A Love Letter FROM My Body
Girl, it’s time you realized that, for better or worse, it’s always just going to be you and me.
You think it’s tough being you? Living inside a shell that is decidedly imperfect, what with the spider veins and cellulite (don’t blame me, blame genetics) and the terrible, awful, myopic eyesight (again, genetics, and maybe all those years that you read novels til 3 a.m. by the light of your alarm clock – but I’m not pointing any fingers, really I’m not) and the fine, limp, mousey-brown hair? You think YOU’VE got it rough?
Well, honey, let me say that it is no picnic living with you, either.
You are crazy. I’m sorry, love, you just are. I’m no prize myself, but it is sometimes just a little exhausting to deal with your anxiety (that makes my stomach hurt and heart race) and your obsessions and compulsions (that keep me up at night and compel you to race me all over the house, busy busy busy, from dawn til way-past-dusk) and dear God your FOOD ISSUES. One minute you want me to eat a whole gallon of chocolate ice cream the next you want me to subsist on apple juice and celery sticks.
These 33-and-a-half years? They’ve been kinda hard. Sometimes (like when you got into that nutso totally-not-from-Jesus cult and made me fast for days and weeks at a time and stay up into all hours of the night working quite-almost-literally to death) it has downright sucked to be your body. You’ve put me through the ringer, and I have always done my best to keep up with you and not complain. (Too much.) So stop talking about me (I can hear you, you know! I’m standing RIGHT HERE!) to all your friends about how I’m fat and tired and I hurt all the time. Take a second to think about how that makes me feel, mmkay?
Think about the fact that when you snuggle into bed at night, whether your husband or doggies or baby are there or not, I am ALWAYS there. And when you’re driving to work in the morning, it’s me that’s alone with you and your thoughts. When you’re relaxing in the tub with a glass of wine and a good book, I’m there. Just me. I know you.
I know you.
And I’m not giving up on you. So please don’t give up on me.
It’s just the two of us, crazycakes. We have to get each other through the day, every day, for the rest of our lives, and when one of us goes, well the other one is done too. That right there is a good enough reason to take care of each other.
An even BETTER reason is because each of us feels better when the other one is doing good.
I mean, think about it, right? When I’m warm and have a full tummy (not celery sticks, but please not a WHOLE GALLON OF ICE CREAM EITHER), don’t you feel good? You do, right? When I’ve finished a long walk and I’m all endorphin-y, you get to enjoy that, too? And when I snuggle into bed next to your hubby’s bod and get to – *ahem* radio edit – you’re enjoying yourself as well. I know! And that’s okay. I like to share those things with you.
And when your heart and mind are calm and at peace, I can feel myself slowing down and breathing deeply and just thinking, “Oh thank God.” When you’re doing well, I’m doing well.
We make the difference for each other. That’s how God made us. We’re tit for tat, ying for yang, peanuts and beer, cheese and rice.
And honestly, I’m kind of glad that I ended up with you. Because you’re one smart cookie, and I know – honey I do know and I appreciate it – that you have been my champion your whole life. You haven’t done a great job at it, but you have been fighting tooth-and-nail against the American female’s tendency to hate her body since way before you understood the concept of “body image.” You have pushed against this society’s obsession with buoyant boobies and slender thighs for as long as you can remember, and you have pulled countless other women out of that dark night of self-loathing, and for that I have to say, THANK YOU.
I love you.
You aren’t perfect, but you’re mine.
And I’m yours. So be good to me, please?