I was walking in midtown Manhattan a couple of years ago when I ran into Robert, my boyfriend from sophomore year of college. He wasn't just any boyfriend, but a special one—great looking and adorably romantic. We hadn't seen each other in more than 20 years. "Do you have time for a cup of coffee?" he asked. Of course I didn't have time, but of course I did. We ducked into a coffee shop to chat.
After we filled each other in on our families and work, Robert became nostalgic. "That was a magical time together," he said. "I've thought about it often. Life gets so complicated, relationships get so complicated. There was an innocence in the way we were with each other. Even the sex. You know what I mean? There was something very pure and direct about it." Impressed by his candor, I was candid back. Robert had been gorgeous, I a little chubby at the time. "To be honest," I said, "I spent a lot of our time in bed worrying about whether you thought my thighs were fat." Robert looked shocked. Then he narrowed his eyes, leaned across the table, and said, "I'm so glad you raised the issue of your thighs. I've been meaning to talk to you about them all these years."
At first, I thought he was serious. "I knew it!" I said to myself. "They really were as bad as I imagined!" But then I saw the wistful look in Robert's eyes and realized I was being ridiculous. I had been ridiculous then to waste a moment of young love worrying about my thighs, and I was being ridiculous now. Nobody examines, or has ever examined, the shape of my body parts as closely or as critically as I. Have I felt great about my body every day since that coffee? Of course not. But I have certainly felt a lot better.
Lisa Wolfe is a writer living in New York City.