I’m not a man of action
I’ll never change the world
I’m just the one that watches
and sees the hidden truth
I like the way you dance
…the way you dance
……way you dance
The rhythm of your body
the timing of your mind
the subtle hints of more
hidden deep inside
I would watch as you dance
…watch as you dance
……as you dance
I want to wake every day
to you without perfume
only naked musky scent of us
lingering on our skin
If only I could dance with you
…would you take the chance
……take the chance
I’d like to be your music
the way you caress each note
turning lyric melody
into the breath of life
would you like to dance
…you like to dance
……like to dance
There is no way around this. I am large. Full on fat.
And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
I am corpulent. Disgusting. Rotund. Obese.
Go ahead judge me. Place me on the scales of social comment and weigh me down with your words. I can take it – after all I am a big boy. And I do mean big. Huge even. Go ahead snicker and snidely aside to your trim posse of the svelte.
The past year. Well really these past many years I have tried to lose some weight. I set reasonable achievable goals of 5 pounds this month. 2 kilos. And it does work. For a while. I have dropped 15 pounds some years starting from January and keeping on into September. Then October hits and it starts with the food fests – Thanksgiving, Halloween, and into Christmas. Food glorious food!
My bane however is a simple pastry. An easy to make and easy to eat flaky fold of delight. The apple turnover. Oh how do I love thee – let me count your flaky sheets of joy! Here are the food stats on a typical apple turnover.
Calories:400 Sodium:150 mg Total Fat: 16 g Sugar: 26 g
Nutritional value? minimal amounts of vitamin C and A. Not exactly a health food.
For the past ten years I have walked past a coffee shop on my way into work – and the smell of cinnamon and coffee has lured me in nearly every morning. Fresh baked goodness tickling my nose, tantalizing my tongue. Pavlovian zombie I slip inside. Grab a cup, fill it up. Add 1% milk to cool the hot black brew. Make a promise to only buy the coffee. Stand in the line that snakes past the pastry display. Resolve firm. Smell cinnamon. Eyes glance. See that delicate curve. Soft gleam of sugar. The seeping hot inner juices wanting to be set free.
Just. One. More. Time. Only. I surrender, slip one into the white paper bag. Quickly pay and rush out with my sweet sin firmly in hand.
I walk out with coffee and apple turnover. Back into the fresh air. Slip the pastry free of it coverings, and savour the first sweet flaky mouth filling bite. This is happiness. This is joy. This is guilt. Once more I have given into that wonderfully seductive pastry.
For years I justified that excess by not eating breakfast. After all breakfast is about 400 calories as well – so it is all a trade-off right? Except breakfast may contain other ingredients – many with real nutritional value and fibre. And a heck of a lot less sugar. But none are as sweet and as full of joy as my apple turnover.
This January I resolved to stop the pastry guilt trips of gluttony. This January I did the math – 400 fewer calories primarily from sugar and complex carbs times 5 is 2000 calories. Times 52 is 104,000 calories. And that is 29 pounds. That is of course the optimal count – let’s be conservative and say 20 pounds for the year.
And dollar-wise that was $1.50/day. $7.40/week. $390/year. Again let’s be conservative and say $300/year saved.
Here it is 6 months later in July, and I have managed to *mostly* avoid the lure of apple turnovers. I should be 10 pounds lighter given all else being constant. Weight check: Up 5 pounds. WTF!?
So I reviewed my food diary (as spotty as my record keeping is…) and the problem is of course that I didn’t really stop eating that 400 calories! As I mentioned I had already deluded myself into making apple turnovers a part of my (un)healthy breakfast. By eating breakfast at home – even if it was one piece of multi-grain toast with butter (or cream cheese) and a small serving of fruit – I was still eating at least 400 calories. A slice of multi-grain bread with butter is about 200 calories. A banana is about 100 calories. That breakfast is 20 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fat. Plus more fibre, and other nutrients. So plus on the better eating. Not so much on the caloric intake.
And here is the kicker – because I ate breakfast at home I was finding myself hungry by mid-morning and snacking. Now my snacks are reasonable on the healthy scale – being some combination of fruit/veggies/nuts/yogurt/water. BUT under my own “less healthy” eating pattern I never ate snacks.
Conclusion: Fat man FAIL.
This morning I walked past that coffee shop and walked into the tantalizing sinful aroma of sweet pastry sins. It was the best god-damn fricking pastry I have ever eaten. It was like going home for Christmas and finding out that Santa Claus is totally real. Cinnamon sugar fantastically awesomely real. In case you didn’t quite get that: I enjoyed that apple turnover like nothing before. I’d go all cliche on you and say it was better than sex – but since fat-men don’t have sex I wouldn’t really know!
Whew. That was good. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I need a smoke.
Babies have it all figured out – at its most basic life is simply this:
Eat; Rest; Excrete.
Take in; Ponder; Release.
Let in; Let be; Let go.
It is just that simple.
Of course the more we grow,
the more able we become,
the more we get distracted by the wonders of living and being alive.
And in our distraction we forget the essence of being:
For those that think we can go back to a “traditional conception of marriage” do you mean like this: 1769 – The American colonies, basing their regulations on English common law, decree: “The very being and legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated into that of her husband under whose wing and protection she performs everything.”
Hello world – the very essence of marriage changed back when western/European nations began to expand the concept of persons. First by allowing one to be a person even if one didn’t have property (but still requiring a proof of penis). Then by expanding person-hood to non-whites (with a penis). And more recently waiving the penis clause – so that women could at last be persons too! All of those changes evolved from initially recognizing that one didn’t need to own property to be a person! Before those dramatic expansions of person-hood, marriage was all about an individual man’s person-hood and his acquisition of property and property rights. A wife was another piece of property – that elevated a man’s person-hood! A single man being less of a person.
(An aside here – one reason birth certificates indicated sex and race was so one’s legal status to own property could be verified. Since we don’t legally limit property in that way anymore – the sex and race data bits aren’t really required for any legal purpose. We are just so used to recording it that we continue to check the boxes…okay back to the original ramble…)
Once marriage became about the voluntary union of two persons – and society continued to confer special economic and social status on that union – it was inevitable that the rules would be challenged, changed, and expanded.
Nice to see our governments finally catching up to the democratic will of the people – even if it does takes 9 ancient humans in black robes to declare reality has shifted.
The reality is governments don’t change. It is the will of the people that changes governments.
So in sum total what did all that mean? Nothing really. The world continues as it did yesterday. Only with slightly more wisdom, slightly greater clarity, and just as much hubris. You may continue with your normal lives and forget I said anything at all!
Way back in time one of the games we played was cowboys and indians. Not a very politically correct game anymore. We had cowboy hats, holsters, toy guns and toy stars and of course toy handcuffs. The Lone Ranger being one spark to our culturally inappropriate games.
Handcuffs fascinated me. Simple sturdy metal. Like most toys of my childhood made from sturdy metal. Plastic was still off in the future.
They look almost real – real enough to be used to scare the less critical into thinking these are real kid size cuffs. But no fear – they have quick release buttons on the side. No keys involved at all. Now toy cuffs are plastic. Well except for the adult-play kind which tend to be fur-lined and more exotic.
Still I remember being locked up with these toy cuffs and how easy it was to pop the buttons. Or when the button jammed pulling on the soft metal S-hook connector until the cuffs popped apart.
You can still find these at flea-markets and online via antique sites. There is a large selection for sale over on e-bay.
Our children don’t play those same games anymore because at their heart those games reflected a cultural divide. The game inherently contained social judgement that the “cowboys” were the good guys, and the indians the bad guys. And that is simply a nonsensical colonial narrative that served to justify unspeakable abuse and horror. Of course we haven’t really grown that much or that far from when this abuse was acceptable. We just like to pretend that we are more mature, more civilized, and more accepting.
Growing up in “white” Ontario I was often mistaken for a “native”. Through my teen years I was given various nicknames that reflected my vaguely “indian” features. These were not terms of endearment. I remember sneaking into a bar and having an older white man comment: “who da f’ck let the f’cking ‘skimo in here? That wasn’t that long ago – and that “older” attitude still percolates close to the surface of our civilized veneer.
It is rather disquieting how an innocent childhood toy can be a defining metaphor for institutionalized hatred and oppression. Yet there it is – a toy that is no longer a toy. A toy embedded with yesterdays sorrow.
Over the years we culturally have changed. We are more diverse. More accepting. And we have invented other cultural ghosts to terrorize our xenophobia. Still we mostly are getting better. At least we are better at saying “sorry”. The reality is there is still such a long long way to go.