I’m reprising this from four years ago because my short story deadline is still looming.
In the past I’ve issued some guidance notes on how to be polite. The shoe is on my other foot today. I’m going to tell you how to be rude.
On Friday, I decided to go for a quick beer to celebrate what had been a rather good day for me. I happened to bump into a woman of my acquaintance. I hadn’t seen her for a while. She’s always been, as they say, built for comfort rather than speed. Well upholstered. But she was now approaching being overstuffed.
‘Blimey!’ I exclaimed. ‘You’re packing on the pounds a bit, aren’t you? Bloody hell, you need to forget the burgers and find the salad aisle. You’re turning into a bargearse.’
I’ll bet my candour surprised you. It’s not a very Fluffy thing to say, is it?
Of course, I said nothing of the sort. This is what actually happened.
The woman said, ‘You’re losing weight. You need to go down the chip shop and get a couple of pies.’
I was mildly offended by this. I’ve always been a skinny bugger, and still weigh the same as I did when I graduated. My GP tells me I need to put weight on, as my BMI is that of a 19 year old, and this is actually a risk factor for premature death. But it’s nothing to do with anyone else is it? I wouldn’t dream of telling the woman in question here that she was looking a bit lardy. Indeed I’d be roundly criticised if I did, and quite rightly. Why did she feel it socially acceptable to criticise my morphology? I can’t help being an ectomorph. I don’t gain weight no matter what I eat. But apparently I’m fair game for sniping.
A friend of mine, to his credit, leapt to my defence. ‘He doesn’t need to do anything. It’s up to him isn’t it?’
The woman was not going to le it lie, though. ‘I’m sure you’re losing weight.’
I was getting a bit tetchy now. ‘I’ve been the same weight for 40 years, I’m not likely to change now, am I?’
‘You’re definitely thinner than you were.’
‘Oh well, maybe it’s something terminal.’
That shut her up pretty fast. It was a cheap shot though.
Seriously, what is it with the Weight Police? Just what makes them think that it’s perfectly all right to insult people just because of the shape they are? Really? It’s no business of theirs how I’m built, or how you’re built, or how your partner’s built.
I’ve ranted about this before, on http://wp.me/p2C8Zz-ym , when I vigorously defended the right of women to be just about any shape they’re happy with. So come on, ladies, let’s have a bit of sexual equality, a bit of quid pro quo. I’m a skinny bugger. Get used to it.