Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Marc/Chantelle: Jarring Thoughts

I decided to fix myself some nachos last night.

It was the long weekend and I was all on my own, and I had the last few episodes of Stranger Things to get through. I should note for the record that I have been listening to "Running Up That Hill" on repeat for weeks now, because those lyrics resonate scarily with where I'm at. I'd love to make a deal with God to change places with someone, you know what I mean? Or maybe that relates to me as I used to be and I just didn't know it yet. I'm having some pretty complicated feelings that I may need to unpack sometime, but later for that.

What's important right now is the nachos.

Now, the thought did occur to me... all this cheese and salt and meat and grease... what's it going to do to this body? I've already noted down a few foods that don't hit quite the same as they used to, although it hasn't put me off anything. But...

Well, here's where I say some things that make me look bad, because it's all tied up in the breakup of my marriage. I don't think weight gain during the pandemic was an uncommon thing, and Laura and I both experienced it, but there was definitely a factor there. In retrospect, I think part of it was what was going on in the world and part of it was our relationship falling apart, so we did a lot of meals that were easy and maybe not healthy. I gained a potbelly, and she gained weight too. It feels so petty now, especially since I've now got a well-rounded butt and boobs going on, but at the time it was like a visual signifier of the collapse of our relationship. We were less attracted to each other, resentful of each other for the changes we were going through, maybe eating our feelings, who knows? She goes up several sizes, my old pants stop fitting, our feelings toward each other start to change. I feel like a heel just saying that that had anything to do with it, but here I am trying not to break this body somehow, fretting over every calorie as punishment for, I don't know, appreciating my wife less when she changed sizes.

So I think to myself, what am I doing to Charlotte's body with junk food? How will people look at her/me if I fatten her up a little? Am I okay with that or has society made me hate fat people? What kind of a complex am I giving myself if I starve myself out of fear of doing that? I don't know, truly, all I know is that in the moment I wanted a little bit of comfort food and I don't think anyone should begrudge me that.

So I make myself one plate, brown the meat, melt the cheese and prep the fixings and everything, and I get ready with some sour cream and salsa that I've bought from the market just for this, and...

I can't open the jar.

What a cliche! I'm a woman who can't open a jar for herself. I've always taken that for granted: grip and twist. I can't seem to hold it tight enough to get it unstuck. I'm straining my little bicep. I'm starving, I'm dying of frustration. My arms and hands simply will not do what my brain thinks they can from a lifetime of being a reasonably strong, hairy man.

Defeated. I have never felt more dejectedly like a woman, and I've already had a period.

I googled "tips to unstick jar" and of course the article is geared toward single gals, along with other "don't need a man" hacks. It turns out if you bang a knife around the edge of the lid it loosens it easily. I still found it a little tricky but bob's your uncle on that one.

So today, I was telling all this to Daisy. I get midway through the story and I realize... the story isn't funny if you don't know I'm a guy. I felt so embarrassed. The big punchline was "I looked it up online." But she didn't notice, she went into an enthusiastic discussion of her own diet woes (incidentally, she's a twig) and how there's this great taqueria that just opened up on her Lark Street that we "have to try." I mean my God, if only it was this easy to get a date when I was a man!

That's a bit of a sad thought... because obviously this isn't a date.

Later this afternoon, a guy named Djuro came over to my desk to ask if I was ready for tomorrow. What was tomorrow, I had to ask?

The first week of co-ed softball, which "I" agreed to sign up for back in April.

I got this really hesitant look in my eyes and tried to wriggle my way out of it, "Gosh, I don't know, you know, I haven't been feeling great, and..." but they need 3 women or they can't field the team and they're counting on me. It's not like they're expecting me to be good, right? He pressed me further and I relented.

I was never that athletic anyway, so it's kind of funny that I have more value to the team as a token person with a vagina.

Now I have to rifle through Chantelle's wardrobe and get some gym clothes out. I hope nobody is expecting these non-salsa-opening arms to produce much in the way of hits. Besides, I guess it's a good way to "work off" those nachos.

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