Saturday, October 31, 2009

Skipping Halloween

I don't remember Halloween being such a big deal when I was younger, or even 10 years ago. The boys and I decided to skip the festivities this year. They're too big for the trick-or-treating, I'm too concerned about health and money to enable widespread candy debauchery.

Still, when it came down to the "witching hour", my youngest, who is 12, was dragged off by his friend who was accompanying his three-year-old cousin. I let my son go, as this would be his first go at Halloween in the U.S. After the rudeness he encountered in the neighborhood, we're completely skipping Halloween from now on.

It wasn't the revelers out and about that were the problem. It was the adults at home. Several of them felt it was their duty to verbally point out how my son didn't need to be getting any candy due to his weight. They gave quite a bit more to the three-year-old, and a few extra pieces more to my son's friend, but my son only got one piece from each of them.

I am not upset that my son got the single piece of candy from these rude people. I'm upset that they felt the need to shoot off their mouths about his size. And only skinny, really young people "deserved" to be handed ridiculous amounts of the very substance they believed led to my son's physical size?

I want to go to all their houses, shove their pitiful little candy back into their faces and give them a piece of my mind! And then I will challenge them to do as many squats as my son can do! He beat nearly all his classmates at his tae kwon do class for holding a squat position, and the only person who beat him was a very tiny girl! And after that I will gladly educate them as to how we need to be combating obesity in America, not by promoting and supporting a ridiculous holiday just because it's a tradition (because we didn't even answer the door at our house), nor by verbally embarrassing children who weigh more than others, but by not supporting industry that creates and distributes foods that do not support our health. And then I would read to them about manners and courtesy, how good manners are all about treating everyone with respect. Even fat people. I would point out to them that we fat people are not a headless, silent minority and their personal whipping boys.

I'm thinking of a lot more I'd like to do to them all, because they shot off their mouths at my son, but I will refrain. I reminded my son that what those people said was more about their lack of character than anything, and certainly had nothing to do with him. And I will let it go so that it doesn't become a big deal to him. And I will continue to support my son with healthy food and opportunities for exercise and activities that promote health and exercise good character.

Maybe these people weren't loved adequately. I'm certainly having a hard time with it!


Anonymous said...

Hi Georgia,

I'm so sorry about the way your son was treated. I can totally identify with him. The last time I went trick or treating, I was about his age and remember being so excited about my costume. I was practically bouncing when I rang the door bell at the 1st house. I remember the woman opening the door and laughing at me while making some rude comment about my size. That was it for me.

Georgia said...

I found exactly who the evil neighbors are, so I might invite them for a special Halloween celebration and subject them to an hour of my mom teaching manners, which, if I remember correctly (it's a bit fuzzy, still), involved a lot of smacks across the back of the head and a switch off the cherry tree.

screaming fatgirl said...

I wanted to comment on this earlier when I first read it, but was a little too busy to take the time.

I felt so bad for your son. This type of cruelty can really stick with you and make you wary and distrustful of people in general. This type of treatment causes overweight people to start putting up a wall between themselves and others in an attempt to avoid judgment and pain.

My mother used to tell me that people should be judged by who they are rather than what they look like (all the while also criticizing my weight, of course), but I couldn't tune out the messages of the world that I was somehow less worthy of decent treatment because I was fat. It took my husband many years to even make a dent in my low self-worth because of people like your neighbor's. I hope your son is more emotionally resilient than I was.