I have an eating disorder. I know it, and those closest to me know it. I eat and I eat a lot. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad. I eat.
With that said, knowing that I have issues with my weight and that I eat a lot, the last thing I want or need to get on Valentine’s Day from anyone is a box of chocolates or other type of candy. In fact, if I did get a box of chocolates, I’d think that the person who gave it to me was trying to send me a clear and direct message—‘I hate you bitch, Happy Valentine’s Day.’ And that’s real.
In my world, you show me you love me by asking me if I want to go on a long walk, a hike, or play a set of tennis–hell let’s cook dinner together and watch a movie– but don’t buy me shit that I really don’t need to be eating cause that ain’t love—it’s dysfunctional and furthermore will have me filling out a return to sender card–and possibly send me to the refrigerator.
But that’s me and my reality, for the rest of the world, come Valentine’s Day See’s Candies will make more money in one day than they have year-to-date, and restaurants will be full of couples and families celebrating their love each other—blah blah blah.
Look—I’m not saying that we shouldn’t celebrate our love for one another but all I am saying is that we need to re-examine what that celebration of love looks like.
For example, I love my grandmother, and let’s say on Valentine’s Day I decide to take her out to dinner. Well considering she’s overweight and a diabetic with gout—I can tell you I won’t be taking her to Hometown Buffet (her favorite) where she’ll eat so much I’ll need a slab of butter just to slide her out of the booth. Uh uh, it ain’t happening. Just like I wouldn’t buy her favorite candy from See’s either. To me that doesn’t say I love you Grandma, it says I’m going to help put you in grave that much sooner.
Similarly, many of us have husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, mistresses, that we know are overweight—no fuck that—are fat, and need a piece of candy like a hole in the head. Look I’ll be the first to admit that I have a family full of people who fit that description and that’s just being real. So then why in the hell would we show our love for them by contributing to their obvious issue with food and lack of exercise? I argue again that isn’t really love.
I think we buy all that shit because like with Christmas we’ve been programmed to expect certain things from people on all of these Hallmark holidays. I know there was a point in my life where if I didn’t have my box of candy, flowers, and the rest on Valentine’s Day from special someone, it was on and poppin’. But that was then and this is now and now, I don’t need that shit. I’d much rather have someone who gets that at the end of the day—love comes in more forms than a white rectangular box or one of those pink boxes with those little heart shaped candies in them. And the sooner more Black people realize this, the better we will be considering that more than 60 percent of us are overweight—and I don’t mean overweight according to white people’s definition of overweight either.
So as you ponder what to get the special someone in your life for Valentine’s Day this weekend, if your special someone is overweight, obese, or just plain fat—consider carefully what you give them as sign of your undying love—cause if you know they’re overweight, chances are they know it too, I’m just saying. You wouldn’t buy a recovering crackhead a hit, or an alcoholic drank, so then apply that same logic to your overweight loved ones this Valentine’s Day.
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