Thursday, August 02, 2007


I look in the mirror, and my grandmother Tillie’s face looks back: full-cheeky, round, no more long jawline. Ditto Tillie's body (full-cheeky, full-bosomed, like a powerpuff pigeon). Why doesn’t this bother me today? Although I have plenty of reasons to revile myself it usually isn’t about my body or my weight.

Today’s revilings have more do to incorrigible shallowness, smallness of love, meanness: all the things Jesus said get between self and God. However that’s a subject for another day. The topic right now is acceptance of looks.

Which I think is because I had a husband who found me beautiful at all my weights. It’s true in early middle age Denny used to speak wistfully of his vanished “cat-burglar”--my slender 30-year-old flat-chested shape in jeans and turtlenecks. But Denny the eternal sensualist found beauty in all ages and shapes. As years advanced, our birthday and Valentine's Day cards started to show old decrepit couples dancing, or entwined (a great Steig one), or one showed an old wrinkly man sneaking into a tent of a fat large beauty. In between cards and frequent little love notes, Denny constantly, daily, exclaimed to me, “You’re brrrrtiful!”

During his chemo when he lost so much weight he would look at me and wistfully remark: “You’re so full-figured.” He could give husband lessons, really. And that’s why I still feel OK to resemble Grandmother Tillie, some foundational security came from Denny. I still have the cards and notes, for example.

The main fat-body worry today is of course the health and blood pressure and stuff. Don’t worry I’m not ignoring vegetables or anything like that. But look around you at all the good-looking fat old ladies! Plus, my brrrrtiful grandmother Tillie lived to the age of 93.


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