Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mom said they read my comment with no commentary. My biggest fear was that they would take parts of it out of context, or say something snarky about it. By eight o'clock they hadn't read it and I wanted to get to the pool. I knew I could hear it on the internet, which I did after my swim. He didn't read the whole comment but he did read it well, gracefully smoothing a place where I'd dropped a word and he pronounced my name correctly. I must say, that was pretty cool.
If my biggest fear was that he would say something snarky, my biggest hope was that he would imply that I'd given him food for thought. It all feels so fraught sometimes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A few days ago I mentioned posting a comment on a piece by Scott Simon. Today I got email from a producer for the show. They want to read my comment on the air. I'm torn between being happy and being completely freaked. Freaked because I don't know if they will read the whole comment or just part of it. If only part, which part? And to what end?
Needless to say ... I will be listening this weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Theoretically this will post directly to Facebook because I hooked up Twitterfeed. (Thank you Willa.) It might not work and the post may show up twice because of the other hook up I have. Hopefully I'll get it together.
I'm not sure why I care. It's not like I'm doing any particularly compelling writing. I'm pushing myself to do some. I'm pushing to do some every day.
It's funny but linking to Facebook feels more public than blogging ever did. That has something to do with my love of great conversation and how one sided a blogged conversation can feel. A blog is really a monologue but I always wanted to think of it as more of a letter. Comments are the reply. You can't see some one's face when they read your blog. You write and then you wait. It's better if you write with no thought about the reply. But. You know.
And it has something to do with how many of my friends have found me on Facebook. Friends from almost every phase of my life. I feel oddly shy. Or something.
Talking used to be the way I processed. I loved talking. In the last ten years that has become less and less true. Writing took over to some extent but I can barely write email now.
So this is a push.
I met a woman on my commute. It's interesting because we've lived a block and a half away from each other for years. We went to the same place to get our hair cut. We have the same favorite restaurant. The minute we began to talk we connected. It was great fun to talk and talk. We share the same polling place. She drove to work on the day we both voted for Barak. That was fun.
It wasn't that we agreed about everything. One day she began to talk about blogging and how odd she found it. Why would anyone want to write about their life in a public format and why would anyone want to read that kind of thing.
I have never had an answer to the first question but I have always loved reading personal blogs. I don't think I've ever been able to clearly articulate why and I'm not even going to try now. I'm just going to check for spelling and grammar errors ( inevitably miss a few) and click on publish.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There will be a debate on Nightline titled: is it OK to be fat? You can watch it here. It took me all day to get through it because of the rage that would well up. I had to keep taking breaks. It was previewed on GMA.
The rage was mostly triggered by one of the woman saying it was not OK. I saw her on CNN the other day and Paul Campos wrote a bit about her in which he linked more info. I can barely control my rage when she speaks. One of her more notable comments was to quote a study that said fat people's brains are smaller.
But the sad truth is that the women speaking for size acceptance didn't totally work for me. They got stronger as the debate went on but there was so much I wished they were saying. I'm sure the pressures of television are intense and I don't know that I could have done any better. Rage makes me stutter.
The debate was badly framed. If someone asked me if it was OK to be fat all I could say would be - it's all right with me. There was more than one question in the actual debate mostly having to do with health. There was full agreement that healthy food choices and exercise are a good thing. The point of departure begins with the assumption that those two things always create weight loss, or weight control. And that they are never employed by fat people.
I get frustrated with these conversations because it seems hard for fat activists to say that being fat might cause health issues. I know that it does. I also know that thin people who crap food and don't exercise have many of the issues being blamed on being fat. And fat people who eat better food and exercise moderately are healthier than those thin people with the crap food and lack of movement. The people who say that being fat can never be healthy remind me of that old saying: when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
The only way I will get good health care is when my doctor is size neutral. I need to be able to walk in to the doctor's office knowing that my weight won't be blamed for everything. I never object when it's mentioned as a part of the things going on with my health. I only object when it's the beginning, middle and end of the discussion.
And I get frustrated when the question of discrimination isn't confronted clearly and with vigor.
I think the show I linked to will be edited for tonight's broadcast. I won't be watching. I need to take a few deep breaths and calm myself.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I linked a piece from Kevin in which he was saying he didn't want to talk about the Southwest thing anymore. He has written more.
The whole thing seemed to have died down on the news but then Saturday I heard Scott Simon talking about it.
I like Mr. Simon well enough but there were so many things in what he said that bugged me. He doesn't want to be behind a fat person in an evacuation. I suspect he doesn't want to be behind a disabled person either. Would he feel so free to say so? He infers the only exercise Kevin gets is walking through airports. Might be true but it's an assumption none the less.
Paul linked an article in which the comments seem to be more worked up about about the bad journalism than they do Kevin. I actually smiled.
I am increasingly sympathetic to Kevin. He is saying he is fat but not that fat. I am that fat. He isn't really speaking for me. But he is beginning to understand the hate in my world.
It's hard to stop talking about it. It's a situation that feels unjust.
I liked what April wrote. She talked about the failures of the system.
I left a comment on the Scott Simon piece, which I ended with this:
Kevin says he feels much of his humanity had been stripped away as people discuss him as a concept and not a person. I am a fat woman who wants the fullness of my humanity to be reflected upon as often as the size of my ass is hated. Kevin just wants this airline to articulate a more consistent way of enforcing their policy instead of offering disingenuous apologies and chump change.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Once when Mom and I were shopping she decided to get some tangerines. These tangerines had leaves on the stems, which she started pulling off. I asked her to stop.
This is a difference between Mom and I. The tangerines will sit on my kitchen table for the week in a blue bowl. I will enjoy the smell of them and I will enjoy the orange and blue colors together. The leaves add an element of beauty. For Mom they were just garbage to be torn off. Why not do it there at the store and let them deal with it? I tried to explain to her why I wanted them but she didn't get it.
I understand her. She's a no nonsense, down to earth pragmatic woman. She was buying food to be eaten, not art.
I remembered it tonight when I was picking out tangerines for the week, purposefully looking for the ones with leaves. Beauty is transient. One by one the tangerines will be eaten. The leaves will indeed end up in the garbage. But all of my senses will be fed until they are gone.