reading:
Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
Karen Kingston
(a fabulous book)

listening:
Thanks for the Ether
Rasputina

...

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Saturday 25 May 2002

eat and live

Last week, my computer screen died. It started quite a few weeks ago, a sudden light explosion, like snow on a television set, only more violent. It only lasted a few seconds, and I thought it might have been a power surge or something. But then one day I turned it on, watched the screen's image slowly peel down, reduce itself to a brightly colored band and then disappear completely. Four months short of its third birthday. Dammit.

Fortunately, I have a computer hoarder for a boyfriend, and John has promised me a monitor when I'm up there next week. But until then, in my infinite wisdom of not backing things up, I can't send notify emails, since my list is on the computer. Which isn't something I'm crying over, because sending out notifies is just annoying. I've thought about getting rid of it, because I've always thought of notify lists as slightly pretentious, but I've been told by several people on the list that they like the convenience it provides. So it will stay.

...

Drea graduated on Thursday. Tyler's graduating ceremony is an affair of mass chaos and informality. Most kids come up in t-shirts and jeans to accept their diplomas (which, if you really think about it, is an entirely appropriate way to graduate from art school), but Drea was wearing a fabulous red and black dress that conjured up Marilyn Monroe. The keynote speaker was Louise Fishman, an abstract expressionist painter. Her speech was short and annoying, a full three fourths of it about her quandry about "what in the world to speak about". It must take a talented ego to stand up in front of the graduating class of an art school and manage to make your remarks entirely about yourself.

The only people in attendance for her was myself, her parents and her grandmother. Her boyfriend, Justin, who I have never met, couldn't make it. And didn't even tell her he wasn't coming. Just didn't show up. For her college graduation. And they've been together for a good four years at least. Later on that night, after about three mixed drinks, I told Drea exactly what I thought of him. Drea is wonderful. She deserves better. She mostly agreed with me.

Right after the ceremony, we dispatched to a divey little bar in Jenkintown called Archie's. The place was truly horrible, and the drinks were equally as bad. Then we went a few blocks down to a family style Italian restaurant called Buca Di Beppo, where we drank some more and then sat down to an insanely delicious meal.

One of Drea's close family friends, however, didn't eat. I think she was on Weight Watchers or something, or some other current fad diet (take your pick). She sat there. And watched us eat. All she drank was an unsweetened iced tea. And when Drea and I ordered a cannoli for dessert, she actually had to leave the table to contain her cravings.

Later on, the more I thought about it, the more I got pissed off.

It pisses me when people don't eat. And when they are clearly miserable sitting there, watching everyone else enjoy their meal. I've had it happen to me more than once. I can't possibly see how this could be a good thing. You sit there, hungry, unsatisfied. I don't understand how this is going to make you feel good about yourself. You associate hunger with misery and hating your body. You try to will your mind to overcome your body. Your bad, bad body, which should be shrunk down and minimized because it is important that you take up as little space as possible.

I am so sick of women hating their bodies. I am sick of hating my body and feeling guilty for feeding it. I want to eat, and eat a lot, and fucking enjoy it. I know now that people are going to chime in, "it's bad to be overweight, it's unhealthy" etc etc etc. Well, I have done a lot of reading and I'm not sure if I'm buying that anymore. Some days I am so close to looking in the mirror and liking what I see. I see those curves as powerful, beautiful, fertile. I am so close, and then I step outside my door and the rest of the world is telling me I am defective, out of control, and I should get on a treadmill immediately, lest I offend the populace with my large ass.

Eating is becoming more and more a political act for me. Everytime I chow down on a cheeseburger or spagetti or fried chicken, everyone and everything around me is telling me I should be nibbling on carrotsticks. I am so fucking angry. I am not against healthy eating and a balanced diet. I am against women looking at food as the enemy, an insidious demon that is conspiring to leave them short of whatever insane body ideal Vogue is currently touting. Life was not meant to be an exercise in deprivation. It is supposed to felt, tasted, eaten, not to exist on the page of a magazine.