Once in high school, my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend (which was sweet of her, really, to think that I had so many interested prospects out there). She also told me she would know if I got a boyfriend and started having relations because my “hips and thighs would get wider.” Of course, as is customary of a good teenage daughter, I didn’t believe her.
Years later, it finally became clear what my mom was trying to say. What she seemed to be trying to explain to me was the phenomenon of Comfortable Couples, and how I would grow to be attracted to a relationship of that nature, eventually turning into a Comfortable Couple myself.
Comfortable Couples often adopt a slovenly dress when at home with each other. They rationalize their frequency of wearing stained sweat pants to each other by saying things like, “But no one’s going to see me but you!” As a Comfortable Couple, you will realize just how rarely you dress up when you come home early from work one day to discover your boyfriend trying on his new shirt, looking longingly in the mirror, turning this way and that. When you catch him and ask him what the special occasion is, he will fall into a foul mood, complaining about how you never take him out anymore and how he never has anywhere to where his new shirt to.
Date nights will be instituted and after a short while, they too, begin taking on a comfortable tempo. For many Comfortable Couples, date nights will involve an inordinate amount of time devoted to locating, discovering, driving to, consuming and enjoying food. And then waiting for digestion to complete to make room for dessert. As much as you both enjoy eating, you also enjoy each other and promise to always love each other no matter what.
That “no matter what” provides people with wriggle room. Sometimes that wriggle room translates to allowing oneself to gain some weight. Which is what my mom was trying to tell me: “Your hips and thighs will grow wider.”
Needless to say, Alan and I love eating together. We are those people who will drive 45 minutes out of our way to get a good bowl of ramen and who will plan a day trip around the main event of eating pastries. It is this love for food and love of eating as part of my Comfortable Couple that makes me so incredibly sad that Alan can’t eat. There’s a whole host of larger problems at hand (such as the still blocked bowel, the pain, etc.), but the fact that those problems are preventing him from enjoying an activity we love so much breaks my heart. He hasn’t eaten now for almost 2 weeks, 2 whole weeks without nutrition. Yesterday he tried to eat since the doctors seemed to think he was better, but it didn’t work and he only ended up reeling in nausea and stomach cramps. 2 weeks seems to be the point when people trapped in their cars in deep snow banks start eating their tires or the car seat stuffing, so I’m pretty sure he is near the point of starvation. You would think someone besides me (ahem, the doctors…) would be worried about this. Pretty soon, these hips and thighs are just going to disappear.