The Museum of Fat Love | On Exhibit | Erika and Christian

Erika and Christian

He's a mathematician from Germany and I'm a grad student in literature from NY; he moved 4000 miles to be with me (it was impossible for me to move there). We met online through our mutual love of Tolkien, and I instantly thought he seemed like a very warm, intelligent, likable person, but (since I wasn't actually there to "look for someone") I didn't actually think of him as more than an online friend. Actually, I got his age mixed up with someone else's and spent six months thinking he was ten years younger than he was, until the day I jokingly told him he was "too young for me" and he directed me to his profile, where he had posted his age (he turned out to be five months my senior). After that somewhat embarrassing exchange, we started sending private messages, then emailing and Skype-ing. At the time, I had actually sworn off relationships, since no man I met seemed worth it and I was fed up with settling for less than ideal; however, as though the universe were playing a joke on me, I decided that only to meet someone too good to pass up... someone who had the perfect blend of&bsp; patience, integrity, intelligence, warmth and sexiness, who loved me for who I was and, what's hardest to find and most important, listened to and understood me.&bsp; We had a long-distance relationship for two years (visiting each other every few months) until we were able to get married. I'm inclined, usually, to consider marriage "just a piece of paper", artificial and unnecessary (a relationship which is strong and healthy will last anyway, and one that isn't, shouldn't), but in our case it was more significant, since it meant we could actually live together. We're bringing up four kids (our 9 month old daughter and my kids from my first marriage), so our lives are hectic, yet we're still one of those annoying couples who almost never fight (his ability to calmly discuss disagreements is one of the things I love about him), and are each others' best friend, corny as it sounds.

I'd also like to say: you won't hear any "fat pain" from me, unless it's about the bagginess and frumpiness of Lane Bryant shirts. I've never had trouble getting boyfriends, I just had trouble finding a good one. I've been in a bad marriage before and spent several years single by choice, and now am in a happy marriage, but I would count the "happy" portion of my life as beginning when I left my ex.

(In illustrated BMI categories style, I think I should add: Erika is obese, Christian is overweight. I find it pretty shocking that my skinny-looking husband is considered overweight, but yeah.)

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