Saturday, July 19, 2008

She's Miss America and I'm Just the Girl Next Door

You said if I really worked at losing the weight, I could be skinny and hot like Julia DeMato. Every week you would grumble as "American Idol" started but your eyes never left the television screen when she was performing. I would look at her and see perfect makeup, perfect nails, perfect skin and a perfect size 4 body and those images would flicker back into my head as I stood bare and naked in front of the mirror before showering. I was no Julia DeMato.

You said I have a face much similar to Debra Messing of "Will and Grace". If I got skinnier, my red hair would make me look just like her. Though it would be sad to lose my boobs, because she has none. You even had hoped if we broke up that we would stay close like Grace and Will did on the show, except you wouldn't have to be gay. Gays were not your thing - though maybe I could find a girl to bring home for a threesome?

Sometimes, if I stared long enough at my face in the mirror, it would grow to be grotesque and unfamiliar. Trying to smile would only add to the awkwardness of this shield that was my face. But I had the nails of Julia DeMato thanks to weekly fill ins with Patti. And I had access, daily, to a makeup counter. For my face, much like Debra Messing's. And I tried. I so, so tried. For you. If you had your American Idol/sitcom star look-alike girlfriend, maybe we'd go out more? Maybe you would want to show me off? I loved you, you were attracted to her, maybe if I looked like her, you'd still love me.

Nevertheless, I would search those celebrity magazines for my body models, my ideals and glue them into my journal. Being very visual, I figured if I could see it, I could be it. I could be thin and striking, I could be desired.

It was in the shower that I found my solace, my comfort. the hot water and the enrapturing steam would fold over me like a blanket, hug every curve, every inch, non-judging. Your comments, though short and sparse, were sharp and clung to me. And soon I found myself fearful in my own home that I wasn't living up to the Hollywood standards you bestowed upon me. As things grew more and more sour between us, I'd spend more time with my lover, the steam. It didn't care if I cried. It loved it when I'd dye my hair every week trying to capture that signature Debra Messing red.

Long after we were over, I still couldn't smell the shampoo I used back then. It reminded me of how ordinary and fragile I really am.

I did sort of look like Debra right after we broke up. I couldn't eat and if I did, my body didn't want it but my clothes hung loose and my hair was long and red. Julia DeMato was still another 30-40 pounds away but since she'd long ago been voted off the show, my daily comparison with her had ceased.

I asked if could you believe that Ruben won, since I thought surely it would be Clay. Months had pass from our breakup and I was slowly putting a little weight back on but we were still talking on the phone. Our conversations were rarely enjoyable, more often catty and uncomfortable. Not at all like "Will and Grace". You said hadn't watched the show since I left, nor did you care who won. You'd never like anything about the show and only watched because I had made you. You didn't give a damn about "American Idol".

Even Julia DeMato? I asked.

Even Julia DeMato.

1 comment:

  1. beautifully written honey. all I can say is I get it... I sooo get it... you are beautiful and amazing and wonderful... love you