“I had a physical yesterday,” my husband said as he got dressed for work.

“How did that go?” I asked.

“The doctor thought I should lose some weight.”

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I gave him the once over. He looked exactly the same as he did the day before, the month before; essentially, the same as the day we got married, 24 years before.

“Lose weight from where?” I asked. “Your earlobes?”

“I’ve put on a few pounds,” he admitted, pinching an imperceptible roll above his waistband. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll just cut out some of the snacks and I’ll lose it right away.” And with that he buttoned his pants, which didn’t seem tight at all, and left.

I was floored. Had the situation been the reverse, it would have gone something like this:

Me: “I had a physical yesterday.”

My husband: “How did that go?”

Me: “It was HORRIBLE!!! The doctor said I’m fat!!!! HUGE! Momzilla! I have to go on a major diet right away! We’re eating nothing but grapefruit for the rest of our lives and if that doesn’t work I’m getting a full body Lipo!!!!”

Him “How much weight did you gain, really?”

Me: “Five pounds.”

See, that’s the difference between men and women. If a woman sees a few extra pounds on the scale, or, worse yet, is told by her doctor that she’s put on some weight since her last visit, after gouging his eyes out and destroying his scale, she will cry for days and spiral into a dark depression that only chocolate could save her from. A man will shrug, buy pants one size bigger in the waist, and go back to his Ben and Jerry’s without incident.

Unfortunately for the men, they don’t realize how much they’re missing by not having weight issues. Without the experience of overeacting to the news that they’ve gained weight, they can never respond with the joy of “the denial.”

Typically, after I have finished my crying jag, I will inform my doctor and anyone else who will listen that any weight they say I’ve gained is not true fat but either pre-, during- or post-menstrual bloat. I will also mention that my scale at home is five pounds lighter than the one in the doctor’s office which clearly needs to be calibrated AND my appointment was in the afternoon, when everyone knows you weigh much more than your true morning weight. If anyone is still listening to me at this point and certainly must either be in a coma or dead to still be paying attention, I will further tell them that I also ate a lot of fiber the day before and will weigh significantly less after my next trip to the bathroom.

Eventually, even those of us in the worst denial will face the awful truth and after throwing a “let’s-eat-all-the-ice-cream-in-the-freezer-before-we-diet” party, I’ll buckle down and endeavor to lose the weight, which is actually now 10 pounds instead of five because of the aforementioned ice cream party.

For six weeks there will be nothing to eat in the house except egg whites and spinach leaves and I will suffer and whine and eventually cheat, and then, shockingly, not lose any weight.

But my husband will.

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