For a couple years now, I've been writing every week for this website called Purple Clover, which is aimed at women who are long in the tooth, shall we say. Not in the bloom anymore. Rounding the bend. I am one of those women, as I know all too well.
The writing has been going well--at first it was hard to sound funny, because I can't drone on as I do here, in case you hadn't picked up my drone, but now I feel more like my real voice is coming out, although I'm still not as funny there as I am here.
I mean, look how much you're laughing so far, here. It's like Jerry Lewis has entered my soul or something. I DON'T FEEL FUNNY RIGHT NOW, okay? My clown shoes are put up.
Last week, I wrote an article on being grateful for what one has, and I included a photo of my legs crossed on my porch railing. I enjoyed writing this particular article, and was glad when they not only ran it on Purple Clover's site on Monday, but then they also posted it on Facebook last night. I just happened to see it as soon as it went up, and it had 59 Likes immediately. I refreshed the page, and it had 70 Likes. "Oooo!" I thought, because sometimes those stories sit there for 24 hours and get a measly 200 Likes. There are 1.5 million people who follow Purple Clover on Facebook, so 200 Likes is sort of similar to when you post a photo of your breakfast and get, you know, 4 Likes out of your 500 friends.
Shut up about my maths. Also, why do people post pictures of their breakfast? I have never really understood. Mostly because my breakfast is sad flax oatmeal every day.
My point is this. When I woke up today, I checked Facebook and remembered to check my article. It had 3,600 Likes, which, yay!
Then I read the comments.
"Oh my god, cankles," wrote one commentor. It got a few Likes.
"Be grateful for what you have? How can you when you have those cankles?" wrote another.
See. A healthy person would have gotten off that site right away. Maybe meditated or gotten the whittling knife, started carving away on m'legs. That's what a healthy person would have done. Me? I kept reading.
One person even spelled it "Kankles."
By the time Ned emerged from the shower, my chin was quivering. "Am I fat?" I asked Ned. "Of course not," lied Ned, who fears the reaper.
"No, you can tell me," I said.
"Sweetheart, you're beautiful," he said. "What's going on?"
"THE INTERNET SAYS I'M FAT!" I wailed, and threw myself on the bed, causing it to crash through to the dining room with my considerable girth.
Oh, I sobbed. Then I cried. Then I turned my cankles this way and that. I really DO look cankle-y in the photo I submitted to Purple Clover. Truthfully, even when I weighed 30 pounds less than this, I never had a tapered ankle.
Once we had drinks with one of Ned's exes, and I noted how delicate her ankles were. She was like a little fawn.
I sobbed harder. I wanted to never write another thing that would be read by the public again. Certainly I wanted to never submit another photo to the Internet again. Would it be weird to wear boots year-round? Maybe I could bring back leg warmers.
Ned sat on the bed. "Should I take a personal day?" he asked me and my deformed legs. My mother is coming here today and I have cleaning to do, plus that is insane, so I told him no.
"Look," he said, warming to the subject. "If you really feel bad about yourself, go to the gym. You have that free membership that you won. But you really need to do cardio. You can do Tracy Chapman and yoga--
[I'd like to interrupt here to say I did an HOUR of Tracy Chapman last night, an hour of her the night before, and an hour of yoga on Monday. Thank you.]
"--but to really lose weight you have to do cardio. And you can't eat the horrible things you eat, either," he said, not noticing the look of horror growing on my face. "There's no avoiding it. Cardio. And eat better."
I swear to god if he'd said his signature line about eating less and exercising more I'd be blogging at you from the county jail right now.
So here is my dating tip for all you men out there. The many, many men who read my blog: The Canklebury Tales. If your woman is sobbing because the entire Internet has told her she's fat? What she wants to hear is that she's charming. She's sexy. She has curves for miles. A sobbing woman asking you if she's fat DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR THAT SHE'S FAT.
Maybe offer to go walking with her later that day. Then the next day. Maybe mention that gym in a few days.
Because if you piss her off enough, she might throw her weight around. And in my case, that's a considerable threat.