Hello, Migraine, My Old Friend

I have a migraine. If I hold very still, it only hurts at my eye. I have been sad all day for no reason, but now I see it was just this migraine working its way up from wherever migraine live when they’re not trying to destroy you.

I got my hair cut today and the woman who cut my hair kept touching me. This happens to me…well, not a lot because I don’t go to church, so I’m not around women who are a lot older than me in big numbers anymore, but women older than me like to touch me.

Argh, I’m already regretting starting this post, but I’m just going to say it anyway. I think it’s because I’m so fat. It’s not bad touching or condescending. I don’t experience it as negative. Just weird, because they seem unable to help themselves, like how you might reach out and touch a bunny because you want to feel how soft it is. But my theory is that a lot of women, especially older women, came up in an era when, if you could lose weight, you did and, if you couldn’t lose weight, you at least tried to signal that you were trying by not being so fat.

And I think they’re often aesthetically curious about me, that they find something about my soft shape attractive, even if it’s utterly foreign to them.

I’m never fully at ease in these moments because I’m always a little afraid that they’ll turn on me in some way when they realize that they’re attracted to something they’ve been so long afraid of being. That’s not a safe spot to sit in. And I don’t want to have to explain my body, the things it’s been through, the things wrong with it, as if I must constantly be apologetic to be safe. I’m ready for it. But that’s never happened, so I try not to flinch or shy away from it.

Which, let me be clear, is not to say that anyone else has any obligation to let strangers touch them, nor do I feel like I couldn’t tell them to stop.

But I’m always so curious about it, because, in general, nothing in our culture makes me feel like strangers should find me aesthetically pleasing. And it’s always gone the same way, where the woman will touch me and enjoy it and I see in her fact that it’s the feeling of enjoyment that made her realize that she even touched me in the first place. And then she reaches again. I suppose because I didn’t say “no” or flinch from the first touch.

But I didn’t say “no” or flinch from the first touch, because I’m always waiting to see if there’s going to be a second. And there always is. They’ve always liked touching me.

And that makes me feel like I know a secret, even if I don’t know exactly what that secret means.

2 thoughts on “Hello, Migraine, My Old Friend

  1. I think you have the seed of a story here. I’m not sure where it would go, but there’s something there.

    I wonder if there’s a regional component to this? Because I’m also very fat, but I haven’t experienced what you’re describing. Region? Personality? There’s something there that’s different.

  2. I get this too. It’s almost like the fat is an indicator that I’m safe, stable, okay, a source of comfort. Like in some way touching me is soothing to the person doing the touching. Also hugs, because as I’ve been told, “squishy hugs are the best hugs.”

    The incident which last brought this up was when I was wearing a soft fuzzy velour jacket and had my arms and shoulders petted by no less than 3 random people at the grocery store because it looked so soft and fuzzy. Telling my friends about this the fat ones all nodded because something like that had happened to them too while the thin ones boggled at the invasion of personal space.

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