Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dear Chubby Girl

Dear Chubby Girl,

Put your big girl panties on and walk away from that fool.

OK, that's a little harsh, and a little simplistic and possibly a little narrow. But really, maybe it's not. I'm a chubby girl too.  To be fair, 'chubby' is what people say when they want to make terms like overweight and obese sound cuter- whatever, doesn't matter. Whatever you want to call it, I'm that too. But, the title of this letter could easily read a hundred different ways: "Dear shy girl, Dear girl with a big nose, Dear girl with crooked teeth, Dear not- the-brightest girl, Dear girl with a past, Dear fill in the blank with whatever adjective you most fear someone will point out at a party. All of you, put those bloomers on, or if you prefer, your micro-fiber hipster panties- and walk away from the loser (I know, I know, he's not, he's misunderstood, he needs you, he doesn't mean it, he's not always that way, I don't know him like you do, he LOVES you) that keeps telling you that all of the aforementioned titles (chubby, big nose, crooked teeth, less than impressive wit, unmentionable past) are what make you lucky to have his mediocre 'love.'

Now, I recognize that people can grow and change and work through things, and I am not a fan of the ever popular cut and run tactics that most of Hollywood (not to mention the rest of American society) employ in the arena of marriage. Primarily, though, I am not talking to the woman who has weighed the pros and cons and decided to commit to an imperfect man (aren't they all, aren't we all?) for better or worse (what to do then is a topic for another day entirely...), I am talking about the girl who has that irksome feeling, that little voice that's telling her "you don't deserve this, don't keep dating him, don't move in with him, don't marry him" but is tempted to listen to the louder, harsher lying voice (ever notice how people get louder and more emphatic when they're lying? Same goes for the voice inside.) which says "remember, beggars can't be choosers."

 It's true, beggars can't be choosers, (well except for that time when I was walking through the Lexington Ave tunnel on my way to catch the 6 Train and a homeless man asked me for money because he was hungry. I had a fresh, uneaten, sesame-egg bagel with veggie cream cheese- hello, heaven!- folded neatly in a brown paper bag. I offered it to him. I was coming from an evening church service and was feeling all kinds of good samaritan-y. The man, who did not smell quite as fresh as my bagel, refused my love offering, citing "too many carbs". I was pissed, "what the hell?! Too many carbs?! Whatchu on the Atkins' Diet??" Bye Bye good samaritan, hello Xena, defender of NY bagelkind!) Generally speaking though, no, beggars cannot be choosers, but you are not a beggar, at least not a beggar of love from a man who doesn't want to give it freely. If you want to beg, beg grace from the almighty, I won't argue with that. Beg for patience and strength and the grace to be kind to others when it's hard. Beg for peace and acceptance and love for who you who have been made to be, beg for self-control to stop the bad habits and patterns you've fallen into (we all have them) and the perseverance to change into the woman you want to be. But beg a man to stay with you when he's already shown you that he doesn't want to? No. Don't wait for him to leave you (he probably never will- you give him everything and require nothing of him) don't walk on pins and needles trying your best to eliminate all of the things that you think make him uncommitted and uncertain about you, trying not to give him a reason to leave. You choose- choose love, choose life.

Now's the time in this letter for me to tell you all the reasons why you are worth loving and why you should "believe in yourself". But, I'm not going to- maybe I'm not in the mood, or maybe I know that it can't come from  a letter from some stranger  or maybe it's because I've never been good at gentle words of encouragement (kick in the pants being my preferred style). And maybe telling you to put on your big girls panties, and walk away is harsh. Or maybe it's exactly right.

Love and life,
From a friend.

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