As I was making a doctor’s appointment to have my mole checked, I was reminded of the first chapter I wrote for the novel I thought I was going to finish several years ago (I never did!). This chapter of the novel is called “Fat Looks Better Tan” and I thought it was a fitting tribute to precede my appointment with the dermatologist. Here it is…maybe some of you moms out there can relate! (Hopefully just to the tanning part!)
“But fat looks so much better tan!”
Had I really just said that to my dermatologist? The man who just meticulously checked every spot, freckle, and mark on my almost naked body and found “suspicious spots”. The man who just espoused the most prolific motivational speech on why the sun is so damaging to our very delicate skin. Most importantly, the man who had very kindly refrained from saying “at your age” during any part of the exam. What was I thinking? I reminded myself that I am 40 years old, have a masters degree, and make a living teaching others to accept their bodies and that’s the best I could come up with?? Dr. Miller stared at me with a look of disbelief and all I could do was stammer “but it’s true” in the slightest whisper.
Dammit, it is true! And at my age you’re looking for all the help you can get! Dr. Miller ignored me and continued his line of questioning on my necessity of spending so much time at the pool and in the sun. “But I’m finally a magazine mom!” I blurted out. He sighed and paused, deciding if it was worth continuing this conversation. “Please Maggie, don’t leave me hanging, what exactly is a magazine mom?” he asked. “You know, the mom at the pool who finally has kids old enough she can sit in a chair and read magazines all day.” I was feeling more than a little foolish at this point and even though that little voice was telling me to shut the hell up, I just kept going. “It’s a step up from manic mom.” He looked a bit intrigued so I continued. “Those are the moms who chase toddlers all over the pool and shout for them to stay away from the edge, only taking breaks to check on the crying baby sweating in a carseat underneath the sacred umbrella they were able to score by being the first one at the pool.” Thank god I’m done with those days I thought to myself. Bobby is twelve and Lacie is ten, and although I miss many things about them as babies and toddlers, running after them in my post-baby body at the pool was certainly not one of them. Dr. Miller smiled a “I-feel-sorry-for-her-husband” smile and ordered me to enjoy being a magazine mom with a hat and plenty of sunscreen. He’d see me in a couple of months to follow-up on my “suspicious” spots.
I left Dr. Miller’s office with as much dignity as possible when your skin is permeated with black sharpie. I immediately fumbled in my purse for my cell phone. It had been an entire hour since I had last checked it and I felt the withdrawal forming. With a rush of excitement I checked for any missed calls, voice mails, text messages, emails or facebook status updates! I was blown away by the text message that awaited me…”Hey stranger! Remember me??” I sat in my car and stared aimlessly for what felt like an eternity. I hadn’t seen that number in over five years. It was my ex-husband’s number. Dylan had been the love of my life. That doesn’t sound so bad except for the unfortunate fact that my ex-husband is dead.
Maybe someday I’ll finish the novel, but for now I’ll just continue to love my sun, check my moles, and tan my fat…with lots of sunscreen of course!