It was a hot summer Saturday, a great day to get away from the steamy city and pay a visit to our good friends, Sal and Mary, at their cottage on a small inland lake. Two of the most hospitable people you’d ever hope to meet, their wine and their friendship flow like water and the welcome mat is
The lake was doing a pretty good job of keeping us cool. We waded, floated, swam, and dangled our feet off the dock while sipping Chardonnay.
The guys were the first to notice her... from the next cottage over gliding down the steps to the beach, flipping a ball in the water for her dog, waving in our direction while approaching our little group. A jet black swimsuit graced her stunning figure; generous bosom, slim hips, slight belly. Her long slender legs and arms were deeply tanned, wavy, ebony hair framed her beautiful face. Debra.
Sal poured her a glass of Chardonnay and introduced us. A few minutes later, as we were nattering along about the insufferable heat, Debra suddenly interjected, “Guess what... my husband thinks I’m fat!”
“What?” I said. “No way, you’re gorgeous!”
Clearly the boys agreed, neither Gary nor Sal could keep their eyes off her.
“No really, I mean it. He said I’m too fat and I need to lose a few pounds.”
Her husband, Roger, was in their cottage watching baseball on TV, no doubt munching chips while tossing back beers like there’s no tomorrow. We got a look at him later that afternoon down by his dock and considering the size of his beer gut, he has no right to judge.”
“He was joking, right?” chided Mary.
“No he was dead serious. And since I’m too fat I’m signing up for Nutra-System first thing Monday morning. We’ll see how he likes paying for that!” It had been a week since her husband’s nasty comment and she was still very upset. “I just can’t stop thinking about what he said, the bastard!”
I tried reasoning with her, told her it’s normal for women our age (fifty-something) to fill out a little and that nothing needs to be done about it... that diets don’t work in the long run and besides, she’s perfect just the way she is. Of course, she didn’t want to hear anything that I had to say... almost no one does. I’m not exactly an example of anything that she would want to emulate. I’m overweight. I don’t diet. I eat well every day and willingly accept the consequences.
But you can't have it both ways... staying uber-thin while also eating freely. The universal solution: jump on some sort of calorie restriction or food group elimination bandwagon that promises to drop 10 pounds in 2 weeks.
Most women in our culture would not be happy with their body the size it would be if left to its own devices... a little or maybe a lot fatter that the media images that dictate how we’re supposed to look; magazines and talk shows that blare claims about the latest brain-children of the diet industry; and in Debra’s case, more powerful that all of the above... shaming commentary by an inconsiderate and might I add blind husband.
Debra continued, “There’s a high-school reunion coming up and my favorite dress (no doubt a size 6) doesn’t fit and if I lose 10 pounds it will fit and then he’ll shut up. Yes, I’ll show him a thing or two!”
All I can say is if he were my husband... I’d show him a thing or two, too... I’d tell him, “I’ll show you how I can lose a whole lot of weight really fast!” Then I’d show him the door.