New book – coming soon!! A Real Mother: the mid-life smackdown – a sneak peek


The Weighting Game

weighting game.jpeg

The Husband leaned back in his chair after eating dinner. “I need to lose a few pounds,” he said, patting his non-existent belly.  “Let’s check the damage,” he said.  He probably lost three pounds from the exertion of pushing back from the table and walking to the bathroom.

I probably gained them.

I followed him into the bathroom where he stepped on the scale without hesitation. He studied the number. “Wow, 182,” he said. “No wonder.” The Husband then looked at me as if to say, “Go ahead, hop on up there.” But after sixteen years of marriage, there was a better chance of a winged piggy flying in the window than me EVER getting on that scale in front of him.

Many men seem to have the same cavalier attitude toward their weight.  Ask a man to step on the scale and guess what?  He’ll do it.  He’ll jump right on with keys and change in his pockets and his shoes still on.  But then he’ll do the most amazing thing of all – a man will matter-of-factly announce his Real Weight, out loud, to anyone who might happen to be within earshot.

Not me.  My personal involvement with the scale requires precise timing, the application of advanced mathematical equations and preferably a darkened room.  There is no such thing in my world as a spontaneous weigh-in.  It requires ritual, complete secrecy, and quite often, a multi-function calculator.

Women understand these rules.  First, weigh in the morning, naked, and on an empty stomach. Tiptoe if at all possible.  Never weigh after a shower – research has proven that hair and skin absorb water and therefore weigh more.  Do not wear glasses or contacts; this can add up to two extra pounds depending on frame style and lens type.  This well-known fact caused me to purchase a scale with large size, glowing red numbers so I could see it without the benefit of optical magnification.

Subtract one pound (or two if you tend to retain fluid) if you ingested any fluid prior to weighing.  PMS? Subtract a minimum of five pounds depending on bloating or mood. Subtract the estimated weight of your head since it is required for bodily function and contains no fat.

Women who have recently had children require the application of special hormonally sensitive, corollary rules.  And all members of the sorority of motherhood will tell you, these rules are applicable until said children have graduated high school. (Author’s note: This rule has been amended effective immediately. Women now have until said child has passed through the new life stage known as Emerging Adulthood that can last until age 25 or he moves out of the basement.  Any relationship between this revision and Older Boy being a high school senior is purely coincidental.)  And as for the three women out there who carried their newborns out of the hospital wearing their size four jeans without a maternity panel– we don’t care.

So as we stood in the bathroom that night, it occurred to me that explaining the application and nuance of these rules to The Husband would be a complete waste of time.  This one was simply for his I Don’t Get It Files.

Instead, I stood there silently weighing my options.  Because we both knew that was the only thing I ever intend to weigh in front of him.


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