This week I made a decision. I am going to lose that baby weight. I mean the kid is 19 years old already. It's time. I joined Weight Watchers' online. I just can't bring myself to go to a meeting..."Hi. My name is Amy. I love Doritos." I have 26 points a day which I believe really means 30, give or take, and I'm pretending that Chardonnay doesn't count, so.. I think this will be really doable and I will be at my goal weight (seven pounds lighter) in no time.
The exercise piece is not quite so easy. Here's the thing: I hate it. I am coming out here as an exercise hater. And don't tell me that if I run I will hit the wall and get that "runners high." The last time I ran, my heart was pounding so hard, it was worse than the panic attack I had when I lost my daughter in the ball pit at Chucky Cheese. Running was definitely out. I decided on spin classes.
What does one wear to spin class? I pulled open my "sports wear" drawer. I rifled through the leg warmers, ripped tanks and roller blade socks and then low and behold, I found an old pair of bike shorts. For a moment, I could not imagine how these had come to be in my drawer, and then I remembered. When my ex turned 40, he did a triathlon, and when he was done he gave me the shorts to wash and here they are, I'm sure still waiting to see the washing machine.
That was 13 years ago, when the thought of losing my husband to a young blonde coated in pastry flour was as conceivable as me winning the Florida lotto. I remember him training daily for his big event, spending entire weekends at the gym or all day bike rides. I remember feeling kind of angry. Here I was, home with four kids, dealing with meals, play dates and homework while he was off pretending to be Super Man. How was it he could totally disappear while I couldn't pee without prying open a juice box at the same time?
I began to wonder, was this the beginning of our disconnect? Was that when it became you do your thing and I will do mine; two lives moving along side by side, yet worlds apart? If I had realized it then, could I have saved my marriage?
Many couples deal with the same issue. Typically, even in a two-income family, one spouse has to step up and manage the day-to-day of the household. Yet, many do it and survive. My parents, for instance, have been married for over 50 years. What was wrong with me?
Then I realized, it wasn't me... it was us. Together we just couldn't make it work. The anger built as did the disconnect and then eventually, we were just roommates with kids. Enter the above mentioned blonde coated in pastry flour. Is adultery ever excusable? No, not in my book. Inevitable in some cases? Yes, I think so. We all want to be loved and yes, even admired. Some people can live being invisible to their spouse, others cannot. Chances are, once the kids are older, spouses can reinvent their relationship and start the next phase of life happily together. It's making it through those years in between that make or break a couple. I still feel if both partners are aware of the pitfalls and work to avoid them, it can be done.
When I look back now, it is with fondness and even a little relief. Like a '60s hippie, I have found love and peace, and in fact I am quite happy with my life. These bike shorts are another story. Walking in them reminds me of my first period when I was wearing a Modess pad the size of a Ciabatta bread attached to a belt. (I don't even wear a belt on the OUTSIDE of my pants.) As far as my marriage goes, it's true we didn't make it to the finish line, but I have to say, we had a pretty good run.