Saturday, July 23, 2011

Garden Party

It was a Garden Party. There they were dressed in pastel hats, white gloves, flowery, silk dresses, looking the iconic picture of sweetness and light, like airy, Meringue confections and smiling, smiling, smiling. No one, least of all me, would ever have anticipated that they had tucked away mud balls under their shawls, secreted slime chuckers in their purses, stuffed poisoned vials in their gloves and strapped knives to their thighs. My entire body was a bulls eye. And after my begriming and besmirching, I, the baited vixen, would be poisoned, sliced and dispatched. A get-to-gether to look forward to...better than a live cremation.

This was retribution for my sacrilege of being thinner, looking more attractive, appearing younger than they. Would I have behaved any differently if I had been the one watching a reformed obeser, formerly over 100 pounds, put small portions of food on her plate? Would I have forgiven this same someone who used to eat buttered Italian bread and salad as she slopped down her margarita, then swallowed the  mountain of penne a la vodka (if taken home consumed later that evening) and after, a dessert? Would I have sat with more food on my plate as the former obeser picked daintily around the breaded entree and shoved the croutons on the salad to the side? HELL, YES! Especially if I had followed her successful weight loss over a period of two years and she looked healthy and wasn't fainting dead from starvation! I would have been thrilled for her! I understand what it is like to face the utter terrorism and torture of losing weight slowly. And I easily give credit, a lot of credit to someone who has worked hard to deserve it.

But I'm different! Others move out of a different aura. So every time I found myself eating with these ladies, this was THEIR chance. This was their garden party and though I was invited, I was the special treat for the evening (symbolically translated to every time I ate with others who had grown to despise my success, they made me suffer for it). So here is the HOW TO on slime attacks, mud throwing, slicing and poisoning any of your now "skinny" but once marvelously fat and unhealthy "friends," who you loved being around because their obesity made you feel soooooo pretty and superior.

STEP ONE:  Nullify the former obeser's weight loss success. Typical useful comments:

1. "Oh, My, God. How thin you've gotten!" (Say horrified with fear and panic like the "skinniness" is a disease.)
2. " What happened? Are you OK? Did you intentionally lose weight or are you on chemo?? (Say with grave concern.)
3. "She's soooo skinny!"  (Scream in a high pitched voice that just falls short of bitterness. The "she" will suck out the obeser's identity and humanity, signaling mistreatment and subtle abuse are legitimate.)
4. "Hey skinny! You're wasting away to nothing. Don't you eat?"  (Drip bile and sarcasm, indicating you disapprove of what she's doing and reject her.)
5. "Carole is here? Where is she. She's disappeared!" (Say in a mocking tone to ridicule, especially do this with a public forum.)

STEP TWO:  Ignore the weight loss, success and great achievement.

1. Say more by omission. Never compliment or tell the former obeser how good she looks. That way other's skinny comments make her think there IS something wrong; there is no positive validation.
2. Say nothing if a man compliments the former obeser. Ignore and change the subject quickly.
3. Behind the obeser's back commiserate with friends/colleagues how former obeser has severe emotional issues and if an intervention doesn't happen, she will end up very sick physically. This preps them to step up the barrage the next time.
4. Take authority over the former obeser's weight loss so that you divert attention from her to you and soften the horror of how good she looks. When she arrives, put your arm around her, lead her to the others standing around and then make her "turn around," and "show her off," telling others "look at her," without actually saying anything complimentary...the effect will cause the former obeser's embarrassment and the self-satisfaction shifts to YOU, the one assuming authority for the "show."

STEP THREE:  Comment vociferously to get the former obeser to eat more than you! If it doesn't work increase intensity and get angry, if necessary.

1. "That's all you're eating?"  (Say in a shocked and horrified tone.)
2. "She eats nothing." (Say with disdain at her inferiority. Suck out her humanity and identity with the "she" objectification.)
3. "She just pushes around the food on her plate."  (Say this in an angry tone as if the former obeser  is insane and needs a psychiatrist. Make sure to continue nullifying her identify with the "she" instead of her name.)
4. "Eat it. You're being  ridiculous, now. Stop it. It's just a little piece." (Say this with fury, as you put a slice of pie, a brownie or other dessert on the former obeser's plate, or for that matter anything you know is not in the former obeser's lifestyle food plan. Make sure to continue to ignore what the former obeser does and doesn't eat. It should all be the same to you.)
5. "You're not eating anything." (There is food on her plate, just small portions.) "I don't get it; you're going to get sick if you continue this way!" (Say this with the complete assurance that you know the former obeser will be seeing a doctor for malnutrition by next week.)
6. "I've watched her. She'll take one tiny tomato and two string beans and a forkful of mushrooms and that's it!" (Say this with scorn as if the former obeser has committed a complete disgrace and has wounded your gracious hospitality.)
7. "You never eat! I've watched you!" (Say this with complete condemnation as you ignore the salad and vegetables on the former obeser's plate.)
8. "Are you going to continue this way forever? You're just going to order like this? I thought you were going to stop?" (Act very disappointed and upset, encouraging the former obeser to order anything not on her lifestyle food plan. Make sure you ignore her obvious plan though you have been eating with her and she makes the same nutritious selections time and time again, never selecting the high caloric entrees, desserts and drinks.) 
9. "I am so glad she is eating!" (Say this piling the former obeser's plate high with food. When she doesn't eat it, be annoyed and affronted making one of the comments related to "She doesn't eat," or something to that effect acting very wounded and affronted at the former obeser's obvious rudeness in not eating what you put on her plate. Make sure to ignore her when she discusses gluten allergies, oil allergies, all allergies; comment on her "not eating." Then later on, question her directly, asking how come, "all of a sudden" she found out about her allergies. Don't listen to her answer; you know she is lying and is an anorexic. You are convinced because you have a hell of a time losing weight. Why should she be successful and not you?)

STEP FOUR:  Frontal Attack. (Say any of these comments with annoyance, anger or knowing confidence.)

1. "You look old. If you lose more weight your skin will hang even more; you won't look good. You need to gain weight."
2. "You look pale. You've lost too much; you don't look good."
3. "Have you gone to a doctor for a check up? You need to get a physical. You are not well, obviously."
4. "You don't eat...there's something wrong. You're becoming anorexic."
5. "Now, this weight loss is ridiculous. It's enough now, Carole. Stop it.  (Say this with anger.)
6. "Carole, you don't want to lose any more weight do you? Please. When you're your age, your face looks drawn and haggard. You don't want to look old, do you? You can't lose too much weight."
7. "I'm very CONCERNED ABOUT YOU and what you are doing." (Ignore the fact that you encouraged her to eat a lot when she was obese, despite her obviously unhealthy weight that made her a candidate for diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and other weight related diseases.)
8. "Why have you gone so thin?"  (Question her whole rationale for weight loss, ignoring the fact that you knew she was a candidate for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure.)

The more public the Garden Party, the greater the intention to get the former obeser, me, if not to stop losing weight (too late for that) to obliterate the effects of my improved appearance...denying the chance for men, especially, to comment positively. But regardless, unintentionally, I rocked certain women's once secure worlds.

I laugh at the irony that on a number of occasions, one woman would remark positively on another friend's appearance (ignoring mine) despite there being no dramatic improvement or change. For example, one time she said, "Well, you know, a husband wants his beautiful wife such as yourself, to keep herself up. I realized later that she said this to mollify the "beautiful wife" because she (wife) was feeling punk thinking that I looked better than she; she needed confirmation she looked beautiful. The irony was it didn't help because she, herself, was so unhappy at my weight loss and appearance, she felt unattractive next to me. (It was not my intention to make her feel badly, believe me; I just wanted to be healthy.) If she had felt beautiful, my weight loss wouldn't have mattered. Obviously, she had always felt unattractive, and still did despite her surgery, fillers, maintenance upkeep, spending thousands more than I ever did on such things. My weight loss set in motion the "Mirror, mirror on the wall," syndrome and she was reeling in dejection, uncovering her true feelings about herself. She had been living a lie.

Well, what has this journey taught me about Garden Parties? First, I avoid eating toxic, that relates to food and company. If I am in such company, I have my comments prepared and come to lay siege to all who oppose me, bringing a howitzer to a knife fight and myriad antidotes to counter any poisoning attempts. It's the kindest way for putting fools out of their misery. And through it all I smile, and smile and smile, knowing my success has turned a world upside down. Mine! I can do nothing for the offended others. After all, like Ricky Nelson's song refrains, "You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."

Ricky Nelson, in my book you are forever young. Thanks for the eternal wisdom about Garden Parties.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, I could write a similar post on the creative and subversive attacks made against me as I recovered from anorexia. The sly, morbidly interested people who would comment with shrouded disdain and false concern - those who would ask my parents how much I'd lost simply out of sick curiosity, those who would try to stuff my face, those who ignored me, those who tried to eat less than me, those who chose to eat carelessly to "prove" to me that food was OK and I was stupid and wrong for what I was doing. I think they meant well.

Carole Di Tosti said...

Yes, I do think we have experienced something similar and it's so unusual other's reactions...maybe it all happened for a reason...the Glory of God? Our development in Him? To help others? I don't know...yet. But I have a lovely feeling we will both find out and in our current bodies! ;-)
Thanks for sharing. Have been thinking about busy, but want to investigate the website you sent me and will about Christian writing. Hopefully this week I will. When is it again? Are you definitely doing it?