When my children have diarrhea, all they want to eat is fruit.  When they’re constipated, all they want to eat is cheese.  I have the most spiteful offspring in the history of the human family.

There’s something I’ve often wondered about, and maybe you can help me with it.  Why are women so embarrassed to say how much they weigh?  It’s not that I’m really interested in what other people weigh–in fact, I’m totally uninterested, which I guess is why I don’t get what all the secrecy is about.  Unless you’re trying to meet hot guys on the internet–in which case I can see not wanting to disclose that you’re 5’2″ and weigh 216 pounds, no matter how good it may look on you in person–I don’t see what difference a number makes.  I mean, if a person’s looking right at you, they can see what size and shape you are.  Is it really going to change people’s opinions of how you look if you tell them that you’re actually 167 pounds and not the 120 you’re hoping they think you are?  Personally, I’m content with the weight I am now–especially since, you know, I’m pregnant and my backside is supposed to be getting wider anyway.  But if I were unhappy with my weight, I don’t think I’d be embarrassed about the number.  I’d be more embarrassed about my backside (especially if I weren’t pregnant).  But being unhappy with the size of my butt has never stopped me from going out in public, so why should the number on the scale be so shameful?

No, I’m not angling to get you all to tell me how much you weigh.  It wouldn’t mean anything to me anyway, unless you were 300 pounds.  I have a pretty good idea of what 300 pounds looks like, regardless of height.  (If you told me you were 9 feet tall, though, I’d really be impressed!)  But short of that, I have difficulty envisioning it.  My husband, on the other hand, has this uncanny ability to guess women’s weights.  No, he doesn’t do it to their faces.  It’s not a parlor trick.  (“You look like you’re about 155–am I right?”  “Go to hell!”  “See, Mad, I told you.”  No, it doesn’t happen like that.)  So how do I know he can do this?  Don’t ask, but I know.  It’s one of his many strange talents.  He can also multiply three-digit numbers in his head.  He’s lots of fun at parties.

Speaking of strange things, I have in recent weeks, for some dumb reason, become addicted to doing the daily Jumble in the newspaper.  Yes, I know it’s lame, but I’m not smart enough to do the crossword.  Anyway, it’s very upsetting because some days I just cannot unscramble a word, and I think, “This is shameful.  My parents didn’t shell out thousands of dollars for my education so I could sit around for hours on end wondering what RAWFE is.”  Do you know what RAWFE is?  Well, it’s WAFER, of course.  Do you want to know when I figured that out?  About two seconds ago, when I typed it.  Do you know when I started that puzzle?  Saturday.  Okay, so I haven’t been working continuously on it or anything, but still–what does it say about me that I look at RAWFE and can’t see anything but WRAFE, FEWAR, and WEFAR, and it’s actually still bothering me on Monday afternoon?  What I hate, of course, is when Sugar Daddy–who couldn’t freaking care less about the Jumble because he has a Ph.D. and isn’t so starved for intellectual stimulation that he does word puzzles designed for people approaching senility–does the Jumble over my shoulder just so he can feel superior to me.  Of course, what does that say about him?  We were made for each other.

Speaking of being made for each other, today is my parents’ wedding anniversary.  They don’t really celebrate it anymore, being how my mother is dead and my father’s married to another woman now, but it’s information just as useful as the rest of what’s in this post, so I don’t have to explain why I mention it.  I’ve always liked the story of my parents’ courtship, even though there are few things ickier in life than thinking about your parents being in love, and even though it isn’t that remarkable.  But I think it’s kind of cute.  My mother was a divorced mother of a young daughter (my older sister), working at the

Center (now Oregon Graduate Institute) as a secretary, and my father was a mild-mannered young graduate student working on his master’s degree in chemistry.  Everyone in the department told my mother to stop flirting with that nice young man because he had a girlfriend back in
Idaho that he was practically engaged to.  My mother didn’t really have any intention of ensnaring some unsuspecting farm boy-turned-scientist because she’d more or less given up on dating Mormon men.  It was the ’60’s, and most eligible men in the church were not too keen on marrying a woman with life experience.  (That’s a euphimism, by the way.)

As it happened, my father didn’t really have any intention of marrying this girl back in
Idaho, either, so he asked my mother if she wanted to go with him to a party.  Thinking it was just a friendly/platonic thing, she said okay.  When he came to her apartment to pick her up, he spent some time playing with my sister.  My mother said that was when she began to see him in a different light.  Two weeks later they were engaged.  Five weeks after that they were married, and 366 days later I was born.  (Please, hold your applause until the end.)  They were married 26 years and had five children (including my big sister, whom my father adopted).  To my knowledge, Dad never guessed Mom’s weight or did crossword puzzles over her shoulder.  And Mom never started a weblog in which she wrote all the annoying crap Dad did.  But they were happy, all the same.

POST SCRIPT:  I’m going shopping for a book or two tomorrow that I can read on my 5-hour plane ride.  Any suggestions?  No Anna Karenina.  I want a sexy page-turner.  Okay, it doesn’t have to be sexy.  Just something that will take my mind off my nausea and that really uncomfortable seat.