If you really knew me you would know that I love cupcakes.
If you’ve ever seen the movie This Is 40 then you’ll understand what I mean when I say Paul Rudd is my spirit animal. His character in the movie hides behind a dumpster every day and shoves cupcakes down his throat. He eats them in one glorious bite.
If you haven’t seen This Is 40 you don’t really need to because it’s not a great film, but I’ve included a picture for you to reference above.
Unfortunately there was a time when I didn’t love cupcakes. There was a time when I pretended to be dainty and little and small. I thought it would make me more appealing and attractive. I so desperately wanted to be loved that I not only stopped enjoying cupcakes, but I also stopped enjoying food in general.
Which is crazy because I love food but I’m afraid I loved love more.
And I thought the only way to be loved was to be pretty and little. I really hope I’m not alone in this. In fact, I know I’m not. I think every girl can point to a moment when she started thinking that being small and skinny would make her dateable and lovable. Maybe it was a TV show. Maybe it was a stick thin Barbie doll. Maybe it was the boy she had a crush on but he paid attention to other girls who all wore a size 0. Maybe she just looked in the mirror one day and heard this tiny little voice that said “you’re fat and ugly” and she couldn’t explain where it came from but she's been hearing it ever since.
Again, we experience little half-truths in our brains affirming the lies that if we’re just skinny enough, if we cut enough carbs, then we’ll finally be worthy of affection.
But it worked. Sorta. I was dating a guy and I actually pretended cupcakes grossed me out. I turned my back on my beloved cupcakes and I’m going to be honest to say I turned my back on myself in an effort to not be alone. But when you have to make yourself be continually smaller and smaller (physically, emotionally, spiritually) just so the other person isn’t insecure then you end up guaranteeing the very thing you feared: loneliness.
Thankfully that relationship ended. But I had lost myself in a deep way and I was having a hard time finding my way back to being the girl who loved the cupcakes. I was afraid, despite what I had learned, of ending up alone.
Except the other day my friend and I had a great conversation about dating and he said something that every last girl on the planet needs to know.
He said, “No guy wants to date a girl he can’t eat a cupcake with."
A guy said it, a real life human male. Unprompted. In that moment he spoke truth into the depths of every lie society, advertising, and internal monologues tell women. He spoke right to the core of the terrible things I’ve spoken within myself.
More girls need to know that guys want to date girls who eat cupcakes.
You want to know why? Because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Those extra 5 pounds we’re dying to lose aren’t worth killing the vibe at the end of a really great date. They aren’t worth the stress and the anxiety and the ugly things we produce inside of ourselves when we’re consumed with not consuming things. It’s not worth ending the night early because we’re worried about how we’re going to look in a bathing suit. It doesn’t matter what you eat when insecurity and doubt are eating you alive. Those qualities are infinitely less attractive than an extra pound or two hanging around our waistlines. And I get it, I do, it's been a part of us for so long that it's really hard to believe.
One could argue that guys want a girl who eats cupcakes but looks like she doesn’t.
That’s fair. I hear you. I get that.
Then don’t date him. Better to be alone with yourself than to be alone with him.
It’s possible to be in a relationship and be completely alone because in reality you’re divorced from yourself.
Any relationship, marriage in particular, requires a oneness. You can't have a sense of oneness with another person if you're divorced from yourself. There are custody battles over what part of you gets which days of the week. Which part of you will show up on nights and weekends? Which version of yourself has custody over the weekdays? Who are you around your friends or your boyfriend or your coworkers? If we're not willing to commit to ourselves then who will?
What if, in a different light and under someone else's microscope, the very things you hate about yourself are the very things someone else falls in love with?
Those parts you're divorcing from yourself just might be the best part about you.
Intimacy and vulnerability say, "Here I am, mess and all. Will you commit to me as I commit to myself? And I promise to do the same for you too. It might not be pretty but it'll be worth it." And if that's not the most attractive thing someone can offer you then I don't know what is.
At least, that's what I'm learning about the cupcakes. Because in my mind the cupcakes show I'm messy- I often end up with some icing on the corners of my mouth or some crumbs in my teeth. They show I lack self-control because I'm liable to eat 4 at a time. The way I devour them doesn't seem very feminine and neither does the impact they have on my body. I could go on and on.
But I'm learning to own those parts of myself because in a different light, or maybe on my best days, the cupcakes show that I don't take myself too seriously. They're a little bit of spontaneity and whimsy and passion and creativity. They show a willingness to be myself, to be unarmed, to be unashamed. All of those things are just as much a part of me as the bad and the ugly.
I don't know what your cupcakes are, the pieces of you that you're ashamed to be married to, but I do know that they're not so scary. In fact, it could be the very best part of you. In fact, they're essential to the very intimacy you crave with yourself, with others, and with the One who made you.
Be the girl who can eat the cupcakes (real or metaphorical.) Be with the guy who you can eat cupcakes with.
Side note: as I finished this blog I looked up from my desk to find two cupcakes delivered in mason jars from someone I'm very fond of. Because after all, I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy and some cupcakes, asking them to love her.