Posted by: fireweaver | June 3, 2008

thick & thin

i had a rather crappy overall day yesterday, the sort where it got bad enough that i started promising to people today that i’d cuss less during surgery times. it was a new procedure for both of us wielding knives, so while the animals are fine, it took far longer than it needed to (or will in the future), and that kind of bashing your head into a brick wall until it finally cracks is just tiring.

as we were leaving for the day and commiserating, i said i was heading straight for the phone to inform Chris that i needed to be taken to a nice dinner + cocktails, or else lavishly cooked for. and lo, messages to join him up for dinner were already there waiting for me.

we met up with a couple we’ve had drinks or snacks with a few times before – he & Chris work together – at a restaurant near their work. i like him a lot because he’s an exuberant little kid doing grownup stuff; her because she’s so diamond-in-the-rough interesting behind the shy veneer. there’s enough in common to make it comfy and enough different to keep it interesting, and it’s all ok if the conversations tend to shift & splinter & rejoin. we had a fun time sharing things across the table, especially since there was a handful of things new to her: a mussel in garlic butter, herbs, and wine; a nibble of Chris’ salad-fringing anchovy. when the main course arrived, it was more of the same, trading bites. i offered some of my potatoes au gratin, a fave there, saying they were “utterly cheesy & super delicious.” she declined with an, “oh, that sounds bad.” this was not computing. he had to clarify with, “cheesy & delicious probably means it’ll make your ass jiggle for a couple of weeks, and we both spend a lot of time at the gym to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

mentally, the whole show ground to an utter halt for me. a large part of the preceding conversation had involved how Chris & i were both foodies, a love of cooking, a love of eating and trying everything, and denying their common but imnsho dead wrong idea that eating well takes any more time than eating “convenience”. and then came that quick tiny slap of “while that might be fine for you, we’re working on not being fat over here.” i raised a very slight eyebrow, ate another bite, and moved on with the conversation.

Chris didn’t even particularly remember the remark later. maybe it wasn’t a big deal to him at all, maybe it’s just so much more acceptable for a guy to be tubby than it is for a chick that it didn’t push his buttons, maybe he quietly agrees with his colleague. it raised all sorts of unanswered queries for me, though. is he shaming her into staying skinny? she did indeed take that bite after Chris’ added raves, and so did he after hers, but it wasn’t the same thing at all as that girl who just wants to be “convinced” a little into that last smidgen of cheesecake. does he/she/they have issues with the fatties, or would the condition be merely personally abhorrent…and is there a difference between the two? it probably wasn’t a big landmark in the conversation for them, either, being a pervasive and “obviously right” sort of opinion. this afternoon, i’m pretty well over it myself except for the obvious: coming from such otherwise charming people, wow, that was rude.



  1. So the longer I’m around (esp. at my teensy gym where there are few skinny-minnies and we all chat), the more I meet people who have waged a lifelong battle with not just their weight, but their health. I don’t know if it’s because of my specific experiences (fatties who are healthier, but not nearly skinny at all, but still fighting the health/fat/whatever battle), but I wouldn’t take it personally.

    She *did* try it, she wasn’t starving herself, and if she had a problem with fatties in general, you would have known before then.

    Like I said – my personal experience – I’d give her a pass, more thinking that she has her own personal issues. Who knows. Maybe she was 400lbs in high school and never wants to see it again. Maybe she has a 400lb relative that she’s terrified of becoming. Chances are, it’s nothing that major, but it’s not a problem since she was eating, and she was friendly and tried stuff and was generally AOK.

    Otherwise, I’ll have to start thinking you’re oversensitive, and I’d hate to do that đŸ˜‰

  2. yeah, it prolly comes off a bit oversensitive in text…but then again, aren’t blogs sorta just a big exercise in narcisissm anyway, which is to say, it’s all ’bout me?

    but i’m still going to say that after the flow of conversation specifically about food & the enjoyment thereof, the ass-jiggling-prevention comment was jarring. the context it was in had a lot to do with my noticing it so much. maybe it was just the way he chose to phrase it, i’m not sure.

  3. You know, then again, the guy said it, so it was probably an asshole move. For some reason I was thinking in terms of the girl, but in hindsight & rereading that was incorrect… I just vote the guy was a dick in the manner that so many of them unfortunately are.

  4. PS: I like my ass jiggle.

  5. I’ll say that the comment would have irked me, too.

    Of course, I am entirely fed up with the weight obsession in our culture, and the assumption that all women care about “watching their weight.” Then it frustrates me that it does seem to apply the vast majority of women I’ve met. Sometimes I reflect on the time and energy spent over the years that so many women invest in dieting and worrying over their size, and I think about how that time and energy could have been used more productively. (I want the time back that I spent dieting when I was a teenager, too.)

    Oh, and I love good food. Maybe we can go for dinner some day. (Of course, I’m a pain in the ass about choosing a restaurant due to my veggie leanings. Other than that, I’ll try anything. And cheesy potatoes sound ever-so-yummy.)

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