Y is for You shouldn’t be eating that….

As we near the end of the April A-Z blog challenge I realise that I have wandered off the usual blog topics quite a bit. Sorry about that. Alphabetical restrictions have meant I needed to think differently about what I write about (and I have loved it) but I have made a conscious decision to make my last two A-Z postings as ‘basketball’ as I can.

Today – an unpleasant story

Tomorrow – a joyful one (I always like to end on a high)

So, here we go…

I was 19 and dashing across London to meet a friend to see a show (see M is for Musicals) As someone who rushes from place to place at breakneck speed trying to squeeze every bit of loveliness out of every single moment, I hadn’t taken the time to eat that day (a habit I have since broken) and was hungry.

Rushing + late + hungry = grabbing some street food whilst running across town. I’m sure you’ve all done it.

The incriminating meal was a slice of pizza. I paid and continued to dash, dodging tourists and London suits. I took a bite. Delicious. I chewed hard. Man that was good pizza. From just in front of me came,

“You shouldn’t be eating that” I looked up mid-chew to see an angry-faced man was addressing me “Look at you! You shouldn’t be eating that”

Lost – my appetite. No reward if found.

His work was done. He had bawled out a stranger in the street and continued with his day.

I bet he felt great. I didn’t.

The pizza was binned and I’m ashamed to say it was ages before I would allow myself to eat in public again (everyone I’ve ever had dinner with is now wondering if I was freaking out when I was eating with them….yes, probably) That one tiny moment really affected me and I thought that if I ate in front of people they would all be thinking the same thing. (Don’t get me wrong, there are still Food Police alive and well in my world, I just handle them differently now – not better, just differently – I’m still working on this one)

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a person who says nasty things to strangers, but I bet it must be really horrible to be so filled with hate and rage that it just leaks out of you. Awful.

I also can’t imagine policing anyone else’s body but my own.

Your body, your business.

My body, my business.

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U is for Umbrella

In a moment of imaginary rage she poked her umbrella through the spokes of his bicycle wheel and he went flying over the handlebars.

I wonder if he ever called strangers nasty names in the street again?

D is for dinner party

I had never been invited to a dinner party before. It all seemed very grown up and exciting.

Of course I faffed about for ages over my outfit and decided on a simple BBD (big black dress) I did something unfathomable and therefore unrepeatable with my hair and I felt good.

I obviously knew the host couple but I hadn’t yet met anyone else who would be attending. As a permanent singleton, this is always an exciting and terrifying prospect. You never know if well-intentioned friends are going to spring an unsuspecting blind date from nowhere (not always unwelcome, but in my experience highly cringeville)

That would have been preferable to the actual outcome of the evening.

Oh yeah, brace yourself. It’s about to get fifty shades of awful….

So I arrived promptly like a good dinner party guest with a big smile and a bottle in my hand (I’d seen Come Dine With Me, I knew what to do)

Immediately I was introduced to a young chap called Asshat (names have been changed) who was posh and a tiny bit (hella load) pompous. But as a polite young professional I could smile and play nicely as our hosts tended to things in the kitchen.

(It is worth mentioning here that there was no romantic intention from our hosts, this wasn’t a blind date in disguise – it might have been the very worst if it was! There were other solo guests too)

Small talk is my forte. I can literally talk to anyone about anything for any length of time. We all have gifts. Incessant nattering is mine.

We covered such exciting topics as the weather, work and the aromas emanating from the oven.

I must have revealed something about myself that sparked a flicker of recognition as he suddenly clicked his fingers and exclaimed with a massive grin

“Ahh! I know who you are now! You’re Fat Kate!”

Our hosts re-entered the room at the exact moment I wanted to die.

Since this time my internal scriptwriter has come up with some incredibly witty, pithy put-downs in response to Asshat. Each one of them would have floored him and questioned his manhood as well as intelligence. But at the time? Nothing.

My gift for always finding something to say failed me and I crumbled. I can’t remember what I actually said. Something along the lines of “Yeah, that’s me”

Suddenly I felt stupid. And ashamed. Is this how my friends referred to me?

Did I have a cruel nickname I knew nothing about? Had I been invited as a twisted joke?

If I could have cried and ran out of the building I would have done.

Instead I smiled and cried within.

I didn’t eat a single thing at that dinner party.

Epilogue : I have seen Asshat a handful of times since that evening (small world) He is still an Asshat. I have since developed excellent mechanisms for dealing with such types and was able to tell him exactly where to put his married penis when he very kindly offered to share it with me. You wouldn’t believe it….

Things I know…

I know that he was a nasty man. I know that I did nothing wrong (other than failing to stick up for myself) I know that if this same thing happened today I would handle it differently. I know I probably shouldn’t give this evening any more thought.

D is for Done.