Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest Post: A Thin Disguise

by Shannon Farr

     Ellen sat at a corner table of a trendy new restaurant with her 3 best, truest, on-the-same-page girlfriends.  Across from her sat Denise and Trudy; both of them cute, nearly wrinkleless, self-sufficient, and trim.  Next to Ellen was Jeannie, hands-down the most trust-worthy and closest friend on the planet.  Jeannie was such a secret-keeper you knew that telling her something was as safe as writing it on paper, then eating it.  They had endured roving husbands, divorces just 4 months apart, and crazy-wonderful flings with younger men.  All of the details of their lives, shady or shabby were shared then locked in an invisible vault inside their heads. 
      Well, that had always been true before, but Jeannie was so dramatically thin after years of being pleasingly plump and the only reason she gave everyone who asked about her new body was that she was babysitting her grandson and this metamorphosis was from running after him.  The thing was, Jeannie had cut herself off from this group and her other friends over the course of several months, and then she emerged a butterfly where a caterpillar had sat on all the seats of all the clubs they belonged to.  
      Ellen felt like everyone was getting the runaround because Jeannie wouldn’t want to admit to surgery for this new and improved version of her.  “Now, r-e-a-l-l-y, Jeannie, as your best friend, HOW did you do it?”  Same answer.  And here Jeannie sat, cute as a button and ½ her size while Ellen’s butt oozed over the side of the chair. 
      Denise was telling about her new diet, thanks to Dr. Oz on TV, which had her eating strawberries, blueberries and bananas every day, she said as she shuddered over the bananas.  “I’ve lost a dress size already!” she beamed, “from a 6 to a 4.” 
      “I just can’t eat at all!” Trudy lamented.  “Every time I eat something it feels like I’ve swallowed a softball.  I think I’m just going to order dry toast,” she said in a resigned tone, her face a frown.
      Ellen was sincerely worried that something serious could be wrong with Trudy.  “You need to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible and tell him this,” she said.  Trudy leaned back in across the table and said in a hushed tone as she looked around, “You know I got liposuction on my stomach and waist, right?”  Three gasps.  “OMG, no!  When did that happen?”
      “About 5 weeks ago, I think,” Trudy whispered, trying to keep the conversation they were having to a whisper. 
      Jeannie piped up, “Well, I think you look great, but do you think they did something wrong since you’ve lost your ability to eat?
      “Maybe,” Trudy breathed out.  “But it was worth it and then some.  These jeans I have on are my daughters!”
      “Well, as long as everyone is telling good news, I have some.”  Everyone looked at Denise expectantly.   She was grinning wide and touching her hair.  “Is your hair blonder than before?” asked Trudy.  “Oh, no.  Well, it is because I put a lighter color on it, but that’s not it!” Denise blinked at her friends several times.  She could tell they weren’t going to get it so she blurted out, “I had my eyelids tattooed!  I never have to put on eyeliner again!”  The 3 friends were scrutinizing her face and searching for something good to say about it.  To herself, Ellen was thinking why would you go with jet black eyeliner when you have very blonde hair and fair skin, especially when you’re 60 years old?
      “I’d like to have that,” Jeannie said at last.  I would love to not have to do that every morning.  She was thinking the tattoos made Denise’s eyes look like they were bulging.  Not flattering, she concluded to herself. 
      The best friends ate their meager lunches; Ellen ate lightly so they would not all think to themselves no wonder she is so fat with all that food she puts away.  She knew that when she got home there were ice cream sandwiches in the freezer and that  she would finish off her meal.  Trudy nibbled at her dry toast so as not to pop the button on her daughter’s jeans.  Jeannie ordered a small salad and whirled it around her plate most of the time they spent there.  Denise ordered the fruit bowl and a cup of hot tea: no sugar.  They talked a bit more, and then everyone got up to leave. 
      Outside the restaurant they hugged and kissed cheeks and all 4 made a comment about how much they loved their friendship and getting together and why didn’t they set one Saturday aside every month to get together  because they had so much to talk about.
      Leaving the parking lot 3 turned right and 1 turned left to start home.  Within minutes, Ellen’s cell phone rang: it was Trudy.  “Do you b-e-l-i-e-v-e how skinny Jeannie is?  I bet anything she’s had a gastric bypass!”  she began.

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