Now you can hide your double chin behind a paperback copy of Moose at the beach! It’s hitting shore & store tomorrow.
Ever notice how all good things arrive on Tuesdays? CD-releases, new on DVD, now playing in theaters. Even Popeye’s amiable but cowardly friend J. Wellington Wimpy preferred Tuesdays ("I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" is a line I sometimes recite to Mr. Bikini, quite randomly). Hell, I’ve even offered to trade my boobs on Tuesday for a leg up today. Now, after giving it my attention, I believe Happy Hump Day should move from Wednesdays to Tuesdays.
Notice the change in subtitle? It’s now Moose: A Memoir instead of Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp because, quite frankly, Moose is about so much more than a summer at the fatty farm.
I thought about mentioning my ethnicity, sharing that I was a quarter Russian, a quarter Austrian, a quarter Greek, and a quarter Puerto Rican, but the truth is, being Puerto Rican was something I said only in a whisper. When people asked, I’d offer a more general and European, “Spanish,” but even that was on a need-to-know basis. I inherited “ashamed” from Mom, who when young herself, refused to wear dangling earrings, insisting they made her look “ethnic.” It also didn’t help that her father roasted a goat in her front yard.
* * *
“Kegel exercises,” my pediatrician had insisted during a wellness exam.
“What do bagels have to do with anything?”
“No, Kegel,” he said, this time more slowly. He instructed that when I urinate during the day, I only allow small amounts to escape before quickly holding it in again. When I did this, I still imagined a bagel, visualizing myself peeing through the center of it with each new blast. Even my bladder was lazy. I figured it was better than a lazy eye. At least a lazy bladder you could hide."
* * *
We were girls who thought we were women, girls with dreams of who we wanted to be, masquerading behind eye shadows, trying to figure out who we were. And as far as I was concerned, I was in, becoming exactly who I wanted to be: popular.
* * *
It surprised me how even the beefiest of the girls in our cabin browsed about, walking tan lines, just going about their business, like nudists with zinc oxide noses eating crab salad. Like, no big deal. This is who I am, and while you’re at it, meet my ass. And then there were the extremists. I mean, who trims cuticles on her bed, naked? In front of people! It’s just weird, like those women at the gym who blow-dry their vaginas with the gym hairdryer. I don’t care what they say about being completely comfortable with your body; everyone isn’t supposed to be comfortable with it.
* * *
"We’re so over." …As far as I knew, that’s what girls did to boys: they made them miserable. According to Percy Sledge, when a man loved a woman, he’d “sleep out in the rain if she said that’s the way it ought to be.” So if there was some guy camped out in a thunderstorm to prove his love, I wasn’t about to let Adam off with a simple, “Sorry.” He’d need to prove it. Beg for forgiveness in the middle of the night holding a stereo above his head. I wanted to love the way people did in the movies.
After receiving emails from readers, expressing: "I never had a weight problem growing up, and I still don’t. But man, we all have body image issues, don’t we? And I loved that Moose was about so much more than that. The universals, what we all experience. Thank you for reminding me of who I was…" I realized that I might be alienating readers, so we lobbed some weight off the subtitle. The flap copy is the same, though, because really, the flaps are always the hardest to lose.
I’m not going to apologize for the self-promotion quite yet, as this is the first of several Moose-related posts to come, but I do promise to make them fun and new (with free stuff). You might just catch a glimpse of me performing hotass yoga while using my paperback to mop sweat off my back. No, not really. That would be grossatating.