Hey you two,
I was doing a pretty good job of not doing my regular obsessing about weight losing while on my vacation. Between walking all over downtown and horsing around in the pool with Pisa, I was feeling pretty good. Outside the zone, so to speak. I wasn’t stressing about eating, wasn’t micro-managing my meals or oozing sweat out of myself on highly complicated fitness equipment.
Then there we all were, at the hotel’s Carb-alooza breakfast buffet. I was enjoying some oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, and I spotted you two and your family again, sitting down to a Ponderosa-sized breakfast at the table next to me and my family. You two had to be tipping the scale at over 800 lbs (hell, that breakfast looked like it came in at 25 lbs all by itself). The boy seems to be a chip off the old block, the way he was digging in to those waffles and smoked sausages.
What really got my attention was when you were getting on to the daughter, telling her that that banana wasn’t enough to fill her up. Eat up, you were encouraging her. Go back and grab some more of that fabulous free chow.
I know I’m supposed to “live and let live,” but man, it was hard watching you both go to town on that big plate of biscuits and gravy before you made that waffle run. I wanted to go over and shake you both, not for what you’re doing to yourselves but for what you’re passing on to those kids.
You weren’t always like this, were you? I mean, the kids look like you so I presume they came from the two of you having sex, but when I tried to imagine it, my brain locked up like I’d just super-sucked a 56 oz. cherry Slurpee.
You can’t enjoy living this way… I mean, besides the breakfast buffet part, which I’d say you’re getting considerable enjoyment out of by the looks of things. I saw you all over at the Arch yesterday, getting ready to take the ride to the top. As I rode up with my crew in that little washing machine pod that carries you up 700 or so feet, I again tried to imagine you guys cramming yourselves in to that tiny cramped space. Sometimes I wish my imagination wasn’t quite so vivid…
Anyway, I think you’re both too far gone… and the slack-jawed expression on your son gives me little reason to hope he’s going to pull out of his nutritional nosedive. Most teenage boys I know can eat like pigs and stay rain-thin. I see him over there playing on a cell phone or Game Boy or whatever the hell it is, so I suspect most of his activity is of the virtual variety.
Which leaves the daughter, and my one hope for your family. Those bright eyes and that banana make me think she’s got half a chance if she can somehow get through the next few years without slipping on a heavy overcoat of indifference and self-loathing thanks to the poor guidance you’re giving her.
I really wanted to pull her aside and tell her there’s another way, another path. I wanted to impart to her that there’s nothing “free” about that “free buffet” and that we don’t all have to grow up to be the folks who raised us. The cards you’re dealt is part of it, to be sure, but there’s also the way you play them.
Of course I didn’t do it. It would have scared her, and not in the way I wanted to scare her. I sat back, pushed away my three-quarter’s finished oatmeal (you don’t have to scrape the plate clean, y’know), and offered a silent prayer for your not-so-little girl.
Maybe she’s doomed, maybe not. There’re those bright eyes… and that banana. Hold on to that banana, young lady.
Hold on tight.