Freudian Slips: Weighing in On Disabling Diets

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 14, 2009

Weighing in On Disabling Diets

Janine Donohue walks into the kitchen and stands next to her social worker as if she has never heard of awarding personal space. She bows, curtsies then handshakes. Janine flips her long hair then introduces herself with a short unexpected biography.
“Glad to meet you. I’m 37 years old, I can’t have children and I weigh almost 200 pounds.”
In her introduction to me, she disclosed the three things I think a woman would be least likely to share to a man. I tilt my head at the critical information overload trying to make sense of it all. She leaves the room as quickly as she came. I start to think to myself when is the next time this oddity will happen? I did not have long to wait.
Janine returns carrying belongings. “I’ll prove it.” She flashes her laminated identification card. “See, I was born in 1972.” She puts the bathroom scale down in the middle of the kitchen. She rolls up a blouse sleeve to reveal a fresh band-aid. “It’s my Depro Provera shot. Mom doesn’t want me to have children.” Her balance is a little shaky as she steps onto the scale. The dial points exceedingly right before it steadies. “What 225 pounds, wow!”
Janine steps down from the scale looking discouraged. She talks closely once more. “I can’t get any younger and I can’t have children but I would like to lose weight. I thought I lost five pounds on my diet. Darn. I ate only a watermelon and a granola bar for lunch. Well, not the whole watermelon, you know what I mean.”
Janine goes to the refrigerator and pulls out a fruit yogurt. She adds loose raisins from the cupboard. After a couple of spoonfuls, she talks about her diet with yogurt lining her upper lip.
I encourage, “That’s a healthy snack. Why don’t you get back on the scale?”
“Yes, I think the yogurt may have done you some good.”
Janine’s compliance rewards her with a weight of 194 pounds. “Now that’s more like it. I’m loving it but that cannot be. That’s a difference of, that’s a difference of, humm, that’s a big difference.”
I ask, “Do you know what the biggest difference is?”
“No, you tell me.”
“I used my foot to step on the back of the scale the first time you weighed yourself. It made you seem heavier.”
She shifted her weight and gave me a cold stare. “Don’t you male social workers know anything about a woman?"



Blogger e said...


Do they?

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so cruel! You know quite well that a women's weight gain or loss, can break or make her day!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

e, Anonymous,
If word gets out about this story on the job, I may be assigned sensitivity training, deservingly so.

7:55 AM  

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