I finally had my first orientation for the gastric by-pass procedure. It was just a general information session, held in a large lecture hall filled with fat people seats - wide and reinforced. Fuck, they're comfy . . . and absolutely fabulous for my self esteem. I'm not even being sarcastic -- I had a good 4 inches on either side that made me think that Burger King on the way home from this meeting would be totally harmless.
While we were waiting for the presentation to begin, there was a lot of silence and looking around. Basically, we were all sizing each other up, wondering how much weight each needed to loose. I know this because 90% of the candidates were women. Big women. And we were there for one reason and one reason only, so it's only natural, right?
And possibly because I'm a bitch.
I was frequently entertaining myself with fat jokes that swirled around in my head -- perhaps that's what was helping me get through. I mean, this surgery is a big fucking deal and it's a lot of life changing information to process. Inappropriate humor is how I cope.
Plus, isn't there some unwritten rule that you're allowed to mock a certain group of people as long as you're one of them?
But here's the thing: It WAS NOT an intimate support group setting. Spouses and other family members and friends were there as well. It was hosted by one militant nurse. She stood on a podium and sternly listed off facts and requirements to the entire group, which was no less than 50 people.
I remember from being back in University how there was always that ONE person that believed that lecture time was a one-on-one tutorial; this night was no exception. This also meant I didn't have to provide my own entertainment anymore -- it was suddenly being provided.
To set the scene, picture a version of Nanny McPhee (sans mole) that had just swallowed a manatee and possibly lived in a trailer park. Her husband sat beside her. He was 1/3 her size, both height and width, and likely suffering from blood loss as she never once let go of his hand with her giant woman grip.
Nurse: "You must drink 8 glasses of water a day, but in small sips. That's the tricky part."
Trailer Park McPhee's hand shoots up: "But what if you suffer from dry mouth? I have that and water doesn't work. Even sitting here right now, I'm dying of thirst."
I didn't need to know about your pasty mouth.
Minutes later, nurse: "If you're on anti-depressants, please do not suddenly go off them."
TPMP, blurting out with her hand in the air: "I'm on those. That's what causes my dry mouth!"
Congratulations on that over-share.
Then someone came in very late and there was no way the nurse was going to let her slip in quietly, "You are late. Too late. Where are you coming from? Far?"
The embarrassed woman noded.
"Fine. If you were local, I'd make you re-book and come back. If you're coming from London, I'll have to let it slide . . . THIS TIME."
TPMP, yelling out like it's a motherfucking Baptist church, "Uuuh huh. That's us!"
She wasn't even talking to you; no one gives a fuck where you live.
A little while later, nurse: "In some cases, there may be hair thinning."
TPMP, again, without even raising her hand, "What if you have pre-existing female pattern baldness? Does it make it worse? I already have to wear a hairpiece."
Holy hell. Bitch has got it all goin' on!
And let me be clear that it wasn't her actual ailments that were obnoxious, it was just her. All of her. And please remember there was no less than FIFTY people in this room. I almost wanted to jump up and yell, "Bitch! This ain't live action Twitter!"
My husband leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I bet'cha she was a riot in high school."
Snort! I leaned back over to him and whispered back, "I love you."
So when it came time to discuss how there actually are REAL support groups (and as much as it is surely comforting being around people going though the same thing as me), if this crazy woman is in my group, I'm going to have to pull a Ryan King on her fat ass . . .