I woke up this morning, made coffee, fed the cat, cooked a batch of bolognese sauce, had some turkey chili for breakfast, went for a 3-mile power walk around the reservoir, and did some stretching exercises. All before noon.
Toward the end of my walk, as I traversed the bridle paths, I got to thinking about a friend of mine, U., who I hung out with Friday night. I had not seen him since after the summer began. He had just gotten fired from his job. He was going to be allowed to collect unemployment. And he decided to take the summer off before pursuing any type of job.
We had the usual exchange of "Grrrrl, how you doin'?", "Wazzup wit u?", etc. Which is funny to me because I'm Filipino and he is Mexican. Anyway, I asked how things were. He replied, "Oh, I'm fine, just recovering from surgery." I laughed it off because we have this running joke that, as ex-supermodels, we are struggling to hang on to our stick figures. Then, I asked how this summer had treated him. He replied, "I told you: I'm recovering from surgery."
My friend, U., had decided to get liposuction around his midsection. Now, yes, he was a heavy child... like many of us. And yes, he had a bit of a thick midsection. But, he also did nothing in terms of exercise. He has very poor eating habits. He smoked and drinks like a sailor. In short, he does nothing to change his body.
I was silent for a bit after his divulging of this information. I was especially silent when he lifted his two shirts to show me the girdle underneath. But, when he offered to show me the scars, I was not silent about my desire to not see them. He said that from my silence he knows that I felt it was wrong for him to do it. I told him,"No, I just wonder why you would spend $4000 for an unnecessary procedure, when you are unemployed and may need that money for more vital things." U. said that he was going to do it anyway and that he decided that since he was not working, this was the time to go through the recovery period. I just shook my head and smiled. We let the subject go and headed out for a drink and dancing.
While waiting for another friend outside of the bank ATM's, U. took his hand and ran it across my chest and abdominal region. He gave me this look and said, "You've lost weight! AND your abs are flat and hard." I gave a wry smile and said that I had been exercising differently. He proceeded to go on and on about how I was getting a bit chunky since I was in a relationship and had a full-time job. He could not stop talking about how he was concerned that I was gaining weight and how others would think I was fat. I just shook my head and smiled, again.
I love U. because he and I went through a lot with another friend, K. We ended up being each other's support system during our bachelor years in NYC. But sometimes, I get bothered by his constant need to talk about how much weight I currently have on. Or the need to ask if the K. has gained weight since he last saw him. Or how our others look fierce because of their drug-induced weightloss. Or how nobody likes a fat boy. Or how K.'s and my chubby-ness is creeping back. It's always about how much we weigh or how we look or how we are perceived.
I have told him that my friends are my friends regardless of what or where they are. And it's true, I don't care if you are unemployed or super-successful. You are still my friend. I don't care if you are thin or overweight. You are still my friend. As a matter of fact, what you do in your life is irrelevant to me. I wouldn't have kept you friendship if I didn't think you were ultimately a good person.
I just wonder when U. will stop all the superficiality. It's always about what we are wearing or how thin we are. Or where we hang out. At 36, I am not interested. I will hang out with U. again. I will endure the questions about my weight. I will endure the obvious need for him to talk about his now thin midsection which will obviously get him the man of his dreams. I will shake my head and smile, in amazement. I just wonder when it will stop being about outside and more about inside.
Oh, and for those of you who read my blog with some regularity, I have blogged about U. and his drinking issues. Later.