By Amanda Flanigan
The other night, my husband and I went to a Halloween party thrown by his boss. This is the first Halloween party I have been to in over 10 years and it was fun to get out and mingle. It was an '80s theme and my husband went as He-Man and I as a Ghostbuster. There were about 20 to 25 people present and I only knew about 6 of them there. There was the usual chitchat, dancing, drinking, eating, picture taking and laughing.
As the hours went by, some of the guests began to depart for their comfy beds, leaving about 10 people (not including Mike and I) left. I decided to take a break from dancing and set down on the chair in the living room to drink some Dr. Pepper and cool down. I was joined by the host’s wife and three of her friends who all piled onto the couch to look at pictures they took with their digital camera. I was sitting only a few feet away.
I’m fat. This is something that I have dealt with since I was in the 5th grade and -- despite what people seem to think -- I know I am fat. I see myself in the mirror everyday and am not under any delusions as to my appearance. I am also not photogenic at all and have a horrible, horrible double chin.
Anyway, while the girls were going through the pictures they started giggling uncontrollably whispering (which wasn't so much as whispering because I could clearly here them), “Oh my god, she doesn't have a neck!” One of them ask who they were referring to and the other girls clearly motioned toward me while giggling. This conversation about me continued for several minutes while I sat only a few feet away hearing every word.
Now, I am the first person to make fun of myself and I try not to take myself too seriously. It has been a defense mechanism of mine for a very long time. I figured that if I made fun of myself first, it takes away the power from those who want to make comments maliciously to try to hurt me. And if they would have included me in the conversation, I would have laughed right along with them making comments about how I can turn into a thumb just by shifting my head downward. But no, these grown women, some with children of their own, decided that they would ignore me and then laugh about my no neck, double chin, fatness.
At 33 years of age, I still experience the mean girls. I honestly thought these types of incidents would end when I graduated high school. Never once did I think that other woman who themselves are overweight would ridicule me without even actually knowing me. At first, I was upset. How could I not be? I was so excited about going to this party and didn't think I would get made fun of. But as the night went on and we finally went home, I started to feel sorry for these women. What is missing in their lives that they would make fun of someone they just met based solely on a bad picture? That they would ignore that person even after her multiple attempts to befriend them.
I just hope that they themselves never experience the uncomfortable or ugliness that they showed toward me during that short exchange.
Manda began her writing career in 2007 writing for various online companies. She spends her time as a cat loving geek and mother to a teenager daughter. You can find more of her work at http://offwithherhead.org and of course here at I Feel Delicious!