68. My Husband Is on a Diet

68. My Husband Is on a Diet

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You

My Husband
Is on a Diet

I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
 ~Rita Rudner

“I hate myself,” my husband, Bob, said, trying on a new pair of shorts. “I ate those curly fries last night.” He turned this way and that in front of the mirror. “Do these make me look hippy?”

“No Bob. Nothing makes you look hippy. You’re thin, okay? You’ve been thin all your rotten life. Do you understand what I am saying?”

He didn’t get my tone. The tone that means I intensely resent his ability to lose weight by switching from thick-sliced bacon to the regular kind.

“Besides,” I said. “What’s wrong with eating curly fries once in a while?”

“Helloooo?” He looked at me incredulously. “Potatoes? Water retention?” He threw his hands up in the air. “Don’t get me started.”

Then he got on the scale. “Oy, I’m still plateauing.”

He scanned his body in the mirror. “I have my mother’s thighs.” Then he pinched his tiny waist. “If you can pinch an inch, it’s time to cinch.” He tightened his belt one notch. “This way I’ll stay motivated.”

Living with a dieter is a pain.

Living with a successful dieter is hell.

Now you know I want my husband to be healthy. I just wouldn’t mind if it entailed, at the very least, a teeny minor struggle to do it.

He just had a physical. I was happy he was getting his cholesterol tested because he eats so much crap I figured he needed a wake-up call. His cholesterol number came back a terrific 156. You can blame it on genetics. You can blame it on whether or not you were breast-fed. You can blame it on solar storms or some 666 devil thing. I don’t care what you blame it on. I blame it on Bob.

Last night, he screamed from the bathtub. “I’ve got it!”

I called out from the den. “Geez, Bob. I’d hate to think what you mean by that.”

“It’s my metabolism.” He was reading a women’s magazine and eating his after-dinner jelly sandwich. “With all this starvation and yo-yo dieting, it’s come to a halt.”

I could hear him getting out of the tub and slamming the magazine on the floor. He shouted, “If you’re not reed-thin like these models, then you’re made to feel like a glutton.”

“You are a glutton.”

Do I sound resentful? You bet I am. His favorite dining companion? Oscar Mayer. My husband thinks peanut butter is a seasoning.

A major part of this problem is that Bob, like many males, wouldn’t gain weight on an IV of Wesson Oil. I just love being married to someone who programmed Papa Gino’s before 911 on our speed dial.

If you’re feeling sorry for Bob, I don’t blame you. But try to picture what it’s like living with someone who thinks burritos are a food group.

Attempting to be sympathetic with me, which is never a smart idea, he said, “I know it’s not fair that I can eat whatever I want.”

“Fair? Sure it is.” I was starting a slow burn. “You struggle too. You want extra-cheese pizza all the time, but you deny yourself by only having it on days of the week that end with the letters d-a-y.”

As of today, I will try to be nice about it. Maybe you could try too. If you see him, please say something encouraging like, “The extra weight makes you look younger.” That ought to make his day, or mine!

~Saralee Perel

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