I see you across the produce and intentionally look away, busying myself with finding a perfectly ripe avocado. We’re friendly, but not great friends, and I haven’t see you in a while. Of course, you notice me and zoom on over.
“Hey there,” you say with a smile. “How are you? I haven’t seen you in forever.”
I can feel you eyeing me up and down. I see you zero in on the tightness of my jeans. I don’t blame you. It can’t be helped.
“So how are the boys?” You ask considerately, calling them each by name.
I hear you talking about how second grade is going, but I know you’re thinking, “Man, she’s put on weight.”
I know it’s only a few pounds, but it feels like the weight of the world on my thighs, and I know everyone knows it. Everywhere I go, they’re all smiling at me and chatting like it doesn’t matter, like they’re not thinking, “She really let herself go.”
Sometimes, I think it’s just me. That I’m crazy, and no one really notices anything different about me. I mean, it is a bit self-involved to think that everyone is noticing me, that they would even recognize a few extra pounds. No one cares what I look like. Everyone is just worried about themselves, right? But then I know I’m just fooling myself. Of course, they are looking. We are all looking at each other.
“I think the last time I saw you was at that sushi place.” You say.
Of course, bring that up. Where else would I be but a food place, right? Eating. Thanks for rubbing it in.
“How’s baseball going?” You ask.
I nod blankly, because I’m really not listening. I know you’re just making polite conversation to cover up the elephant in the room.
“Hello…?” You laugh.
I smile, caught. I apologize for blanking out. You let it go, and repeat the question. You’re really very nice. But come on, seriously, when is this public scrutiny going to end?!! Why can’t I just go get my Tropicana, eggs and some Honey Nut Cheerios in peace without the third degree! Why are you torturing me!!!?
I mean really, enough is enough. The show is over. Do I need to sing??
“Nice, seeing you again.” You say, and start to pull your cart away. “By the way, you look great.”
Well I’m sure you didn’t mean it.
I wonder if Edy’s is on sale.