When You Let Your Bodies Talk

One balmy Sunday morning sometime in September, I opened my eyes to him. It was then I came to understand the wordless conversation. We talked so many, many times before-but none of that seemed to compute anymore-it was just filler anyway. Our conversations really live in the soft rustle of the sheets while our limbs slide against one another. This is where they were always meant to be.

”                        ” he said.

”                        ” I said back.

I stretch out on the flannel plaid sheets and I laugh. A small release of sound, more like a hiccup than anything else. Everything is clear in the absence of words. We focus on the yawn of the box spring instead. I listen for the crescendo of his breaths. He turned to me and pulled me in so my nose lightly grazed his neck. I now know this is our morning greeting. The shells for our bodies press together and we know this translates to, “I’m awake.”

His fingers trace the freckles on the edge of my cheeks while I capture his other hand in one of mine. We are bound together by the conversation of our bodies-these are the words we couldn’t risk to say aloud.

This doesn’t last all morning though. Eventually we share a sad look that means, “we have other responsibilities today.” So, we fall from the cloud and onto the stale carpet. I laugh as I watch him struggle to find his glasses so he can find his shirt.

And then the illusion is broken. We leave each other and walk off into a day of meaningless words; we stumble off to answer questions like, “Did you read that e-mail?” and “How is your love life?”

”                     ,” I say.

 

 

 

 

When You Let Your Bodies Talk

87/22

Her real name is Anastasia. She goes by Susie. I call her grandma. She is 87 years old and currently kicking my ass at the game of life. I thought I was a vivacious 22 year old woman, but now, after a phone call with Susie this morning, I realize I’ve got a lot of living to do.

On my walk to retrieve my bike, I thought it would be a nice idea to call my sweet, adoring grandmother. I start with the simple question, “What’s new with you?”

“Well, I’ve actually been working out a lot,” she says very matter-of-factly.

I said, “Oh really, tell me more.”

I thought I was walking into a conversation that would go more like, “I made lasagna today.” No lasagna was mentioned during this conversation.

“I’ve lost a lot of inches in my waist and I can pull my pants up so easy now.”

I thought to myself, aw, that’s nice it must be hard to pull your pants up at 87. I then realized I, at 22 years of age, can barely get my pants up everyday. So now I’m really listening.

“Well, I want to look good for Jessica’s wedding so I made Uncle Vinny buy me an exercise machine.”

Let me give you some background. My cousin Jessica is getting married this October. The family is freaking out with joy which also means the family is freaking out trying to find the closest Weight Watchers meeting. I don’t know what about weddings makes everyone want to lose weight but I’ve reluctantly joined in. That’s how the Italians get you-first they stuff you with struffoli and then someone decides to get married and everyone who’s been forcing pasta down your throat is suddenly afraid of carbs.

“Wow grandma that’s great.”

“So, what do you do to exercise?”

I think back to my last few days. I went on a walk, but ended the day ordering an XL pizza from Domino’s. I did some yoga, but only after the guilt I felt waking up next to a McDonald’s wrapper.

“Oh, you know, little bit of this, little bit of that.”

I really have to be more like my grandma.

***

Let me also tell you what happened at my cousin Vinny’s birthday party. (See picture below-also note the shoes and Michael Kors bag)2016-01-10 13.17.54-1.jpg

caption: Pretty sure that L is for loser and the loser is me.

This photograph was taken shortly after a conversation we had about breakups. Everyone at the table had a story about a nasty breakup or two and then it was Susie’s turn.

“Well, I’ve never been broken up with so I wouldn’t know how it feels.”

I blurted out a controlled yet angry, “Are you fucking kidding me?” And then, “I’m sorry grandma, are you saying you’ve never been hurt or heartbroken?”

“Not ever. That’s why I feel bad, I don’t know what you guys went through. I can’t relate.”

I really can’t handle her. But, I totally can. She’s my new motivation. Not only to lose weight (no, not just for the wedding) but to not let men break my heart, get my ass out of bed, and to pull my pants up “so easy.”

 

 

87/22

Lemons and Milk

One Sunday morning, dressed in the clothes my mother picked out for me, I squirmed my way into a booth at Friendly’s for family breakfast. The waiter asked what we would like to drink and my parents responded in unison, “coffee.” Now, I knew I couldn’t order coffee, but I could order something similar-something like coffee. “Tea, please.”

A few minutes later our waiter returned. My parents arms shifted around the table moving the creamer, milk, half and half, sugar, and sweetener according to who wanted what. I looked at my tea cup placed on its little plate and saw a lemon wedge. I also noticed the milk had made its way in front of me. I can’t remember which one I put in first, but I realized later it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter which one went in first because lemons and milk were never destined for each other.

The juice from the lemon curdled the milk, but at the time I didn’t understand this. Chunks in my mug danced around like leaves in the wind and I thought it was okay that this happened, even fun to watch. Until my mother ushered the waiter over and ordered me a new tea.

As I got older, whenever I made tea for myself, I faced the decision: lemon or milk? And it kind of became this larger motif for me, it went past just what I chose to mix in with my daily dose of caffeine. Because, sometimes you have to pick-stay at home for college or go away? Save your money for a house or go on your dream vacation? You just have to figure out what is more appealing to you, the surprising electric shock or the creamy, safe softness?

Besides decisions, it’s good to recognize when you are curdling into oblivion. For example, I would be in this really toxic relationship and I’d have the “ah-ha” moment that it was a lemon and milk situation. It didn’t matter who was the lemon or who was the milk, we just didn’t go together and that was okay. It was okay to realize that. It was okay to make a change in my life.

Look deep into your mug of tea today and do a little self-evaluation. Are you happy with your choices? Are you making the best ones for yourself?

Don’t let yourself curdle, and if you find one day that you did-order a cup of something new.

 

 

 

Lemons and Milk