I know you saw me....!
Dear Old Friend....
I was once like you. Overweight and ashamed. So much so that I turned and ran away.
I remember so many times--during my out-of-control-weight-gaining days--when I didn't want to see anyone from my past. When I pretended not to see them. Or when I tried to look so hurried that I didn't have a moment to stop. I remember avoiding parties and impromptu meet-ups and dinners and the kids' school functions and social events. Hell, I can even recall doing a lightning quick about-face and literally running as fast I could with a cart full of groceries in a packed grocery store--dodging shoppers and women handing out samples. All of it in fear of being seen....FAT.
But, I didn't think about that the other night when you hurried away into the swarm of people at our daughters' senior show. All I thought about was how sad it made me....not to chat with you and talk about how life is going. When I realized, midway through the show, that you were 2 rows in front of me--I couldn't wait to get your attention and talk to you! It had been so long. The last time I saw you...at the diet pill doctor--when you said you never felt better and I said you never *looked* better--we gabbed for an hour and left each other with the promise that we would get together soon. That never happened. But, there you were--2 rows in front of me! I was imagining us saying things like "can you believe our girls are graduating?", "it seems like yesterday when they were so little," and "let's do the mother of all Happy Hours on the last day of school this year! Remember all those last-day-of-school Happy Hours we did when they were little?" And, we'd laugh. I was so looking forward to it all---the smiling and the gushing and the oohing and the aahing. I was looking forward to hearing happy tales of how your life is going. But, instead, as I reached for you....you caught a glimpse of me, gave me a quick glance and ran off.
I saw you look back.....
I sat with you when your beloved husband died so young. We drank wine and you told stories. You were the first one in the neighborhood to call me when my life was turned upside down. You reached out your hand, opened your home. We drank wine and I told stories. We went to dinners and parties and memorials and ball games and school events. And, we drank wine. And we told stories. I gave you my entire normal-weight wardrobe. You modeled them for me as we laughed at all of my stories of where I wore each outfit. And, we drank wine.
That was many years ago, I know. We're no longer living within moments of each other. We don't run in and out of the same elementary school. Our weekends are not filled with kids' soccer games and birthday parties. There's no more neighborhood parties or moms' nights out or days spent lounging at the community pool. We have all moved on. With life. With jobs. With houses. Now, what's left is running into each other. And, sadly, those opportunities are dwindling now that the girls will be graduating and going off to college. And, we missed one....
So, old friend....why do I say I was once like you? You see, when you did turn around--after scurrying out into the crowd--I saw you pull your coat over your body and look down to make sure it was covering it. And, when you did that, I saw that look in your eyes. The look I had so many times. I didn't recognize it right away. But, after thinking about it and trying to figure it out since then, it finally hit me. You thought I saw all the weight that you gained. And...there I was....quite a bit thinner than I was the last time we saw each other. You and me--two girls who struggled with weight so much so that we found ourselves going to the same neighborhood lovable but a bit quacky diet doctor. And there we were--I was thinner. You were not.
The funny thing is, old friend, is that I didn't really notice anything about what you looked like--at first. I was just looking forward to talking with you. And, then I was dumbfounded at what happened when you ran off. My mind was way too occupied with those thoughts to pay mind to your hips, your stomach or your face! And, to be honest--I'm not sure if I would have paid any attention to your weight if we would have talked. But, the thing is---you thought I would. And, you were embarrassed. And, me being thinner made it even worse. I get it.
Where do we go from here, old friend? Now that our weights have driven a wedge so wide between us that you find it hard to even chat with me?