I’m having a staring contest with a chocolate bar today. Halloween is coming up in nine days, and I found a buy-one-get-one-free sale on bags of Halloween candy for trick or treating…so I bought four. I told myself we needed extra candy in case of an unusual onslaught of trick-or-treaters this year. But a little voice inside has taunted me ever since I emptied a bag of the fun-size chocolate bars into a jack-o-lantern shaped bowl (for the kids, of course).
Just one won’t hurt.
No one will ever know.
The only problem is, I have to wear a sari in one month for a wedding, and I am on a diet. No carbs, no artificial sweeteners, no dairy, no fun. I wake up every morning and plan my tiny meals, to the calorie, while I am surrounded by delicious kid food that I to feed my brood. Pepperoni pizza, chicken tenders with barbeque sauce, and delicious French fries. At dinner time, I sit at the table across from the kids, eat my steamed veggies and grilled chicken, and stare at their mouths enviously as they chew.I endure this torture, not because I want to be healthy. Oh no. I persevere for one reason.
I have back fat.
For those who have never worn a sari, let me explain the repercussions of my problem. A sari is a very long piece of fabric that is wrapped and draped around one’s body in a way that creates a gorgeous, flowing outfit. In order to keep this singular piece of fabric in place, it is tucked into a cotton petticoat that is worn underneath. This petticoat’s drawstring needs to be cinched tightly in order to hold the tucked fabric in, and in my case, the result is an unattractive bulge of white flesh that I prefer not to showcase to the world. Although I weigh the same as I did before I gave birth to my five kids, let’s just say, things are not quite the same.
I am American. I am vain. I want to keep my imperfections to myself. Plastic surgery, diets, camouflaging clothes, it’s all fair game. I came of age in an era of Jane Fonda workouts, supermodels on magazine covers, and Baywatch babes on prime time TV, so the pursuit of physical perfection is in my blood. I wear skinny jeans with long shirts to disguise my problem areas, and when I dress up, I pull out the signature little black dress. The little black dress, slims the figure, and is perfect for any occasion.
Except an Indian wedding.
Indian women are the epitome of beauty in saris. The bright colors and sparkles of the fabric exquisitely complement their mocha complexions. Most are thin and petite, and look elegant in their outfits. And even when someone might have a little bulge at the waist, their confidence overshadows that minute detail.
Plus, every white girl knows, fat always looks better when you’re tan.
So, as I stand here in my kitchen, munching on celery, I glare back at that chocolate bar. I hold it in my hand, and order it, and my inner voice, to leave me alone because I am stronger than they are. And just to show that chocolate bar who is boss, I bite off half of it and let it melt in my mouth. That will teach it to mock me. Besides, I only eat half. I’ll just wrap some extra fabric around my middle at the wedding. No one will ever know.