“I know lots of people fatter than you and I would NEVER ask if they were pregnant.”
THESE are the words of comfort that issued forth from the mouth of my teenage son upon hearing my outraged and embarrassed description of being excitedly greeted by an older man in my parish with:
“WOW! Another baby! How exciting! When are you due?”
Let me first explain that I am NOT pregnant. NOT. I was even feeling pretty damn good about myself. I was wearing form fitting yoga pants and a teeshirt (not some shapeless, billowy, possibly confusing tent dress) since I was actually walking my dogs past the church when this man spotted me and called out his eager question for the entire block to hear. And stare.
I pretended not to hear and blustered on with a friendly wave (yes, yes, a WAVE, all my fingers extended not JUST the middle one) and hurried past, praying for the earth to swallow my clearly chubby-ass)
Back to my son, my mom-body-NOT pregnant anguished diatribe on socially appropriate topics, and my his horribly chosen words of compassion.
“I know lots of people fatter than you…”
Wow. Just….wow. So many emotions here, so many things I want to say….
My daughter stared slack-jawed at her brother, who looked mildly confused by our facial reactions and the deathly silence that followed.
“FATTER than me?!
FATTER THAN ME?!
You know lots of people FATTER THAN ME?? So I AM fat. That’s what you’re saying, that while I’m FAT, there are people FATTER than me that you still wouldn’t affront with this question?!!
FATTER THAN ME?!”
A glimmer of understanding, tinged with a healthy dose of fear, slowly crept into his eyes.
Silence. A murderous, wounded, howling silence hung between us.
His hands flew up with placating air pats, as he hurriedly tried to back track his choice of words into a compliment in how good I look for my age.
FOR MY AGE.
At this juncture of events my daughter (until this point at war with her conflicting feelings of feminine outrage, and sisterly love,) reached out and grabbed her brother and dragged him from the room, hushing the hell out of his attempt to dig his way out of this hole before he burrowed even deeper through the kitchen floor.
And THAT is how my day was. Excuse me while I pull the covers over my head and swallow a bag of chocolate chips and flip the bird to the whole damn world.