Saturday, September 8, 2012

Broken Ideals

You know, losing weight didn't make me happy.

It sounds weird to say it, and god knows I get shit for it like you wouldn't believe, or maybe you would.

I lost 87 pounds, or thereabouts. And I wanted to think that I didn't have unrealistic expectations. I never thought I'd be hollywoodesque or suddenly beautiful. But I did think, MAYBE, it wasn't a terrible thing to hope I wouldn't hate myself so much.

But I did, and I begin to think, at 40, that's a trick this old dog isn't going to learn. I don't even know that it's possible for me to stop hating myself.

And on top of that, I ended up with problems; unwanted attention.

See, I used to have this neighbor. Bob.

And Bob was a drunken asshole. I don't think I ever saw the man sober. He lived in the apartment diagonal across the hall from us.

One day, I was outside, talking to one of the other neighborhood moms, while we were waiting for our daughters to get home from first grade - they were allowed to walk home from school, but for most of first grade, Darcy wanted me to be outside, waiting for her. Her dad would walk her over to the school sidewalk and let her go the rest of the way on her own. Small independences.

And Debbie was selling something - Pampered Chef stuff, maybe? I don't remember. I was leaning over the picnic table, looking at the brochure she had.

"Hey!" Bob tapped me. I'd like to say he tapped my shoulder, but he didn't. He stabbed me in the lower back/upper ass with his huge, blunt finger. "You look so hot, leanin' over like that, I took a picture." He shows me on his cell phone, this picture of my ass. He's seriously crowding my personal space and this guy is huge - well over six feet tall and probably a good 280 pounds. Like a linebacker who's been drinking too many beers.

"Um... yeah." I straighten up and move a little, trying to get out of his shadow. I don't like people looming over me. It's 2pm and I can already smell cheap beer and sweat.

The phone in his hand rings. "Oh, yeah, hey, yeah, I know, ain't it great... I just came over to tell her. So, you like that ass, huh?" He looks at me. "I texted the pic to my friend."

You did... what? I laugh uncomfortably and move further away; honestly at this point I'm trying to get Debbie between me and him. She's just as uncomfortable.

"Oh, look, she's laughin'," he says. "It's makin' her tits bounce around." He hands me the phone. "He wants to talk to you."

"Yeah, right. You know, I'm waiting for my seven-year-old daughter to get home from first grade." I give Bob a look, but if it impacts him at all, he completely ignores it. I look away from him and start talking to Debbie. Neither of us look at Bob, or the phone, or acknowledge anything else he says. He eventually wanders away.

A few weeks later, my husband goes off to New Jersey for business for a week. And Bob starts rattling the doorknob to my apartment every time he walks by. If the door's unlocked, he opens it.

I start to feel trapped in my own house. I don't like to go out at night to take out the trash and now I NEVER go all the way down to the mailbox after dark.

Thomas gets home, and I tell him what's been going on. A few days later, Debbie asks us if we can take care of her dog for the afternoon, because she's going to be gone all day. "Sure, no problem." It's not. I don't like dogs, but Debbie's isn't too bad.

We're out walking the dog when Bob rides up, drunkenly, on his bicycle.

"That ain't your dog. Did you steal that dog?"

"I don't see that it's any of your concern," Thomas says, handing the leash over to me. "I'd like you to leave my family alone."

"What, asshole?"

"You heard me." I don't know what Bob hears in Thomas's voice, but what I hear is the keys moving from Thomas's pocket to his hand. I look. He's done the Wolverine thing with his keychain; several keys poke out between his fisted knuckles. "You're harassing my wife. Don't talk to us. Don't talk to her."

Bob jumps off his bike and charges him. Thomas stands there, cool and collected. Bob tops him by a good five inches and at least a hundred pounds. I scramble to get my phone out of my pocket.

Bob ended up backing down, no punches thrown. But I thought I was going to be sick.

For this? I lost weight for this? To be treated like this? To garner this sort of attention?

It wasn't the whole reason; I got frustrated by the slow, creeping gains, the constant hunger and irritability.

But Bob scared the hell out of me.

We reported him to the apartment complex - I have serious trust issues with police, too, and I don't... technically being a douche canoe isn't against the law. And I have no faith that a police officer would take me seriously. The manager told him that he wasn't to speak to us, at all, or they'd evict him. One more complaint and he was out - we weren't the only people in the complex who'd complained about him.

I lost weight for this?

1 comment:

Journo June aka MamaBear said...

Hey, Lynn. I'm trying to get back into my health blogging and searching my reading list for folks that might still be active. (It's a short list!) :-)

YUCK! And no, you didn't lose weight for that. You lost weight for YOU! But it wasn't about losing weight, it's about being healthy. But you know that! It feels so much better to not be out of breath when you climb stairs or take a walk with your husband or your daughter, right?

I'm a big self-protection, gun rights advocate, so my first response would be to get training and a concealed carry license. :-) But I'm guessing the laws are tight in VA? Or maybe that's not your thing, but I'd at least look into carrying mace. What a creep. Hope you are continuing to stay healthy and will pray that Bob moves far away.