Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Lying Eyes

I sometimes take a flight that uses very small planes, 6-8 people on board. When you check in, the person at the counter will, before God and everybody in line, ask how much you weigh.

I have to admit, for a split second, I’m tempted to lie.

I’m not even overweight. And I'm not particularly concerned about my appearance: I don’t wear dresses, don’t often bother with make-up, don’t care about clothes. But, still, my first impulse is to round down. (Then, my inner worry wart kicks in and I answer honestly.)

The other day, my teenaged daughter and I were getting her a belt. I could tell that something was bothering her. When we got to the belt rack, she sourly grabbed an extra-large. When I said, “Buddy, you don’t take an extra-large,” she argued with me, upset, that she did. I convinced her to try on a medium, which fit with room to spare.

I am reminded of a scene in the very good novel I am reading, The Last Days of California by Mary Miller. The teenaged narrator constantly tells us that she is fat and not pretty, especially compared to her sister. But when the family stops at a flea market, she notices a caricature artist drawing a picture of two teenaged girls. She says, “In real life, one of the girls was fat and the other was thin, but in the drawing they were the same size.”

Many years ago, while wasting time on the website urbanbaby, I saw someone ask, “What is your biggest regret?” Several women responded: “Not realizing how beautiful I was.”

My goal: to convince my daughter that we all, even we females, deserve every bit of the space we take up.

The question is: how to do it?


  1. Years ago, the State I lived in at the time concluded that the VAST majority of people were lying about their height and weight on their drivers' licenses... so they quietly decided they were going to WEIGH and MEASURE everybody come license renewal time.

    I was horrified. They printed my REAL weight. Traumatic!

    1. Ha!

      My daughter, who would like to think of herself as tall, was a bit optimistic on the height thing when she got her license. :o)