My whole life I have been big a “big girl.”
In grammar schools (which for me was, kindergarten through 8th Grade), I towered over my classmates; not to mention some of the teachers! My nickname was “Jolly Green Giant.,” and my “friends,” took great pleasure in asking, “Hey… how’s the weather up there?” …day, after day, after day.
In high school, Grade 9 through 12 (perhaps the most critical years in a young girls life) I was taller than most of the boys (and still some of the teachers!) and the extra 15-20 pounds I was carrying, didn’t help to make me any more inconspicuous. So not only was I tall (5’10 1/2 inches), I was “healthy,” “big boned,” “fat.” Please know, all of this, coupled with my pimpled face and bad choice of hairstyle, made “courting,” just a tad difficult and awkward.
All of this, served only to light a fire, in my soul…
If I couldn’t fit in… then I’d be the best at standing out!
I had taken enough bullshit from my two older brothers, through the years, to be able to “take one on the chin” and come back swinging! My brothers (who I worshiped and adored) had also treated and raised me, as their “little brother,” much to my parents chagrin! So I was tough, could take a hit and could give as good as I got! (By the way pink is not pretty when stained with mud and blood!)
I had a mouth on me, was fiercely independent, outspoken and learned to banter with the best of them; coming back with witty and sometimes quite stinging, quips of my own.
My teenage years were a bit rocky, mostly because of the whole “boys/dating” thing; but I became engaged in what was happening in the world, developed a political interests, and learned how to speak my mind. I hung out with people who were much older than me and much less judgemental.
Somewhere along the way I found my voice, and learned how to discuss and debate… fairly effectively. I also learned that not everyone believed the things I believed; nor did everyone think like I did, and that was okay.
As I grew older and became more confident; I began to notice a change in my interactions with people; especially when engaged in more heated discussions.
It became obvious that my size (my sheer physical presence), along with my outspokenness, my fiery (sometimes combative) personality and “in-your-face” communication style… could be (much to my surprise) intimidating!
Hmmmm! This was like finding a Super Power!
Remember I was the socially awkward, “too tall for school,” pimple faced chick with a bad haircut… So this new ability to “intimidate,” just by standing in front of someone, was GOLD!
However (and unfortunately), before I ever got to harness and use this new Super Power (for good or evil), I discovered that when people even “sensed” that I had it, they came on with gloves on!!! They automatically assumed straightaway, that I must be unbreakable, unable to be hurt, shatterproof, made of Teflon™.
This kind of created a little bit of a teeny, tiny problem, because after all I did not have a real super power, and I was after all, only human!
Within the past several years, since I’ve been writing, wearing my “heart on my sleeve” and “ranting,” in the public arena; some people think it’s perfectly acceptable to come at me in a rude, presumptuous, even flagrant manner. (The gloves are on and laced!)
Common courtesy and decorum seems to go right out the window! And not to be a wuss (because my brothers would NEVER stand for that), I gotta say, sometimes it feels like I’ve got a sign on my forehead that says “Go ahead, take your best shot.” And they do!
I’ve been scolded, chastised reprimanded and lambasted! When I’ve posted my blog, people have been quite comfortable telling my “opinion” is dead wrong. My inane rantings have elicited strong emotions of anger, disgust, outrage… and in these times of heightened “emotions,” I’ve been spoken to in a tones of voice, unbefitting any reasonable adult dialogue.
Some people seem to forget that although I may be strong, independent, outspoken, and large… I am, only human.
If you prick me, do I not bleed?
I too have feelings, emotions, insecurities, foibles, self doubts, etc. Neither my intimidating physical “size,” nor my level of confidence, should be determining factors in the way I am treated/spoken to. I deserve the same respect and dignity as the teeniest, tiniest, little timid, introverted person.
And gosh darn it, I will stand tall and large right in front of you and fucking demand it!