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COMMITMENTS : He Was No Mr. Goodbar, but He Had His Purpose


Idon't like Snickers bars. But after my divorce, I began eating them as if I thought they had a magic ingredient that would save my life or my sanity. I started with the small snack size (it was around Halloween) and graduated to the regular, then the giant size.

I gained about 20 pounds.

I existed in this unhappy state for a year before I went on a diet and started running. And then I met Bill.

Well, I didn't actually meet him. We had been college sweethearts, and I ran into him by accident. We talked for 2 1/2 hours, catching up. We arranged to meet again in a week.

I lost three pounds.

After our first date, he sent a letter, telling me he had carried my picture in his wallet until it fell apart. He had been in love with me his whole life.

I lost two more pounds.

Every time we met after that, we talked about the past and the future. He said he thought about me every minute of every day and dreamed about me at night.

I lost two pounds.

But it began to seem strange that he never came over before sunset, and always left before sunrise.

"How come I never see you in the daytime? You could be a vampire for all I know."

He smiled--a tiny, tight smile. No teeth showed.

"I've thought about that," he said, and backed out the door.

He's thought about what, I wondered, as the door swung shut and filled the space he had been standing in--if he might visit during the day sometime, or whether he was a vampire?

I lost five pounds.

But the next time he came over, he held my head on his shoulder. "The first time I saw you after all those years was the most wonderful day of my life. I love you so much."

I thought, "Oh, my God, he's going to ask me to marry him. This is moving too fast for me."

He said: "But I'm getting married in four months."

These were the right words, but the wrong sentence.


"You heard me." His tone of voice was not saying, "Marry me."

I struggled to form a complete sentence, to make sense of this chaos. "Well then, what are you doing here?"

"I think you know the answer to that," he said.

Well, it could be anything. But none of the answers I could imagine was going to make me happy. I told him to leave.

I lost five pounds.

He wrote. He called. He begged. He said he wanted me to be part of his life. I told him I was insulted by all this. He said, "You obviously have the wrong attitude about this situation."

My attitude about the situation by that time was that he had at least lifted the Snickers curse.

So when my friend Nancy came into the office last week and asked how I lost all that weight, I said, "I'll give you his phone number."

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