Bobbie's Beat: Being authentic

Writer Bobbie Lippman says she’s ready for a birthday with new presents: a vibrating “cat wrap,” an ice skate planter and cozy comforter. “What more could a girl want?” she wonders.

The whole truth and nothing but … I can’t be the only one during these difficult days who has become a snack-food junkie and a non-exerciser. This will come as a surprise to those who have known me a long time and who often said my self-discipline was very annoying. 

I might have been born this way, although I didn’t start counting calories until I was 18, which is when I became a fanatic about having a flat stomach. I also got into serious sports and admit to having OCD. If the odometer on my bike read “33 miles,” I had to round it out to 50. If the odometer read 92, well, you know that number had to be “upped” to 100. One game of racquetball was not enough. It’s a very rigorous sport, but I would go for three games. I also played to win, regardless of the activity. 

I was choosy about food and rarely ate more than one cookie. I knew this was annoying to friends and certainly to my husband, Burt. I’m sure he married me thinking I would sell my 10-speed steed after our honeymoon. Nope. I got him his own bike.

I lured him into river rafting, tournament tennis, super long bike rides (as long as food was included) and he became a deadly opponent at racquetball. I smiled a lot, continued to count calories, work out at a women’s gym and weigh myself every morning. I liked my flat stomach.

Oh, how times have changed — for many reasons, but mostly due to COVID-19 and being locked down with a crazy cat. Psychologists claim when tragedy strikes, people either stop eating, or start — big time! 

Burt’s death caused me to drop down to my high school weight. But now, growing older might be a factor. I gave up driving the day I realized macular degeneration was taking its dreaded toll. I’m totally dependent on friends and neighbors for groceries and a monthly retina injection from a doctor who is trying to save what little vision is left.

I’m baring my authentic self for those of you who are also facing a whole new lifestyle. I’m reluctant to describe what is in reach as I recline in my lazy girl chair: potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, candied ginger (I’m told its good for you), chocolate truffles, macaroons, caramels, Funyons, and an amazing assortment of cookies. I stopped weighing myself because I’m no longer obsessed, and I can’t read the scale anyhow. 

I think about exercise. There is an old Schwinn AirDyne in the house and a treadmill here in my office. A guy friend recently admitted he “thinks” about getting on his elliptical machine, but heads for the kitchen in search of snacks. He was so funny and reassuring I reached for a cookie. I’m not entirely at fault because women friends have plied me with cookies, cinnamon rolls, macaroons and loaves of homemade bread right out of their ovens. It’s a good thing I don’t know what the scale says. My clothes are no clue because I live in sweats and am extremely grateful to whomever invented elastic. 

Perhaps part of all this confession is based on the frustration of not being able to see my family and loved ones. FaceTime and Zoom don’t cut it for me. Nobody seems to know how much longer before there is a definite light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. And so I turn to humor (or another cookie). The following just arrived from Teresa, my long-time high school chum.


“I was visiting my daughter last night when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper. ‘This is the 21st century, Mom,’ she said rather snarkily. ‘We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, use my iPad!’

“I can tell you this — that fly never knew what hit him!”


Here is one final reason for my blatant disclosure — midnight tonight is my birthday, and you just don’t want to mess with older people, especially if she is holding a cookie! Yep, I’m a New Year’s baby, and my dad never forgave me for cheating him out of a tax deduction.

Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]


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