Chapter Thirty-Four – Fat is Funny – In Mom’s Eyes
2009, Present Day – I am 60, Scott is 35, Julie is 32
At the beauty school today, some of the students were standing outside my office, where the time clock is, laughing. They were laughing so hard, a few of them, that I had to see what they were laughing about. I went to my door, looked at them, and they were all turned around and staring at a woman in the waiting area. She took up most of a bench that normally would hold three people comfortably. She was a ginormous, fat woman. They were making ba-da-boom noises, and comments about how she was going to fit in the stylist’s chair. They thought it was sooo funny. Fat is funny, I guess. But I just turned to them, told them they were all insensitive idiots and went back into my office, closed the door a bit too hard, and sat down at my desk. I didn’t hear anymore laughing after that, just a bit of whispering…little pieces… stupid of us… son… really fat… sorry… Whatever. People are cruel, and hurtful, and stupid. And my son has dealt with all of them.
It has been several years since Scott has traveled far from home. And, as a result, I don’t go many places either. We kind of just hermit up in the house, stay to ourselves. I don’t blame Scott for not wanting to go out into the world. It’s painful for him, hurtful. People are so, so mean, and heartless. They’re just plain stupid most of the time. Don’t they see how good of a man he is? Don’t they see his heart? Don’t they know how smart he is, and funny? Why won’t anyone see him for who he is, not WHAT he is? People are so shallow. Especially around here. The only friend Scott really has any more is a grown, almost elderly man, who is mentally retarded and illiterate. Scott needs someone in his life who challenges his mind, who makes him think, and think positive. Most of the time, his friend is so depressed about his own life that he brings Scott down off any sort of positive roll he might be on. I want Scott to meet some normal people, have some normal friends. But he won’t, because it would mean he’d have to go somewhere in public.
Christmas is coming up again, and the family party is going to be here at the coast this year. Scott won’t go, again. It’s been years since he’s seen most of the family. He has too much anxiety, and too much pain. Too much guilt. He hates himself, and is so introverted that he doesn’t even want to see any of them any more. I don’t really want to see them either, but I’ll go. And like always, I’ll probably end up having a pretty good time, but I’m just not into it this year. I am just as reclusive as my son, I guess. And I don’t want to have to explain, for another year, why Scott isn’t coming. Hear every new person that arrives ask me the same questions, give the same answers. And Julie doesn’t want to do it again either. And Julie’s afraid this will be the last chance Scott has to see all his family in one place. She’s sure he won’t make it another year. And she’s probably right.
Scott’s cousins used to tease him about his weight, all the time they were growing up. They laughed and laughed and laughed at him. He made the biggest splashes in the pool, ate the biggest piece of cake at the party. He was big enough that they’d threaten their friends he’d sit on ‘em if they did anything wrong. They watched him grow and grow and grow. But no one has seen him the size he is now. And though they say they want to see him, I’m not sure they really do. It will disgust some of them. It will make others sad, worried. It will make even more sympathetic to Julie and I. And that’s what we hate the most. Their looks of sympathy. Their words of sorrow. Their “I’m sorry’s”. All it does is make it worse for us. For all of us.
For Scott to go to this party, there would have to be a lot of special arrangements made. We would have to find a chair he could sit in comfortably. A sturdy one, that wouldn’t collapse under him. We’d have to borrow some sort of over-sized wheelchair from somewhere so we could even get him into the party, or up to the room where he’d probably stay the whole time anyway. We’d have to deal with his tantrums, since his anxiety would take over and he would lose his mind with it, turn mean probably, or just cry a lot. We’d have to make a special trip to the Big ‘N’ Tall store to see if there was anything he could wear besides a t-shirt. Anything we could stretch over him, that was decent enough to wear to dinner. And he probably wouldn’t eat anyway, too many nerves, too many eyes watching him. So, he won’t go, and it’s probably better off. There’s a lot of little kids in the family now too. They don’t have as much restraint as most of the adults do where Scott is concerned, and I’m sure they would, at the very least, stare or point or laugh at him, without even realizing it. It’s just too much, all in all, and I don’t blame him for staying home. But it doesn’t make it any easier for anyone else either.
I suppose there were times in my life where I laughed at a fat person, and now sometimes I wonder if I’m being punished for that. I haven’t always been the best person in life, and I’m sure my karma rating isn’t at its best. But, what could I have done to deserve Scott? The pain he suffers every day, and has suffered for years and years, is immeasurable. I have failed him, and I don’t know how to fix it. And I don’t want to talk about it, and I don’t want to live it anymore. Fat is not funny to me anymore, and never will be funny again. Fat has ruined our lives. Fat will take my son from me. Fat will break me.