The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Wow, You Out Ran The Fat Girl. Well Done!

on October 7, 2013

There is a weird phenomenon that one sees in traffic.  Normally rational, kind people will risk injury, damage to their vehicles and increased insurance rates to get ahead of you.  There could be twenty minutes of traffic ahead of you both, but if they are that one car length ahead they somehow win, they have an advantage, and they take a certain pride in being “better than” the poor schmo who is behind them.  This is annoying in traffic and I’ve done my fair share of yelling at other drivers and yes I admit I’ve probably done it myself once or twice, but as I am wont to do I like to mess with the minds of my fellow road hogs and I let them get in ahead of me.  They are confused at first and some turn and look at me like they want to yell at me for not sharing the road and then they realize that that’s exactly what I did do and they take their coveted spot in traffic one ahead of me.  I could lie and say I do this because I am a kind and generous soul and I’m all zen and groovy, but really I just like to exhibit my contempt for their silly behaviour.

What really irks me though is that this silly behaviour is not limited to the highways and byways.  When I am walking about down town or walking between buildings at work there are people who will do everything shy of grabbing my clothing and pulling me back in order to get ahead of me.  I’m aware that I am not a speedy walker and in fact I often make a point of moving to the side of a corridor so that people can pass me more easily, but I am always surprised by those people who start huffing and puffing and picking up their pace to outrun me, as if it’s some great accomplishment.  It’s a bit like wanting a high five for beating a toddler at Trivial Pursuit.  Perhaps they are concerned about their own fitness and they are trying to make themselves feel better by being able to outrun at least one person in the crowd, but if I’m that one person and you’re of average size I think you are in pretty bad shape.

I used to work in the same office with a woman who parked in the same lot that I did.  I didn’t particularly like walking with her because she talked incessantly and would expect thorough replies that would reflect that I had hung on her every word.  Since I automatically recognized her chatter as useless fluff I barely registered hearing it never mind absorbing it, so for the most part my replies were limited to smiles, nods and non-committal cliches like “well there you are”.  Then one day she told me she could no longer walk with me.  I said ok, but she felt the need to explain in detail that I don’t walk as fast as she does and it’s really quite a challenge for her to walk as slowly as I do.  Again fine, perhaps a little rude to point it out, but it’s no secret that I walk slowly. The funny thing though is that she really doesn’t walk that much faster than I do.  We now both take the Go bus and since we work in the same building the time it takes us to walk to the stop is about the same, and she gets there a whopping thirty seconds to one minute before I do.  To be honest I’m happy that I am saved from her verbal diarrhea, but it is irksome that she somehow thinks that  she is “better than” because she outran the fat girl.

I suppose I have to be honest and admit that I find it more than irksome since here I am writing about it, but seriously when one is reflecting upon their life accomplishments I trust they have slightly loftier goals than outrunning the fat chick.  If you want to show your superiority then run a marathon, climb a mountain, or finish the New York Times crossword puzzle, or better yet learn a real life lesson and stop basing your self worth on how you compare to others.

quote-roosevelt-comparison-joy

– the Goddess

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17 responses to “Wow, You Out Ran The Fat Girl. Well Done!

  1. tifelayne says:

    How crazy that she would make a comment like that! I hope that 30 seconds saved really gets her ahead in life. :/

  2. nancytex2013 says:

    I’m of two minds here. First – clearly – she is a total ass for handling it the way she did. And now that I fully get the picture (i.e. she wasn’t racing to get to a meeting. She was walking to the same bus as you – with a scheduled departure time. Crazy.)

    So, it’s settled, she is a cow and you are lucky not to have to put up with your endless verbal vomit.

    Now…confession time. I’m a fast walker. Always have been. (And note, it has nothing to do with being fit. I was a fast walker when I was 25 lbs heavier and never worked out — so, the opposite of fit.).

    For me, I get very anxious walking behind someone taller than me (which is most people, given my 5’5 stature). I’m borderline claustrophobic (and just completely neurotic in general) – and I just feel…gross walking behind someone when I can’t see ahead of them. (Kind of like driving behind a truck on the highway…can’t do that either). Anyway, I’m rambling – but my point being, don’t necessarily take it as a “I need to be faster than the fat chick” thing. In my case I’m often passing young, skinny people. They are just slow. And I can’t do slow. (Neurotic…)

    Back to you and your co-worker though — She is insensitive (and boring), so you’re better off without her. 🙂

    • Oh I get not wanting to walk behind me or not wanting to be slowed by me, I get frustrated by people who block the way and I always wonder just how poor one’s level of fitness is if I’m lapping them, but if we were shopping together I wouldn’t expect you to be running ahead of me. 🙂

      • nancytex2013 says:

        My husband and I met up with friends Saturday night for the Nuit Blanche. I only realized how fast I was walking when I was paired with one of the two (i.e. me walking with the husband, while my husband walked with the wife) – and noticed how far behind they were (walking at normal people speed) as we raced through the crowded city streets. (Claustrophobia in full force!).

      • I’ve never gone to Nuit Blanche for that very reason, so I fully understand your need to find open space away from the madding crowd, But you might want consider your company, I hope they weren’t puffing trying to keep up with you 😉

      • nancytex2013 says:

        Oh they were fine! My husband was just grateful that he had occasion to walk at normal people pace for one night. And each of the other two got do that too, when they partnered with him. 😉

    • Uh oh. I’m a fast walker, too, it comes from running a farm for 10 years. Much of the land was too steep to drive on, so I learned to either walk fast or I’d be spending all day to check on the cows. My daughter’s always telling me to slow down, so I now do try to adjust to other people’s walking speed, not everyone wants to race through town. After all, if I’m out with someone I want to have a conversation with them, not have them huff and puff so they can hardly speak. Funnily, I get really annoyed with my son, who’s very tall with giraffe legs, because he walks even faster than me! And I don’t get running. Why would you, unless you’re about to miss a bus or something?
      PS You might enjoy this if you haven’t seen it already, Goddess! http://theshake.com.au/flair/comparison-is-the-death-of-inspiration/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=theshake

      • Thanks for the link. The issue isn’t really about fast walkers, I move to the side, I know some people just zip along at a pace my short little legs could never hope to achieve. The issue is more about the people who will just about give themselves a coronary to get ahead of me like it’s some great achievement. I’ve actually had people race to get ahead of me and then slow down and block my way so that I feel like I’m stubbing my forehead. I mentioned my co-worker since it makes me laugh that she felt the need to make an issue of my pace. If we were missing buses or not getting seats I could see her wanting to run ahead, but we both make the bus and get decent seats??

  3. I work at Lane Bryant and for the most part it is a safe place for us big girls. But the comparison still happens.
    One woman came in and bought a pair of size 26/28 panties. She asked if that was the largest size we had. Yes. “oh. They are for a joke!”
    My stony silence made it clear that I do not find size 26/28 funny. She kept grumbling about the price and how she did not know anyone who could wear them. As I was at work I had to keep my comments to the safe realm so I let stony silence speak for me.
    Then yesterday I had a woman (in a very crowded store) announce she was the only skinny one in the building. I gave her a big smile and said “that’s okay, we will let you stay anyway!”
    She chose to wait for her friend next door.
    People need to feel better than someone else, hence reality TV. and weight is the most acceptable comparison. I may be X size but at least I am not Y size!
    It explodes in their face when Y size people refuse to be embarrassed or ashamed.

  4. I love all the discussion this post has generated. This business of comparing ourselves in order to make ourselves feel superior (or maybe just less inferior) is absurd. I simply do not understand why people are so competetive (I’m faster, cuter, smarter, wealthier, more popular, better looking than you are!). I say live and let live. Oh, and to Rose… awesome attitude and comeback!
    BB

    • Yes, it’s great when a discussion takes off! It’s sure reminded me to be a bit more aware of other people. There’s nothing like a bit of give and take, that way we can ALL win.

    • Sometimes I wonder if it’s that so many of us don’t feel like we’re special in some way. Instead of recognizing that we all have our own “gifts” if you will, we try to distinguish ourselves by pointing out that we are “less inferior” (great expression!) than the next person.

  5. rose pilotti says:

    My first post ever,Goddess.

    I have a friend who walks very fast all the time, every where.I don’t mind if we’re doing it for the fitness value but when we are shopping or doing something recreational. I want to smack her.I’ve stopped doing fun things with her because she only has one speed.

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