Sunday, September 11, 2016

No, I Won't Eat a Cheeseburger

*This post does contain some mild and censored profanity, sorry for that. It's just part of the story, and you know I don't usually include it.

  Do you mind if we take a minute to discuss one of those things some people don't like to talk about? Sizes. There are all different shapes and sizes of people in the world, and I'm one of them, just like you are. I want to know why rules apply to some, but not others. Something happened, and I've just had enough of too many comments from idiots people who think I'm "lucky". So, we might be going into a dangerous area where I'm about to spew more words than I should, but this is a subject worth spewing over.


  I could ask "what's your size?", but I don't really care... Not because I don't care, but because it doesn't change who you are as a person. Whether you are big, small, short or tall, I'll still like you (or not). Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't always think the same way. Due to that way of thinking, I've hit another roadblock in my design ideas along with my plans to observe Patriot Day.


  Here's the quick explanation of my problem: I've been focusing my designs on things that are versatile for everyone; to include as many people as possible in my patterns. I'm smaller than most, and have a hard time finding clothes that fit. So, I got the bright idea to start focusing my designs on people my size... But apparently, that's a "bad idea". It's hurtful to bigger people. Another person who saw my shawl wanted to know where they could get a larger size. "Sorry" I said, "I made it for myself." She told me that I'm being insensitive by not including plus sizes in my designs.


shawl, crochet, Patriot Day, rants


  I was then told how lucky I am to be so small; how great it must be to wear any clothes I want; I'm so lucky to be able to eat whatever I want... And that I should think more about bigger people's problems. Then I was told I should go eat a cheeseburger.


AND HOW IS THAT NOT INSENSITIVE?


crochet, shawl, Partriot Day, rants


  Let me give you the rundown on what it's like to be me: I'm not skinny because I work out or I have an awesome metabolism, I'm skinny because I have a DISEASE! I used to be an average size. When I developed rheumatoid arthritis, my appetite disappeared. (RA isn't just arthritis, if you didn't know; it's your immune system attacking your body.) Never the kind of person to eat when I'm not hungry, I actually have to be reminded to feed myself sometimes. Because my body has no store of fat for energy, I occasionally faint from not eating. The girl who used to haul 100-pound transmissions out of cars has now wasted away to a stick that can't pick up 30 pounds. I had to give up my career. And when I do eat, I can't have the things that most "normal" people can have... Do you have to worry over whether or not you can eat a Pop Tart? Allergic to food coloring and more, just going out for dinner causes me anxiety.


HOW AM I LUCKY?


  I'm sorry for the rant. There was another event that happened a long while back that made me really sensitive to this subject. Out shopping, I passed by a very large woman, and didn't even look at her until I heard her whisper as she walked past: "Skinny b****". I don't even know this lady. We crossed paths a few more times through the store, and each time she whispered something: "Skinny b****, whore, little -c-" Yup, she was one nice lady with an extensive list of things to say. And oh, she did NOT just use the "C" word on me... Leave it to me to almost get into a fight in Walmart, because I snapped at that last name-calling.

  "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" I couldn't take any more of feeling like a bullied child while all I'm doing is trying to get some groceries.

  "You're too skinny" she replied. "You should go eat a cheeseburger or something."


  Argh! If only she knew that I had recently been over in the clothing department, checking to see if they had any jeans in my size. They don't. I just needed some cheap jeans to work in the yard, but Walmart's sizes start at 4. I'm a 0 or a 1. They sell size 28 jeans. But, not my size.  


  And I know that bigger people have to endure comments and stares from other equally-rude walking rectums. I'm not trying to diminish the problems they have to face. Short people, tall people, dark people and light people are all at risk of "being picked on" by someone who is different from them. I'm just trying to point out that it's not fair to think that someone is "lucky" because they have something you don't. And it's not fair to expect me to design a plus size when I'm making a shawl for myself.


  What about one-size-fits-all projects? I have lots of those... I have side-projects, like my latest hat, that stop the progress of my for-sale patterns. I'm busy trying to translate my chicken-scratch notes into a free pattern for you all. What an inconsiderate person I am.


crochet, hat, free pattern, love knot


  I did have plans to work up a larger version of my shawl... But since this one was for me, I didn't do it yet. I had been so happy when the coffee barista praised my work yesterday! It really hurt my feelings to be called "insensitive" over it by the next person. After all, there are entire pattern websites dedicated to only plus-size designs... But not many designers include instructions for size extra-small. Check this out:

Google search results for "plus size crochet patterns"

Google search results for "petite size crochet patterns"


  And please, check out more than just the top results. Which one of those contains links relevant to the search? I want to change those search results so that "petite size crochet patterns" are actually the first things that come up when you search those words. But I will design plus sizes eventually, too. I just need to make myself some clothes, first! I don't think I should be called insensitive for that.

crochet, shawl, Patriot Day, rants


  I guess I just thought about it more than I should, with this week leading up to 9/11... Now known as Patriot Day. Patriot: -noun- "a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors." Patriot Day: A day to remember the deaths of thousands of people in a horrible act. It's also the National Day of Service and Remembrance - The day to honor those who were lost when they stood up for the call to action after the events. A day to be an American, support each other, join together, and spread love along with our remembrance.

  That's what I had been thinking about: What could I do to honor someone on this day; what I could write to help raise awareness... When this lady accosted me with her rant about how I'm a bad person for not making clothes in her size. With her selfish act, I became selfish myself. All thoughts about remembrance vanished, for I was immersed in wondering if I had truly done wrong as I steamed in anger. That's not patriotic. That's not remembering. That's just being self-absorbed.


And that's a lesson in how negativity can roll downhill and spread like wildfire.


  Okay, my rant is almost over, and I hope you understood that I'm not trying to offend anyone. I've just heard too much. In the last week, I've been told by three different people that I need to gain some weight, twice to eat a cheeseburger, and asked once (but not for the first time) if I was doing drugs. I even had to endure the extremely rude comment of "ya know you'd have bigger tits if you put some fat on yer ass"... No, moron, then I'd just have fat on my ass. But not one person has said a word about Patriot Day. It makes me sad and just a little ashamed to call those people Americans.


  I remember that day... I'll never forget. A naive teenager, sleeping late of course. Waking up to the radio, always tuned to a rock station that was known for prank skits, I thought the news had to be a joke at first. Turning on the TV, I knew no one was kidding. "How could this happen?" I thought. "We're in AMERICA. We're supposed to be safe here"... And with that, my life changed forever just like everyone else's. A young girl aspiring to be a pilot now became afraid of planes, and dreams were crushed like the rubble of the aftermath. The events of 9/11 ended lives, changed lives, and saw new lives emerge... The news of the birth of my only niece was overshadowed by news of falling towers. No matter where you were in America, the news of the attacks affected you in some way. Maybe more Americans need to remember that feeling of standing together as AMERICANS like we did that day, instead of busily ripping each other apart for our differences.


Thanks for listening!

Never Forget


PS: Have some fluffy goodness after all that...

crochet, Bernat Pipsqueak, fluffy, yarn

I need ya'll to help me stay motivated on this one! I'm getting tired of cleaning up fluffy bits. It'll be a free pattern when it's done!

Happy Crocheting!

12 comments:

  1. I've had that same supermarket experience too. For many years I was an Australian size 8 (size 2 US) so I get where you're coming from. It would get to me that just because I was skinny that people thought it was okay to comment on my size, appraise my body, my eating habits and determine how lucky I was or state that I was too skinny as though it were something that could be changed by simply wishing it so.
    Was I lucky to not be able to find clothes that fit? Was I lucky to be singled out and critiqued, judged by my 'cover' so to speak? Was I lucky to have whatever passed my lips commented on? Was I lucky to have people judge the man in my life for 'encouraging' me to be skinny (when he was just trying to make me feel okay about myself). Was I lucky to have my weight (and lack there of) to contribute to my lack of conception? Was I lucky to not be able to test my own clothing patterns for 'normal' people to wear?
    Fat, skinny, short, tall, black, white, purple or green, it's never okay to comment on someone's appearance, size or shape unless you're going to say how great they look. And backhanded compliments are not okay either, no 'You look great, it's 'cause your so slim you can wear that outfit'. Keep it simply to 'You look great in that outfit'.
    I have eventually put on weight due to several factors including peri-menopause, less walking in my daily routine, less stress and giving up smoking. But remembering all those moments still make my blood boil.

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    1. Oh Stella, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories, and I'm sorry. I am glad you spoke up about the subject, though. It proves that even after you change, the things that have affected us can still continue to rub nerves raw.
      I also never thought about whether my man is judged for my weight, but I think he places most of the blame on me when people make comments like "You need to feed her"... He just responds with "I try".
      It's easy to cause insecurities in other people. It's harder to erase them. I've been told my whole life that the world is an unfair place, and it is. But speaking about it is how we try to fix that, right? Thank you so much for sharing your story, too.

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  2. Hello Jenny,
    I've never given size any thought when I wrote a pattern. True I've got but few garments in my repertoire and these I made either for myself or for friends and family. If I fancy anything, but it's not my size, I sure think it being a pitty, but I just go on searching without ranting about it.
    Seems I'm unremarkable enough not to get mobbed by anyone (other than colleagues - one of the reasons I'm experiencing this depressive episode which doesn't seem to get better, the nearer going back to work gets). Nonetheless I think we all (women AND men) have problems with our appearances but being unhappy with oneself doesn't really get any better by assaulting other people.
    Do not lose any sleep over it though: I like you just the way you are!
    Have a lovely week,
    Marjan

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    1. Thank you, Marjan! I think you hit the nail right on the head there... When people are unhappy with themselves, they often look for a reason to make other people unhappy. And it works. But it doesn't fix anything.
      I'm sorry about your colleagues at work. Dealing with a random lady in a store is easier... I'll probably never see her or have to interact with her again. Knowing you have to return to a place full of unpleasant people can make for a miserable time. Focus on your own happiness, and remember that THEY are the ones with the problem.

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  3. You made some wonderful projects and thanks for sharing at our Monday Cooking and Crafting with J & J. :0)

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  4. So pretty!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  5. People can be extremely insensitive all the way around. It's ridiculous that people are made to feel like their size is all that should matter. You are spot on when you mention that there is a spiral to it all. Words do matter and when someone speaks so rudely and cruelly, it's abhorrent. Your patterns are lovely and you do a great service by providing them on your blog, Jenny. It's pretty crazy that some people think it's ok to insult smaller people, but rude to insult larger ones. What if you said to her, "It looks like you've had one too many cheeseburgers!" They would be appalled. It's hard to rise above sometimes, but it sounds like you did. My motto in life is "You be you." The world would be a friendly place if everyone felt that way.

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    1. Thank you for what you said, Beverly; you are so very right. And believe me, it crossed my mind to say something equally as cruel to her in retaliation, but no good would have come of it. By her mean attitude, I'm sure people haven't been nice to her about her own weight.

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  6. This is a beautiful crochet project! I agree that people shouldn't talk about other people's size at all. A person should be judged by who they are.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us on the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again when we open our doors on Friday at 12 AM EST.

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    1. If only the whole world could get on the same page! Size is such a petty issue and personality matters more.
      I'm glad you like my project, and I'm happy to share it at the party! See you next week!

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