“Fat people who love themselves scare the shit out of people who don’t love themselves. Even fat people who are TRYING to love themselves scare the shit out of people who can’t do the same. We force people to have to look at why they hate their bodies because we are “supposed” to hate ours and we don’t. And sometimes they have no idea what to do with that, so they act like assholes.”—
I am thankful for my best friend’s family. She always supports me, of course, but her husband and children stand behind her and support her as she does so. They give up their time with her so I can have time with her and, more than that even, they actually give me their own time and encouragement, too.
If you believe that Christ is in Christmas, he can only be removed if YOU let him be. If you believe that calling a holiday a holiday is powerful enough to diminish your savior, then being “PC” isn’t the problem: YOUR lack of faith is the problem. Nails and spears didn’t end your savior, so several well-meant wishes of “Happy Holidays” won’t either.
Christmas is only over-commercialized if you make it so. Even if every other person on Earth is out shopping their hearts out and spend-spend-spending, that doesn’t affect the [non]commercialization of YOUR Christmas. How other people celebrate it is their business. If you want Christmas to not be commercialized, don’t commercialize it. Be the miracle you wish to see.
I am at that strange vulnerable place where every casual kindness hurts because it makes me ache to be open to it and yet terrified to be so. Where every good experience finds me fighting back, literally choking back, tears because as good as they are, I am alone in them and terrified I will never have anyone to share them with again at the same time I am terrified I will ever be so open to another person that we will share such experiences, that they will bind us to each other.
I find them on subways reading books I have on my list of Books To Read. I find them at bars dancing more enthusiastically than anyone else; even if they can’t really dance. I find them in line at the grocery store on a Friday night buying cookie dough, milk and that’s it. I find them in the Canadian poetry section of bookstores. I find them at work, having great ideas and wearing seasonal socks. I find them on the internet, creating things that make me wish I had thought of it first.
When I sit beside them, they smile. They’re easy to talk to. Their intelligence surpasses my own. Their vocabulary makes me swoon. Their brilliance with words makes me start to imagine them naked. They make me smile at a frequency I feel is too much for any respectable person, so I bite my lip in an effort to stop. After half an hour in their presence, my lips are sore, and yet I still wouldn’t refuse their kiss.
The way they see the world is very different from the way I see it, and we can share our views and always our eyes get wider. They listen to me. (So very few people actually listen to me.) They make me laugh; I make them laugh. We are at a party and they say something so beyond everyone else’s scope with an ease that makes me lean into them hard. But they do it softly, and gently, so no one feels inferior, instead we all feel better for having heard it. They argue with a grace that moves me. Between their legs. They are collaborative. They are receptive to constructive criticism. They think honesty is the best policy.
They touch me gently in all the right places at all the right times in ways that only make me imagine them touching me roughly in all the right places at all the right times. I mean, they place their hand on the small of my back as I walk through doors in front of them, which makes me think of their hand on the small of my back as I’m on all fours in front of them. They lean in and whisper things in my ear that are completely inappropriate at the absolute worst moments because they know it makes me crazy. They hold my hand like they mean it.
These are the sorts of people I choose as my lovers. You see how so much of what you fret about is non-existent in my process? Believe it’s true for others. And love you how I love you, okay?
In the early 2000s, I worked for Waldenbooks. I’d been hired in by a gentleman who seemed to be a pretty fantastic manager. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to think so. Within a week of my being hired, he was promoted to regional manager and left his staff very much disheartened and also very much at the mercy of his transitioning-to-manager-assistant-manager, Faye. Faye. I shudder, even now, when I say her name.
As I’d only been there a few days, she was the person in charge of my training. Her idea of training was to make me read the entire store manual and to never ever get hands-on experience AT ANYTHING until I learned it all from the manual. Well, that left me about 75% UN-TRAINED on the cash register. Seriously, who learns to use a machine without ever being allowed within a foot of it.
She did not like me. She didn’t hide it well. She under-trained me on purpose.
As the holiday season was approaching, our store opened a calendar kiosk on the lower level of the mall. I was banished to the kiosk, one floor down and one branch of the mall over from the regular store. This suited me just fine because I rarely had to see :shudder: Faye. However, it also meant that I never had to use one of the actual registers from the store—one of the computers, that is. I just used an older model cash-register.
The coming holidays also meant that we had to hire lots of temporary help and suddenly I was no longer the least experienced person working at the store. So…Faye :shudder:…in her infinite wisdom decided that on Black Friday, since I was the most experienced morning worker she had (and not very experienced myself having spent my month of employment there banished to the kiosk), she’d put me IN THE STORE ON THE REGISTER while she did inventory and then had lunch. I was on the floor, by myself, on Black Friday, with no idea how to use the register.
There was a button I could push if I needed help and I pushed it a couple of times—not as many as you’d think, but a couple. Faye, guh, wouldn’t come out and help me. Or, rather, she would, but only after making me and the customers wait for long periods of time. The third time this happened (mind you, I’d been working BY MYSELF from open until after her lunch at this point), I had a line out the door and a customer with a very convoluted problem that would have required me to look through orders made at other locations…something I’d never seen done and had only read about that one time she made me read the manual.
We all waited: some of us more patiently than others. When she finally came out, she was noticeably upset with me for interrupting her lunch. Never mind the fact that I’d had nothing like a break all day. Never mind the fact that the customers were getting the shaft because I was only one person. Never mind the fact that the store was losing money. I couldn’t take it. She’d always been rude but this was the last straw for me. When she finally made it behind the counter, I told her the problem that needed addressing for the customer; I took the name tag from around my neck and handed it to her; I said “I quit” and I walked out the door.
That was so unlike me. I never just quit like that. Normally, I’d have felt guilty but in that moment (and every time I think of it since), I was quite pleased with myself.