Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mama said I am fat

So the other day my mother kind of took me to the top of the tallest building in Dubia, let me chill there for a bit and enjoy the view, then she pushed me over the edge. I am still reeling.

Mom: You are so beautiful my child.
Me: Ooooh! Thank you!
Mom: Pity you are so fat.

Could the world stop just a minute? I would like to disembark for a bit.

My mom was not lying; but everyone hates hearing one of the worst things they think about themselves being confirmed by someone else. It’s like when you are on the verge of breaking up with a boyfriend and he breaks up with you first.

To be frank, I have been pretty OK with my weight. So, I'm not svelte with a thigh-gap and perky boobs, but I have the love of a great man, I have a job I like and I have a wonderful family. That seriously is all I want from life.

But recently, I have been feeling the pressure from EVERYWHERE. Random people comment on my weight, I HATE going clothes shopping because of the pitying look from sales girls and the plainly terrified looks from boutique owners.

My partner has been pretty cool about my weight seesaw. When I went on a health kick because I had to be fit for health purposes he bought me a bunch of exercise DVDs because I asked for them. I really did enjoy them. But then I got sick again and had to slack off the exercise; which meant I completely lost the plot and haven’t done any exercises in a long time.

So now (after my mom's brutality, the infrequency of cat calls from construction workers, the sensitivity to Tweets about “fat chicks, and the desire to stand happily in front of a mirror without grabbing hold of errant excess flash and squeezing it), I'm going to have to make a lifestyle change.


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Short Story - Falling

He was the kind who hung around the walls, leaning against a doorjamb here and there, skirting the edges of the room with an intent look in his eyes. I had been watching him as he nursed a glass with a splash of amber liquid; it pleased me that he did not add anything to his hard liquor. I had witnessed too many men lurching towards my bathroom with their glasses of rum and cola held precariously aloft. I shudder to think what the bathroom will be like at the end of this party.

Back to Broody over there by the kitchen door; why did he keep moving along the wall? He wasn't taking to anyone. He seemed to be trying to catch the attention of a flamboyantly-dressed gyrating guest on the dance floor. Ah, so he was KB’s friend. KB was metrosexual to excruciating heights. He took fashion advice from gay guys and carried a manbag. He was also my best friend in the world but picked up these random friends with startling regularity. I would schedule a lunch date with him, burning to talk to someone about whatever strife befell a 30-something-year-old and he would have invited someone along. All his friends had names that ended with exclamation marks; you know, Todd! Andrew! Siya! Lisa! It was quite exhausting to keep up with the strays he collected.

So if Broody (!) was his one of his rescues, it would be better to lose interest in him right now. Except now he has caught me staring at him. Oh dear, my grandmother was renowned for her ‘eyes met across a crowded room’ stories. Every man she ever fell in love with (before and after grandpa) she had fallen in love with his eyes across a crowded room. That first exchange of looks with Broody (!) was enough to convince me to believe one of my grandmother’s stories. He might as well have reached out and grabbed me by my hand and pulled me to him. Before the thought could register I was sashaying across the crowded room, sucking my tummy in and daring him to look away from me while I was headed for him. He didn't relinquish our look; his facial expression didn't change as he calmly waited for me to reach him.

“Excuse me,” I moved around him and disappeared into the kitchen.

Well, obviously I’m not the sex bomb I thought myself a minute ago. I was sure I was going to go up to him and say something inane like, “it’s rude to stare you know”. In the twenty or so steps it took to reach him, I had concocted the entire conversation we were to have in my head. I would be witty and funny and he would be suave and mysterious. On the last step I decided it would be better if that conversation stayed in my head.

“Shit, shit, shit!” I muttered as I busied myself with opening another bottle of red wine, which thankfully, was really running low on the drinks table.

“I’ll open that for you if you’re having trouble,” said an incredibly sexy voice behind me.

I turned around and there was Broody (!) leaning on the kitchen counter. Maybe he had a balance problem that compels him to lean?  Gently easing the cork out of the bottle I smiled my hostess smile; “Thanks, I’ve got it.”

“So you’re the hostess?”
“Yes, I’m Angela,” I extended my hand.
“Pleased to meet you, I’m Steven” (!)?  He had a rather perfunctory handshake.
“You came with KB right?” I already knew the answer to that. I’m an idiot, and my dress is ugly, and I’m painfully single.
“Yeah, thanks for having me despite the lack of invite; KB tends to drag people everywhere without much thought of whether or not he ought to” he said, reaching out for all the world like it was his house and plucking a wine glass somewhere above my head. I giggle nervously because I probably knew KB better than him and didn’t want to confirm that he was indeed a spare.
“I noticed earlier that you were drinking the red, so may I pour you a glass?”

When had he noticed? Had I been laughing too loudly at the time? Oh God! “No that’s alright, I’ve moved on to water, I monitor my alcohol intake very strictly,” I said somewhat severely.

He blinked and focused a surveying look on my ample curves. Oh fantastic, he is probably thinking ‘rightly so’. It was time to put a stop to this entire botched flirtation. Steven (he didn’t sound like he pronounced his name with an exclamation mark) was an attractive, sexy-voiced man and I was way out of my depth. Witty was absent and funny had left the building; time to return to hostess mode.

“”Let me take this bottle out to the party, I hope you have a good night, let me know if you need anything,” I flashed a vague smile and left him.


“Great party as always angel,” boomed KB as he made for the door, the last person to leave. At least he had the decency to help me stack the dirty glasses in their crates and perfume some rudimentary cleanup before leaving.
“What happened to Steven, I thought he came with you?” I asked, trying to sound casual.
“HOHO!” he pounced. As I had been afraid he would.
“Got a little crush have we? Forget it sweetie, he’s so boring I had to beg him to come to this party. Workaholic. Anyway, we came in separate cars,” he blew me a kiss and shut the door.

Great, a boring workaholic is just what I had hoped he would be. Actually, I didn’t mind a sedate guy, KB had cured me of party boys when we were in our 20s and I would see him devastate girl after girl. And a man who worked hard indicated that he was dedicated, focussed. Thinking I had built Steven up way too much in my imagination, I began the mammoth task of cleaning up after 30-plus heavily drinking people. It took an hour and a half before I was finished. A quick shower and I was ready for bed;  on a trip to get some water from the fridge I went rigid.

Stuck on the day planner was a pink Post It from my own supply.

“I’d love to hear from you tomorrow, Steve.” His email and cell number were written in uppercase.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On lies and blindness

I recently broke my spectacles.  Actually, what is the proper name for those? There are “glasses” and then there are “spectacles.”  Whichever, I no longer have the things I used to see with. There is a concept in the physiology of sight that is called “dark adaptation”. This refers to the temporary blindness you experience when you move from bright light, to dim light. Basically, your eyes malfunction for a bit, rendering you blind.

When someone lies to you, they temporarily blind you. For a few precious seconds (well the effects of lies last longer than seconds) you are rendered blind. So, a mortal danger could happen in those seconds and you would be none the wiser.

When someone lies to you, they place you in danger, danger of the effects of their lies. While they bask in the success of their dishonesty, you are at the mercy of the path they now have to lead you down, in order to prevent their lies from discovery.

So if there is fate, is it your fate to fall for lies? Let’s say  no, let’s say that Fate did not factor in that people would lie, because lie goes against the basic instincts of most decent people, so if you fall for a lie, you are no longer following your Fate. You are just the puppet in the machinations on some liar.

Most of the time, these liars are not thinking ahead. They have to think on their feet, often adjusting lies to suit whichever path you seem to be likely to take which will lead to your discovering the light. And so you remain their sightless puppet.

I want to know when it stops.

When does a person decide, ok, my lies are hurting this person, I want to stop. And when they stop, is that an act of honesty for you, or simply tiredness of keeping track of all their lines?

And what happens when you discover the lies on your own?

These are the dumb questions that occupy my mind.

PS: I really hate not wearing my glasses.

PPS: Pardon typos