Monday, March 10, 2008

Yes, You're Smarter than Me. I Know.

Or, in which things are all rendered moot in four part harmony...

I swear, I don't know why I do this crap to myself on a regular basis.

Let me get one thing perfectly clear to start with; I love Chris and Carol. I do. But as anyone knows who has an obnoxious younger brother, or a nosy aunt, or a mildly psychotic best friend, loving someone and not killing them are not always mutually exclusive things.

I've been tearing myself to little shreds recently... I love my best friend. I've known Carol for honestly, longer than I've stayed in contact with anyone except my parents. But we are competitive, even if we try not to be. And if I'm on a diet, (lifestyle change! I know!) and she's not, she's bad for my eating. Ditto me for her, I'm sure.

So, I haven't been mentioning it. And it seems to be becoming this huge big deal for me.

We drove up to Pearl's birthday party on Saturday, and I'm talking with Thomas about it. He's been very supportive of all my decisions while we're on this journey, and while he personally doesn't give a rat's tail about what Carol thinks or says, he's certainly willing to respect my neurotic tendencies in that direction.

"I think you're making more of it than you need to," he says to me. "If they ask about it, just be honest. And just because they may not ask doesn't mean they didn't notice the weight loss."

I sigh and glare out the window. "You always make it sound so easy."

"You wouldn't worry so much about what other people think of you if you knew how seldom they actually do."

"Gee. Thanks."

Remember what I said about loving someone does not preclude wanting to murder them? Yeah.

We arrive at the Jumping Place and set Darcy free to run around like a little maniac. All the adults are trying just a little too hard to have a good time. Pearl's parents are getting divorced, and of course, they're both there, and everyone's trying to ignore the dead elephant in the room. I watch David and Nellie avoiding each other in great sweeping graceful dance moves around the jumping place. It's almost elegant in its heartache.

(While I admit, I'm always grateful when people manage to have civil breakups, I also don't think I could ever, ever do it. Just the thought of being without Thomas makes my throat hurt, and I don't think I could manage to not completely lose my shit if he was in the same room as me after moving in with his new girlfriend. Somewhere, I still have the 'contract' he signed for me at the beginning of the relationship that said that if he left me, I could kill him and keep all the stuff. Having just gone through a three year relationship and the division of shit that comes with it, I was none-to-eager to start over. I eventually did, obviously, but I was highly suspicious for a long time. This contract, magnetted to our fridge, really helped ease my mind.)

Chris and Carol arrived a little late, after I'd already pounced on Leigh. It'd been a while since we'd seen each other and it was good to catch up. She says I look good and I say thanks... as she walks away to mingle with some of the other adults, I admire the long, trim lines of her legs. It's probably bad form to be admiring one of your friend's backside, but it does look very nice in a pair of jeans. I want that for myself one day. (Not her ass, mind you, but mine to look like that.)

Carol gives me a perfunctory hug and wanders off again to talk to Nellie, find someplace to put down her three month old son, coat, diaper bag, and Anne's diabetic kit. Anne goes shrieking off to find Darcy, and the two of them become glued to each other for the rest of the day.

Chris gives me a long, narrow-eyed look. "How's your Weight Loss program going?" he says bluntly.

My stomach twists painfully. I take a deep breath. "Just fine, thank you for asking." I take another deep breath. "So, who told you?"

"You did. Just now."


I give him That Look.

"Well, you've said some odd things recently," he starts explaining. "Like you said you liked lime stuff, and when I mentioned that cookie company that makes lime sugar cookies, you weren't interested. And when Leigh was trying to find Points for something, you knew it off the top of your head. And just some stuff like that... and then I was nosing around in your Netflix queue. And you were so kind to confirm it for me, just now."

Well. That wasn't what I expected, or wanted. I'd have preferred for someone to notice my weight loss, not someone to decide that he needed to go do detective work to prove he was smarter than I am.

"And you hadn't said anything to anyone," he is continuing on, "so I haven't said anything, because you must have your reasons, whatever they are, and I'm sure they're your reasons, and you can just dust them and keep them safe on your mantelpiece, and everything."

"Oh, thank you for your kind permission," I say. My tone has cooled several degrees.

The subject is dropped.

For now.


Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Ouch, that's a sticky situation to find yourself in. Both with the tention between the disolving couple, and the tension between you and your friend. I know it's hard not to take that kind of thing personally, but if it underminds your self confidence,and you new lifestyle, maybe you could have a conversation with Carol? If you all have been friends as long as you have, Im willing to bet she would understand. Maybe she has figured out you are trying to lose weight, and her feelings are hurt because you haven't included her? I don't know. Just thinking outloud. Good luck!

Summer said...

You hit the nail on the head: jackass. Maybe he's not always a jackass, but in that encounter, oh yeah.

Want to hear my theory on why people often don't comment on weight loss? (Developed over the last couple years of wondering why my friends never seemed to notice that I'd gone down a couple of sizes. Highly scientific methods at work here.) I think it's because people know that if they say, "hey, you look great, have you lost weight?" they're likely to get an answer that includes HOW you've managed to lose weight. "I'm on Weight Watchers," or "I've started running," or "I cut out all processed carbohydrates from my diet." Then the person who asks the question must face the awful truth that if they too began eating better or exercising, they could lose weight and look better too. It's much easier to ignore someone's weight loss!

Anonymous said...


You know, sometimes I think that us women are saints for what we put up with at times.

Lynn said...

Heh, Irene, you definitely know it. And there's so much history there; Chris and I used to date. He was not the last boyfriend I had before I started seeing Thomas (that would be David the Dip) but the one before that. We'd been in a 3 year relationship, and while we're so much better friends than we were lovers, there's still a bit of weirdness, even almost 12 years later.

Trisaratops said...

Um, awkward! I think people get threatened when they see someone important in their life making positive changes - and if they need to lose weight too, it can sting. You are a rock star for being so mature!

Anonymous said...

Okay, BIG jerk. I'm sure he's a good guy or he wouldn't be your friend. But still. BIG jerk.

I mean, come on...first of all, how bizarre and condescending. And secondly, after all that, he could at LEAST have said, "Well you look great."

Gah. I get the friend situation, unfortunately I've got a relationship or two like that as well. It makes it really difficult and awkward and it's sad because it would be so nice to be able to share your success with her. But at least you aren't letting her possible feelings about it slow you down!

You rock and hopefully both she and Chris will see that. Cause it seems really obvious to me!