“I’m only getting a coffee. I’m only getting a coffee.”
Perhaps if I mutter it to myself enough times it’ll be true. Yeah, right.
I stride self-assuredly into the Tim Hortons. I am strong. I am strong. I am strong. Then I inhale one sweet breath of deep fried sugary goodness and exhale all the confidence I’d managed to build up. I am such a freakin’ marshmallow. Perhaps a food metaphor isn’t so appropriate. I’m such a wuss. That’s better. I am weak. My weakness? Donuts. Glorious, gooey, fat-inducing donuts. Maple dip are my favourites, but a good Boston cream or long john from time to time does the trick, too. In the infinite wisdom of Homer Simpson, “Donuts– is there nothing they can’t do?”
I have come to the sad realization that I am forever cursed with an uncontrollable desire for donuts. (And Doritos. And pizza. And a million other things that clog your arteries and settle on your hips.) I had hoped gastric bypass surgery would end this deadly love affair with crap food. I had my insides rearranged, suffered several bouts of anemia (and two blood transfusions), battled gallbladder pain that would fell a horse, had pounds of excess skin chopped off, puked roughly five times a week for the last seven years, and went a year and a half without donuts. Is that not penance enough?! Apparently not, because as I walk up to the counter and the smiling Filipino woman says, “May I help you?” I respond by ordering a coffee and a maple dip donut. “D’oh!”
The pleasant cashier takes my money and gives me the donut. She has no idea. Head hung in defeat, I shuffle to the side to wait for my coffee. I am weak.
A couple of construction workers about 10 feet away are smiling. What are they smiling at? Don’t they realize the damage that will be done by the insidious power of the donuts around us, beckoning us with their sweet smells?! Oh yeah, they’re smiling at me. I’m still not used to that. When you live life as an asexual lump long enough, you tend to grow accustomed to being ignored. I’m not asexual anymore, but sometimes my head forgets that. Especially when it’s busy tearing a strip off my psyche for being so weak in the presence of donuts. I shake off the shackles of guilt and smile back. I make sure I’m standing up straight to best display the new $8000 boobs. They notice. My coffee is ready. I dump some Splenda in it, pick it up, and sashay out of the Tim Hortons, certain they are watching me. Thank you, gentlemen. My “I’m a weak marshmallow” pity party is over thanks to a surge of “Wahoo! I’m a hottie now.”
It is every fat girl’s dream to one day wake up and be hot. We say we just want to be healthy, but that’s bullshit. We want to be hot. Problem is, we are so sadly out of practice that when (if) we get there, we don’t know what to do. Look at me. I’ve been hot for a few years now and I’m patting myself on the back because I managed to make a couple construction workers in a Tim Hortons smile. Still playing in Little League. Most girls learn to flirt when they’re teenagers, blossoming into women. (Gag!) Not me. I never bothered to flirt because I knew I wouldn’t get a response– well, not a good one anyway. No response would be preferable to getting laughed at. Who wants the fat girl flirting with them?! So I never learned. Then one day I wake up and I’m skinny. Now what?! Here I am, a 30-something year old woman. People just assume at this point I know how to be a woman; after all, I’ve been practicing for 20 years. How could they know that while normal girls have the entire stretch of puberty to adjust– assisted by the fact that people expect them to be awkward and unsure– I was just kind of drop-kicked into womanhood? So I have the outward appearance of a thirty year old woman (with fabulous $8000 boobs), coupled with the terrified, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing” insecurity of a 14 year old.
As I pull out of the parking lot, I crank up the Bon Jovi CD and try to figure out why I was so weak. You see, I don’t always fall victim to the pernicious call of the donut. Some days I am strong. Some days I really do manage to just order a coffee. So something today made me weak. I must say, years of reflection and hours worth of therapy have actually taught me a thing or two. If I’m not physically hungry, then I’m eating to fill a void somewhere other than my stomach. My surgically-decreased, egg-sized stomach. The key is to address these needs so I can live without the stupid, cursed donuts. The day was average enough; I was basically running mindless errands: banking, dropping off the dry cleaning, taking the empty water bottles to the recycling depot. But some bee had obviously crawled up my butt and sent me fleeing into Tim’s arms.
I don’t usually spend so much time analyzing my emotions. In fact, I try my best to avoid them. But that usually ends up biting me in the ass as little things fester and become bigger stresses. And then I calm those stresses with food. And there certainly is enough stress in my life. Hmmm…What could be the culprit? Some asshole (a lot of those around lately) put a big dent in the side of my car while it was parked at the mall. I’m a high school teacher. Nuff said. All the bills seem to be due at once (home insurance, Costco membership, seasonal tire change, oil change, social fees at work…) And to top it all off, my legs are sore and swollen because I didn’t put compression stockings on today. Sucks to be me. But at least I’m hot now!
A WLS friend (and her daughter) and I enjoy a Tims coffee. And ONLY a coffee!!!