I wrote this last summer when I was in Los Angeles and got together with my ex-husband’s side of the family. (If you’ve read this, it’s NOT a repeat; keep reading and you’ll find out why.)
So there we are, my two children, H, and his side of the family. All adults ranging in age from 20 to 70. Dinner is over, I am paying no attention to the conversation at the far end of the table when I see my nephew approaching with a bathroom scale. I have no idea what instigated this, but it apparently involves a discussion about someone’s weight. (not mine, I assure you.)
Now that he has our attention, my nephew puts the scale on the floor next to the table, steps on—and tells the assembled group how much he weighs. Mind you, this is AFTER dinner, not before, and we have all just consumed excessive amounts of bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates.
The number on the scale inspires some comments (all justified); and then one of the other guys gets up and steps on the scale. And before you can say “Kirstie Alley”, all of the men line up by the scale, with absolutely no hesitation and no prodding whatsoever, and weigh themselves. And then announce their weights OUT LOUD (which by the way fall within a range of a hundred pounds–but I am not naming names—-or even initials). There is no alcohol involved; and I should also point out that each of them does this while fully dressed, head to toe, including shoes.
If you are reading this and you are female, I am guessing that your reaction might be the same as that of every woman sitting at the table. None of us makes a move to rise from our chairs; none of us volunteers to join the line next to the scale; none of us can relate in the slightest possible way to what we are seeing. Speaking for myself, I would rather step into the lion cage at the LA Zoo than step onto that scale…. (to read the rest of this piece click here)
That was last summer. Cut to last night. Same group, different location.
This time the family dinner is at my ex-husband’s. As usual, since we’re Jewish, as part of any occasion there is a strict law that requires we all overeat.
I watch one of my nephews eat 4 hamburgers and 2 hotdogs plus side dishes. I don’t care if he played 3 sets of tennis earlier, it’s still a lot of food. By the way—and it kills me to say this–he’s trim and fit.
Still, after 4 hamburgers and 2 hotdogs, some people might look for some Alka Seltzer. Instead, my nephew is looking for something else.
He finds what he wants– and it turns out to be a good example of differences between my ex and I. Because right there in the kitchen, H keeps a scale. Not the kind you use to weigh food—the kind you use to weigh people.
Anyway, after 4 hamburgers and 2 hotdogs my nephew gets on the scale. And then after dessert (3 slices of cake). he does it again. Even worse, now he tries to get his wife on the scale too—after dinner and dessert. You can imagine how eager she is to do this— especially considering she is 6 months pregnant.
I love H’s family and I’m sure I’ll continue getting together for family dinners. I’m not sure what message I can really draw from this peculiar habit. Except maybe: the family that weighs together stays together.