My next book will be named “Ten Pounds To Happiness.” It will be an expose on how we are all obsessing about our weight. Our most frequent conversations, particularly as we age is about our escalating weight. It deprives us of the illusion we are still young. It humbles us. It also encourages us to look past the facade and understand the need for an evaluation of character.
I loathe conversations about weight not just because, I too, now have a propensity towards an additional ten pounds but because in endlessly talking about that ten pounds, we eliminate the opportunity for more meaningful conversation. Of course, exercising in some format is essential to health. (I am also not talking about obesity.) Tough toenails to the lad (or lass) who suggests (however, subtly) we need to go on a diet. Some weight gain is the normal process of life. Succinctly put, we have more to offer at our age than a skinny, bikini-clad girl who has not developed her understanding of life and its meaning. We have maturity. We have depth. We have a newly-found balance and stability that we did not have earlier in life. We are all teddy bears who have been loved to imperfections. And it’s all good.
In my book, “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower” I write about some of my more bazaar dates, but I left this story out. So allow me to tell you about one of my worse dates (not in Paris) but in a nearby, very upscale neighborhood at a lovely restaurant. I knew this man but hadn’t seen him for a few years. Then I was ten pounds lighter than I am now. Still, apparently, he was obsessed with weight. I let him babble on for some forty minutes about how important it was for a woman to stay slim (preferably a maximum of a size 4). After some time, I realized the idiot was talking about moi! Even so, with patience, I let him get out his non-stop thoughts on the matter. Then I stepped into his do-do.
“Do you realize that this is one of the most superficial conversations we could possibly have?” He attempted to interrupt me (never interrupt a fifty-something woman): “No, it’s not if it is important to me—” he started to correct me. Apparently, I wasn’t allowed my opinion.
“Yes, it is” I countered. “It is as superficial as my sitting here talking incessantly about the size of a man’s penis.” Again, he attempted to say something, but I waved that off and continued. “What good is it to ‘mature” and not see life for what it is? For all its perfections and imperfections. Why not learn from life that as we age we should be looking for more than arm candy.” This man, wealthy, bald and in his sixties just didn’t get it. Apparently, women should forget his obvious flaws, but he was unwilling to return the courtesy. Ugh! I wanted to take my spinach salad and throw it at him, but I was hungry… If we are not able to see beyond the exterior of a person, then we have learned nothing in all those decades here on terra firma.
Had I no self-confidence I would have crumbled. Instead, I recognized the critique as having come from a very shallow person. That person, if I ever actually attempt to write that book, “Ten Pounds To Happiness” will be in my prologue. Maybe I should write a screen play. It would make for a marvelous comedy. Meryl Streep could play me!