stand up

I had a pretty unpleasant experience last Friday which left me rattled, and although I feel much better about the whole ordeal (and do not still want the perpetrator to received a swift {hard} lesson as my facebook post indicated), I have thought about it all weekend.
I am 33 weeks pregnant. I have gained close to 25 pounds already. My ass and thighs are…bigger (to put it politely)…than they ever have been before. My feet hurt in a way that they never did with my first pregnancy (which could have much to do with chasing and carrying around a toddler in addition to being pregnant as it does with just being pregnant). In the last month and a half I made the decision to walk daily because it is the only form of “real” exercise I was getting. But now that my feet hurt the way they do walking has gotten increasingly more painful. Really painful. But I’m stubborn, so I keep doing it.

This is what I was doing Friday, walking home, when from the window of a moving car, someone yelled to me, from across the street, “Time to loose some weight, honey.” At first I thought “Nice one. Yell at the pregnant lady.” But within a few steps I was sobbing. There was pain with each step, but I wanted to do this one, simple thing for myself (and the baby). I know that I do not look as good as I was did, that I am not as fit as I once was, but until that moment those things didn’t really bother me. I thought I got a pass on being out of shape- what with the whole pregnancy thing.

Having time to reflect on the situation, I’ve come to realize that what hurt were not his words, but the feeling of complete loneliness with which I was left. There was no one around to roll their eyes at his stupidity (or yell back at him in anger) and without someone to reflect back to me that my feelings were justified it felt as if that jerk spoke for the whole world; that everyone else agreed with him.

I realize that my experience was pretty minor, a mild offense (after all, no real harm was done). There are people out there who deal with so much more bigotry and serious cruelty on a regular basis, and I can only begin to imagine what that must feel like. Maybe you’ve even seen some of this yourself (I sincerely hope not). But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are witness to some egregious (or minor) act of racism (or sexism or agism or simple animosity and insensitivity) I’d like to ask that you stand up to it; let everyone around know that you do not agree and let the victim know that (s)he is not alone.

(S)He might not express it verbally, but I suspect (s)he will be profoundly grateful.

 

 

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