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A day that shall live in infamy

July 30th, 2006. Let that day go down in history as the first day a man definitely, no doubt in my mind, totally, for real, hit on me. None of this ambiguous “Nice day isn’t it?” small talk. It was odd. I didn’t know how to react. I had more of a deer in the headlights reaction, which probably wasn’t good considering I was jogging across a crosswalk at the time. The headline would have been interesting though, “Girl gets hit on and then hit by car.”

I know some fat girls can walk into a room and be charming and exuberant and have guys hit on them no matter what, but I have never been one of those women. I am more of the type that thinks “Do I need to make eye contact with these people or is my dress pattern similar enough to the wallpaper that I can just blend into the wall?” New people scare me. I for the most part avoid them and being a fat person they mostly avoided me in return.

However, this might be changing. I’m walking/jogging on the trail yesterday when I notice this guy on a bike, late-30’s, kind of scraggly beard, no shirt and a bit of a belly, who is stopped on the other side of the crosswalk I’m running across. We make eye contact and have the following exchange:

Biker: “That looks like a lot of fun” (jokingly since it is pretty hot and humid out)

Me: “Oh, yeah. Ha, ha!” (I pull a “yeah, right” sarcastic face)

Biker: “I wish I could do that. I just ride a bike.”

Me: (I just nod, my talent as world’s second worst conversationalist behind a blind, mute boy in a coma revealed.)

I then continue jogging, but about 30 seconds later biker guy follows and passes me.

Biker: Don’t have too much fun!

Me: Ha, I’ll try not too!

(Up to this point pretty much an innocent exchange that could be interpreted as someone just being friendly, until…)

Biker: And don’t tell your boyfriend about me.

Me: (Inner scream: Aaaaaaaah! Did shirtless, hippie guy just come on to me? I think he did!)

So it is now official. I am a sex object. Watch out Victoria’s Secret catalog! Either that or hippie man was a closet Winnie the Pooh fan who really dug my Eeyore tank top. Actually, I feel a bit ridiculous detailing that incident in such detail. I feel like I’m in high school again. (And then he was like “blah blah” and then I was like “blah blah” and then, OMG, he said “blah blah!” Squeee!)

Seriously though, stuff like this does not happen to me. But from what I’ve read of other people’s experiences, it’s probably just going to start happening more and more, especially since I’m closing in on crossing that line between obesity and simply being overweight. (Only 10 more pounds.) I’m like a Romulan Bird of Prey decloaking. It’s a strange fact that in our society the more of you there is, the less you are acknowledged.

Certainly, I don’t think a woman should base her self-worth on her ability to garner male attention. However, it is rather cool that the opposite sex might not find me completely repulsive anymore. They might start letting me play their reindeer games after all.

I should also reiterate my belief that fat people are perfectly capable of getting dates and having satisfying relationships. However, being thinner does open up a lot more options. For better or for worse, shirtless, bearded men who traverse urban trails on bicycles are evidently among them.

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32 Comments

Eh... not so much • July 31, 2006 at 12:22 pm

W00t~! Yes, it’s true: in a perfect world, we would all be totally drawn to each other’s inner beauty and personalities. But someone has to be attracted to you so they draw near and get to know your inner beauty and personality! Thankfully, everyone’s tastes are different: some guys love red hair, some guys like brown eyes… There’s a little something for everybody!

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amy • July 31, 2006 at 1:15 pm

“I’m like a Romulan Bird of Prey decloaking.”

I know lots of guys that would hit on you based on this one line!

Amy

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Greta • July 31, 2006 at 1:49 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Wow! That’s really exciting. I am soooooooo excited for you! I always say that where there are sparks, soon there will be fire. As you continue down this road, someone will hit on you who you are likewise attracted to and you will be off on a DATE! I will keep watching this space!

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Christy • July 31, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Congrats!!! Even though I am married it always makes me feel nice to have a guy flirt with me a little.

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LauraBora from Bufadora • July 31, 2006 at 3:56 pm

“It’s a strange fact that in our society the more of you there is, the less you are acknowledged.”

Wow, eloquent truth always makes me sit back and say, “Damn”, in awe.

I’ve been one of the exuberent types, hoping to charm people so much that they don’t see that I’m fat. It doesn’t work. ;)

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Michelle • July 31, 2006 at 4:05 pm

I’m one of those rare people that thinks feeling like I’m in high school again is okay in small doses… Therefore, let me join you… “OMG, he said ‘don’t tell your boyfriend about me.’ That’s really cool…. Squeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Really, that’s awesome (bearded shirtless man aside), Congrats!!!!

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Coco • July 31, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Woo Hoo!!!!!!! Maybe it’s not feminist (sorry,my sisters

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Coco • July 31, 2006 at 5:27 pm

O.K., folks . . . that last post, even though I did preview it, left out something kinda crucial. After apologizing to me feminist sisters, I did confess something like “nothing beats a little male attention for a big ego boost!”

(did i really have to correct that? yeah. in my little world, i guess i do

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PastaQueen • July 31, 2006 at 5:33 pm

LauraBora – I actually can’t take credit for that line. I heard it or a sentiment similar to it in an interview with the female “What Not to Wear” TV show host who’s name escapes me right now. I thought it was right on too.

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anabell • July 31, 2006 at 5:53 pm

woohoo! I’m right with you in the back-to-highschool thing. I was giggling while readind this entry.

I was meaning to ask you, how did you start running? did you used the “couch potato to 5k” plan or something like that? or just started running without dwelling too much into it?

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Rachel • July 31, 2006 at 7:31 pm

Congrats on the flirt! It’s always fun when a guy flirts with you. Unfortunately, thus far the only men who have flirted with me (who weren’t completely old, creepy, ad revolting) were in the service industry and were just looking for a good tip. Unless you count the French men. And I don’t.

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Mary Garden • July 31, 2006 at 8:04 pm

Yay! That is so exciting. A friend of mine once said there is a distinct moment in the weight loss timeline when you suddenly become visible to men, and I found that to be totally true. It’s exciting, disconcerting, and sometimes dismaying. I wonder sometimes if I didn’t get fat partly because it was a handy way to hide in plain sight. Anyway, brace yourself – exciting, disconcerting times ahead – – – and big congratulations! May bearded, shirtless, hippy lads abound.

MG

PS – I also loved the “romulan warbird” line, and ditto what Laurabora said…nothing will get you dates like a good, firm grounding in the three S’s (Star Trek, Star Wars and Serenity ((or anything else by Joss Whedon))).

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Peter Audrain • July 31, 2006 at 9:21 pm

Hey-hey!

It is, in fact, just very, very fun to exist as a flirtable-with, pursuable person (for men, too). And a whole new sensory apparatus opens up as you get closer to goal. Congratulations!

Don’t have too much fun!

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Jessica • July 31, 2006 at 9:24 pm

Good crap! It sounds like that jogging trail is a veritable hotbed of attentive males!

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Josie • August 1, 2006 at 12:30 am

Nothing new to say that hasn’t already been said, but congratulations! You should feel good about the flirting since he sounds normal! But just to be safe (since you’re getting hit on more and more nowadays)- go get some MACE! ;-)

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kathryn • August 1, 2006 at 2:18 am

So, was he hot?

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Debbi • August 1, 2006 at 8:50 am

Okay, Laura beat me to it. This sentence:

“It’s a strange fact that in our society the more of you there is, the less you are acknowledged.”

stopped me in my tracks, with its honesty and insight.

No time for more. Gotta go see if there are any hot guys running out here in the Middle of Nowhere. [In nine years of living here, I’ve never seen one other person running on my mountain road. I’m sure all the neighbors refer to me as ‘that nutty woman who runs.’

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Lani • August 1, 2006 at 11:40 am

Woooo! Was he cute? You left out that crucial piece of info. He could be all those things you describe and yet be cute. Now how often will you been seeing biker dude? Am I jumping too far ahead? Lol, sry. I know the feeling though. When it first happened, I was looking at the guy like he was speaking another language. Those used to be NSV until it got old. I would like “woo thats 2!” and now its like “whatever, keep it moving.”

P.S. This is totally irrelevant. I heard on Good Morning America this morning that when guys are hungry they tend to be attracted to heavier women. Isn’t that weird?

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Hilary • August 1, 2006 at 11:49 am

Dear PastaQueen,

It’s nice to be noticed! But perhaps you are not only being noticed because of your new body, but also because of your new confidence in yourself? You’re out there, sweaty Eeyore shirt and all! And that’s beautiful in its own crazy way.

Also – romulan bird of prey – muffled workplace-snort of laughter!

Keep up the great work!

Hilary

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...jus me • August 1, 2006 at 2:30 pm

I love it…it is so cool when men start noticing you…you know you are becoming one of the “normal women” then. Not that you truly aren’t normal before, but I am there and have been where you are also. There is a difference to men. Men are just naturally more visual. We are the same person fatter or thinner, but our thought of ourself changes too. If we are being good, and out jogging…we certainly feel better about ourselves and it shows.

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TC • August 1, 2006 at 5:06 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That’s really exciting.

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Peter • August 1, 2006 at 6:34 pm

You know, I don’t know if this is a Choose Your Own Adventure blog–I mean, if the audience can or should make requests. But I would absolutely love to hear more about the way you grew up, with regards to eating and weight, and what effect you think your family has had.

My father’s always been obese, and as I started losing weight I realized that I’d picked up a lot of stuff from him (like standing over the kitchen counter for long spells while reading and comfortably munch, munch, munching his way through something, with a total lack of awareness–sometimes one of those round soup-can-shaped, wax-surrounded things of Colby they used to sell–or making ramen with fried egg and lots of butter and considering it vaguely healthy for being Japanese).

And considering things like doughnuts and KFC to be a special treat when you’re out of the house birdwatching or on some sort of expedition. Basically, the Dad approach is that if you’re outside and it’s early in the morning, you must be doing something healthy (even if you’re totally driving around), so you deserve a little trans-fat-filled commercial goodness. Or a lot, you know.

Anyway, if that’s a topic you want to bring up, I know it would resonate with a lot of readers, and be really interesting.

On the other hand, your mother must totally read this blog, so maybe it would be a little too personal! And just getting to hear your reflections on the history of the habits that you had to shed–free of any parent-analysis–would certainly be fun, too.

Like a lot of your readers, by the way, I do think this could easily be worked into a newspaper or magazine column. Why not get in touch with your local paper and see what happens from there? You’d better hurry before you lose too much more weight, or you won’t have as much to write about!

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mike • August 1, 2006 at 6:53 pm

To say that being excited about something like this is like high school undervalues the event and (by my experience, anyway) greatly overrates high school.

You probably think everyone’s way past such things… but it’s not a small moment. A seemingly nice man (cute, ugly, whatever; I don’t care) obviously showed an interest in you. And not in some forceful way; he sounds, from what you said, quite self-deprecating and maybe a little scared himself. Not that I’d know anything about that:-)

But it’s not a small deal if it makes you happy; not a small deal at all. Take it as kindness or appreciation or an ego boost or any combination of these, but please don’t feel like you should minimize it for the sake of explanation. It’s life and it’s very cool. Enjoy it.

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Haystacks • August 1, 2006 at 9:48 pm

The first (and only) time I was ever asked out, I was so shocked I said yes even though I did not actually want to go out with him. I was just too stunned to respond properly.

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Patty • August 2, 2006 at 1:20 am

Good for you! Definitely feels good to be noticed. I once had a guy hit on me that way saying “don’t tell your boyfriend” and then he waits for your to say “what boyfriend” and then that would be his chance to talk to you more. The lines guys use to see if your available or interested in them. Even though I’m married, I think sometimes I’ve used this extra weight to make myself unattractive and then I won’t have to deal with men. Strange, but true. You had me cracking up with that bird or prey line too. You are doing so awesome and are an inspiration.

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Nienuh • August 2, 2006 at 4:32 am

You have a eeyore tank top?!? Damn, that would start me hitting on you, and i’m a girl (heterosexual i might add ;)). I absolutely luv eeyore!

Ow and yeuh for the attention from the guy ;)

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Marla • August 2, 2006 at 1:40 pm

Wow! Congratulations. And yes, I think you were supposed to say “I don’t have a boyfriend.” Unless of course you weren’t interested in pursuing further relations with naked hippy guy.

I think we’ll be hearing a lot more jogging trail reports – get used to the attention!

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Heather • August 3, 2006 at 3:25 am

If you are anything like me, soon you will not be cheering… You will be dreading the annoying guys who won’t leave you alone.

I especially hate it being overweight– call it low self esteem, but I don’t trust it!

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Ari • August 3, 2006 at 1:26 pm

I agree with Amy. Start hitting sci-fi conventions and you can have all the flirting/sex/minions you want with knowledge like that. :)

It’s what Dr. Phil terms “a target-rich environment”. :)

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Katrina • August 6, 2006 at 1:42 am

Hilarious! And congrats:)

Watch out!

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Judy • August 12, 2006 at 5:35 am

I love your blog. Judy

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phoebad • May 9, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Okay, not that you’re going to read this two years after the fact, but I’m writing it anyway:

1) Reminded me of the worst pick up line I’ve EVER experienced (or even heard of): Some guy came up to me on the dance floor, started dancing really, really close and said, “I like you because you remind me of my sister.” Ew. A little too “The Fall of the House of Usher” for my tastes.

2) Everyone is somebody’s fetish. A little less sweet-sounding than “There’s someone for everyone,” but I think it sums up the whole physical attraction side of relationships anyway. Plus, it’s funnier.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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