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Bodies come in every shape and size and for each one there is, out there somewhere, its complement. No, that’s not right. Out there are many complements for each body, but not necessarily for the soul. My point is, people get hung up on body-image issues and rather than be concerned about one’s bodily image, one should be concerned about one’s soul and the soul of one’s match.

It so happened that last New Year’s Eve, Lo and I went out with a bunch of friends dancing and drinking at the bar. Our crowd of revelers was a diverse group: friends and friends of friends of all shapes and sizes. Given the unseasonably warm temperatures (for January 1) we thankfully did not need to dress like rolled up walking carpets to stay warm. We started in the bar and after a number of drinks and shots, we moved to the dance club downstairs. Being New Year’s and all, it was crowded and people were dancing with enthusiasm earlier in the night, but as the festivities heated up and the last minutes of the old year wound down, the dancing turned into a giant sea of drunk people swaying about, relying upon one another for support. There was plenty of support to be had because with each moment the bouncers let in more and more people than the capacity of the place allowed. Making one’s way from one end of the bar or dance floor to the other, one was sure to be elbowed, stepped on, groped, and kissed.

Lo and our circle stayed close together, insulating us from the general run of the throng, and Lo flew in and out of the arms of the various men and women of our party. As the night heated up, the clothes of the revelers were gradually discarded and the sexy arms and legs of various people were thrown and thrust about. At one point, very close to midnight, Lo saw me looking at some tall blonde. Apparently the blonde saw me too and, just as the countdown reached the final ten seconds of the year, she made her way over to my side. I guess she either had no date for the night (surprising) or had lost her date in the crowd. The result was that when the last second of last year struck and the shouts of “Happy New Year!” were heard throughout the city, the blonde preempted Lo and gave me a long wet kiss on the lips.

Before I could respond, pull away, or even comprehend what had just happened, Lo turned to Candice, a peripheral person of our circle of friends, and gave her a long, hot, steamy kiss on the lips and then proceeded to dance with her for the first dance of the new year. I managed to try and cut in and Lo just said to me, “Before the night’s over, I’m going to be kissed, fondled, felt-up, and fucked by someone here, and it ain’t gonna be you.”

The music was too loud for me to form an apology. The crowd was too oblivious for me to remain by her side and stare dumbly at her sexy body dancing with Candice. The new year was off to a rocky start. The night wore on and I imbibed enough to do me well for the first month of the year, let alone the first night. I watched from the bar as Lo danced and dipped, sang and swung with various partners. Finally it was closing time and Lo didn’t leave me alone. I took consolation in that, but once we had split off from our friends, I regretted the act of kindness for it had turned into cruelty.

“What is it with you and stick skinny blondes?!” she demanded.

She approached me, sweetheart!” I said in self-defense.

“I saw how you were looking at her. Don’t think I didn’t. I saw. And not just her. You have a thing for stick skinny blondes.” She kept repeating that little alliteration to the point that it seemed like one word: stickskinnyblondes.

Allow me to intersperse some sober words here rather than continue with a transcript of our drunken dialogue. As you know, dear reader, I am a man who highly prizes the aesthetic quality of everything — from the plating at a restaurant to a Jackson Pollack painting (often the former resembles the latter). This appreciation of beauty in all its multifarious manifestations includes the realm of the human body. Men, women, tall, short, blonde, brunette, fiery red, stick skinny or rotund, I can find something attractive in just about anyone and I can give thanks when I need not look for the fine points of a person because they are so abundantly obvious.

But Lo — for all her self-confidence, her God-given gifts, her sparkling humor, her radiant appearance, and her deep mystery and her magnetic power over others — still feels a certain insecurity about her body, her abilities, her personality, her “measuring up,” as she puts it. Now, I’ve told her numerous times, there’s no reason for such insecurity. In fact, I can hardly comprehend it myself, given the abundance of blessings that have been bestowed upon her. But, as I’ve come to understand with years and experience, many women (dare I say all women? Or, perhaps, if we really are honest with ourselves, everyone?) feel some sort of deep-seated insecurity. It may take time, but somewhere, somehow, it will out.

As Lo likes to inform me, there is a distinct difference between insecurity and jealousy. The latter is a hatred of another for something she has that you don’t have. The former is rather a feeling of vulnerability, a chink in one’s armor, a weakness, and is more about oneself than others. I can understand this and I appreciate her drawing the distinction for me, since one thing I find unbearable in a relationship is jealousy.

The other thing Lo has shown to me with her astute self-awareness is that this is an irrational feeling — and she acknowledges it as such — but, it is also a true feeling none-the-less, and I should acknowledge it as such. The best I can do in these moments when she is overcome by irrationality is to reassure her of my love. Can there be any doubt?

[Excerpt from the story, “Love That Body Image,” from the blog:]

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Just your average nymphomaniac next door. I love fan mail:

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