I weighed myself on my fancy, body fat and hydration-measuring scale today. After the pounds result flashed onto the screen, I was too chicken to see if I was dehydrated or what exact, excessive percentage of body fat I'm currently lugging around. I don't enjoy seeing the numbers climb: 1...3...nope...4... ... ...see? Even here, I don't want to admit that I have been between 118 and 125 pounds for most of my life, but I am so far beyond those numbers now that I just want to crawl under the couch and chain smoke. But what's in a number, and why should I or you or anybody care about any of these trivial matters when the rest of the inhabitants of the world are trying to blow themselves up because they're hungry, oppressed, or grumpy?
The usual shtick about American societal pressure on a woman's appearance is losing muster with me. I am not an actress or model. My livelihood does not depend on my outer casing. I do not live in fashion-conscious New York City or Los Angeles. I do not subscribe to any fashion or "women's" magazines. I am considered intelligent, well-read, somewhat cultured and globally-conscious. I should not measure my sanity, my esteem, my very femininity by the size stamped on shirt collars and waist bands. I know better than this. I care anyway.
I should delete the words "I, me, my" from my vocabulary and volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter or sort mail for that organization that saved those lost Sudanese boys; maybe save for an eco-vacay and go see how the rest of humanity lurches forward, rarely able to survive what waits for them in the next minute or two; get my priorities, my perspective straightened out. I conjure a picture of an imaginary mom-type human with her fists sinking into her hips as she growls this sage advice to me.
That's all great imaginary mom lady. But I am still sitting at my desk, at 3 o'clock in the morning on a Wednesday at the end of summer, beating my head on the keyboard. I am still angry, jealous, bitter, regretful. Now I'm not in the shape I want to be in AND I'm shallow for caring about this more than the orphaned Libyan children. My imaginary mother is making me feel real guilt. That's talent.
Does the imagined pep talk work? Maybe. I might actually look for my lone pair of tennis shoes tomorrow. That yoga DVD may eventually makes it way from the hallway closet to the DVD player. That goal I scribbled in dry-erase marker could possibly manifest itself as more space between my thighs. After that, perhaps I'll find a Russian burn victim who could really use a few extra bucks for skin-graft surgery...