Twice, while The Pedant was over, we had a trivial little scuffle.
One was when the movie Krampus triggered a discussion of why people put up with shitty family members (I don’t care if it’s Christmas or you’re my family, if you’re an asshole to me I don’t want to be around you). I said something along the lines of I guess I’m just more badass than other people because I’m not afraid to cut someone out of my life if I need to.
The Pedant and I had recently talked about our home lives growing up and he said that he’d essentially trolled his parents so hard – finding their weaknesses and exploiting them – that they were pretty much afraid to even talk to him anymore, and left him alone. So during the discussion of badassery he was like “Yeah but is it really that badass to be able to cut people out? You’re kind of afraid of your parents and I’m not.”
“I moved out when I was eighteen and you’re in your thirties and have never lived on your own,” I said, and he kind of shut up after that.
I mean, it’s fascinating that he managed to browbeat his shitty family into submission*, but I think he did that because he was afraid of being fully independent. And now he’s thirty-two years old and finally talking about moving out…but admits that it’s gonna be really hard for him because he’s not used to budgeting at all. His parents have never made him pay any rent so all of the income from his full-time job goes toward eating in restaurants, seeing concerts, and other hedonistic things (I think he does chip in for groceries at home, too). And he spends all of it; when I saw him the other day he told me he was nearly broke til his next pay. He seems to be panicking really hard over the idea of having to actually set money aside for practical things. He’s basically been wailing and gnashing his teeth like “But howwwwww am I going to get by if I can’t buy $20 worth of fancy coffee drinks every day?” and I find it difficult to muster much sympathy.
The other scuffle was when I was encouraging him to make food at home to bring to work instead of relying so much on fast food etc., and he said he can’t because his appetite is so big that it would be highly inconvenient to carry enough food to sustain him. “I have a big appetite and I manage to,” I said.
“Did you see how much sushi I ate at the restaurant last night?” The Pedant said.
“Are you aware that I ate another two meals and some snacks after you went to sleep?” I snapped back. Which was true, and he had not been aware. And it was kind of hilarious the way this stopped him in his tracks.
On a side note, The Pedant has occasionally indulged in fat-shaming – casually assuming that overweight people must have shitty eating habits and not believing me that body type is perhaps determined more by genetics and luck than by diet. Like when I told him my meds made me gain weight he said “more exercise” (like I wasn’t already fairly active yet gained weight anyway…) and refused to believe that medication could make someone fat (“maybe a bit bloated” but not fat).
Here is a complete list of everything he ate on his second day with me, from the time we woke up until about 8pm when he left:
- A bowl of cereal
- A chocolate mint flavour protein bar
- A big box of chocolate covered raisins and a key lime flavoured slushie
- An icing-drenched bun from Cinnabon and a pink lemonade so sugary that I could barely detect any lemon (I like taking a wee taste of other people’s delicious sugary things. My friend T called this “The Cowgirl Tax.” I don’t want a whole one of whatever it is because the ridiculous amount of sugar will make my brain explode.)
The Pedant is pretty thin. One presumes that if he thinks overweight people all brought it on themselves by their lack of discipline, he also believes he’s thin because he is disciplined. But look at what he ate in a day! I don’t know if that’s typical, for him. I do know that at the very least he gets pastries and sugary coffee/hot chocolate drinks every day; maybe he also has veggies and lean protein at some point, but maybe he doesn’t.
His apparent hypocrisy on the whole body weight thing bothers me, and I feel like at some point my irritation over this will inevitably bubble up and there will be an argument – especially since he almost certainly believes that my weight gain is something I’ve done wrong rather than actually a side effect of my medication. He hasn’t come out and said it directly but if he does, he’s gonna get it with both barrels.
So yeah…the relationship definitely isn’t perfect. There are some looming issues and sometimes I kind of wait for the other shoe to drop. But mostly it’s good.
Oh by the way, my friend Link is also a fat-shamer (and a more vocal one than The Pedant by far). Link stayed with me for a couple of days in 2013. He ate one meal a day: six hot dogs/buns the first day and an entire frozen pizza the second. Also, he’s constantly bragging on Facebook about pigging out on desserts at a buffet and things like that, complete with photos of his overloaded plate. Link is also fairly thin – obviously more by luck than by effort – and yet he thinks all fat people are fat because they ate the wrong things. It pisses me off to a point where I don’t really talk to him anymore. Or at least, that’s one reason why I don’t talk to him much anymore. There are others.
*But one thing he didn’t consider – and which I did tell him, later on – is that there was less of a threat of physical violence, for him. To my knowledge his parents never beat him, anyway, but even if they did it’s been my observation that that shit often stops when a boy is big enough to hit back and do damage. A girl, conversely, generally doesn’t ever get big/strong enough to fight back effectively; not against a full-grown man. The Pedant started “trolling” his parents when he was in his mid-to-late teens. If I’d deliberately set out to harangue and humiliate my dad at that age, he almost certainly would have snapped and hit me. So it was in my best interests to stay out of his way rather than baiting him on purpose.