First, I want to apologize for not posting anything in the last week. As always, things have gotten a bit hectic although I'm trying to reign it all in now. I usually try to have several posts scheduled at certain intervals since I know my writing tends to go in spurts - I update a lot then go through a week or two of drought - I do try to be sensible and not post everything as I write it, spreading it out a day or two in between the posts just to ensure my blog doesn't end up like an ole ghost town.
So what is pushing me to post today... well, this is going to be a no frills, no pictures kinda post - and its definitely not about crochet.
As many of my regular readers know, I'm struggling to lose weight. I am working towards the completion of my life-ghan, an afghan that represents each pound loss. In the end, my life-ghan should be 100 squares strong... 100 pounds lost.
Today, after my doctor's appointment and getting a bit of work done at home, the Man offered to take me to our favorite sushi spot here in town. It is a small little out-of-the-way spot. The front of the restaurant has 4 tables then in the back, he has squeezed a few two-top tables into a hallway. When we walked in, the warmer side of the room only had 1 table open. At the other table sat a larger man.
By larger, please do not think that I am insulting him. I am a larger female. But I will say, this man was much larger than I was. I would guess him to be around 400 pounds, if not a bit more.
The Man and I sat down at the table next to him and ordered our sushi. Our talk, while low, I knew could be heard by the gent who was sitting next to us. We talked a little about my doctor's appointment and then talk went to socks - ya know, I am expecting some yarn in the mail... for more socks. Because I've clearly been bitten by the sock bug (and it helps me to avoid crocheting on the Navajo... which I really should NOT be avoiding.. doh!).
Anywhoozles, talk continued until the Man asked who I was making socks for next. I said me. Then someone else again. Then me... I shall alternate with me always being in the middle. I talked of a pair of socks with vines and leaves that I want to make... and I talked about the Tardis socks I want to make as well... and that took us straight to painting the kids' bedroom doors to look like the doors of the Tardis.
Did I mention we are Doctor Who fans?
It wasn't long until our sushi arrived and the gent sitting next to us said "I'm sorry but I overheard you talking about Doctor Who. I'm a huge Doctor fan too." We chatted a bit about the good Doctor. It is always good to meet another Whovian.
As the Man and I dug into our sushi, the other gent began shuffling around in his seat.
As he stands, he says (and I really wish I were kidding), "I'm gonna try and get out of here.. if you want to laugh at me, go ahead."
I was taken aback that he would say that. One - we just had a great conversation, why would I laugh? Two - why would anyone laugh? Three - its not like I'm a stick thin gal... I'm a big girl too.
I said quickly "No, no - there is no need to say that."
He squeezed through, said a polite goodbye and left.
I was stunned.
Why would he say something like that? Does he run into people who laugh at him? If so - how sad is that? Even more so, how sad that he felt the need to verbalize it to strangers...
After we finished our sushi, we got in the car and I couldn't shake that thought.
And honestly, I guess it went to a more personal level for me - do I do that? Do I put myself out there in a negative way, giving people permission to make fun of me, laugh at me, or just generally not accept my physical appearance?
I really do think this is something that I do. Perhaps I don't do it at the level of inviting people at the next table in a restaurant to laugh at me as I leave, but I do permit people, if they do see something wrong with me, to continue to see me as inferior because I am obese. I also believe this is a natural response to a lowered self esteem - if I am giving permission for it to happen, then it is not a boundary people are crossing - I am putting myself in a position to expect mockery instead of one that would be surprised if people did make fun of me or laugh.
I really do wish I had said more - but honestly, I don't know what I could have said. To tell him that no one has a right to laugh at him, regardless of his weight? Tell him that people who laugh really need to take a long hard look at themselves rather than focusing on belittling others.
I don't know.
I don't even know what the purpose of this post is other than to document my surprise and how it quickly came back to how I treat myself or at least open myself up to others to be treated.
It was sad, to say the least.