I like to laugh. Strike that, I love to laugh. humor is my defense mechanism, my ice breaker, my way of being romantic, how I solidify relationships. I honestly believe laughter is the key to a happy life. I try to find humor in my hardships, recognizing that as bad as I think it is, someone is always worse off, so I might as well enjoy the ride.
But sometimes, like today, I just don’t feel funny. I can’t find the humor in my life, and I find it difficult to laugh at jokes even. It’s fat girl depression, I think. It hits me every once and a while, usually triggered by some event; a comment from a skinny person about how fat they are, or a guy telling a story about a night at the bar with a buddy who wanted to score with the cute girl so he had to take one for the team with the fatty sidekick, a woman will comment on how cute I look in those shoes, earrings, makeup, but not my dress, pants, blouse. It’s hearing that whisper when you reach for a holiday cookie “she doesn’t need that,” or being offered diet coke from the host.
These are all little things not meant to hurt, yet the sting is deep. My last post was about the excitement I felt about all the holiday parties I was going to experience, but after my experience on Saturday night, I may rethink my attendance. I had not one, not two, but three people make gestures or comments about my weight in a two hour period. It was surreal. I had bought a cute little baby-doll velvet dress in the beautiful blue on Black-Friday. I was proud of my purchase, it was a little daring for me but Tim Gunn says velvet is in this season so I took the leap.
A close friend of mine, a woman I’ve known since before either of us hit puberty was my date, so to speak, to the party. When she arrived at my door for the short jaunt across my apartment complex she had a wide-eyed expression on her face. “You look smokin’ hot!” she said to me. I beamed. Especially since this friend happens to be a leggy, size 2 blonde with a nice rack. I pale in comparison to that walking wet dream. But I could tell she meant it, and that gave me the confidence to stick with the outfit and venture out. The party was full of people I knew with a few people I didn’t mixed in. Old friends were throwing this shindig so I felt pretty comfortable being there. However, as I poured myself some wine and grabbed a piece of cheese from the tray I was shocked when I turned around to see a guy staring at me and sort of whispering to a girl next to him. I could tell by the way he stared that it wasn’t one of those “where have you been all my life, beautiful,” stares. No it was more like “what in Gods name is that, is that a person or some kind or primate?” stare.
It was rude. And it startled me, especially since I considered myself surrounded by friends. I didn’t know this bloke, or the emaciated girl on his arm. By the way, in case you were wondering, she wore a strapless mini dress in silver and black and had a pile of brown curls topped on her head, kind or like Fran Drescher in the early years of The Nanny. When he noticed I was returning his look, he quickly turned away; obviously embarrassed I had caught him critiquing me. I hadn’t even had a sip of my wine and some jackass has to go and ruin it for me.
Annoyed, but determined to enjoy myself, this was my turf after all, I decided to completely ignore him and his whore, I mean woman, and make the best of the night. Maybe three minutes later I was in the living room talking to my roommate J. and two of our friends from college, now married to each other. They just bought a house and were telling us about the renovations. The husband, let’s call him R. and I are old acquaintances but I wouldn’t say we are close. I’m closer to his wife A, but R. and I have always been friendly. However, I wouldn’t say we are close enough for him to say to me, “So DivaLizaB, I heard about your break-up, depression eating is the worst. Have you tried exercise to get through it instead of food?”
My jaw dropped so far I accidentally kicked it with my shoe as I tried to leave the situation. I had no words and I was filled with two feelings, 1) of being totally pissed off that this asshole would say such a rude and mean spirited thing to a woman that he pretty much knows only in passing and 2) totally and completely mortified that my weight was so heinous a man I barely knew felt obligated to point it out. As I turned to leave the conversation, shaking my head slightly in disbelief but not saying anything I heard A. chide him and I could tell she was embarrassed. My roommate tried to grab my arm, but I made a beeline for the front door. I got halfway down the steps and out into the parking lot before remembering my keys and coat were behind the now locked front door I had just vacated.
I did the only logical thing a girl in my situation would do, I sat on the curb while contemplating how I could casually knock on the door and ask someone to fetch my things. It was weird, my checks were hot with embarrassment and anger. I could fear the tears behind my eyes but I willed them away. I wanted to barge back in there and tell that prick off at the same time I wanted to sneak home, crawl under the covers and cry myself to sleep.
I think I was out there for two minutes before my roommate came out with my leggy blonde friend N. and the asshole’s wife A. J. put my coat around me and sat on the curb next to me, N. did the same. A. apologized for her husband’s behavior and I could tell that she was sincere and actually quite embarrassed by the situation. I thanked her for her apology and gave her a look that indicated I was genuine and that I’d like her to piss off. Left in the cold with J. and N., I just sat there, feeling stupid. After about five minutes N. asked if I wanted to leave. I thought about it, I really did, but I had been looking forward to this party and I wanted to try and have a good memory of it. So I went back in. I didn’t make eye contact with A. or R. and went straight to the bar, poured myself a huge glass of Pinot and drank half before I made it out into the dinning room.
Everything was fine…for about an hour. At this point I was out on the balcony with the smokers. I don’t smoke, but I used to, God did I used to… and I still love the smell even if I don’t partake. I was leaning against the rail, kind of leaning backwards to look at the sky when I heard a voice in front of me. “What a cute dress!,” I snapped up a bit and saw a woman I sorta knew, she was a coworker of one of our hosts and we had met once before over the summer. Before I could say, “thanks,” she continued with “is it a maternity dress?” What the hell do you say to that? Was she trying to ask me in a round about way if I was pregnant? Did I look pregnant? I didn’t think so, I was rockin a big chunky belt pulling in that section not to mention the control top panty hose AND the spanks I wore over them to make sure I was fully sucked in. I stared at her for a second and said “no.” She looked confused, wondering why a pregnant woman was not wearing a maternity dress… and perhaps why she was chugging a glass of wine… I smiled obnoxiously and wiggled my glass indicating it was time to fill up and went in the house.
Three separate events all dealing with my fat ass in less than an hour and a half. I wasn’t even midnight yet. I went to the bar to pour myself more to drink but instead I threw my cup away and walked to the front bedroom to get my things. Thank God I had walked, I didn’t have to worry about finding a DD and I was just buzzed enough that the alcohol was killing the pain in my feet from my wicked heels. I didn’t bother to say anything to anyone, I just walked out of the bedroom, crossed the hall and walked out the front door. About halfway home, I felt bad about leaving my friends, they were probably looking for me. I sent a text message to N. simply telling her I was going home. My phone rang about three seconds after I sent the text, I didn’t answer. Then my roommate tried calling, I didn’t answer that one either.
Finally N. texted me, “u want company?”
“no,” I sent back.
I wanted to wallow. Alone. With lots of Wine.
I got home, immediately peeled off my heels by the front door, went to my room and changed into pjs and went to the kitchen to check on the dog. He greeted me with a wagging tail and sloppy lick. I poured myself some more wine, popped some popcorn and sat on the couch with the dog at my feet. I watched a show on the Discovery channel about the Giant Squid, occasionally throwing a piece of popcorn down to the dog and drank myself silly. Around 1 and put the dishes in sink, threw away the empty bottle of cab sav and went to bed. My roommates and N. came in around 1:30, N. knocked on my door but I didn’t answer, pretending to be asleep. I could hear them talking in the foyer, my roommates helping N. with her coat and wishing her a goodnight.
“It’s ok,” I could hear my roommate P. say to N. “these kinds of things just happen sometimes, I’m sure she’ll be alright.”
I thought about that for a long time. These sort of things do happen sometimes, but does that make it ok? Should I grin and bare it as just being a part of my life? I’m fat so I should expect reproachful looks, rude comments, and ignorance? I didn’t cry Saturday, I don’t like to cry and I rarely let myself shed tears, instead I lay in bed getting angrier and angrier cursing myself because all I wanted to do was make a late night run to Wendys and eat until I wasn’t upset anymore.
I didn’t. But I wanted to.
Finally, after watching the Matrix on one of the movie channels, I finally went to sleep. The next day was a little awkward but bless my roommates they didn’t say anything. I blew off three commitments I had yesterday, to stay indoors and deal. I just couldn’t go, I didn’t have the strength. I went to bed early last night, just after Family Guy. I thought about my ex, for the first time in a long time. He didn’t seem to mind my rotund ass and stomach full of rolls. I wondered if I had blown an opportunity, an opportunity for happiness because what is the likelihood I’d find another man willing to love a fatty like me.
I did cry last night. For a few minutes, I really don’t like to do it, some weird psychological thing I have yet to figure out. Afterwards I felt cathartic. I know these feelings will pass, that I will again being jumping around with my friends tell inappropriate jokes and send funny emails around. But now… today… I don’t. And these feelings are just as real as the happy ones, so I’m going to embrace them and push through the week.