Tags: something to mull over

32 flavours

"Fat" is a Four-Letter Word

It's interesting the reactions people have to the word "fat," regardless of context. It's one of those words that seems to make others uncomfortable. People want to qualify it instead of just letting the word stand for itself.

I've spent the last few months watching people react to the term. I've mentioned before that I'm a lot bigger than I used to be. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is currently gurgling happily on my lap. When I mention it, people jump to the "oh, but you just had a baby" defense, as though I may not have realized how that kid got here. Let's face it, though: the baby just turned seven months old. At this point, the rest of that weight is not going to magically fall off. My body has already decided on where it wants to be post-partum, and if I want to change that, it'll require such things as, like, work. It's not the end of the world, but the weight difference is enough that I've had to make some adjustments, both mentally and to my wardrobe.

This week, I went out shopping with a friend of mine to get some clothes that would fit and flatter. It was an epic outing, since we had to start by determining my new size, and then figure out what cuts worked on my new figure. The difference is noticable, now that I'm not bursting out of my clothes, and so there has been the occasional comment. "Oh, that looks nice on you. Is it new?" To which my instinctive response response is something to the effect of "Yeah, it is, thanks. I got tired of being too fat for my clothes, so I went out and got some fatter clothes."

Apparently people don't expect such a... uh, truthful answer. So far, they either rush to assure me that nono, that's not what they meant by it, really! or they kind of stare at me in overwhelmed shock. Because you can't say the word fat, not even when it's used lightly, to refer to yourself. Or maybe people just find it awkward that I'm using it in an appropriate context, as opposed to using it merely as an expression, like a "big fat lie."

Seriously, has fat become a taboo word, even when used responsibly? I mean, I'm not about to run out and start accusing random people of being fat, but I should be allowed to use it to refer to myself without causing so much shock and discomfort in the people I'm talking with, don't you think?
i c wat u did ther

Moving and Growing Up

We're moving next week, down the hall to another apartment in the same building. It's slightly larger, but the biggest advantage is that the space is distributed differently, in a way that will benefit us. The baby has been sleeping in a little bassinet, but one of the bedrooms in the new place is big enough to hold the older kids' bunk beds plus a crib and two dressers. (The exchange is that the living room isn't as big, but it seems a fair trade.)

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In other news, I read an article the other day about how my generation and the one just after me, the ones just coming up now, are essentially delaying adulthood as much as possible. Usually I hate these articles, since they strike me as some childless person grumbling about "kids these days" and how we have it far easier than the generations before us. In some ways this is true, and in some ways it isn't, but to state that my generation needs to grow up and stop waffling annoys me greatly. I was married with a baby by the age of 21, which is a younger age to be settling down than even most people of my parents' generation.

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Today the husband was home from work early, so we took the kids to the park across the street. For the most part, the kids ran around and played, the husband was there with them to push the swings or to help when they got stuck, and I sat on the nearby bench and watched. At one point, a pair of women approached me and said "You look safe. We're from out of town, and we were wondering if there's a washroom around here..."

I was taken aback by their greeting. I look safe? I mean, ok, as a woman I understand they might not have felt comfortable approaching my husband, a strange man. But to speak with me, these two white ladies had to walk past the black woman who was quietly reading on the bench across from me. Hmm. So in their estimation, the white woman watching small children play in the park is safer to approach than the black woman minding her own business, reading a book on a sunny day.

To be fair, I'm very pregnant, and this may have helped with the perception of me being someone safe to approach. It's hard to imagine someone 8 1/2 months pregnant being a physical threat. I mean, sloths could outrun me at this point. So sure, it's more complex than just white woman vs black woman. Then again, it's rarely that simple, and the fact remains that they had to walk past the other woman to speak with me.

It's something I've been chewing on all evening.