06 April 2010

In The Flesh

On a warm, almost summer-like day, I am reminded of two things:  a.) Men are horny--I mean really horny--and b.) I have gained weight.

How are those two facts related?  Well, not by cause-and-effect, unless you or I are willing to believe that troubles with an ex led me to eat more than I otherwise might've.  That may well be, but it's even more true that I have been sedentary for such long periods of time during the past few months.  Just after my surgery, I didn't have much of an appetite and, actually, I was taking some fairly long walks. But as I got busier and the weather got colder, grayer and wetter, I did less of that.  And, after taking a few short bike rides (half an hour or less) in November, I did no riding until a few weeks ago. In the meantime, my appetite returned and there were dinners, parties and such.  

And so it happened that near the end of the day, I was sitting on a bench in a particularly lovely spot in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.  My Raleigh three-speed stood guard, keeping its stiff upper lip as I read student essays while basking in the sun.  Across a pedestrian path from me, cherry blossoms in ever-so-slightly-varying stages of bloom opened between me and the Unisphere.  As day descended into evening, the whites grew more satiny, like moonlight, and the pinks glowed more deeply as the sun began to set and the horizon behind the veil of blooms and the grids of the Unisphere filled with a radiance turned into itself as yellow rays turned orange, then red and finally to an almost lilac hue before paling the violet curtain that spread across the sky.

But the men who walked by weren't noticing anything I just described.  I mean, what kind of priorities do they have when they can totally miss such a scene and look at some fat middle aged woman who's reading papers through what the ex used to refer to as my "librarian's glasses"?    And, in crossing her legs, said woman could  only have revealed how pale and ungainly they've become.  

You mean to tell me they'd really rather look at her than at the beauty of a warm early evening early in the spring?  Well, I guess they need variety, right?  

Then again, I have often wondered how many men actually prefer those anorexic models they see in the media? Years ago, a former co-worker who was about the same age as I am now said that after her post-menopausal weight gain, she got--without trying to get-- more attention from men than she'd ever had before. Now, nobody would have said this woman was fat, or even overweight.  But she looked like she'd actually eaten within the previous few weeks.  So I'm guessing that she was rather skinny, if not exceedingly so, when she was younger.

Anyway, I wondered why she was getting so much more attention than she'd gotten when she was younger.  She was an interesting, intelligent woman, and I would have said that she was attractive, even sexy, because she had her own sense of style, as opposed to mere fashion.  But she had her own theory as to why men were looking at her:  "Well, if you believe that men are dogs, it makes sense.  All dogs like at least a little meat on their bones."

I guess that means I was a dog, and still am one.  Extremely thin people, of any gender or sexual orientation, never appealed to me.  In fact, at least a couple of women (and men!) with whom I  was involved could have been described as Renaissance or Pre-Raphaelite, if not Rubens-esque.

So why am I so worried about being fat?  Well, I don't want the health risks that go along with it.  Still, it's ironic that I am upset about my weight gain--and am beginning to harbor dreams of having a more feminine version of the athletic body I once had--when I was, if I do say so myself, rather tolerant of such things in other people.  Then again, I've always been attracted to people with dark or darkish hair but pride myself on my rather loosely-defined blondeness.  

You might call me a hypocrite.  I just don't see the point of being with someone who's just like me.  So does that mean that if I get skinny again, I'm going to date someone who's the "before" photo in a Jenny Craig commercial?