This is a true story:

Two old friends are getting together. Denise has invited Mary for supper on a Friday night.

Denise: Come in Mary, I’m so happy to see you.

Mary: It’s been months.

Denise: Let me get a good look at you. You look terrific!

Mary: I’ve lost 38lbs since I last saw you.

Denise: So I was told, but I couldn’t imagine it. You look wonderful.

Mary: (she blushes) Thanks, thanks a lot. But you know, you could be down to your ideal weight too, we began the program together…

Denise: Yes, well… I couldn’t believe it when Pauline told me you’d lost all that weight. How many diets did we start together and then give up on?

Mary: At least five, I’m sure.

Denise: Right. Well, I just gave up again. I’m hopeless. You’re lucky, your problems are over.

Mary: You think that it’s luck?

Denise: I thought for sure you’d drop out when I did, just like the other times. You had as many failures behind you as I had; you were lucky to keep going. My luck ran out a long time ago.

Mary: (somewhat upset) Luck has nothing to do with the way I look today. I worked hard and am still working hard at changing my habits and the way I live. It’s not easy to take oneself in hand; there are so many negative influences around, advertising, social situations and so on.

Denise: Before we get down to serious business, let’s have a little something to drink before dinner. Would you like your usual Cinzanno on ice with a zest?

Mary: No thanks, I’ve stopped having drinks before dinner. They increase my appetite and decrease my will power.

Denise: I made a special trip to the liquor store. You can’t do this to me.

Mary: When you called to invite me, I told you I’d changed my eating and drinking habits.

Denise: Sure, sure, but that was then. It’s so good to see you. Let’s drink to your new figure.

Mary: No really, I do like my new figure and I am proud of it but I’ve learned to reward myself in more positive ways than by eating and drinking.

Denise: You don’t have to make your life a misery just because you have lost weight.

Mary: I’m very happy, believe me and I want to stay that way. I’ll have a Perrier please, but you go ahead and have whatever you want.

Denise goes somewhat dejectedly into the kitchen. A few minutes later she returns with a Perrier and a Cinzanno on ice.

Denise: (she holds the Cinzanno up to Mary’s nose)

Are you sure you don’t want it? Take it; I’ll go make myself another.

Mary: Please don’t insist. This Perrier is fine thanks, but tell me, why did you leave the program this last time. You were doing fine; you’d lost a lot of weight.

Denise: Yes… well maybe I decided to live fat and happy rather than thin and miserable.

Mary: And would you say that you’re happy now?

Denise: Well, perfect happiness doesn’t exist anywhere, you know. But let’s talk about something else.

Long Pause

Mary: It’s funny. Before, whenever we were together, we always had a thousand things to talk about. Now we seem to be groping for things to say.

Denise: What about you; would you say that you’re happy?

Mary: Just as you said, perfect happiness doesn’t exist anywhere, but I feel a lot better about myself. You wouldn’t believe all the things I’m doing now: I’m working part time; I’m playing tennis again after 15 years; I’m president of the parent teachers association at my son’s school…

Denise: You certainly don’t have much time to yourself.

Mary: That used to be one of my biggest problems; now I’m channeling my energy into positive things. My husband says I’m improving day by day and things have never been better between us.

Denise: Let’s move to the table

Mary: Boy, you’ve laid out a beautiful spread

Denise: Wait till you see the feast I’ve prepared for you

Mary: You’ve gone to too much trouble. You shouldn’t have.

Denise: Look at this, take a few Escargots in garlic butter.

Mary: I told you on the phone last week that I didn’t want to eat too much; I really appreciate all the trouble that you’ve gone to but…

Denise: Wait, I prepared your favorite- warm garlic bread.

Mary: No thanks, I don’t want any. My eating habits have changed and just the thought of all this food stifles my appetite.

Fifteen minutes later, after the appetizer

Denise: Isn’t garlic butter delicious? Do you remember that whenever we went out to the restaurant we’d eat by the ton; those were the days. But you’ve hardly eaten a thing.

Mary: I ate all the escargots, they were great.

Denise: But you didn’t sop up all the garlic butter. Have you lost your taste for it?

Mary: No I still love it, but I’d rather not. I appreciate all the trouble you went to, but I did warn you that I wasn’t eating the way I used to.

Denise: I prepared your favorite dish for dinner: Lasagna Au Gratin.

Mary: It smells wonderful.

Denise: I made a bunch.

Mary: Just give me a little. That should be enough, thanks.

Denise: Help me out a bit here; I’ll be eating lasagna all week. It’s terrific, I promise.

Mary: I had enough thanks. It’s already more than I am used to and you’re right; it is great. I’m enjoying every bite.

Denise: Would you like a glass of wine?

Mary: Yes please, I still love a glass of good wine.

Denise: Well now that’s interesting. You eat almost nothing, but you drink wine? I knew there had to be something.

Mary: What’s the problem? Before I came, I planned for this meal, I knew I’d eat and drink more than usual but within limits. I’m having exactly what I want and appreciating it. One glass of wine isn’t going to make me fat. Tomorrow I’ll get back to my regular diet.


Denise: I’ve prepared your favorite dessert: cheesecake

Mary: Do you remember that great little restaurant we used to go to? They got to know us so well; they’d bring us cheesecake before we’d even had a chance to order dessert.

Denise: They were great. Here taste this.

Mary: No thanks Denise. I’m really grateful for everything that you’ve done, but I am just not hungry anymore.

Denise: Reject my cheesecake; reject me. That’s it, we can’t be friends anymore; you hate me!

Mary: You’re such a nut; I’ve had a really good time. We’ve got to get together again soon. It feels so good to be with you

Denise: Have a little cheesecake.

Mary: No thanks, friendship is a matter of the heart, not the stomach.


Why do you think that Denise keeps after her friend to eat and drink more?





Have you ever experienced the same sort of thing?



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