Monday, January 08, 2007


Criticizing and judging are dangerous, I have found. It's the reason I don't steal and am a terrible liar - although I am a great bullshitter. I sit here on this end of my life and look back over all the times I have found an aspect of what I considered in my rash youth as someones "terrible" appearance I subjected to eye rolling, declared some behavior as abysmal, or proclaimed that a health issue was deserved by anyone daring to be ugly to me or a loved one.

For the following reason, I'm very careful nowadays to not point the finger or poo-poo others, their little afflictions, or my naming what I see in all my wisdom as faults in others. I've learned the value of being accepting and also had large bits of my own brand of hubris dashed by Fate. You see. I get Instant Karma as well as the Not-So-Instant variety.
Every single fault I've found in others, every snigger at what I perceived as other's hypochondriasis with their illness, every eye roll at fat people, all of the various haughty judgements I proclaimed on others has come home to roost in me. I truly get to wear someone else's shoes for much longer than a day. This has been a great equalizer. My life and my body has become the literal Portrait of Dorian Gray, only I have to wear mine and can't hide it in an upstairs closet.

Fat. Nasty word. Our culture abhors it while all the time executing the sales pitch from Wall Street on the virtues of our fast food culture (You gotta eat - Over a billion sold - Hot and juicy - Piled high with real meat - Five Pizzas for five bucks apiece) extolled in mega commercial campaigns flying over the airwaves and the Internet in a come hither siren song burying desire for the high caloric and cholesterol busting fare deep within our collective psyches. Then out roll the diet ads with aids and programs so varied as to bewilder. So.
I weighed 118 pounds soaking wet most of my adult life until I contracted Graves Disease at 41 years of age. Could eat the north end of a south bound mule and never gain an ounce on my 5' 7" frame. Double whammy here. All those gross fat people and the unkind comments I made over the course of my earlier life about them settled in my ass and thighs. I can hear them whenever I catch a glimpse of the ponderous pounds my disease gave me. I see my lips curled down disapprovingly when an obese person ordered any prodigious meal in the soft, fleshy folds that now adorn my once svelte body. I've gained almost double my body weight over the 17 years I've battled Graves.
Then there's the thyroid issue. I heard folks blame their pudge on a malfunctioning thyroid. "I eat like a bird and still gain weight", and said under my breath that if they'd just quit stuffing their faces with the ENtire sack of bird food in one sitting, they'd have an athletic body, too. Pish. Tosh. Here it is. There really IS a thyroid issue and I believe that it's pandemic in the U.S. because of all the chemicals we've subjected ourselves to in our food, the sedentary lifestyle our affluence has led all of us to, the pollutants that lurk in our water, soil and air. Rich and poor, we, the majority no longer keep ourselves active for the most part preferring to experience life vicariously on a t.v. or computer screen .
Every proclamation I've ever made on another person in my life has come home to roost. I once made faces about various person's housekeeping, or lack of it. Now I slog through a happy melange of fabric, paper and the detritus of living in a century old house that was built in the day before there were closets. I dodge dust bunnies so big they have their own zip codes.

Every fiber that enters my house exits with lint, cat hair (and dog hair back when), or fuzz of some stripe. I have become what I proclaimed as a lazy housekeeper after many decades of having OCD tendencies about cleaning and decorating my various lairs. No more. Let me be perfectly frank about my latter day housekeeping: The Health Department would shut me down for more than a few corners, lo, these past ten years.

Did you ever say, "I'll NEVER do things like my mother/father!!" Yeah. Right. I succeeded in making some of the same mistakes as they and actually embellished creatively on quite a few of my own in child rearing and slogging through life. I had a small warning of this when I looked down at my hands one day in my thirties and said, "Gack! I've got my mother's hands, wrinkles and all!" I should have seen it coming.

Let this be MY cautionary tale to you all. Let this be the case in your life where you do NOT have to stick your own paw in the fire to learn the lesson of hot. Do not try this at home. Take care when you squint down your nose at others for whatever reason and have the good sense to feel guilty about it when you fall off the horse. Be kinder to people. If you can't be kind, ignore them and move along.
(Ed. Note: I don't know the name of the charmer in the above photo, who to give credit for it, but let me say unequivocally that I think she looks just fine. - Dina)


Gramercy Galleria said...


Ah yes, Karma. Been there, done that, GOT IT!! The other day I found myself starting to be a little judgmental about something and I stopped when a surge of fear hit "do you want to deal with all that too?" Good post. It is so true!


Martha Marshall said...

Thanks for the reminder. Does that mean that if I continue to bash Bush I'll end up being President?