First some small weekend victories to report back – I bought 2 Nalgene water bottles for working out/daily use (no more bottled water!), I bought some *kickass* New Balance sneakers at their outlet store (which is located in the ghetto…but so worth the ride) and while I had a good food day Saturday – I had a TERRIBLE food day Sunday. But, I recorded my calories in Spark, forgave myself and moved on. That’s life. Live, learn, do better tomorrow. This week my goal is focused on fitness – using my 30 Day Shred Jillian Michaels DVD and getting some good cardio in. Now, onto story time…
I love to tell stories. I’m an observant person, and I take pride in reporting back on what I’ve discovered on my way to work/home/out with friends. While telling any story I always end up needing a visual aid because I just suck at describing people. Unless you look like a celebrity- or have some outlandish physical difference (like a rolling eye or a rainbow mullet) it’s impossible for me to accurately depict you in a story.
So, I always wonder how people describe me. Am I “the fat chick”? Do people define me by my size? It’s not ‘labeling’ if it’s true, right? Being fat makes you super self-conscious – and I find this most obvious when I travel. I’m outside my comfort zone. Away from my loved ones, my routines, my car, my desk etc. I’m suddenly vulnerable to the big, bad world and all it’s nastiness.
This past April I attended a trade show conference for work, and had easily my mortifying moment to date. Side note: I once heard someone say they remembered every insult they received. Not only is that impossible but it’s downright unhealthy. I remember the ones that shocked me (below), broke my heart (more on that later) or made me laugh. Otherwise, it’s all not worth my energy. So, there I was in Las Vegas working as a demo artist, showcasing my companies latest technology. I was stuck super far from all my coworkers in another vendor’s booth (in a hall that was essentially in AFRICA). Demoing in another vendor’s booth meant I had to use their “beauty stock” footage which was (what else?) half nude women posing for “beach volleyball” (they sucked, so I’m not dignifying their crappy fake playing by calling it a sport). l was less than enthused to have to watch this stupid footage 8 hours a day for 3 1/2 days – but to make matters worse, I also got super sick during the trip. Sinus infection, headache, watery eyes. I looked a wreck!
As someone who prides myself on my appearance, I really don’t like showing up to work LOOKING sick. So, I made every effort to rock cute hair, makeup and as much sparkle as would be acceptable for a work event. So, here I am sick as heck, trying to look cute, watching terrible footage, talking about technology and minding my own business (while visiting with some of my favorite techies, whom I have known for years). Things are going just fine (sans some equipment drama!) until the last day.
This group of 5 or 6 college kids come up, and I think to myself “Oh, this should be entertaining…I wonder what stupid question I’ll be asked!”. Oh no, it wasn’t a question. It was a fucking booby trap. The “chubby funny one” (think Seth Rogen pre-weight-loss) says “You look like you can take a joke right?”. Sure I can, I have a great sense of humor! He proceeds to say, rather loudly “Do you think it’s as funny as we do that they have the FAT CHICK demoing footage of really hot chicks?”. Har har har….wait, I’m not laughing!
I was in shock. Legit.
No one has ever humiliated me while I was working….never mind in front of a ton of total strangers. Everyone was staring. I think I turned 900 shades of red.
My comeback? (weak sauce) I looked down at once of their exhibition badges and said “Oh, apparently they don’t teach class @ The University of Nowhere eh?”. I walked away with my Kleenex (thank you sinus infection!) in hand and sat in the bathroom bawling my eyes out. That day, those kids made me feel worthless. I think that was truly a breaking point. I realized that at 28 I was squandering what should be some of the best times of my life. I wasn’t out partying it up in Vegas- no, no I was sitting in my hotel room being fat and sick every night watching trashy shows on VH1 (sidenote: you know you’ve entered the point of no return when during said trashy show you see ads for “Cash 4 Gold”…really, it’s all down hill from there).
I still can’t believe that event affected me so much. Stupid right? I know. I’ve been called worse- much worse – by people I actually considered friends at one point! Why did these asshole kids get to me?! Months later I’ve figured it out. In my head, they said what I assumed everyone was thinking all week. Anyone who came by to visit me and saw the footage must have thought “A fat chick demoing with footage of half naked models? Priceless!” right? Ugh. I hope I overreacted, and can file them under “Assholes who should be forgotten”. Actually, I hope I look smoking fucking hot by next April and can come up to THEM with a bitchy comment to ruin their day! 🙂
So, that was my most humiliating moment to date, shared on my public blog – for everyone to see. I can’t lie, I secretly hope those asshole kids stumble upon this on the interwebz and feel awful. I doubt I’m that lucky, but ya never know! 🙂
PS- my new internal mantra is drawn from Eleanor Roosevelt – “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”