Thursday, September 06, 2007

Now That I'm 25...

Over the past few weeks, I've discovered that I have developed an intense hatred for a number of things that I once thought I liked (or at least, didn't dislike).

1. Fat people:
My curves and the fact that I am a direct descendant of women who balloon to Amazonian proportions in middle age have always made me slow to criticize my 'weight-challenged' brethren. Family lore has it that I got on my first (and so far, only) diet when I turned 4, in imitation of my aunts who always brought the latest fad diets to our doorstep. My sister claims that I was more successful than they were at refusing food - how it escaped my mother's attention that I wasn't eating is beyond me, but that is neither here nor there. I clearly recovered from any damage, as evidenced by pictures of my chubby limbs all over the family albums. My point is that I have always thought that I understood the plight of our overweight citizens, particularly since I believe I am just one plate of pounded yam and egusi away from needing one of those speedy scooter chairs to get around.

But since I became a rush hour commuter on the DC Metro, I have begun spending a considerable portion of my commute burning looks into the lumpy backs of the many obese people who also patronize our subways. I've been having a niggling problem with obesity in America for the past two years, mostly because it really does seem to be getting out of hand. I mean, these are not your average fatties. I'm talking about the six-year-olds who weigh two-thirds as much as I do; the people who just can't seem to tear themselves away from those gooey, greasy, cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger/Oreo/Meat-zza pizzas; the ones who habitually, easily drink at least a gallon of Diet Coke every blessed day and then are stunned to tears when they wake up one day three years later, too fat to get out of bed or even reach back and clean their fat asses after they go to toilet. These are the people with whom I must share what little space there is on the train at 7:30 every morning and 5:30 every evening. These are the people who, for a few hours each day, turn my mere worry about obesity into something infinitely uglier and more sinister.

In standing-room-only cars, I am forced to squeeze myself into crooked, tiny gaps in the crowd because a herd of fatties has taken over the train and there is nothing I can do about it. Today was an especially bitter day: in the morning, I was sandwiched directly between two enormous teenagers who kept right on speaking to each other like I wasn't standing right there between them. Now that I think about it, if you consider that all the flesh on my body did not amount to a hill of beans when compared to their combined weight, I really couldn't count for much in the grand scale of things. And so, forced to stop reading my morning paper since it was now pinched between my pressed-together arms, I spent the next ten minutes of the ride glaring at their smooth skin, shiny with the microscopic sweat beads that seem to glisten perpetually on most fat people, with such anger that I am sure my eyes evaporated some of it.

Pushed off the train by their colossal mass, I then had to jostle with yet more fat people who were struggling to get on the escalator at all cost, blocking the way of more nimble folk like myself who are eager to run and catch the last uncrowded train before all the fat people get on it and take up too much volume.

The struggle begins again when I get off "work". Evening rush hour means that the subway cars are literally packed like sardines, with bodies pressed against the doors, people struggling for air. Many times, I can't even get on the damn train because the evening herd first blocks the entry way so that people can't get around them and then, once they're on the train, they take up enough space for two average-sized people. Every time I am left on the platform because of this, I stand with flared nostrils and clenched fists, picturing the last set of double chins I saw atop rolling mounds of excessive fat and flesh and mentally rolling that enormous ass all over DC.
Whew - pardon that rant - the pain is still fresh. So yes, between the hours of 7:30 and 8:00 am and from 5:30 to 6:00pm, I have a fleeting but intense hatred for the obese people who cannot control their hand-to-mouth movements, whose obsession with food disrupts my schedule and does not permit me to relax with my free paper in the morning nor rest my weary feet at night. Most of the time, the anger dissipates as soon as I free myself from the masses and taste sweet, "fresh" air once again - so I suppose that's all right. Moving on!

(To my fat friends and relatives: I apologise if this rant hurts your feelings. I love you, I do...but lose some weight, damn it! Don't do to others what these people do to me!)

2 (finally). Watermelons:
They have no flavor and I've pretended to myself for years that I like them. But they suck eggs, especially in the States.

2b. Eggs:
Equally lacking in flavor, I have suffered through many a platter of the smelly things merely because I staunchly believed for years that they are the quintessential breakfast food. Eggs suck. Eggs can suck eggs (har har). But I do make a mean egg salad sandwich - chopped tomatoes and spring onions...mmmm....

3. Men who cry:
This was a tricky one. It took me actually seeing a man cry to make me realize that men who weep are not cool. Before this incident, I had thought men should be allowed to express themselves as emotionally as (some) women do cuz, you know, we're all equals. But I had never seen a crying man before I decided this. Now that I'm older and wiser, I must reverse my stance: gentlemen, keep those tearful emotions locked well inside. Under no circumstance should water escape from your eyes unless:

a) your parents died
b) your dog died
c) one of your limbs is being sawed off and you have to watch.

Otherwise, chillax and leave the crying to women and children! Or at least do the Denzel/Will Smith cry: silent tears that may or may not make it to streaming down your cheeks, but definitely without the blubbering and heaving shoulders unless something critical happened. Refer to the (short) list above.

4. Cleavage:
I'm tired of having big breasts. I've been tired of having big breasts since I turned 10 and could no longer run around like the little girl I was without a bra. But now I'm really tired of having big breasts. Again, the idea of plastic surgery strikes me as appealing...

Not to sound overly negative, there have been some benefits to turning 25. There's the whole car rental thing I talked about before. And of course my physical age is slowly but finally catching up to my mental age, which is a strange relief. But by far the best thing about turning 25 was the fact that a very special somebody showed me some love by giving me this:

Yes folks - I got the iPhone. I've been sitting on this information for a month! And not only did I get it for free, but I get to join the throngs of angry Apple customers who get their $100 back since Steve Jobs is a desperate idiot! Now, if only we can find a way to sue AT&T so that we can all get back on Cingular and have phones that work again. "Fewest dropped calls," my ass! "More bars in more places," nothin'! It was only a matter of time before AT&T shit on all the good work that Cingular had been doing for years.

That is all.

Oh, and