‘Do I look fat, Honey?’
There are four dreaded words that all men must hear “Do I look fat?” My husband grows pale when this certain question rears its ugly head. But one night, he finally had the right answer. Men, write this one down. Simply, with a wry tip of his head and loving smile, he said, “There is no way I can answer this question correctly. You look beautiful.”Now, don’t think I’m a benign fool who easily succumbs to words of endearment. I am a tough critic, a hard-nosed mom who expects clear talk and straight answers. That is why his answer was so sincere. It was true.Moms and dads, after the “shock” years of babies, diapers, preschool and kindergarten, you can still look and feel beautiful for each other. As it is said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Baby fat can be okay. It is all in how you look at it, with eyes beholding.So it was with my husband’s response to my “am I fat” question. Being genuine is a true landmark of husband to wife. The whole world can see things through varying lenses, but the look of love is clear to those on each side. Often, with the schedules and commitments of parenting, we forget to look to our spouses and say, ” I love you.”It was vividly clear. We needed to carve out some time to be together. To revisit the “fall-line” of when and how we fell in love not so long ago.We snuck off to Blue Sky Basin. We are long-time locals, but due to time constraints, budget, work, and “wee-ones,” Blue Sky Basin was unknown territory. One word can describe our adventure.Glory.It was a serendipitous morning. Pure joy. We were off together. We have the sappy label of meeting on a Vail chairlift years ago, and we were now skiing a new run, breathing in the bounty of Vail. The moment was priceless. Beyond the beauty and the excitement of an entire new area to explore on our mountain was the joy of expecting to be ski volunteers with our son’s school that afternoon. We had realized our dreams.Yes, my ski pants were a little tighter, and my turns a bit looser, but all in all, my skiing wasn’t so bad. The snowplow that I have perfected while teaching my kids on Golden Peak quickly dissipated and my “how we met” turns came back. I followed my once-collegiate-racer husband down the glades, and we grinned with the expectation of joining our son’s class.When we popped into Two Elk to thaw out my hands from cold, two people offering tissues to blow our noses, welcomed us. Is that service Conde Nast style? Over the top? Yes! Vail is indeed #1 in my book. Being “mom” I never get offered a tissue. Usually, I am the giver of the tissue. Wow, this simple gesture by Vail Resorts was deeply appreciated by me, and I predict, by all moms who ski Vail. Oh, do we love a little pampering once in awhile.Of course, after a great day of outdoor exercise, I might want to jump on that scale to see how much I weigh. After all that indulgence my heart must have gained 10 pounds. Perhaps I’ll enjoy the moment and check out the results tomorrow. I already know that my husband won’t comment about my weight (smart man!).Despite my husband’s “perfect” answer to the “Do I look fat?” question, he isn’t always that savvy.Opinions of “how” to remain happy in the midst of child rearing, work, etc. may vary. My husband came home with his tail between his legs because an astute female coworker got after him for calling me his “trophy” wife. This term can be interpreted as negative to some, but it was his way of saying after all that is expected in the day of “mom,” he appreciates the small things that I do for him. He has been made aware that he needs to find a more liberated term for his affection, but the sentiment remains. I am a bit “June Cleaver,” and I make him his lunch daily, and he appreciates it. Finding that “thing” that says, “I care,” keeps couples in harmony.Mom’s advice? Find your couple’s moment, be glad to do old-fashioned things like making meals for your spouse. And when asked, “Do I look fat, honey?” simply reply, “You look beautiful to me!” VTEdwards resident Elizabeth Chicoine writes about matters of the family for the Vail Trail. She can be reached for comment at email@example.com.