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* Nevada, your roadwork that stretched from one side of the state to the other and had Reno at a standstill made me circle all sorts of faces on my feelings charts, with the exception of the happy ones. You're not even doing anything in those constant fifteen mile stretches of orange road cans and DOUBLE PENALTY warning signs for driving over 55.
Oh, the f-bombs GP was dropping! Now, when we don't like something, we say, "Fuck you, Reno."
I was a normal-sized cub, but one of the Perpetually Sticky Panda Siblings was not. It seemed like almost overnight between the ages of five and six, he’d gone from a normal size to chunky. At the table, he’d shovel food into his mouth so fast that his cheeks would bulge and he’d start to choke. Our father refused to go to elementary school sporting events for this son, because he did not want to be known as the Father of the Fat Kid. He rarely attended any of our events, but for the rest of us it was borne of disinterest. For this cub, it was shame.
Accepting my heaviness as an adult has always been a challenge I could not surmount. At my worst moments, I avoided social events because I couldn’t stand people seeing how bad it had gotten. This isn’t me, yet it is. I felt that shiver again last month at a party, my pants the tiniest bit too tight and sixty people all there to witness. I stayed in my chair with my legs pushed under the tablecloth, damning myself for slacking off on the scale after months of frustration on the weight loss front. Everyone was very nice and I had a good time at the party, but having to stand up once and be introduced to all of those people made me cringe internally. Please don’t look at my pants.
Rereading this, it sounds so very shallow. But I am. Surrounded by wealthy professionals of average size, I took comfort that at least they couldn’t see my bank account or job history. Scientists and musicians and lawyers and artists, degrees and awards and vacation homes, and there was Gay Panda in their midst, a former Petsmart dog washer wearing tight pants and praying no one would ask which publishing house I’d gone with since self-publishing is not a respected answer. On every standard in that room from weight to real estate to education to financial success, I failed. I am used to this, being outdone in pretty much every arena by every person in my life, but putting a gloss* on a less-than-stellar educational history and career to save face in a social situation isn’t that hard. I can’t do the same with my weight. It’s just there.
It’s hard not to respond by becoming extremely perfectionist about what I eat, recording every ounce, every bite, every sniff. At least I control that! In my dreams, I’m shoveling candy in my mouth, my subconscious rebelling from the ligatures around my conscious mind. Yesterday I ate a small container of raspberries from Whole Foods and a slice of apple, and this morning I almost could not bring myself to weigh. Now I’d be retaining water from that amount of carbs, spiraling higher from so very little, and how could I have given in to the raspberries? Why the apple slice? Such sloth.
It served me right after all those mental gyrations and bad feelings and total ridiculousness that my Q was down to 196 flat. And while I could spend the next half hour summing up this post in some witty/thoughtful/asterisked way, I need to make breakfast for myself and a tray of jalapeno poppers for Lady Friend (sorry, Lady Friend) for making her Mr. President in that (most wonderful) game I learned from bloodorchid’s journal.
* I hate glossing up the truth. It feels so dishonest.
Truth: I have a bachelor's degree, and that is all. I could not stand the thought of taking out more loans to get my master's. I also had no idea what to get my master's in. People suggested creative writing, but I don't want to spend years reading classics. Yes, you can learn a lot from classics. But (at least for me) you can learn just as much from bad books. If you are a writer, read the bad ones, too. And study them very carefully to figure out why they were bad, and how they could have been made better. I tortured Lady Friend with a long diatribe about exactly WHY Twilight's ending was so bad, and I should probably make her a steak to go with those jalapeno poppers. She was very patient.
Truth: I make about ten to twenty dollars a month by writing. (Adjust that down a little with a return. The Kindle forums are fascinating. Apparently some people make a habit out of buying books, reading them very quickly, and then returning them for a refund.)