Here's the story. I had signed up for the Personals Ads in my local newspaper in hopes of finding an eligible man to date. For the most part, there was no lack of responses left in my mailbox, but whether or not they were ideal choices left a lot to be desired.
After meeting and going through the rituals with several unlikely candidates, I ran across a young man who seemed to be a great choice. I remember his real name but here we will call him Gary. Well, Gary had listed himself as single, a schoolteacher in the neighboring county school system and attractive. Enough said and good enough for me to start.
We had the requisite introductory phone call, and then we had maybe two more followup calls before he suggested we meet each other. He had told me several times during our conversations that he liked the way I sounded and was excited to meet me. When he asked what I looked like I used the KISS method and kept it simple saying I was quite attractive and well-dressed and proceeded to give the color of my eyes and complexion. I purposefully and conveniently left out my weight. Lucky for me (or maybe not so lucky) those cursory descriptions satisfied him.
Our first date was set for the upcoming weekend; Saturday evening he would come by my house to get acquainted and we would go to dinner at Appleby's Restaurant and Grill. I had taken lots of care in choosing my outfit and my makeup. Of course I was nervous; I wanted desperately to meet a nice man and have someone special in my life. Ladies you know where I'm coming from! I'm no stranger to this blo subject, and many of you have read similar subjects on my posts before.
So, he was expected to arrive around five that afternoon, and I'd made up the drinks table in my living room with three kinds of liquor, an ice bucket, cocktail glasses and several kinds of mixers. The house was clean, smelt fresh, I looked good and I smelt heavenly. The doorbell rang at four forty-eight. I readied my smile, took a couple of deep fortifying breaths and opened the door to a really good-looking, tall, neatly dressed and friendly looking guy...whose smile faltered immediately when he laid eyes on my girth.
Oh sure he recovered quickly enough but I saw it, and it was no mistaking what I saw. Naturally that dampened the initial excitement, but I was a great hostess so I followed through with my hostessing duties and invited him to have a seat and offered him a drink. He accepted without hesitation and sat alone in one of the matching side by side wing chairs placed across from the sofa. It was a bad choice because I felt obligated to take the other chair beside him instead of sitting across from him on the sofa.
I managed to keep up a steady stream of small talk to which he politely responded but his preoccupation was very evident. I could see he was regretting coming here already. After I had prepared our drinks and poured a small bowl of peanuts, I placed everything on a serving tray. I placed the tray on the coffee table that was located in front of the chairs. I picked up his glass and gave it to him along with a napkin and offered him the bowl of nuts which he declined and so did I.
I sat down in the chair with my drink, and turned a little sideways so I could look at him while we talked. He told me more about his school teacher job, and I told him a little about my job. Finally, we were both finished with our drinks and he suggested that we get going to the restaurant. I agreed and started to get up out of the chair when I realized I was stuck! I forgot that was one reason why I always avoided sitting in these chairs! OMG. I was so embarrassed, I tried to stall a bit by asking him a question. He must have been extremely sensitive to this situation because he asked to use the restroom. I pointed to the hallway and told him where he'd find it.
He could see I was embarrassed and that I needed time to get out of the chair unobserved. As he walked by me I could see the look of pity in his eyes and I wanted to DIE! Just die! But I squirmed around and heaved myself out of the chair and managed to appear as if I wasn't out of breath with the effort when he returned. Ever the gentleman, he escorted me to his car which was thankfully NOT a low bucket seat one, but a pickup truck which had a bench seat and instead of falling in and sinking down in the seat, I climbed in and was able to sit erect and like a lady.
Our conversation actually went well. I guess we both knew that this would be our one and only date and so there was no pressure to further impress each other. We laughed and enjoyed our food, and of course the two extra drinks we had before and with dinner didn't hurt things any. When Gary took me home he helped me out of the truck and when I invited him inside he accepted only to use the restroom before heading back home; which was about a thirty minute drive. He smiled at me and wished me well before taking his leave, but made no effort to kiss me or hug me.
I hadn't expected him to, but the woman in me was still a little disappointed that he didn't try. Right then and there I promised myself that I would lose weight, tone up and take better care of my body. Never again would a man look at me with pity, shock or revulsion because I was huge. Now before you form the opinion that no woman should base her self worth on what others see in her or think of her (you would be spot on if you did) allow me to explain. No one can alter my own opinion of myself or make me feel less self-respect for my physical appearance. But this was the wake-up call that I needed to get moving.
No woman wants to have a man she is attracted to look at her with disgust or any other negative feelings. I know that Gary and I were not meant to be, but who says that the next man I met wouldn't have the same reaction? Or that if I wasn't mindful of my weight I could very well continue to pile on the pounds?
Big or small, short or tall, we have the same basic instinct and desires. We all want to feel desirable and be desired. We want to love ourselves so others can love us back. Big girls need love too.
Footnote: And just for the record...eleven years ago I started on a major diet and lost seventy seven pounds over the course of a year and a half. Some of it has come back, but I am happy to say that forty eight pounds has remained off for all of nine years.