It's my love story. And I'll try not to make it too ooey-gooey for you rough, tough, body-lovin' fatties, thinnies, and in-betweenies out there.
First, some background. I'm fat. *waits for the gasping to stop* Yes, fat! And being fat in a society that hates the fatties means that it's hard for me to get a date. That's life. I'm not incredibly social anyway and I've never been too incredibly interested in getting laid. As a young girl I pined for a male someone to love me but got over that in my teen years and, with the help of Fat Acceptance, Body Acceptance, and my family and friends, I learned to be me, love me, and stand up tall and proud.
I used to (and still do) visit chat rooms in smaller communities of people with the same interests as I have. Eventually, that led to meeting people and, eventually, starting online relationships that grew into meetings. I've had some hard times with these. I should let you know that I never hide my body from anyone and freely call myself "fat" and "round" and "jiggly" and also have a webcam so people can see those facts.
The first fellow I met was thin and seemed fine with my body and was a fairly nice guy. My feelings for him changed, however, when he said that I couldn't use his restroom until I kissed him. I had never kissed anyone before so that was a larger request than he realized. Later on he brought me to tears telling me how he wished I'd lose weight because he wanted me to be healthy. When I broke up with him, he promised that no one would ever love me like he did... which could be taken a number of ways.
The second guy came over to my place. He was fat too, but hated his body and was berated by his family for being fat. I tried to show him how men and women with all body sizes were desirable to someone and that Body Acceptance was a very freeing thing. He didn't take to that too well and said that I wasn't attractive enough to be relationship-worthy. I was just fine with that because I didn't find his attitude attractive at all. He took it farther, however, by saying that my father and brother were far more physically attractive than I and that the only person I had any ranking over was my mother. If I had been the person I am now, I would have thrown him out of my house for insulting my mother, the woman I find most beautiful. I later found out that he became abusive towards the woman he dated after meeting me which was terrifying but not shocking as he had pinned me down and kissed me without asking and left bruises on my sides after tickling me.
After that, I stayed away from internet-started relationships. Well, I tried. After talking only briefly with a guy that frequented a chat room I frequented, he asked me if I wanted to give things a try. I had nothing to lose, and honestly didn't think it'd work out: He was British and I was American and moving to another country wasn't in the life-plan for me. But we talked every day. He was a vegetarian music lover, going to school to work on computers. I was an opinionated activist going to school to be a teacher. After a while, K and I decided that we should meet.
And we did. That was about 3 weeks ago. And I'll tell you right now, it was nothing like the other two meetings.
I was shy when we picked him up on Christmas Eve. It was already dark and I was walking to the terminal with my father to find a restroom when I got a call from K saying that he was out of customs. I asked him where he was, but as I turned around a pillar I saw him and hung up my phone. He saw me and stared for what was probably only a second or two. Do you know how you can think full sentences in the span of milliseconds? In that one or two seconds, my head buzzed with inner dialogue like a beehive after being hit with a rock.
"O shit," I thought. "This is it. He doesn't like me. He's seen me in person and it's just too much." But he hugged me and smiled and we talked while my dad went to find the restroom. In car, he held my hand and gave me this adorable singing puppy plush (the Harrod's mascot) I named Westie.
At home, after I settled down and became accustomed to his presence, we spoke. He told me that he wasn't going to pressure me into anything. He knew about what I had been through previously, and he promised to be honest but never cruel or coercive.
He always reached for my hand while we walked. Our fingers were always interlaced. When he looked at me, he smiled and when he spoke, I knew he was the person I talked to for over a year online. I relaxed faster around him than I had around anyone.
As a woman who's had kisses stolen, forced, and coerced out of me, I resigned myself to the idea that I would never like kissing. But, despite all of that, when I kissed him, I liked it. I grew to love it (as my chapped chin and tip of my nose proved.) He kissed me in public. He kissed me while we were alone. He wasn't ashamed of being with me.
He touched my tummy and wasn't disgusted. When I felt sick in the sandwich shop where we ate lunch, he let me lean against him and he rubbed my tummy (In public!) until I felt better. After he left he even told me he loved all of me, even my rolls! Not me despite my rolls, not my rolls despite me, me and my rolly, jiggly, squishy tummy. All of me. That was something I thought only happened in fairy tales dreamed up.
Maybe I'm weird for liking this next bit... But he recognized my fatness. Usually I have conversations with people that go something like this:
Me: *mentions something about being fat*
Person: Oh. You're not fat!
Me: Yes. I am. But it doesn't make me a bad person.
Person: Don't say you're fat, you're not!
And it keeps going until I want to scream "Look! I self-identify as a fat person, it doesn't make me lazy, stupid, smelly, ugly, or bad, it just makes me fat! Why can't you even let me be fat when I want to be fat!" So when a person can recognize my body shape in a way that's neutral, or even loving, it makes me very happy. K didn't put blinders on and try to see me as a thin person. He saw me as me, even if he didn't think I was really fat. He let me be who I wanted to be. I mean, let me know, readers, if it's just me who enjoys this.
A lot more happened, but I don't want to bore anyone. Haha! My point is this: I always thought love would either come despite my body or because of my body- either he would have to over-look my body or he would fetishize my body and over-look me. I'm sure I got lucky when I met K, and meeting him has changed my life whether we stay together or not (however, I'm pretty sure we'll stay together). Sometimes it seems hopeless. Sometimes love feels like a lie that you're told as a child and go on believing. Sometimes shit just sucks and people are lame and life is hard. But there are good people and there is someone waiting and wanting to love you. And personally, I think we should find our partners who are good, loving, non-body hating people and procreate and adopt and teach and fill this world with love!
Because love is a good thing to have around.