Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm that big that I'm invisible

It would be ridiculous to say that at my weight that I have never experienced sizism before. In fact it happens alot, and in the majority of instances I brush it off or avoid situations where I know that I will face it. This is one reason why I don't like to go to gyms. I had a membership to 24 hour fitness years ago. When I would go in, I would get these horrible, appalled looks from people. Sorta like I had just vomited all over them...and I would get these looks just from walking into the place....forget even getting to the point where I was sweating. It seriously felt like I was in a middle school locker room. So I would come in later and later to work out in order to avoid looks from people. Oddly enough, I wasn't the only large person working out at 11pm there....but seriously....who wants to work out at 11pm? I got rid of my membership. I honestly think that there is this idea in thinner people's heads that a fat person must lose a certain amount of weight in order to frequent a gym. Really, people? I swear...the logic.

Let's move forward to last night. Libby and I went to go pick up our numbers for the 5k this Saturday....and I am so excited!!! I'm 20611 in case you are wondering. After we picked up our stuff we walked around some of the vendor booths that they had. We stopped at one that had athletic support tape, its pretty cool stuff called Kineso...most people will recognize it as the strange tape designs seen on Olympic athletes. Anyway, as I have been grappling with how to support my running injury I was interested in this stuff. Now, it was me that picked up the box and me that was asking questions about it. The salesman however wouldn't look at me, he just looked at Libby while he talked. At first, I thought that it was just that he liked Libby--which I wouldn't blame him for---but when I was paying for $20 worth of tape, he still would not look at me. Total perception filter moment for those Doctor Who fans out there. Even when we walked in, the Cricket mobile people offered Libby a free bag which she turned down....I would have taken it, but I wasn't offered. On the way out of there, a gentleman was passing out race guides for Utah which listed all the sporting events in the state. He was shoving them in everybody's face except me. I actually had to ask for one, and he was surprised that I wanted one.

It was a very crazy situation, and I hadn't experienced that much sizism at one time before. I really felt that people were trying to actively avoid looking or speaking with me. This is going to sound vain, but I am not bad to look at. I would even say that I am pretty. And if this avoidance was some sort of way to avoid the issue that I am fat, like a misguided way of trying not to point it out, it had the exact opposite effect. I once was on a third date with someone, and it was shortly after Mr.3 left and I wasn't exactly ready to date and was taking it way way slow. On the date we talked for hours about my friend's art (even after this experience I will gladly call him my friend still). He was showing me this art book with dancers and explaining to me how he admired the musculature. When I pointed out the differences in how the wrist movement we were talking about would differ in view between my arm and his....he noted it, but then made this really strange circuitous conversation in which he tried to talk about fat, but avoided actually saying the word "fat". It was at that moment that I realized that even though we had been talking about his art for two hours, he had just realized that he was in the room with a fat person. Ooohh... scary. Frightening even. (wow, I wish that there was a sarcasm font right now) I think that this is just the same situation that I experienced last night.

Sorry folks if my fat bothers you. You are going to have to deal with it.
I entered the race. And while I may not run the whole thing, I am still in it. You are going to have to share the road with me.
I am going to support myself in this endeavor and others who are trying to accomplish the same task in this event. You should be able to support me....and my well.


Jason said...

I get the same thing when it comes to things like parking validations. They never ask if I need one. They always ask my date, even if I am the one paying.

What bothers me is that you still spent money there even after being disrespected. You should have made it clear that you will be buying the product but from another vendor that is willing to look you in the eye.

Glenn Kelley said...

I was in a wheel chair for a while after an accident.Same response,or lack of response.If I propped myself up on my feet they would talk to me but if I sat down they would look right past me.
They are threatened by your existence.You are a reminder that life can change.