Feeling fit but ignored and rejected

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

After nearly eight years of marriage, things can get a little ... you know ... stale. It's the same old routine, day after day, month after month.

So little wonder a woman's eyes might stray. She might entertain the idea of a little dalliance. She might even arrange a meeting.

I guess that's what drew me to the bookstore that day. He had wavy, chocolate brown hair and a sly grin. He promised me a new and better life with him. His name was even exotic, rolling gently off the tongue, conjuring images of palm trees and sandy beaches.

Jorge Cruise.

Say it again, slowly.

Jorge (pronounced "hor-hay") Cruise.

We began our affair two weeks ago at that very bookstore, when I picked up his book, "8 Minutes in the Morning." In it, he explained how I could become thinner by weightlifting for a mere eight minutes daily and eating mass amounts of fiber, soy and flax oil. Frankly, he should call it "Poop Your Way to Fitness."

But, after losing eight pounds the first week, I can't argue with results. And now I am madly in love with that Latin lothario. Except, come to find out, he's not exactly all Latin, my journalist friend Mel told me.

"Jorge Cruise? You mean George Maurer?" he asked.

"George Maurer?" I said, perplexed.

"Yes. The diet guru? He was on Oprah? I did several stories about him years ago when I worked in San Diego," Mel said.

Good heavens! I thought. Jorge/George changed his name to take advantage of the Latin craze sweeping the nation! I felt so dirty.

"Tell me the truth," I said. "Does Jorge at least speak Spanish?"

"I don't think so," Mel said.

Struggling to regain my composure, I hung up the phone and fired off an e-mail to the address in the book. I told Jorge I was on the diet and planned to write about my experiences now and then. I attached my "before" picture, which the book clearly requested I send to him. No reply.

I then sent my "success contract," as clearly requested in the book, promising how much weight I would lose by a certain date. No reply.

Then I send my "week one update" -- again, as clearly requested -- along with another plea for an interview.

There was a reply, which came Tuesday. It was a form e-mail telling me to (a) join the Jorge Cruise message board, (b) go to Amazon.com and write a glowing review of his book, and (c) eat plenty of flax oil, which, incidentally, he sells online.

Frankly, I am starting to think this affair is strictly one-sided. A form e-mail? With the way I feel about him? Plus absolutely no response to my request for an interview!

It's time to send another, more strongly worded e-mail, which I'll compose here.

"Dear Jorge or George, whatever you call yourself,

"So far, I've written you three e-mails, all requesting to communicate with you. And so far, there has been no personal reply.

"Can't you see that I'm madly in love with you? My friend says you live in San Diego. What if I went out there and confronted you? Huh? What then, Jorge/George?

"I know you saw my 'before' picture, and that may turn you off. Frankly, I'll bet you've seen worse. Yes, I appear to have swallowed another, slightly thinner woman. And yes, it was difficult to make my fat stop jiggling long enough to get a clear shot of me. But I am a human being, and I deserve to be treated as such.

"Do you have any idea what I've given up so we can be together? There's a frozen custard shop in the town where I live. They also have hot dogs. ALL BEEF HOT DOGS, Jorge.

"Perhaps you think you have a so-called 'stalker' on your hands. I prefer to think of myself as a very devoted lover.

"Yours forever,


I'll let you know if he writes back.

Heidi Hall is managing editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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