I’m getting older. I know this not because I actually know how old I am in years – I am already to that point where I don’t consciously think about how many years I have been alive and often have to do the math to figure out the correct number. I know this because I had to go buy a new pair of pants the other day because I needed a bigger size. And when I looked in the mirror (something I don’t have in my room, nor do I own a scale) I saw the cellulite I have seen making its way into the limelight over the past year. I saw it plain as day, and I was, for the first time since middle school, a bit ashamed of my body.
Middle school was a rough time (wasn’t it for everyone?). I am still in middle school, as a teacher, and I know intimately that no one wants to relive it. As a student, I struggled with how others viewed me as much as the next kid, if not more. I look back remembering the whole time period as angst-ridden about my appearance, when in actuality, there were maybe three incidents that were burned into my memory, forever tarnishing the whole experience. Magically, I turned a corner in high school and never looked back, consciously deciding not to give a rip about what anyone thought about how I looked. That is not to say that I did not care about my appearance, but I didn’t ever dress or do anything else to my body to please anyone besides myself.
Until now. Here I am, for the first time since then, looking at my own body with self-doubt, wondering how long The Man will find me attractive, and if I will continue to gain weight, getting fatter and fatter… Part of my problem is that I never had a weight problem, and never worked out. Why would I if I didn’t need to? Don’t hate, please, if you have struggled with weight. Just like we shouldn’t scorn those who are heavier than us, we also shouldn’t scorn those who are thinner than us. I had nothing to do with it, it was just how it was. And now that I really could use the exercise, it is a foreign concept to me, and it has been hard to incorporate into my already hectic schedule. Something else will have to go if I am to add regular exercise to my schedule, and I’m not sure what I can afford to leave behind to make room. It won’t be sleep. That I can tell you for sure. I will not be waking up earlier than I do, nor will I be staying up later. Something else will have to give.
In any case, The Man reassures me that I have nothing to fear in regard to whether or not he still finds me attractive. According to him, while a woman is running through a litany of things in her mind that her man might not find attractive (Can he see the cellulite on my thighs? How about the hair growing out of that mole? My cuticles in need of a manicure? That pimple on my nose? My split ends?) The man looks at her and thinks, “Wow! I get to touch her boobies!”
Take that, cellulite!