so what if i can't keep doughnuts out of my face. i mean it is not like i am doing drugs. so what if i buy the large chicken nuggets or buffalo wings. there are some really horrible things going on in the world, in the country, in the state, in the city or on my street. a man grows tired of having to justify his character because of his weaknesses. a man grows tired of defending those same weaknesses when they are so minor.
if carl was to have a birthday and someone were to bring in cake then i must eat. how can disrespect a man, or any coworker by not celebrating with them on this such an important milestone? now what if it isn't a birthday cake but instead brownies or fried chicken? what if it isn't a birthday but a milestone? what if it is for no reason other than building a communal bond? should i bow out? should i say no thank you i have to think about my points?
i am a good man, a kind man. i look deep into my soul for these answers and they always come back yes. they always come back to take part to build bridges. so why should i feel guilt when i wipe the sauce or powdered sugar from my mouth? why do i feel so torn? the answer, i believe, is in the constant psychological torture. ever since i was a child my mother would talk about weight and diet. we learn what we are repeatedly told.
i can remember the diet soda challenge. i can remember at ten being given the lecture on portion control. i can remember the tightening of the belt and the refusal of common childhood wishes. the sugar cereal did not grace our cupboard. the dinners would be steamed and boiled, the starvation would set in.
i can remember the wild look in my mother's eyes as she would break down. off we would rush to ________ for hamburger. off we would rush to _____ _______ for ice cream. off we would rush to _____ _______ to be lectured and weighed to shed tears and to promise a fresh start.
it would seem, with all these years of utter failure, that i would run from _____ ______ as an adult. well for most of my adult life i did. i would never have darkened _____ _____'s door step if it weren't for my wife. she was thumbing through her lifestyle magazine and noticed a coupon. i am not sure about your gender or relationship status but as a man who is in a marriage there is no worse a phrase than 'i found a coupon.'
the coupon has brought nothing but pain to my life. in the beginning they were celebrated, a few pennies off of eggs, some two for one on turkey or diapers, real economic boons. slowly they began to change, two for one pedicures that i must go to, ten dollars off of cable or satellite or interent causing us to be in constant flux over providers. there is the oil change thirty miles away that is 10% off and finally _____ ______.
'oh honey i found a discount on _____ _____, i really want to go. i need to get a fresh start, a leg up will go will you help me in this?' she said.
it was a friday evening and i had just returned home form work. i was tired and not thinking clearly. i agreed. that first night i did not sleep. tossing and turning i remembered the terror of my childhood. i remember the pain of gaining what i had lost, gaining it back to late night runs with my mother to a doughnut shop or drive through. i remembered the water aerobics the speed walking and general anxiety _____ ______ had caused me. now, with the threat of returning i was at a fork. should i tell the wife? should i deny her this joy of the coupon, of the denial of pursuing? i turned and was going to spill the beans, was going to tell the whole story but watching her tender almost innocent face glow in the night's faint light i swallowed.
'i am a man, it will be different what the hell a little kid of course he is only going to do as well as his parent. yeah this will be good, maybe finally be able to see my feet, ha! this is the right thing. the good thing. yeah i am excited,' i thought and dreamed of a waist size back in the thirties. dreamed of a shirt with only one x on the label. i was excited, hoping only for the best the whole adventure still out before me.
i am a good man. i am a honest decent man. i was one dumb naive sucker. sitting, here reflecting on all this, in my car wiping the barbecue sauce from my mouth and looking down at the empty sandwich, fry and soft drink containers. i look down, my stomach grumbles with satisfaction. my stomach belches in victory and i feel a quick shiver of fear understanding my enemies power. i am a good man, a honest man and an abject failure at dieting.