Couples tend to watch each other: he watches my food intake, I watch his drinking.
Watching…noticing personal habits, foibles, tendencies and characteristics is easy to do.
Actually, to take us both off the hook, it’s not so much that we’re watching as that we’re noticing. It’s quite easy to notice the things that your spouse or other close loved one does, especially if:
It’s something you don’t do.
It’s something you think they shouldn’t do.
You consider it a negative or “bad” habit.
You wish they would do less of it.
You’re worried about their health and well-being.
I love to eat. He loves to drink.
I grew up in a household with abundant food and no liquor.
He grew up in a home where a drink (or two or…) with dinner was de rigueur.
I love sweets and am only able to reduce my intake by only baking or bringing them in the house when we have company.
He can eat one (yes, one!) cookie or one slice of my most delicious banana bread and not eat another for a couple of days. (Although if I make an apple pie, he will go back until it’s gone over the course of a day or two – that’s his kryptonite!)
All of this is fine and good when it stays light. It is when you feel watched, monitored and judged that this gets into argument territory.
This is written as an alert to a newish friend who I can tell is trying to influence me to lose weight. She doesn’t get that I feel attractive as I am or that I’m comfortable taking my long walks and lifting weights and don’t have a goal in mind other than to keep everything in working order – if weight is lost in the process – fine, if weight is not lost, also fine.
I’m getting ready to have to tell her to back up off me – the suggestions about hair, clothes, weight, etc. And I know she’s well-meaning in this but she’s petite (and well-to-do – oh the clothes she can afford) and her beauty aesthetic is not the same as mine. She has not had to go on a diet ever, having the genes and habits that allow her to keep her petite figure.
This year for Lent (which I never observed before but did so in support of my husband), I gave up peanut butter. (I have a “jones” for Skippy Peanut Butter and just discovered that I even like the “natural” one Skippy makes.) You might laugh but it was very difficult to give up peanut butter. A couple of times I wanted to run to the store, grab a jar and just open it up and stick my index finger inside and put a big glob in my mouth, but I didn’t.) Next year, I’ll probably try to give up bread (another love) for the month.
Love is acceptance of each other, even when we’re checking each other out.
(Whisper: let me tell you what I recently did – for love. I colored my hair – not back to black but bounced to brown. I won’t say more about that now.)
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