Kind of a Betty

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Weight Loss to Date: 49.8 pounds

I went to a great “cookies and cocktails” party this week, hosted by my friend Suzanne, who really has the gift of gathering great women together. I got to see old friends and it was a very festive, very grown-up cookie exchange. I dressed up, and swung by a store and bought cookies. Yes. You read that right: I bought, not baked, cookies. Very different behavior for me.

I have written here before about my love affair with fudge. In years past I have looked forward to making it, because I liked cooking for my friends, sure, but also there is this: I got to lick the pan and spoon, eat the pieces that didn’t come out into nice, neat squares (a surprising amount), and I always left some at home for me (and theoretically my family) to have later. Then: Every time I walked past the kitchen, I could grab a little fudge. For days. I don’t want to dwell on fudge enough to figure out how many calories that might add up to, but holy crap! No wonder in the past I have gained so much weight at the holidays.

So it felt like a really nifty departure to skip the baking. To spend more time on getting dressed up in party clothes. To allow myself some time to rest instead of cook. To know I would come home to a clean kitchen. I already had a plan for the cookies I would bring home. They went straight into the freezer for a party my daughter is having later this week.

So, I went to the party. I was wearing that dress I bought especially for Thanksgiving, the pretty retro-looking party dress from Nordstrom, in the smallest size I have worn in 20 years. I paired it with a  bejeweled sweater from Target, an XL from the regular section! and put on some little heels and arrived feeling happy and free, sans fudge.

And then. I spied a woman I hadn’t seen in months, and she looked so chic and sleek that I gave her a hug and said: “You look like a sexy mama!” She looked very pleased, and then she blurted out: “And you look like Betty Crocker!”

Now, I know this woman enough to know she is not a mean girl, she likes me, and quite frankly I think it was her chardonnay talking. I really did laugh it off, and didn’t give it another thought until later.

Cut to the end of the evening and I am once again talking with my sexy friend and another person I had never met. Sexy lady says: “Hey, you really do look good,” alluding, I assume, to my weight loss (See? We like her). I laughed: “Next year I am gonna be dressed as the sexy mama!” Then the woman I didn’t know blurted out: “What? Are you going to have surgery?”

Wow. How rude. I think it stung more than it might have, too, because no one, besides sexy mama, had said anything about my weight loss. I get it: I’ve lost so slowly that you might not notice if you saw me day in, day out, but a lot of these women I hadn’t seen in a year, and it dawns on me now that I had the teeniest expectation that perhaps people would, you know, gush over me. But it also dawns on me that I have gained and lost weight so many times in the past that probably people just don’t know what to say. I wasn’t expecting to get insulted, though. (It is also eye-opening to realize that you can be so fat that you can lose 50 pounds and people won’t even notice yet.)

So, I know it is too late to be a Betty in the Urban Dictionary sense (a young, good-looking, confident girl) but I don’t want to be Betty Crocker either. I really, really don’t. I have already spent too much time being that Betty: always in the kitchen, cooking for everyone, bland in appearance, selflessly feeding everyone food, but not feeding myself what I need.

I am not saying that I won’t cook anymore, or that I won’t eat Christmas cookies, for that matter. Next week I am going home, to the land of fried chicken and fudge, and I am planning on having  a bit of both of those things.

I have spent some time trying to decide what, if anything, those interactions at the party meant. You know, I am so, so close to hitting the 50 pound mark but am almost sure I moved in the wrong direction this week. I weigh-in tomorrow, so we’ll see. But no matter what anyone’s opinion is of me, or the amount of time it is taking me to lose weight, or how I dress, I am just going to keep plugging away at this. For me.

 

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3 thoughts on “Kind of a Betty

  1. I love the last cartoon, it’s exactly spot on. I am so sorry that this stupid woman was so thoughtless. I am sure you looked beautiful and I hope so much that you don’t let her thoughtlessness get to you. Sigh. People just don’t think – they open their mouth and crap comes out. You sound strong, like you haven’t let it get to you. I hope so. 50 lb is a big weight loss. You must have worked hard to get there. Kudos dear, and I’m so glad you took the time to get glammed up rather than baking up a storm. You looked after ‘you’ and that’s much more important.

    Like

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