Bob’s rules for a happy marriage, #17.III.5.e : “never make fat jokes around a wife who is dieting.”
That rule seems pretty obvious. At least it should be to anyone who has his brain engagaed before he opens his mouth. That is a talent I have yet to master and it gets me in trouble often enough that you’d think I would have learned my lesson by now. So Mary and I were kidding around and commiserating about our slightly overweight and now somewhat flabby bodies, when I jokenly told her, with great exaggeration, not to try to slide through the door sideways. She might get stuck. It seems that now I will suffer an excrutiatingly painful death if her wishes come true.
I know, that was a heinous thing to say, but you have to know the circumstances before passing judgement. One of Mary’s concerns for the past month since we had the car accident was her inability to maintain her exersize schedule, which is a vital part of the nearly constant routine she follows to maintain her girlish figure. As a result of that lapse in exersize routine and the usual holiday excess, she has gained an extra ten pounds that she insists go away. Now. So she has instituted a radical plan of food abstinance and diligent workouts that would impress the toughest taskmaster in the fitnes field. To help her accomplish her goal, she has enlisted my reluctant participation.
I say “reluctant” because I don’t really need to diet or alter my usual eating and exersize routine much in order to lose pounds or maintain my normal wieght. If I gain a few pounds I simply ride the exersize bike an extra couple miles and skip the ice cream for dessert. Mission accomplished. The truth is, my weight has hovered within five pounds for the past 30 years or so. So the idea of a forced diet in sympathetic reaction to her dietary goals is not something I look forward to. But in the spirit of maintaining a happy home and protecting my husbandly rights, I agreed to participate in her effort to drop those offending pounds. We are eating smaller portions and following a nearly no-fat diet and getting back to our daily exercizing. And, man, am I hungry.
Bob’s rules for a happy marriage, #17.III.5.f : never tell her how many pounds you’ve lost in the past week unless you know for sure that she has lost more. Violate this rule and she will find all kinds of nasty names to call you. She will question your integrity and truthfulness and manhood. She will take your words and interpret them to mean you think she is fat and ugly and totally undesirable. She will claim that you’ve been secretly serving her larger portions than you give yourself. She will not be happy. And so neither will you.
I made the mistake of offhandedly remarking that I had dropped three pounds without really trying. Not a smart claim to make when she has just expressed her frustration at only losing one pound over that same period. Hey, I thought we were in this together. I didn’t know it was going to be a contest. The Biggest Loser turns out to be me in more ways than one.
I will have to be careful from now on to complain loudly about my flabbyness and inability to sculpt abs of steel. I will be careful to eat a little bit more than her in her company so she can see my struggle (good thing she is not here all day to see me raid the cookie jar). And I will be certain to remark often about how gorgeous and fit and desirable she is and how she is an inspiration to me and how I don’t deserve someone as fine as her. But if I manage to reach my weight goal before she does I will have to fake it until she catches up and passes me or I will be one very stupid and sorry sumbitch. Even I can learn from my past mistakes.