn. I am always glad that I asked because I always learn something so interesting. By the way be really interested in them when you ask.

* Find the most diverse people you can and invite them to dinner. Expose yourself to new people. Don't know any diverse people? Take a class in a different part of the city to meet new people. Volunteer at a different school than your kid's school.

Kick-butt actions:

 

When you are in an uncomfortable situation follow this process:

1. Breathe. Really focus on your breathing. Often times when we are uncomfortable, we breathe in shallow breaths. This makes us even more stressed. By forcing ourselves to breathe deeply we begin to take control of the situation.

2. What is the goal? When we get uncomfortable we lose track of the goal. What did we want to accomplish at this moment? I get uncomfortable when I feel like I have too much on my to do list. When that occurs I have to review my list. What is income producing? What is truly necessary to accomplish today?

3. Is this a habit? Often being uncomfortable is a habit. Sometimes we are so addicted to the drama around being uncomfortable, we make ourselves feel uncomfortable when it really isn't necessary just because it is what we have always done. Humans, we can be weird sometimes.

4. Expect the best. We get uncomfortable because we expect bad things to happen the boogie man will get us. When we start to expect the best we find that we eliminate our uncomfortable feelings.

Of course in the beginning we can feel uncomfortable because we are expecting different outcomes then we have before. Do it anyway and expect the best.

Have You?

* Called or stopped by your local fire station and said thank you?

* Stopped to thank your local police professional?

* Given a flower to someone in a wheel chair?

* Told your wife/husband how wonderful they are?

* Given a cake to a neighbor?

* Just smiled at someone in the elevator?

Corny? Yes. Powerful? Absolutely!

 

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

We - Are young but getting old before our time

Well leave the T.V. and the radio behind

Don’t you wonder what we’ll find

Steppin’ out tonight

You - Can dress in pink and blue just like a child

And in a yellow taxi turn to me and smile

Well be there in just a while

If you follow me

Me babe - steppin’ out

Into the night

Into the light

You babe - steppin’ out

Into the night

Into the light

"Steppin' Out" - Joe Jackson

 

Family, today we are going to slip on our most comfortable pairs of shoes because we are about to get movin'. We’re steppin' out today. Whether it is a 2-Step, a high step, a side step, or a STOMP in a big black boot, we are about to step out of our comfort zone. We are not going to spend a lot of time on this one, because we want quick and concise action. We don't want any debate. No lolly gagging. No beating around the bush. No hemming and hawing! By the way, hemming and hawing is one of my momma’s FAVORITE phrases. Don't be in trouble and start stammering and stuttering around CRG!! LOL! That is a no go!!!

 

Sorry, I digress.

 

Back to you and that comfort zone you have been chillin' in.

  • Is it your job? Where you are underpaid and underappreciated . . . but you are not quite ready to leave?

  • Is it your mate? Who can't be trusted and doesn't seem to care . . . but you are not quite ready to let go?

  • Is it your home? Which is too small and too far from your job . . . but you are not quite ready to move?

Guess what? Stay comfortable and you will NEVER move forward.

Let me give you a few scenes.

 

You are outside shoveling snow. It is WELL below zero. You are freezing, tired, and cold. You FINALLY finish and rush in the house, take off your coat, those wet boots, gloves, hat, and scarf. Go in your bedroom and take off all your clothes and slide into your pajamas. The temp in your home is perfect as you jump in your bed and slide under a sheet, blanket, and comforter. (Jeah. That is what they call it. A comforter!) As you snuggle into your pillow and pull the covers up to your chin, you smile and feel so...

 

Ladies, it has been a long and hard work week. You are stressed and have been on your feet. Saturday comes and you go to the spa. You get the full treatment: hands, feet, facial. You spend time in the Jacuzzi and the steam room. As you are laying on the massage table and TWO people are working out all of your tight and tense spots you take a long and deep breath. This is so relaxing and . . .

 

Fellas (please substitute teams as needed), it's Sunday afternoon. Your boss has been an ass all week, you have been doing chores around the house all weekend, and this is your first chance to relax. You plop down in your favorite recliner, kick back and turn on the TV. The Bears are about to kick off, the Bulls tip off later today, ESPN classic is showing the entire White Sox world series from 2005, there is a Bruce Lee marathon on Spike TV, WWE has a full card, King and Maxim magazines have collaborated on a 2 hour swimsuit special, and your wife brings you a beer, and a plate of nachos and tells you steak and lobster are for dinner and you don't need to move a muscle for the rest of the day. You smile and think, this is the shit. You feel so . . .

 

Can end those three sentences? Let Papi do it for you.

COMFORTABLE!!!!

In each of those situations, would you move? Get up? Go do something different? Hell to the naw. You would stay right there.

In that spot.

In that situation.

FOR AS LONG AS YOU COULD!!!

That is what happens when you get comfortable.

Sometimes comfortable is a politically correct way to describe your current station.

Let me give it to you raw.

Content, complacent, satisfied, sluggish, accustomed, stagnant.

Dead.

Don't fall into the trap of comfort. STEP out of your comfort zone today. RIGHT NOW!!

Perform a comfort zone buster. Do something different. Do something that makes you nervous or uncomfortable. Stretch out.

Smile and say hello to people as you walk past them in the street.

Thank someone for correcting you or giving you constructive criticism.

Write a letter to a business that has recently provided you good service.

Ask for a store manager to commend the staff there for a job well done.

Tell someone your true feelings of admiration for them.

Go to a party where you don’t know anyone there.

Step out of that comfort zone.

Pretty soon there will be fewer and fewer places where you WON'T be comfortable!

I hope you have a tremendous month of July.

Remember that Papi loves you!

Peace!!!!!!

 

Papi’s Poetry

Don’t B Afraid

There are many things

that man

can't understand.

One

of these things

is

our emotions.

This is good.

Emotions

should not B understood,

just felt.

I know that

U R feeling

things that

U cannot begin 2 apprehend.

Don't deny

these feelings,

4 they symbolize

my very being.

U don't want 2 accept them

Bcuz

U don't comprehend

them.

One

cannot fathom love.

It is 2 deep

and

involved

4 human tangibility.

4 this reason,

U

shouldn't try 2

analyze what U feel,

nor

should U

B afraid

2 share

those feelings

with me.

Please,

don't B scared.

Let me

decipher the foreign

intricacies inside.

I'll caress your heart

as if

it were mine,

4 that

is

what it should B.

   
 

Thank you for Reading Papi's Peace

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude

   

Cooking Stories

Food plays a huge role in our lives.  It would seem the minimal thing food does is to sustain us through nutrients.  A more pivotal role is played out in how integral to our self definition is how we developed as a people.  This is  in reference to the heritage of the food we eat.  Essentially, “we are what we eat” become a statement of our prides and family history.  I think back on my personal experience with southern style cooking and the “this is the way momma made it” effects and realize for some their heritage has been lost to McDonald’s and Burger King.  That is a crime.  For those of us who are lucky enough to have been taught to cook by grandparents or parents, we have instilled an inherent understanding that food really does mean something in our lives.  Food and cooking can become a piece of the fabric that creates our soul.  It is another place in which we find memories and strength to be the people we want to be.

In 2004, the Immigration Museum hosted an exhibit called Cooking Stories. Through the medium of food, eight different refugee communities across Melbourne were invited to tell their stories, from the Chileans who fled after the fall of Allende in 1973 to the Iraqi and Afghanis who arrived on boats from 1999. In preparation for the exhibit, dinners were held at which these people came

Here are three excerpts:

Shafiga Naime (Afghani)
One day I was walking to my niece’s home. Like all women, I was wearing a burkah. As I walked past a soldier he yelled, “I can see your feet! When are you going to be a true Muslim?” I knew that speaking up to a soldier was dangerous but in that moment, I decided ‘ this is no life’, so I shouted back: “It’s not your job.” The solider pushed me down and hit me many times. When I told my brother, he became very worried for our family’s safety, so he helped me escape. Everything was prepared for me. I was to leave my family, my two children and travel on my own to Pakistan, Indonesia and then to Australia where I believed I would be safe. The night before my departure my mother and my sister in-law made orange pollou. That evening there was extra salt in the recipe because of our tears.

Ana Luz Juarez (El Salvadorian)
I prepared my favourite dish—pupusas—for the first time in Australia, full of emotions, enthusiasm and most of all great hope that it would turn out a bit similar to the original dish. I was cooking for my classmates in my English language class. They were people from many different parts of the world, including some from my own country. I had never cooked this dish before and finding the proper ingredients for the pastry was impossible, despite a considerable search. With the help of my compatriots we finally managed to make the most embarrassing pupusas. The pastry was a total disaster, it was weird and ugly. Yet when I tried the first one it was the most delicious pupusa in the whole world and it bought tears to my eyes. My compatriots were laughing and crying at the same time, others were simply blushing with nostalgia and happiness but all appeared to be stacked with emotions, filled with assurance that this was only the beginning to improve our recipes in Australia.

Amer (Iraqi)
I live with my brother but we never see each other because he works at night. I study during the day and by the time I come home he has left for work. But every weekend we cook together. Last weekend we made 100 kob’ba (dumplings) and froze them. Each time we make something different so that we always have Iraqi food to eat. It’s just something that reminds me of our country. My mother taught me all her recipes. I like to cook at home. It makes me feel I am eating with my family.

Pride, pain, joy, and sometimes sorrow combine into the melting pot of our lives.  Each time we have a meal that we love, our memories flood back to previous times and loved one.  We mark the passage of times and trial through our foods and heritage.

Xander's Recipe of the Month

The Day of Dead Bread – A celebration of life

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos, Día de los Difuntos or Día de Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated in many parts of the world, typically on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day).

In Mexico, where the holiday has perhaps its highest prominence, the holiday has ancient Aztec and meso-american roots, and is a national holiday. The Day of the Dead is also celebrated to a lesser extent in other Latin American countries; for example, it is a public holiday in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate it by visiting cemeteries and churches. The holiday is also observed in the Philippines. Observance of the holiday has spread to Mexican-American communities in the United States, where in some locations, the traditions are being extended. Similarly-themed celebrations also appear in some Asian and African cultures.

Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective of some other cultures, celebrants typically approach the Day of the Dead joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, the traditional mood is much brighter with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.

1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of anise seed
2 packets of dry yeast
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter
4 eggs
3 to 4 1/2 cups of flour

Mix all dry ingredients together except the 3 - 4 1/2 cups of flour. In a small pan, heat the milk, the water, and the butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture. Beat well. Mix in the eggs and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Beat well. Put in the rest of the flour, little by little. Knead the mixture on a floured board for 9 - 10 minutes.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise until it has doubled in size (about an hour and a half at sea level). Punch the dough down and reshape it with some "bone" shapes on top to decorate it. Let it rise another hour. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 40 minutes.

After baking, sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar and colored sugar.

 

Every food has a story to be told if we’re only willing to listen to its tale.

   
 

Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

CONFESSION

 

Time to tell it like it is!

    

     This is an experiment in Confession, you can anonymously confess, or let everyone know something that you feel.  Every Month we will post all the confessions and you can come and view them and be inspired to make your own.

 

     You can send in a picture,  You can make a graphic,  You can just send in your written words.  You can do it anonymously and get something off your chest.  You can let everyone know who you are and liberate yourself.

 

     Hope you enjoy Confession!  Send in your own check the bottom of this page!

 

CONFESSION

 



  
 

I just got married a few months ago and my husband isn't doing his job in the bedroom. I am flirting with a young boy at my job! It feels good and I want to hump him!

 

****CONFESSION*****


  
 

I tell everyone that I'm a Confident BBW but I'm not. I'm scared to love myself.

 

****CONFESSION*****

 

 

Nutrisystem can kiss my Fat Ass! I'm going to eat what I want and finally be happy with myself as I am!

 

****CONFESSION*****

 

My best friend in the whole wide world is a BBW even though I am bigger I thought we had a special bond because we are both big and loved each other so much.  The first woman I ever thought of as a sister (The BBW sister I never had) doesn't love me anymore.  I feel like I am waiting for her to turn around and see me one day and be my friend again.  But now after all this time I am letting her go because I don't think she wants to be friends anymore.

 

 

****CONFESSION*****

 

I see you everyday walk by and I want to talk to you.  But I don't. I have a wife that I married because she was pregnant and I was happy until you talked to me one day.  And now I know what happiness really is.  I never thought it would be in a big package.  But it is and now I just live my life watching you walk by.

 

 

****CONFESSION*****

 

 

When I was 11 years old I was sleep walking and peed in the kitchen stove in front of my mother and all her friends!

 

****CONFESSION*****

 
Send in your own Confession,  Use the email to the Right and send in a your confession, weather it is a graphic you made (NO BIGGER THAN 5x7 92 DPI) or a picture you saw.  You can also just send in text words.  Your Confession can be Anonymous or you can tell everyone who you are.

Send in your Confession NOW!

Thanks for reading Confession

Send in your Confession to

articles@largeincharge.com

 

Large In Charge Guest Spot

We want to hear and see your talents!

 

One of our favorite parts of the newsletter.  The Guest Spot is for our readers to submit there talents to be viewed.  We want to see all you wonderful supporters making moves of your own.  If you write poetry, short stories, commentaries, or just thoughts in general, please submit them to us.  If your a designer we want to see pictures of your clothing.   We would love to include your talents in our newsletter.  We hope you take an active part in the L.I.C. newsletter. Send in your article, poetry, comments to - articles@largeincharge.com

NOTE: The Opinion of the writer is not always the opinion of The Large in Charge Staff.  We support the Right to all views.  We do not Condemn or Approve writing based on our personal thoughts.  We approve writing based on if the subject is a concern for the BBW / SSBBW / BHM Community.  Thank you for your writing and please send in those articles!  - The Large in Charge Staff

YOUR PICTURE and Story HERE!

We love our guest writers, they help us to make LargeInCharge more personal and reader friendly place.  We bring the people words from there own peers.  If you always wanted to write but never knew what to do with your thoughts and opinions.  Send them in to us we love to feature you in our guest spot.

 

What type of entries do we accept?

  • Original Articles that have not been placed in publication.

  • Size Empowerment Stories

  • Discovery of Size Acceptance

  • Romance of Large Size

  • Poetry - at least 25 lines in length

  • Complaints about Society

  • Complaints about what is provided for Big People

  • Complaints about Health Care

  • Weight Loss Surgery Experiences

  • Dealing with Doctors

  • The Joy of being Big

  • Learning to Love yourself

  • etc.

How to Submit my Article for review?

  • Check your article for spelling and correct format, We do not edit articles.
  • Attach your article either in Word, Text Format, or in the Body of your email.
  • In your email send your Real Name, E-mail and Address (state, location).
  • Under your Name and Address include date, and the line. "I give www.largeincharge.com and there owners, permission to use my written article. I am submitting it for there use at their discretion."
  • Include a picture if you so wish in .jpg or .gif format and a brief description of yourself.
 

Send in your stories, poems, etc. to

articles@largeincharge.com

 

 

Ask Raqui

Ask your Questions and We will answer!

Send your question to Raqui - articles@largeincharge.com

NOTE: The Opinion of Raqui  is just that. I do not claim to be professional or to solve your problems.  I can however give you a real answer that may help you out.

Ask Raqui

Q: Hi Raqui I saw you at a party and you had some nice jeans on, Where do you get them? I am also a SSBBW and tall.

Debra

Raqui:  For a long time I didnt find jeans, but a friend of mine squeezed me into a pair of hers.  While at first they are a bit tight they losen up with wear and fit to your body. I get mine from www.Avenue.com  I get light weight jeans in size 32,  boot cut style to fit around my large calves. The ones I like the best have a jogging pants waist band. They are hard to find so I am always on the look out for them in stores and online.

Q:   There is a SSBBW I know who I asked out on a date. I want to make the night comfortable for her.  Give me some tips please.

Steven

Raqui: The one thing you want where every you go is room.  Check out the restaurant ahead of time.  Make sure they have large comfortable seats or wide booth seating.  The best are the kinds with booth seating on one side and a chair on the other.  She can sit in the booth and you can pull out the table to give her more room and sit in the chair.

 

Make sure you have a ride or cab money.  If she has problems walking don't make her walk more than she has to.  Most of all let her know anything she needs all she has to do is ask and that it is no trouble.

Q:   Givin you mad props for your mag. How can I get interviewed?

The One

Raqui:  Well one you have to be a person of size most of all, or a supporter of people of size for the Music section.  You have to be doing something for the plus sized community.  You can submit yourself for review by using the email at the top of this page.  Make sure you send all the information in about yourself, your company and contact information, and we will see if you are what we are looking for. 

Q:   Do you know of any BBW parties in Alabama?

 

Pretty Face

Raqui:  Sorry I don't have a listing for anything in Alabama.  If anyone knows of one please let me know.  You can check under BBW Parties on our menu to the left for one in an area your going to visit or near you.  Maybe you can go to one while your traveling.

 

 

Thank you for Reading Ask Raqui

Please send thoughts, comments and questions to

articles@largeincharge.com

Large In Charge

Fashion Furious

BBW/BHM Fashion of the Month

     We all hate how the Fashion Industry is just scratching the surface when it comes to Large Sized Fashion.  But I have found out that many clothing stores and online companies are beginning to take up the slack.  Creative BBW, SSBBW and BHM's are making there own clothing or mix matching and finding basic everyday wear and night club wear. 

     Making it affordable is what can be hard so showcase your wonderful finds here.  If your a regular shopper, sew your own clothing or a designer showcase your clothing here by submitting a picture for Fashion Furious of the month.

 

Fashion Furious of the Month

How to send in your Fashion Find. Send a Clear Picture as an attachment

and use the Format Below to describe your Fashion Furious picture.

Email to Raqui:  articles@largeincharge.com

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type: Cotton Jersey Long Shorts

Description: Cotton Jersey Long Shorts with full elastic waist and inside drawcord. Two side seam pockets, rear pocket. Cotton. Heather grey is cotton/polyester. Machine care. Imported.Tall inseam abt. 14", Big inseam abt. 12"
Save $10 on 2

 

I love these they are comfortable all year long for relaxing and sleeping.  They can be worn outside if you like shorts. I personally use them to sleep in during the warmer months.  Many colors to go along with shirts which can also be bought from this website.

 

King Size - www.kingsizecatalog.com
 

 

 

   

Send in your Fashion Furious Picture and Details to

articles@largeincharge.com

Large In Charge

Product of the Month!

What is good for Big Sized Bodies

 

    A very important and necessary part of LargeInCharge.  Find out what is helpful for big bodies.  Keep your self straight with some of our tips and tricks. Find out what other Big Sized people use to keep themselves smelling, feeling, looking, and living a proper life.  What kind of products are allowed. Anything that deal with the body. From cleaning aids to soap, lotions, powder, healing aids etc.  anything that can help a big body!

NOTE: The Opinion of those who submit items are not professional.  They are everyday people who found something that worked for them.  We are not held responsible for there opinion - The Large in Charge Staff

Send your favorite Item to be Product of the Month - Follow format below, include a picture of product (most can be found online) and Send to articles@largeincharge.com

Product of the Month

 

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product: Banana Boat Spray on Sun Block Sport SPF 50

Type of Product: Sun Block

Cost of Product: $10.00


Where Product can be found:
Rite Aid, Walgreens, K-mart etc. 

Description:
Banana Boat® UltraMist™ Sport sunblock goes on clear for quick-drying, rub-free coverage with one touch. It's non-greasy formula provides oil-free broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection so you can spray on and go!  Protect hard to reach places like your back!

  • Ultra Sweatproof. Waterproof
  • UVA & UVB Protection
  • Continuous Clear Spray
  • Rub-Free
  • Fast and Even Coverage


Why I like this Product: Let hit the beach this summer!  Or if your just out and about this product will protect you with its SPF 50 UV blocking system.  Easy to spray don't worry about places you cant reach just let the mist fall down on you and your done.  It really works!

 

 

Send in your Product recommendation to

articles@largeincharge.com

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