Women think fitting into old jeans is better than sex or a promotion
Under my bed, in a plastic container that moves on wheels, is a pair of old jeans. They are the pair of jeans I loved to wear before I gained weight on the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. They are the jeans I felt sexy in. They had magic - when I wore them I felt like I blended in with the rest of the human race. I really felt less mentally ill when I wore these jeans.
This New Year I had a resolution. I saw what I was able to accomplish last year. Last year I started dieting the day after Christmas and then lost over 12 months 3 pants sizes. This seems to be the reasonable rate of success. I really can't do it quicker. I have a slow metabolism because of age and medication and lifestyle. The drugs really do make me hungrier, especially after I take them at night. If I don't fall asleep then at midnight I'm craving like crazy a piece of bread with cheese on it or yogurt with granola in it. Sometimes I save a hard boiled egg - low calorie and high in protein - as an answer to the inevitable cravings after I have taken my medication. A late night apple works as well.
The jeans that are under my bed are two sizes too small. That's o.k. I figure if I'm good I can be wearing them by summer. I write down everything I eat every day in a diary. I also write down type of exercise and its duration. What I would like is for my legs and heart to get strong enough so that I can jog on the treadmill. I want to sweat. When I was wearing my favorite jeans I was running five miles most days.
I had a boyfriend to go running with then, in the old days. I have to say, it is an inspiration to know that the Obamas, every morning at the White House, go running in the early morning hours before breakfast. They must use a treadmill. If they can do it, I can do it. But I'm going to settle for jogging three miles. That's all. From my perspective where I'm at right now, that's a lot.
When I met my husband I was jogging two miles. On a treadmill. And then, after a jog, I would put on some music and dance. Use my whole body - arms flying. Express myself physically, heart and soul. It was good. It extended the sweating process. It all happened in a basement where no one could see or hear me. The music could be loud and I was uninhibited.
Now our basement is mostly dirt, rocks and some concrete, but certainly not suited for inhabitation. I have my art room to use. It has three windows that look out onto the street. Well, I don't think anyone will be looking in. And when its dark, I'll dance in the dark, seeing where I am by the light of the street lamps shining dimly through the windows.
Dancing makes me feel so young. I used to go to clubs when I was in my early twenties. Now I would feel to heavy to dance in public. Isn't that sad? I'm so envious of celebrities that go dancing in clubs like Madonna. But she has said in public that she works very hard at keeping a fit body. I don't have Madonna's motivation. Literally, when I'm sick with schizoaffective symptoms I don't have much motivation to do anything. And one of my symptoms is catatonia. That is like, the impossibility of moving your body. Sometimes I feel it mildly. Yesterday I was very social and after talking and listening to people for several hours I felt catatonia mildly. Also felt like I wanted to cry for no reason at all. I was overwhelmed. I knew I had several hours to go before bedtime but I couldn't go on the treadmill, I was having problems moving. Low motivation. No energy in my body.
So last night I told my husband "About the only movie I can stand is an old black and white movie with James Stewart in it". Nothing with violence and action. We decided to watch the movie, "The Shop Around the Corner" staring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan,- what the modern movie "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan was based on. Now I've got both versions, the old and the new, in my movie library. Recently we bought both old and new versions of "Cape Fear". The first had Robert Michum in it playing the bad guy, the new version has Robert De Nero in the same role. And of course, in step with the philosophy of my husband, we have in our library the book the movies were based on, "Cape Fear" written by the superb John D. MacDonald.
The only reason we have "Cape Fear" in our library, even though it is a gem of a book, is because a movie was made out of it. On principle my husband does not like the book "Cape Fear" because its married hero had an affair with another woman, making him, in my husband's vocabulary, an "ambiguous character". My husband does not like heroes who are anything less than totally heroic. If they have character flaws such as infidelity or drunkenness he won't stand reading the book.
Recently he walked out of a movie and waited for me in the lobby. The movie was in the beginning, so he had to twiddle his thumbs for a long time. It was the romantic comedy "The Proposal" starring Sandra Bullock. The plot is about a bitchy New York City publishing executive, Bullock, who stops herself from being deported back to Canada by getting engaged to her male assistant. The fact that the assistant has always been poorly treated and hates her does not stop her, she promises him a big boost in his career in exchange for the marriage that will give her an American passport.
In the scene that sent my husband running, Bullock was wearing high heals and awkwardly pulling a pile of luggage over a stone paved area. Her assistant walked on in front of her, offering her no help. At this point in the movie there is no romance, he can barely tolerate her. But my husband was incensed that the man not help the woman with her luggage, to make her suffer when he could have helped was intolerable. This male character flaw, of not being gallant, made the movie impossible for him to watch. So in a mild fury, he walked out.
I suppose I should mention that my husband sometimes runs ahead of me so that he can get to my side of the car first. Then he opens the car door for me. It makes him sad when I walk quicker than him and open the door myself. Personally I like opening my car door myself. I guess I'm an independent woman. But my husband has said that it embarrasses him in public when he is so obviously trying to open the door for me and I ignore his efforts. So when I can remember, I hold back my instincts and let him do the small thing that he feels, so deeply, is his duty to do.
His favorite spot for opening the car door for me is in our driveway. Our driveway is narrow and there is a tree next to the passenger side of the door. I really have to submit to a complicated ballet. First I go around the tree to the car door and wait. Then he (on the other side of the tree) opens the car door. You wouldn't think that it takes work to be a lady, but it does. It would be so much easier for me to open the door myself. But he looks so sad when I do this, I can picture his face when he is poised and waiting, on the other side of the tree.
My husband's list of gallant acts;
making the bed at night just before we get into it
doing the dishes
cooking me dinner
buying me chocolate when I am sad
going to a Christian church with me every Sunday even though he is Wiccan
giving me bites of his dinner when what he is eating tastes better than what I am eating
giving me his whole dessert so I can have two
letting me buy things for myself on his gift certificates
buying thick, expensive wrapping paper if he has a gift for me
asking my permission before he spends money
making me tea (with milk in a separate creamer to add after the tea leaves have seeped)
riding his bicycle in freezing weather to work so that I can have the car during the day
tickling my back while he is reading a book
letting me decide where we will go on his vacation
taking the dog out to poop when I am just as able
telling me he loves me, just as I am, no matter what weight I'm at
holding my hand in the grocery store parking lot
putting his arm around my shoulders when my eyes leak tears at Church
letting me decide each night what movie we shall watch or if we shall read books
promising me that we shall bankrupt ourselves if I want plastic surgery
never complaining that I leave a heap of clothing out on my dresser
always believing that fresh flowers on the kitchen table make a house a home
giving me a full body rub when I feel suicidal
tears sometimes in his eyes when he says he loves me
telling me I'm brilliant when I fear I shall never get published
transporting all spiders from indoors to outdoors
changing the cat litter when its really my job to do it
listening to music with headphones so that I'm not disturbed
stopping after one beer when we eat out even when I tell him there is money for two beers
kissing me before he goes to work even though I am deep asleep when he does it
never pushing sex on me when I'm not in the mood
addressing all his cards and letters with the term "beloved"
emailing me any funny jokes or video he finds on the internet
swearing that my beautiful, beautiful sister is "not his type"
telling me that if I die he shall become a drunk and vagabond
and of course,
opening the car door whenever he manages to reach it first