Rob Taylor – What women will do: The High School Reunion Diet
July 29, 2008
The gene pool had not been kind to Judy. High blood sugar, high cholesterol and unruly triglycerides surfaced after the birth of her first son. Her mom’s side of the family was to blame.
She deserved better, after torturing herself five times a week with “Sweating to the Oldies” and “Buns of Steel.” Richard Simmons would have gushed over her exercise routine. Judy’s doctors did not.
“Not good,” they all said, unhappy with her blood work.
Finally, at the age of 47, she listened. With her 30-year high school reunion on the horizon, she resolved to fight heredity like never before – to shrink-wrap herself into an impossible dress, to shed 10 pounds, to turn her classmates’ heads … and to quit smoking.
Her self-prescribed “Reunion Diet” had teeth: No lattes, no fried foods, nothing at all after 6 p.m. For three straight weeks straight, she punished herself with rice cakes, Slim Fast and bubble gum instead of cigarettes. Then, on Day 22, early in the morning, she spotted a Pizza Hut box in the fridge (most likely her kids’ leftovers).
She grabbed it, rushed out the door and hit the office with both feet running: putting out one fire after another. The hunger pangs struck at 11 a.m.
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One hour later, she opened the break room fridge and her blood pressure skyrocketed. “Who stole my pizza?” she shrieked.
Arms folded, stomach growling, she glared at the trio of co-workers seated at the table. She incriminated them all with nicknames that she dared not say aloud.
“Don’t look at me,” said Bad Toupee.
He gave Judy the creeps. That very morning, without permission, he had “borrowed” her scissors, shoved them up his nostrils and snipped. She nearly vomited a rice cake at the sight, but for some reason, he didn’t look suspicious at the moment.
“I don’t eat pizza,” Stick Girl said next, though she didn’t need to say anything at all.
At the last employee meeting, from the front of the snack line, she announced, “Oh good. They cut these donuts in half. I couldn’t possibly eat a whole one.” Every woman in the company paid the price. No one wanted to be labeled a “pig,” so every female in the company ate only half of a donut and silently hated Stick Girl. Judy knew (deep down) that eating a single slice of pizza would have burst her itty-bitty tummy. Two slices would have killed her.
“Wasn’t me. I only eat homemade pizza.” Hypochondriac chimed in. She pulled down her surgical mask – which seemed to be a permanent fixture – for the announcement.
Her “condition” was a mystery. There were plenty of theories, though … the most popular being that she had watched “The Boy in the Bubble” movie at a premature age. The germ-infested refrigerator terrified her, not to mention the thought of eating “used” pizza.
“You deserve each other,” Judy mumbled under her breath as she exited the room.
She was ill-prepared for the site that greeted her as she walked toward her cubicle. Sitting there – in plain view – Chick Magnet, her boss, the self-proclaimed ladies man, phone in one hand, pizza in the other.
“Oh, hey, Judy,” he said with a mouthful. “Teleconference.” He rolled his eyes. “Want some?” He pointed to the Pizza Hut box.
Scenes from the movie “9 to 5” played in her mind: Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin torturing Dabney Coleman. But, with her performance evaluation a week away, revenge would have to be put on hold. Hand on hip, she blew an angry bubble and plotted his demise.
“You OK, Judy?” he asked, covering the receiver.
“Fine,” she hissed, storming off toward her rice cakes and emergency cigarette.
Two weeks later, Judy’s cholesterol was down. She hadn’t lit up since the pizza incident, and her review was glowing. She even squeezed into her reunion dress, just barely … thanks to Chick Magnet, whom she discovered – after slipping anchovies under the top layer of cheese on a strategically planted break room pizza – was allergic to seafood.
She hated to see his neck swell up and turn blotchy, but – one shot of Benadryl later – he shriveled up and looked human again. More importantly, it was the last time he ever touched her pizza.
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