because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Thin and Fat of it All.


(I've made the New Year Honours List!) 

"Pardon me," a Scottish-accented woman with wild blonde hair breathlessly intoned over the top of my head. "But you've got the price tag sticking out of your trousers".

She wasn't talking to me. My lack of height meant that it was with ease she could address the woman in front of me in the queue for passport control, and that the two of them could conduct a lengthy conversation about the embarrassment of said label-sticking-out-ness and the trials and tribulations of general womanhood and the speed at which we were all definitely not being processed out of the United Kingdom and crikey, it wouldn't come as much of a shock if the flights were delayed, what with the wind outside and everything, would it?

I could hear all of this even over the waves of crescendo in Act 1 of Bizet's 'Carmen' through my discreet white wires, and so obligingly- and, to my shame, fraudulently- did the smiles and nods that comes with forging camaraderie with strangers. You see, I knew that this woman had her label sticking out. And I didn't say anything.

In crimes against Other Woman this is the equivalent of selfishly eating your last Rolo instead of popping it into the mouth of your beloved as the Last Romantic Gesture. It is like refusing to acknowledge the old lady behind you at the checkout, with her ten pack of cat food and bottle of whisky, so that you don't have to feel bad about making her wait for the slow and painful minutes it takes you to unload your bulging trolley before realising you've forgotten loo roll, and then holding her up even longer whilst you dash to go and grab some, not forgetting to also pick up some fruit tea and a box of man-sized extra soft tissues from the 'Special Offer!' stand on the way back.

Not telling this woman that her £20 trousers were waving their sizing to the whole airport is like forgetting to tell a vegetarian that you used chicken stock in the soup. It quite simply doesn't do.

I had stood for a full ten minutes smugly eying up the white piece of card peaking above the waistline of her GAP, pin-striped, wide-legged, grey, wool trousers and made a fully-debated and conscious decision NOT to inform the woman of her fashion misfortune purely because the tag on her post-Christmas sale bargain said 'UK SIZE 6'.

I am not proud of myself, most certainly not with the vision of hindsight, but it is what I did. Or rather, didn't do. Hating somebody because they have thighs that do not meet at the top does not a nice girl make. It did feel good though. That is, until they sat me next to a rather large French woman on the flight, whom had a bit of a habit of spitting as she rolled her "r's". Her chubby elbows dug into my ribs for an hour and a half before her husband ran over my toes with a luggage trolley at baggage handling even after I thought I had made my Great Escape.

I noticed, Skinny Lady, that you were sat beside an empty seat and had the foresight to bring carry-on only. I can't help but wonder... do good things happen to thin women because they are thin? Or are they thin because of the serotonin that comes with being happy, and thus the good things happen? Skinny Lady, would you have tapped me politely on the shoulder and pointed out that my 'UK SIZE 14' label was poking out of my muffin top? I think you most probably would have done, and I would have gratefully muttered a, "Oh. Gosh, how embarrassing. Thank you," and you would have smiled disarmingly and said, "I know I'd want somebody to tell me if my label were sticking out, we gals have got to help each other out, haven't we?" and I would have nodded sagely and all of my possible humiliation would have been avoided.

But that didn't happen. I let you carry on suffering unknowingly. So my New Year Resolution? To always tell the size six woman in front of me that her label is sticking out, the skinny cow. She'd tell me.
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