The Skinny ClubMy pattern of work behavior involves following g8s around and working wherever he works. I was generously offered a guest bartending spot at his new place of employ and now have a whole new place to have weird encounters with drunk people.
Last night was a pleasantly quiet evening and I got a chance to chat with some of the clientele. One particularly irritating man with virtually no concept of conversational protocol consumed the last couple of hours at the bar. He also thought it was perfectly normal to show us that he was wearing colorful flannel pajama bottoms underneath his pants.
Yesterday, as punishment for an unplanned night of debauchery, I forced myself in a hungover stupor to endure a painful spinning class early in the day. By midnight, my leg muscles were very weary and I stood behind the bar doing quad stretches when I found myself in this conversation with Mr. Pajamas.
"Why are you doing that?"
"My legs hurt from spinning class today."
"Why do you work out?"
"Uh. You know. To stay in shape. Stay healthy. Whatever."
I wasn't busy enough to end the conversation there so I indulged Mr. Pajamas and explained that I recently lost almost 40 pounds. It's not something I am wont to discuss unless I feel some sort of connection to a person. But, as I said, I was bored. So, why not?
I don't explain to people the real reason I lost so much weight. I don't explain that my brother got sick and went into the hospital and that I promised him I would get in shape again and that I would help him be healthy when he got out of the hospital. I certainly don't explain that my brother never got better. That he died. And that I plan to keep that weight off and work out and stay in shape for the rest of my life because it was the last promise I made to my brother whom I will never see again.
No. My explanation now is that I just ended a seven year relationship and I realized I am going to be naked in front of strange men again. So, I might as well try to look my best. It always gets a laugh.
Mr. Pajamas inappropriately asked me why I put on so much weight to begin with. I deflected that question and started to walk away but he persisted.
"Isn't it great?" he gushed. "Isn't it great to be skinny? I'm so glad to be skinny." As though we were both members of some exclusive club for people with the correct Body Mass Index.
I gave him a look that I hope he interpreted as, "You are a moron."
I have never been thin. I have never been a waif. I was thinnest when I first moved to the city. I put on weight and now I have lost it again, but I will never be mistaken for Nicole Richie. (Thank Freakin' God!) My closest friends have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging to me. I am happy that they are so happy for me. And, it really doesn't bother me that some people are so shocked when they see me now.
However, the comments I get from people that I have only known peripherally certainly give me pause. Things like, "Holy shit! How much weight have you lost?" And, "You look fantastic! I mean, you were always beautiful, but now. . ." Or, "Wow! I didn't even recognize you!" While these statements are certainly thrilling, I can't help but feel a little troubled. Not because I am offended but only because I am acutely aware now more than ever of how much we focus on body image and weight.
I am certainly grateful to have my membership to The Skinny Club reconsidered, but I am quite sure that the dues to be paid for admittance are probably not worth the price. Especially if the benefits of inclusion are mere delusions of self worth.
A Good Read.