So, some of you already know, I had surgery (again) for another hernia (again) on Friday.
It was an unpleasant experience.
In any case, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. A lot. I can’t seem to focus for very long (Hellooooo, Vicodin), so the shiny box has been keeping me company. And I find myself inundated with images of people who are downright scrawny who complain of their “fat hips” or that they look fat in their clothes.
Now, I’m not feeling overly sexy, having just had hernia surgery. The shiny box, showing me all sorts of perfect people, isn’t helping. But you know what is? M. And not because he loves me (though that is wonderful and great), but because he actually gives me the perspective of a real man. Here’s one of our recent conversations…
Me: My stomach looks like grumpy cat did a face plant into a memory foam mattress and left me with a muffin top, to boot.
M: You looked at it? Why?
Me: Because it’s there. And it’s gross. I’m disgusting.
M: Well, you did know that your bikini modeling days are over, right? (Then he laughed, because he’s really good at entertaining himself)
Me: That’s not that funny. (But I laughed anyway, because it kind of was, and his laugh was infectious) Ow. Don’t make me laugh. It hurts.
M: Sorry. My humor has always pained you.
Me: (holding my stomach as I try not to laugh again) True. But I’m heinous with my shirt off.
M: Who’s going to be seeing your stomach anyway?
M: When your shirt is off, I’m not looking at your stomach.
(This doesn’t sound sweet, but it is. I’ll get to why later)
Me: (I snort) Maybe my boyfriend will think it’s ugly.
M: Nah. Your boyfriend won’t be looking at your stomach either.
It wasn’t until later that it hit me how sweet that snarky little conversation was. Because what M said in man-speak was this: “It doesn’t matter what you look like. I’m happy to be with you.”
What I hear now, that I probably didn’t hear in my Vicodin-induced self pitying moment, is that most men don’t see the cellulite, and don’t care that you’re not a size two. They’re a whole lot less harsh on our flaws than we are. I’m saggy and scarred up and my stomach is like some sort of abstract piece of post-modern art.
And, for reasons that escape me, M thinks I’m hot.
I’m not sure what he sees when he sees me, but he thinks I’m A-okay just the way I am.
I’ll never be a size two and washboard abs, and I’ll never be Hollywood’s ideal image of what it is to be a woman. The average woman is between a size twelve and a size fourteen. Most women are going to have boobs and bellies, and maybe our thighs will rub together when we walk (**GASP!**). We’re going to be told not to wear loud prints or stripes or super bright colors or corduroy. We’re going to be told to stick with black, to wear our hair a certain way to make our faces appear longer (AKA: not so fat), and to wear sensible shoes.
We’re going to be told that we’re not hot.
But, to the average guy, looking to get with the average girl, we might as well be Heidi Klum.
I write romance novels, and maybe this will sound like the rose-colored glasses world of romance, where the chubby chick can find love with the hot guy. Meh. Personally, I think that scenario is a whole lot more likely than we give it credit for. I think most men, who are generally a pretty decent lot, are just excited for the opportunity to be with us.
Flaws, cellulite, scars and all.
P.S. And to you men out there, do you know what women see when we look at you? We see the good stuff. We’ll notice how your eyes sparkle when you laugh, how you have good hair, or beautiful skin. We’ll be amazed by the strength of your arms. We’ll notice your smile, or the endearing dimple in your cheek. If you’re bald, we’ll like that. If you have a mustache, even if we claim we don’t like facial hair, we’ll like that too. We’ll like the gray hair, and the wrinkles that fan out from the corners of your eyes when you smile.
I guess it works both ways. 🙂