Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does your lard make you special? Nope

It's time to come clean to you turnips. I've alluded numerous times that I am a woman of girth. I wouldn't say tremendous girth but if we were meeting for the first time and I casually mentioned I was a Chef, you wouldn't raise your eyebrows in surprise.

I'm sympathetic to people who struggle with their food addictions, food relationships, diets, metabolism, etc ... I've stepped on every rung of that ladder but looking down from the top, I can tell you honestly I have only one thing to blame for how I got here - me.

Having said this, I do not expect others to accommodate my girth. I also don't consider obesity a disability. You can fight me on this but I'm not going to participate. I know how I got this big. Anyone who gets offended is in denial. Truth hurts.

Got this email tonight, here it is in its entirety, discuss at will if you'd like or you can email me personally (

from Kxxxx XXXXXXX
to "C.J. Smith"
date Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 7:20 PM
subject Courtesy Seats
7:20 PM (2 hours ago)

Hey CJ,

How are things?

I was kinda stunned today on the 4:53 home when a woman directed some aggression toward me. I think we've had this discussion before... do we consider morbid obesity a disability? I'm sure there are challenges with mobility, but does this qualify for a courtesy seat?

I usually park myself in a 2-seater by the door. Not so that I can be first off the train, but mainly because I don't like to sit in a quad lest an obnoxious conversation start up. When I sit in a 2-seater, the only conversation that may happen would be between my co-rider and their voices. I'm a psych nurse, so I'm use to that. But I digress....

I'm sitting in my usual spot, and a morbidly obese woman got on the train. As she headed down the aisle toward a seat (there are several empty) she pounded her fist on the "courtesy seat" sticker by my head. I had my ear-buds on, so it kinda startled me. Now I wouldn't want to assume that all people who are morbidly obese are automatically disabled as well, because I think that would be disrespectful toward many people. So I have never jumped up and given that seat to someone her size, unless I saw an obvious reason i.e. a limp, a cane, etc.

Also, I see this woman get on in Oshawa all the time, and head upstairs, even when there are plenty of seats available down on the main level! Her attitude kinda pisses me off, because if I'm to assume she is disabled, why shouldn't she assume that I am as well? Is she sure that I don't have a cardiac issue, or arthritis in both my knees?

So what do people think? Should we be leaving those seats empty until the train is leaving, then whoever wants them can grab them (can you imagine?) or should those who do not have an obvious condition just speak up and politely request the seat? And what about the morbidly obese? Do they get a seat because we are to assume that they have health conditions due to the impact of their excess weight? Thing is, as a nurse I'm quite sure they would have mobility issues. Maybe I'm being judgmental, thinking she doesn't rate getting a seat because of the stigma toward obese people.



Anonymous said...

When I see a larger person all I do is pray they sit on an outside quad seat. I have seen these people of "girth" park them butts in the disability tow seaters.I always presume that their being selfish. And they are. Your weight problem doesn't give you special priviliges.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. sometimes your disability might lead to you becoming obese, so I'm not sure the first commenter is quite right, either.

Obese or disabled or whatever, the fist pounding on the window was RUDE and unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

If the person can manage to walk on their own, they are not disabled, imo. They are FAT. No special treatment is warranted.

C.J. Smith said...

I am pretty sure I know who K is describing.
I'm sorry she had to deal with this woman's rudeness.

Angela said...

We can several of these people on the LSW as well. They always park themselves in the two seaters and then start sprawling their bags over the extra seat.

I don't think being fat warrants a disability seat.

Anonymous said...

I am a bigger girl - shop in the big girl stores. I always choose the outside seat on a quad because I know that I could take up extra space - my backside is not small.
But, I know my size and try to minimize its impact on the follow commuters.

I have sat in those two-seaters on occasion when I have not been feeling well. The start-stop of the train is not as noticable. I have had many people sit next to me without complaint until some rude woman whose backside was not all that small, jammed herself in beside me and then complain and send rude comments that I took up too much space. Even though I was there first and she could see how much space was left. Since then, I stay away from those seats, even if I do feel ill.

GOTransitBitch said...

I'm not touching this one with a ten-foot-bacon-wrapped pole (even though I'm a fluffy girl). But what I will say is this:

You're a chef, C.J.? We have to become BFFs immediately!!!!

RonNasty said...

Are these seats still necessary, now that there is a special car just for disabled passengers? They should be free for anyone. I usually avoid them because nobody ever thinks about shoulder width, just the size of their butt when they sit there.

lswgirl13 said...

She gets no special treatment and should learn some manners (pounding on the sign)!!!
I know it's tough because not every disability is visible but it seems they hand out handicapped signs to anyone these days!!! And don't get me going about "mommy parking spots"!!! I had 2 kids and survived just fine without them!!! AND I ate peanut butter sandwiches at school!!! AND we didn't wear seatbelts and climbed all over the Cutlass Supreme woody wagon while on the highway!!!

Kelly said...

You know, just about everyone in the world can claim some sort of disability these days. Make your own up! Mental health disabilities count too!

Anonymous said...

HA bacon wrapped

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is such a slippery slope. I do not beleive that obesity is a "disabilty", and I believe that most obese people would be offended to be considered disabled. The real issue here is the unmitigated sense of entitlement that the lady had, and the manner in which she presented her request was absolutely deplorable. She should be embarrassed for being so rude. It's one thing to have mobility issues, doesn't matter from what, but just because you struggle getting around a bit, doesn't give you the right to act like a complete ignoramus to others.

Jen said...

You know, reading the latest anon. comment (2.34) I immediately got the picture of Homer Simpson in his moomoo. How he purposefully gained all that weight so that he could qualify for the disability provision at the Plant.

Anonymous said...

@lswgrl13 High 5! I too, ate PB & J at school and no one needed an epi pen!

Anonymous said...

Some people have invisible disabilities (arthritis, bum knee, etc). Such people generally know enough to politely ask for a seat, rather than pounding on the window.