The Big C

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"On our wedding day I couldn't believe how lucky I was, that someone like her wanted to be with someone like me, because she's a ten, and I'm like a four. Four to six, depending on the day. And what really makes it sting is that I haven't felt good about my body for some time now."

But is it vanity? Andrea's body, Cathy's body. Given away to everyone else to look at. Sean standing proudly, pants off in the middle of a parking lot. Is it fair, in other words, to compare her relationship with her body to Paul's, with his? Are men allowed to be insecure about their bodies? They're allowed to be insecure about everything else. We clean up their messes and we shut the cabinet doors and we tell them not to worry. Sometimes lie to them, so they won't have to be scared.

But to be living on the edge of this every day -- hanging off the side of it, like Adam in bed -- knowing he has the most beautiful wife in the entire world, and that everybody can see her, Cathy's beautiful face, Cathy's beautiful body, and knowing that someday he'll lose her. Is that worth something? Anything? Is it fair to resent him for his limitations? Is it fair to rule out his insecurities, on top of everything else, just because he's wrong about this one little thing? And only that, by a slim margin? His nightmares will come true; her body will take her away from him. His heart will break.

"You made me cancel my gym membership because you said I wasn't going enough but I wasn't going because I hurt my knee and then when my knee got better I couldn't go because I wasn't a member anymore," he complains. And now she's leaving him, because he's not as beautiful as she is. "But hey, at least we've got the extra forty bucks in our pocket every month." She's a ten and he's a four. She's a IV.

The therapist asks what Cathy's thinking, as Paul winds down. He is exhausting; it shows. "I'm thinking how much Adam used to love playing hide and seek with me when he was little. And I'm simultaneously thinking I'd really like a vanilla latte right now." Paul stares around at her and asks if there's a relationship between those two things; she admits they probably aren't, and walks out of there. She leaves the door hanging open, his mouth hanging open. Like a cabinet.

New plan: Paintball with Adam. Not quite hide and seek, but then Cathy's already playing that. With everybody.

"You can take some aggression out on me, and maybe you'll realize your old mom isn't such a drag all the time... Paintball!" She thought this one would do it; she thought she'd got him this time. He offers to shoot himself in the head -- he doesn't mean it; when he says these things they aren't real bullets -- than "run around the yard playing with my mom."

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The Big C




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