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Kindred Spirits. The Penny Pinchers Club. Sweet Love. The Sleeping Beauty Proposal. The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives. See all books by Sarah Strohmeyer. Then Nola takes Belinda a bit too far, and is forced to join "The Cinderella Pact" and drop the pounds. As the weight comes off, however, Nola's. By day, she's an overweight, frumpy, and overlooked book editor. to reveal herself, Nola bites the bullet and joins her friends in making the "Cinderella Pact.".


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The Cinderella Pact book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In this funny and big-hearted story by the author of The Secre. The Cinderella Pact [Sarah Strohmeyer] on musicmarkup.info Much of the book is written in an open, realistic, honest way that most women can identify with, then. Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. With her double chin and double-XL wardrobe, it's doubly . The Cinderella Pact is an inspiring and awesome book that tells people that if you want change in your life, if you want your happy ending, then you.

The books are fun, and one can definitely lump them into the "beach read" category. Nola Devlin is an overweight woman who works for Sass! What she really wants to do though is write, so she somehow manages to create an alter ego, Belinda Apple, who finds her way into writing an advice column for the publication. No one knows that Belinda does not exist. Everyone thinks Belinda lives in London and is very chic a doctored photo of Nola convinces the staff of this , but no one has yet to meet the popular columnist. Nola gets away with her charade by creating an email address for Belinda along with an American cell phone number, explaining to co-workers that it's cheaper to use than a direct British phone line. In the meantime, Nola and her two best friends, Deb and Nancy, decide that they are going to lose weight, and they form the "Cinderella Pact.

Her weight loss struggle seemed very realistic with the weight wa Shockingly, I liked this book. Her weight loss struggle seemed very realistic with the weight watchers specifics and the dietary guidelines.

I also liked how each of the women lost weight in their own way because it mimics life. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Although the "Cinderella Pact" was initially about weight loss, the characters each had a life transformation.

It was not just about losing the weight to adhere to some superficial standard, but it was more about loving yourself and finding what makes you happy. The weight loss empowered the members of the pact to stand up for their beliefs which allowed them to find happiness.

I thought the romance part of the book was interesting. I didn't expect that "Chip" wasn't the real Chip from IT. This twist added another fun element along with Belinda Apple to the book which kept me interested.

Who is this mysterious Chip? I thought it was funny that Nola immediately thought he was a serial killer. The co-workers in the office, Nola's landlady and Nigel were lively secondary character whom also added some humor.

In the end the fairytale ending was semi-predictable, but I still enjoyed it. It seemed like all the characters came full circle. Nola became that confident Belinda Apple. I have to say that I picked up this book in a bundle with a few other Sarah Strohmeyer books. I feel like I'm reading them backwards as they progressively seem to get worse. I thought the plot of this book sounded interesting and it seemed to start off promising.

What I've come to notice in each book though is that there's always a rich someone or other that makes all problems go away. Well, this is real life.

That doesn't happen. It pretty much makes me feel uncomfortable and depressed in a way. Nola, seemed really down on people compared to how she hated people treating her differently because of her size. Which actually feels pretty real. I think we all mostly stereotype people by just looking at them no matter who we are. That's why I think this book had so much promise.

Unfortunately, it just fell apart. Some parts that were funny at first seemed to be dragged out and beaten to death. For instance the nun part.

Ok, funny to mention once but continuously mentioning it over and over is kind of sad and makes it not even remotely funny. I found this novel long and boring. I was skipping parts just to get through it. Not to mention the ending in my opinion was terrible. I don't think there is any part of this novel that can be considered romance. That would require the characters to be in the same place more than three times. This novel just didn't feel right to me at all.

I'm glad that Nola set her life in the right direction it just wasn't very believable for me. I have one more book in the bundle I downloadd and I'm hoping it better. Aug 22, Karen rated it really liked it. I was up til the wee hours finishing this I think at big part of the reason I liked this book so much and was bawling into multiple tissues was that it hit so close to home-- my starting weight, when I joined Weight Watchers, was the same as the Nola's.

I didn't realize when I started it that it was going to be "that kind of book"-- I was expecting light and ditzy chick-lit. But at the core of the book is the serious, emotionally fraught issue of the three friends' weight: What impressed me was the realism of the book Nola's zanier ideas aside Aside from a few minor quibbles one of which the author apologizes for in the afterword , I thought the depiction of Nola and her friends and their final try at a "lifestyle change" was very true-to-life.

Now, if only her Prince Charming were real Jan 26, Amanda McGill rated it it was ok Shelves: A cute click lit novel. I really enjoyed the main character and her outgoing personality.

However, this novel reminded me of the Shopaholic series and not in a good way. The main character dug herself further and further in a hole, but there never seemed any consequences for her actions.

A quick read and could be an inspiring novel for those who want to lose weight. Jul 05, Kathryn rated it it was ok. A good beach read but nothing more. It's silly and the romance aspect is utterly ridiculous. If you're a fan of the cliche underdog story, this is for you.

Far fetched Especially the constant weight comments to the main characters. It tries to be Bridget Jones but misses the mark. Jul 18, Krista rated it it was amazing. If you have ever struggled with trying to lose weight this book is for you. This book was fantastic. It had great humor to it. It was so good that I could not put it down. Jul 28, Courtnay Evans rated it really liked it.

I love the way this author write her books as if she is just having a conversation with a friend. May 29, Bookworman rated it did not like it Shelves: Dec 28, Jenna rated it liked it. I liked the concept of this chick lit. Light and cheesy and unbelievable in the best ways. With weight loss tips tucked into all the chapters as the main fat character transforms. Aug 18, Jinky rated it liked it Shelves: Here's a twist I like the TV movie version better than the book! I saw the movie about a couple weeks ago on Lifetime Movie Network titled Lying to be Perfect and enjoyed it.

Cinderella book the pact

A 21st century Cinderella fairy tale rendition Can we guess why that attracted me? Yeap, someone's been carrying an extr Here's a twist I'm not sure if I would have liked the book version better than the movie adaptation had I read the book first.

I just really enjoyed the movie take on it. I would even venture to say it's just about completely different. The only thing that stayed the same was the plot Not exactly. Certainly if you go political on it, but then you'd lose the fun of a simple romance story.

Synopsis by Goodreads: Apr 10, Kara rated it really liked it Shelves: I picked it up thinking it would do for some brain candy for a few hours, and it turned out to have quite a bit of heart to it. Nola is quite a woman! Being overweight and very conscious of it, mainly because of how others treat her because of it, she seems at first glance to be your typical damsel in distress type of character.

But Nola can stand on her own two feet just fine! She most certainly has a backbone, it just takes some pushing to make 3. She most certainly has a backbone, it just takes some pushing to make it come out. But stress at work, worry for her friends, and finally just getting tired of always being looked down on, plus a rather handsome man! She makes plenty of mistakes though, pretending to be someone she's not being one of them, but owns up to them by the end.

She's also a very loyal friend. The friendship between Nola, Deb, and Nancy was a wonderful aspect of the book! No matter if they agree with the decisions each of them make or not, they are always right there regardless. Always supporting one another and cheering one another on. I love great friendships in stories and this group of women have a lovely one. The weight issue is a sensitive one to approach, and Ms. Strohmeyer handles it delicately and nicely. There's no crude humor at the expense of the heavy people here.

Instead, the overweight people have issues and reasons for their weight gain, and the story marks each persons journey to their respective discoveries. Because journey's they are. Each woman has to do some jogs here and there and also serious soul-searching to reach their epiphany. It's not an easy road for any of them. But once they reach their goal, you're so happy right along with them! Of course, there's romance. But it actually is more of a background plotpoint. While it only takes center stage in bits and pieces, that doesn't mean it isn't sweet.

Because who doesn't want somebody to show you that they love you because of who you are, not what you look like? Yes, it's a bit cliche, but still so fun! Because isn't that what we all dream about? Jun 13, Darla rated it it was amazing Shelves: It's as though fat is a cloud of fog that surrounds your mountain of problems. Not until you drop the weight and clear the fog, will you know how high you've got to climb to get on top of them.

For anyone who has struggled with weight issues and all the socialogical and emotional issues that goes with it, this is a must read. I'm thinking of sending copies to friends -- because even if weight isn't your issue, the "That's when I understood what it really means to lose weight.

I'm thinking of sending copies to friends -- because even if weight isn't your issue, the message about loving, accepting, respecting and taking care of yourself is incredibly positive. Nora, a fashion magazine editor, Deb, a homemaker, and Nancy, a high-powered attorney, are best freinds who've been weighty their whole lives.

When Nola is turned down from dream job because she's overweight, she invents Belinda Apple, her British, thin, alter ego that quickly becomes the celebrity advice columnist that everyone knows but no one has met. Keeping the secret to herself, "Belinda" writes an advice column on weight loss. After reading Belinda's column, Deb and Nancy, spurred on by an incident of weight prejudice in a restaurant, talk Nola into joining with them, and making a Cinderella Pact: Each lady chooses a different method, but as the weight comes off, the problems begin to mount, with Belinda Apple being investigated by her magazine, Nola's sister asking Belinda to be the Maid of Honor, Rock Columnist Nigel determined to meet Belinda in person, and that cute guy who keeps coming around and then disappearing, Nola's hands are full.

And Deb's and Nancy's lives take big turns, as each begins to understand how they got where they were Jan 12, Fleur rated it it was amazing. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention cinderella pact belinda apple lose weight sarah strohmeyer alter ego chick lit fairy tale best friends weight loss main character easy read nola devlin sass magazine sleeping beauty bridget jones maid of honor stephanie plum beauty proposal plum series prince charming.

Showing of 98 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Paperback Verified download. I have to say that I picked up this book in a bundle with a few other Sarah Strohmeyer books. I feel like I'm reading them backwards as they progressively seem to get worse. I thought the plot of this book sounded interesting and it seemed to start off promising.

What I've come to notice in each book though is that there's always a rich someone or other that makes all problems go away. Well, this is real life. That doesn't happen. It pretty much makes me feel uncomfortable and depressed in a way. Nola, seemed really down on people compared to how she hated people treating her differently because of her size.

Which actually feels pretty real. I think we all mostly stereotype people by just looking at them no matter who we are. That's why I think this book had so much promise. Unfortunately, it just fell apart. Some parts that were funny at first seemed to be dragged out and beaten to death. For instance the nun part. Ok, funny to mention once but continuously mentioning it over and over is kind of sad and makes it not even remotely funny.

I found this novel long and boring. I was skipping parts just to get through it. Not to mention the ending in my opinion was terrible. I don't think there is any part of this novel that can be considered romance. That would require the characters to be in the same place more than three times.

This novel just didn't feel right to me at all. I'm glad that Nola set her life in the right direction it just wasn't very believable for me. I have one more book in the bundle I downloadd and I'm hoping it better. One person found this helpful. Hardcover Verified download. No doubt about it, this is "chick lit" to the core. In the seemingly-neverending sea of pink-covered books in this genre, however, I liked "Cinderella Pact" more than most.

It's cute and funny without seeming forced; it's quick-witted enough to keep my attention but light enough to enjoy while sizzling on a beach blanket in the midday sun. Basically, it covers all the bases of a successful beach read and, in my opinion, has a little more substance than a lot of its peers. However, the entire story has a fairytale theme that, in my opinion, went too far and got annoying after awhile. Much of the book is written in an open, realistic, honest way that most women can identify with, then suddenly something fantastical happens and it just comes across as silly and contrived.

The "fantasy" parts seemed tacked on and tacky like the rich, successful Prince Charming's out-of-nowhere efforts to woo a chubby girl he's met twice, for instance, or the 4-hour "transformation" at the beauty salon that made her unrecognizable to her own boss and best friends.

After several chapters of realistic, lovely, lively writing, I was disappointed that the story kept returning to these ridiculous "twists" that are more Disney than Sex and the City. I like the idea of the modern-day fairytale just as much as the next girl, I just think this book would've done better without going so overboard.

All in all, the good parts outweigh the stumbling blocks and it comes out being a a nice, light, amusing summer read that has already started making the rounds among my girlfriends.

As I was reading this book there was something tugging at the back of my mind. It felt like I had read a book very similar in style to this before. Then I finally remembered who it was. Jane Green. It reads a lot like her novels. If you like Jane Green you'll more that likely like this too. It's a quick read with the main character Nola and her 2 best friends deciding that they're going to lose weight.

This is decided by the group at their favorite restaurant after being denied the "best table" because they are overweight. There are parts to the story including Nola falling for her super hot boss, her spoiled younger sister's wedding and Nola's alter ego. It's funny stuff but the thing that bothered me was the ending. I wanted a bit more and I can't tell if that's because I liked to book so much I didn't want it to end or if it was just an abrupt ending and needed a bit more to it.

Perhaps three thousand for each weekly column the first three months, increased to four thousand per column the next quarter and five thousand for the following two quarters. Does that seem. That was more than two hundred thousand. Four times what I made in a year. How stupid of me to approach you with this. Travel in Piscataway. That must be a British law. Would starting next month be too soon?

To build reader interest. I love the way you speak, I have to confess. So glad to have you on board, Belinda. What had I done? How could I pull this off? Where does one find an agent? What if David Stanton insists on meeting me in person? How do you boil corned beef anyway? Surely I would burn in hell for if not eternity, then a damn long time. When I did get around to opening the door, I found my worries vanish. I was face-to-face with none other than Lori herself, hands on hips, as sharp as ever.

In fact, everything about Lori, from the bob of her jet-black hair, to the points of her silk collars, was angled viciously. That, right there, sums up the difference between Belinda Apple and me. Chapter Three By the end of lunch—if you can call one-third of a salad lunch—I begin to get into this diet business.

I could stick with it this time, I think. I could really, really, once and for all reveal my inner Cinderella. What I need is just a bit of motivation. Literary motivation. What I need is a good, uplifting story from an overweight housewife who went from being a fuzzy blob in bad shorts on a green couch to a digitally clear busty babe in a bikini. But I draw the line at gelatin. Also, any recipe having to do with frozen buttermilk. Chocolate mousse made with dark Swiss chocolate, Grand Marnier, and heavy double cream is a delight to savor and should never be compared to the concoction made from unsweetened cocoa, Splenda, orange flavoring, and gelatin.

Nor can frozen buttermilk ever be transformed into anything approaching ice cream. This is what drives veteran dieters like me back to the Toll House. I feel excited and rejuvenated as I march myself to the selfhelp section. Am I diabetic? High cholesterol? Am I a sugar buster? A carb-o-holic? The adult child of a compulsive eater? Uh, yes. Perhaps I should eat according to my blood type. With each Atkins diet I lost exactly twelve pounds, all of which immediately came back—like overnight—with one slice of pizza.

Plus, testing my urine for ketosis got a bit stale. South Beach takes too much work. Jane Brody means beans, and I hate beans. Dean Ornish is no fun. Ditto for the Zone. Then again, none of them is exactly a trip to the circus.

Making the Weight-Loss Journey Fun! I scan the index, searching for any disturbing signs of gelatin usage. Finding none, I venture to the back cover. You should be proud. I smile. I am proud. Good for me. In Who Moved My Fat?: I hate that, the rest-of-your-life part. So what are you waiting for? Why not start your journey now? Why not? I think, flinching at the cost—thirty-four dollars. The Cinderella Pact 25 As we stop and start up the crowded highway in an inexplicable traffic jam, I fear for my ancient Audi Fox, which is buckling and making odd sounds in its front.

I flip through Who Moved My Fat? Still, Dr. Call your loved ones now, Dr. Any delay postpones the journey. I look up and discover the traffic has moved approximately one inch. I am convinced that she has outlasted eight administrations, both Republican and Democrat, solely because of her secret 26 Sarah Strohmeyer recipe for Swedish meatballs in tangy sour cream sauce—a dish that could melt the hardest heart of any conniving politician.

Like me, Mom is not small, though she was thin—allegedly—when she married Dad. Butterscotch brownies topped by vanilla ice cream honestly, did we need the ice cream? Banana pudding made with Nilla wafers. This was the house I grew up in. Meatloaf and twice-baked potatoes with sour cream.

Short ribs and poppyseed noodles. Chicken potpie in a flaky crust. Pot roast cooked with dark beer. Lasagna with sausage and three kinds of cheese, accompanied by garlic bread. Knockwurst and sauerkraut in a CrockPot. Crock-Pots are very big with my mother. She reveres them as miracles akin to the NASA space station.

For dessert there was homemade thick hot-fudge sauce over mint-chip ice cream. Ginger cookies with unsulfured molasses for a snack every day after school along with a tall glass of cold whole milk. Even our Friday night fish was battered and fried. And the doctor was confused as to why I topped in seventh grade. I was just going to call you.

Caroline Spivak went to a spa and lost ten pounds of sweat. Clearly, she does not appreciate the gravity of what I have just announced, that I am embarking on an exciting weightloss journey that is guaranteed to change my life forever.

Your father and I are downloading her a new set of tires. And I say this without one ounce of sibling rivalry. Despite this adult lifestyle, she somehow gets our mother to wash and iron all her clothes and our dad to help pay her Visa bill, on which she once charged a spontaneous trip to Hawaii. The diamond ring my grandmother gave me. My left kidney. My favorite spleen. I thought maybe, for her birthday, you could have Belinda give Eileen a call at the party. She can put her on speakerphone!

I give my head a slight bang against the steering wheel. I can see it now. Me as Belinda on speakerphone. Eileen, Mom, Dad, and Jack Russell all listening in, commenting that her voice sounds so familiar.

How am I supposed to pull off Belinda on the telephone if I have to be at the same party at the same time? Ventriloquism is not one of my talents. Not yet. I really want to dissuade Mom of this brainstorm except for some reason my windshield is fogging up. Smoke rising from the hood of my car, which has been idling in the traffic jam. What about Belinda Apple calling on Sunday?

Is that a yes? Which means I am standing at the edge of the highway in a black pantsuit on a ninety-degree June day. Of course I am wearing black. I always wear black to work, no matter what the temperature.

Queen size. Something goes poof under the hood of my Fox, and the front of my car explodes in flames. I freeze, uncertain what to do. Back off. The flames disappear as white steam rises along with a sickening acrid smell.

I regard my forlorn Audi. My first car, ever. This is the car that drove me to college and the Jersey Shore and, once, to Boston to see the Rolling Stones. This is the car in which I made out with Robbie Spillman in twelfth grade.

This car defi nes me. Climb the hill and I just might make the meeting in time. I thank the cop again, give him my address so the tow truck can bill me, and start the climb. The hill turns out to be much steeper than it seems from the highway and I can feel rivulets of sweat running down my 30 Sarah Strohmeyer arms. My black pants are snagged and covered with burrs.

I pause halfway up to catch my breath. Over to the right I can see the cause of the traffic jam: I lift my leg and safely step over. I lift my other and feel a tug on my ass. Was that a rip? I pat my behind, cautiously searching for a hole. And then I feel a slight breeze. It is a rip and not on the seam, either. Hold on. What color underwear am I wearing? I can just slide into the conference room and sit down and no one will be the wiser. All-cotton baby pink Hanes. If I check underneath.

My head is between my knees looking up. Genuine British. I snap up and, in so doing, my hair falls out of its clip and The Cinderella Pact 31 over my face like Cousin Itt. I feel a bit dizzy and I must be dizzy because in front of me is standing Mick Jagger, only thirty years younger. But what would Mick Jagger only thirty years younger Son of Mick? This is Nigel Barnes. The Nigel Barnes. Christmas party.

He is taller than I remembered. Confident in a classic white shirt, a rather preppy striped tie, and worn jeans and somewhat unshaven face. His hands are large with long, almost graceful fingers. Artistic, I think. There simply is no easy way to recover from being caught checking the state of your underwear.

Much to his obvious surprise, I declare that we are both late for the same meeting. As a general rule, I try to never end up walking ahead of someone up the stairs so that my rear end is in their face. But today this rule has a codicil. The pink underwear codicil. Today no one will see my ass, not as long as there are walls against which to slink. We met once at a Christmas party two years ago. I have to say I am a closet fan of her columns.

I think her message of encouraging women to relax and enjoy life is simply brilliant. Really, most men are sick of it. Nigel Barnes, the Nigel Barnes, said I was brilliant! I try to appear unflustered by this and reply with a classic non sequitur. Perhaps he is such a star here that his job is assured, whereas I, like any editor, can be replaced with a phone call. And she has long red hair. Is she as laid back as she claims?

Or is she actually a witch? Does she sleep around? Or is she perhaps a lesbian? Lots of men, is it? This is nuts.

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I do travel to London quite a bit. My heart skips a few beats. Oooh, I so hate that. Was Connie seeing anyone? Did she like so and so? Could I put in a good word for him?

Royalty can be sooo demanding. Nigel is practically salivating. I have quite a bit of Scottish blood in me, you know. My father was a MacLeod. Lovely area, absolutely lovely. I mean dozens of women write to me every day.

They even send me their knickers. What do you think? Do you think I would pass? Look at my chin. Do you see hairs? Is there a cowl around my head and a cross dangling from my neck? And then it hits me. I rip off a blank page. Nigel takes the paper with gleaming eyes. The conference door flings open and there stands Lori DiGrigio looking nothing short of insane. Fancy that. Lori slams the doors behind me. It is just the two of us, and her bloodred nails are digging into the flesh of her elbows.

No matter what she is saying, all my attention has turned to the very faint straps of her red thong peeking above the waist of her Tahari black pants. After all, David Stanton is out of his deathbed.

It is common knowledge that Lori is plotting and planning to become the last Mrs. Lisa heard a rumor from someone in Food that a few years back, when Lori was in Manhattan to meet with Corporate, she 38 Sarah Strohmeyer and Mr.

Stanton stayed out past his bedtime of eight p.

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Simply freeze when Lori says this. She is staring at me, but I am unable to stare back because my entire life is flashing before my eyes. We, Sass! Star is going to have a freaking orgy. Nola, this is the absolute worst. You have to help us find out who she is. Relief is washing me like a cool breeze so that my body temperature drops and instead of feeling sweaty I feel clammy.

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And then a new concern. Stanton demanded an internal investigation into our employees. We were doing fine until we discovered that there never was a British magazine called Go Fab! Well, maybe there was a Go Fab! We have ways of checking these things. Personally, I think these frauds are all over the publishing world thanks to laptops and cell phones.

They should be abolished. I begin to feel sorry for her, which is ridiculous, as everyone knows Lori is a vampire. It is my first experience seeing Lori in some other state besides cracking the whip, and I am confl icted.

Here she is, vulnerable, weak, and scared, and it is all I can do to pat her on the shoulder. Anyone else I would throw my arms around and hug. Have you asked her? As I expected, her eyes are dry. They want to handle this delicately. Make a chump of Lori DiGrigio? I think not. Lori emerges from her seething rant and focuses her beady eyes on me. I want to know everything.

I must stand up to her, or she will trample me with her size-five El Vaquero python boots. You never called me. I certainly did call you and, as I recall, you raved about her. Stanton already knows you were the one who recommended her. Stanton is not going to let this matter go by the wayside. Or criminally prosecuted.

The possibilities are endless, though I resolve to take whatever punishment I have coming in brave, Martha Stewart style. I, too, will crochet a shawl in prison. In the Sass! I am particularly alarmed because Charlotte never, ever calls.

I am so shocked to see CDA over and over that I nearly drop the phone into the toilet. It is much worse in the editorial department, where every five minutes someone is stopping by my desk to gossip.

She is easily titillated and, therefore, great to take to any movie starring Vince Vaughn. Lisa gapes. What kind of fellow reporter would run such a scam?

Not to mention a person without an ounce of ethics. It has been towed upon order of the East Brunswick police to hell, otherwise known as a junkyard in South River. My brand-new copy of Who Moved My Fat? How old was that heap? Somewhere in South River. I think they do that right away.

You know, scrunch it down really small. He lives in Princeton. He unfroze my computer last week. You stay here. Or that teenage boys crave Pamela Anderson. No man is involved, or adorable tow-headed children.

There is no party to attend looking smashing in a sequined gown where I am heralded for my runaway success debut novel or a wedding with an aisle where I will walk dressed in white, a long train with the letter A embossed on it. That Sarah Ferguson divorce really messed with my head. I run my hands over the buttery leather—color: I have no problems, no fears. Daydreaming is something I do regularly and, may I say, I do well. I have daydreamed all my life.

In fourth grade I could tell you the names I had given the leaves on the tree outside our classroom window. Or the fairies and elves that lived in its roots. My grade point average hovered at a C- in fourth grade. That and mindless eating.

Best done in combination for full effect. He drives a black Toyota pickup and is wearing a denim shirt rolled up to the elbows when he pulls up next to me and leans out his window. He has blond tousled hair and tanned skin and looks more like a surfer than a nerd who likes to hole up in his room, drooling over the latest issue of MacWorld. Expectations hurt. We go through the usual introductions and he asks me where to. You tell me. For one thing, my car caught on fire and blew up.

What was the car? Like maybe a BMW i. You only live once. What if you die tomorrow? By then it will be too late. This Computer Chip is dangerous. Financially dangerous. He is echoing the same voice in the back of my head that has sent me into overdraft too many times.

Do you know how many overpriced lamps and stereo components and pieces of jewelry I have bought because I might die tomorrow? I like Chip. I especially like his thighs, which I chalk up as two more good reasons to stick with the Cinderella Pact.

The Cinderella Pact

Chapter Seven Suze the nutritionist holds up a poster of the human gastrointestinal system colored in a nonthreatening peachy pink. First, the stomach, which is normally the size of a fist, is divided and separated so that the space utilized is the size of a thumb. This limits the amount of food mass that it can hold. Miracle Answer or Helpful Tool? Listening to tales of pouch bursting and vomit was the last thing Nancy and I wanted to do on a beautiful Saturday morning.

But Deb practically begged us. When she started crying, her shoulders heaving in sobs, we agreed. Deb can get anything she wants by crying. She could be a professional tearjerker. What surprised Nancy and me was how quickly Deb seems to have made friends with the staff of the gastric bypass center.

Maybe Deb is throwing a surprise party for us at the gastric bypass center. You never know. Deb, on the other hand, is riveted, her posture straight, her face beaming like a repentant prostitute at a tent revival.

One branch of this surgically divided intestine is hooked up to the new pouch. This is called the gastrojejunostomy. This is known as distal anastomosis. The lower stomach, by the way, is retained to produce enzymes. This Y formation of the intestines is why the procedure, developed by a Doctor Roux, is called Roux-en-Y. It reduces calorie consumption by delaying when bile and enzymes mix with newly consumed food.

The miracle of this is that the food enters the lower bowel only ten minutes after eating begins. Deb raises her eyebrows in wonder. Suze flips her ponytail.

Trim, but not super thin. Tidy in white pants and funky blue clogs. I bet none of her sweaters pill. I bet her refrigerator coils are vacuumed dustless. Someone in the audience coughs. I have to look away.

The entire procedure takes about an hour and a half to two hours. The surgeon monitors the entire procedure through a tiny video camera attached to the laparoscope, which has been inserted in one of the incisions. The image he sees is magnified one thousand times. Excessive bleeding or drainage from the incisions.

Unusual pain or swelling in the lower intestines. Black stools. Diarrhea that is pure water. I try not to think about how I could be walking my cat, Otis, in the park instead, or reading a book on my back porch. Why am I here again? Therefore, after a bowel movement. I cover my ears and think maybe Paul had the right idea in staying home.

Because as much as I love Deb, friendship has its limits. I look around the room. Fat person is paired up with not-so-fat person. Plus, the not-so-fat people are patting and hugging the fat people.

Deb is scrutinizing the sheet of warning signs as though her life depends upon them. Which is when reality clicks. Lead falls into my unstapled stomach. I have been so stupid.

I dash off a note to Nancy: Nancy reads it and her eyes go wide in alarm. We both glare at Deb, who has tricked us into attending this so-called introductory seminar to break it to us that she is actually undergoing gastric bypass.

Nancy begins to jot another note when Suze approaches us and clears her throat meaningfully. I feel hotly embarrassed, like I used to in junior high school when our American Studies teacher caught us passing notes. Suze smiles thinly and goes on. As long as the patient adheres to a program of sensible eating and daily exercise, that weight loss should be permanent and the patient can look forward to lowering his or her risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other life-threatening conditions caused by excess weight.

She grins at us broadly and flashes two thumbs up. It takes discipline and hard, hard work.