Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Belle Of The Ball

It has taken me several days to process the wedding trip. Conversation with Friend Kim helped alot. By the by, I found a mattress. Firm mattress, 820 coils, with thick pillow top, latex. Mattress is 22 inches deep. I got a five inch box spring. I had to ask delivery person to go back and get the five incher as he delivered the wrong one, twice. What an ordeal, but it has been worth the effort. My neck is returning to normal and my back quit hurting. Now if I could just cure the hot flashes I would sleep like a thirty year old...

I came home from Montana feeling embarrassed, guilty and sad. Friend Tammi has gained more weight. Most things are relative. My 181 is thinish compared to almost 400. I have also been exercising for a year now. I can run (well, walk real fast) up the stairs to the Eagles several dozen times to set up a reception. I can then dance at said reception all evening, and then get up early the next morning and help with the clean up. Tammi could do none of this. I did indeed dance with the father of the bride, and the groom, and the groom's father and the bride's brother and the groomsmen and finally my own dear Mark. Tammi hid in the kitchen supervising the food. I ended up doing Mother of the Bride duties. I love the Bride and was happy to fulfill the role, but it wasn't mine to fill. And everyone knew it. This was a big western reception, gobs of ranch people. The Eagles has a big dance hall, but a tiny kitchen. People were packed in the kitchen sardine like trying to talk to Tammi. She was amongst her own. They love her. Everyone knows how she looks. I am still mystified why she felt she had to hide. But hide she did. She eventually emerged after over half the guests had left to dance with her husband, son and Mark. She refused to dance with the groom or his family. I know she did not want any of those people touching her. It was heartbreaking for me, her husband and most importantly on this day, the bride.

I had a great time. I love to dance. And no one can dance like a bunch of ranchers. I jitterbugged and two-stepped and waltzed until I about dropped. I wore flattering comfortable clothing and looked good. I haven't danced like this in 25 years. In fact, twenty five years ago when Tammi and I, dates in tow, danced up a storm every weekend. Now no dancing for Tammi. When she was not watching the bride, she watched me. And I danced. When the duty dances were done I should have gone into the kitchen and sat with her. But I didn't. I danced. And I feel guilty.

I hate fat. It is evil. It steals our lives. It forces us to live in humiliated isolation. It stops movement. It is a curse.

Tammi's husband had a gastric bypass. He has lost 185 pounds. He also danced up a storm. He also felt guilty. He loves Tammi. He has his life back and wants his wife to reclaim hers. He asked me to pray she would have the surgery. I am praying my knees off.

I reclaimed some of my own past at this dance. I was thin during my twenties. I did normal thin cutish girl things. I felt free. I have not felt free since imprisoning myself in one hundred and some pounds of fat. In the midst of a pretzel (jitterbug move) I recognized myself. God damn I was happy to see me. Sorry about the swearing. I am not twenty three and I was in severe pain a couple of days after the dance, but I rediscovered a part of myself I thought never to see again. My body can still lead me into adventure. I can move. This was the worst part of being fat, I couldn't move. I was stuck. AND I HATE BEING STUCK.

Okay, so I am wiser, sadder, and I think after writing all of this, a little less guilty. I want to move, and I want Tammi to be able to move again too. She is part of my life and I don't want any part of it to be stuck. Pray for both of us. Amen.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.


Debra said...

Ah, the bittersweet feeling of succeeding in something others cannot. I have the same situation with a friend who never married -- not that being married is a "success" -- but sometimes it feels that way when she looks at my life with that strange mixture of envy and anger that gets interpreted by my sensitive antennae as guilt.

I'm glad you sorted it out for yourself -- there should be no shame and no guilt in doing the right thing by your body -- only joy and the freedom of movement you so very obviously deserve.

BigAssBelle said...

I should have gone into the kitchen and sat with her. no, you should not have done that.

your obligation is to be true to yourself and perhaps your dancing is the greatest gift you could give your friend. you were experiencing movement and the joy that comes from movement and music together and being in the midst of people. it is a joyful, magical thing, and you did not owe it to your friend to give that up.

i think you owe it to your friend to show her that things can be different and you did. she can make amends to her daughter later and i hope she will.