In the neverending saga that is life, I got a call the other day from a relative who I will refer to as "The Reporter". This person gave me news of a recent lunch with a buncha cousins. I did not go because that all happened on Long Island and I'm in Boston and was not about to return to the old country just for a lunch.
You may have read me talking about my cousins. I am, even with about a 60 pound gain from my lowest low, still one of the thinnest of the thin in that group. And I was informed that the lunch was, indeed, stuffing. It was apparently a buffet, probably of a mix of items including, evidently, baklava. So, to my mind, meh.
I was also informed that one cousin's young son (2 years old) is tall and enjoys being read to. That's lovely. And that was it for the news. This is, mainly, a group of schoolteachers. And I see them all the time on Facebook anyway, so it's not like I'm dying for the news or anything. It's more interesting, to me, to hear what the Reporter thinks about what happened.
And I was told not of news or of jokes or cousinish aspirations or the like. Instead, I was told (without asking) who had gained weight. And the biggest are bigger, apparently. No word on whether my own recent struggles were conversational fodder, although that would not shock me. Despite my telling the Reporter that that's not what I want to hear about people, that I care about more than their appearances, I am still regaled with bits about who's huge.
Well, sheesh, folks, stop going to buffets if it bothers you so much. And find something semi-active to do, or at least something without so much of a focus on food. Nah, that'll never happen, as this one walks with a cane and that one will balk and we won't be having a conversation! I got news for ya, Reporter - if you're spending more time telling me of weight than of people's vacations and the like, you AREN'T having conversations anyway. Hell, people, at least go to a restaurant where there's a semblance of portion control. Even a huge platter of food is better than a buffet, where you can grab two, three, four plates of whatever, piled sky-high.
But I digress, I suppose.
What is it about bulk that seems to be such a compelling item of, well, not conversation. Let's call it what it is: GOSSIP. What is it that's so itchingly transformative for the Reporter that I have to be told about THAT?
I do not give a damn.
Truly, I don't.
I see plenty of FB photos, and I see status updates that are about meals out versus races or going to the gym or, really, any form of interaction other than hanging around and consuming mass quantities. So I know already. And I wouldn't even need to see photos in order to know.
It saddens me, really. I turn 50 in 13 days. I strongly suspect that I will not see 100 (none of my grandparents did, and only a great-aunt did of the immediate family of either side, and she was from the side opposite to that of the aforementioned cousins). So this is it, folks. I am past the halfway mark.
And I wonder, in 40 years or whenever things are hitting their end, what will I be like? And who will be there with me?
My 60-something year old cousin who walks with a cane will be gone. My 20-something cousin who is bigger? She might not be around, either. The Couple Who Go Out To Dinner Every Other Night? They might be gone as well. The Reporter will certainly be gone.
I will be done with running, I am sure. And there are diseases that might hit, regardless of my best intentions and my behaviors. Cancer may still strike, as it has struck so many on both sides. There is heart disease lurking in that genome, too, and it might fell me, or it might try to.
All I can do is try to push those days away as far as possible, and make them happen later, rather than sooner. I can get out and move my body. I can put my fork down. I don't need a damned third trip to the buffet. I've got - despite being out of work for months now - plenty to talk about that isn't weight-related. The day before they all had lunch, ya wanna know what my husband and I were doing? We were running a 5K. It was his 27th and my 31st.
So you can keep your gossip, and your third trip to the buffet, and your internecine sniping. If you want to join me, I am more than happy to slow down for you. Hell, I'm already slow, and I remember being slower.
But don't ask me to stop.