It was odd. Mostly because I knew pretty much everyone in the town so forming a new relationship was as rare as bumble bees in December. But also because up to that point, I doubt anyone new had ever tried to enter my life.
I remember two things from that short-lived friendship.
1. When she told me that I should have one really good friend and that friend should be heavier than me so I would look better. (Remember how she was courting me? Let me know if you need help figuring out who was who in this scenario.)
2. When she told me that her brother (I don't know that I ever met him but she made him into this totally cool, older guy with impeccable taste) had a rule about who he would date: "I like a girl who has some sky between her thighs," she quoted him as saying.
I'd never heard that expression before and clearly, it's stuck with me. I know I should really worry for that girl and hope that she's overcome her issues -- or recognized that she has some. I hope I rejected her Rule No. 1 outright. I know it was short-lived.
But I do fret that the second one adhered to my adolescent pyche like a layer of cholesterol on your arteries: potentially deadly, difficult to scrape off and definitely something you should avoid.
So yes, I tried desperately to figure out how to get some sky between my thighs. I dieted until I passed out on a shopping trip with my parents. Tighter jeans didn't work. And it's harder than you think to give yourself bow legs -- or to maintain that pose.
I thought about that eff-ed up phrase from the past the other day when I read about a study of a new and dangerous body image problem among girls. They call it the "thigh gap" -- http//:bit.ly/14Nfjju . A little less offensive than sky between their thigh but still enough to make you want to punch someone. (Like, that guy, maybe.)
If you're a mother to girls -- hell: if you know a young girl -- it's worth your time to google the term and fight like a demon to keep her from falling victim to this sick, perverted, one-more-thing-for-a-mother-of-girls-to-worry-about thing.
Here's the thing: I'm stocky. My thighs will never evoke imagery like beautiful blue skies or let that color shine through. The only weather-related phenomenon that might spring to mind is thunder. No matter how thin I get, I'll never be one of those girls who can stand with their feet together and have parades of small animals or even large toddlers pass through their legs.
And that's O.K. Really. It's better than O.K. It's as it should be.
It's taken me a while to get here, but I'm definitely in the camp where being fit and healthy is more important to me than anything else. Sure, I want to look good but looking good is relative. I'd much rather hang out with people who care more about doing good than looking good. Generally that's where the most fun is anyway.
I'm not sure why the genectic code had to make some people naturally thin; others have to struggle to stay moderately thin; and others to be chunky no matter what.
But I've stopped hoping for an apocolypse just to watch the skinny girls die first.
For one, my body fat would keep me around so long the horrors of the apocolypse would eventually come to Indiana and I'd suffer, too. For another, my daughter is a skinny girl and I don't want to see her suffer.
Plus, I'm pretty sure that in an apocolypse, there'd be no chocolate ice cream. And who wants to live like that?
Another reason is that I'm nearly blind without contact lenses or glasses and in the apocolypse, I'm not sure I'd have access to good vision care. When you can't see the horde of starving skinny girls coming at you (and you know they'll travel in well-groomed packs) , it might be your thunder thighs for dinner. And again, who wants that?
But enough about body image. My birthday has come and gone again. Jeff missed most of it because of his softball tournament so I actually got two celebrations. After presents the morning of the actual day, my friends at work took great care of me and even sent me home with new champagne. Ali and I had ice cream and silly girl stuff. She fled for Jenna's on Saturday, soJeff and I had a weekend of updating some photo walls, biking and having a really decadant tapas dinner with champagne and movies at home.
We got a late start on the bike ride and had headed north. We talked about going out, but that would require showering and getting dressed up, so I was sweating, pedaling and thinking up alternative dinner ideas. It was Jeff who remembered that we'd found one of our favorite champagnes at the Vine and Table in Carmel, about seven miles from our house.
I don't know how much six bottles of wine weighs, but as the only one of us with a basket on her bike, I can tell you that it's not insubstantial. The bottles are, however, easily broken and not inexpensive. So biking home with champagne in your basket is not for the faint of heart or delicate of build.
A skinny girl probably couldn't have done it.