There are certain things I just don't know about myself. How tall I am is one. When asked this question, I respond in one of two ways: I either place my hand on top of my head and declare, "This tall," or I say, "Somewhere between The Daughter and The BF." Neither of these answers is untrue, mind you. But I've received a lot of eyerolling in response to my totally unmathematical knowledge of self.
The other thing I do not know about myself is how much I weigh. I know, for example, that I weighed in at 73.5 on the day The Daughter was born. I puked a little in my mouth when this information was revealed to me. (As it happens, I was in the process of dilating when The Charlatan Nurse forced me to stand on the scale. Evidently, I raced through labour apace in an attempt to lose a few kilos.)
I pointedly do not own a scale. I fear owning one would tip my scales of sanity because I imagine I'd weigh myself in various stages of dressedness and eatedness. All. The. Time. I'd weigh myself before and after each cup of tea, before and after each toilet visit. Naked and again when dressed for work. Or for a night out (the difference between these two weights would, no doubt, be fairly significant.) I'd weigh myself all the forking time. It'd become tiring. And I'd probably end up making the following phonecall to The Father:
The Pant: Dad, my scale is lying. Definitely a manufacturing malfunction.
The Father: Oh dear...
TP: Can we sue them?
TF: What for?
TP: Well, for depression.
TP: Mine! Yesterday I weighed x, and today it tells me I weigh x+1. And I've hardly eaten a thing since then.
TF: Well, what's 'hardly a thing'?
TP: My normal. Muesli and yoghurt for breakfast. Two cupcakes, four samoosas and a slice of chocolate cake for tea. And two cups of tea. Two oranges, an apple, a bean roti, two slices of toast with bovril, cheese and cherry tomatoes. A chocolate. A coke. A little bit of last night's leftover lasagna and duck l'orange for dinner.
TF: I don't think we'd have a very good case.
TP: But, Dad! I'm sad now. Seriously. I've just had to uncork a bottle of wine and dish up a bowl of ice-cream to deal with the severe depression I'm feeling.
TF: What's that noise in the background?
TP: Oh, that's just Single Girls. We're having some wine and snacks and talking dirty.
TF: Oh, lovely. You having a good time?
TP: Yes, a glorious time, thanks, Daddy Darling.
TF: Then you're not depressed.
TP: I feel desperately down, though.
TF: Cut out the cake, Pant. And maybe glasses 3 - 8 of the wine and you'll see that your scale might start telling the truth.
TP: And if it doesn't? Can we sue them then?
TF: We'll talk then.
TP: Thanks, Dad. You're the best (he really is).
Scales are, indeed, lying, cheating swines. I know this because whenever I'm in the vacinity of a scale, I cannot suppress the urge to stand thereon. And the numbers that mock me are always different.
Take this weekend's run-ins with scales for example. The first was at Thursday afternoon drinks at book club.
After guzzling approximately seven thousand units of wine, the integrity of my skinny jeans was seriously compromised as my bladder protuded in manner not dissimlar to that of 40 and a half week pregnant Dear Friend's stomach. I attempted to rush to the toilet but was unable to do so due to a) lack of balance owing to wine consumption and b) severe cramp and inability to stand upright owing to excessively full bladder.
When I reached the bathroom, there in the corner of the room was a shiny white scale, inviting me to stand on top. So I did, pre- and post-massive-wee. And the difference in weights? Nil. Zilch. Zero. Niks. How can that be possible.
So I went to my homestead, because I know that there, the scale always lies. And in a good way. For the past 6 years of my life, including the pregnancy, I have always weighed 50. The Daughter also weighs 50. As does Enormous Son of Maid. As does The Husband.
It's a great scale. It tips the scales of sanity in the right direction.