Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thinian & Fatlish, Part I

There's been a lot of blog-talk about how to talk Thin & how to stop talking Fat. The concern has applied to dating, & it's applied to life. So I'll take a stab at the subject in that order.

For those of Us who have been struggling against our weight -- or the many circumstances that Set Us Apart at a Too-Early Age (being too nerdy, being poor, whatever) -- for many years, we have to consider how much we missed out on. We are stunted, emotionally & socially, & not infrequently we're lagging professionally & financially. It takes years to catch up.

Thin girls learned to talk to boys at whatever age they started being interested in each other. They rode bikes down steep hills, no hands, together. They went to parties & played spin-the-bottle. They had crushes that changed every week. They had "boyfriends" in name only because they were too young to do anything more than use the term. They cheered boys on at basketball games. They went on their first date with one of the parents driving. They went to dances that included Sadie Hawkins.

When you become thin after the age of about 17, all this stuff is well past. Flirting has become a more intimate game with more extreme possibilities attached to it. So when you haven't started with the gonzo bike thrill or the I'll show you mine if you show me yours, how well will we flirt, let alone talk to a man?

If you look at the stuff I've listed as preliminary to grown-up dating, you'll see a lot of it is physical, a lot of it is joint-activity, a lot of it is public, a lot of it has no substance whatsoever. Some of it has the girls on the sidelines singing the school song.

There are some useful lessons here for those of Us catching up. When Dick & Jane are racing their sleds down Bald Mountain, they get to the bottom, possibly in a heap, & talk about how fast, how cold, how deft the ride was. When Dick & Jane party down with Nan & Bert, Freddie & Flossie, Jo & Laurie in the Bobbsey basement, & Laurie decides he wants to go "steady" with Flossie, they may never do more than walk home from school together. Flossie, however, has learned that a "relationship" can be nothing more than a word.

As for "Fight, Mighty Possums, Fight!" the girls are learning enthusiasm, admiration, stand-by-your-man &...when not to need. Bert is tired from losing 101 - 98 to the Wolverines. He's depressed. He wants to hang out in the locker room with Freddie, Laurie & Dick.

& when Jo gets to see Bert, when she rides her Schwinn over on Saturday morning, she's going to be wreathed in smiles, maybe carrying brownies she got up extra early to bake, with suggestions of doing something that will take his mind, & his mind's body, off his defeat. A bike ride. A visit to the swimming hole. Bowling. That monster movie where she can clutch him & make him feel all protective & manly.

How do these lessons learned between the ages to 12 - 18 apply to Us?

Fat Girl Date Rules:

1. Meet with a plan to DO something. You're leaving the Planet of Fat, so try, if you can, to arrange a walk-&-talk or movie or something.

2. Do NOT talk about your weight loss or diet. If you have to invent something more important than your weight for conversation, do it. Make sure that, if it's a girly thing ("I love to knit") it can translate to a guy thing ("I made a gray cable sweater for my father last Christmas that you'd look great in!")

3. Talk to him about him. Tell him he looks great. Laugh at his jokes. Ask him questions.

4. Take him brownies. Or a CD you burned of sure-fire tunes. Take a pack of Black Jack gum or Sugar Babies so that you have something era-appropriate to laugh about in common. (You X-generationers & others will have to figure out your own version of this)

5. Look at the other men if you're in a lighted, public venue. You aren't doing this to drive insecurity into your date, you're doing it to remind you that ther are other men out there & to do some on-the-spot comparison shopping that may give you a better sense of whether you're truly attracted to your date or not.

6. Ask for advice in some area he knows more about than you. The last date I had was a man into "the Standards" -- the romantic songs of Rogers & Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, etc. He could go on at length about Rosemary Clooney versus Frank Sinatra. I was interested in it enough to think, "I wouldn't mind spending an evening letting him play me his favorite songs & dilating upon them."

7. When he asks about you, talk about your friends & plans & busy schedule. Have. A. Life.

8. Smile. A lot.

Do I follow all these rules? No. For one thing, when someone asks me what I do, it's kinda hard not to get into the weight-thing. I turn it back to dogs as quickly as possible, however, & to him. I don't take stuff but I might go in with an attitude that's the same as a box of rocks. I must find dried mushrooms for Tina or if we don't have potato pancakes, I'll die.

& when it's all said & done with, have something as delicious as fudge waiting for you at home. A book, a video, slippers, guilt-free computer gaming, uploading photos -- anything, even fudge itself -- so long as you're going home to something you like more than how much you think you should like this man.

Because a former fat girl will always think this is her last date, the only date, the end of the line. It can take two weeks to get over that way of thinking

If you liked him enough to see again, email or call him (try to get his machine) the next day & thank him for the lovely time & nriefly mention something you liked about him ("You made me laugh. I needed that.")

Then...let it go.

That's what girls who started dating at 12 years of age learned to do.
Nota bene: These rules are not The Rules. They only work when they become second nature to Us. They must be used as Our stomachs twist, we obsess, cry, & check our in-boxes 1500 times a day.
After about 10 years it gets easier.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Zorro the Humbled

I knew this business of staying with a new her was a bad idea. Why do you think I whined all morning that first day? I wasn't scared -- Zorro is never scared -- I was gentlt communicating my need to return to My Den and My Humans. That the she ignored me (she even told me to calm down and be quiet) should have prepared me for the days ahead.

Every day is the same. The she gets up and drinks the vile black drink and eats fire. Then the she tells us to get off the bed so she can flip it over, thus moving me, Zorro, from the pillow nest I have created. She puts the itchy-scrtchy loop on my nose and we all go outside. The daisy gets a cookie about every other step. I know what's going on. It's called farvoritism. But I, Zorro, do not deign to look back and beg for a teat as well.

I have retained that much dignity from the Zorro the Magnificent Days.

My Magnificence has diminished. It failed me at 4.37 p.m. on Sunday, August 12th, now many years ago.

I was walking around the dog run, granting one whiff of my magnificent butt to those dogs courageous enough to seek my permission, when I looked over at the she flinging a ball across the dog run for the daisy. The daisy --

the daisy! My God, the daisy. Who would have imagined it? I'd spent two nights with the daisy. We'd eaten Milk Bones and peanut butter together, shared ginger snaps, slept in the same bed. But it wasn't until I saw the daisy break out of the weeds with the ball in her mouth and come streaking like spilled honey back to her her that I felt my heart drop and my mouth go dry.
Perhaps it's because there is honey in my ginger snaps. Perhaps the she put something in my Alpo, an aphrodaisyac, say.

Whatever. I, Zorro, watched my magnificent and regal aloofness drop like the ball the daisy spat out at the hers feet. I am in love.

I am ashamed.

What makes this daisy different from the hero or the mellie? There are plenty of females for Zorro to take without having to beg, let alone be yelled at.

Hey! the daisy said when I mounted her with my one shred of magnificence in the ready. I am my own bitch! Get. Off.
The daisy is not namby-pamby about what she needs. She does not whine. She does not give in. She does not submit. I respect this in her...up to a point.

Worse, she is a flirt, always running up to humans and pawing at them for love, and sleeping in such a way that makes me, Zorro, feel like a dog leashed three inches away from a steak. The daisy is asking for it, if you ask me.

Which, of course, if you were asking the question at all, you would come to me, Zorro, for the correct answer.

Despite my running after her (I, Zorro, do not run) and despite my magnificence at her beck and bark, she insulted me and humiliated me. There were bichons present! Papillons. Worst of all, a sharpei, with whom I share half my magnificent bloodline with.

The sharpei sniggered. Oh, he tried to hide it by sitting next to his Him and ignoring me, but I saw the curl of his right jowel.

After one or two more attempts at expressing my diminishing magnificence on the way back to the daisy's den, I gave up. I decided to play it cool. I studied up on How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You but I did this secretly, in the bathroom and on the couch at night, disdaining the Bed of Shame where the she and the daisy slept in innocent peace. I walked around the dog run biting my lip in shame but not getting any closer to the daisy than I had to be when we're on leash. I watched the boomer try to make love to the daisy. My mouth tasted like fire but I soon saw that the daisy either ignored the boomer, sat down or snapped her usual line about not being anyone's bitch.

I watched her with the hero, however. The daisy is clearly in love with the hero. They often sleep together. But while the hero is not in love with the daisy, the hero is obsessed with the mabel, the Pomeranian across the street who looked up at me from the corner of her eye and winked. I may be little, she seemed to say, but I know the zorro is head-over-paws.
The humiliation will never end.

Today, after many years of ignoring the daisy, I made one more attempt to secure her adoration. When the izzie border collie jumped out to nip at the daisy fetching the ball, I, Zorro, stepped in to save the daisy from this annoyance. (I, Zorro, must tell the truth. Hero did it first but not effectively. I am nothing if not efficient.)

Did the daisy thank me? No. The daisy only spat the ball at her her's feet and demanded that she throw it again. Thank God the daisy didn't thank the boomer for growling at the izzie. And the daisy's she pulled the boomer off the daisy when he tried to make love to her.
Hope flared! Perhaps the she pulled the boomer off because she knows I am the only one magnificent enough for the daisy!

Hope deflated. The daisy told me to get off and the she told me "no" and then kept the mellie and the hero in between me and the delicious, beautiful daisy.

I refused the cookie the she offered me half way to the mellie's house. Whatever shreds of magnificence I have left must be preserved.

But they are only shreds and I am reduced.

I took the cookie the she offered me a mere block away.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I, Zorro

They hauled me from sleep and dragged me out the door in a driving rain for a long walk with suitcases and rushed conversation, then met a her outside a door, handed over bags of my food and snacks and left.

They left! I, Zorro the Magnificent, was abandoned by Them to a her I've barely acknowledged the existence of and she pulled me into this small dark den where, apparently, dogs come and go.

Especially Labradors.

I, Zorro, am not a Labrador. I am Magnificent. When you are magnificent, you ask only for the occasional scratching of the ears and chin, your Big Milk Bone with Peanut butter, a couple of gingersnaps, your choice of furniture, a can of beef and gravy, and to be allowed to go wherever you want at whatever speed you want.

When you are Magnificent, you must be allowed to walk among your kind and among humans at will in order to show them how little you care.

But no. They left me with this her and many Labs. There is the daisy one who insists on sleeping next to her head (pathetic: human feet is where the truly Magnificent sleep) & always wants a belly rub or a ball thrown or strange humans to say they love her. She's here all the time so far. I think she may own this Her.

Then there is the boomer one I was forced to walk with in the rain yesterday. He is clearly in love with the daisy one, poor sap. He kept kissing her, if you can believe it. I kept myself apart by pulling harder at whatever direction this sad little group was going.

This she gave me no peace. She took me into the daisy's den again -- along with a hero Lab and a henry Lab. The daisy put her nose up in the air and stalked off in high dudgeon. (I can respect that. I am Magnificent and therefore recognize scraps of Magnificence in others. But she's still too lovey-dovey and screeches like a hyena for that ball.) The hero took the best couch, leaving me to wander around after the she and to bark at the henry who kept {shivers} getting close to me.

You cannot see a portrait of me, Zorro the Magnificent, because the henry ate part of the portrait-maker. Something about flossing his teeth. This henry is below contempt. I don't know why they don't take all young dogs off to Alberta until they mature. They might even train them to be Magnficent. Although never, of course, as Magnificent as I. I am the Most Magnificent, and the First Magnificent, and the Paragon of Magnificence.

The best the henry will ever be is older. Perhaps when he's twelve he won't feel the need to constantly badger every living thing with a squeaky toy until they take it away and he can jump on them and bite their necks.

But even the hero is a slut for this love business, rolling over on her back as if she'll die if the she doesn't scratch her belly. And the henry positively giggles when he gets a belly rub.

It is truly pathetic.

I do not know why the she didn't let me eat the daisy's dinner. I could easily have done so in a much more expeditious way than the daisy. More with the hauling. My collar has never gotten so much work before.

Today dawned dry and sunny and the she brought out a torture device that wraps around my -- Zorro the Magnificent's -- nose. I am no longer able to apply the necessary pressure to go where I want. Instead of looking Magnificent, I now look like a circus pony. The she has yet to learn you cannot control Zorro the Magnificent.

To top off the unfairness of it all, the she left me with the daisy for over two hours today, although she had the courtesy to serve me my Milk Bone and peanut butter first (as well as one to the daisy: did my Him say that was allowed? Why was I not consulted on this business of sharing?) The she put another collar on me before she left. This one smells like a skunk that's walked through the perfume aisle if I bark.

As if I, Zorro, ever bark unless it's absolutely necessary.

I think this she is obsessed with collars.

I've managed a couple pieces of the her's chicken so far. The daisy gets the yogurt containers when the she is finished with them. These are two things that will have to change before I, Zorro, allow myself to feel comfortable here. The she says it's for nine days. She doesn't understand that for Zorro, a "day" means nothing. There is only Now.

At least I get the good couch Now.

Perhaps they are beginning to recognize my Magnificence.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oh, great...

I decided to 1) add a feed so that anyone who wanted to be informed of my latest -- fairly infrequent -- postings could have an alert sent, and b) change the font across the cherry blossoms to black.

I managed it. But all of the posts disappeared.

You can still read comments, however. {Sick giggle here.}

This is not the post I meant to write. I want to write about it being Day 3 of no sugar, no flour. I want to say that my mantra right now is "It'll get easier." I want to say that I have to think very clearly about what I need to do each day so that I don't hit the Eight O'clock Wall being disappointed in myself. Today I've chosen hacking up a few vegetables, minimal grocery shopping & one load of laundry. Those chores + doing well by the dogs and an abstinent breakfast and lunch are my bar for saying, "You did what you set out to do. Good show, old girl."

I had a grand but very wicked laugh this morning in the dog run. Brooklyn Heights is the world headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are nice people, good neighbors in their way...but also easy to make fun of.

Tons of Witnesses come to Heights not only to serve in the Witness Protection Program they run out of the priciest real estate in the neighborhood, but to visit. It's Mecca, Rome, Salt Lake City.

Some kids were coming out of one of the buildings all dressed up in little suits and dresses with sashes. They skipped across the street to look at the dogs. "Hey, doggie," one of them cried and Boomer charged the fence, barking huskily. It Bad of me to laugh. But I laughed.

So, thank you Blogspot for emptying out my precious words. Maybe this will prompt me to write more often. I'd like to use this more like I used to do my Julia Cameron Morning Pages, which I don't have time for. Maybe I'll be profound or maybe I'll talk about dogs.

Now I'm going to try to sneak out of here to throw laundry in the wash.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Trigger[s] -- the Smartest Horse in the West

This is a blog I don't want to write. I've put it off, & then put it off some more. Coincidentally or not, my reasons for not wanting to blog have not abated -- or abated only enough to risk talking about them.

How `bout that latest study on obesity, the one that says it's catching?

That shut me up. I felt like Typhoid Mary: if I talked about Night Sugar I risked spreading the disease.

Or the few times I've felt chastised here: what X or Y think, even if X or Y don't comment. & I don't believe in suppressing comments.

I think about this stuff & -- surprise! A new trigger is found, as well as more reasons to isolate myself from the world.

I've been doing that all over the place lately. I have sound reasons -- 9 p.m. is way to late for me to meet someone with atomic energy; I've had extra & very difficult dogs; I'm swimming upstream on chapter four still. But it comes down to exactly the same thing: people have extended their interest in being with me & I've cancelled at least five times in the last couple of months. One reason I cancel is that I don't want anyone to see me. I'm a mess in general & on a good day no thinner than the last time my friends have seen me. Then the guilt sets in, along with the relief, &...

another trigger appears.

I'm as much a nanny as a walker for my dogs & it seems I'm on call a lot. Emergency overnights, frantic 9 o'clock walks (I'm pretty much trying to go to bed at 9), messages on my machine a couple of hours before I'll need to see the dog. It's hard, if not impossible, to get enough time together to write anything (my book, a post, an email) or do serious housework. By Saturday I'm slack-jawed & it's Sunday that I have the wherewithall to sit for hours with the book.

I feel I have little control, aside from saying no to money I need desperately & risking the loyalty of my clients who depend on me, over my time & energy. I get home between 5.30 - 7.30 after a couple of steady hours of walking dogs & have to buckaroo with Frustration & Not Enough, two more...


I'm full of some emotion[s]. Dunno what what it/they is/are. Don't wanna know. Don't have TIME to know or feel them or deal with them. What better than food to make sure they don't get a chance to surface?

So, yeah: I've been eating. There you go. Simple three-word sentence.

The last two days have been clean of sugar & flour, by the grace of self-disgust. I try every few hours to remember what I've invested in my abstinence so far. Breakfast, dishes, brushing my teeth, anti-depressents; lunch, dishes, doing well by the dogs. It's night that gets me, & it's night + klonopin that kills me.

I've been struggling with this, not simply giving into it. I have a better chance of getting through the Night Triggers if I keep my list-of-things-to-do very simple. It gives less to beat myself up with when, at 8 o'clcock & I'm beat & disappointed & insufficient & lonely, I haven't overwhelmed myself.

Although I perpetually do this simply because my days -- like yours -- are moving targets. "Can you walk Roger?" Sure: no problem (except it's hot & steamy out & that walk will drain 15 minutes of alertness later as well as put off this or that chore). I have to school myself in unpredictability. I can't afford to say no.

It's a matter of a few hours, really. I rarely eat flour or sugar during the day because it makes me too sleepy to handle Boomer when he sees the akita or Roger when he hears the voices in his head. I don't even head for the sugar at dusk. I want it last of all.

I suppose everyone wants their lover coiled around, next to or in them as they fall asleep.