“The Other Mrs. Pfeiffer.” Lost in Thought Magazine 1 (2011): 8-11. Print. Canada.
After spending ten hours in a cubicle, Tammy Pfeiffer changed out of her work clothes to get their stink off her. She slipped the blouse over her head and unfastened her bra. Peeling off the Spanx and pantyhose, Tammy let the rolls around her midsection expand and looked at them bounce in the mirror. At 238 pounds, hate was hardly a word strong enough to convey her derision.
Pulling on a pair of sweats, Tammy wobbled to the kitchen. So far today she only had a shake for breakfast, a fruit parfait and a tuna salad with no mayo for lunch. That totaled to 930 calories and left her with exactly 370 for dinner, just enough for a slice of rye bread, three slices of turkey, and a bowl of greens. Healthy but tasteless, dinner took less than five minutes to make and less than two to eat.
This nightmare began on Christmas, when Tammy had promised her children that she’d lose weight. She hadn’t been below 200 pounds in fifteen years and the odds of losing 80 seemed about as good as winning the Powerball. But she wanted to get down to a healthier weight and tried faithfully every Monday. Eleven Mondays later, she was four pounds heavier than she was on Christmas.
Perhaps this week would be different, it was only Tuesday.
Tammy plopped on the couch and logged into Facebook. She scrolled through mundane status updates, from people she vaguely remembered and rarely spoke to, pausing on the one person whose profile she always looked at whenever she wanted a reason to wallow.
Lisa Marie in a size 2 Vera Wang wedding gown, Lisa Marie on her honeymoon cruise to Greece, Lisa Marie in her 5,000 square foot house with an indoor swimming pool. Lisa Marie at a congressman’s fundraiser, with her tanned arms around Tammy’s husband and children. Lisa Marie Thatcher, now known as Mrs. Richard Pfeiffer, MD, was 22 years younger and 100 pounds thinner than the first Mrs. Richard Pfeiffer, MD.
Lisa Marie was Rick’s do-over. She was Tammy version 2.0.
Consumed with an urge to eat a carbohydrate, Tammy vowed not to look at that woman’s page for the rest of the evening. She needed to take control of her cyber stalking but an alert that Lisa changed her profile picture was too hard to resist. Leaning in for a closer look, Tammy gasped when she saw that it was a sonogram.
No, it couldn’t be true. Rick didn’t want any more kids.
Tammy slammed the laptop shut and dashed to the pantry. Sparser than the refrigerator, the cupboards contained items that were much more suited for soothing a broken heart. She grabbed a bag of potato chips and devoured them. A two-year affair, a divorce after 23 years of marriage, and a hot young wife were one thing. But a new child, after he had insisted that two were plenty (she had wanted four)., that was too much.
Tammy licked the inside of the bag and moved on to a box of pretzels. They were supposed to last for the next five days but were gone in fifteen minutes. The wedding was six months ago and Lisa Marie was due in four. In less than three years, she had managed to turn a stubborn overweight workaholic with one foot in the grave into a slim cycling fanatic who retired early and started a family. It wasn’t a scam but Tammy felt like she had been scammed. Lisa Marie had bought Tammy’s damaged Picasso for $10 by letting her think that it was a fake.
Tammy used a foot stool to reach above the refrigerator. There she found a can of condensed milk that she had kept for this kind of emergency. The label said, 210 calories, 55 grams of carbohydrates per serving, 10 servings per can, but the numbers hardly registered. Tammy grabbed a spoon and tried to fill the void of being the other Mrs. Pfeiffer.