old (2008)

this is how it (probably) ends

After these months, it ends not because of the chronic pain, the bad back, the sore shoulder, the old-man complaints, the lack of movement or spontaneity (a direct result of the aforementioned ailments), a disconnect in political values, or any particular absence of love. Instead, the final nail impales the coffin at the exact moment when, in a discussion about why he cannot perform sexually, he says, “You see, I gravitate toward thin women; your weight is a definite factor.”

(She is 5’4″ tall and weighs 135 pounds. She is aware that she is not supermodel material, but she isn’t exactly obese. Or even overweight. Just not “thin.”)

And she realizes that she can live in a world in which she’s not having sex because of heart medication or spinal stenosis or even chronic pain, but she cannot be in a relationship with a man who pushes all of these things aside to imply that the problem is her nonexistent fatness. Perhaps that makes her a bad person or displays her lack of understanding about male psychology or proves she can’t take constructive criticism, but at this point she doesn’t care.

She concludes it is over while soaking in her bathtub at 1am, when she decides that she’d rather be alone than be with someone who — for whatever reason — believed she was anything less than fabulous. She might change her mind after a fitful night’s sleep, but she seriously doubts it.

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