The Fat Kid Chronicles: 290 Pounds

I was hungry, so I swung by the mall food court but walked right past the Chick-fil-A. Normally I crave their spicy chicken sandwiches but not when I am at the mall. They always have the longest line, and I am never far away from a pack of chicken nuggets anywhere in the continental United States. Going to Chick-fil-A when at the food court is like eating at McDonald’s while on vacation. Instead, I go get some cajun food.

Famous Cajun Grill has no line. I order double bourbon chicken and double potatoes. No way am I getting any steamed vegetables; that’s for suckers. A cute girl comes up in line behind me. Her otherwise brunette hair has some streaks of purple through it.

I imagine myself having the courage to talk to her. We hit it off. I ask her out. She says yes. We have our first date at a Thai restaurant and afterwards go walking over to a random park. She is finishing up her last year of college as an anthropology undergrad before going to grad school next year. We date for a few months, but she gets accepted into the University of Oregon’s anthropology doctoral program. Both of us know this relationship will end, but then I recklessly decide to move with her to Eugene. Against all odds, we make it work and get married after a couple of years. On our wedding day, she dyes her hair purple once again as a reminder of the day we met. We have a daughter, and my heart is filled with joy.

But then tragedy strikes! My beautiful, nameless soulmate dies in a horrific car accident, leaving me to take care of our kid alone. Our family moves to Portland. I take a vow of celibacy, assured that no other woman could live up to what I once had. I also grow a beard. One day, my ten-year-old daughter and I are browsing through the shelves at a local, independent bookstore when I bump into a sexy-librarian-type woman, and we chat. Even though we have so much in common, I eventually walk away from the conversation, not looking to get into another relationship ever again. However, my daughter invites this new woman to come get ice cream with us. Over chocolate ice cream, I decide to go for it and ask her out on an actual date. After a series of romantic-comedy-esque difficulties, all three of us live happily ever after. But every year I make the trip back to Eugene where I visit my first wife’s grave. Her tombstone reads, “Mrs. Wrench: Wife. Mother. Her hair was purple.”

Y’know, the usual fantasies one has when seeing a cute girl. I walk over to the end of the line. Purple Hair Girl is right behind me. The worker asks, “Together or separate?”

And then she laughs.

Now, this is probably an innocuous laugh arising from two total strangers being mistakenly thought of as a couple. Purple Hair Girl probably has no malice behind her laughter.

But of course, I overthink everything. She is obviously laughing at the ridiculousness at the idea of a pretty girl like her dating a fat slob like me. It would be like Chris Christie dating Alexandria Daddario: a hideous, disgusting joke.

I turn my head to look at Purple Hair Girl but then quickly turn back in shame. I do not want to look at her mocking face. I pay the worker while keeping my gaze perfectly straightforward. As soon as I am done, I walk away quickly to a table in the far corner of the food court and stare at the TV. Usually after seeing a cute girl, I will creepily glance at her while she is eating, but this time I never want to see her again. Thankfully, I avoid her completely.

Sitcom television television is full of bullshit lies. In the real world, the obese guy does not have a hot wife. Maybe, just maybe, the chubby guy will get a cute wife, but I am well past chubby. When I get home, I jump on the scale: 290 pounds. At 6’1″, that puts my BMI at 38.3 or class 2 obesity.

Just recently, I had to finally buy a 3XL shirt in order to cover my tummy. Shirt sizes go like this:

L: For the bigger gentleman

XL: We had to invent this size in the 80’s because before then no human had ever been so fat.

2XL: Look at the human blimp.

3XL: No normal store sells this, so you have to go to a specialty store that replaces your money with shame.

I need to lose weight. In fact, I need to lose about 100 pounds. There are many good reasons to lose weight: You lower your chances of heart disease and diabetes. You increase your confidence. You can get fit and run a marathon. But really, I just want to get laid more often.

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