Hello all. Way back a few weeks or months ago, I promised a post explaining why I thought A Table In the Back would, at one time, have been a good title for my autobiograpy. Well, this is it.
When I started back to school in Fall of ’05, I had been following the Atkins diet for a year and lost almost 100 lbs. in one calendar year. I was lookin’ good, and it felt wonderful. Ok, so you’ve heard of the Freshman 15, right? The tendency of new college freshmen to gain at least 15 lbs their first year? Well, I wasn’t a new freshman, but I definitely fell into the trap. I had slacked off watching carbs and was gradually getting back to regular (former) eating habits. And here came the weight: creeep, creeeeep, creeeeeeeeep. So by the time I graduated from college two years later, I had gained back everything I lost plus some. Yeah, I was peeved about that.
So anyway. If you know Southeastern, you know that we poor schmuck English majors get to spend all our time on the 3rd floor of the Morrison building. Morrison is a wonderful old dinosaur of a building that is primarily furnished with wonderful old dinosaur-like desks. You know the ones. They were new and exciting in the 70s. They have scratched-in graffiti from 20 years ago. And they have a hard plastic seat and an attached desktop roughly the size of a piece of paper, and these two items are separated from each other by Very. Little. Space!!!! In other words, they’re not exactly what you’d call comfortable for a Fat-Headed Klingon Woman to have to sit in for two hours at a time! When I first started back to school, I didn’t realize they were that uncomfortable. By the time I graduated, these desks were the bane of my existence. I hated them with a passion roughly equivalent to the animosity between Rebels and Yankees!
They hurt. They pinched. They squeezed. They actually endangered my GPA because I couldn’t concentrate on what Spencer, Prus, Mischo and Allen were saying when my stomach was being sawed in half by the darn desk! I wanted to pick one of them up and throw it out a window every time I walked into one of the classrooms! Fortunately for me, and my fellow fluffy** students, and Southeastern’s Savage Storm Linebackers, there’s a beautiful little thing called ADA Compliance, also known as Accessibility. You know what Accessibility means? It means they have to make sure that the classrooms are functional to all students. And what it results in, is the presence, in every classroom, of at least one– table in the back! A regular folding table with regular chairs which are not attached to anything, and which can be pushed in, pulled out, leaned back in, or turned around backwards as the sitter desires!
These beautiful, wonderful tables were my salvation the last semester or two of my college education. After trudging from the farthest parking lot, dragging myself up the steep stairs to the building, and either tromping up the two flights of stairs or giving up and taking the Weiner-vator to the 3rd floor, I’d stumble panting and heaving into the classroom and (((TA-DA!)))there it was- the table in the back that existed in that particular spot precisely so that I would not have to subject myself to further pain by squeezing myself into one of those stupid desks! I was often the only person sitting at the table, but sometimes other people would sit there too, whether they were overweight like myself, or not.
What was that? Oh, right, the point. The point, friends, is that at that time I was mired in a hopeless thought that the table in the back was designated to be my spot forever. That I’d literally and figuratively be stuck on the fringes of things, marginalized, ignored, left out, forever. Remember my first Weight Watchers meeting, back in January? And how I sat at the sign-up table (in the back, of course) so I wouldn’t have to walk forward and blend in with the group, and God forbid, call attention to myself?
Well, things are changing. I’m still a pretty good-sized girl, but guess what? I’m not sitting at a table in the back anymore. I walk up to the second row and sit down like I own the place, and I’ve actually been known to do that while commenting on the discussion! That’s right, I have walked in talking! Spotlight, attention, and all- I took my place and just said what I had to say. No marginalizing this girl, no sir, not anymore! Now whether that’s only due to the weight loss I’ve achieved in the last 4 months (30.2 lbs, can I get a woot-woot!?) or whether I’m just really making a lot of progress with my therapist (new nickname: The Golden Goddess) I’m not sure, but I like it. I am proud of me. I’m ready to take center stage. Fluffy** or not, here I come!
Until next time,
** In my first explanation of the Klingon Woman thing, I made it a point to say it like it is and refer to myself as ‘fat’ and not ‘fluffy’ but the expression just lost steam without using that particular word. So there you go. That’s why I said it.