Breaking Up with My Stomach After Quarantine

It’s over. 

I’m breaking up with my stomach now that quarantine is winding down and summer is starting.

It’s time that my stomach and I start seeing other people. I’d like to reconnect with my shorts. And, well, it’d be good for my stomach to see a vegetable or two.

I’ll always remember the good times we had: the Ding Dongs for breakfast and Bailey’s for the nebulous cocktail hour. We had a lot of laughs. My stomach was there for me during some tough moments. But now I don’t like myself when I’m around it. 

It claims that no one else will make me as happy as it does. That’s entirely possible.

But I’m tired of peeling off my too-tight jeans at midday, throwing in the towel as I slip on my athleisure pants that I only leisure in.

I sat my stomach down one night and explained the whole situation. For a minute, I thought it was listening. When I was done, it suggested we share a family size bag of Cheetohs and agree to disagree. I pushed back, claiming this relationship was bringing out the worst in both of us. It countered by proposing we get to the bottom of this–the bag–and revisit the issue of dieting tomorrow–its favorite day of the week. I threw up my hands in exasperation but had more Cheetohs to be polite.

I’ve threatened stevia and protein powder and, for the briefest of moments, just plain water without sugar, alcohol, or caffeine in it. It called my bluff and suggested we calm down by finishing off the leftover Easter candy and supporting the local coffee kiosk with the purchase of an enormous iced mocha. It had me over a barrel. What could I do?

Walking away from this disastrous relationship is going to be harder than I anticipated. I might need to find a more compelling reason to break it off than an unflattering pair of mom shorts. Maybe I need to join a mountain rescue team or try out for the local CrossFit games. 

I also need to prepare myself for the possibility of a second wave of quarantine in the fall. If my stomach and I break up now, how awkward would that be when we’re alone together all over again? 

I suppose I shouldn’t be so dramatic. Things between us aren’t that bad. A milkshake and a candy bar is a totally acceptable lunch. Eating Raisinettes after dinner cancels out the calories of a three-pound burrito. And wine is simply fruit you don’t have to peel. How many servings are we supposed to have each day?

On second thought, we are breaking up–tomorrow.

While gaining weight in quarantine, Meg Matenaer has been writing fiction about the relationships that bring out our best…most of the time. Her novel Write in Time is available at Amazon.

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