It's true what they say. "They" being the powers that be that decide on what words will make up the numerous cheesy cliches that we use. And today "they" were proved right. Which of course made me want to hunt them down and tie them to the front of a train, but that's beside the point.
Where was I before I so rudely digressed? Oh yes. It's true what they say. The truth hurts. It's like a punch to the head, or someone giving you a supreme truth wedgie. Hurts like a ....well....like worse than birthing my kids.
How does it hurt? Ah well my lovelies, you are smart to ask.
Oh let me list the ways....
1) Although I already have a job, it doesn't give me very many hours and it isn't what I went back to school to get trained for. So, I've carried on looking for employment in my field. I've sent out letters and resumes to all and sundry and not having too much luck. The job market here is not as great as I might like right now. But yesterday I got a phone call from a firm here in town who I have now applied to twice. Could I please come in for an "informal discussion" (read: interview that stresses me out beyond belief)? Absolutely!
This, of course, presented me with a problem. No. Nice. Clothes. Well I'll just go shopping. HA! Yeah right. This might be a relatively easy feat for you folks who fit nicely into the societal norm of what size we should be and, as a result, the averages sizes that the designers churn out. However, for a someone my size who more closely resembles the prize cow in the field down the road than Heidi Klum, it can be a tad more difficult.
As I dragged my extremely shopping resistant spawnlets (they come by it honestly. I hate shopping.) around the store trying to find something interview appropriate, I found myself on the verge of tears. So many gorgeous shirts, skirts, pants, dresses and jackets.....all in sizes smaller than I can even dream of fitting into right now. I finally found the "oversize" area (yeah..heaven forbid they call it "plus size" like the rest of the world, they have to label us like the back of those Mack Trucks hauling friggin' houses!) and guess what? Sweet F All!
Ok, that's not strictly true. I did find a pair of pants in a lovely grey colour that were my size. I tried them on and couldn't decide what was wrong with them. But something was. So I bought them (because I'm stupid) and brought them home to model for my mother. She kindly pointed out that because I'd got them big enough to go up over my ass just to get them to my waist, I now had pants that were too big in the ass and I looked like I was wearing saddlebags. Ok. The pants were returned, I spent another HOUR wandering all (two) of the "Heffers Shop Here" aisles and finally found a nice dressy pair of capris that look quite fetching on me.
All in all though, a very humbling and tear inducing experience. One I'd rather not repeat til I've lost a few
2) (This one will be shorter I promise!) One of the requirements for this job I interviewed for was that the applicant have "excellent presentation skills, both in manner and appearance". Well, I might come across as an uncouth redneck idiot
When talking about this aspect of the job description with my mother, she pointed that my size might be a distinct DISadvantage for me. Huh? Yeah. I was all "Nuh-UH! They can't discriminate based on the size of my ass!" And she's all "Oh yeah they can. You are presenting the face of their firm and let's face it, a thin person would look better....they can be very selective when it comes to that."
(Note: NOT a direct quote from mother dearest, I'm paraphrasing and perhaps using what I heard as opposed to what she actually said because I'm pretty sure she put it more eloquently than that.)
Once I picked my jaw up off the floor (where, by the way, there was NO food!) and fought back the tears that were welling up, I proceeded to put that little ditty on a loop in my head where it played over and over and over and over and over again until AFTER my interview today.
The truth is, she's right. Given the choice between me and some skinny minny with the same qualifications and experience, they'll likely choose skinny because she looks better for them. And that truth hurts.
3) Children are, up to a certain age, brutally honest. Horribly so. When I went to pick up the spawnlets from school today, I was still all gussied up from my "informal discussion". As I walked down the hallway towards Girl Spawn's classroom, a bunch of kids were walking towards me. A couple of the girls started giggling with each other and I didn't think much of it.....until they got just past me.
"Oh. My. Gosh! Did you see how FAT she was?!" (like I'm the only queen size mama in the whole freakin' school?)
I brushed it off, filed it in the back of my head to put spiders in the offending kid's backpack, and kept walking. Then I heard more giggling and...
"Hahaha yeah she was big! Even MY mom's not that big."
"She looks like she's going to have a baby"
"Maybe she is!"
"Nuh-UH! She's just fat. Hahahahahaha! Like a cow!"
"Shhhhh!!! She can totally hear us!" (ok, you get a free pass for that one...this time.)
I had to leave. I went back out to my car and sat there and cried. It would have hurt to hear coming from anyone's mouth, but after the last 24 hours it hurt more somehow. I just sat there and cried for about 10 minutes before I was finally brave enough to waddle back into the school.
The truth is, she was right. I AM fat. And I DO look like I'm going to have a baby. And that truth hurts. A LOT.
But you know what? That's exactly why I'm doing this journey. One. Last. Time. So that eventually when I go shopping, I can shop on the same racks as my sister. (ok, that might be a stretch...she looks like a model) So that when I go for an interview, I know they're looking more at my qualifications and my boobs than they are at the size of my stomach. So that my kids don't have to worry about having the "fat mom".
And more than anything, so that I can live.
The truth hurts, but sometimes the pain is worth it in the long run.