...now, not three years later, I am a bitter, leggy blonde, and the few male friends I have are the ones left over from those old days.

My skin was and is clear; my features were and are even, but I am missing fifty of the extra pounds I carried around in high school and during my B.A.. My personality remains the same. I didn't lose brain mass; I lost unsightly fat. My opinions remain constant, with one notable exception: people piss me off a lot more than they did then.

It's really funny, in a sarcastic sort of way.

When I was a bitter, purple-haired grrl who got tattoos to look tough and was bitchy to women I was jealous of, I used to call thin girls "eating disorder girls" and slotted them all in the same category - my nemeses.

When I was a bitter, purple-haired combat boot, black-shapeless-dress wearing womyn, I threw myself at men and often received "let's just be friends" in response. In hindsight, I'm glad of it. Some have become trusted, valued, important people in my life.

I'm glad I have them, because every man - without exception - who I've met and tried to sustain contact with in the past three years has gone about things entirely differently. They want to "date" me upon meeting me. This is a source of constant confusion. My relationships with male friends are, without doubt, far better than those I have with my ex-boyfriends. Perhaps because I was a bitter, purple haired fat girl, and I had plenty of male friends, I knew what this "dating" thing meant - it meant they wanted to possess me, before they even knew me.

I may meet more men these days but that's where the simple part stops. I find a whole new range of insecurity, jealousy and impatience to contend with from the men who do make it through the DMZ of my ego. Ditto for the women, for that matter.

Why, when I was fat, were people kinder? I'll leave that up to everyone to decide for themselves.

When I responded to Never frown; you never know when someone's falling in love with your smile I had the feeling that I left one crucially important aspect out, and now I realise what it was.

I don't want a boyfriend. I want a male friend who I can know get to know and trust well enough to become a boyfriend.

I'm not bragging; I'm complaining, and yes, I know, fat is a state of mind...whatever.