“I grew more depressed. And also I grew a muffin top.”
–Jamie Wright from The Very Worst Missionary
We’ve known each other for quite some time now. The first time I met you I never got your name. You extended a hand like you were some kind of savior, arrived to shield me from the dark side of life. I was enamored by your quiet demeanor and took that to mean maybe you knew something I didn’t. I was quite sick, isolated by my pain and fears, and had no labels for the physical distress I was experiencing.
I thought I could find comfort in your sideline observations: Don’t ruffle up the norms with dreams that are too big or desires that are too complex. Wishing makes the pain even worse, so bury it just deep enough to escape the scorching heat of summer and the wicked cold of winter. The best plan of action was to play it safe, feel a little less, and pray for death.
We carried on back and forth for years. You were comfortable, and I didn’t have the courage to tell you to take a hike.
Around middle school, I even started to like you, like maybe we had a future together. After all, you were the only one who really “got” me. We had few mutual friends, and we formed a club, However, we didn’t do anything except sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. Eventually I got tired of feeling, well, tired.
It really wasn’t until I had children, though, that your true colors really shone through. Maybe you were jealous of my time, but you put up a big stink when I brought home my firstborn. You flailed your arms, stealing away my attention any chance you got. You wrote me long letters every morning telling me all the ways I had messed up and would totally blow this whole motherhood thing. You really drove a wedge between my kids and me, and you hid it under the auspices of exhaustion and misfired aspirations.
Now I have the courage to tell you the truth: you are a terrible friend. You come calling when I least expect it, and honestly I don’t appreciate it. I open the door, expecting help, or an amazon package, and instead, it’s you. You tell me what I can’t do, laying across my path like an inconvenient truth, but the reality is you are just inconvenient.
You are a cloud blocking out the sun; yet, the sun keeps shining. I’m tired of not being able to see it.
Part of me feels bad for you, like maybe if we drank a hard lemonade on the back porch, we could sort you out. I want to call you evil, but mostly I think you are lost. Poor wandering griefs that were never held, an innocent bystander caught in a drive by. You couldn’t help it; you just needed a hug. However, my life is better without you, so I think it’s best we part ways.
I won’t be answering your calls or opening the door anymore. I have a new friend. Well really, we’ve been talking the whole time. For all the times you put glue on my pillow and rubbed my face in my failures, he brought me donuts, called me beloved, and organized my closet (like only the savior of the world can). It’s crazy; we can talk for hours about anything, and he just looks at me like there is no where else in the world he would rather be. It’s pretty sweet.
Yeah, I’m sticking with him.
No More Muffin Top
Kelsi Folsom holds a B.M. in Voice Performance and has traveled all over the world participating in operas, musicals, jazz bands, and choirs. Now a mom to “three under three”, she currently resides inSan Antonio, Texas while her husband attends medical school in Saba, Dutch Caribbean. When she is not putting on her best Cherubino while changing dirty diapers, you can find her perfecting gluten-free recipes, *gasp* reading, enjoying a nap, or trying to make sense of her life over french press. Kelsi writes here.