It Sucks.

Earlier this week an episode of the FX comedy Louie aired entitled “So Did the Fat Lady.” The episode focused on a waitress at the Comedy Cellar, Vanessa, who asks Louie out after his stand up set on a few different occasions. Without explanation, he turns her down. It isn’t until she gives him Bruins/Rangers playoff tickets with the promise she can’t attend that he asks her to go for coffee. To be very clear for Louie’s sake this was NOT a date.

The episode ends with an epic monologue delivered by Vanessa (played by the brilliant Sarah Baker).  I’ve watched that monologue again and again.  I’ve read it and re-read it.
 
I cannot stop thinking about it.
 

Vanessa off-handedly says she’s fat and Louie immediately replies, in a slightly patronizing tone “You’re not faaaat”.  Vanessa begins….

 

Vanessa: Ugh, dammit. That is so goddamn disappointing, Louie.

Louie, you know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? “You’re not fat.” I mean, come on, buddy. It just sucks. It really really sucks. You have no idea. And the worst part is, I’m not even supposed to do this. Tell anyone how bad it sucks, because it’s too much for people. I mean, you, you can talk into the microphone and say you can’t get a date, you’re overweight. It’s adorable. But if I say it, they call the suicide hotline on me.

What Vanessa is saying is 100% true. Being fat sucks. If you saw this episode and your response was “Eh, it can’t be that bad,” well, just let me break it down for you.

Being an overweight guy is easier in the dating world. If you don’t believe me, spend your lunch hour walking around your neighborhood. Take note of the couples and observe who is wearing a wedding ring. Now, watch any Kevin James or Seth Rogen film. Even cartoon men are drawn fat and have hot cartoon wives for whatever reason. I’m not denying that fat men don’t have struggles, but based on my observations, they don’t. They get nicknames like “Big Guy” and “Hoss.” They can talk openly about how much it sucks if they want without fear of judgement. They can tackle eating challenges and be yielded a hero. There are a million more examples, but it’s bumming me out to list them. There is a double standard. The end.

If you ask me (you didn’t, but you’re reading this) people throw the word “fat” around way too much and have made it into the hugely negative word it is. I like to say that I’m not fat, but I have fat, because I do. We all have those friends rocking the size six jeans that say “I’m so fat” after they have dinner. If you are one of these people that say “I’m so fat” constantly, just stop. You feel full. Fucking say that. Being able to eat enough food so that you’re full is amazing!

I mean, can I just say it? I’m fat. It sucks to be a fat girl. Can people just let me say it? It sucks. It really sucks. And I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s your fault.

Look, I really like you, you’re truly a good guy, I think. I’m so sorry. I’m picking you. On behalf of all the fat girls, I’m making you represent all the guys. Why do you hate us so much? What is is about the basics of human happiness, feeling attractive, feeling loved, having guys chase after us, that’s just not in the cards for us? Nope. Not for us.

I’ve been fat my entire life. And Vanessa is right when she says it sucks. It sucks….so much….. Otherwise, my life is pretty amazing. I have a great family and wonderful friends that I am thankful for everyday. I’m college educated and hold a steady job. I own my own condo in a city I love. I’ve been blessed with an ability to make people laugh and a heart bigger than however many sizes the Grinch’s grew that day. I’m outgoing. I can cook and do a variety of domestic things. I have my own hobbies and interests that I am passionate about. If any or all of that is important to you, I’m a catch.

We get shut down all the time. Much like Vanessa, I feel no shame in asking out guys that I am interested in dating. That fear of rejection sailed so long ago. I have never been asked out after meeting someone. I’ve never had anyone ask for my number or give me theirs. It just doesn’t happen. And it’s really hard not to get sad about it.

I understand though. Everyone has their deal breakers. I don’t want to date a smoker, but I’ve never looked at a smoker and thought that they were a disgusting human being unworthy of love because of their habit. I don’t look down on them or judge them or lump them into one group of a certain type of person. I just think it smells bad and it gives you cancer.

When I report about how my biannual dates go and how I may not be into that person for any number of reasons, I’m met with a “Well, you never know!” or “Just see what happens.” Consistently other women can say “no”, “I didn’t like him” or any other reason that is legitimate and their disappointment is shared. Sharing in how tough it can be to date for anyone. How to negotiate this world of dating and commiserating with friends of mutually discovering who is right for us, and if they are out there.  If I don’t like someone the assumption is I need to give it a try.  Why should I continue to go out on dates with someone that I don’t like? Is it because that’s my only option? I had date once where I locked my keys in the car and the guy left me alone in the parking lot to wait for AAA.  I waited for them for over an hour.  Alone, in a parking lot.   I was asked how it was left between us. I was left alone in parking lot at 11pm. I think that’s how it was left.  As if there was some hope for me, that somehow it was something I could overlook as a funny quirk of a fun guy.  

What would it be like to be pursued?  To be asked for my number?  We’re apparently not worthwhile enough for someone’s time and effort. I’m always the girl in the group of friends that you befriend to get to my hot friend. It accomplishes two things for gentlemen : 1) They can find out all the details on my friend because I am so thankful that any man would want to have a conversation with me. 2) They can show my friend how compassionate they are by taking the time out to chat up her least physically desirable friend and earn massive lady boner points. You’re teaching me that I am a hurdle to get past to get to the better goods. You are the worst.

You know what else that accomplishes? Making it so that if a guy ever does talk to me because he really is sincerely interested in me, I assume he has an agenda completely unrelated to me. That hasn’t happened yet though. So, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

 

Louie: You know, Vanessa, you’re a very, really beautiful—

Vanessa: If I was a very, really beautiful, then you would have said yes when I asked you out. I mean, come on, Louie, be honest here. You know what’s funny? I flirt with guys all the time. And I mean the great looking ones, the really high-caliber studs? They flirt right back, no problem. Because they know their status will never be questioned. But guys like you never flirt with me, because you get scared that maybe you should be with a girl like me.

And The Speech. I’ve been given the speech more times than I can count. Recently, a guy ran through a list of everything he thought was awesome about me and told me to keep doing all the things that I am doing with my life. My ability to commit myself to things made him admire me. When I cut him off because I didn’t want to hear the same self-serving speech I’ve been given before, he told me not to “sell myself short.” I was not selling myself short. I never do that. He was selling me short and trying to make himself feel better in the process. Surprise, guys! We’re hip to this tactic, but we’re polite enough that we usually just let you run your mouth. We are secretly hoping that by being so nice to you, you’ll change your mind and call us someday. I’m tired of pretending that it’s okay. It’s not.

If you’re having a hard time relating to this, here’s a great example. Let’s say you apply for a job that you really want and know you’re qualified for. After your interview Human Resources calls you and lists all of your skills that qualify you for the position and speaks personally on how great you are. You didn’t get the job, which sucks, but man, don’t you feel real good after being told how perfect you were for it and not getting it? Doesn’t that just make you want to run right out and apply for all the jobs and not question your self worth in any way? I mean, they said you’re great! Why are you crying so much?!

And why not? You know, if you were standing over there looking at us, you know what you’d see? That we totally match. We’re actually a great couple together. And yet, you would never date a girl like me. Have you ever dated a girl that was heavier than you? Have you?

Louie: Yes I have, yes I have.

Vanessa: No no no, I didn’t say have you ever fucked a fat girl, Louie. I’m sure you have. Every guy has. I mean, when I met you, if I had said, “Hey, do you want to go to the bathroom and screw on a big can of peaches?” you would have gone for it. No, I’m saying, have you ever dated a fat girl. Have you ever kissed a fat girl? Have you ever wooed a fat girl? Have you ever held hands with a fat girl? Have you ever walked down the street in the light of day, holding hands, with a big girl like me?

Anyone can get laid. I understand that I am a woman and, behind closed doors, I’ll meet your immediate needs regardless of what I look like or who I am to you. I’m not stupid. I’ve learned it is as easy as saying to someone “Do you want to go home with me?” What I should say is “Do you want to go home with me and talk for a little bit about where we are in our lives and find out that we really like each other and have tons of stuff in common and maybe we’ll  leave it open because we’re two super cool people, but it will never materialize because you actually think I am a 6 out of 10 and you’re ballsy enough to say that to me in front of other people?” because that’s actually what happens. We’ll hope that they’re nice to us the next morning. We hope that they treat us not as a mistake, but as someone that they actually give a shit about after the fact. We are filled with hope for some reason every single time it happens. This is not goddamn Circle of Friends. It could’ve been anyone in those situations, but it will never be me again.

Why shouldn’t it be? Is there something absolutely terrifying about being seen with me?

 

Go ahead. Hold my hand. What do you think is going to happen? You think your dick is going to fall off if you hold hands with a fat girl? You know what the sad thing is? It’s all I want. I mean, I can get laid. Any woman who is willing can get laid. I don’t want that. I don’t even need a boyfriend or a husband. All I want is to hold hands with a nice guy, and walk and talk —

 

Hold my hand.

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One response

  1. I can’t like this enough! Similar story for larger gay men, but you’ve written it so much better than I ever could.

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