I rarely write about my reactions to and interactions with people anymore, just because there’s that chance, albeit slim, that they might read my blog and take offense. This person already knows I was offended, though, so I’m not terribly concerned with whether he sees this or not.
I’m not one to hold a grudge, and it’s very rare that something specific affects my mood for, say, more than an hour or two. But this has been bugging me since lunch.
It shouldn’t have really bothered me. One of my co-workers told the rest of us (four other guys and me) that he’s signed up on a couple of dating sites, that he’s looking for women a good ten years younger than he is… and that he’s ignoring the profiles of overweight women. My reaction should have been, OK, he’s just a douchebag. Nothing personal against me, as an overweight woman. It’s not like *I* was going to date him or anything.
Still. It bothered me. It bothered me that he was that superficial, and it bothered me that another co-worker reacted to my obvious indignation by saying that it isn’t shallow to want to date someone who’s physically attractive (insinuating, as my single-and-searching co-worker had, that overweight women can’t be physically attractive). It bothered me that prejudice against overweight women was happening right in front of me.
And it bothered me that it was completely valid and true. Like one of my college friends once said: It’s ultimately the inside that counts, yes, but it’s the outside that gets a guy interested.
When it became obvious how irritated I was, Single Guy tried (unsuccessfully) to steer the conversation another way, by asking me if I’d always been overweight. Gee, thanks. Actually, yes, I have; the kids on the playground used to taunt me and tell me that I was “as fat as the whole universe.”
Finally, finally, one of my other co-workers came right out and said, “Let’s change the subject,” and another started talking to me about video games. I must have looked pretty pissed, since everyone on my end of the table had started running interference for me.
I came home and told my husband what my co-worker had said about his online dating experiences so far, and he basically shrugged and agreed with Single Guy: Nobody wants to date an ugly fat chick. Which made me start to doubt the validity of my indignation. Was I right to be pissed? I’ve had guy friends before who prefer skinny, waify chicks, and I’ve resented that, but it’s just their preference. I prefer tall men; does that mean I discriminated against shorter guys when I was dating? (Actually, no, it doesn’t, come to think of it — I did date guys my height, but I just preferred the taller ones.)
I’ve never wanted to flip someone off so much as I did at that restaurant today. But I’m still conflicted as to why I’m so pissed. Is it just the general injustice of single women being dismissed without even a chance, or is it more that I remember what it was like to be overweight and single? Or is it that I still self-identify as an ugly, fat chick? (Face it, folks: modeling is NOT a career option for me — not even plus-size modeling.)
I don’t know. But I need to let it go. Being angry doesn’t suit me.