Popcorn, Lies, and, The Bigger PictureMature

"Is it just me," I asked reaching for the bowl of popcorn seated on Tamar's lap, "or did that first week just fly by?"

Tam paused before she responded.  "It was probably just you."  

"You know," I said, "you can eat some popcorn.  I haven't poisoned it, you know."

"I told you, I ate before I came.  I'm not that hungry."

I sighed.  "You must have an immeasurable amount of food at your place.  You're always eating before we go somewhere."  The words were spoken with lightness, but I couldn't help thinking that Tamar's reaction was a little strange.  Her shoulders tensed, a faint blush crept up on her cheeks, and she lowered her eyes.  

"You okay?" I asked.  "You look a little... sick."

She sighed.  "Probably something I ate before I came.  What time does the marathon start?"

I noticed her sudden change of subject, but I chose to go with it.  I glanced up at the clock.  "Not for another fifteen minutes."

Tam sighed.  "You better be right about this being the most amazing show that's ever aired on television.  I have better ways to spend a Saturday."

I laughed.  "Yeah, okay."  I grabbed another handful of popcorn and turned my gaze to the TV.  It was playing some commercial about this new and wonderful diet/weightloss program.  It showed before and after pictures of people  and how happy they were now.  

"Do you think that works?"

If I hadn't seen Tamar's lips move, I probably wouldn't have heard her say it.  I scoffed.

"Probably not," I said.  "Those things never do.  They just find people who lost weight some other way, pay them enormous amounts of money, and they lie.  It's mainstream media, Tam.  Don't believe it."

Tam's eyebrows pulled together; like she was trying to do a complicated math problem in her head.  

"Besides," I continued.  "I don't know why people would want to lose weight."

Tam cut in.  "Because it's... desirable.  People want to look good."

"Therein lies the lie, Tam.  Everyone constantly shoots out all this propaganda saying that this is desirable and this is what's attractive.  Who are they to decide for everyone?  I don't buy it; want to know why?  Because I don't want to be skinny."

Tam shot me a look of complete confusion.  "But... why?  I mean... I'm not saying that..."  she stumbled over herself as she searched for words.

"Relax, Tam.  I know I'm not a beanpole; not like you.  But I love my curves.  I don't want to fall into the brainwashed zombies society's creating.  So what if I have curves?  Who cares?"

"But --"

"And another thing."  Man, I was on a role right now.  "God made us the way we are for a reason.  Why should we try to change that?  Who are we to think that we know better than He does?"

"Ari," Tam said.  "what about all the perks for being skinny?  I mean, there's better health, and physical fitness--"

"I agree with that, Tam.  There are certain advantages to having a less curvaceous frame.  But those girls who starve, binge, and purposely hurt themselves just for the sake of looking good...."  I scoffed again.  "I just don't see what could drive a person to do that.  Whatever happened to loving yourself the way you are? We're all part of something bigger, why should we worry and try to 'fix' things?  I just don't understand when society became the expert on what is and what isn't acceptable."

After my rant, I looked at Tam.  She had moved the popcorn out of her lap and was staring at her clenched hands.  

"Hey, you okay?"

Slowly, she raised her eyes to meet mine. 

The End

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