There aren’t many situations where I’m grateful for my fat.
Other than when I’m clothes shopping or that brief moment of anxiety approaching an unusually narrow turnstile or arm chair, I don’t really think about my fat much at all.
I’m grateful for my Big Girl status now that I live in Mexico because it makes me potentially harder to kidnap.
Before you get all up on my magical-thinking Kool-Aid, I know there’s a whole mess of flawed logic that goes into this, not the least which is kidnapping isn’t a problem in my state.
Still, I imagine potential abductors seeing me –almost certainly bigger than they are in every regard and clearly able to cause some damage, not to mention the difficulty of transporting me– and opting for some smaller victim, at least until the day they can ransom by the kilo.
I’m also grateful for being fat when it comes to dating.
At one point Kate, a woman who was once quite thin and is now merely slender with the most adorable hint of belly, butt and boobs pointed out a gorgeous woman on the subway.
Her husband dismissed the woman as “chunky”.
Kate told him:
“It’s just hard. I am a lot heavier now. And the whole world is full of people who say ‘chunky.’ I am chunky. I am chunky and beautiful. And even if you don’t think I’m chunky—I want to be able to be chunky. I want to be able to gain more weight without having to feel ugly. And I don’t want it to be because I have a pretty face.”
Anxiety because I cannot imagine being in a relationship where my partner’s attraction to me would balance so precariously on body size with a relatively small margin of error, and relief because, for the most part, my larger-than-life size kicks those unacceptable applicants from the Get-Inside-My-Jeans pool before they’ve even inflated their floatie wings.
I’m sure Kate’s husband Bear would love and be attracted to her regardless of size, but I know of so many relationships where I’d be willing to bet my life savings (which you know means giving up my dreams of a bionic liver) that a woman’s weight gain of 30 pounds would spell splitsville for the couple.
Meanwhile, it’s been my experience men who are attracted to bigger bodies have a wider appreciation for variation and a swing of 30 pounds in either direction might not even register as long as she still packs an extra scoop in her sundae and her hourglass –provided she had one in the first place– still tells time.
Case in point:
When I went back to Austin in July to tell my stunned friends and family I was selling the Cadillac and moving to live on the beach in Mexico, there was a lot of cake.
There was International Move Stress Cake, Too Sick To Eat Anything Else Cake, Better Eat This Because They Don’t Have Real Texas Sheet Cake in Baja Cake, Goodbye We’ll Miss You Cake, Are You Really Sure You Want To Do This Cake, Vague Racist References to White Slave Trade Cake, New Birth Control Makes Me Want To Eat Everything Cake, Wake Up in the Middle of the Night Wondering If They Really Do Have Donkey Shows in Tijuana* Cake…I think you get the picture.
The upshot was, I gained 30 pounds from July to January.
I knew this wouldn’t bother Hot Latin Boy, my body has done crazy things since we met (and not just in the dirty way, though also totally in the dirty way) but since my vanity knows no limits, I was concerned the small stable of admirers I’d collected during my previous stay wouldn’t find me as attractive.
I still wasn’t going to give ’em any, but I still wanted them to want it.
And they did, so the Duchess of Neediness-Two-Bourbons was satisfied for another day.
Which isn’t to say my dating history as Professional Fat Girl has been all Ativan-covered roses.
Just like the FDA allows a certain number of grasshopper parts in your peanut butter, any romantic career spanning over a decade has to allow its share of freaks, pervs, fetishists and nogoodniks who spread rumors about you and several members of the Episcopal clergy having such loud and enthusiastic orgies (clorgies?) at conventions that a bishop had to pass a resolution to make you bite the pillow. Fantastic had it been true –you can’t buy that sort of press– but more than a little worrisome when made up by someone whose five year plan includes the hope of ever seeing you topless.
I’d like to think most healthy relationships allow room for both partners to change both emotionally and physically, and that most of the men who can’t find beauty in anything but the narrowest of spectrums end up broadening their horizons or weeding themselves out of the DNA buffet, but I know my size has let me dodge that bullet many times and for that…plus the whole kidnapping thing (hey, it’s worked so far)…I am grateful.
*They don’t. It’s a scam invented by enterprising taxi drivers in Tijuana’s red light district to take advantage of drunk tourists. They drive around racking up the fare, pretending they’re looking for the illegal event that is forever on the move, finally dropping the boozy pervs off at a barnyard animal-free strip club/brothel with which the drivers have an arrangement, but not before lightening their wallets considerably.