Lyda here. I was reading this entry in Frank’s blog, and it got me to thinking about the whole body image and weight thing. Not that too much weight is an issue that this Pollyanna has ever had to deal with. Perish the thought!
If a person (not this Pollyanna of course – heavens no!) is pleasantly plump, some people feel free to criticize and offer judgments disguised as advice.
If a person (such as my BFF, the lovely Pollyanna of the Rockies) is svelte, these people still criticize and judge.
According to these folks, we are all either wasting away, or about to explode from excess adipose. (Pollyanna has a college degree as well as a Texas drawl.)
Either way, we are all going to die if we don’t mend our ways and listen to these people immediately! In fact, we should turn our entire lives over to them. Now! Or we will DIE!
There is a name for these critical, judging, all-knowing people, and it is not a nice name. In fact, there are many names for them. Don’t pretend ya’ll don’t know what I mean.
However, Pollyanna is a lady, and knows that her readers are all ladies and gentlemen. So let’s just call these troublesome folks “Turkeys” (which my brothers will enjoy; hi guys!).
Now, Pollyanna can sympathize with the urge to feed up some folks who seem to be a mite puny. Pollyanna herself has invited some of these types over for a Southern feast in a gesture of quiet compassion.
But mostly because I like company and I like to show off my cooking…
Besides, I know what will happen if I eat all those mashed potatoes on my own…
What if I grew so round that I couldn’t recover the fuzzy crack when Tommy the cat steals it!?! NOOO!
Mmmm…. mashed potatoes… But I digress…
Beyond inviting friends for a meal, helping the unfortunate, or working in the food industry – one must resist the impulse to feed adults.
It is not proper to add food to someone else’ plate. It is not seemly to badger vegetarians to eat meat, or to try to convert meat-eaters into vegetarians. It is not fitting to nag someone to give up the occasional drink, nor it is becoming to attempt to force alcohol on a teetotaler. It is not polite to inform someone that what they are eating or drinking right at that moment is completely and utterly horrible for them and will undoubtedly kill them eventually. (Pollyanna is sad to report that she has witnessed each of these , and it does not make for polite and enjoyable table conversation. Pollyanna will not die from what she is eating. She may, however, be executed by the State for leaping across the table and strangling the offender.)
Not even a little badgering. No, not even gentle nagging. I don’t care if you are close friends. I don’t care if you are related.
NO NAGGING. Not even if you are a doctor AND their relative. (I have a brother who is a doctor, and he never nags. He will graciously offer advice when asked, and he is very patient about how often I ask. But he never presumes to advise me otherwise. Because he is a true gentleman, ya’ll.)
Pollyanna hereby declares that there are only two people allowed to nag you about your weight or your eating habits: your doctor, and your therapist.
SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE.
Of course, your mother is going to nag you anyway, which is why you moved OUT! That and having your dad criticize your driving.
You see, this is a survival trait. It is actually good for the species for parents to nag… gets us out and about, leaving home, climbing mountains, sailing across oceans, going into space…
But I digress…
Ahem, where was I? Ah yes, the Turkeys.
Is there a “politically correct” weight? Is there a “politically correct” diet?
Not according to the Turkeys.
So, do not ever let these Turkeys get you down. Never let them make you feel one bit less than the fabulous, gorgeous, amazing creature that you and Pollyanna know that you are! All you have to do, my dears, is
STOP LISTENING TO THE TURKEYS!
After all, who listens to Turkeys?
When my mother was a girl, my grandmother once decided to raise turkeys and sell them for Thanksgiving. Make some extra money, she thought. How hard could it be, she thought. After all, she had been raising chickens all her life.
[I know this story seems like a digression, but trust me, a Southern story always has a point. Eventually.]
So, my grandmother spends good money to buy some turkey chicks. [Is there ever any bad money? Okay… now I digress…]
The turkeys are fine when she brings them home and sets them loose in the barnyard. The little turkeys are wandering around the yard with the chicken chicks.
And it starts to rain. Not hard. Just a little shower.
The little chickens all run into the chicken coop where it is warm and dry. No one taught them this, they are just smart enough to come in out of the rain. (Okay, maybe barely smart enough, but still…)
The turkeys all look up at the sky in amazement, and stand there with their mouths open…
and their throats fill up with water…
and they all drown.
My mother saw it happen. [You aren’t doubting my mother, are you?]
And that’s Turkeys for you.
So why would you listen to a Turkey for even a moment?!
Seriously, ya’ll. Think nothing of them. Dismiss them from your mind. They are not worth your time. You have more interesting things to do, like knitting and laughing with your friends and posting comments on Pollyanna’s blog.
Here’s the secret. To the Turkeys, it doesn’t matter what you weigh, or what you eat or don’t eat. It doesn’t matter what you drink or don’t drink (excuse me while I take a sip of my diet soda, which I may just trade in for a marguerita after this rant, ya’ll.). It doesn’t matter how you dress, or how you wear your hair.
Whatever you do, the Turkeys will object, and they will not just mutter to themselves or laugh behind your back. Whatever you do, the Turkeys will intrude upon you with their advice and snide uppetty comments.
Ya’ll, the mannerly reaction to all Turkeys – and this is according to Miss Manners, who should know – is to give the offender a shocked look, one raised eyebrow optional. And possibly say, “I beg your pardon?”
And if they say something else in the Turkey vein, repeat.
If you get it right, the undertone says, “I’m sure I misheard you, because I know you would not be so uncooth and boring as to comment on something so personal. So back off, bozo.”
Go ahead, go practice The Look in the mirror for a while. I’ll wait…
Of course, this Pollyanna merely nods to her son the Sith Master. She is then free to smile slightly into her knitting while the offending Turkey is force-choked to death.
Don’t mess with Pollyanna.
And now, where’s that marguerita?