Platypus Journey

Saturday, September 23, 2006

He hates fat people 2/12/05

When my son was 5 years old, he came into our apartment just crying his little eyes out and was absolutely broken hearted and inconsolable for a while. He crawled up into my ample lap I let him cry, cooing to him and stroking his hair and back. Finally he was able to settle down and I as able to find out what was wrong. He was upset and crying because he had just come to a realization. His little friend “Katie would never have a fat mamma.” He and his friend Nick got to have fat mammas, and he didn’t think it was fair that Katie wouldn’t get to have one. He wanted to know if maybe I could be Katie’s mamma too, and then she could have one. (Katie’s mamma was bulimic.)

My mother has been in the upper 200 pound range my entire life. My father was always in that same range until the end of his life, and both of his sisters are MO as well. I have a couple of pictures of one of his grandmothers, and yup, you guessed it, MO as well. Two of my mother’s aunts were MO as well. So you see, to me, it is “normal” to be MO.

I have to admit that I am shallow. When I realized that I was falling in love with my now husband, I was horrified. He weighed 450 pounds! Ack! Here was a man who had almost all the qualities I was attracted to, smart, funny, kind, insightful, generous, silly and sweet. All those wonderful qualities, and he weighed 450 pound! I was horrified, I tell you. What would people think? Sex would never work! I spoke at length with my girlfriends and our mutual friends, and eventually I got over myself.

I’m oblivious to a lot of things that go on around me. Part of the benefit of growing up blind I guess. (My first eye exam for kindergarten said I needed glasses, but I didn’t get them until I was 15. Wolves don’t understand the concept of poor eyesight or glasses.) Most of the time I know I am fabulous and act accordingly. But most of the time I know you’re fabulous too, and act accordingly.

About 15 years ago we were at a water park and I saw the most amazing woman. She was wearing a black and white polka dot bikini. She was about 5’10 and she weighed well over 300 pounds. And here she is in an honest-to-god polka dot bikini. I wish I had half the poise and confidence she had. There were lots of people who were being unkind, but she and her family didn’t care.

Until recently, I’ve never personally felt the stigma of being MO. Sure, when I was with Mike, especially at his heaviest, I certainly felt it—getting the crappiest table in a restaurant after being made to wait longer than anyone else, watching the expression people when they look at him. Little children are fascinated by him of course. (One little boy wanted to know if he was pregnant.) Until I moved to ID I don’t recall having ever directly experienced discrimination based on my size. It only seems to be women that I’m offending, especially on airplanes. The first time it happened I just figured that she was having an off day. But the next flight I was on to Pocatello, the woman I sat next to seemed personally offended that she had to sit next to me. After a few of these experiences I realized that it was probably my size that was offending them.

I certainly don’t hate fat people, but then I don’t hate anybody except bigots. Even then, it isn’t hatred, but a frustration with their attitudes and belief system.


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