Yesterday I spent a lot of time in the car driving around – it was a warm day, the kind where you can’t get cool, and you feel sticky and flustered and tired from the heat. I had the windows wound down to get a breeze through my car, which has an unwelcome tendency to smell like cumin when it’s warm…
There are a lot of roadworks near me, and as I was returning home alone in my car I was held up. Two men in a car were trying to cut in front of me at some temporary traffic lights, and it was my right of way. They were really pushing to get in, so I held my ground and kept moving forward with the cars in front of me. We drew up almost alongside each other as the lights went to red. ‘Are you hungry?’ the driver asked. ‘Is that why you’re in such a rush? Because you’re hungry?’
I was absolutely shocked. I am what many would say is ‘curvy’, or a ‘larger girl’. I am fat. Yes, I don’t eat as healthily as I should. No, I don’t exercise as much as I should. But am
I wrong in thinking that my health and my appearance are no-one’s business but mine and the people who love me?
Perhaps the driver wasn’t talking about my appearance, perhaps I was over-sensitive. Well you could be right – however he then went on to ask me how many babies I was having. Charming. When I told him in no uncertain terms where to go, he started to lecture me on my language, and my driving. The lights took an excrutiatingly long time to change to green. I sat there, tears forming under my sunglasses, in silent mortification and fury, until I could drive off and away.
Did I over-react? This is a sensitive issue for me. Yes – I know I can do something about it, and believe me,
I intend to. But I just don’t understand why it is acceptable for anyone to comment so casually, and so cruelly, on someone elses’ appearance.
It got me to thinking – we all judge, and gossip about others’ appearance. I include myself in this, although I try not to. Is there any difference between doing it when the person isn’t there, and doing it to intentionally hurt?
Either way, yesterday hurt. I often pretend it doesn’t hurt when people make comments – and they are never as blatant or as cruel as the ones that driver made – but the truth is, it stings every time.
I was so ashamed of what happened that I told Pedro about it via text because I didn’t want a conversation about it – too sore a subject. I also then went to a friend’s BBQ and even with my closest friends there, said nothing. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not something that makes me upset all the time, sometimes I never even think of it at all. However…
Perhaps time to take a leaf out of my friend Emma’s book, who is doing the 7lb in 7 days juice diet, (see her blog here) here and become