Holiday Weight Gain

For most of us, our county fairs happen in the summer. But in our house, they’re year-round affairs.

You see, my husband, Bob, spends all winter testing recipes for cookies so that he can win baking competitions. So far, he’s won 24 blue ribbons.

So, instead of blaming the holidays for weight gain, I blame Bob. My jeans don’t fit; my face is rounder; I’m flabby. But I can handle it without obsessing to death. Who can’t handle gaining weight? Bob.

Yesterday, he baked yet another test batch of chocolate chip lemon cookies. At his third cookie, he loosened his belt. At his fourth, he removed his belt. At his fifth, he took off his pants.

“At least I’m not gaining weight,” he said at his sixth. He stood to look in a full-length mirror. “Am I getting hippy?”

Nobody wants to hear the truth about their weight gain, so I said, “Of course not.”

He fingered his newly grown second chin. Thinking there was a slight chance he wanted my honesty, I said, “Well, sweets, don’t you think all the cookies have caused you to gain weight?”

“Who said I’m gaining weight?!”

“You just took off your pants.”

“Oh, that’s water weight.”

“Honey,” I said. “We need to talk.”

“I know,” he said, in resignation. “It’s definitely time.”

“Yes, Bob. We’ll work on your problem together.”

“My problem?”

“You know, your weight. What else could we be talking about?”

He lowered his eyes. I could tell he was feeling shame. Slowly, he looked back up at me and said, “Let’s finally face it. The cookies need more chocolate chips.” I sighed. “Bob, you mention your weight every day.”

“It’s my metabolism.”

Gently, I said, “I don’t think so.”

“Then it’s genetics.”

“Your parents were reed-thin.”

“My great-grandmother was chunky.”

“Sweets, you’ve told me a thousand times to tell you if you’ve gained weight.”

“You should have known I never meant it!”

He seemed to have calmed down when he said, “How much have I gained? Ten pounds? Twenty? Forty? Go ahead. You can tell me. I can handle it. I promise.”

“About 15.”

“You sadistic monster.”

I threw my hands up in the air. “Do you want me to lie to you?”

“Of course.”

And so, as I promised to lie, we hugged closely, then split a heavenly lemon cookie, which was more delicious than his 10 other batches, because of the extra chocolate chips.


Nationally syndicated, award-winning columnist Saralee Perel can be reached at or via her website:

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