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by Sarah Joy Albrecht
“Do I look fat in this dress?”
Next to being asked to get snipped, this is the dreaded question that men fear most from women.
How can he answer this loaded, Catch-22? If he answers “yes,” he’s in the doghouse. If he says “no,” he’s “not being honest” and God forbid a girlfriend points out the obvious during a trip the ladies’ room.
Believe it or not, my husband Tom and I have had a “do I look fat in this dress” pact since the beginning of our marriage, when I was healthy size eight.
Ten years, five kids and an abdominal myomectomy later, I was considering starting a reclaim-my-body exercise regimen and I asked my husband the dreaded question.
He ducked and dutifully answered in the affirmative.
I did not hit him.
“It’s okay for me to say that because you told me to be honest,” he said, peering through his fingers. “Remember the pact?!”
“Yes,” I replied, through clenched teeth. “I remember.”
Tom quickly promised me that I was lovely and desirable to him, and would continue to be, even if I didn’t lose a single inch from my waistline. He even gave me a flirtatious look that assured me he meant what he said.
“Make a list of things you need,” he said. He then funded my workout gear, even encouraging me to get the more expensive weight set so that it would be more durable.
On the occasions I’ve growled and hit “snooze” on my Japanese cell phone’s wake-up alarm, he’s even gone as far as saying “C’mon, love, put your feet on the tatami mat” when I don’t feel like to rolling out of my futon in the wee hours of the morning. (Although, in this case, I think it’s just a masked excuse to sadistically fling off my cozy blankets and watch me beg for mercy!)
Why am I happy, instead of offended, that Tom answered honestly? Because our pact has been the single most motivating item on my list of reasons for sticking with my exercise routine. I want to look my best for him, especially since he loves me even when I’m not my physical best. (Not to mention he’s been by my side through thick and thin while I gained those extra pounds.) Tom was honest and supportive both verbally and monetarily – without guilting me over the budget – when it mattered most. That’s love.
It is because we have the foundation of forever in place that we can be so frank with each other. He’s my bestfriendinthewholewideworld, and I’d rather hear it from him than anyone else.
Still wondering about having a potentially embarrassing pact with your significant other? Think of it this way: If you were at a restaurant, wouldn’t you want your closest friend to tell you that you have spinach stuck between your teeth?
Would you consider a “do I look fat in this?” pact or would you prefer your partner always insist that you’re the perfect weight? Let me know! =)
photo credit: fazen
Sarah said she’d follow her husband Tom to the ends of the earth. He called her bluff, and they moved from their house in Pennsylvania to live by the sea in northern Japan. They homeschool their five progeny, all born after 2001. She loves people, writes for fun and thinks about God constantly. You can find her blog at http://sarahjoyalbrecht.com or follow her @mrsalbrecht on Twitter.