Sunday, 20 May 2012

Come On, Skinny Love


That's what I said I was when a guy cancelled our second date at 4.30 pm because, as he said, he was tired and cranky and did not feel like coming back to Manhattan (he lives in Brooklyn) and just wanted to sit on his couch and watch basketball and drink beer – and that he'd make it up to me.

I always have had trouble expressing how I feel (when it is not positive) and then sitting through the discomfort of the reaction. So much easier just to eat – or to say it's all OK. Except it wasn't. The e-mail made me alternately sad, angry and depressed, and plunged me into a deep despair. Over a guy I don't even think was the man of my dreams – just a man I actually wanted to go on a second date with, something that has not occurred for a very long time.

I did not respond immediately because I didn't have the energy. I went to a barre method exercise class I had booked and dragged myself through it. I felt a little better by the end of it, but when I left the studio everything weighed on me again.

I trudged through the evening as if moving underwater, knowing perfectly well that eating would not help yet wanting to do it anyway. I did not.

Late that night, I wrote, along with the fact that I was disappointed, that I was sorry he'd had a crummy day, and that I hoped things looked better in the morning. He'd alluded to a not-great week, which I know included the same difficult holiday mine did: Mothers Day, when yours is not alive. (Not that it's a competition, but my week also included a birthday I found surprisingly tough: 37.)

He responded the next morning with a single line: "I'm sorry I disappointed you."

Was this the best place to practice saying how I feel? I am doubtful, but it's done now.


Last night – fresh off the above and the news that an old friend I have long harbored feelings for is in a relationship that, he told me, he considers "permanent" – what did I do?

I went to a singles event at an art gallery in Chelsea.

Let me state for the record that my friend B goes to a bunch of these – with quite good luck; she's flirty and pretty; easily the catch of the room -- and texted me Friday to ask if I'd join her. I have been to one other one, which was spectacularly bad: a ratio of at least 8 women to every man, and most of the men either old, short, dull, weird, shy-to-the-point-of-struck-dumb or some combination of the above.

Text message from B as I am running slightly late: "Just saw guy I was dating go in. I'll wait for you outside."

When I arrived she told me there was one guy she'd dated and another she'd hooked up with. Then we went upstairs and a woman standing by the elevator greeted us with: "There's a lot of ladies in there."

I began to wonder if there would be anyone to talk with who wasn't a B castoff.

Answer: Not really.

Strange evening. Made all the stranger by a 30-year-old black guy – the only one in the room, as he told us repeatedly (as if we couldn't tell) – attaching himself to us (B had been chatting to him) and proceeding to challenge almost everything I said. I didn't want to be there, didn't want to talk to him, and certainly did not want to deal with questions such as "Let me ask you something: Do you have a complex about things getting complex?"

He joined us for drinks after, first trying to insist we go to some place in Union Square where apparently celebrities go (that was all I needed to hear to know I didn't want to go there). When B and I started talking about a trip she's planning to Spain and Morocco, he all but demanded we change the subject because he couldn't contribute. He also kept touching my knee, which made me very uncomfortable. I could not think of a polite way to say, "Cut that sh*t out right this minute." I'm sure my face reflected my displeasure – I am crap at hiding things.

And at the end of the night, B announced she was catching the bus and he asked me what I was doing.

"I'm going to walk," I said.

"Which way are you going?" he asked.

"I am going to clear my head," I said firmly.


"I just want to listen to my music and clear my head," I said.

"Well," he said, injecting the word with about as much disapproval as I've ever heard.

Normally this sort of tension -- being trapped and frustrated -- might well have made me binge. But last night, badly as I wanted to, I thought fiercely: I am not going to do it over this twit.


To the singles event I wore a dress I bought in Venice in 2009, when I was there with BN2. It was supposed to be his birthday present to me, but I don't think he ever gave me the money for it. I never wore it, left it at
my grandmother's, and promptly forgot about it until I was in Miami in December.

It is one spring/summer dress I know fits, and – I fear – one of the only things.

It has been a rough 2012 on that front.

I don't weigh myself, so I can't give you numbers, but clothes don't fit and I feel ginormous and like I want to hide from the sun. I know part of this is New York body dysmorphia (this is the place where any double digit size is the easiest to find on a sale rack), but part of it is grounded in fact. I am bigger than I was.

And I keep hitting what seems like new bottoms in terms of what I binge on (almond butter and peanut butter are two things; both things I used to keep around the house with no problem) and when was I ever a person whose binges required pizza? (Answer: Never.)

Thanks to injury I cannot exercise the way I used to, which adds another layer of frustration.

And yet, and yet. I amassed 17 days without a binge, binged for two days, and then picked myself up. After two days binge-free I spent the entire evening of the third desperate to do so – but just could not face the idea of waking up on my birthday post-binge.

Sometimes in the moment the consequences are not enough to keep me from doing it, but this time, luckily, it was.

Eight days binge free.