Mom was right when she said, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Maybe I listened back then, but I didn’t heed her words the other day. I lived to regret it.
I was in the locker room of my gym, drippy and wrapped in a towel. Or as wrapped as I could be, considering the gym is a fat-hating place that won’t buy towels big enough to cover my whole body. They don’t have big enough towels, but they have big enough televisions, even in the locker room, because god forbid you should not be entertained (and advertised to) 24/7. A pregnant, nude Jessica Simpson filled the screen.
I turned to the stranger next to me, “Whose baby is she having?”
Stranger: “Her husband’s.”
Me: “Who’s she married to? Oh, some baseball player or something?”
Stranger: “Hockey, I think. But yeah, sports star.” This is where a normal person would have ended the conversation, turned to her locker and gotten on with her day. But no. Stranger continued, “Oh my god, I can’t believe how FAT she’s gotten. I mean I get Demi Moore, she looked great when she was pregnant. But Jessica Simpson has ballooned.”
Me: [pulling towel tighter around my cellulite-decorated thighs] “Well, not everyone can be cute when pregnant.”
Stranger: “Blah, blah, something like 70 pounds, blah blah, gestational diabetes. So bad for your health and your baby’s.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. Instead of saying, “Have a nice day, fat hater” and turning abruptly to my locker, I told her of friends who had gestational diabetes and then had healthy, normal weight babies. That kind of quieted her, but probably she turned away because she finally noticed she was talking to someone who weighs more than a pregnant Jessica Simpson.
I left with three new resolutions: ignore locker room TVs, avoid conversations with gym rats, and bring my own towels!