This is the long awaited guest post by Coach! Enjoy!
To be truthful, I really had to think back to recall all the details of the fateful moment — especially since it wasn’t until very recently that I even knew the moment in question was fateful.
I remember it was evening or full-on nighttime, and I was driving home. I was about two miles away from my apartment. I’m not sure if Kim called, or if I called. I think I called her to check in on her, but I could be mistaken. I do know that I was in one of my extra playful moods.
Kim is right. I really like wordplay. I also like to say shocking things sometimes. And though I have been known to shock people with my words on occasion, I’m actually quite careful about what I say. I weigh out what I believe is just a touch past the comfortable envelope for the people present with me in conversation. But this time. With Kim. I remember catching my breath after I said what I said. I remember my words being something like “I love watching your ever increasingly shrinking ass.” (Which is a lot of syllables to get right, by the way. Not an easy phrase to roll off the tongue either. I am kind of proud of myself that I got it out without flubbing it.) Kim started laughing hysterically.
To be clear. I wasn’t saying that I loved watching Kim’s ass. That’s creepy. I’m her friend. Have been for a long while. She’s like my sister. Saying I liked watching her ass would be like her saying to me that she appreciates my hip line. (Don’t ask me what a “hip line” is. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. But it’s a thing she likes on guys. Thank goodness — she tells me I don’t have one or at least not one she likes.) What I was trying to communicate in that moment was how much I was noticing the results of her efforts and how much I was enjoying her success. But it came out kinda wrong.
While Kim was gone in her fit of oxygen deprivation, laughing hysterically, I was freaking out a little bit. That phrase was well past my normal shock zone when talking with Kim. Had I really just talked about her ass? Had I really just said I liked watching her ass?? Awkward. I like to think I’m quite respectful when I express anything about a woman’s body. To have said this to a friend and one who is dealing with weight and body issues? Aiyh. I don’t recall prior to that moment ever commenting on Kim’s appearance. I’d always felt extra sensitive about doing such a thing so I just made it a point not to. She and I would talk about health and weight loss and how she was feeling and her perceptions about herself. But I was careful with my words in relation to her body and appearance. Did I really just talk about watching her ass?? Mind you this small crisis all transpired in my head in a short eternity of about three seconds.
As Kim regained her breath, I started to chill out. I had said what I said. Couldn’t take it back. No sense in trying to take it back. Her ass was, in fact, shrinking. I had, in fact, noticed. She was laughing so it must be okay. Right. Right?
Not so much.
I let the whole thing go in the minutes that followed. Except for the phrase “ever increasingly shrinking ass” (which I liked and kept handy), I never thought another thing of it. Until that night. When I was sitting on the other side of a camera and lights asking Kim questions as we filmed raw footage for her second Biggest Loser video. Somewhere in there we got on the topic of what had succeeded in the past in bringing her to failure. She started talking about how attention from men had derailed her. Then she got this look on her face. That look you see when people are on talk shows and they realize they could confess something they’ve never said out loud before. Something about cameras brings this out in people. Maybe it’s the sense that cameras are objective and are incapable of judging that brings a sense of safety. Whatever it is, she got that look. And then she explained the whole story about my commentary involving her ass. I. WAS. SHOCKED. Me. The guy who likes to shock people now and again. She just totally won. I had no idea. In fact, I, who tends to be quite wordy, was speechless. And Kim seemed quite nonchalant about the whole thing. Of course, she’d had maybe two years to process it all. I was just trying to catch up.
In the end (so to speak), I’m glad things went the way they did. I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me, at the time, that that one comment would graft me into a new dimension of Kim’s growth and healing. But so it seems it has. There are stories of God speaking through people. And, he obviously has a tremendous sense of humor (farts? duck-billed platypuses? you with me, people?). Perhaps in that moment it wasn’t so much me speaking as God using that crazy phrase to begin something new in Kim. If so, I think it’s utterly wonderful that I got to be a part of such ridiculousness and played some role in where Kim has come today.