I’m just home from a couple days of travel for work. It was a bit tough to get out of town, but once I was sitting in the plane, belted in, ready to take off, things were all in their place.
Getting Erin situated was the hardest. Single parenting isn’t necessarily hard every day, but when it comes to times like this, I long for having someone to have my back. I also get angry too. Angry that the people in my life are not the people I want them to be. My parents, Rob, Betty. I cope most days by focusing on their good qualities vs. bad, but when my balls are to the wall, their inadequacies are shining.
In the end, I let my guard down, and I accepted a very generous offering by one of Erin’s friends parents, and I let her stay with her for the three days I was away. As part of my ‘recovery’ I need to learn to trust and let the good people in. So this was HUGE for me. So funny, I have taken this friend on a one-day, 10 hour multi-state road trip / hiking tour of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She’s been up to my parents house. I’ve been her girl scout leader. We are preparing to take an international trip with Girl Scouts in the next year or so. Clearly her mother trusts me with her daughter, why it isn’t so easy on the flip side, I’ll never know, but I’m going to learn.
It should come as no surprise, and we’ve talked about it a lot over the years, I’m a big girl. Like people stare at me in public big. Let me give you an example, this mother above, invited me out to breakfast last week before the girls basketball tournament and while we were sitting, talking, eating breakfast a random old man stopped by to tell me how fucking fat I was, just in case I hadn’t noticed it myself. I’m the kind of fat where I don’t dare put anything unhealthy in my grocery cart or else while in line, people will snicker and comment under their breath about how that’s why I’m so fat.
Now that we are living in a post-Trump world I expect this to get worse. In fact, when it’s all said and done, if Trump were to have his wish, I’m sure there will be a special rehabilitation camp for people like me where we get government mandated time away from work, paid, and we will perform Biggest Loser type workouts until the weight is gone. Reconstruction surgery is even going to be covered and boob implants will be free in order to increase the beautification of the general American woman. I’m sorry to say, those who fail the program will face euthanasia. I even heard he’s going to personally host a reality show featuring these morbidly obese fat fucks like myself.
Anyway, I digress, back to my trip. Traveling as a fat person is like this. From the moment you come into contact with the first person traveling, you are met with eyes singing a chorus of, “God, I hope she isn’t sitting next to me.” This chant gets louder and louder the closer you get to your gate and by the time you are waiting to board the plane people gasp and roll their eyes and make comments under their breath.
When I heard I had to travel for work I put a plan together on how I was going to handle this situation and this is how it went:
Me: “Hi! How are you today?” (with a beaming, I’m so fucking friendly smile, there is no way you can hate someone with so much love beaming from a fucking smile, can you???)
“I’m unexpectedly traveling for work and as you can see, I’m a big girl and I’m pretty nervous about crowing the space next to another passenger and I really don’t want to end up on the news or on a viral internet story. Please know that you can move me around as you see fit in order to keep everyone comfortable.”
Airline Worker: (with a beaming, I’m so fucking happy to help you smile) “Let’s see what I can do for you so that you are more comfortable.”
Me: “This is not about me being comfortable, I just don’t want to cause problems for other passengers.”
Airline Worker: (type, type, type, type…printing a new boarding pass) “Here you go Catherine, you are going to be very comfortable in this seat. (again with ME being comfortable, didn’t she hear me?!?!? This isn’t about me, or is it? Am I worthy of being comfortable? God, I never thought about that. What a shame.)
Me: “Thank you so very much” (with my eyes filling with tears)
And I had that exact conversation on the way home and received the same result. I was happily moved to a place that had an empty seat next to me and the other passenger. If I ever have to fly again, I’m tell you, it will be American Airlines all the way. I wouldn’t even risk it. I had never flown with them before and my experience was superior to anything I had experienced before.
I’m catching up on laundry, putting the house back together and thinking about all that I learned over the past couple days away training. Erin is heading out to a play with a friend in about an hour and I’ll have the house to myself. I’m looking forward to it. I wasn’t away long enough for the teenage chip on her shoulder to fall off. Plus I guess I pissed her off when she saw this post on Facebook:
Apparently, this translated to a teenager as:
“I’m so fucking happy I’m not in Michigan with my despicable teenage daughter. Fuck you. And while we are at it, fuck Michigan too!”
So that we can clear the air, my not in Michigan comment was about me appreciating the fact that I’m in a different part of the world than I would have normally been and there was a FUCKING MOUNTAIN IN FRONT OF ME and I was so stressed I didn’t even realize it until I looked up and that was a fucking shame. Plus, there are no mountains in Michigan. Mountains are pretty. Especially to people that live in Michigan where there are no mountains. I apologize to the entire state by dissing you with my thoughtless comment.
Back to laundry my friends, hope all is well in the world you live in.