It's not about the house.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Subtraction of Weight

I’m on a mission to lose forty pounds in twenty days. That’s possible, right?

See, our big cross-country trip has been moved up. We’re leaving on the 21st (well, actually, I’m leaving on the 21st to go to California, then we are leaving California on the 22nd, but you see my point). And the truth is I actually only have about twenty pounds to lose—

Okay, fine. Technically I could probably lose three times that and still not be a twig, but size twelve has been my finish line for decades (except for miraculous months at size 10 here and there, attributable to either poverty or else some piece of ass I was chasing around, trying to throw a leg over) and I see no reason to shoot for scrawny now that I’m approaching middle-age.

So why forty (extraordinarily-possible) pounds in twenty days?

How about the fact that I’m going to be spending a week on my automatic-transmissed ass, eating Three-Cheese Flatbread Sandwiches from Dunkin’ Donuts at every rest stop from California to the New York Island? (Seriously, have you tried these things? They are dee-lish! Except, oh crap, when I went to the page to provide that link, I discovered that they're pretty much only available where I live. Oh well, maybe I should just stay home. Nah). My thought is that if I lose forty pounds before we leave, I can gain twenty back in the car and still come out ahead.

Right?

(Don’t worry, my friends: I am well aware that this plan is not only dangerous, it is downright impossible without a tapeworm and a flesh-eating disease. You don’t get to be thirty-eight and able to rattle off the caloric content of every food group known to man without some understanding of the metabolic process. But I’m making funnies here, so roll with me, okay?)

Towards this end, I have started eating nothing but vegetables and fruit (you see why I had to get rid of all the Toblerone in one fell swoop now, don't you?) and I have started doing… everything. Situps, stairmaster, pushups, swingy-leg things – and walking to work.

Okay, not walking to work. That’s twelve miles. Don’t be ridiculous. I’d have to be Rosie Ruiz to pull that off, for heaven’s sake. But I have been walking to the train and back.

Okay! Fine! I’m not doing that either! Jeez, you people! The nearest station is 2½ miles from my door – which I honestly did used to do, for a while, but then I realized that hour and a half I was wasting every day could be much better spent eating Toblerone and watching Dirty Boy on television. I mean, working. So what I do now is, I drive to the beach, park the car (bonus: parking at the beach is free) and then walk to the train from there. One mile, each way, just about.

Really.

Honest.

Okay?

Okay.

So (and here is where my story really starts) I was very windy yesterday.

No, no – I meant to say it. It was very windy yesterday. Not I. All those fruits and vegetables have not kicked in with that kind of vengeance yet. At least, as far as any of you can tell from where you're sitting.

So (again) it was very windy yesterday. Gusts up to 40mph, they said, and raining on and off in scattered showers. But yesterday was just day two of my new fitness regimen, and if I buckled to a little weather on day two, then before I knew it I would be huddled in the Cuddledown, eating Swiss Miss out of the packet with a spoon.

(I can’t recommend this as highly as I can the flatbread and the Tobler, but in a tight pinch it will serve to quell a chocolate jones. It will also, if you’re not neat, like me, leave mysterious dust-brown patterns on the Cuddledown that will take dry-cleaning to remove, and your dry-cleaner will wonder what sort of horrible disease you’re suffering. But anway…)

The walk in was kind of fun. I leaned against the wind like Marcel Marceau (only, you know, alive) and pretended to be Tabitha, whisking trash cans across the street with the power of my nose – a very different sort of “powerful nose” than I accidentally attributed to myself above, although both probably equally capable of blowing an empty Rubbermaid across the road.

Good lord. Somebody stop me before I fart-joke again. Moving on – with dignity, this time…

The walk back, though, was tough. Not only had the wind changed direction – as it is wont to do around here, with the water on both sides – so that I was walking into it again at the end of a (physical) workday, but this time I had Donna behind me.

You know Donna, right? As in “Hey, Donna-Donna, ya wanna-wanna?” Didn’t she go to high school with you? Maybe her name was Courtney or Lila, or Ladonne or Michelle – or, hell, maybe her name was even Erin – but where I come from, they’re all Donnas. (Which has nothing to do with my cousin of the same name, I swear to god. In fact, if I had to make book on it, I’d bet she doesn’t ever wanna anymore. Not since, with three kids under five, she found out she was having triplets. That was twenty years ago, but I bet it still smarts. “Hey, Donna, ya—” “Fuck off!”)

But you know what Donnas didn’t have when we were in high school? Cell phones. She was walking right behind me, keeping pace with me and the wind (oh, how I wished I could have kicked up a windstorm of my own at this moment), dialing up everyone she knew. Now, not only was my underwear stuck about four inches up my ass – and I couldn’t very well pick it out with her waiting back there to give the play-by-play – but I also have a habit of reading while I walk. Between her conversation and my Fruit-of-the-Looms, I couldn’t concentrate. Finally, I gave up and went in to full-on eavesdrop-mode, listening to Donna’s search for somebody (let’s call him Joey) who, apparently, did not have a cell phone of his own.

Can you imagine?

Eventually, she found him. And you won’t guess how. She – get this – dialed his home phone! Go figure. Still, she couldn’t stop herself from asking where he was. In the living room, apparently.

From there, she commenced to send him on a scavenger hunt through his own house, walking him from room to room. “Okay, you know where your sister’s bed is? Next to it there’s a dresser? On top of that there’s a television? Look on top of that. No? Okay. You know where the kitchen table is…?” etc.

By the time he at last found the envelope she wanted, I had had enough. Just as she was telling him to open it and read it to her, I turned down a side street. Not the one I usually take, but one that would still lead me back down the beach and to my car. I could hear her for a little while, repeating “Yeah… Yeah… Yeah,” and then, just as we went far enough in our opposite directions for the wind to blow the words away, she raised her voice:

Expelled!?” she said. “Or suspended? ...

“Shit. Are you serious?”

It was all I could do not to run back in her direction and listen to the end. Poor Donna. I wonder what she did to deserve it.

Ah, well. At least I finally got to pick my wedge. And I must have lost something like eleven pounds as a result of that ordeal.

The scale doesn't say so, but I think it's full of wind.

4 comments:

Ladyscot said...

I just discovered the turkey, cheese & bacon flatbread, and hashbrowns...I think I'm addicted!

iloveupstate.com said...

I had unprotected se...nevermind.

Yeah, I'd like to lose 40 too, not to gain 20 back but to truly lose 40.

donnastaf said...

"Hey Donna ya---Fuck off!" Too funny...

Anonymous said...

LOL the wind was so strong it gave you a wedge? only in Mass. only in mass. hee hee