Monday, June 17, 2013

In Which the Boy Does Not Offer the Girl His Jacket

I was sitting on a log next to the boy I was crushing on, and shivered.

"Are you cold?" he asked.  I looked coyly from under my lashes and nodded at him.  He took his coat off and slipped it onto my arms.  I pulled myself into the warm boy-smell and smiled at him.

"Won't you be cold?" I asked, knowing he would never get his jacket back from me.  He just smiled in return.

So, that classic teenage girl moment never happened to me.  I mean, I sat on logs with boys, but no one ever offered me a coat.  And I'm sure it's not because they weren't raised right.  I'm fairly certain it's because we both knew the coat wouldn't fit.

Being a fat has huge, obvious obstacles that block girls from living in a Dawson's Creek type world.  I mean, boys don't automatically think you're hot (though you'd be surprised at how many still do - fer reals), it takes more spiked punch to get you ridiculously drunk at the prom, you can't fit out the window of the basement where you're trapped after being kidnapped by a jealous peer, etc.  The list goes on!

One of the more minor issues is that other people's clothes don't fit.  Not just the guy's jacket, but your best friend's jeans, the largest cheerleading uniform, or your rival's awesome dress that she doesn't deserve (am I watching too many teen movies?).  No one's clothes will fit you.

That's simple, you say.  Just befriend another fatty, you say.  Well, yes.  Of course we're whales that herd together for protection.  But you'll get an occasional friendly (or best friendly) dolphin who has amazing taste in clothes.  I mean skinny girl.  Not dolphin.  Dolphins don't wear clothes.  At most, they have, like, blow-hole dangles or shell flipper piercings, right?

But, the skinny girl is all, "It's one size fits all," or,  "It's kind of loose on me.  I'm sure it will fit," or, "I love dolphins!"

I don't know if it's an attempt at kindness or cruel size-blindness that causes people to see you as smaller than you are.  However, it never fits. 

The boyfriend's jacket looks like a sausage casing on you and won't button.  The baggy band t-shirt that your BFF wears to bed shows every bulge and roll.  The dress fits you like a leg warmer.

Instead, fat girls plan ahead.  We don't talk about it, and we don't tell you, but we think in eventualities.  We carry our own hoodie in the spring and fall in case it gets cold.  We might have an extra t-shirt in our car in case we spill something on ourselves.  We start shopping for prom a year ahead or make our own dress instead of waiting for the great sales in April.

And, if we don't plan ahead, we suffer in silence.  We shiver on the log, never mentioning how cold we are.  We wear our t-shirt with the coffee stain down the front and pretend we don't care.  We bitterly envy our best friend's awesome dress that - if it fit - she'd totally let us borrow (because she's that cool, which is why she's our best friend).

We can't even rely on other fatties to borrow clothes from because, even though not everyone notices this, we're not all the same size.  Even though my size 24 friend can commiserate and has similar experiences, we can't share clothes, either.

I did, at the age of sixteen, have a best friend who wore the same size as me (for a few months until I was smaller than her, then a year later, I was bigger than she was - hello weight fluctuations!).  Unfortunately, as sweet and nice and generous as that girl was, she could not dress.  She was a Laura Ashley girl, and I was more of an Angela Chase type (points for those of you who catch the reference).

I did take all of her old jeans, though.  She thought they were ruined when the knees wore out. 

I told you - she couldn't dress for shit.

Like I said, it's not a huge issue, but it's one of those little annoying ones that you almost never notice.  It's just part of how being fat infiltrates your life and leaves it's mark on everything.  And there's no fix.  I mean, yes - there's weight loss, though there are a billion issues behind even suggesting that as a solution, and isn't even an option for some people - along with the understanding that some people will only get so small.  There's fat acceptance, but that changes only perceptions when a lot of the problems are concrete reality issues - like measurable, physical issues: clothes fitting, activities being fat-(un)friendly, chairs breaking.  THINGS.

Anyway, the point of this wasn't to rant, but instead to make you feel sorry for me because I never stole my boyfriend's coat. 

The End.