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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Overheard at the grocery store........

Toni and I were standing in line waiting to pay for a few things at the small grocery store near our house.
There were a few customers in front of us and a few customers behind us.
It was crazy busy. Space was tight.
We were reading magazines....waiting for our turn.
I happened to be at the point in the line where the soft drink cooler resided.
On top of the cooler was a myriad of bagged snack foods--cheese curls, potato chips, carmel corn.....well, you get the picture.
Behind me, I could hear a soft voice saying "excuse me, excuse me".
When I turned around, I noticed the folks behind me looking annoyed and quite bothered as they tried to shift their carts.
Within a few seconds, I noticed the reason for the commotion---a very heavy young woman was trying to push her way to the cooler and the snacks.
When she finally made her way to where she needed to be--it required me to completely move so she could get into the door of the cooler.
Sheepishly, she looked over at me and without making eye contact she said "I need to get Mountain Dew".
Because I was in such a tight space, I had nowhere to go.
I tried--unsuccessfully---to let her through. I even tried to get to the cooler myself to get the drinks.
It was very obvious that the space was just too tight. And, there was absolutely no way to open the door.
As I tried my best to let her through and she continued to try, I too became quite agitated and annoyed.
I wasn't sure who my angst was directed towards but I am sure she could see it in my face.
I probably had a look of disgust....
No one was moving. I was trapped. Yet, the young woman continued to push against my cart in an effort to squeeze through. Who wouldn't be just a wee bit frustrated? Right?
I felt justified at the moment for being a wee bit bitchy looking.
In order for her to get to the cooler, the entire line would have to back up and I would have to get out of line. On top of that, it didn't seem like anyone was going to accommodate the woman and even more disconcerting---she was not going to stop her quest for her drinks and snacks.
It was quite the conundrum.
Finally, when the customer in front of me began to unload her groceries, I was able to move forward. I let out a big sigh as I did so.
The young woman was able to reach into the cooler to get two Mountain Dews.
Then, with a swift motion, she reached up to the snacks and grabbed three bags of cheese curls.
As she did this, she mumbled to herself....loud enough for us all to hear....."I haven't eaten all day."
She gave me a quick, sheepish smile and then scampered away.

My heart sank.
I looked over at Toni and told her I had to write about that moment on my blog.
Toni didn't quite get the story behind the story.
But, I did.
I knew it all too well.
I remember women like me.
Like me--then.
Like me--now.
Perhaps they weren't thinking I was too fat to eat snacks.
Perhaps they weren't judging me.
Maybe their looks of disgust had nothing to do with my weight.
But I was pretty sure everyone, every nook and cranny of Judiland and beyond--looked at me and said "she's fat".
And I know I felt compelled to explain.
To everyone, everywhere.


Sam said...

I love your posts, you have this marvelous way of capturing a moment in the every day life and link it to very powerful memories.

Offering excuses to complete strangers because I was grabbing something unhealthy is something I found myself doing more than once in my pre-banded life.

I feel for that girl; just I feel for the old me and you. I even talked myself into believing that people were not thinking fat thoughts about me. I grew every adapt at ignoring people so that I couldn't see their looks.

I am still trying to undo that knack that I picked up.

Nawlinz Lady (Dee) said...

I think what finally drove me to Lap Band was my 5yr old granddaughter yelling at after Christmas dinner that she was full & going to be fat like Grandma

Stephanie said...

I don't know how I would have proceeded, hat that been me. I honestly think that weight aside, the only proper thing to do would have been for that girl to wait until there was not a blockade in front of her snacks. Although I am inclined at first to be sympathetic, the fact is that fat or not, her actions were just plain rude. Any embarrasment she caused herself were the result of her own actions...they were only magnified by the fact that she was an overweight person bound and determined to get her food and drinks.

Jo said...

I can honestly say Judi that I would have done the same thing you did. And I have to admit that in my mind I would be thinking "that is exactly what she doesn't need". And after reading your post, I'm wondering why she was in such a hurry because she would have had to pay for it unless she was going to be eating it in line.

I try not to be judgmental about overweight people but you know I was when I was obese too, I guess justifying by saying I was as hard on myself. Not that it didn't stop me from getting unhealthy foods or eating secretly.

Thank you for sharing this post. It's hard not be irritated in that situation, even though you struggle to understand why you were.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

Wow! What a thought provoking post. I remember going to a drive through and ordering a meal and acting like it was for my son. You know, " I think he wants a number 5 " How sad. As an obese person, I know exactly how that girl felt.

Liz - Lizzle - Libby Lou said...

Wow! That story makes me so sad for that chick. Overweight and STRUGGLING to get to the junk food, squeezing past everyone. That is so embarassing. She must've REALLY wanted those snacks. And then feeling the need to explain, I never would've done that before, I think it just brings MORE attention to you. But it makes me sad b/c she was probably lying about not eating all day. :(

Tina said...

Yup...i Saw me too. A few months ago at a gas station road trip stop I bought my first guilt free candy-bar. I said to my husband. This is the first time I actually bought candy without feeling like I was too fat to buy it....such freedom in a little tiny wrapper.