Life as a Fat Chick
A woman walks to her local corner shop. She walks slowly, stopping regularly to catch some rays or say hi to a friend. Her eyes are sharply on other passers by; as a size 30, she has to be careful not to infringe on some busy executive’s arrogant dash or yummy mummy’s Prada perambulator because, despite her size, to their eyes, she's invisible. Despite the voluminous green-and-blue patterned tunic (Evans), big and vivid as a royal marquee, and the long, fringed indigo gypsy skirt (M&S) that swirls like a waterfall with every sway of her grandiose hips, she can sweat, gasp, swear and still won't even raise an overplucked eyebrow. Not so the white van drivers, England flags flapping in the summer breeze, bored and looking for tits to ogle. A size 30, hers are massive. Especially since the visit to Bravissimo, and the unexpected discovery that she actually takes a G-cup. If she is lucky, he will merely hoot, honk, and zoom on by. But if they’re bored, or he has a mate with him, he’ll slow down and get chummy, and that could go on and on, with many a “phwoar” and a “you’re pretty hot for a fat chick”. Yeesh. Her day is busy enough. But, no need to rush. She needs bread and milk. And maybe a gossip and a copy of the Guardian.
In the shop, it’s a bit of a squeeze. It is a small shop, full of squeaking children and taxi drivers on errands. Her body fills the aisle, but she sways round the beans with panache and style; like most fat people, a lifetime of being called clumsy has left her light and elegant on her feet. Not that anyone notices. All too busy, except for the panicked mums who clutch their copies of Slimming Weekly or Weight Watchers Magazine and scoop their children out of the way with disapproving scowls, as if weight were a disease you could catch. She shrugs, philosophically, and adds a copy of New Scientist to her basket. Some recent studies do suggest a connection between infection with a virus and obesity, so they may have a point -- or not. At the checkout the brats stop whining about being taken to McDonalds long enough to demand a Bounty or a Mars or an Aero. She picks one up herself (a Crunchie Bar!) to reinforce their mother’s refusal; no, or you’ll end up like her. No matter. She can see what the children are thinking about that. So what? Is that so bad? Annoying. But never mind, here is the door, and she shimmies out into the evening sunshine, to slowly make her way home, fanning herself with the soon-to-be-discarded lifestyle section.
Front door safely closed behind her, she considers her day. She had planned on going shopping, but does she really need more clothes? The sale at Evans is pretty much tapped out now, but M&S will probably have something new in … and it’s a while since she’s checked out Debenhams. Wasn’t their 70% sale supposed to be happening sometime around now? Shopping needs planning, though, and then there’s the bus, hot in this weather, with the accessible seats choked with push-chairs. The pool will be just as crowded. She’s a regular swimmer, and summer brings in the amateurs who can’t stick to lanes or make fatuous complaints about your getting in the way. Then the telephone rings. It is her close friend, the editor of an embarrassingly fashionable underground magazine. Let us call him Dave. They talk for a while, and Dave suggests that they go out for dinner. He’s got an almost-certain booking at somewhere painfully trendy, god help us. Doubtless hot, overpriced, and full of fashionista twiglets. Not that that can’t be fun in context, but the thought of manoeuvring herself into a banquette while a dozen social X-rays gaze meanly on is just too irritating. Dave will love it, of course. But with a sudden blinding flash of inspiration she has a Much Better Idea. Tonight, then, they will go out to Hyde Park, and eat overpackaged ready-made picnic food from Selfridges in the cool downwind of the fountains. As she puts the phone down she’s already composing a group text to a dozen other people who might also fancy that as an idea.
Today is a bloody brilliant day.
Anyone fancy proofing it or suggesting corrections?