I am fat and my name is ………… , Well, it doesn't matter what my name is . Simply , being fat is what defines me , this how people feel about me …………..they feel "fat" . I wake up 'fat' , I go to work 'fat' , I sleep 'fat' and of course , I eat 'fat'
Being overweight is a problem , but the catastrophe is that my whole world is evolving around this problem , around this fact.
"What is inside is what matters " , what a big FAT lie………listen to me !!! even I am using the word fat as an insult !!! seems that I have been affected by this vicious circle !!
Today is one of those bad days , I was praying that the sound of the alarm clock was just one of the nightmares I have been having all night long .
But I was wrong ! I had to wake up and start my battle .
Don't worry , my fight is not with a person , it is with my fiercest enemy……………. Shopping!!
It all started when I received an invitation to attend my friend's wedding .
"I am not going to go " I told my mother.
"What ?! " she asked " You MUST go" my mother said firmly . For my mother , every social occasion is an opportunity to 'hunt' a groom . And in my 'case' , I don't have a chance to get a rest or even get sick and not attend any of these occasions. I must attend every social event , try to impress every woman who seems like a potential mother of a future husband . In such a conservative society like the one I am living in , the mothers and sisters of the single guys are the ' gate keepers' to the kingdom of marriage .
'I don't want to get married now "
A sentence , or shall I say a sin , that I committed.
' You don't want what ?!!' my mother asked . Then she completed ' I am not going to lie to you my dear daughter . As long as you are going to stay like this ( looking at my body as if I have cancer ) , it will get more difficult to get married with every minute passing"
I don't know if you believe me or not , but if my mother hasn't done her best to stay strong , she would have burst into tears and ask God to get me out of this crisis that I am passing through.
A huge 'wave' of tears and a long speech to avoid , I said ' OK , don't worry , I will go !! '
There are rituals to go shopping , I have to be prepared , fully prepared for any kind of emotional or physical disappointment . I take my super-sized purse , and I put the most important item which is a huge pack of tissues .
Why ? I don't think that any 'normal sized' person will know the main reason ……… think about it ….. No, no , it is not. The main reason for the tissues is to use them when you cry silently in the changing room when you figure out that non of the dresses fits you , or when you wear something hideous and have to pay a fortune for it just because it 'fits' !!!
Yes, for people like me , it is not about what I like , what is the occasion or what color it is . It is ONLY about about what fits .
Another reason for the tissues is to deal with the sweat after every time I commit a desperate attempt too get into an extra extra large item ( the second extra is not a typing mistakes !!) , not because I like it , but in order to keep the last drop f my dignity left to prove that I am still in the range considered by fashion manufacturers and designers.
The other important item to be put in my shopping purse is money , A LOT of money . I always have to be prepared that I might find one suitable thing , and if it is my lucky day , two suitable things. Since the bigger the size , the more expensive the price is , you have to be ready for any new opportunity that you might face.
What else , what else to put in my purse ? A bottle of water , don't be surprised , there are three main streets for shopping , if you will enter every single shop in each one of them , it will take you at least two to three hours and every single drop of water of your living human body.
In addition to that , I have to keep my mother's picture in my purse , not a small one , but a full size one of her face , a picture that she looks in very sad , depressed and disappointed ( When was this picture taken ? this a question that I will answer in the coming chapters ) , not for support , for the motherly love or for what the mother resembles in general , but for the extremely long speech I will have to hear if I go home without a dress.
So, whenever I start losing hope or whenever I feel that my feet can't move one more step forward, a look at my mother's photo is capable of providing me with the energy I need.
Three apples are always there for me in my purse when I go shopping , my body needs energy and you know what ? I am not willing to go to a restaurant or buy a sandwich because at this time , I will be very vulnerable to the extent that I might blame that poor sandwich for not fitting into all the clothes in all the shops. And remember the way people look at a fat person eating in a restaurant ( but that is a whole different story that I will tell you later) .
Also , I need a lot of chewing gum and a new tube of deodorant ( I guess you know the reason !!)
I don't want to bother you with all the other 'weapons' I take with me before going shopping. Bottom line… while standing at door , saying goodbye to my mom as if I am going to fight in a city where a nuclear explosion has just taken place , swearing to her that I will do my best to make her proud of me , I remind myself with a very important thing " People die every minute. Wars , famines and natural catastrophes are every where . So , no matter what happens today , you must be optimistic and love your life "
My journey begins , when 'my people' go shopping , we need to be ready for any surprise , any reaction and any word . But what I did not expect at all to happen that day was the incident that happened at the first shop.
'We are sorry , we don’t have big sizes ' How RUDE !!! He didn't even wait for me to say hello , he did not ask me anything , I felt as if he wanted me to leave immediately in order for his shop to be clear of the reputation that people like me go there ……not shop there , GO there!!!
The same story happened again , and again and again . A total opposite story happened with me when I enterend the ninth shop , I saw a very nice guy there , the moment he saw me , he decided that I am going to be his new ' good deed of the day ' , his ' new charity project' . 'Don't worry ' he said , ' we will find you something , you have to be optimistic . I have many things that might fit you , if we don't find anything , I will bring some stuff from our other branch. Don't be sad , we will try and try and try until we find something , anything .'
I felt that he wanted to hug me and tell me that he understands the cruelty I am facing , he wanted to tell me not to be desperate . I was in shock, a deep shock that lead to my silence and following his orders . I tried every single piece in the shop. And as expected , nothing fit .
I left the shop after I gave the guy half of the tissues pack that was in my bag . He cried like a little baby , he decided at that moment that I was his hero . He couldn't stand the fact that I got used to this kind of disappointments , he thought that after finding nothing , I would faint or even die.
The only I was able to leave the shop is when I gave him my phone number and took his in order to call him when I find something !!
Another source huge of disappointment are pretty girls with perfect bodies who happen to be at the shop while you are in it . it is not about jealousy (which I admit it exists) , but about listening to their conversations about the misery they are living through just after gaining two pounds . And their suffering goes on with how the two simple pounds have affected their social lives , love lives and their self esteem !!
One time I wanted to take my shoes off and bash one girl's head with it . She came to me and asked me if te skirt she was trying on was good enough . According to her look , she was not convinced with it , and she was expecting me to provide her with support . HELL NO ! Not today , Not now !! I am not going to say sweet words to her and raise her spirit and self confidence up .
Unfortunately , the polite sense of me won the battle . 'It looks great on you , I think you should buy it '
'Really ? ' she asked . ' Thanks a lot '
She was a nice girl, but she dealt with me as if there was nothing wrong with me . While I was eating my first apple , I thought about it ' Don't I want people to deal with me as a normal person ?? But at the same time I need them to be very careful and handle me super sensitivity carefully and be nice to me . ?? ' Well, enough with all the psychology , I have a mission to accomplish and I still have a long day ahead of me .
Ten hours passed , I went back home , walking up the stairs with bare footed feet . I rang the door bell and my mother opened the door for me , with her sad depressed face. From the look on her eyes it was clear that she did not expect me to succeed after only the first attempt of buying a dress like normal people.
The only good thing about it is that I did not have to listen to her long speech about how disappointed she is in me , because I gave her a fully detailed presentation about every single thing that happened with me . She listened as if she were an investigator trying to figure out who killed the beautiful girl (which is super skinny of course , in movies no one kills the fat girl , thanks God ) , but she did not find any loophole to use against me .
That is why she only gave her speech about waking up the next morning and start my journey again looking for a dress.
Days came and went and I did not find the dress , until I decided to go to a tailor and have one made for me !!!
But you will never believe what happened with me in that wedding ?? Not now , later !!!
Another story of another enemy of mine , the DIET !!! But that is also another story for the next time you will hear from me ….
Ziad Bakri , 09/03/2012