Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Taking the Plunge (Literally)

I use a well-known checkbook management program that can download credit card transactions from the web. This morning, as I was reviewing the transactions, I noticed the charge for the two bathing suits I bought this weekend.

Even with discounts, I spent a whopping $148.86 on swim wear. I was appalled when I walked out of the store. Now I'm even more appalled. It's one thing to walk out of the store with a huge receipt, because you can just stuff it in your pocket and forget about it. It's another thing entirely to see the transaction sitting in your credit card register in the harsh light of day.

What are those suits made of, anyway?

Gold? No.
Platinum? No.
Silk made from hand-raised silkworms? No.

I checked the label. They are made from your everyday, garden-variety nylon and spandex.


So now that the overpriced shmatas are sitting on the dresser, we'd darn well better use them.

There's only one teeny-tiny problem with that: Using the swimsuits means we have to put them on, drive over to the municipal pool, and swim, in public in front of G-d and everybody.

Did anybody hear the sound of my hysterical screaming echoing across the blogosphere?

I know that G-d isn't going to care one way or another. If G-d has eyes, She/He/It has already seen me naked (which is a far more terrible experience than viewing me in a swimsuit) so that's not the problem. The problem is everybody else who will be looking at me.

When I was thinner, I'd look at people when I was out in public and make comments to myself about what I saw. When I'd see people who were really overweight, I'd think some pretty scathing things about them as they walked by. The fatter they were, the worse I'd think about them. People with the dreaded stomach butt [warning: ugly picture!] got the worst.

So now the tables are turned, and I'm the jello-butt that's going to be walking across the pool deck. I'm just glad I won't be able to hear what people are thinking. If I'm lucky, I won't be the fattest person there. Then at least I'll be able to say to myself, "Yeah, I'm fat, but the lady in the striped bathing suit over there is way fatter than I am!"

Ugh, what a lousy comparison.

When I see people larger than I am, I go through a list of emotions: fear, disgust, pity, and relief. I feel fear because I'm afraid that if I don't do something, I'll end up looking like them. I feel disgust because no matter how often fat advocates try to argue otherwise, fat just isn't attractive. I feel pity because I know what it's like to be fat, and it's not fun. I feel relieved that I am not as fat as some other people, and think, "There but for the grace of G-d go I."

So I'll get in the the pool this evening, suck it up, and pretend nobody can see me.

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