That Same Old Love

Falling in love is so much fun.

Infatuation, lust, insecurity, and being so high you forget your ATM pin.

Now that I’m married, falling in love is inconvenient at best, a mortal sin at worst. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Most of the time, it happens with my husband, Odie. I fell for him because he has fifty different distinct qualities and habits that make my heart drop into my shoes.

For example, when he genuinely laughs at something, it’s like joy on tap.

The first time I made him laugh was in the copy room at the school where we both worked. Two coworkers discussed “The Vagina Monologues,” and asked me if I’d seen it.

“Seen it? It’s all I ever hear. ‘When did we decide thongs were a good idea? Was it never? Because I remember it being never. Also, what the fuck ever happened to Jeff?'”

I’m not sure Odie and I had been introduced at that point, but he actually doubled over and laughed.

I met him when he was 28, and he already had a little bit of salt and pepper gray in his Peter Krause-Six-Feet-Under-style sideburns. I don’t know why a little gray is so sexy on a youngish man, but it melted me.

He has straight, very white teeth, full, sexy lips, sculpted cheekbones, and perfect eyebrows. He passed all of these features on to our oldest daughter.

(Our youngest takes after my sister who looks like a cross between Charlize Theron and Emmanuelle Beart, so she’s set)

The first time he kissed me, after a ride home from a work-related party. I pulled my Jeep over in front of his place and kept the engine running.

“Get out of the car,” he told me.

“What? Why?”

“Because I have to kiss you.” His tone was, “I have to go, my kitchen’s on fire.” Not romantic and seductive, but like it was the most imperative thing he’d ever had to do. He left me in a smoking little puddle on the pavement.

He’s the only person in my life who makes me feel small in a good way. He’s eight inches taller than me, and solidly built. I can wear 4-inch heels and he still towers over me. I am above average height, and let’s just say I am beyond thrilled that big asses are all the rage, because I’m all about tha bass.

He has long, lanky arms and legs, which I find sexier than any other body type.

He’s a genius at math and physics. When our daughter asked him why we could see through the window but also still see our reflections in it, he explained light refraction to her as effortlessly as if she’d asked the time.

I don’t constantly worry that I’ll lose his love. Last week, we had an overdue, screaming, cathartic fight. He left.

He left, but I know he won’t “leave.” He went out of the house to cool off and to think. To get away from me so as not to choke me (another thing I love about him: he’ll only choke me if I beg and first agree on a safe word). I wanted him gone. I was glad he was gone. I needed the space too. His love isn’t a scary, delicate, breakable thing.

He knows what a selfish, lazy, insecure, wounded little child I am inside, and he never uses it against me.

He looks fucking hot in his suit on Back to School Night.

And in his boxer briefs on Saturday morning.

And naked, tangled up in sweaty sheets.

I fall in love with him all the time, and it’s fun. I enjoy the romantic, erotic rollercoaster of it. Monogamy has always been a struggle for me. Until Odie, I’d cheated on every person I’d every dated, if I dated them long enough. Mostly the “cheating” was in the form of desperately wanting someone else and having deceitful emotional connections with those other people, but I confess that several times the cheating was literal, physical, and hot as hell. I was addicted to the high.

It still happens to me. I still feel the pull of “The Other.” I’m currently researching and taking notes on a post I’m writing about Polyamory and another on bisexuality where I’ll go deeper into these feelings and how they fit into my life. If you want to get caught up with where my head is at, I highly recommend Esther Perel’s TED talks, and her book Mating in Captivity. A real game-changer for the self-authored fan fiction in my head.

Finally, I love Odie because he agreed with my assertion that Valentine’s Day is pointless and stupid, so we got married and turned it into our anniversary instead.

Posted in Confessional Stories of my Past, Essays/Commentary, Marriage, Pure side-splitting comedy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hate and Berate

Writing about my eating disorder makes me uncomfortable. That’s why I’m doing it. One of mentors assigned me the New Year’s Resolution to “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” If I stay in my comfort zone, I will stagnate. If there’s one universal theme I inferred from The Western Canon in my undergrad days, it’s that stagnation equals death. When Dante finally reaches the deepest depths of Hell, Satan is frozen in ice. Unmoving. Unchanging.

He does, however, have a delicious 3-course meal of Judas, Cassius, and Brutus.

I’m participating in a challenge through a local cycling studio. It starts with a body composition analysis. We have 8 weeks wherein we have to take at least 35 classes at the studio. At the end of the challenge, Dougal – the Irish guy with the bone crushing handshake – will analyze my body composition again.

I am upset about the numbers. I don’t weigh myself. Let me correct that. I either don’t weigh myself at all, or I do and that’s every day at least once a day. Whatever the number says, that’s how I feel about myself. One of the ways I know I’m healed somewhat – that I’ve grown into a better place mentally and emotionally – is that when I am about to get in the shower and I think of the scale, I say to myself, “This is the way I feel about myself and my body today, and I’m just going to stick with this.” I don’t get on the scale. Whatever it has to tell me, I already feel the way I feel, and there’s a 50% chance the scale will become a tool to bludgeon myself with.

Not literally. It’s already 100% a tool that I could actually bludgeon myself with.

I don’t know why I went to my body composition appointment expecting calipers. Showing my age with that one. I stepped onto a scale that had metal foot-shaped jobbies and handles with sensors for me to hold. I didn’t think about being weighed. It was an unpleasant surprise.

This fancy scale not only weighed me overall, it weighed my bones, muscles, and fat separately. Then it printed out an indictment.

I held it together well. I didn’t make excuses or show any reaction at all in front of Dougal. I like to think that being on the first floor isn’t the real reason I refrained from leaping out the window. Besides, there was good news.

The graphs showed bars for my weight, skeletal muscle, and body fat. All were above normal, including skeletal muscle. I finally have scientific proof that I am more muscular than “normal.” I am “above normal.” Not only that, I am quite a bit above normal. Even though I don’t weigh myself, my doctor does, and I’ve been frustrated that my weight has stubbornly refused to budge even while my body has clearly gotten smaller. “Muscle weighs more than fat” has become a cliche, and usually an excuse. For me, it’s true.

That’s the end of the good news.

Dougal started talking about what the program will entail, but I mostly tuned it out because I’m going to be able to read it later. Restriction makes me hungry then happy then high. I can keep it up for a finite amount of time and then I break down. It is a fact, like my heavy, excessive skeletal muscle, that dieting causes weight gain. I will not go on a diet. I patently refuse. I will add healthy foods. I will avoid calorie dense, nutrient poor foods most of the time. I will log food on the app, but I will not count calories and obsess and berate myself. I’m 43. I know where that leads.

The reality is that as we age, our muscle mass decreases and our bones become brittle and breakable. Hell, I read about a blogger named Becky whose femur fucking exploded, but that’s a story for another time.

People who weigh less live longer and have less disease. Yes, there are exceptions and yes, being thin doesn’t mean being healthy. Big picture? Thinner for me is healthier for me. My body fat percentage is too high. Working out makes me feel happier. It increases the quality of my life. I love spinning. I enjoy strength training and need to put more of it into my workout schedule.

Now that you know everything you ever wanted to know about my above normal skeletal muscle mass, you can breathe a sigh of relief! And look forward to my upcoming post about the progress of my writing, the brilliance of my children, and the long-suffering of my husband.

I’m also fresh off a binge of “Polyamory: Married and Dating” on Showtime, so please let me know in the comments if you’ve watched it. If you haven’t, it’s on Hulu and Showtime is doing a free preview, so catch up and meet me here.

 

Posted in Dieting/Fitness, Essays/Commentary, My Eating Disorder (EDNOS) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments