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Retarded, Gay and Fat

Several years ago, when my boys were in the 10-14 age range, I fought a long battle with them over “retarded”. Everything and everyone was, apparently, retarded.  My Human Resource Director hat got on my head, and they had to hear about how hurtful it was to say those things, and what if you had a little brother or sister that was challenged and you heard someone saying that…yada yada yada. Finally they quit with the retarded.

At 12-16, everything and everyone in their lives was gay.  And I don’t mean happy.

“Shut up—you’re gay!”  

“That’s soooooo gay….” 

“Man, you’re such a fag……..”

So, months of redirection and constant reminders ensued.  That it was hurtful, that there really are people who are gay, and that they are lovely people with actual feelings and that by using their nature as an insult, you are being hurtful.  So they finally stopped with the gay fag business.

Now, with my youngest at 16, everything and everyone among his peer group is fat.  

And I don’t mean P-H-A-T.

“Johnny, shut up…you’re fat.”

“Man, you’re so stupid, you’re fat…”

“Max–go take a shower–you stink”    “Are you calling me fat, Mom?”

Apparently, being fat means anything from “you stink” to “you are clumsy”…..It seems to mean everything EXCEPT for overweight.

So I tried telling them—“guys—that hurts MY feelings”

“Ms Friesenhahn—you’re NOT fat. You’re a mom. You’re perfect the way you are”

Okay—gotta admit they earned some brownie points there.

So anyway, a few weeks ago I overheard a conversation between my sister and my son. She was telling him—over a discussion about his diet of chicken nuggets and pizza–that he although he isn’t fat now, he doesn’t want to get fat, because, among other reasons, “people treat you differently when you’re fat”.

My blood began to boil.  Not because of what she was saying to him, but because of the truth in the words.  Society has lost its collective sense of humanity.

I have struggled with my weight my whole life, like many people.  I remember in a college speech class, my professor saying that “an overweight person has to be 12 times as good, 12 times as convincing, to be perceived as equal to a thin person”, in the context of debate.  TWELVE TIMES!!!

That really stuck with me.  Since I hadn’t historically been able to get thin, I did the only thing I could do….I developed a fierce command of the English language, and a quick wit. Debate me on something.

Go ahead—-make my day. 

I have always judged people based on the content of their characters, and their contributions to society, so the thought that someone would marginalize me without knowing me was hard to swallow.  I do have to say, that with very few and rare exceptions, I have never felt judged due to my weight.  There are no “stand-out” moments for me when I felt like someone didn’t like me because I was fat, or was snickering behind my back, etc…I mean I am sure that it was happening, but I never noticed it.  Sometimes it’s good to be sort of a blonde that way.

And as for my own body image…It was always good.  I never looked in the mirror and thought “oh my God—you’re such a fat ass…”  The only time I felt fat was when I saw pictures of myself.  I wondered “what the hell kind of camera is that that could add 75 pounds to someone like that?” Seriously.  Or when the airplane seats began to shrink around my butt, I knew I MUST be fat, even though I didn’t feel fat.  And my health, despite a sometimes slightly elevated blood pressure, was good, so there were no big health crisis moments to tell me I was fat.  Ultimately, even though I looked in the mirror and thought I looked good, I knew that the seatbelts and the Polaroids and the tags on the back of my britches didn’t lie, so I needed to do something about it.  And ultimately, even though my husband has always said I was beautiful and he loved me just the way I was, I decided to do whatever it took to lose weight to honor him. Because he’s a good man, and deserves a hottie wife.

And now that I am half way to my goal, and down 65 pounds, and no longer shopping in the fluffy girl department, people DO treat me differently.  Sales women are more attentive and friendly. Way more men hold the door open for me now, and say “hi”. 

And it really, REALLY pisses me off. A lot.  I don’t let that show, but….

I was no less deserving of having the door opened for me before…or of having someone help me with my bags. Or of a smile.

And it isn’t just fat folks that are victims of such judgments.  I recently saw a severely handicapped and disfigured man walking past a woman and her small child, about 5 years old.  The child, doing what comes natural to children, stared as he passed. The mother, in what can only be described as a total parenting failure says to the child: “quit staring….he might say something”

What??  How about we don’t stare because it’s rude? How about using that opportunity as a teaching moment? Why not teach your children that some people are born with difficult circumstances, but that they are all people and should be treated as such?  How about NOT teaching your children ugly tags, like retarded, gay or fat?

Can we STOP judging people based on their appearance? And start judging them on things that matter?  Like what kind of human beings they are?

I know, I know…it’s a CRAZY idea.  Can’t you just leave me with my dream?

 

Real food.  Real healthy. Real tasty.

Real food. Real healthy. Real tasty.

 

Here is a meal that will work well with most reasonable diets—except for vegetarian ones—that’s just crazy talk. 

It is gluten free, dairy free, low carb, paleo/caveman friendly. If you are “in the Zone”, counting points, or living the South Beach lifestyle, this will work.  Dr’s Atkins and Oz would also give a nod of approval.

What food is so universally accepted, you ask? Good old fashioned steak and veg, that’s what.   You’ll like it no matter what–fat or thin, gay or straight, retarded or not. 

See? We all have something in common already.

Beef tenderloin is pretty expensive cut of meat.  BUT, if you eat a portion size that is smaller than the 20oz ribeyes most people cook up, it really isn’t that bad.  And when it comes to quality, flavor, and tenderness you can cut with a fork, you just can’t beat it.  Buy one steak per diner, plus a t-bone for preparing the carrots (trust me).

 

Grilled Tenderloin Steak

Serves 4

  • 4 thick cut (2-2 ½ “ thick) tenderloin steaks (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper medley (at least black, green and pink)

The secret to great steak is to cook it HOT and FAST. This isn’t a smoke job. You’ll need a VERY HOT grill—get your coals started about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook.  You want a good pile of red hot coals.

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Lay steaks on a plate.  Cut top ½” of garlic off of bulb.  Rub each steak, front and back, with cut side of garlic. Dispose of garlic.  Drizzle olive oil lightly on both sides of the steaks, rubbing to coat. Liberally season both sides with salt and pepper, massaging into the meat a little.  Place steaks directly over very hot coals.  Cook first side, without poking, turning, or otherwise molesting the steak, for about 5 minutes.  If it flames up a little, let it be.  That makes for great char.  If it flames up a lot, move the steaks to the side a bit, but still over direct high heat.  Turn steaks once, and cook the other side for the same amount of time.  Overall cooking time will vary based on how thick your steaks are and how you lilke them cooked. 

A two inch thick steak, cooked over very hot coals, should be about 5 minutes per side to get to a perfect rare.  You aren’t really going to burn (i.e., cook to medium or more) a tenderloin steak, are you???  Please, for the love of GOD, don’t do it.  If that’s your plan, save your money and buy sirloin.

Remove steaks from heat, and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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The following recipe was inspired by some carrots my husband’s grandma used to make, and now her daughter after her.  I haven’t actually procured the recipe, but knowing what the secret was, I just sort of made my own.  They are GOOD.

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T-Bone Carrots

  • 1 t-bone steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 pound of sliced carrots (no more than ¼” thick)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

Heat a nonstick skillet or dutch oven to medium high.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Season steak front and back, with liberal salt and pepper. Place in hot skillet, and cook until brown and crusty on both sides. 

Save steak for use in another meal, or serve to the diner who wants his tenderloin cooked beyond medium rare.

Add carrots, and stir to coat with pan juices.  Add sugar, and stir to coat again.  Allow to cook until carrots begin to brown. Add water to deglaze the pan, and parsley.  Allow to cook until carrots are tender, and water is mostly gone.

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Green Beans with Bacon and Onion

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • salt and pepper

Fry bacon in a large skillet until almost crisp.  Add in onion and almonds (if using) and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add beans, and toss to coat.  Add 1 cup water, and cook until water is evaporated and beans are crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Categories: children, Family, Food, humor, recipes, Texas, writing

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37 Comments on “Retarded, Gay and Fat”

  1. 2014/01/21 at 4:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  2. 2014/01/21 at 5:10 pm #

    Down 70 I totally agree! When I was young my brothers and I used to call each other names I called one brother a faggot and my Dad made me write I will not call my brother………….one thousands times GOT IT no more name calling brothers were a little SLOWER 🙂 Congrats!

    • 2014/01/21 at 5:14 pm #

      And congrats to you!

      • 2014/01/21 at 5:16 pm #

        🙂 It is a daily exercise to eat right and do something ANYTHING! 🙂 I quit WW today and not to try to do it on my own I think I have it licked! 🙂

  3. 2014/01/21 at 5:21 pm #

    Congrats to down 65 and while I get what you mean that the old you had every right to the same treatment as the new you, but you should be proud of what you achieved.

    People judge people. It’s in our nature. To do it and keep it to yourself is what we should strive for. But to turn a blind eye to physical appearance, well what’s the point in dressing nice?

    It’s great that you are teaching your kids these life lessons. They will be better people for it. Children can be so cruel. It’s always refreshing to see ones that are raised well.

    I’m not fat but we all have “fat days” when nothing seems to fit as intended or you’re just unhappy with your appearance. Those days can be particular trying and we can be overly sensitive.

  4. 2014/01/21 at 5:30 pm #

    Totally agree on the parenting failure point! (Stop staring, because it’s rude!)
    I had a mother tell me about her child stealing a bracelet from a store and giving it to her as a present in the parking lot. She told him, Put that back… in your pocket before someone sees it. Get in the car, quick!” I asked her, “Do you realize that not only did you teach him the etiquette of stealing, but you taught him that it’s ok?!?” Good Grief!!!

  5. 2014/01/21 at 5:38 pm #

    Love all three recipes, especially the green bean one. I need more green vegetables as sides and this feels new, yet I know it will taste great, too! Thanks!

  6. 2014/01/21 at 6:00 pm #

    There are so many good points about this blog post that it would take me 20 minutes to list them all. So I’m going to share it with everyone. Wonderful points on kids, body image, rude people and just taking a deep breath sometimes. Thank you.

  7. 2014/01/21 at 6:21 pm #

    I love your tone in this. It’s so natural and kind, so human. On the weight issue, I think people these days have their priorities twisted. I’m not overweight but I I have my indulgences. I like a drink and my cigars, and if I were left to my own devices my diet would be steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and instead of dessert I’d have foie-gras. I think moderation is the most/best we should aim for. I’d rather my life the way it is and living to my mid 70’s than living to 100 on tofu, rice crackers and green tea. In fact, if I have to give up wine AND eat tofu, you might as well kill me now (and do it quickly!)

  8. Big Daddy
    2014/01/21 at 6:56 pm #

    The old adage sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never harm me is total BS. Bullying can hurt much more, bones heal but childhood trauma never does. Then you have the old “boys will be boys” and “oh it’s just a word” or “you have to get a thicker skin”. Until you find a button and push it on them, then it’s a different story, then you are “hitting below the belt” or some other such saying…..

    I think one issue with the USA is ignorance and lack of quality education. That to go along with lack of empathy. Oh only bleeding heart liberals have empathy…..or so it seems. I guess I must be more liberal, but don’t take my guns.

    • 2014/01/21 at 8:06 pm #

      Ha! I must be a freak, because I’m a dyed in the wool conservative. …with empathy and feelings. Go figure.

      • Big Daddy
        2014/01/24 at 6:11 pm #

        I’m more conservative too…..more centered though. I want to be totally understanding and I do believe live and let live but I’m almost 60 years old and I have seen it all. People need to get off their butts and work. Although politically they are all full of it and I dislike them all. As for life, I just want to make chili, shoot my guns and be left alone. I paid my dues plus and every year the government finds a way to make me poorer and poorer.

      • 2014/01/24 at 8:21 pm #

        Amen!

  9. 2014/01/21 at 7:01 pm #

    My kids are getting older and they are starting to notice differences in people may it be color, hair, size, disabilities, how they walk etc and it is a teaching moment to seize on how we are all different and that is ok.

    • 2014/01/21 at 8:07 pm #

      And I know you are doing a great job, Sandra! They are all so sweet and getting so big!

  10. 2014/01/21 at 7:30 pm #

    I’m a fat-ass myself, and I have felt the pain that you speak of. For the past 25 years, or so, I have defended myself by going on the offense with self-deprecating humor — make fun of me before they do. Still, it bothers me when they laugh at my attempts. OK.. I’m starting to feel like I’m part of a 12-step program here, and that’s not what I intended. I can assure you though that I’m with you: I judge people on their character. That doesn’t mean that all overweight, gay or mentally handicapped people are OK in my book. But neither are all ideal weight, heterosexual or mentally stable people. In other words, I tend to hate people on an individual basis. 😉

  11. 2014/01/22 at 6:08 am #

    All good points.

  12. 2014/01/22 at 6:49 am #

    Wonderful blog post! I’m going to reblog it right now. And the recipe looks great too. Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Rita

  13. 2014/01/22 at 6:51 am #

    Reblogged this on ritaLOVEStoWRITE and commented:
    Reblogging this gem from Texana’s Kitchen.
    Texana’s Kitchen

  14. 2014/01/22 at 7:09 am #

    I wish there were more parents such as you guiding their off spring! I think our world has been tilted on its head of late and parenting has become a thing of the past. Awesome job of being a parent and not a friend or buddy! Also, congratulations on your weight loss. I need to do something about mine :/
    Leslie

  15. love this post! 🙂

  16. 2014/01/22 at 10:27 am #

    You’ve written poignantly about stereotyping. There are times I’ve wondered if life isn’t just all a big question of, “Well, what you do you think now?” The first time I ran into overweight was with my mother-in-law. I always liked her, but I found when she lost a great deal of weight I felt more at ease and as though we had more in common. The thought startled me and I re-examined my deeper thoughts. I recognized myself as making wrong judgements. Conversely, I’ve never struggled like many have with weight and I have felt the heat of dislike and judgment by heavier people. Life is confusing.

  17. 2014/01/22 at 2:20 pm #

    I really enjoyed this post! Loved how you are teaching your boys to be kind, respectful, and to think about how their words and actions affect others.

  18. 2014/01/22 at 3:15 pm #

    The recipes look great, but your message prior to that is amazing. Well done.

  19. 2014/01/23 at 3:10 pm #

    I started reading your post and had to stop and go get a fresh cuppa coffee….. I just slowed down and enjoyed your humor and the recipes!!!!!

    Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  20. 2014/01/23 at 6:51 pm #

    That is the only way I will eat green beans. Love the photos.

  21. 2014/01/24 at 6:03 pm #

    Slow clapping it out for this post. People need to stop name-calling & judging others based on what makes them “different.” Props to you for not letting your kids get away with making hurtful comments. My little sister is autistic & mentally handicapped & I wish more kids were aware there are kids like her who exist & don’t deserve to be made fun of, especially since many can’t defend themselves. Congrats on your progress!! Good luck with the rest of your weight loss journey!

  22. Loved it. As a “middle-aged” (UGH) woman who has finally realized that her metabolism isn’t what it used to be….I can relate to the weight loss struggles. Thanks for taking the time to make us all think about what we say and how it can hurt others. Wish you all the best.

  23. 2014/01/25 at 7:45 pm #

    I loved the story and the cooking recipe! I agreed with everything you have said.

  24. 2014/02/12 at 4:05 am #

    Hi Christine! Thanks very much for your follow! Great blog too, yours.. and yummy food too 🙂 Will stop by more often. #Greetings

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  1. Retarded, Gay and Fat | West Coast Review - 2014/01/21

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