Hey, Guess What? You're Fat!

They haunt you. They humiliate you. They live on, to be replayed over and over, long after everyone else involved has forgotten. And every fat person has one. Hell, every fat person has a baker's dozen. The Fat Memory.

What is the Fat Memory? The day that you realized your love for turtle cheesecake? Your first trip into a Lane Bryant? Nope. The Fat Memory is a time when you were sailing along, fine and dandy, happy to be alive, and then SMACK! You get reminded that you are FAT, and therefore you should be ashamed of yourself every moment of every day, and how dare you forget that and live you life as a normal person can. The Fat Memory usually occured in public, amongst friends, where you are at your most comfortable, so the SMACK! hurst much, much worse.

I have many Fat Memories, but one haunts me a little more than the others.

I was a sophomore in college. It was really sunny and bright outside--the first week after spring had really set in. I was hanging out with one of my best friends. We had a club meeting to go to later that afternoon, but we were just enjoying the weather. She drove us to McDonalds for soft serve ice cream cone--her idea, not mine. She had worked at that McDonald's in high school, and the ice cream was part of the way she celebrated every spring. We ate them at a park, and then she stopped to go to the post office.

I went inside with her. She paid for her package or letter or whatever, and we walked towards the exit. This guy, maybe in his thirties, who seemed like he might be begging for money started shouting at me.

"Hey lady. Lady!"

I ignored him. I was 19. Anyone addressing me as "lady" clearly wanted something from me, and I refused to let him spoil the wonderful afternoon.

He shouted again. I didn't understand why this guy wouldn't leave me alone. Finally, when it became clear I was not going to pay any attention to him, he shouted at my friend, "Blondie (her) you need to tell your friend something."

She stared at me puzzled. I could feel my cheeks getting really red.

He reiterated his point. That she needed to look at me and tell me what was wrong.

Oh no! I could feel my cheeks completely flushed now. I thought "this guy is going to tell her that she needs to tell me that I'm fat. That I need to work out. That my ass is too big. Oh god oh god oh god."

My friend, still puzzled, looked up and down my backside and said, "Oh. Your pants have come unsown."

I was so confused. I turned and looked. Sure enough, the teeniest strip of my yellow and pink stripped underwear was partially visible through my black pants.

This, which should have been embarrassing enough, was so much worse because of all the thoughts already running through my head. My pants split because I'm fat. Not because I'd had them for years and had to wear them twice a week, but because I'm such a fatty fat fat-ass that clothing cannot contain the sheer mass of my bottom. And my teeny, tiny friend thinks I'm a fat ass who cannot even properly dress herself.

Now, five years later, I think back on that incident and wonder. Did she think he talking about my weight at first, like I did? Or was she simply puzzled. Were all three of us thinking about my weight, or just me? Did I over-react because of other Fat Memories?

For me, this will always be a Fat Memory. I will always get red when I think about it. I'm red right now. I don't know how to put it in context, or to diminish the hurt that it causes. It's just always there. Always.

Always. Always. Always. Sometimes things don't go away, and you can't rationalize them away. Being mature doesn't make them go away. They stay with you. And you relive them from time to time and they hurt all over again.

4 comments:

Jenn said...

Awe, hon, we've all been there. I have many of those same incidents in my memory, and they come up to say hello every once in a while.
I think, though, that going through those types of situations has made me a more sensitive and caring person. I am the LAST person to laugh at someone who is in an embarrassing situation, because I know how it feels.

Drop150 said...

yes, i look at my skinny friends and know they have their own insecurities and i do try really hard to be supportive when they come up.

whenilookinthemirror said...

You're fat memories are told so much more eloquently than mine (which typically involve strategically positioning myself amongst friends when being led to a table by a waiter, so that I can make sure that I won't have to sit in the seat that requires anyone to move the table on my behalf).

Sounds like you are doing great.

Drop150 said...

"so that I can make sure that I won't have to sit in the seat that requires anyone to move the table on my behalf"

we all have those!