...This was my re-entrance into the online dating world after a several-year hiatus. A few years ago I'd sampled it and the experience left a bad taste in mouth—so rancid, I swore I'd never try it again.
During my first online dating interlude, the menu included guys who lied about their looks; guys who lied about their age; guys who lied about their looks and age; guys who drank too much; guys who talked too much; guys who loved their mothers too much; guys who loved their ex-girlfriends too much; guys who loved their therapists too much and so on…Never had I come across a guy who loved his scale too much-that is, until now.
Andy in 2004, March 2011 and Jan. 2012
Pull out your driver's license and look at what you listed as your weight. Mine says 175. I got that license about 5 years ago. Never in my adult life has my scale read the number on my license. That is until the beginning of this year when I passed an important milestone. I actually weighed what my license said I weighed. In fact, as I write this post, I am actually four and a half pounds under that number.
Two years ago, I wrote a post called, "100 Reasons to Live," where I publically acknowledged my addiction to food and my hopes of beating it. It took some time to do the work and build up the courage to face my anxieties and fears and issues with food. I even gained some more pounds back after writing that piece. At the same time, I never gave up and the response I received from telling that story, continued to inspire me. In March of 2011, with the support of my wife, I went for more help re-joining a Weight Watchers Program. The scale began to dial back again.
We walk into the dining room, and heads turn. Diners stop eating and point. Faces light up. The wait staff, recognizing our arrival, scurries to the kitchen for the appropriate supplies. Ben, my two-and-a-half-year-old celebrity, leads me to an open table, stopping every so often to slap someone five or accept a small gift, usually a bag of oyster crackers. The scenario replays every week, sometimes twice a week, each time we visit my grandmothers at their respective independent living facilities.
Day one of cancer camp:
(For part one, click here.)
I remember standing around the BBQ supervising the cooking of dinner. I cleared a small corner for my tofu. "What is that?!" I seized on the opportunity to educate and attempt to convert the impressionable youths to vegetarianism. They were game to taste, but I think it's safe to say tofu has never converted a carnivore. The conversation drifted in and out of various topics - had I ever eaten bacon? How many years had they been coming to camp? How old was I? Did they have siblings? Had I had cancer? I stopped smiling. I felt fear and shame in answering, "No. No, I have never had cancer."
I have met some of the most amazing and courageous kids at camp—athletes, scholars, musicians, artists, dancers, writers and more—all with big dreams and ambitious plans for their future. And as incredible as they all are, they are also just like every other teen I've ever met—angsty, hormonal, dramatic—and I love that. I love that cancer, as insidious and devastating as it can be—cannot take that away. These kids are normal. They are superheroes. They are survivors.