Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

"Now THAT's a big girl."

With those words, my evening took a turn from pretty darned enjoyable to just plain shitty.

At first, I didn't really want to write about this, because it exposes me in a way that I'm really not comfortable with. But then I decided to share it as a lesson to all of those people out there who comment on the appearances of others while drinking in a "quiet voice" that the entire world can hear.

After we went for the screening of our movie from the 48-hour film festival, we all went to meet C-Reg and Ship at the Crystal City Restaurant for a little dinner and stripping. You see, C-Reg loves strippers. Don't get me wrong though . . . I've never met anyone straighter than C-Reg. She doesn't want to make out with other chicks or anything like that. I think it has to do with her ability to recognize the athleticism and dedication it takes to be able to be a good stripper. It's not just about being skinny with big boobs . . . it really does require a certain aptitude that most people lack.

Anyway, we were at CCR enjoying the sights, and, naturally, we were surrounded by mostly men. There were your typical strip-club regulars: the military guys, the dirty old men, the rednecks, the biker dudes, and the guys there for a pre-bachelor party (it was a Thursday after all!). The few women there looked like they were dancers themselves who were just hanging out off-duty or possibly paid escorts (for the bachelor and his friends).

Well, I had been holding the urge to pee for half the night for fear of missing something, and I finally couldn't hold it any longer. So I excused myself from the table and walked toward the back where the bathrooms are. To my right, just a short distance from the stage, was a table with three guys. They looked a little worse for the wear. The redneck types that you generally don't see in Northern Virginia . . . at least inside the Beltway. But here there were. And, if you've ever had the pleasure of knowing any rednecks (and I mean REAL rednecks), you know that if they THINK it they SAY it. The are missing that little internal dialog filter that most of us, as members of polite society, rely on to keep us from saying something offensive and cruel.

And then, BAM . . . there it was. "Now THAT's a big girl." It wasn't one of those, "WIDE LOAD COMING THROUGH" comments that are intended to cause emotional pain. It was just an observation. And that made it all the more horrific. Here was this guy with dirty, scraggly hair, bad teeth, and jailhouse tattoos looking down on me based solely on my appearance. Well, that's basically what I just did when I described him, but at least I had the decency not to point out his physical flaws directly to him as he had done to me. But I kept my chin up, went to the restroom, regained my composure, and fought with all my might the urge to go back out there and knock the rest of his yellowed teeth out of his mouth. And I succeeded. After all, I have class.

I went back to my table, sat down in stunned silence, and didn't tell anyone what had happened. And what had been a wonderful evening turned to shit in less than 30 seconds. I sat there for a while before someone finally figured out something was wrong . . . after all, it's not like me to sit in silence for long! And I just let it out. I told them every horrifying detail of what had happened. Even though I was there with some friends from work who I had never really spent a lot of time with outside of the office. Sharing that with them was as utterly degrading as the words themselves. In fact, I think it was worse.

About an hour later, I had to go to the bathroom again. So, as I got up to go, Ship stood. When I looked at him, he told me that he was going to follow me to the bathroom in case they said anything else. Now, Ship and I have been roommates for 7 months, and we've been friends for much longer than that. But I have never felt as close to him as I did at that moment. He wasn't just my friend anymore, he was my brother, the defender of my honor, and my hero.

As I was standing in the shower the next morning, tears pouring down my cheeks as I thought again about what had happened, my mind flashed to the memory of Ship's eyes the night before. They weren't full of rage. And more importantly, they weren't full of pity. They were full of the confidence and righteousness that people have when they are protecting someone they care about, whether that person is a lover, a friend, or a sister. Thanks, Ship. You gave me further proof that every cloud has a silver lining.


Jo said...

Oh, this put a tear in my eye. You're awesome and you should never let a piece of shit like that guy get to you... as difficult as that may be. I love you!

Carrie M said...

this put a tear in my eye too. I know what it feels like, and it's miserable. But the fact that you have friends like that make things a bit better, I hope. Hugs, babe.

Belle said...

I welled up a bit, too. I know exactly how you feel. I'm glad you had someone there to support you and that you recognize the importance of that.

Anonymous said...

Im soo sorry !People can be so stupid !I heard a lot of crap during my entire life,and it hurts of course...I wish that i can have magical words to make you feel better.Just know that you are loved by your friends and as you wrote me once you are not alone. =)
I missed your posts young lady !!

Helen Skor said...

Thanks, girls. I usually don't let being overweight get me down. After all, I am more sure of myself now than I ever was when I was a skinny little thing back in high school. But every once in a while, someone will make a comment or give me a look that utterly destroys me. But don't worry . . . I bounce back pretty well most of the time! Usually by saying things like, "Oh, yeah? Well you're ugly, and at least I can lose weight."

sunchaser said...

Don't ya just love the south?! Rednecks... gotta hate 'em!

But you've got the right attitude here: "Well you're ugly, and at least I can lose weight."

And don't forget brainless and asinine! :)

ADW said...

It doesn't matter what you look like, those guys were total douchebags. You do have class - a lot more than I do. I would have started a brawl over something like that. I like your roommate - guys like that are rare, so kudos for him.

OOOhhh I bet they had mullets and bad teeth and BO. Blech - guys are such dumb fucks,