AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhh!!!! DO I have a story for you guys!!! Today I witnessed an exchange that I'm pretty sure I've only seen in the movies and it was just HORRIFIC (Note to self: find out origin of the word "horrific"... because it sounds like a combination of horrible and terrific. is it?) Today I had a two hour riding instruction class all the way out in North Oxford, Mass. It was another one of those hour long drives into the middle of nowhere. I'm becoming quite fond of my little equine excursions. Anyways, as I was tacking up I noticed some of the other girls walking up to the stables- most of them in their early twenties and thirties, and one woman who was probably my mom's age. This one girl, one of the younger ones, was short and stout. Like a teapot! Her stomach in particular was rather distended looking and I vaguely wondered if she might be pregnant. We all started talking to each other, just sort of introducing ourselves, then the older woman said to the teapot girl, "When are you due?"
Teapot girl paused and replied, "Oh... I'm not pregnant." After that- silence. You could have heard a pin drop.
"Oh, God. I'm sorry." The older woman covered her eyes with one hand and made that gun shooting gesture to her own head with the other.
Teapot girl was actually really good natured about it. She said, "That's okay. I just had a big breakfast, that's all!" Then she laughed. "I know I've got a bit of a belly. I need to hit the gym..."
Then the older woman said, "Well good thing you're riding today!" I guess she thought that line would be a good recovery from the first insult but honestly I think it just dug the hole deeper.
My point is, OH MY GOD. After she said that I felt like crying, and it wasn't even me who she said it to! Imagine someone looking at your stomach, and thinking that because it's SO BIG, you must be carrying a child. I just think I would kill myself if that happened. Last week my dad asked me if I wanted to start going to the gym with him again, so I skipped lunch and dinner that day because I was convinced he was implying that I needed to lose weight. Who knows how the girl felt about it though. The odds of her having an eating disorder with a whole slew of severe body image problems are statistically not in her favor, but you never know. I just pray she doesn't have an ED because a comment like destroys people like me.
The rest of the class was okay... but before I left my instructor pulled me aside to talk to me about my attire. I wore converse sneakers, a gigantic pair of jeans, and my brother's Celtics t-shirt. I mean, I guess I knew that my eating disorder clothes weren't appropriate for riding but I was just sort of hoping that no one would notice. For next week she said I need to wear boots instead of sneakers, and either chaps or tight jeans for pants. Now that is horrific.
Holy mother of all that is good and pure. I cannot, will not, and must not wear anything of the sort. I mean, ideally I would love to wear something attractive that fits me and isn't from the men's section... but the last time I wore anything resembling "tight" jeans, I was thirty pounds lighter. What to do??!!! I can't show my real body in public! What if someone accuses me of being preggers!?