I have a very self-deprecatory humor at times. It's how I deal. With being fat. And other things, too, but since it's Fat Tuesday, I'm talking about that.
When TSH (Tasty Soldier Husband) and I were dating, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and cavemen hunted them on the backs of wild, wooly mammoths (yes, I know, they didn't exist at the same time; I'm being WITTY here!), I made a comment at the end of the date that he was only taking me out for pity. This is when I weighed less than I do now but was necessarily "thin" and I've never really been able to see myself as pretty.
And I don't remember if he said anything about my "pity date" joke right at the time, but the next week, he called me and told me how mad the comment had made him. For a week, I fumed. What right did he have to get mad about my comments about myself?!
A week later, I called him and apologized, not because I really thought he was right, but because I wanted to continue being friends with him, even if we were no longer dating (I guess that means I kind of liked him, huh?).
Fast forward 12 years (yeah, it's been almost 12 years since that happened). I have not lost this self-deprecatory humor. I still make fun of myself--mostly my weight--and now I do it in front of my children.
This makes me a little sick to write. Because, seriously, what right do I have to make fun of the mother of these three sweet little guys?
Here's the thing: these boys think that their mom is pretty freaking awesome. Why? I have no idea, but they LOVE their mom. And their mom loves them right back. And she would never tell them that they are fat or funny-looking because she thinks they're pretty darn perfect.
Okay, I'll stop talking about myself in the third person.
But, here's the thing, they, like their dad, do not like when I make jokes about me being fat. It makes them very upset.
My little jokes are a way to keep me safe, a way to keep me from caring too much. But at whose expense? Are these little guys going to grow up with distorted body images and with food issues because of my comments or how I've lived my life?
I hope not. It's one of the reasons that I don't talk about the "D" word. I don't want them to grow up thinking that women need to be constantly concerned about their weight and what they're eating. Being healthy is one thing. Dieting, well, we know that's something else entirely. And I want them to date girls and fall in love with girls and marry girls who are bright and brilliant and witty and who make them better people and who love them despite--or maybe because of--their flaws.
So, today, I am making a vow in front of the 27 people who read this blog (okay, who follow it but who don't necessarily READ it) that I will not make fun of myself for my weight or my looks or even my lack of housekeeping skills. Because my children--and, I guess, myself--deserve better than that.