Misery Loves Company

I have a friend who has struggled with weight issues all of her life. She is very good at getting rid of the pounds but not so good at keeping them off. I have seen her lose the same 35 pounds time and time again and, in the blink of an eye, it’s back.

When she turned 49, she decided it was time to take charge of her life. Well, I would think so! She has never married, never had children and never had a long-term relationship with a man. Despite her bravado and fierce opinions, her professional success and independence, she probably has the lowest self-esteem of anyone I know, although she conceals it remarkably well underneath her swagger.

Actually, I didn’t know she was scared of life and relationships until she told me. This revelation came on the heels of yet another weight loss except this time, there is something decidedly different about her and her body, and it isn’t just the elimination of 35 pounds.

We have pondered this, she and I and our third buddy. Not only does she look thinner, but she’s smiling more and actually carrying herself differently. I think she’s sipping special mojo Kool-aid.

There is a prospective man in her life. She did not lose the weight for him, but she makes no bones about enjoying the fact that he likes her and admires her new shapely body; nothing wrong with that. However, she cannot understand why a man would be interested in her.

Why wouldn’t he be? She’s pretty and funny and smart and is financially independent. She isn’t saddled with kids or debt or bad health or an ex-husband who makes her life miserable. She’s a free agent, with not a lot of baggage attached, except that emotional crap that has weighed her down for nearly five decades and which she is incrementally (at long last) shedding.

She possesses a lot of qualities that are attractive to both men and women. Why wouldn’t a man be attracted to her?

I am delighted for her because she seems happy. I am rooting her on and have dubbed the man in her life ‘Doctor Goodlove.’ He is a doctor, after all. I am just speculating about the good love part, but we can hope.

The thing is, not all of her friends are supporting her in her weight loss process or her romance. In fact, her very best friend at work will not speak to her precisely because of those reasons: She has lost weight and has a boyfriend.

What kind of friend is that?

Good friends don’t want you to be miserable. Good friends don’t want you to carry around extra weight that threatens your health and makes you look and feel less attractive. Good friends don’t suggest that you have an eating disorder and are within minutes of death, which this “friend” has done.

Good friends want what is good for you. Even if they don’t think that Dr. Goodlove is the one for you, they should respect your decision and enthusiastically chant, ‘You go, girl! Have some fun.’

My friend’s so-called best work buddy is “Worried about her.” She’s afraid she’ll be hurt.

So she gets hurt. That’s not the end of the world. Getting hurt is part and parcel of living. Playing it safe until you’re six feet under is not living at all. Wouldn’t you have rather lived, loved, suffered, grieved, rejoiced, failed and succeeded and rejoiced than done nothing at all except wait to die?

It appears that misery truly does love company. The so-called friend is miserable and wants our mutual friend to stay in the miserable camp with her.

I continue to cheer on my friend, telling her not to pay attention to her nay-saying colleague. I say to hell with the misery part. Get on with living and do it with gusto.

P.S. The romance is still going strong, 18 months later. Hip, hip hurray!

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