Sunday, March 27, 2011

sticks and stones...

Yesterday I was sitting with a group of people, eating my lunch, and talking shop. I had a big plate of food, and as embarrassed as I am to admit this, I ate every single last bite of it. (I was so hungry, I hadn't had a chance to eat since breakfast about seven hours prior to that, so I did devour it...)

The girl beside me had the same lunch as I did (it was the daily cafeteria special) and she ate about half of hers. By comparrison, I did look like a pig... I was just so hungry.

A few minutes after I finished eating, the elderly man sitting across from me made a comment about my appetite and my weight. He said something along the lines of how I can always be counted on to eat a big plate of food like that.

"...And it shows, it really shows," he said.

The people around the table laughed. (To be fair, it could have been because they were uncomfortable, as one of them later admitted to me in a tearful apology.) I was mortified. I started to get really hot and it seemed like time started to slow down. I could feel the lump forming in my throat but I just kept telling myself not to start crying in front of these people. I needed to escape.

"Don't let them see you cry. Don't let them see you cry..."

I said a few choice words to this man, but he was just smirking at his attempt at humour. I got up and stormed away, my pride was crushed into a lump in the back of my throat. It was only a matter of time before I would cry.

I took refuge in the empty first aid room, and just like a tsunami of emotion, my tears began to fall fiercely. I could feel my lunch, like an unsettled rock, in the pit of my stomach. I felt like I was going to be sick. I called my sister, who probably couldn't even understand me because I was sobbing hysterically.

"He called me fat, and everybody laughed. They laughed," I said.

Like any big sister would she demanded to know who said that. (Sisters are wonderful, because no matter what, if someone hurts you, they've got your back.)

After I told her the entire story she told me to leave. She offered her family to hang out with me (she was in Churchill, otherwise she probably would've come and got me). When I declined, she made sure to call and message me every half and hour to make sure I was ok.

I've been called fat directly and indirectly all my life, most of the time when it happens I laugh it off. But for some reason this entire scenario cut like a knife, and I couldn't stop crying. It felt like one of those traumatic moments out of a movie when the nerdy kid does something, like drop her lunch in the cafeteria, and everybody stops to point and laugh.

It was certainly humbling.

Perhaps this was lady karma serving me up a slice of humble pie for my less than stellar attitude towards others (at times...) I dunno, but it got me thinking that no matter how old we are, and no matter where we are in life, bullying still exists and it hurts. Perhaps the elderly man was just trying to be funny, I don't know, but he hit a nerve.

I guess this is a good reminder for me, and anyone who reads my blog to be mindful of how we treat others.


  1. Beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes no one shape appeals to everyone in attraction and comfort. As long as you feel healthy and can do the things you want to do then enjoy your food lol i know i do and if ppl point a finger at me n say you should loose wieght well there are three other fingers pointing back at them on things they could be improving on them selves with. Any way your Shelly are a beautiful person inside and out! dont let the pegion holing ppl make you feel down!

  2. You are BEAUTIFUL and you are a capable, competent woman!!!! Men who make comments about women's weight just look at woman as sex objects. The guy was a PIG! Eat healthy and don't let those who bully you get to you. (of course, that is usually easier said than done). lyl

  3. Writing about this bozo is the best revenge.
    Good for you.

  4. The real beauty of a person comes from the words he speaks. If those words bring life to you, they are good; but if anyone speaks of things that put you down, those are words that bring death. You are both beautiful and wonderful. The people closest to you can attest to that. Don't mind what that man told you; pity him 'cause at his age, he didn't know the right things to say. You are far better wise and humble 'cause you gathered all your strength and didn't let those words affect you.

  5. Not trying to be a creep or labeled as a stalker but I have a question for you Shelley...were you at the Moose game a few Tuesdays back?

    I have an anecdote to share with if it was in fact was you there...just an honest first impression upon seeing the real face behind the great blog & how it relates to this post.

    Let me know...


  6. I was at a Moose game a few weeks ago, yes...

  7. It was during the first period intermission at the Moose game a few weeks back this happened...

    I was standing in line at the concessions stand purchasing a beer when you walked by with a group of people (friends?!). In any case when you passed by I had to do a double take because the face looked so familiar. You were dressed in a black jacket and had a smile that was as as big and wide as the red river (corny analogy I know) you seemed so happy.

    Anyhow I wanted to come up to you and say "Hello" but then again that may have been perceived as creepy. I also wanted to say something along the lines that I'm a big fan of your blog and that it's been great seeing you evolve and grow over the few years as you finish your education. I also wanted to tell you thank you for educating me on the seriousness of missing women in Manitoba - I had no idea it was so far reaching let alone tearing apart families and lives. What struck me the most about seeing you in person was that the persona and vibe you exude matches your writing style exactly.

    I remember thinking to myself now there is one person who has worked very hard for everything she has ever earned and totally deserves it. I also thought to myself it won't be long before we see you in the public eye - here's hoping you stay in Peg city because we need more vibrant media personalities.

    To the gentleman (if we can call him that) who made the comments about you in his poor attempt at humor - im sorry that it hurt you. You didn't deserve that; no one ever does. Please keep in mind that despite what you may think yourself on the exterior a person's make up is a combination of their personality, confidence, attitude and approach in their day to day life...if he even took a moment to look in and really see what you're about and where you're's safe to say he'd be envious.

    Stay focus and keep strong - you're almost sure you can taste it!

    All the best in the days ahead Shelley,


  8. I was Shelley's date for the night and probably the reason she was smiling....

    And I for one don't think you're comment is creepy or stalker-like. I think it's incredibly nice. Way too many people take the time to make comments on blogs, Facebook and Twitter that are negative and rude.

    The world would be such a better place if we had more people like you - taking the time to say wonderful things. I hope Shelley listens to your comments and not the "elderly gentlemen" because she should.