I was recently called fat. Not just ordinarily fat, mind you. But professionally, personally, and absolutely it’s-not-me-it’s-you-porky fat. You see, about a week ago I was called fat by another fat guy.
It wasn’t news. Over the past several months of economic H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, as I’ve struggled to gig enough to keep a roof over me and my cat’s collective head, I’ve found a fulfilling–if ultimately humiliating–way to deal with the stress of an unknown financial future.
I’ve rediscovered my childhood comfort food (again), and taken advantage of it at every affordable opportunity. Butterfingers? Mallowmars? Hormel corned beef hash? Pop Tarts straight out of the box? How I’ve missed you so. I can’t tell you how much relinquishing myself into carb and sugar whore-dom over you have brought me peace of mind these past few months.
Sure, with each passing plate I was becoming progressively winded walking up the ‘L’ stairs at State/Lake and tugging a little tighter on my $19 Old Navy allegedly leather belt. But I’ve been here before. I figured as soon as warm weather hit I’d be walking everywhere anyway and it would all even out, so why worry?
It’s not like it was going to impact my love life. Dumped or not, for the past 24 years, I’ve happily dated one type of guy and they’ve gravitated towards me: husky ones. I’ve never been a card-carrying member of the so-called gay bear community, but I’ve certainly dated my way through its ranks.
So imagine my surprise surfing through Bear411 last Sunday when one of them said to me, “Dude, change your picture. You’re fatter than that!”
Truth be told, I am about five pounds fatter than my headshot, but it’s not the rotund picture this guy was painting.
“When we met you had three chins! I thought you were more honest than that on here.”
I didn’t bother to fight the urge not to tell him that when we had met in person a few weeks before I found it hard to believe he was sober or had recently bathed, and he didn’t respond back after that. But considering the source or not, the exchange was instructive.
I don’t think of myself as any larger or smaller than the average Chicagoan. Chicago locals reading this may think that was my first mistake. Still, hearing those words was enough to make me get on my scale again–and that was enough to make me realize that it’s time to get on Marina City’s treadmills again.
Not because I think crackhead-boy is correct in his appraisal of my waistline. But I’d like to get things in check before the sober among my dating pool start snickering. After all, I’m still groping towards economic solvency. Right now, I’d prefer my dates buy me dinner.
Not offer me a free day at their health club.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.