The room's dark, the kids are asleep, and she summons me sweetly. It's been a long week of travel, work stress, not getting to see one of my three daughters, and the usual melodrama that surrounds my four ladies. I am thinking a hug,a kiss, maybe even some compliments, instead I get the questions no man should ever be asked. "Do I look fat?" "Have I gained weight?" Really? Is this the first day we've met, honey? I'm thinking that maybe I have died and entered the first realm of Hades. I'm expecting a Bon Jovi concert, Black Friday shopping, and a Sex and The City marathon to start playing. No man should have to deal with this, yet I deal with it every other day.
For the record, if their is one, I think my wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever see. Yes, I am legally required to say this but I also believe it. Thsi blog's about honesty, right. Well, even the lovely Bobina needs to check herself and realize her weight is not my business, it's hers. So, go ask a female blogger if you look heavier.
I'm joking. This personal antecdote brought to mind how each of the women I live with bring me into their issues with how they feel about their looks and how they want me to respect them. Tay, our teenager, is headed to homecoming in two weeks. We are dropping her off at the high school with her friend who is a boy. This past Thursday, while I was in Houston working, Bobina took her to the mall and got her a dress and shoes. I am not allowed to look at the checkbook this pay period. Today, on the way home from church, as her mom and I were joking that we would chaperone her dance, Tay said "You know you guys are making way too big a deal about this thing (homecoming), I don't really care." Hmmm. You don't care, Tay? Is that why you weeped when we were apprehensive about you going? Is that why you dress shopped, twice? Is that why you talk on the phone with your friends and facebook about the details of the night. The truth is my beautiful daughter cares a lot. She cares what we think, what other people think, and what she thinks about her appearnce and reputation.
About a year ago, Bobina and I had a heated discussion about weight loss, mostly centering around my working out so much. During this discussion she dropped this bomb, "honey, my weight is my business, not yours." Ok, fine. Then why do we spend 30 minutes at the women's clothing department for you to try on 3 pairs of jeans, 4 shirts, and a parttridge in a pear tree? Then you put everything back and say "nothing fits, I hate the way I look."
I'm not picking on Tay or Bo at all. Their reactions and their behavior are normal. Crazy, but also normal. I care too. Turning 40 kicked my tail. I have spent more time and energy on my body and my looks than I did when I in high school. I realized I do the same things my girls do. I want them to tell me I'm awesome but be able to worry about what other people think about me. It's life big paradox isn't it. I mean it's not equal to Puffy and Biggie telling us It's All About the Benjamins then saying Mo Money, Mo Problems, but it's up there.
Tay found a dress and shoes. The dress isn't too short, she looks beautiful. Bobina found a new pair of jeans, and no one has been punched and no furniture has been broken. I answered her hellish questions the way I was supposed too because my finger still work to type this blog entry. I am learning that Tay, Bobina, the little ones, and the female friends I have don't want your real opinion, they want your unconditional love, in the form of flowing, flowery compliments. Heard and done.
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