Remember the scene in Bull Durham when Nuke (Tim Robbins) is on the mound wearing Annie Savoy’s garter and he rolls his eyes back and pitches the ball? That’s kind of what it’s like dating 14 years and a few hundred pounds gained and lost since my last date.
In pre-Google days, it would have been a no-brainer. I’d have waited longer than an initial coffee date to reveal that I used to weigh 300 pounds. But fortunately or not, anyone who searches my name gets the lowdown real fast. So when it comes to dating, I roll my eyes back and throw it out there. I was who I was and I am who I am and the guy up to bat has a number of options of what to do with that curve ball.
This is a first in a series of blogs I’ll be writing from time to time about my experiences as a single woman with an overweight past who is dating but not looking for Mr. Right (I won’t walk down that aisle again). The names have been changed to protect the guilty, but my hope is that it will lead to an ongoing discussion with you about relationships in relation to weight gain and loss.
PBF1 (Potential Boyfriend #1) was five months older than me, taught economics at a private college, and liked to pick me up and throw me over his shoulder and walk me around his “man cave”: a white-walled, sparsely decorated condo. He said throwing me over his shoulders was how he would be able to tell if I ever gained weight.
PBF1 said he had all a man could want: a big-screen TV mounted on the wall, a leather couch and chair, and a “summer” car stored in the garage. Because we dated in the winter, I never got a ride in it.
I wanted to impress PBF1 by making him the always homey Wild Rice Pilaf. Seriously. This stuff is love in a casserole dish. I brought all the ingredients to his condo: wild rice, long grain brown rice, butter, broth, broccoli, carrots, onions, and crushed rosemary. As he sat in his leather chair working on his laptop, occasionally gazing over to the kitchen through Ward Cleaver-like eyes (for the record, I was not wearing high heels or a floral dress with an apron), I searched for anything resembling a measuring cup, particularly since I’d altered the recipe a bit and needed the non-ubiquitous 1/3 cup. I found shot glasses, duct tape and six months of newsletters from the condo board, but no measuring cups.
“Um, babe?” I said. “Do you have measuring cups?”
He laughed and went back to typing.
Blinded by the possibility of true love, I missed what should have been my first clue that this guy was NOT kitchen savvy: an eclectic mix of plates and bowls – pieces of what used to be whole sets of dishes, given to him, no doubt, by his mother.
Knocked off my cooking game, I channeled my domestic MacGyver. ‘Hmmmm…How can I make this pilaf work?’ A shot glasses holds about an ounce of liquid. There are 2.66 ounces in one-third cup. PBF1’s coffee pot held 8 cups of liquid. I could fill water to the one-cup line and then divide it evenly into three glasses. But did he have three of the same glasses? Yes, he did! In the bathroom! Thank you Dixie!
The rice turned out perfectly, but the relationship did not, lasting about as long as it takes to cook wild rice. That’s OK. It’s hard to fall in love with someone who doesn’t know what a dish towel is for. Besides, I found out after we broke up – just after Valentine’s Day – that he is married to a woman who lives in a former Eastern bloc country. *eyeroll*
My former therapist said to me, after telling her about this dating disaster, “We all have baggage. We’re just trying to find someone with a matching set.”
“Heck,” I said, “I’d be happy to find someone with matching flatware!”