*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*
There are some things, that if you are a kind, conscientious and thoughtful person, that you would never dare to ask or say to a person.
I wonder why this needs saying at the same time I feel it bears repeating that you should never, ever ask a woman how much she weighs. It’s bad enough to ask a woman how old she is, but, to not only remark upon her weight but actually inquire and make her utter that number is not only rude, it can feel like a downright attack. I know this, because I have been overweight all my life, and have seen the gamut of rudeness that comes along with being fat.
Fat people just don’t get as much respect in the world as their thinner counterparts. This annoying to me because the vast majority of North Americans are at least overweight by medical standards, if not actually obese.
According to this study done by Harvard:
Roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three are obese (36 percent).
If fat rolls rule the world, why are they (and the people carrying them around) getting so much disrespect?
Perhaps it is superiority complexes causing people to believe that a person’s weight is a moral failing or character flaw. Whatever it is, as a fat person, it hurts to be faced with it, and I have many times.
One such very memorable time I was called out for my weight was when I was dating a guy named Matt in my early thirties. We had met online and done a lot of chatting before meeting each other in person, and although we had seen pictures of each other, I suppose neither of ours were exactly fully revealing.
So maybe I tried to pose and crop in ways that didn’t show how heavy I was - but he didn’t wear any tight or short sleeved shirts or shorts that showed off his ample muscles on his fit body.
We were definitely not typical physical matches, but we tried dating anyway, and right from the get-go I had a feeling it wouldn’t work out because he was so critical about my diet. He always made comments about my food choices, pointing out things I could eat that were similar but healthier, persuaded me go on walks and hikes with him even though I was not in the same shape and often couldn’t keep up, and would often suggest to me that I get salads when we went out to eat.
Why I put up with that so long, I don’t know. Maybe because he was the most attractive man I’d ever dated at the time and that was a bit thrilling for me, but it wasn’t worth it.
I was surprised one night he suggested we go to a Chinese buffet for dinner. I knew he loved Chinese food, it was his guilty pleasure, but he didn’t have it often.
As we sat and worked on our first plates of food, I remarked to him what I thought about him taking me there.
“Well, this is a rare thing for me,” he said. “And you should be able to control yourself when you’re at a buffet and know not to overeat.”
I’d had it then.
“Does my weight bother you?” I asked Matt.
He didn’t look at me, but shrugged slightly. Finally, he said:
“I really like you. I knew what you looked like when I decided to go out with you, and I thought I could help you eat better and get into shape.”
“Sorry to disappoint you,” I told him, seething with anger.
He shrugged again.
“You’re fine the way you are,” he said, “But I just worry about you controlling your weight. Gaining weight is disrespectful in a relationship. You sign up for one person, you know? You don’t want them to let themselves go and turn into another.”
I had three plates of food at the buffet that night, continuing to eat long after Matt was finished. He drove me home and I let him kiss me goodbye in the car but knew that would be the last time his lips would be brushing against mine, no matter how good looking he was.
I suppose this just goes to show that looks aren’t everything when it comes to a person, no matter what side of the scale you are on.
How would you have reacted to Matt’s comments?
Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan
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