Friday, July 22, 2005

And so it begins

To be truthful, it started beginning a few weeks ago. Taco and I were out on the town one night, and we ran into a friend we haven’t seen for awhile. We chatted about this and that and then she turned to me and said the words I’ve dreaded my entire life:

You look fantastic! Have you lost weight?

This pair of sentences in the past would have unleashed an unholy bout of scowling, foot shuffling and denial. All of which, I can only imagine, would have sent a message loud and clear that my body? Is not something I wish to discuss. Yes, even if you meant to compliment me.

Good lord, the energy I poured into living in my head and denying the existence of my body. Sometimes, it is hard to be smart. Harder still? Being the stupidest smart person I’ve ever met or even heard about.

These days, though? BRING IT.

Rose asked, and I answered, loud and proud: as a matter of fact, I have! Well, you look great, she said. Thanks! I replied. I feel great, too.

And it keeps happening. The neighbour stopped me on the street, I tell Taco, to say how great she thinks I look.

Oh, lots of people tell me that, Taco replies breezily.

Like who? I demand to know who has been talking about me, and more importantly, what exactly they’ve said. Not so I can scowl at them in my head, but so that I can feel proud, Me, proud that people are noticing and talking about my body. Lots of people! Not only have I become a person who thinks and speaks in exclamation points, I also seem to be not only welcoming attention paid to my body, but actually relishing it. Reveling in it, as a mattter of fact. (May I just, as a word nerd, point out here to anyone who’s ever wondered that grammatically speaking, you relish things, rather than relishing in them? If you want to get right into enjoying something, you may certainly revel in it. But please, please Internet, please stop relishing in experiences. Thank you, lecture over,)

I love that this is happening. I love that I am able to accept praise for what has been occasionally quite hard work at the worst of times, and nothing short of challenging at the best of times. I love that I am out of the closet now, as a fat person.

Ok, and this is a weird phenomenon. It’s the thing where you think that because no one mentions it, you must not be very fat. I mean, come on, when I was a size 20, people would ask me where I got a particular piece of clothing. Small people would ask me this question. I never knew what to say. It would be embarrassing to both of us, I reckoned, if I said I got it at the fat store. Usually, I’d just say I got it at the Bay. After all, you can get most everything there, including, sometimes, cute clothes in a range of sizes. But seriously, when people asked me that it made me think they must not know how fat I was because if they did, they would realise that even if I told them where that cute skirt came from, there was no way they’d find one in their size because hello, fat store. Sheesh.

It was a lot of work, before, to pretend that what I wouldn’t acknowledge and you wouldn’t mention simply didn’t exist. Now? Yes, I am fat. But that’s a temporary thing. If you want to point out that my body looks different—that is to say, it looks good—I am fully supportive of that.

If you want to hang out the window of a moving car, and say, as some stranger once did, “another burger couldn’t hurt,” I will continue my policy of coming up with a really scathing retort approximately three point five hours later.


Anonymous j said...

I love that I am able to accept praise for what has been occasionally quite hard work at the worst of times, and nothing short of challenging at the best of times.

That is the best part. That you're able to accept the praise, instead of denying your progress, etc. Good for you!

Also, in terms of word nerdiness, one of my biggest pet peeves is "would of".

1:58 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

Oh god yeah, would of. For the love of Mike!
I used to edit a newspaper, and once had to strike the phrase "for all intensive purposes." The same writer later noted that there was "a great human cry" over some issue at city hall. Ah, it is to laugh.

5:01 PM  
Blogger eli said...

I also find it hard to expect praise, and usually end up laughing it away, or pretending that it is undeserved. I am better at that now, but I can sympathise with what you say.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished reading your blog from its very archived beginning and I really, really loved it and promptly bookmarked you as a "daily read." Thanks!


1:24 AM  

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