"You're fat, but I'd still sleep with you."

I was taking the train to dance class last Monday. It was a basic medium hot Los Angeles day, and the train stop is about half a mile from my apartment. I like to walk. Now, seeing as LA seems to like to not have trees appropriately planted along their sidewalks (they settled for palm trees but that's another rant), I was getting smacked in the face with the desert sun. Still, walking and jamming to Sam Cooke on the iPhone made the ten minutes to the train breeze by.

That's what I could have used, a breeze. I was 'glowing' to use a word. As I get down to the subway terminal, I pull out my hankie and blot my face. This man, I use that term loosely, comes up to me and says, "You're sweating? You should get your blood pressure checked." I had my headphones in, so I took one out. I only pop one out when I don't really want to talk to someone and I said 'excuse me', because I didn't hear him. He repeated himself.

He was an older man. Tall, skinny, my complexion. Kind of a caramel Snoop Dog, who looked hispanic. He reminded me of a soggy cigarette, as in he looked used and haggard. He was about 50ish and had no regard for personal space. I don't think he was a bad person, just an ignorant one and I didn't feel threatened, not at 6 in the evening surrounded by other people waiting for the train at least.

He kept talking, but I really was not listening. I was polite and some of the stuff he said was funny. More smile and not funny. I'd smile at him, but I learned you don't ask questions to people who engage you like this. They will never shut up. He went on to give a candid synopsis of his life: wives, kids, gang, shot, jail, etc. I had put my head phone back in two times and he still kept talking.

"Yeah, as big as you are, you should have your blood pressure checked. You should not be sweating. But you are young, and fine..." I had put my head phones in again. He tapped my shoulder and then began to comment on my lady parts. Now again, someone else might have been freaked out, but he totally meant it as a compliment. Ghetto thug poetry, if you will. Still, it was way over the line, especially since that was the second time. I began to step away.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he said, smiling. "I'm just keeping it real, you're fine."

To which I said quite bluntly, "You can still be polite and 'keep it real'. I put in my headphones and walked down the platform.

Now, you might be horrified by that situation, and I can see why, but I shit you not, this happens to me at least once every 4 to 6 months. Older used up and gross men coming up to me and saying basically, "You're fat, but I'd still sleep with you." Gee, I feel so special being considered sloppy seconds by someone who is and I can say this with all certainty, beneath me.

This does not count the numbers of homeless men who make passes at me. That floors me. A friend said, 'they do it because it's not like they have something to lose,' but come on!? If it were a cat call like they do to the women they KNOW they have no shot with, I can perhaps grasp it, but some of these 'men' have walked up and just said the nastiest stuff. What am I, a skank magnet?

When I lived in San Francisco a few years ago, a homeless man followed me to the front of my building saying how he'd like to take me to a hotel room and just...(I think I just threw up a little). Thanks for the offer homeless man who smells like his own excrement and is so smiley with brown and missing teeth, but I think I'll pass, far, far away. I didn't feel scared, or threatened, I mean, how can you? It was sad mostly. I just looked at him as you would a child having a tantrum. I mean, what else can you do with that? I guess I fit a physical stereotype that seems to be quite strong out here.

Are bottom feeders all I attract?

The sad thing is, I never get approached by my peers. I don't physically fit the type who would be interested in the things I'm interested in (see my blogger description). I get that. I've understood that my whole life. When I see people out and about, I tend to look at them as a whole to grasp the type of person I think they *might* be. How they hold themselves, how they are dressed, how their hair is arranged, how does their skin look, are they smiling, what are they carrying, personal effects, etc. In a totally visual first encounter, that's all I have to work with. I can see some hipster dressed young people and might think, 'huh, they might be cool,' but people look at me, and I assume they don't look at the nuanced persona I display like I do with them. What kills me even more is it's not as if it is something that you can change about someone.

I know, I'm asking too much of the human race. :)

**Edit**

I forgot to tell you guys about the old African man who approached me at the grocery last month and told me God said he could tell me I was beautiful and that only God would tell him to say that to a woman if she were meant to be his 'Queen'.

Now, I have no idea what this queendom would entail, but I just smiled and nodded as he chatted me up for nearly 20 min. He even told me how he met Halie Barry and didn't say *she* was beautiful, but that I was. Again, I feel so special.

21 comments:

  1. I tend to attract the attentions of elderly West Indian chaps for some reason!

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  2. I've been numerous shapes and sizes throughout my adult life. Whenever I'm extra curvy, like now, I always attract the strangest creatures. In my early 20's, another particularly round era, I tried to explain this phenom to my mother who couldn't understand why I wasn't dating at that particular time. She couldn't understand until it happened while I was out with her one day. Randomly a, er, gentleman started making similar comments to me through my mom... talking about me in the 3rd person... referring to me as "the daughter". After that she never again insinuated that I was just being too picky.

    I used to think it was because I was friendly, even to men whom others purposefully avoided. Not in a go up and say hi kinda way, just would smile and nod my head instead of walking away or turning my back to them. But no. It's them. This bizarre category of men. what the heck?

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  3. I think people like that probably approach you because you have a kind face. All the weirdos at work flock to me and my coworker said it's because I look nice and I'm sympathetic.

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  4. You know what doesn't sweat? Pigs! I can't believe anyone would come up to another person and say that. Probably on drugs.

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  5. People interaction is just so flustering to me. I get told by people, "I need to be more outgoing" and when I am, like the smiling you mentioned Carey, I get gross talking old dude. I just can't win for trying!

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  6. My '"look" seriously attracts Eastern European block middle aged or older men. Seriously. Like follow me around and say things in front of their wives and older/adult children. Even MY OWN CHILDREN. I too am 'nice'. I smile and am friendly with all human kind because, I don't want to be any other way. I am sorry it happens to you (and some of your readers too). It is frustrating and saddening.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. From your photos and writings, you seem like you are different in the most wonderful kind of way. In the good way. It is lonely for sure, I am that way too. I think that is why people blog and connect with the other 'different' people out there.

    As friendly and welcoming as I am, I have no true close friend since I moved away from my childhood town. It is kind of odd isn't it? I think most people would think I have a TON of friends. Just like I assumed with you. Interesting.....

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  7. Oh I know that feeling! Unfortunately on the surface of just meeting on the street or casually, men are looking only at and/or for certain things! One time in a bar someone was hitting on me. When I wasn't interested, he said, "You're too fat anyway!" It's only when someone you get to know well enough to look at the whole you that quality people are found. What gets me is half the men that say these things are no prize!!

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  8. Eww. There are plenty of assholes in the world and they all like to hit on somebody. I know exactly the polite but unengaged attitude you mean.

    I don't look like who I am either, though I'm closer now than in my 20s. I have rosacea and get asked a lot if I'm sunburnt. My mom attracts the socially awkward, bald, unattractive types so I guess that's my future lol.

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  9. Been there, put up with that. As a big girl, I seem to draw old losers, young losers, and men who think big girls are easy and desperate. In my youth, I was less selective,(loneliness took over), but as I got older, I was more selective, but dated a lot less. It's irritating that they think we would actually want them. I love your style. Don't lose your standards--you'll respect yourself in the morning :)!

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  10. Yup I hear you there...altho in the heat and humidity we have in Toronto right now....not so much...I think I look angry!

    My usual response after they don't stop and take the hint that I'm not interested in what they have to say...

    "Did you have a point, or would you like me to call the Police now?'

    works everytime.

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  11. Don't take it personally -- it's not that you attract bottom feeders or something. There are men who are scum in all cities (NYC included), not just where you live! You are very unique and have an amazing sense of style. We are just privy to that because you write about it, and the people you know in your real life have to work a lot harder to know the real you. So take it from us -- you are awesome and beautiful and very inspiring.

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  12. I've only just begun to read your blog and haven't seen any photos of you. My take on this, without knowing what you actually look like, is that you're probably cute or maybe even beautiful. The reason the bottom feeders hit on you is that they're the ones rude enough to do it. Since so many bottom feeders find you attractive, I'll bet there are those among your peers who also find you attractive, but they're too reserved or shy or whatever to tell you. Maybe you're very reserved too, and it puts them off?

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  13. My husband is a bum magnet. I have seen guys walk past 50 other people just to ask him for a quarter. I think some people--even with earphones in-- just give off that vibe of openess and the "bottomfeeders" can sense that a mile away. From what you write I can tell you are pretty tolerant and open minded, some guys sense that and will hit on you when they wouldn't dare with someone else.

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  14. That is absolutely horrifying, I want to slap them for you, how ghastly, hat pin at the ready I think!

    I sometimes attract odd people too but it tends to be non sexual, thank goodness. Although a friend once told me that I can give off this air of don't mess around with me, to men.
    Probably the reason they also call me Granny Weatherwax!

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  15. After reading the other comments, it seems it should be chalked up to "men being men." I've often had the same think happen to me on the trains or just walking around NYC. I'm always shocked when it happens as I tend to be very quiet and can come across at first glance as a bit "icy". Maybe they just find it a challenge?

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  16. As another curvy gal, I get the feeling that for some reason men (or society in general) think they are doing us a "favor" by paying attention to us, which also leads them to believe that they can say whatever they want. Look at the movies- voluptuous women are either super sweet or downright nasty (ex- Melissa McCarthy's character in Bridesmaids OR her character on TV), they are usually never just women.

    Once I hit my mid-thirties I just got to the point where I stopped paying attention to other people, stopped trying to lose weight, and started concentrating on the things that made me truly happy, no matter how they made me look. That is the year I miraculously lost 20 lbs (have NO idea how) and found my husband all within 6 months.

    On a similar note, I recently started caring way too much again of how others saw me because I am nearing the end of my Grad schooling and need references and experience to get a job. Guess what? I gained back the weight and feel bland.

    To be honest, it most likely isn't a weight thing, it's probably just that you are radiant and confident and men respond to that. They can't help it. Relish it and don't rein it in- you will find a guy that deserves it, I promise~

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  17. Come visit me in Germany! In Hamburg, I usually attract somewhat goodlooking Africans. They go for fat girls. Especially fat girls who could be married and therefore provide them with a visa.

    Unfortunately, I don't go for guys that find me attractive because of my size... nothing turns me off more than a guy with a fat fetish. Then again, I am also not falling for guys who go for fat girls because we should be "trying harder" or "grateful".

    Yes, I am single. I wonder why. :)

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  18. Ahhh people. I think everyone attracts the scumbags/tossers from time to time. I know I've had countless weirdos say stupid shit to me at shopping malls and train stations, bustops etc. Some of them have made really innapropriate comments too and I've had to shut them down and walk away. I won't tolerate rudeness from random strangers anymore. The older I have gotten - the less I put up with that crap.

    I truly think it's just because we are 'women'. Many guys might 'think' what the weirdos say but that's the difference. The weirdos 'say' it, normal people do not. The other thing too is that those kinds of people are unpredictable. Always good to go stand/sit where there are other people once you have said your piece to a freaky person.

    You are a wonderfully open, beautiful person Shelley with amazing style and grace. And I for one am proud to call you a friend. :)

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  19. Ugh. I'm so sorry you get these gross weirdos coming up to you all the time. You are such a lovely, beautiful, kind-hearted woman. I hope you cross paths with a man worthy of you.

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  20. I'm not really looking for a man. I'm just looking to make new friends. It seems even that is a hurdle in and of itself!

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  21. Well you made a new friend in me Shelley. Just a shame that I live in Australia :(

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