Monday, June 25, 2001

Newsflash - I'm not, that's not a baby in my belly, that's just my belly.

All my life I have been overweight. It's just been something I've dealt with. I've been very lucky though to be a somewhat active human, and aside from carrying about 80 pounds more than my frame should have on it, I'm a healthy person.

All that aside though, I've gotta drop some weight.

I get asked about once a month when my baby is due. I'm rather rotund right in front, right where a baby would naturally LOOK like he or she is hanging out counting down to their birth-day. I kind of smile and say "oh, I'm just fat. Not pregnant" or if it's a complete stranger, I say "What baby?" and watch them turn white with shock and shame. It's a great effect. I've always had a sick sense of humor, and love turning that on people.

A friend of mine got mad once when I told her that people ask me if I'm pregnant, or any other baby-related questions. She thinks people have "some nerve" and it disgusts her that if a woman is overweight that someone should have the gaul to ask such a question without THINKING about it first.

I told her it actually makes me feel pretty good. After all, to BE pregnant one must have sex, which means that these people have jumped to the conclusion that I "get my party on" heh, heh, heh, nudge nudge, and am not so ugly that I CAN'T find someone with whom I can play hide the salami. And it also implies they still find me YOUNG enough in appearance to actually be of child bearing years.

One of the problems is I have small boobs. I wear about a B cup in whatever diameter size I happen to be at that time, right now it's between a 38 and a 40. B cups are small... considering when I'm skinny I'm an A cup I actually give thanks for these. I think if I were proportionally balanced with a C or (gasp) a D cup, I'd look normal. Fat, but blessed.

So with the tiny boobs and the larger than normal belly area, yes, I do honestly look about 7 months pregnant. So the questions come, the glances as people pass me... and I know what the pedestrian coming the other direction thinks ("Is she or isn't she?" "Should I ask?")... People are more polite to me, they hold doors and they smile that knowing smile, as they help out a woman "in that condition." And I know they are doing that because they think there's a load in there that I'm schleping around...

My husband has jokingly suggested that I ought to take advantage of that knee-jerk human reaction to be kind to the prego lady... but I can't. Well, a large part of me can't. God is watching (grin).

When I was in college I weighed about 170lbs. It was my freshman year, and I'd give anything to weigh that again. Well not anything, I don't wish to lose weight from cancer and related treatments or anything. I'm just sayin'.

I had a roommate who wasn't quite so bright. Her name was Mary. She went to the store one day at the beginning of the school year. The college had van runs to a local mall so that resident students without cars could go shopping, and get off campus and see the "real world" once in a while. Mary came home with about 7,000 dollars worth of merchandise from a store called "Ann & Hope" which is a step down from say a Sears, and barely an inch up from "Everything for a Buck." She bought some very interesting things. And she insisted on showing our other roommate Bonnie and me EVERY item she'd acquired.

First, a bottle of "Silver Fox" shampoo. "Uh, Mary," I commented, "I've seen commercials for that, and I think that's old lady shampoo." Sure enough, I read the label and discovered that it was custom designed for hair that had seen many moons, many summers... grey hair, which needs extra assistance in gaining that youthful sheen and glow. "Why'd you buy shampoo for hair over 50?" I asked, trying not to laugh in her face.

"I like the bottle," was young, naive Mary's reply. Whatever makes ya happy, Mare.

She went on to show us more stuff, and was especially psyched (inordinately psyched) to show us her new underwear. Purchased in a packet of 6, the panties were folded together around a sheet of cardboard, wrapped in plastic shrink-wrap. Mary gleefully tore into the package. I see her clear as day in front of me as this happens...

She unfolds one side of the underpants, and that one side extends about 10 inches off her lap. There is dead silence in the room, I hear Bonnie's stomach hit the soles of her feet. Mary then painstakingly, slowly, slowly, opens the OTHER side of the underpants, and holds one large tent-like ass covering piece of cloth and elastic pair up in front of her face. They seemed incredibly large, frighteningly large, like the mylar dome over the hockey rink large.

We were silent for a minute as she gape-mouth stared at the underwear, which was large enough to host a small family of mexicans as they hid out in the desert trying to cross into the United States.

"Holy Crap, Mary, what the hell size underwear did you BUY!" I stammered.

"Size 10. I got size 10 underpants."

Now, I'm not a woman of the world, I'm not a fashion connoisseur, but I do have a clue. Bonnie starts laughing herself sick as her stomach has now bounced back and hit her esophagus. She's falling out of her chair onto the floor, and incredulously I ask Mary, still staring at her under pant tent thing, "What were you thinking? I mean, I am a fat lard ass and I wear size 7 underwear. What would make you buy size 10 underpants. I mean, you MAYBE wear a size 5."

The answer made perfect sense.

"It's the same size I wear in pants." Size 10. She wore size 10 pants, and presumed that lingere and pants/skirts/shirts ran on the same sizing scheme.

Oh, to be young, 18 and completely naive again. At the time, I looked at those underpants unfolding across her lap like the cloth Betsey Ross used to make our nations first multi-colored banner. I said to myself, "Damn, them's big panties."

And now I look at my own and say "Damn, these is big panties."

Nearly 20 years ago I never dreamed I'd be wearing size 8 or 9 underpants, but suffice it to say, it's only one step away from size 10. And I'm not going to ever wear those. At least I didn't buy size 18 underpants, the same size I wear in pants.

I know Sir Mix-a-lot would love me. I hear he likes big butts and can't deny it. But the big butt is overshadowed by the big gut... and that's all gotta change. Hopefully I can see to that before my next trip out for Hanes-Her-Ways.

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