A Big Form of Bigotry

Op-Ed page 2

Throughout the world and throughout time, there have been people who rose up and said “Enough” to discrimination.  Discrimination based on gender, race, creed, lifestyle, mental capacity, physical ability, and size unfortunately and unbelievably still exists.  Today, I am writing to add my voice to those who say, “Enough.”  Continue reading “A Big Form of Bigotry”

Sneek Peek ~~ Chapter 6

“‘Cheap knit crap from the dollar store’,” I mimic Tiresa’s self-righteous tone. “‘I’m even willing to buy you a decent dress’.” I scowl as I examine the black dress which had been purchased for the date with Wesley. It was more than decent—in fact, it had cost a bit more than I could reasonably afford—and would fit in with Tiresa’s and Mika’s engagement party, which was certain to be on par with a black tie affair. Now I just needed a new pair of shoes since the heel broke off my sandal.

I park my car just off Trafalgar Street and make my way down the crowded sidewalk toward Hannah’s Shoes, where I hoped to purchase the same sandals I bought for the date with Wesley. There weren’t many styles in my size, let alone could accommodate my fat feet, so I often bought a couple pair of the same shoes.

At a corner I run into Cat. “Cat! How are you?” I ask.

I was the first to befriend Cat, who has lived on the street for a decade. Initially, I felt sorry for her and gave her an old winter coat of mine, which progressed to spare change here and there, then invitations to have coffee. Feeling sorry for Cat didn’t do any good, however. Her mind half gone from alcohol and a successful career lost, Cat survives quite well on the streets, her brutal honesty put to good use and her “It could be worse” attitude keeping her afloat

She looks at me up and down. “I see you’re finally off your face,” she comments.

“Uh, yeah,” I stammer. “Thanks for checking in on me the other night. It was a pretty horrible night.”

“Try living on the streets,” Cat retorts unsympathetically.

I sigh. Typical Cat: unsympathetic at best, uncouth at worst. “Where are you headed?”

She shrugs. “Nowhere, last I checked.”

“I’m going shoe shopping. Want to come along?” I invite. She falls into step next to me, both of us shuffling along, me from my weight and her from having nowhere to go in particular and being older. “So are you going to give me back my sleeping pills?”

“Nope. Sold those to a drug dealer.”

“You didn’t!”

“It’s a living,” she shrugs and glances down. “What do you need new shoes for? Not going on another date, are you?”

“Tiresa and Mika’s engagement party.”

“Well, well, aren’t we the glutton for punishment,” she cackles.

I stop and stand aside to let another pedestrian pass by, the sidewalk is so packed. Most people avoid contact with Cat because of her smell and looks, but my size makes me little harder to circumnavigate in a crowd. “I’m just trying to keep the peace in the family for Mama Rose’s sake. Otherwise I wouldn’t go near the place, not for a million dollars.”

“The poor can’t afford to be choosey,” she intones.

I accidentally jostle her when another pedestrian rushes by. “Oops, sorry. It’s not about poverty. It’s about pride. I can live with being poor, but I at least like to hold up my head with some dignity. Having my ex and sister publicly rub their affair in my face isn’t worth winning the lottery.”

Sneek Peak~~Chapter 4

It’s a week before I see Sands again.  On the way home from the grocery store, I stop by her gym.  She’s just finished an aerobics class and waves me into her office.

“I did it,” I say as we step inside.

“You didn’t.”

“I did.”

“No way.”

“It’s done.”

“I told you not to!” she wails and plops into the chair behind her desk.  “You can find a guy here for only $12 a month.  How much did you pay?  You paid double that amount, didn’t you?  Triple?”

“It was a special offer.  $49 for three months.  But never mind,” I say as I squeeze into the narrow plastic chair in front of the desk and pray it doesn’t collapse.  Its arms dig into my sides.  Why did its designer think it necessary to make arms with such sharp edges?  “I’ll probably delete my account when I get home.”

“So did you meet anyone yet?” she inquires.

“Yes and no,” I offer vaguely.

She peers at me suspiciously.  “You did.  You met someone already and you’re going to meet him for dinner.  No way you’re going alone.  Text me when you find out where you’re going and I’ll go there and sit at a nearby table and make sure he doesn’t slip you the date rape drug.”

“You’re over-dramatizing this just a bit, aren’t you?  Yes,” I sigh, “I have chatted with a few guys and am unceremoniously dumped when they find out my weight.”

Now she looks at me like I’m crazy.  “You’re weight is a topic of conversation?”

I shrug.  “I feel bad because my photo only shows an extreme close up of my face and I want to be honest.  I don’t want to lie to men.  I want them to accept me, ALL of me.”  I pinch my flabby upper arm for emphasis.

“Hence the extreme close up.  That’s really honest, Bella.  What else did you lie about?”

I shrug again.  “I might have made being a stay-at-home mom sound a bit more glamorous.”

Sands lets her face fall into her hands and she shakes her head in disbelief.  Sands is my best friend from way back.  A shrewd businesswoman, she is a fitness instructor and owns her own gym with plans to open more.  Why we are best friends, I don’t know.  She has everything yet chooses me, the antithesis of everything she represents, as a friend.  She’s tall and beautiful and obsessed with staying fit and a consummate flirt.  She gets any guy she wants, though ninety-nine percent turn out to be jerks.  While my problem is not meeting any men, her problem is meeting too many men at her gym, the problem being that most take off their weddings rings before entering the gym or hide the fact that they have girlfriends until after she sleeps with them.

“Like I said,” I continue, “I’ll probably delete my account.  I can’t take more rejection.” Continue reading “Sneek Peak~~Chapter 4”