Josie pursed her lips and kept most of her thoughts to herself. "I just think it was unnecessary to send to her," she replied. "She's just going to be the way she always is at some point and Theo will see it for himself. You didn't need to say anything. He's a smart kid."
I pondered this while I looked over a neat pile of weighing scales and crunchy oat bars. "Yeah, you're probably right," I admitted. "I just think you need to set boundaries with her. Be direct. She doesn't understand subtlety. Anyway, are you sure you don't want to go in? You don't need to wait for us."
Annie jumped in, looking fabulous in a blue striped dress. "We're here for moral support, dad. We will stay as long as you need us."
"Besides, I don't need to hear the beginning," Josie added. "I've heard it a million times before."
Oh, wait. You're probably wondering, where were we? Oh yeah, that. After years of bitching and moaning about our flab, and also watching Josie and Annie melt away to nothing, the Corbster and I had finally decided to bite the bullet and join our local Weight Watchers. So there we were this afternoon, standing around in a strip mall waiting for our entry forms to be filled out and for the slightly befuddled and mummified woman behind the counter to check us in.
We had decided to make it a family affair, you see. Me and Corb, the ex-wife and my two girls. You can't get much more Modern Family than that. After all, the family that loses weight together loses hate together, right? Or something like that.
I weigh about 184 and stand 5 foot eight. I wouldn't say I'm extremely overweight, but could definitely stand to lose at least ten to fifteen pounds. And besides, I am absolutely fed up with the size of my stomach. Oh, I can make it look skinnier, if I suck it all in and try to look smouldery and quasi-sexy, but one deep exhale and--POOSH! Out it goes and out the stomach goes. I hate that, especially when I have to go to New York and mingle with all the PR types who look trim and slim and glamorous. It makes me feel self-conscious. I play with my belt, straightened out the waist of my shirt constantly. Time to change that.
And I would, if the lady behind the counter was busy getting on my last nerve. It was twenty minutes after I had filled in Josie on my Laurie exchange, and only Ashes had managed to make it inside. Annie and Josie had abandoned their attempt at moral support and headed into the meeting room ten minutes ago.
"What's your email again?"
Patiently, I spelled it out. "V-E-R-N--"
Her hands trembled slightly as she scanned the paper in front of her. "That's an R?"
"Yes, that's an R." Inwardly, I tightened my stomach muscles in irritation. I wanted to be patient, I really do. I wanted to be a nice, happy, patient person. God just hadn't put the right equipment into my DNA, that's all.
"And that's an A after the R?" She said, pushing her glasses up and pausing after SLATER.
"It's an ampersant." Inside the room, I could hear the instructor going on about vacations and the importance of establishing a routine. Oh, was this hell ever going to end? "I keep seeing this gmail account thing on these forms," the lady said, deciding to get chatty all of a sudden. "Is it a new inernet?"
I tried to maintain a straight face. "No, it is not a new internet."
"There you are, you're done!" She said, beaming. She handed me my Weight Watchers booklets and my badge and turned to Corb. "And now, can I help you, sir?"
"That was a good first step. I'm glad we went," said Corb, as we were walking down the aisles of WalMart ninety minutes later and trying to make smart new decisions for our lives. Corb had his smart phone app out and was scanning in everything to determine their point value, and having a ball doing it. "I'm also really, really hungry."
"Get used to it, it's going to be a bumpy ride," I replied, and fingered a tomato in the produce aisle. "I just hope I'm able to make the right choices next week, when I fly to Oklahoma."
"I just wish Josie had introduced me as your partner," groused Corb. "Why did she have to say the whole family was going to Weight Watchers, and then introduce you as her ex-husband and me as a friend? And you didn't say anything to stick up for me."
"And you didn't say anything, either," I replied, sticking out my tongue. "It takes two to tango, partner."
Here's to the next steps in our new, slimmer life. Hopefully it will make me write slimmer, too. I could stand to lose ten of fifteen pounds from the middle of my novels.