No Weigh!!

by Darryle Pollack
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scale.jpg So there we are, my two children, my ex-husband and his side of the family sitting at the table. All adults ranging in age from 20 to 70.  Dinner is over, I am paying no attention to the conversation at the far end of the table when I see my nephew approaching with a bathroom scale.  I have no idea what instigated this, but it apparently involves a discussion about someone's weight.  (Not mine, I assure you.)

Now that he has our attention, my nephew puts the scale on the floor next to the table, steps on -- and tells the assembled group how much he weighs.  Mind you, this is AFTER dinner, not before, and we have all just consumed excessive amounts of bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates.   

The number on the scale inspires some comments (all justified); and then one of the other guys gets up and steps on the scale.  And before you can say "Kirstie Alley",  all of the men line up by the scale, with absolutely no hesitation  and no prodding whatsoever, and weigh themselves.  And then announce their weights OUT LOUD (which by the way fall within a range of a hundred pounds).  There is no alcohol involved; and I should also point out that each of them does this while fully dressed, head to toe, including shoes.

If you are reading this and you are female, I am guessing that your reaction might be the same as that of every woman sitting at the table.  None of us makes a move to rise from our chairs; none of us volunteers to join the line next to the scale; none of us can relate in the slightest possible way to what we are seeing.  Speaking for myself, I would rather step into the lion cage at the LA Zoo than step onto that scale.

It is the Mason-Dixon line; the Berlin Wall.  Possibly no clearer divide exists between Mars and Venus.

scale2.jpg My husband owns a professional doctor's scale, the kind you step on with the sliding weights.  He weighs himself on this scale every single morning and every night.  He does this even when I am right there, watching. 

This scale is really large, and occupies a very prominent place  in our bathroom.  Every single time I walk into our bathroom, I pass right by it.  In fact, in order to reach the towel rack, I have to stretch my arm around the scale. 

If I were to weigh myself on that scale, which I have not done in a very very long time, I would never dream of doing it when he is actually in the bathroom.  I would need to know that he was safely out of the house.  Better yet, out of the country. 

There was a time, not that long ago, that I kept close tabs on my weight.  Especially when it was going in the opposite direction from where it's now headed.  I've started to notice that my level of denial expands proportionately in direct correlation to my expanding proportions.

Which makes the perfect segway to the scale being the white elephant in the living room.  It obviously doesn't blend with our bathroom decor, but I still manage to pretend it's not there.  For me, the scale now functions mainly as a place to occasionally drape a wet towel.   

Like any normal American woman, my weight has always been a complete fabrication to the people at the DMV--and a state secret kept at all costs from my husband, my friends, and everyone else. And lately I've moved on to even more extreme measures.  I'm keeping it a secret from myself.


Darryle is a mother, breast cancer survivor, artist and TV journalist who lives in central California and writes the blog

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