All my meters are incorrect.

I’m still doing the magical eat-less-exercise-more diet that I started at the beginning of May. I try to eat 1600 calories or less each day, and I try to exercise as much as I can without feeling sorry for myself. And I think I’ve lost some weight. It looks like I have. But I bought a cheap scale, just to be sure.

According to my book (can’t lose weight without a book), 1600 per day will make me lose 8 pounds per month.

According to my scale, I lost 7 pounds in May. Then, I gained 5 pounds during the first week of June. Then, I gained another pound before the second week of June was even half done. Then, apparently, I lost 5 pounds yesterday. Oh, and sometimes I weigh nothing.

It’s too late to return the scale. Even though I’m pretty sure it’s broken now, I keep weighing myself on it. I don’t know why.

Meanwhile, I’m home sick today. I have the same illness I get over and over, in which my body has chills and fever, my stomach feels blech-y, and my muscles are weak. This morning I decided to take my temperature, so I’d have a hard fact to give my coworkers when they ask me, tomorrow, exactly how sick I was.

My temperature was 95.5. I think that means I actually died, on Saturday, and now I’m secretly a zombie, unbeknownst to anyone.

I almost died on Saturday.

We went to the beach town known as Surfside, Texas, and immersed ourselves in the filthy water. Normally, my height and buoyancy keep me safe in the deep waves. Normally, I love the deep waves. But this time, a huge wave overcame me and almost took my life.

My boyfriend was standing a few feet away. He said, afterwards, that a smaller wave had just knocked the white Nike visor from his head. It was bobbing a few feet in front of him, and he was reaching forward to grab it, when the big, almost-lethal wave overtook us.

First, the big wave hit me. “Yay!” I squealed, right before being knocked underwater. I landed partially on my left knee, which scraped hard against the ocean floor, but mostly on my boyfriend. “Garba glubba blubba!” I told him, as, like crabs in some kind of crab porn movie, we tangled limbs in the brine. I couldn’t get loose. Couldn’t get my face out of the ocean.

One long minute and two liters of inhaled salt water later, I was finally free. Standing on my own two sea legs again. My boyfriend was standing, too, safe. But his visor? Lost. Lost to the wrath of Neptune and/or Calypso.

“I have to find my visor!” he kept saying, throughout the afternoon. He went into the water with his glasses, then without his glasses. The kids went with him, sometimes. But they never found it. “Your visor’s in France now,” I told him, but he didn’t listen. “I’m sorry,” I said, but he said it wasn’t my fault.

I stayed in the beach chair, under the beach umbrella, while everyone else searched and swam and conquered the waves. I’d had enough of the beach to last me all year, already.

My children are giant monster locusts.

Four years ago, when my boyfriend first met my three small sons, he said, “Three boys. Those kids are gonna eat tons of groceries.”

“No,” I told him. “You’re wrong. My children are very polite.”

Today, two of my kids are taller than my boyfriend. Taller than me, even. They wear giant shoes – sizes 13 and 12 and 10 – and their feet get bigger every school year. Faster, actually. I make them wear their shoes until three out of five toes are emerging on either side. Only then do I buy them new shoes. Again.

And, so, yeah, they eat a lot. It’s frightening. I’ll bring home groceries. Make them take the bags out of the van and pile them on the kitchen counters. “Put these groceries away,” I say, and then run to my bathroom for, like, twenty seconds, to empty the bladder that has been rendered weak and worthless by the birth of three kids. When I come back, all the groceries are put away, all right. Into my children’s stomachs. All the stuff is gone. There’s like, one can of Campbell’s Won Ton Soup left, and the kids are punching each other in the heads to see who gets it. They’re knocking each other over, into the louvered doors that hide the washer and dryer, and those doors are broken again. They’re dragging each other up to the roof of the house, then taking turns pushing each other off. When one falls, old, broken toys fall out of his pockets, all over the back yard and the patio furniture. Then one falls on the patio furniture, breaking it. Then, suddenly, all the furniture in the house is broken. The couch has giant holes in the cushions, and in each cushion is a stash of Nutrigrain bars or mini carrots or bizarre Asian candy or Campbell’s clam chowder, hidden there by a seemingly starving child.

“Goddammit,” I say. “Quit that!”
“Sorry, Mom,” they mumble.
Then I have to go back to the grocery store for more. Again. Every minute of every day. It’s the only reason I work anymore – to buy my children groceries.

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Posted in domestic, lookism, parenting, stories on 06/12/2007 06:02 pm

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