Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Deli Counter: Confessions of a Fat Girl

The story you're about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the jerks. Today, on Fatnet...

On Sunday I went to the grocery store; I needed some stuff for breakfasts and lunches during the week. My first stop was the deli counter--there was no line, so I wanted to go there first. I ordered some thinly sliced country ham. The idea was I’d get slices of country ham and put them on whole wheat biscuits.

As I was putting in my order, a woman walked up behind me. “Country ham? I didn’t know you could order that from the deli counter!” she said, pleasantly enough. “Oh yeah, I didn’t either for a while! But I love to put it on biscuits for breakfast.” Then there was a pause. The lady behind the counter actually stopped loading the ham into the slicer. The Deli Lady and the Customer Woman exchanged a quick look and the looked back at me. And then this happened:

Please picture Deli Lady like this:

Please picture Customer Woman like this:

Please picture me like this:

Deli Lady: Baby, you don’t eat that every morning do you?
Me: Oh no, I--
Customer Woman: Because that is really unhealthy. There are definitely better things to eat for breakfast.
Me: I know, but it’s a great source of protein, and I--
DL: You don’t have blood pressure problems, do you, hon?
Me: No, I’m lucky in that respect! But I only eat it--
CW: Well that’s not too far away. You’re lucky that you’re young. If you don’t eat healthier you could end up with any number of problems. High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer--
Me *in a rush*: That’s why I put them on whole wheat biscuits and have Greek yogurt and fruit with it. It’s a balanced breakfast.
DL: Do you want me to cut you off a slice of turkey? See if you like that better?
Me: Well I am also going to get some of the Boar’s Head cracked pepper turkey for lunches.
CW: There’s so much salt in deli meat. You could definitely have a nice, filling lunch if you did a salad with some grilled chicken. Depending on the dressing, there’s no salt in that.
DL: Oh, I love grill chicken salads! They are so good!
Me *dully*: I’ll have to make that some time soon.
DL and CW exchange a final look that clearly said, ‘We did our best...’ before DL continued slicing up my ham and CW went back to browsing the deli counter.

As I walked away, I could tell they were both watching me. And I felt so awkward. Of course they meant well enough, but really, they had been so rude.

I have been in similar situations before and I have handled myself in such a classy and beautiful way that the people didn’t realize I’d put them in their place until I was already walking away.

But then this was also sort of different. These weren't my peers. These were older women. I remember I had this one client who saw me doing something in what I felt was a highly efficient manner, but she felt differently. “Your attempts at efficiency are nothing but poorly disguised laziness. And if you don’t stop being so lazy, you’re going to die young. You need to make a change in your life. I’m 45 years old and do a lot more physical activity than you do, clearly, and that’s disgraceful.” Obviously she was no longer talking about how I was moving the copy paper. She was older than me, a client, and essentially in a position of power, because one word could have had me fired in an instant. (Long live the at-will hiring in this, our fair Commonwealth! *eyeroll*) But in that situation I needed the job.

In this situation I just needed… ham. I dunno. Ham’s pretty important though, right?

I know what some people going to say. "Jess, why didn't you go to the manager or tell them to get stuffed?!" Well the simple answer is this: In my mind, arguing with them or telling where they could shove their grilled chicken salads didn't seem worth it. They weren't going to change their behavior and it would only leave me looking like that angry fat person who wanted ALL THE HAM. And personally, I'd rather be irritated about it initially and then write a funny blog post about it later. And eat my ham biscuits. (Do you get how delicious these things are???)

Sometimes it seems as though people think I have no idea that I'm fat; that it's going to come as a shock and surprise to me. Sometimes I really want to turn around and be like, "Omg, where did all of this ass come from?!?!"

Seriously folks, I know what a salad is. I don't need your assistance in nutrition, and if I do, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to solicit the advice from the people at the deli counter.

Whatever. I ate my ham biscuits this morning and they were delicious. Those women don’t know what they’re missing. I bet they eat muesli or drink kale for breakfast or something. And that's why ultimately, I pity them.

1 comment:

  1. Good GOD. I should never, ever be surprised at what people will say, but I always am fricking GOBSMACKED at stuff like that. Oh, my dear BabyBear - you made me laugh ("ALL THE HAM") and sniffle and get very, very riled up. And YES, what is deal with people thinking that if only they TELL you, you'll realize that you are fat and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Gah. Love you so, so MUTT, my sweet child!