Polemic from the Pandemic

Sometimes, you just need a little fire in your belly.  I wrote a piece that got into McSweeney's a few weeks back.  

I wrote it because I was frustrated about people who were envious of those of us who qualified for the 1c vaccination group.

I did not talk about it much publicly for reasons you may or may not understand.  I haven't mentioned it to anyone in my family.  I wrote it thinking there was no way in hell it would ever see the light of day, and I felt genuine terror when I got my yes. 

If you choose to read it, you may understand why:


It is a lot of information, and it is very personal.  But here's why I decided to tell you about it.  I got a little fire in my belly.   It was surprisingly, one of the easiest things I've ever written.

This morning, I saw two posts on social media that made my head spin.

1. A woman I knew in school got some cookies for her birthday from a friend.  Crumbl  - which are marvelous, and I think of them often - they're nearby and they deliver. They rotate flavors every week, and every week I look to see what's there.  I've indulged a few times, but they're huge cookies, and you know - I don't need to eat them often.  Anyway, someone commented to birthday girl that they looked good, and birthday girl mentioned that they are 5000 calories apiece.  Birthday girl often talks about how fat she is, and the thing is, she isn't.  Objectively, I can tell you she is completely normal weight, and stunning to boot.

2.  A women I know from a previous job posted about her annual event of trying on her wedding dress on her anniversary.  She couldn't zip it all the way, but you would never have known that, and she looked amazing. She runs marathons, she is naturally slender and has two school aged kids, so - you know - she's not exactly a blushing bride, but I can't tell a different in size from her wedding photos.

I hesitate to say I found these posts triggering, but, if these women, who have great, straight-size,  commercially and socially acceptable bodies are unhappy with how they look, what hope to those of us shaped like a DQ dipped cone have?

Ripples and curls, y'all - lots of them. The chocolate is slimming, is it not?

So, I do want to state, for the record, the cookies are not 5000 calories.  They're between 600-1000 calories. So, you know, a half cookie a day for the next week, if you're that worried.  Or eat them all in one sitting.  I don't give a damn, and neither does anyone. When someone compliments you - even on a gift that someone gave you, say thank you and move on.  Keep the calorie count out of it.

And I guarantee you, I couldn't get the zipper on my wedding dress even part way up.  But I remember my wedding, and I celebrate how much my life has changed since then - which even includes my choco-dipped carcass.  I know it's disappointing when clothes don't fit, but don't let a fucking zipper stand between you and fulfillment.  You're gorgeous, your kids are amazing, you're happily married and in a career you love.  You have two dogs.  Fuck the dress.

Truth be told, I am not thrilled with my body.  I need to make some changes, and slowly, I am.  But I know I'm going to be in a swimsuit in a few months, and there will be photos, and there will be self-loathing.  But I don't intend to trot it out on the internet.  Because there is probably someone struggling who would be happy to have what I've got.  And I don't want anyone to feel bad about themself because of my issues.  

So, now you know. I got some very positive feedback on the piece, and I'm still a little terrified.

But like the piece says -  it was worth it.