I've been trying for months now to write an article about how people in general are just downright rude anymore. I've been eager to write about my personal war against them and my devious plan to put a stop to it, so that I can spread the word, garner support and one by one make the world nice again. You've got to admit, it's rampant everywhere. Counter Clerks, Phone Operators, Secretaries, Salespeople, people in traffic, and even accidental strangers you pass on the street. I have been cataloging experiences, writing memoirs of incidents and compiling lists of the worst offenders. However, just as I get riled up enough to write the damn thing, some random act of kindness will be enacted upon me and it makes up for the days of kicking and shoving that I've endured prior to it. So the article waits.
Yesterday, in the throngs of battle with the post-Thanksgiving shoppers, I thought surely that my article would be complete. People everywhere were pushing and grabbing, hurling obscenities at each other, while little children wailed and gnashed in their carts and spewed cold & flu filled snot and tears into the air that I breathed.
But just as the frustration built up to the point that I just knew I would come home and write it, one man squelched the article yet again, only this time, not with his kind words or help maneuvering through the garden center. No, this man attempted to humiliate me in the same way that hundreds before him had. He told me to "Move it you fat fucking bitch!" It was the one sentence that reminded me of another article I have been meaning to write.
The "fat" insult is one I have long endured and although I will admit that in my younger years, it devastated me. It made me feel like less of a person, like someone with a horrific contagious disease, like boil on the butt of humanity. In my older years, I have learned to not only accept it, but embrace it. Being called "fat" was even one of the greatest compliments I ever received.
I was in San Francisco in a little dive bar downtown. Social Distortion was playing the next night and as fate would have it, their road crew happened to be in the same bar that night. I was sitting at the bar with a Corona and a shot of tequila, thumbing through one of the local magazines when Dave, the Social-D, P.A. sat down next to me and starting chatting.
Dave was one of those guys that was as equally as brilliant as he was annoying. He would blather on and on about something so irritating that you would want to reach out and choke him, but just as your icy fingers reached for his neck, he would spew forth something so absolutely prophetic and genius that you thought he could be another Bob Dylan.
As the night came to a close, Dave looked at me and said "Wow Stace, you're smart, you're from Texas, you're a big fat girl. That's fucking cool!" I was a little stunned at first and my initial reaction was to knock his teeth in, but I realized as I looked at him and his gigantic grin that he meant it. He was only pointing out the opinions he had formed of me over the course of the night and that he really did think that my being fat was just as fuckin' cool as he thought my being from Texas and being smart were.
Not only did I take it as a compliment, but I admired him for being able to say it so casually and honestly. I even made it my motto on a painting I did for the Hovercraft Project. That's right Dave, I am smart, I am from Texas and I am a big fat girl. You know it, Social Distortion knows it, and Queen knew it. Hell everybody knows that fat bottomed girls make the rockin' world go round!
The fat insult pisses me off and no, it's not because it hurts my feelings. It pisses me off because it is one of the only physical insults left that people still feel free to shout out loud and in public places. You won't ever hear someone in Target yell, "hey move it you retard" or "could you hurry your black ass up", or "hey shorty, get the hell out of my way". You never even hear people call someone four eyes in public anymore, but somehow, fat is still an acceptable insult to fling around vocally in public.
Humanity is quick to come to the emotional aid of the mentally challenged, ethnic, short, tall and four-eyed anymore. They rage out against the prejudiced and the racist, as well they should. But they have yet to hurl tomatoes at the asshole who thinks it's still ok to call a lady just trying to get to the check-out stand at IKEA a fat fucking bitch.
Until the planet catches up and starts also booing and hissing these derivative offenders who cannot come up with anything more creative to humiliate me and the millions of other fat bitches and bastards out there than pointing out the apparent, I offer the following letter.
Dear Master of the Obvious,
Thank you for pointing out the blistering evident to this crowd around me. I am sure that they were not aware of the girth of my ass prior to your outburst, nor was I. Why just as I left the house, I could have sworn those pants I threw on were a sleek size 2. Jeeze, thanks for bringing to my attention that I had missed an additional digit there on the tag.
I have been, at best, large all of my life. Even during the late 80's and 90's when I did more blow than Aerosmith. Even when I starved myself in my twenties because I thought I could win over that guy. Even when I ran a boarding stable for horses and hauled hay and shavings for 10 hours a day. Even now, as I hurry from one job to another or stay on my feet executing events for 20 hours straight.
Bitch is one thing; that I can take. Believe me when I say that you are not the first to hurl that one at me. In fact, I have been called much worse and by people who actually know me; even by people who love me. That's a personality thing and it's a completely different deal. Sometimes people need to be told that they are being bitches and bastards. I'm even betting that this type of character deficiency is one that you have been informed of on more than one occasion.
I have trekked from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, dietician to dietician, trainer to trainer and hospital to hospital. I have undergone testing, prodding, poking, surgical procedures and grueling diet and workout routines. Sure, most of it was due other medical issues, but during the process, they have tried to figure out why my bootylicious booty is more booty than licious. So far, all they can come up with is that my blood work is totally abnormal and that I metabolize at a snails pace. I am as my sweet Dr. Broomberg once said to me a "medical marvel" and I should be grateful that everything else is fine.
For me, it's some sort of medical mystery, but there are a multitude of reasons that people are fat. There are socioeconomic factors, viable medical reasons, injuries that prevent extra time at the gym and some people just love fucking Cheetos, big goddamned deal. Here's a newsflash for you, it's not ok to assault another human being based on their physical characteristics anymore.
Oh yes, you Champion of the Apparent, indeed I am fat. I have never been able to giggle to get out of a speeding ticket, I have never been able to wiggle my ass and get the good grade, I have never been able to coo and have the guy at Best Buy carry my stereo to the counter for me. And I am so grateful for that, because instead of wiggling, giggling and cooing my way through life, I have had to use my wit, common sense, humor and intelligence to carry me through this journey; That and my upper body strength to carry my own electronics.
Are there no bigger issues globally for you to be concerned with? Or are you just some freak specimen of perfection and that gives you the right to attack me physically? I'll tell you what I think. I think that you are so afraid of your own imperfections and inadequacies that you toss around judgmental prejudices to feed your own starving ego. I think you are the same person who snickers at the mentally challenged, I think you're the same person who avoids the more charismatic and colorful neighborhoods of town out of racist fear. I think you're the same person who taunts the homeless and I think you're the same person that lets elevator doors close on little old ladies.
So go ahead, bellow it in shopping centers; blurt it out when I walk down the street, mouth it as you cut me off in traffic. I look at my flaws every day when I look in the mirror. But I don't go around making everyone else feel like shit because I can't deal with it.
I accept what I see in that mirror. I look back at my reflection, put on the brightest lipstick I can find and I work on my lash flutter just in case I bump into a guy like Brian May. I'm lucky like that, while you are probably going to have to look a lot further than the bathroom mirror to accept your blemishes.
And you know, it's really too bad that you and the rest of the world can't see your flaws as simply as looking at a reflection. It's a shame that your skin isn't some gorgeous shade of dark brown, that you don't speak with a lisp or require the aid of a Seeing Eye Dog. It's a bummer that you don't shop at specialty clothing stores or need the assistance of a wheelchair to get you around. It's just plain sad that you don't wear inch thick trifocals; because if you did, you would probably be a much better person for it.
Stacie / Aka: Just a girl trying to get to the check-out.
ps. And just in case you were curious, Brian May was right; I really do make the rockin' world go round!