Every year I say:

I’m not going to eat apple pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, an appalling assortment of homemade cookies, holiday candy, and cinnamon pumpkin bread until it’s coming out of my ears and I can’t sit up straight in a chair.

But I do it. Every year.

I say: It’s all good. The endorphins make me happy, and that makes the world happy in a teensy way. I say: No biggie. I’ll just diet after the holidays. Dieting, however, is an agonizing affair. And if you ask me it cancels out the happy endorphins from binging on catastrophic amounts of sugar and carbs. In fact, I wonder how long my body can sustain the oscillation of expanding and shrinking, like an evil breathing balloon, inhaling and exhaling until the rubber wears out and the balloon sags and puckers and can no longer hold its shape. OMG!! I’ve just scared myself to death.

Okay, so I didn’t really die. But my legs got watery from the prospect of sagging and puckering and worn-out rubber skin. Thank the stars for plastic surgery (and I mean Hollywood stars, as their demand has created the supply). But I wonder . . . considering a stretched and worn-out rubber/skin balloon, how far can plastic surgery go in returning it to its original shape? Wouldn’t a stretched, sagging, skin balloon, looking like Dali’s melting clocks, resemble something stitched up by Dr. Frankenstein after a body lift? Consider all the hills, valleys, corners, and folds of the human body; then throw on top of that the stretched-out skin being pulled, tucked, trimmed, and sewn. EEyoooo!

Ya know, it occurs to me it might be better to stay fat.

Think of the relief.

No more dieting. No more holding back. Just immediate gratification nonstop. No more resisting the bread so I have room for the dinner. I could have dinner AND bread! And with gobs of butter! I wouldn’t deny myself dessert—I’d have 3 desserts! I’d roll out of a restaurant brimming with endorphins, filled with happy carbs, tottering on cottage cheese-filled thighs. Yeah, mama!

Imagine the freedom of not caring about calories: binge-watching whole seasons of TV shows on Netflix while munching on chocolate chunk cookies, tubs of ice cream, and bags of potato chips; fortifying with flavored coffee topped with whipped cream in order to continue on to the next episode, with which cake must be eaten. And then, making something nutritious for dinner, like spaghetti and garlic bread dripping with butter, while contemplating coconut cream pie for dessert as soon as the stomach moved enough of its contents into the small intestine. And later for a snack—caramel popcorn followed by Godiva chocolate.

Of course, I’d have to throw away any full-length mirrors, shop in a different department for clothes, and switch dating sites. They have pills for diabetes now, right?

Back to Thanksgiving.

If there is one thing the years have taught me, that is to forego fashion for comfort when choosing what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. I will expand past any waistbands not made with elastic. I will bulge beneath any cute little t-shirts. I may as well wear a tent, or a tablecloth, or one of those muumuu-type flower-print house dresses grandmas wear with puffed sleeves and plenty of room to increase girth underneath.

I may have learned to dress appropriately for the annual gorge-fest, but that doesn’t mean I’ll listen to myself. In fact, I know I won’t. I will still want to look cute, while promising myself not to overeat. That’s the other thing the years have taught me—that I’m vain, and . . .

I lie to myself.

I lied to myself just yesterday, when I was cleaning out my closet, and I kept a pair of jeans that used to fit ten years ago, saying: I’ll save these and wear them again after I lose weight. My frontal lobe does not seem to kick in at times like these to inform me of the unlikelihood of this happening after ten years. I even lie to myself when shopping and I find a cute dress on sale, but it’s just a little too tight, and I buy it in anticipation of fitting into it later when I’m not bloated. I never debloat and the dress sits in my closet with the tags dangling, reminding me daily of my folly, but also commending me on my frugality in buying it on sale.

Sometimes my feet even get bloated. How is that possible? I sit almost all day in front of my computer, typing up my innermost secrets and exposing my inanities to the world. What right do my feet have to make my closetful of awesome shoes tight and torturous prisons for my pedicured toes?

Life is not fair, my gorgeous friends. Life is not fair.

You would think, in the 21st century, scientists might have caught up to Star Trek, and invented a food replicator. After all, Gene Roddenberry thought this up decades ago. We have the World Wide Web, pleather, and hair dye, but no food that tastes good with zero calories.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Perhaps if I keep the image of a stretched-out, evil balloon in my mind, I’ll triumph over tradition and stay thin and svelte through the holidays. That seems unlikely as I’m not thin and svelte now. But I can fool myself into thinking I am if I avoid catching my reflection in a department store mirror at a bad angle.

And a girl can dream.




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