I have no excuse for being late with this letter. I just am. I suppose I could say it’s because I wanted to wait until Thanksgiving to post. That’s not really true, though. It just occurred to me hey, it’s American Thanksgiving, I should probably write a letter to my best friend in the entire world, because I’m grateful for her.
Really, my lack of posting was because I was depressed, and didn’t know what to write except: I miss you. Please come live with me. And I figured that refrain was getting old. I needed something NEW to talk about.
The Universe loves to help me out. I do have something new to talk about — mainly, the ongoing fight with my mom finally coming to a head and possibly ruining our relationship. Unless I just surrender, bow down, and stop talking about this topic.
The topic being — how fat I am.
I don’t have any desire to lose weight. It took me a really long time to get to a point where I was happy with myself. I still have days where I wish I were just a bit slimmer, but at this point there’s ONE reason for those days — clothes. It is hard to find clothes that fit me. It is almost impossible.
But otherwise, I’m happy with being fat. I’m not happy with being crippled and out of shape, and were it not for the spine I wouldn’t be.
When I was living in Nanaimo and going to VIU, I was walking to school in the mornings. This was an entirely uphill walk. 3 kilometres. When I started, it took me an hour and a half. By the end of the semester, I was doing it in 45 minutes, and I wasn’t completely winded when I reached the top. I was still winded, because VIU is built on hills and death and I challenge an Olympic athlete to not be winded there.
When I was living in Maui, I was riding my bike to class — both when we lived in the dorms, and when I lived in The House of Gay.
Yet, because when I lived with her in Powell River I drove my car to work — because work, because I didn’t want to be sweaty when I got there, because I didn’t have *time* to ride my bike or energy, because I was working 12 hour days — and then when I came home I played World of Warcraft before going to sleep; because now that I am injured it is too difficult for me to walk everyday — all she sees is me being lazy.
Nevermind that I am in constant pain every day with my back — pain that doesn’t go away with regular painkillers, and pain that isn’t strong enough to break out the big guns, the pain pills that make me feel worse as they set the world spinning and make me vomit.
Nevermind that doing ANYTHING with this injury is a huge deal, especially exercise. I walk with a cane. I can go short distances without it, but I don’t like leaving it behind. I push myself just a little too far and I feel myself wobble; I start to fall.
Nevermind that I need physio if I want to get to a point where exercise is a potential for me again. I have done walks — nice, long walks — since the injury. I’ve felt good afterwards…for a few hours. And then the next day comes around, and my entire body aches, and I need to sleep for two days to recover.
She still thinks that I’m not doing everything I can. Meanwhile she keeps piling on the sedentary computer work for me to do and demands that I spend all my time doing it.
I can’t win.
I can’t do anything right by her. I try to explain, patiently, about Health At Every Size. I try to get her to reexamine the assumptions she has about fat people. I try to get her to stop making comments about my fiance’s weight. I try to be logical and calm about it all even though I feel like slitting my wrists.
She cries and tells me I’m taking things too personally and she’s not political about fat people at all.
When you’re making comments about my fiance’s weight — when you’re speculating HOW WE HAVE SEX AT ALL because we’re both so fat — how the FUCK am I supposed to NOT take it personally? And how is that not political? It is. When you make judgements based on someone’s weight, when you equate weight with health…that’s political.
But again, I can say NOTHING. Because she thinks I blame her for being fat — I don’t. Because when I speak, I remind her too much of my father, and she feels abused. So long as I’m angry at anyone else, my rants are funny. The second I’m angry with her — even though I keep an incredibly tight lid on my anger, even though I use every bit of strength I have to NOT yell, to NOT stomp, to just be calm and rational — well, then my emotions abuse her.
She’s said this. She’s said my emotions are abusive to her.
What do you do in the face of that?
I love my mom. I love watching Grey’s Anatomy with her. I love spending time with her.
But she’s made it clear I can never talk about being fat again. I can never mention being fat. I can never mention being sick. I can never mention anything wrong with my life, because she thinks I’m on the attack. Because it’s a disappointment to her to have a crippled fat sick daughter. And even if I manage to find a solution to my crippledness, even if I get healthy…I’ll still be fat. I know exactly how that’s going to go over when I start trying to get pregnant. I know, because the comments are already coming my way. Not just from her, but from almost every other non-fat person in the world.
Except you. You’re still one of the only non-fat people in my life that I feel safe eating around. Eating is a minefield for me; finding people who make it safe is…well, there aren’t words for how wonderful that is.
So, I’m grateful for you, my dear sister. I am. You are perfect to me, and though I do constantly see our friendship in the great friendships of pop culture, the truth is they are not us. They will never compare to us. Our glory is more than a book or TV show or movie can contain.
I wish I could spend Thanksgiving with you this year, as I wish every year. I still try to have two thanksgivings, even though money is making it difficult to do right now. We’re not doing it this year. At most Ogre and I may get turkey sandwiches and a pie.
I still laugh until I cry whenever I think about the night we made a turkey and it didn’t finish until 3am because I didn’t start thawing it till noon, and when it was done the Duke and I woke you up, going “The turkey is done WHAT DO WE DO?” And you staggered into the kitchen, stared at the turkey, took a huge bite out of the side and ripped off the meat before staggering back to the burfa to sleep, chewing the huge bit of turkey as you did.
That was the night of the Majestic Drill. That was the night the turkey took a swan dive into its own juices and then exploded.
That was our first real Thanksgiving. It was the start of my desire to have Orphan’s Thanksgivings, which I continued to do when I moved to Nanaimo — though in October, obviously. We bought stuffing at a gas station and we cooked a tiny meal in my shitty townhouse. It was no where near as good as any Orphan’s Thanksgiving or Christmas I’d had with you.
I hope that whatever you’re doing for Thanksgiving this year, it’s magical, and wonderful, and full of amazing food. Do you stuff moose instead of turkey up in Alaska?
Hopefully someday soon, we can have our Thanksgivings together again. I will make all the cinnamon carrots you can eat. Ogre can carve the turkey; I probably trust him with a knife more than me. We can drink alcohol and disappear into our crazy Kana-Katje conversations that will have the menfolk staring at us in wonder and terror. There will be multiple pies, and three dishes of mashed potatoes. The kitchen will be an unholy mess that we won’t tackle until the morning. We will all go into huge food comas.
It will be perfect.