We all have sharp memories of when something became significant. This pertains to the significance of people, of animals, of places, of philosophies, and of ideas. And for the purpose of this article, this pertains to the origin of behaviours as related to kindness.
It was a great family vacation. Riding along in the backseat of our Dodge caravan, reading my then guilty pleasure of Sweet Valley High, I was engulfed in the hot love affair of Jessica Wakefield and Bruce Patman. He drove a Porsche, and she wore “a perfect size six.” Despite reading these words of “perfection” over and over, my passion for being thin didn’t exist. Yet.
Crackling in the background was the entertainment device: a CB Radio. Decorating our adventures, this trucker communication tool taught me where cops hid, where traffic existed, and where good hamburgers awaited. Nom nom nom! Nowadays I’m pretty amazing at speaking trucker, often muttering “10-4” to indicate understanding and even more often using F-words when disgruntled in a sea of slow drivers. 😉
But most importantly, because of this radio, I know that men don’t fancy girls with cottage cheese legs. Such girls are undesirable. They are imperfect. Because of this very unkind radio lesson, I turned on my switch. My behaviour.
“Got your ears on?”
“Oh boy! We got some cottage cheese legs below!”
“Giddy upppp, hot sauce!”
“Give me some of that cheeeeeeese!”
And then it went out. My parents flipped off the switch. But it was too late.
Proceeding to examine my extended legs, I saw lumps, bumps, fat Italian hoagies. My goodness, I saw disgusting cottage cheese! The complete opposite of the hot Chevy Chase girl in the convertible. Scrambling to covertly scan my sister, I saw the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. A beautiful ballerina. No bumps or lumps. No CHEESE. I saw absolute perfection. Clearly I was doing something wrong. And thus started my first diet.
I was nine.
It’s impressive to believe that 23 years have passed, and I’m still very passionate over something influenced by a trucker’s vulgar commentary. My motives have changed, but the root of seeking my idea of perfectionism persists (aesthetically and otherwise); and I seek it hard every single day.
Sure, yoga throws a monkey wrench into the works causing me to experience a great peaceful high on the mat where I do something good for my body without the motive of changing / maintaining / doing XYZ to its shape. But at the end of the day, when I hop off of the mat, I maintain a strict requirement for how I look.
And I often wonder, would it have been different if that trucker had been kind? If he’d minded his own business? And today, for the first time in 23 years, I wondered about that woman. The one with the cottage cheese legs. Did she also hear the broadcast?
Have a good day, and namaste.