In tribute to seeing the “Raven” this past Saturday and rekindling my love affair with Edgar Allen Poe I am posting my most favorite poem. Poe was a literary genius and I find myself wanting to buy his works to have in my home again…. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I have over the years….
My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in just a few short days. Some days it feels like it’s only been a few short months since we said I do and moved my kids and myself 1500 miles away from everyone they knew and loved to be here in Virginia with him. Other times it seems like it’s been decades. This road has been hard, and filled with lots of speed bumps and potholes. Its’ also been full of love and laughter and learning how to be a blended family and all that entails.
One thing that we’ve tried to maintain as often as possible is “Date Nights”. For a very long time we couldn’t afford them so we would do something at home like play poker after the kids went to bed, or I’d kick his a** in scrabble. Just to be able to do something to spend time together other then watching TV or dealing with kids. When we first started dating I lived in Texas and he was stationed out here in Northern Va, so date nights were in front of the Cam. He would sing me songs or read me poems. I would write short stories for him or we would browse websites together and look at dream houses, dream jewelry, dream vacations.
This past Saturday was a date day and night. It was a perfect weekend actually. I worked my normal half-day Saturday, then hurried home to my love. We told the kids the rules they have to follow when we aren’t home and headed out. We went to Hard Times Café and played pool and ate some lunch and made fun of the dude with the 1980’s hairstyle and the music the little girl played and forced us to listen too for pretty much the entire time we were there.. We giggled and just enjoyed each other’s company. Until I got tired of losing at pool, which luckily was about the same time we had to leave for the movie. We went and saw “The Raven” which is an EXCELLENT movie. I am a huge Edgar Allen Poe fan so it was a real treat to see this movie. Then it was into the mall for a little bit of shopping, which is always fun. After that it was off to Red Lobster for a late dinner. We sat and talked and nibbled on our food and was just there, together, alone even though the restaurant was full.
We got home and ran a hot bubble bath to soak in and take the chill out of my bones that the rain put on me. He made a drink and joined me in the tub. We lay there still just enjoying each other’s company, very much in love and feeling like we were the only two people left in the world.
He works nights so it’s always nice when he’s home and actually sleeps in the same bed with me. We fell asleep wrapped up in each other, the best way to fall asleep. He let me sleep in Sunday morning, I got up and made us breakfast. We spent the day with our daughter running some errands, then home to spend a nice calm evening on the couch watching TV. It was in fact a perfect weekend. It had a little bit of everything, family time, alone time, shopping, eating, and movies. What else can a woman ask for?
Yesterday my co-worker was in my office talking non-stop about stuff I’d really rather not have to endure. You see he’s an older upper class republican who is wealthy and has littler tolerance for anyone who is poor or struggling. He doesn’t understand why people don’t work 7 days a week, 15 hours a day like he has his entire life. I just consider the source when he starts spouting out the crap, but yesterday he was telling a story about his grandson going through tennis shoe’s so quickly which made me think back to my childhood and the one time me and my mother went to Miami by ourselves for my grandma’s retirement party. I had a pair of Nike tennis shoes that I ADORED! They were originally just white when I got them but they were so seriously worn out that when she noticed them they were a nice dingy blackish/brownish/whitish color with holes! Of course my mom freaked out asking if that was the only shoes I brought and when I said yes she said “Well we’ll have to buy you new shoes before the party”… I’m sure I didn’t plan it for that to happen but any reason to get new shoes is a good reason. I was telling this man how we went shopping and when we passed this candy store in the window was Chocolate Covered Strawberries. I LOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE strawberries. I mean to the point that when we’d go to the Strawberry festival my mom would buy me my own flat because I’d eat them all before we got home! My eyes glossed over at the sight of these amazing, huge red sweet berries covered in milk chocolate. Why had I not been told of these things before that point?
I know my mom probably smiled at the look on my face, because I would find myself smiling if my own children have this look on their faces. She bought me 2 of them and 2 for her. It was the first time I’d ever had them and they were the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten, (besides my mom’s cooking of course). Mom bought me new shoes and a new wrap around skirt and a new white shirt that day but the strawberries are what I remembered the most. At grandma’s party that night I told my Aunt J and Uncle Jeff all about the amazing treat I had that day and that they really needed to try them (because of course I deducted that if I had never had them before then surely these grownups didn’t either!). To this day chocolate covered strawberries are still one of my most favorite treats in the world and I have often wanted to get a tattoo of one for 2 reasons.. 1) I love them so darn much and 2) The memory of sharing my first one with the woman I loved most in the world comes to my mind every time I see one.
After finishing my story my co-worker simply said, “You have a lot of stories about food, you know that”? And he’s right I do. Food was and is a big part of my life. I still struggle with my addictions on a daily basis and most likely will for the rest of my life. What I refuse to do is let his remark tarnish my memory of that day. (He’s the one who has told me I’ll be fat again in a year because I was eating one morning.. apparently I’m never suppose to eat)
We all have the desire to be “accepted” by society, to be considered attractive instead of a chastised and judged because you don’t fit societies standards of what beautiful is. The question in my mind today is, how much is too much when it comes to the price of beauty? People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their faces perfect, often with weird side effects… Mickey Rouke comes to mind… or the cat lady…
Heavy people have drastic surgeries that literally cut their stomachs into 3oz pouches to help them lose weight for health and beauty reasons, which is what I did. You can get fat sucked right out of your body by a straw and even have replaced in places to make them look better, like your butt or your breasts. Oh and don’t even get me started on breast.. all I can think of is that one picture of that woman who had two beach balls on her chest and looked like she was falling over from the weight! Notice how she’s holding the window to maintain her balance..
When is it too much? When do we finally accept who we are, or do we ever? Yesterday I went to a plastic surgeon to discuss having my “apron” removed. An apron is the excess skin that is left behind when you lose a lot of weight. I also now literally have no cushion on my ass and sit on my tailbone directly. It’s very painful and there are several things I really can’t do anymore because of it. I can’t take baths because it hurts to sit on the hard tub floor, I can’t do sit-ups because I roll on the tailbone, I can’t just sit up in bed. I have to roll to my side then sit up on my hip, which has arthritis in it so that puts unneeded stress on it.
The visit was quick and humiliating. I had to undress and put on a gown. I at least got to leave on my bra and panties, but had to pull the panties down, way down. The surgeon grabbed the extra skin and pulled and stretched and had me turn around and he did the same. Then the photo’s started. I fat chicks worst nightmare, having pictures taken naked and actually zooming in on the flaws. It reminded me of the rape kits pictures. No room in either to cater to the feelings of the victim/patient. This time though, I signed up for it willingly. After the pictures were taken and I was allowed to put my clothes back on (I was shivering it was so cold in there) the Dr. came back in with the nurse to discuss everything and answer my questions. He explained the surgeries I would need to remove the skin and to get rid of what my other surgeon had thought was a tumor but is in fact more scar tissue that is literally pulling the scar it’s under down into the body causing the pain. He said he would put in for insurance to cover the entire thing as I have several medical issues’ resulting from the excess skin, or in the case of my ass, the lack of! He tells me it’s a 7-hour surgery and requires 4 to 6 weeks of down time. Absolutely NO working during healing time whatsoever, it’s strictly recoup time.
So this has my mind reeling. I know I need the surgery but if y’all know me you know I can’t be out of work for 4 to 6 weeks. That only will send my anxieties through the roof! Plus, the whole 7-hour surgery has me kind of freaking out too. That’s a very long time to be under anesthesia. Is the price of finally being happy with myself, my body worth this much in the long run? I know I still won’t be 100% satisfied as I want my breast done (I lost them w/ the weight too) and that’s about $8000 that insurance won’t cover at all! When is it enough, or too much? Why can’t we be happy with who we are? Why do models have to weigh as much as a small child and have a body that looks like a toothpick to be considered beautiful? My husband has told me since he met me that I was beautiful and he showed me everyday how much he thought so. And that was when I was 250lbs +. I’m a hundred pounds lighter now and he still tells me I am but I still don’t believe him or feel it. I guess after a lifetime of being told I was fat and repulsive it’s just easier to accept those negative things about me then the positive. I pray that God lets me get to a place where I’ll be satisfied with how I look and not worry so much about it anymore.