The vegetarians down the block try to avoid me.  He is a runner.  She is barely visible if she stands sideways.  They look at me like I am a circus freak.  I have this long conversation that they must have when alone played out in my head.  It starts with a “lack of self-control” and ends with “unhealthy” or even worse “gross”.

It is Fall and I am sure they are harvesting tree root to be ready to boost their immune systems for the winter.  I am sure they think my body is a green toxic pool where alcohol and white bread meet to produce bacteria.  I see it in their beady eyes as they avoid making eye contact.  There is a lack of tolerance for all things fat.

The few conversations we have had, around the playground as the kids mixed it up, were always centered around the gluttonous state of the American Society. “We consume too much, we spend too much, we pollute too much, and our credit lines and too fat.” The family of four would then climb into their Toyota Prius, a car that not even two of my family could get into, and silently and greenly drive away.

So it is with this in mind, that I felt sick to my very large stomach when I stopped at a stop sign and “Richard” jogged in front of my car.  I was ashamed that I was a mini-van dad sitting in my Honda Odyssey with what must be a smoke stack of pollution coming from the tail pipe in the back.  I sheepishly waved and tried to slink down in my heat warmed leather seat. Richard jogged to the middle of the street and then turned and ran over to my driver’s side window.  Jogging in place he took his apple branded ear buds from his naturally hairy lobes. He could braid that stuff, I thought. Jogging in place by my window (I rolled the window down) he said, “Hey Ed.  How are you?” I looked through the passenger side of my car to see who he must be talking to.  Wow. Amazing there was another Ed — right next to my car — what a strange….  Wait. He was talking to me?  He stopped to talk to me? I stuttered — “Hey Richard, how are you?”  “Great. Great.” he said.  “Great day for a run…”, I said… What? What was I thinking?  I had no idea if it was a great day for a run or not.  I had no idea what to say. “Yeah. Yeah.”, he said, “You are looking great.  Keep it up!” And with that he turned and jogged off. Slowly putting his apple branded ear buds back in. (I think he listens to Pilates tapes while he runs…) “Oh, Yeah, Thanks.”, I yelled hanging out the window.  I wanted to add — I have an iPhone! as he jogged away but it all happened so fast.

I sat there stunned. Incredible. What just happened….?  It suddenly washed over me.  I am part of the “In – Thin” Crowd.  At first I was angry.  I could not believe how this man had never given me the time of the day before.  Then as it set in, I realized that he was basically recognizing my hard work. But it made me angry.  And then it made me sad.  How invisible, how dismissed we are as fat people. No wonder Shonnie is Angry! I could have run him down.  I could have driven next to him and shouted things out my window, but instead I just sat there taking it all in.  That is, until the Lexus behind me laid on his horn.  He must be late to the country club!  I waved… Sorry…  Back to reality….

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Comments
  1. Nice post & very true unfortunately. Thanks for reminding me that there is a chunk of ice cream cake in the freezer 🙂

  2. Misty says:

    Very, very true. I am very proud of you but I know that you are still the same person you were before. Those people are too shallow to realize that. Take the good and leave the rest. You are doing so well!

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