“You know”, he said, “I’d date one of you, if you weren’t so over weight.”
Both of us had heard this so many times it wasn’t astonishing in the least. Anything an ounce over a tea cup poodle would have been overweight to Alan.
Alan was our landlord. Alan was also the kind of guy that thought dieting meant HUGE-ENORMOUS-ELEPHANT-BUFFET-SIZED salads. With 9 hard-boiled eggs, and a helicopter to fly in the fire bucket measurement of ranch or Italian dressing. And he would only eat these for a week or so. For every meal. I’d watch him, watching fox news, in the living room, chomping like the horses in the corral outside. All of this jaws-ercize in the hopes that he would, at some point, resemble a svelt, charismatic, David Hassellhoff. It WAS disgusting, but mostly fascinating…He was an enigma. I'd love to ask the Hoff someday, if this is how he actually did it! And then I could tell Alan all about just how right he really was! He never loved hearing anything more.
He was at least 300lbs. With the five head of a Neanderthal and the knuckle dragging tendencies of an ape. He would slouch around the house, lecturing Roxie, (my roommate) and I about the benefits of Chinese water treatments in the morning and political conspiracy theories and natural disasters in the evening.
So, he, the sixties-ish, over fed rabbit man, implies that WE, the twenty somethings, with a considerable amount of MORE options than just him as our leading male counterpart in our futures, are not exactly his ideal mates. Which was appalling, considering that he had even considered, that we had ever considered HIM to be a consideration!
Although I still loathe to admit it, this comment did get under my skin. I was tired of hearing this over grown boy act like he had any notion of what a woman was, or what she looked like, or weighed. It wasn’t my body image I was concerned about so much as his blatant ignorance toward human female emotions and pride. I couldn't just let this one go anymore. I was pissed! And not only was I pissed, I was actually pissed enough to do something about it! I was certain I could kill his ego with kindness.
Other than adopting stray feral cats, Alan also had another weakness. He loved the cream puffs you could get from a bakery less than a mile from our house. They were six for a dollar, and he absolutely could not resist them. Not even one. Not even the smell of one. So, since he’s on one of his salad diets this week, I decide to help him cheat a little bit. I am making it my quest to acquire these kryptonite morsels, and give them to Alan as a gift, all the while screaming, “WHO’S FAT NOW, SALAD SHOOTER?!”, in my head.
I waited a few hours, I wanted him to have enough time to forget our conversation and my annoyance at it. So, I said I was going to rent a movie.
My roommates warned me that it was not wise. They said, “We really hope we never make you angry. You’re not going to DO anything to them, are you?”
“Of course not! Why would I even consider such a thing?” was my steadfast reply.
That would have been a waste of a dollar. I just wanted the satisfaction of knowing he ate them.
I arrive back at the house, fresh baked, cream-filled, biological warfare in hand.
“Hey Alan! I have a present for you!”
He replies with a VERY SUSPICIOUS, “Oh yeah? What?!”
“I got you those cream puffs you said you liked so much! I saw them and thought of you!”
I thought, “Nu huh! This is too easy."
And it was, he sat on the couch, turned on fox news, and ate every single one. No questions asked. As I was watching, all I could envision was the cream and the butter and the sugar attacking his arteries. Their little sugary spears, poking and prodding the poor overworked pancreas. The sticky tartar forming on, and slowly emaciating his molars. The insulin rushing to confront the blaze in the bloodstream. I reveled in the regret he would later feel for breaking his diet. I knew he would most likely be adding on another week, to make up for this ten minutes of fail he’d committed. Ms. Malibu Barbie would have to wait another decade for this chubby little charmer.
Later, he realized what I had done, and tried to offer me some Nestle Marshmallow atrocity he had been storing in the cupboard for eons. I politely declined and stated that I wasn’t a fan of marshmallows.
In the moment, all of this was a grand plan. I was thrilled with how clever and vengeful I was. Don’t get me wrong, there was a few moments where there was a deeply felt, faint hint of shame, but for the most part I was convinced that I was brilliant. I was the catalyst for consequences of which only I would truly be conscious of.
Except that, looking back, I was even more petty than he. I shake my head at my own short sightedness. He called me fat, so I wanted him to stay fat.
I can’t eat cream puffs now, because they make me feel gross. And, I think that’s why. In the midst of not allowing this man to affect me with his words, I led him to affect me with a memory I no longer want of myself, for the rest of my life. I wish I would have just let his words roll off the pudgy wads of the perception of his that was my ever forming back fat.