Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Fat Fobes....or Phat Phobes.........Lookin' at the Outside Instead of the In....
Do you know what a Fat Fobe is? "Fat Fobe" is a goodwife invented word to describe folks who are anti chunky monkeys. I'm sure if you think about it, you've known a few in your life and maybe you might even be one. If somebody said to them, "You can gain 50 lbs or lose your left leg, what do you choose?", they'd have the meat saw out hacking through bone before you could say....fat folks have more fun! My mom is a Fat Fobe and so is Mouse....
Now does this mean my mom doesn't love me? Of course not. She loves me fully and accepts me as I am. As a matter of fact, when I was younger and bemoaning the fact that my sister was 100 lbs dripping soaking wet and strutting around in her size 0 jeans, when I was wailing about how ugly I was, my mom was the person who grabbed me by the chin, looked me right in the eye, and said, "Your sister might be littler than you, but she is NOT prettier than you." Oh how I love my Mama!! But she is a total Fat Fobe. In her mind there is no more terrible fate for HER than gaining weight.
Pretty much as soon as we moved here I discovered Mouse's Fat Fobia. She doesn't direct it at me, but she doesn't hide it either. When she describes someone the first words out of her mouth are fat or skinny. It's how she defines people. I'm sure we all have a way of describing folks, either by height, weight, race, or something else, seldom ever do most folks lead with personality traits. In her mind fat people are lazy, or sit around and eat all day long. If they didn't, they wouldn't be fat!
Mouse has a daughter that here I'll call Pied. Pied is 5 and in kindergarten. Until calving begins in March, Mouse takes the girls to the bus in the mornings, and then Mouse and I both ride together to pick them up. Mouse and I are becoming fast friends and we have LOTS in common. We have the same sense of humor and can talk critters for hours. We truly like each other, and Pied is sweet with a touch of fire and attitude. Well, a lot of attitude. As a matter of fact, I'm terrified for her teen years..........they might just not live through them!!
K........so yesterday Mouse took the girls to the bus as usual. When she got home she called me to see if I wanted to go put out mineral and check cows with her. I of course did, so she stopped by the house, picked Ellie and me up and we were off. As we were driving around the ranch she was talking to me about Pied's attitude and how she didn't know what to do about it. She was noticeably upset. She said Pied has been so disrespectful and called her fat this morning. Mouse isn't fat, not even a little bit. She's tall and fit with strong legs and arms and a totally flat torso. The body of a woman who's worked outdoors all her life. I mentioned how rude some kids can be to their parents and we talked about different ways to handle it. Then, Mouse's hands flew up to her face and she said, "I'm so sorry, so sorry, but this morning Pied said...."
I knew what was coming. Lets face it, I've been a fluffy nugget my whole life and I've heard it all at some point or 'nother. As they were driving past Mouse's folks place on the way to the bus, Mouse made a comment about the sheep being fat, at which point Pied said........"They are even fatter than "The Youngun's" mom!!" I laughed, because Pied is only 5 and we all know that kids say what they see. Pied loves me, and she didn't mean it in a nasty way, she just made a statement. Mouse flew all over her, told her to never, ever say such things about someone and Pied cried the rest of the way to the bus.
I reassured Mouse that it was ok, I've been heavy my whole life and Pied didn't mean it. Mouse was all over apologetic and we discussed teaching children tact and that was pretty much it. I'm very thankful that Mouse and I have become good enough friends for her to tell me (because I knew The Youngun would as soon as she got home.) We finished putting out mineral, driving through cows, chasing elk off the big hill, and checking water and she dropped me off at the house, where The Man was just getting home for lunch.
As I was telling The Man about my morning, I told him that Mouse's Fat Fobia was coming back to bite her in the butt. I told him the situation and how it didn't really bother me. As I said, when you've been heavy your whole life you've heard it all. It's much easier to take from a 5 year old than from a teenager or adult who should know better! I've been mooed at, called a fat cow, ridiculed for my weight throughout most of my high school years. I'm pretty much over it. Of course it still stings a bit, but that's not the point of my story.
The point of my story is this.....children are a mirror reflection of their parents. Pied is simply describing things in the way her mom does, and in illustration of my point.........When we picked the girls up at the bus that afternoon, Pied had her snow pants on. Now Pied is a teeny tiny little thing and her puffy snow pants were around her itty bitty torso so when she got in the truck and took her coat off, she looked like Olive Oyl wearing the Michelin Man's pants. Mouse said to her, "Those pants make your butt look huge! Your butt looks like Grandma W's! Of course hopefully your butt won't ever get as big as Grandma W's." Now......where do you think Pied got the idea to compare the fluffiness of the sheep to the fluffiness of moi??
When The Youngun and I got home we talked about what happened. She said she wanted me to know, but didn't want to hurt my feelings. I reassured her, telling her that I learned a very long time ago not to base my self worth on an exterior image, and certainly not on the image other folks have of me. As my grandma used to tell me, God made me and God doesn't make junk! He has a purpose for me and He loves me, every square inch of me, and yes even when the square inches of me are better measured in feet!
I started thinking that perhaps one of my purposes here is to break through Mouse's Fat Fobia. I will guarantee you that I can work side by side with her and not quit until she does. I'm a big girl, yes, but I'm strong, and relatively fit, and healthy. I can run a chainsaw, carry sacks of feed and mineral, and work as hard or harder than anybody without stopping. I'm not lazy, and I don't sit and stuff my face all day long. Do I like my groceries? Hecks to the yeah I do, but I don't have a feed bag strapped to my face all day long. I have an amazing marriage, a healthy sex life (ooh la la) and a beautiful daughter who respects and loves me. If I were ever to be disfigured in some way, I'd be able to go on, because my self worth comes from the inside. My identity comes from who I am, not what I look like. Let the gray hairs and wrinkles come, because no matter my weight, or what my outer package looks like, I'm God's daughter and He loves me.
Till next time............God Bless......