1. Vigorous exercise in a desperate attempt to regain my once-svelte figure. I realize only now that I’m lucky; since I’ve been pudgy all my life, I have nothing to mourn in the way of my long-lost pre-childbirth body, aside from some lower abdominal wrinkles that rarely see the light of day. So I don’t have to worry about not exercising, at least as far as looks go. Having a premature heart attack is another thing, so I actually signed up with two friends for a group intro to the glitzy weight room at our august institution. We’re all within shouting distance on either side of menopause and have nothing to prove to each other psychologically (i.e., subtle competition over abs or boobs), so we’re going into it with the attitude that if nothing else, we’ll get some laughs out of it. I might show up in pink fuzzy leg-warmers.
To quote Breed ‘Em and Weep: “I find it infuriating to read interviews with the celebrity mamas who say things like You just have to be committed to yourself and your body after your children come along! and I’ve made healthful living my religion and I was back in my size-2 Juicy sweatpants three weeks after Esmerelda Twinkles was born! and Motherhood is so wonderful I just love it I never knew I could love so much you just have to put your children first and hire a super Guatemalan nanny so you can get to spinning class on time!”
I know a woman like that. She’s rather intense in that driven, overcaffeinated and uptight kind of way. She and her family had to move out of their second-floor condo some years ago because even though they installed floor padding, the neighbors downstairs kept complaining about the thumping noise of her on the treadmill at 5 a.m. because she was a morning person and had to do her lengthy workouts in the predawn hours before making lunches, dressing kids, going to work, etc., to get back into shape and discharge some of her PSYCHOTIC ENERGY.
2. Helping out the unfortunates who paddle about in the shallow end of the gene pool.
3. Making extra work for myself so as to avoid losing socks in the laundry. Hey, they’re cheap -- you can always buy a few more pairs at Target. Besides, socks have a right to feel wanderlust just like the rest of us. I do wonder where they all get to, but mostly I shrug and settle for Erma Bombeck’s explanation: they go to live with Jesus.