The #1 way to erase 8 pounds and other freebies

The bookmobile came through the village and Evan was at breakdancing class and I needed something to do so I went to the bookmobile but I was too antsy for books and so I picked up a womens' magazine for the first time in years and since then, I've thought of at least fourteen different ways I'd off myself if I wrote copy for a womens' magazine.

GUILT-FREE BURGERS: Go Ahead, Say Yes to the Fries!

AU REVOIR TO OFFICE ASS!

TUSH TONER!

OPERATION KILLER BOD BEGINS... NOW!

JUNK THE JIGGLE FOR A BETTER YOU!

FIND A SENSE OF PEACE. A combo of pacifying patchouli and feel-good vanilla and jasmine in Camuto by Camuto, $78!

I flipped through it feeling angrier and angrier, but not for the reasons you might expect. The evil media and the affected woman's identity and legs airbrushed to the point of plastic and all that. For me it's aesthetic. It's the insult that someone, at some point, decided that the best way to appeal and sell to my discontent would be a starburst around the words BOOTY BLASTER! It's the throwaway nature. The words, the paper, the gloss, the tush toning/inner peace stock images. It's all a lie.

Editors backwards-engineer content to make it more compelling and substantial. That's a part of what I do, and so I read stuff and can't help but backwards-engineer it. There's nowhere to go from BOOTY BLASTER. Take out the trick words, the marshmallows, and there's nothing left. Just garbage and chinese ink and nefariousness scented with cherry blossom mist.

It gets worse, worse. So much worse and I'll confess it. The part that makes me want to run through plate glass is that I picked up that magazine in the first place. Why? Because I've got a booty, so to speak, of a dozen varieties, and gosh, well. Shit. I'd like to blast it.

I'm wearing all my feeeelings. Pudgy and bloated and pale and picked to the bone. My pores. The pores! An elasticity I never knew I had is gone. My chest looks like an old-woman chest, you know, the part that shows. Neck and collarbone. It's all ... god. For serious? Wrinkled. It feels different, done. There's no cream for this. Flat. I went out and the beauty I was with was pure tinsel, and I was her nerdy sidekick because she's one of those pure-tinsel types who's so lovely that she doesn't discriminate against nerdy sidekicks. At one point some guy said What was your name again? while peering over my shoulder for tinsel and it made me feel tantrummy and vain and ludicrous.

I am too evolved to mourn the attention of douchebags. I scowled with adverbs.

But then the douchebag yawned without covering his mouth and I could see his tonsils and they were douchebaggy tonsils and I thought You're yawning? YOU'RE YAWNING IN FRONT OF A WAY-EVOLVED WOMAN? and his mind, without him being aware of it, answered like this: I'm not yawning in front of a way-evolved woman. I'm yawning in front of an almost-forty-year-old mom. Your scowl is the scowl of an almost-forty-year-old-mom and it doesn't even register. The sight of you can only be registered by douchebags who are, like, way older than me. Old douchebags. Like how certain sounds can only be registered by dogs and lemurs and stuff. I'm 26. I can't even see you. All I can see are your pores. Your pores are way-evolved.

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I am currently aggregating a variety of visual inspirations and salutations for contemplation. This contemplation will take many months, during which I will contemplate intensely. How it might feel to have rippling shoulderblades and hips that swivel all the way around and I bet if I had hips like that I'd be serene and glowy. I'd be tinsel. I'd have a tan that would come from the inside out. My teeth would go TING! like that. TING! I'd be magnetic. I wouldn't have pores. They'd leave me in protest on the sheer strength of my namaste.

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Those of us who think of themselves as mindful cooks are the worst. We wrap competence around us like chubby chain mail, insisting that there's nothing else we could do to improve because we (cook from scratch) (don't drink pop) (don't eat fast food) (don't eat ----) (eat lots of ----) and that, with a smug shrug designed to appear calm and collected instead of defeated, ends all avenues. Change is not necessary. We don't buy Pop Tarts and Beep, so our bodies are beyond us.

I don't know what's causing what. What's just years, what's salt, what's the sugar in my tea, the wheat, the lack of water, the cheese, the sloth. A bag of Doritos jumped into my grocery cart last Tuesday but it was a better-intentioned and more rare bag of Doritos than your bag of Doritos. I ate it but I didn't really mean it.

See? I stare at what I see and note what I feel and I feel more deaf and blind than smug.

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It's such a cliche to panic post-Christmas and I've never made a New Years' Resolution in my life so don't pin any of that on me. I'm just stating my plan of contemplation. I'm going to think about it. I'm going to grab fistfuls of myself and mutter. I'm going to have flashes of momentary commitment like, I don't know. A whole glass of water. ALL AT ONCE. I'm going to daydream about being stronger. Not hotter, but stronger, and that daydream will be immediately followed by a bagel with butter and cream cheese and two teaspoons of sugar in my tea, and then muttering fistfuls of myself while I pinch at my aging skin.

I care. I don't care. I care. I don't. It's not just calories and booty. It's everything, the coming-apart that we all are, and the feeling better. I might care, but maybe not enough. I'm thinking about it. Are you?