Sunday, January 27, 2008

What will countess Marya Aleksevna say to this ?

I went to a wedding this Thursday. It was one of my husband's old friends, who finally found his other half. I wish them happily ever after.

During the main course I took my little one to the restroom, where a woman heard me speaking Russian to DD, and in turn started a conversation in Russian with me. Turned out she was from Baltimore; we had a few friends in common. During the conversation this woman mentioned that Baltimore has a lot of available guys, and she wanted to know if I knew any single girls. I had a few names ready, and we were going through the regular questions: age, ever been married, where from, appearance. The last question inevitably led to the discussion of weight, at which point this woman sighed and said, "Guys nowadays only want thin girls." No kidding, I think I can write a book on the topic that could rival War and Peace in its length. (Don't worry, this post will not be that long.) At least this woman was nice about it and actually sided with us, pleasantly plumped female population.

This brought me back to about five years ago, when I myself made a call to some matchmaker, who was recommended to me by an older acquaintance from the synagogue. After a short introduction and a few questions, I was asked about my weight and was told that girls over size 8 needed not apply for her services. That included me. In a few very short words I was rendered unmarriageable and hopeless. In five short minutes my spirit was crushed without much consideration. There was no sympathy, apology or compassion in her voice. You are fat, you deserve to stay single. Sometimes I think that a convicted murdered would have received more support from this woman. After that conversation, I immediately called back my acquaintance, and very indignantly recounted what had happened. I was in for another shock. My acquaintance told me, "Call her back. Tell her you are size 8." "But won't she notice that I am not?" I asked. I got an exasperated, "Then you should get to size 8!" I expected more understanding, especially from someone whose own daughter struggled with weight. But then again, due to a medical condition my acquaintance never was an ounce over size zero, so she would never, ever understand what it felt like to be told to lose six dress sizes in two weeks, especially when you tried for the past two years. She would never, ever know how insulting it was to have had your personal worth measured in pounds and dress sizes. For the first time in my life I was grateful to come from a family of full-bodied women; I might have gotten a fat gene or a lifetime of bad eating habits, but I also had my mother's understanding in this area. Somehow, I think that the daughter of my acquaintance was sorely lacking it.

Now, after getting married, I got my own window into the male psyche. I once broached this subject with my hubby, and received a confirmation to my long held belief. There truly are men who cannot be attracted to a woman over a certain size. And there are others, greater in number than the first group, who might not personally object to the looks of someone size 12. However, they are concerned about their friends' opinions. Since thinness is "in", having a fiancee or wife over a certain size is a sign that they have settled for someone sub-par.

And there it goes: there are tons and tons of men in their thirties claiming to be willing to do anything to find their better half who all the while not able to risk dating someone not picture perfect. They are searching for years, not getting a clue from the experiences of their married friends most of whose wives gained a dress size or two (at the very least) after marriage. Not getting at all that maybe, just maybe they themselves are not greatest catches (often time themselves lacking in appearance department as well as other areas), and adjusting their (or actually their friends') expectations to reality might be the only way to ever get married. (By the way, most of these friends whose opinion is oh so important don't really care what the girl looks like as long as she makes the guy happy.) If you ask me, these morons are probably doing us fatties a huge favor by refusing to meet/date our kind. Because living a life where "keeping up with the Kohens" is a norm is not my idea of happiness. On the other hand, some women may prefer this over staying single...

But back to the guy who got married on Thursday. He was looking to get married close to ten years. He had his list, and would not consider compromising. I don't know at which point be broke down, but the girl he married is definitely someone he would never consider dating only three years ago. No, the girl was not overweight, but that's not the point. He finally got over the fear of what some people might say, and now found someone with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. So there are happy endings, and I hope that all my friends get their own happy endings too.


  1. Oh, where to start!!! My own oration on the topic is coming along with my horror stories:) For now, Mazal Tov to your hubbie's friend on finally gaining some maturity.

  2. you can't imagine how happy this post just made me :)
    SubW - I LOVE YOU! (Barb, you too, but authorship of this post is deserves a special notice :)

  3. PS
    Who is the world is Maya Aleksevna?

  4. It's the last line of "Gore on Uma" (Woe from Wit) by Griboyedov. The character is concerned "Ах! боже мой! что станет говорить Княгиня Марья Алексевна!" i.e. what will the neighbors/important ppl say!

    btw, why did this post make you so happy that you professed your love? I am very intrigued now.

  5. as to Марья, thanks for the enlightenment :) - as you might have guessed, i have no clue why Al Gore on Uma Thurman is entertaining :), so never explored that part of literature.
    as to everything else - don't ask no questions and I won't say no lies :)

  6. ...just take my word for it - this is The post of the year in my book :)

  7. well, the year just started... hoping to write something better in the future...

  8. and i will bet my last shekel you will :)

  9. I'm still curious, but will not ask you any more. And thanks for the compliment :)

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