Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm In Shape On The Inside

My older brother is overweight, but not grotesquely overweight. And he doesn't really have any horribly bad habits. He doesn't smoke or drink. He exercises occasionally. He doesn't overeat very often. But he's still overweight. But he's always had this theory about himself that I thought was crazy. He thinks that he's in relatively good shape, but it's hidden or "insulated" under a layer of fat. A specific example is when he said, "I think I actually have a six-pack of abs under here. But you just can't see it because I've got a belly on top of them." And while I give him credit for coming up with a better excuse than being "big-boned," that doesn't seem to me to be sound reasoning. It seems outright ridiculous.

And I have trouble arguing with him because I don't have any evidence to point to except his weight. He's never had major health issues, he doesn't sweat or breathe heavily, and he's played sports on occasion without incident. So if I didn't think his theory was total malarkey, I would see his reasoning.

But the other reason I can't argue with him is that he's never gotten a physical or any medical screenings done. So there have never been any numbers I can point to and say, "Ha! I knew you were pre-diabetic!" And I think he's avoided testing on purpose. Because if you look at him, you'd assume he has high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, high glucose, and all the other stuff we overweight people have that goes along with our physique.

Well, he got a free screening done at work this week, and he shared the results with me. And I'll tell you, when someone realizes that they've been wrong about something, their shock at the reality of the situation is kinda funny. Just ask my brother. Because his numbers came back perfect. He was in an acceptable range for every test they threw at him. His good cholesterol was high, his bad cholesterol was low, his glucose was in the "desirable" range, and his blood pressure was "normal." So his theory, as stupid as it sounds, seems to be correct. In fact, I was so shocked by his results that I almost checked to see if he'd been wearing a fat suit for 12 years.

So naturally, I have to go get my numbers checked. Because while I like being right, I like winning even more. And this has obviously turned into a competition.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Did You Say Tiny?

I sat in my first department meeting this morning at the new job. And not knowing anybody, I kept my head down as everyone filed in. I didn't want any introductions, and I wanted to allow people to stare at me without making awkward eye contact. Then I heard a lady beside me start talking about getting measured for a dress. And while I didn't see her walk in, I thought I'd seen her out of the corner of my eye. Anyway, this is what I heard from her, word-for-word:

"Well, she measured me and said, 'Ugh, your waist is just so tiny!' And I said, 'Oh please, nothing about me is tiny.' But she kept talking about how little my waist was. She must have meant by comparison. But I guess that's what they mean when they talk about an hourglass figure!"

She didn't say this with a hint of sarcasm or self-deprecation, and she didn't laugh at the last part like it was a joke. It was a positive thing that she was sharing with a coworker. And I didn't immediately look over at her. I would look like a total creeper if I started staring at someone who just described herself as having an hourglass figure. But the next chance I got to look that direction, I looked at her. And I'll try not to be mean here. But she did not have an hourglass figure. But if I compare her to a shape, it'll come off as mean. So the best I can do is to compare her to a famous person. She was built like John Goodman (circa 1991).

Now I don't usually make fun of fat people. It's totally mean. And since I'm fat, it's quite hypocritical. But I'm not making fun of a fat person here. I'm simply pointing out the ridiculousness of her statement. First of all, I know what an hourglass looks like, and that ain't it. Second of all, I know that nobody could call her waist "tiny" without being sarcastic or mean. So my conclusion is that she made it up. And that makes her a liar. And it's okay to make fun of liars.

And if you're a fat person who wants to lie about something, lie about something vague or unverifiable. You can say, "I lost seven pounds this week!" and nobody will doubt you. Or you can lie about your diet. ("All I've had today was a stick of celery and four steamed grape skins.") Because nobody will be able to call you out on that stuff. But don't try to tell me that a person who measures people for a living told you that you had a tiny waist. That's not believable. And I will judge you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"It Has Its Ups And Downs"

There's a second part to the elevator/flyer/email chain story I posted yesterday, and it's awesome. You'll have to forgive me for lying to you yesterday. My brother did not sustain any injuries to his brain. I made that up for humorous effect. I hope you can forgive me.

After getting word that he had to remove all of the flyers from the elevators, my older brother went to the elevator bay and pressed the button. And the first two elevators were easy. He took the first one to the top floor, removed the flyer and then sent it back down so he could summon a second elevator. That worked fine. But then he got on and right back off the second one and sent it back down the same way. The problem was that the elevator he sent down first came right back up. And he kept trying to send them both down at the same time. But they kept alternating and coming right back up. So he just had to keep jumping on and off of two of the elevators.

And that would be frustrating in its own right. But making matters worse was the fact that people kept walking up to use the elevator. And my brother had already pressed the button. So when the new person got on, my brother had to stay on that floor. And given the strange circumstances and limited time available, he couldn't explain himself. It was something you'd expect to see in a sitcom.

He couldn't say, "Go ahead. I'm waiting on a specific elevator." Because then he'd look like a lunatic. And he couldn't say, "I'll just wait for the next one." Because you only say that when an elevator is full. And he didn't have enough time to explain about the posters. So he came off as weird.

But then it got worse. Because the one time he hit the button, and a group of people (of a different ethnicity than he is) came to wait for the elevator too. And when he refused to get on the elevator, they held the door and said "Come on in, there's room." And he only had a few seconds' time to succinctly explain his weird actions. So he said, "That's okay. This is the wrong elevator for me. I have to wait for a different one."

So now there is a small group of people at his office who think he's one of three things: really weird, really racist, or weirdly racist.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Mental Breakdowns Happen

So my older brother was in charge of putting up some signs for a charity drive at his office. And he emailed the building supervisor, let's call him "Richard" (because that's his name), and asked permission to post the signs in the elevators. Here's the exact wording of the email:

"Would it be okay to hang some 8.5 x 11 signs in the elevators? I wouldn't cover over any wording that's already there on the elevator wall, I was thinking I could put the signs in the black space above the buttons on the left side."

A reasonable question in my opinion. Richard quickly emailed back:

"Not a problem. Just try and keep them neat. Thanks"

So my brother went and posted the signs, one in each of the four elevators in his building. Then he got a call from someone saying that Richard wanted the signs removed from the elevators. So here's what he sent to Richard:

"Susan just called me and told me that you said the flyers in the elevators need to be taken down. I'm confused, you replied to me last time that it was okay. Could you please clear this up for me?"

Still very reasonable. And frankly, very logical. But here's what he got from Richard:

"I am talking about the ones that are posted on the inside of the elevators. They need to be placed like we discussed. Thanks"

When my brother read that email, his brain imploded. I know that sounds far-fetched, but it happened. He realized that the rule that Richard was implementing was basically this: "You're allowed to have posters in the elevators, just as long as they're not in the elevators." The physiological effect that statement had on him was the equivalent of his brain thinking it was drowning in its own confusion. So he collapsed and his brain shut down. The doctors are calling it "Unintentional Mental Waterboarding, Hemorrhaging, and Trauma" or "UMWHAT." He'll survive and recover fully, but he can't ride elevators anymore.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Office

So I got a new job.  But don't worry, I don't have four now.  I quit my other one because it was stupid.  And the 20% pay increase I got for coming here means I'm quitting one of my side jobs.  So I'll only have two jobs as of next week!  And I like both of them!  Isn't that exciting?! (Hint: Yes it is.)

It all happened very fast.  I quit the last job on some pretty bad terms.  I burned a very large bridge on the way out (metaphorically... I'm not even suspected in the bridge arson they're investigating).  In fact, I quit and only gave a one-day notice.  So I left the following day.  That was rather satisfying because of how perturbed I was with management there.

Anyway, the cool thing about my new job is that I have my very own office.  It actually has walls that go to the ceiling.  And there's even a door!  So I'm pretty excited about that.  I've never had an office.  In fact, the last two jobs I've had were in open-cubicle floors where the cubicle wall is only about 4 feet high, making it difficult to do anything that's frowned upon (like blogging or nose-picking) without everyone seeing it.

My concern is that my new-found privacy (and perceived superiority) will go to my head.  It's common practice for the people here to close their office doors during lunch.  That means I could take a nap without walking out to my car (or I could play with my son's Hot Wheels on the floor without the judgmental stares).  But then my fear is that I'll oversleep (or make "Vroom!" noises too loudly).  So I think I'll err on the side of caution here.  I don't want anyone knowing thinking I'm a weirdo.