She is asking me with the plaintive eyeballs WHY I have allowed this AWFUL, TERRIFYING CAT, the one with all the POINTY BITS on his EVIL FEET, to perch above her. Do I not KNOW this cat can drop upon her and rend her in twain, Lo, any moment? At his LEISURE? Maybe now, maybe in ten minutes.
Maybe she will fall asleep and then! AND THEN! Maybe he will just sit there for five years, ten years. Twenty, even, and NOT drop, and NOT rend, but how is she to KNOW?
Oh, Ansley, you and me both, baby. It is exactly how I feel this week, my ears in JUST that shape, waiting to see what will happen with dad’s new drug treatment protocol.
Except, hey, Ansley? YOU could just, you know, MOVE a foot and not be under him. Just sayin’.
I am distracting myself by doing a lot of NOT WORKING. In this I have several key tools.
1) My friends.
Me to Grey: So on the blog I threatened to slap Ghandi , and then Julie pointed out that JUST BY CONINCIDENCE , I had threatened this on the actual anniversary if his death.
Grey: Oh NO! All the Buddhists will be on the war path! …Wait.
I love that. I love my friends.
Another friend, Alison, in an unrelated email, recently said, “My shampoo is like me–French and tender as a petal.”
2) I began OBSESSIVELY tracking all my food and exercise. (ASIDE: I was going to use FIT DAY but then FIT DAY, the second I signed up, sent me an e-mail titled, Is the “50 Shades of Grey” Workout Right for You? Aaaand, NO. I mean, I am sure spanking can be quite aerobic or whatever, but… no. )
So I am using My Fitness Pal, which here-in-after we shall all call MFFP . (No. that’s not a typo. *bland, blank-eyed smile*)
AND YES, let’s all agree Ann Lamott is TOTALLY CORRECT. But this, with MFFP, is not so much an actual attempt at a diet as much as it is a way to obsess over something that is not My Own Personal Cat of Damocles.
At first I was mostly using it to LOOK at all the nervous cookies I was consuming in my fretting. Kind of an art project—this is what stress eating looks like, up close and personal. THEN! I realized THE DARN THING WAS SHOWING MY TERRIBLE FOOD TO ANYONE I FRIENDED!!!
I asked people, “OH! Can you see my food? As if I put it in a cellophane stomach?”
That’s the start of a very disturbing poem or children’s book, but the answer was yes. Yes, they could.
I immediately deleted my account, and I made one under a nom-nom-nom-de-plume. *rimshot*
So far I have only friended two people, both close friends.But holy cats, it WORKED. How crazy/sad is it that this worked? Not in terms of a DIET. It is more than NOT snacking. I ate so HEALTHY.
The pressure of my friends seeing ALL MY FOOD ALL DAY even made me eat FRUIT, and I HATE fruit. I drank extra waters so I could publicly click the water clicky. I ate the daily recommended number of veggie servings, which okay, I LIKE vegetables, but maybe not as much as my first few days of friend-monitored food tracking would indicate.
How terrible. I suppose I do not mind killing people as long as it is SECRET. Except in this case the victim is a Cakes and Ale bakery box full of chocolate-raspberry macaroons. But publicly, I have to be the poster child for nutritive fiber? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME that the appearance of goodness is so ATTRACTIVE to me.
I see this ending one of three ways.
The horror and wonder of my friends looking at ALL MY FOOD will continue to work, and I will become SO HEALTHY That I will actually give up MORTALITY for Lent and LIVE FOREVER.
This is…least likely.
More likely I will begin to LIE on my food chart. I will put on fruit I MEANT to eat. I will accidentally leave off the slab of bread pudding with hard sauce, or I will put it on, but I will CALL it, “small raw carrot”. Then I will feel bad for lying, and I will call my friends and confess that I have LIED about my food, but it will not stop me, and I will scamper about in food-lying delight, scamper-scamper, all around the meadows, stress eating cookies that I do not chart.
OR my friends looking at my food will work for a bit, but the pressure of it will fade bit by bit, until I have to up the stakes. I’ll make more FRIENDS, ones I do not really know, SCARY NEW PEOPLE, and they will be able to LOOK AT MY FOOD and I will keep myself terrorized this way, and when THAT begins to fade, I will make my food PUBLIC so the WORLD CAN SEE ALL MY FOOD, and when THAT fails I WILL PUT ALL MY SHOWN FOOD UNDER MY REAL NAME.
I have a dewy coating of horror-sweat coating my waxen brow to think of this.
So. It is Ash Wednesday. Tonight, as I remember all that I am too remember, I will talk to God about my own revolting love of the appearance of goodness. And yet, for Lent, I doubt I will give up my willingness to USE this revolting love to go down a pants size…HA.
Lent this year? Here in what is likely just past the midpoint of my life (unless a bus et al intervenes and ends me early) I will give up, for whole seconds at a span, CARING SO DAMN MUCH what people think of me. Ad if I can’t quite give up loving the appearance of the thing I want to love, I’m at the VERY least going to look for ways to love the thing itself.
Not so a Cat of Damocles won’t drop. No deals. Nothing causal. Just because it is right. It IS right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to love and do what is good for no reason but the goodness.
And YOU, beloveds? Do you care this much what people think? What would you give up for 40 days that would be both hard and good for you? What can you not give up?