98 thoughts on “Confidentially”

  1. SNERK!!!!!!!!

    Nope, the key to happiness to to love yourself as you are, enjoy life and surround yourself with wonderful friends and family who share it with you.

  2. OMG..

    How do you guys know how ppl found you through Google?

    No, it wasn’t me but I kinda feel like that sometimes..

  3. If by “your being thin” they mean my, Katia’s, being thin, then poor things, they probably aren’t going be very happy very fast.

  4. Although, on a more serious note, I’m glad that the person happened on Shapely Prose as a result of that search. Maybe it will help!

  5. killedbyllamas, worry not. That happens ALL the time to me. My damn parents and their need to name me something weird!!

    And, if I was of an age to run, I would totally give it a try. I mean, on a platform of rock music and hot sex, how could I lose?!!

  6. Katia – LOL!

    I agree with OTM that it’s kinda awesome that someone googling for info on ‘thin=happy’ can stumble upon Shapely Prose :)

  7. JR, WordPress has a dashboard that lets us see things like daily hits, incoming links, and the like. One thing it shows you is what people have been looking for in search engines that got them to you. Here’s yesterday’s list:

    shapely prose
    kate harding
    shapley prose
    fat woman
    haircuts for fat women
    the key to happiness is your being thin
    intuitive eating
    “shapely prose”
    kate harding’s shapely prose

    My favorite thing is seeing how many people misspell “shapely” as “shapley.” For some reason it always cracks me up. Shapley!

  8. I still get the most hits from people searching for “Mischa Barton,” whom I mentioned once in passing in a post about something else entirely, like months and months (maybe even almost a year) ago. The comments on that thread were also my all time favorite because of how astoundingly stupid and single minded these Mischa Barton fans are.

  9. Now that I’ve posted that comment, SP is going to be overrun by people angry at Kate Harding for saying that Mischa Barton is astounding stupid and single minded.

  10. @Sweet Machine – That’s pretty cool. Maybe you could do a weekly round up of the strange search terms that have recently led people here.

  11. Danger when mentioning celebrities in blogs: their rabid fans will stalk you.

    I learned this early in my blogging experience, by slagging some crappy folk duo from Connecticut, and getting hate e-mail from their best friend and only fan. Good times.

  12. I know! And the thing is, I wasn’t slagging her off. I didn’t even know who the fuck Mischa Barton was other than “somebody famous.” But some stupid gossip rag referred to her as “pear shaped” and offered clothing advice on how she could minimize her “figure flaws” and I posted and basically said that was horseshit. Cue a bazillion fans of that TV show she was on flocking to my site and calling me a jealous bitch for calling Mischa Barton fat. It was bizarre.

  13. Ok, I just read the Mischa Barton post too, and omg too funny!
    My reeding comprehenshun. Let me show u it.

  14. As someone who’s been several degrees of “thin” at various times in my life, let me assure the random searcher:

    Being thin never made me happy. It just made me thin.

    Sadly, it did take me years and years of self-hatred to realize the difference.

    Finally, I must agree with shinobi: Red Velvet cake may not be THE key to happiness, but it’s got to be high on the list of possibles. Mmm.

  15. Oh, lordie, red velvet cake. *DROOL*

    And, Tari, I sympathize on the name. I grew up in Georgia where my name was constantly, no matter how many times I corrected it, spelled Mary Ann on the first day of school. And for an indeterminate amount of time AFTER the first day. Grrr.

  16. Actually, what I find myself most impressed with here is the correct use of “your” in that query. It seems to me that the more common construction of that sentiment would be, “the key to happiness is being thin.” I’m going to ponder that for a while because I think that “your” says a lot about the person.

    In addition, I do hope they found what they were looking for here, because they could also have been using Google to do am “am I right about this statement” check. It’s like when people put in “wierd” and then put in “weird” to see which one gets more hits, and therefore is the correct spelling (disregarding that Google actually DOES correct your spelling now).

  17. I have a book review site for YA fantasy and science fiction (and the adult stuff about 40% of the time) and here are my top search terms from the last week:

    computers internet blog
    benefits of
    400 price
    where can I read battle of the labyrinth

    Of the whole mess, only the last one even has anything to do with f/sf books, as far as I can tell, and my website can’t answer that question (other than ‘the library’).

    So yeah, search terms are weird.

  18. Huh! What’s the grammar rule that makes “your being thin” correct and “being thin” incorrect. Honestly asking because I don’t know that one.

  19. SM, do you have to have some sort of WordPress plugin to capture that search-term information? Sorry to go OT. Oh, I should mention that Mischa Barton asked me to ask you. Back on topic. ;-)

  20. We’d have to call California Pizza Kitchen for the red velvet cake recipe. (And we probably should, they put vanilla bean in the frosting. mmmmm)

  21. Hmm, you don’t have an email that pings all three of you. I read this story: http://tinyurl.com/6o3h5f

    It was on the AP and is about how airlines treat “customers of size”. I am interested in you all’s take on this.


  22. I like that googling that brings you to The Fantasy of Being Thin, which is one of the greatest Fat Acceptance posts ever. It’s like, getting into the basics. The 101 course. I can’t think of a better post to read after googling that particular thought.

    And now your search alert will show it again. because I just googled it and decided to re-read the post, so my search brought me to your site as well.

  23. Oh, no, no, A Sarah. Sorry! I wasn’t implying that the “being thin” version was grammatically incorrect.

    I’ll try again. What I meant was that the use of the possessive pronoun “your” in front of a gerund, while totally grammatically correct, is very uncommon nowadays. Moreover, when people do go ahead and use it, they are usually thinking of the wrong word, which is clear when they write “you’re” instead of “your.”

    So, it’s just been my experience that contemporary speakers of English tend to leave that pronoun out when expressing such sentiments. Instead of “the key to happiness is your being thin,” they say, “the key to happiness is being thin.”

    Both are grammatically correct (although they do mean ever so slightly different things). The first is just less common, and often misused. Our Googler not only used it, but used it correctly. I find that just the tiniest bit telling. Sorry for the confusion.

  24. I’m moderately amused by how googling the phrase indeed shows up Shapely Prose as the second hit, and bolds the phrases ‘being thin’ and ‘the key to happiness’…. in a completely different context.

    I thought Google prided themselves on contextual search indexing… oops.

  25. Oh and just because I am challenged today and couldn’t get a whole thought into one comment, I didn’t see a lot of fatophobia in it, but am not as tuned in to it as you all are. You pick up on a lot of overt and covert discrimination that seems to just bypass me. I am trying to be more in tune though.

  26. …and since I’m still here, LauraAnne, I, for one, don’t think the Google search was necessarily fatophobic at all. I’m just wondering if the person was actually trying to find the answer to the question, “Is the key to happiness being thin?” Because, you know, it isn’t.

  27. Oh er – I meant in the article I linked to. You mean there isn’t a web-to-brain link here that would have my thought clearer?

    I’m totally thread-jacking. And rambling. As it occurs to me now that I could have sent an email to the three of them at the same time. *facepalm*

    Never mind me. I’m having a Wednesday.

  28. Ahhhhhhh, atiton, I see. And I love you for using the word “gerund” in a conversation. :) I do that too. But not with as much understanding, I think, lol.

  29. I have to tell you: every single day I get about 100 pageviews simply from people doing searches for “Richard Simmons.”

    This continues to perplex and amaze me.

  30. Does LiveJournal have the same thing as wordpress to see how ppl found you?

    Also LMAO @ LauraAnne;
    “I’m having a Wednesday”

    I think I’ll use that one if you don’t mind.


  31. The key to happiness is MY being thin?!


    *eats baby-flavored donut, sending misery vibes ACROSS THE GLOBE*

  32. There is no key to happiness, because happiness is not locked.

    Ooooooh. That’s, like, quote-under-your-yearbook-photo good.


  33. Yeah!

    That’s, like, not-wasting-your-life-trying-to-meet-a-standard-set-by-
    people-who-have-no-vested-interest-in-your-being-happy good!

  34. You rock, buttercup.

    Once upon a time, I did get thin, and not only did I not get happy, I got depressed. I’m not blaming the thinness for the depression, although I’m certain the sudden attention from men I’d known for years and the remarks like, “I didn’t want to say this when you were fat, but I couldn’t believe you went out like that” didn’t help. But there you are. I was thin, and I was depressed.

    Years later, after having a kid, which rearranged my thinking about what’s important in life, I’m fat, self-confident, and happy. So, I guess I could say, “The key to happiness is having a kid . . . my kid, in particular.” But that would be silly.

    And who knows what the next phase will bring? But unconditional self-love is key, though hard to attain.

  35. Silly searchers: The key to happiness runs on batteries and buzzes quietly in your sock drawer if you forget to turn it off. ;)

    You don’t gotta be thin for that!

  36. Shinobi said:

    We’d have to call California Pizza Kitchen for the red velvet cake recipe. (And we probably should, they put vanilla bean in the frosting. mmmmm)

    Hmmm. I don’t know if we can wrangle the recipe out of CPK, but I have one that would make the most hardened Red Velvet Hater cry with joy.

    Let me dig it up. I love to share the Red Velvet Love.

  37. “There is no key to happiness, because happiness is not locked.”

    I throughly LOVE that… I thought instantly to have it tattooed on my thighs cuz it’s a problem area for me(in mind, not actually they do exactly what they were meant to do)

    Then I thought of the implications of that… and realized that was not the image I wanted to portray in public lol

  38. Tari – you forgot chocolate! and puppies. ;) But I concur on the rock music and hot sex. woo hoo!

  39. It cracks me up some of the phrases that bring people to certain blogs. One phrase that I KEEP getting is “How not to lose my breath when running”. Granted I HAVE made a post about that since I kept getting that search term but honestly; I am the LAST person you want telling you how to run better. I don’t run. I run only when chased…by something big…with sharp teeth (or 8 legs…freaky little spider bastards creep me out) ;)

    “There is no key to happiness, because happiness is not locked.”

    LOVE. I’d add though that not only is happiness not locked; but there are many open doorways through which you can enter. This isn’t only one path to happiness; and YMMV. ^^

    For me, yeah hot sex, good books and ridged potato chips (no, not all at the same time…although…hmmm) lead to happy :D

  40. I’ve been lurking here for a while, enjoying the posts and the discussions. It took Red Velvet Cake to bring me out of the shadows. Here’s my mother’s recipe. She made it every year at Christmas until she died eleven years ago, and now I make it. The mixing of this cake requires several bowls, and when I finish it looks like someone has been brutally murdered in my kitchen. I’m a messy baker.

    Red Velvet Cake (according to Carla)

    30 minutes at 350 degrees

    1/2 cup butter
    2 eggs
    1tbs vanilla
    1tsp salt
    2 1/2 cups cake flour
    1 tbs vinegar
    1 1/2 cups white sugar
    2 oz red food coloring
    2 tbs cocoa
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 tsp baking soda

    Mix vinegar and soda in small cup and let it stand.

    Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Make paste from cocoa and half of the food coloring and add to creamed mixture. Add rest of food coloring. Sift flour and salt three times. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to creamed mixture. Beat thoroughly. Add half of buttermilk. Beat thoroughly. Add another 1/3 of flour and beat. Add rest of buttermilk and beat. Add remaining flour, soda and vinegar mixture and beat thoroughly. Add vanilla and beat.

    Makes 2 eight inch layers.


    Cream 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 cup butter until very fluffy. Add 1 tbs vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt and cream thoroughly. Cook 3 tbs cornstarch and 1 1/2 cups of whole milk until thick. Cool completely–VERY IMPORTANT. Add to creamy base in small amounts, beating well after each addition. Ice cake and store in fridge.

  41. Like April D said, there are many paths to happiness. A romp in the lake with my big yellow mutt, the daily 9 AM super lovey kitty cuddle time with my little sweetie, dinner with my husband, a good book, cheesecake…

    Rather than waste our lives chasing a mirage we think will make everything SO perfect, we can instead learn to savor the little special moments in every day that used to pass us by when we were hungry, always counting, always measuring, always thinking about food, what to eat, when to eat it, how to eat it, etc. It locks you up in such an insidious way!

    The only “key” to happiness, is to go out every day, and live, really live life and wring every drop of pleasure out of it. You’ll never regret spending too little time counting and measuring. You just might regret turning down a slice of wedding cake because you thought the tag on the inside of your dress had too big a number on it.

    Eat the cake. Really.

  42. For those who seem privacy-weirded-out: the search terms that lead folks to your site are captured by the server for almost every site, and shown by almost every analytics programs (that’s the the one that tells you how many hits/pageviews/sessions/etc. you get). They’re not in any way *personally* linked to you. So if you got here by searching “the key to happiness is your being thin,” “baby-flavored doughnuts,” or “shapley prose,” we don’t know it’s you. Make up a name and join the party!*

    A message from your friendly fat (and fat-friendly!) IT professional.

    Also, I love the number of people referencing Target: Women :D

    *assuming, of course, a non-trollish attitude, and comments that don’t include “but being fat is bad for you!”

  43. LOL at Godless Heathen.

    I found this site by googling something like ‘I hate myself for being fat’ or something similar. I was obviously having a bad day.

    For us UK folks, what is red velvet cake?

  44. I was going to say that not having an antagonistic relationship with food was one of the keys to happiness, but it just made me imagine a muffin with an eyepatch brandishing a sword at me when I open the carton. Surprise me muffin!

  45. My favorite thing is seeing how many people misspell “shapely” as “shapley.”

    SM, makes me think SHIPLEY.

  46. Curvygirl–Red Velvet Cake is like an extreme chocolate cake, only it’s RED, which IMO gives it bonus points. It’s very rich and wonderful, my family makes it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays.

  47. Plus RVC is not over chocolaty, it just has a little in it. Which is key for me because I don’t really like chocolate after I nosh.

    It’s I-should-learn-to-bake good!

  48. sometimes it does seem as though MY being thin would be the key to others’ happiness…cause a ton of people act like they are upset over it…and that why they hate…

  49. curvygirl:

    Red velvet cake is a chocolate cake made with the extra added ingredient of an entire bottle of red food coloring (for the scratch recipe). Yum!

  50. Kittens! Also hallucinogens.

    But being thin just made me mean. Cuz hungry people are bitchy!

  51. Tobermory: Oh my god, are you actually from/at/around Tobermory?

    Sorry to be stalkerish, but I am so so so jealous. :)

  52. Also, red velvet cake is traditionally a U.S. Southern food, though it’s become quite popular in the northeast over the last decade, thanks perhaps to Magnolia Bakery in NYC. I first learned about red velvet cake from Dorothy Allison’s essay in Cookin’ with Honey, where she also gives the advice that someone who’s too fastidious about what they eat–the cake used to be made with a food dye that was outlawed for being carcinogenic–will be no fun at all in bed.

  53. Personally, I believe that the key to happiness is rock music and hot sex.

    And as my husband says, with enough of both those, who needs drugs?

    (Apart, of course, from theobromine, which is where the Red Velvet Cake comes in. Had heard of it but not yet tried it…thanks for enlightening me and thank YOU in particular, Carla. If you hear strong language coming from the kitchen, it is, as always, me baking. Nom.)

  54. Okay, now the pregnant woman needs CAKE.

    Good thing there’s a bakery nearby I’ve been dying to visit since we moved in last week.

    I’ll let you all know what the key to happiness (a la Andro’s) is when I return.

  55. Vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream, and a layer of chocolate ganache on top. In case you were wondering.

  56. If I hadn’t just had Boston Blackies would totally want that nightgigjo. Seriously, Huge hamburger, and gigantic potato skins. Stuffed!

  57. Mmmm…..red velvet cake is my fave. My grandma had a recipe that was amazing. But in a contest between rock music/hot sex and cake….uh, no contest, and pass the guitar…

  58. For me, there’s a real link between red velvet cake and happiness… it was the top layer of my husband’s and my wedding cake! :) And the CPK version is quite good. Hmmmm. I have been craving a BBQ chicken chopped salad… hmmm… dinner questions may be solved!

  59. Q Godless Heathen;
    “Silly searchers: The key to happiness runs on batteries and buzzes quietly in your sock drawer if you forget to turn it off. ;)

    You don’t gotta be thin for that!”

    Holy HECK!!!

    That was one of the most wonderful and smart comments I’ve read in a while!!!

    Although I was pretty partial to those at first, given my Hubby has never satisfied me even after 8 years (AND I’ve lost 100 pounds and have more problems in my life than ever before and my depression got worse with vision problems as well. So, no, thin(ner) does not equal happy).

    I’m looking into getting one of those as soon as I have money, hopefully very, very soon!!!

  60. @GodlessHeathen – *snort* missed that the first time, and yes. I’m regretting throwing out the old one, even if it was kind of broken, without replacing it Right Then.

    @ConcernedCitizen – Sometimes just the variety is good, even if the rest of Teh Sex Life is perfectly satisfactory. (Sometimes I just want to be alone, ya know?)

  61. meowser:

    It seems like there also needs to be a Shapely Prose Cookbook, bound up like those church social, Junior League cookbooks that they sell to fundraise.

    Recipe 1: Baby flavored donuts
    Recipe 2: Red Velvet Cake with vanilla frosting and baby sprinkles

  62. Concerned Citizen,
    I highly recommend Fun Factory toys. They are usually nicely designed in addition to doing their job. (I don’t like lots of laytex man parts laying around, personally, it creeps me out.)

  63. Shinobi, I’m stealing your suggestion, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s a bit disconcerted by the anatomically correct ones!

  64. Thanks for the birthday wishes! My birthday is 8/8/08 this year, I’m getting such a kick out of that.

    All this talk about cake make me glad that I’m going to be chowing down on some yummy b-day cake today!

  65. Count me in on voting the key to happiness as being a trip to the local sex toy store (with or without partner) – and I also vote for Fun Factory – followed about six months later by a trip to the local pawn shop for that beat up old Fender six string you’ve had your closet-rock-star’s eye on….


    ….or whatever that discussion started out as. ;)

  66. …followed about six months later by a trip to the local pawn shop for that beat up old Fender six string you’ve had your closet-rock-star’s eye on….

    But of course. Guitarists do it with a strap on.

    (Sorry, old one but couldn’t resist that…)

  67. i will admit that i googled something along the lines of happiness and thin, and up popped the fantasy of being thin. saved me from a deep pit of despair i had crawled in a few months before. got me back to the i don’t care, not your business self i was before the pit. i hope it does the same for many others out there. this site is a lifesaver.

  68. Fun Factory? Never heard of ’em, but I’ll look into it.

    My site of choice is tootimid.com – they’re fast, discreet, and send me emails with offers for free things. Not crappy free things either – I got a ~$50 vibe for free two months ago.

    @bellacoker: I would totally be up to give recipes for a cookbook. Seriously. I make awesome cookies that must be shared. Chocolate-white chocolate-butterscotch chip, with ground oatmeal in for part of the flour. Mmm.

  69. 4thing, or is it 5thing now? the Fun Factory recommendation! Goodvibes is where I get my gear, they’re fairly good with customer service and have tons of information on the site. Sometimes you can get a good packaged deal, though they’re not always the cheapest store around.

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