Friday, July 31, 2009

I am Now a Size 12

Shortest post in history. Just 17 more pounds to my goal weight and a size 10. (I started at size 18! Ugh!)

I am so proud of what I have accomplished. Still not quite sure how I did it, but it felt really good slipping into those size 12 jeans last week and having them feel loose and zipping the zipper right up with no trouble whatsoever. They looked hot!

The weight is coming off more slowly now, but it is still coming off, and that's the important thing.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Notes From the "Ouch! Ouch! Damn, That Hurts!" Department

I opined a while back that even once I reached my goal weight, men would continue to ignore me. I was wrong.

A living, breathing, good-looking guy with all his limbs and most of his teeth took notice of me last week. I liked what I saw, and it seemed he liked what he saw. We went to dinner, and I liked what I heard. He had a great sense of humor, and apparently, we were raised in parallel universes, with similar family histories. We enjoyed the same movies, we both like gardening, and we each had an interest in organic food. As we talked, I was stunned to feel that little frisson of energy toward him that I haven't felt in more than 20 years. I was actually attracted to this guy, and I was hoping he felt the same way about me.

At that moment, if I'd had a Magic 8 Ball in my purse, I believe it would have said, "All signs point to Go."

We went out to dinner and closed down the restaurant; they had to flick the lights on and off to get us out of there. The conversation was lively and never one-sided, and he leaned slightly forward across the table as he spoke...good body language, I thought. We made another date for three days hence.

Then he drove me home. We sat in his car for a couple of minutes and he asked me about my children. I proudly gave him a brief bio of each. Then he asked me how old they were. I told him, 24 and 27. His eyebrows shot up.

"Then how old are you?" he asked in alarm.

"60," I said truthfully, because I see no reason to be dishonest about my age.

He face turned into a mask of horror, I mean, genuine horror. Obviously without thinking, he plastered himself up against the driver side door, as if he'd suddenly discovered there was a rattlesnake in his car. He wanted to get as far away from me as he could without being patently rude. I felt like any second he was going to whip out the garlic and a sterling crucifix to protect himself from what he seemed to regard as a creepy and terrifying specimen of the UnDead.

"Why don't you look your age?" he seemed to be asking me telepathically and accusingly, as if I had led him into something by winsome subterfuge. I got the feeling he thought I slept in a coffin to protect my delicate white skin, and also because I might melt if exposed to sunlight.

The silence was deafening. He appeared to be going into catatonic shock, so I figured I'd better say something fast.

"How old did you think I was?"

"My age," he said. "45."

Only 45. Wow. Flattering in a way; it let me know I'm looking pretty good for my age, but the look on his face squashed any pleasure I might have felt over the compliment.

No wonder the poor guy was terrified. He had accidentally gone out with someone old enough to be his mother, and worse yet, he'd been attracted to me. Eeew! I'm pretty sure that's what he was thinking. And as for what he was feeling, he looked slightly green about the gills, as if he might throw up at any moment. I felt awful. I felt bad for him, and even worse for myself.

"Oh, my God! I'm a cougar!" I thought. It was my turn to be horrified.

I'd been sitting in his car in perfect ease, feeling like I belonged there, and he'd just let me know in no uncertain terms that I didn't. I am a 60-year-old woman who, through no artifice at all but just good Polish field hand genes, looks far younger than my age. The 43 lost pounds don't hurt my looks one bit, either. But, newly attractive and self-confident or not, the two traits I think attracted him to me in the first place, now that he knew my age, he was plain terrified of me.

Just like that, with the simple utterance of a number, he was repulsed, frightened, and in a damned big hurry to get me out of the car. I don't know what scared him the most; the fact that I was 60, or that he'd been attracted to a 60-year-old-woman. Probably a little of both.

To his credit, he kept the second date, and was charming throughout the evening, telling me he really liked me and thought we would be great friends.

Yeah, friends. Only I haven't heard a peep from my new "friend" in a week, and my money is on I'll never hear from him or see him again as long as I live.

The sad thing is, if I had been his age, 45, and he had been 60, there would have been no problem. I would have acted on my attraction to him, and suffered no scorn from society, nor would he. But for a 45-year-old man to date a 60-year-old woman? He would have been shredded by his family and friends, excoriated. And to be honest, when I found out he was 15 years my junior, I felt a little creepy, too, as if I had robbed a cradle or gone out with one of my son's friends. It just didn't feel right. I certainly don't blame him for his reaction; it was predictable and completely normal, but it still made me feel sad.

Here's the good news. I've been buried inside my excess weight for two decades. The weight and the lack of confidence are mostly gone, and that's good news. When I was heavy, I was afraid to let myself feel attracted to a man because I thought rejection was inevitable. I'm not afraid any more.

So maybe this man wasn't right, but upon reflection, the whole incident feels more positive than negative. For one thing, I got to meet a great guy and go out with him twice, and both dates were really enjoyable. For another thing, it reminded me what it feels like to be a woman, and how nice it is to be in the company of a man I like and feel that nice little play of energy zinging back and forth across a table.

So, the next time I meet a nice man, (and I now feel confident there will be a next time...) I pray he will be close to my age. I've talked myself through, psychologically speaking, the feelings of hurt and rejection I felt last week. But if something like that ever happened again, I'm not sure I could avoid internalizing those negative messages...You're too old. Your age repulses me, therefore, you repulse me.

Still, if I could shed years in the same way I've shed pounds, I'm not sure I would do it. I don't mind being 60; in fact, I like it. And if the rest of the world automatically labels and marginalizes me because of my age, you know what?

That's their loss.