Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Fat Kid Complex

For those of you who don’t know, I was a fat kid. Not obese, as I was raised in the pre-obesity epidemic era, but I still got teased a lot between the ages of 11 and 14 about my weight. And as we all know, those are really the best ages to be physically imperfect. My sister, who was between 8 and 11 at this time, was perhaps the most ruthless. Fortunately, at 14 I shot up about 4 inches and lost 15 pounds thanks to a squash class I was taking, and soon I was a lanky High School freshman. While being skinny was certainly better than being fat, I still knew I would need a better body if I was going to be able to attract the pretty girls in my High School. And so I began working out.

While other kids played sports, or the fat ones played video games after school, I took the public bus to a gym in the projects and lifted weights. And ran. And biked. And swam. Every day. By my junior year I was 220 pounds and being recruited to play on the football team, which had been my dream all along. My obsession with fitness has grown from there, and save for a couple of stretches I have worked out 4-7 days a week for over 12 years. And my work is never done. I can always be bigger, more defined, have less of a stomach. I can always have a better tan, more manicured nails, a better haircut. It never stops. Because when your first experiences with women all end in them calling you fat and telling you to go away, that is how you always look. What happens then is you become grateful for any female attention you get, and pretty much end up sleeping with anybody and dating anyone who bothers to stick around. When my sister got mad at me for sleeping with too many of her friends, I informed her of the complex she’d given me and said, “Hey, maybe if you hadn’t called me lard ass all through middle school you wouldn’t be subjected to your entire sorority talking about my penis. You brought this upon yourself.”

Monday, I talked about Ryan, who has taken this to an extreme of becoming a triathlete and power lifter. He also eats like complete shit, but somehow manages to be an elite amateur athlete. We had drinks again on Monday night, after I had written that post, and we began exchanging psycho girlfriend stories, which I found funny since I had just hours earlier sketched out our striking similarities. Turns out he also spent a good deal of time with a girl who, among other things, threw all his clothes down a stairwell and dumped a bottle of red wine on them, broke his surfboard in half, and spent the night at her ex-boyfriend’s house. My first question was “Did she have a coke problem?” which unfortunately was not true. At least mine could blame some of her instability on the drugs. At any rate, after seeing his lack of success with normal girls, I was not at all surprised to see that his last girlfriend, much as mine, had been batshit nuts.

Because here is what happens: Fat kid grows up with a complex and now has a better body than 95% of the guys out there. But still no confidence. So pretty, normal girls become out of his reach. But the pretty, psychotic ones are not and often become obsessed with him. This is the attention he has wanted ever since 6th Grade Susie was the first to tell him she only “liked him as a friend.” And since the psycho is actually very attractive, he sees this as his only chance to be with a girl that he is not embarrassed to take out in public. Until she opens her mouth. Crazy hot girls are kind of like a 10-year-old Lexus with transmission problems: They are very impressive to show off, but inside they are so damaged the constant maintenance makes you long for a Hyundai.

For me, I’m not sure if it will ever end. Much like Ryan, I think externally at this point I understand that I am not a fat kid anymore, and actually some may say my body is my best feature. But internally, every time you are rejected and the pretty girls aren’t lining up at your door, you assume it’s because you haven’t gotten your body fat down under 10%. And so you lift. And you run. And you bike. And you swim and you tan and you get $85 haircuts. And nothing changes. So you go back to the gym and work harder. Maybe there are some fat kids who grow up and realize that the answers to their problems are not all found in the weightstacks, and that you have to work on the inner person as well. And when you find him, please let me know. For now, I bid you all adieu. I’ve been on the road for a week and my stomach is looking disgusting.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger MonkeyPants said...

I would have to say I have "gawky, bad-hair, glasses, braces, acne, 'mosquito-bites' marching band, theatre dork" complex -- and that's never going to change.

20 weeks + and counting...

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Betty said...

I feel like writing a whole rebuttal on this issue- the same was true for me, but I always had a really strong personality and basic intolerance for most people (and still do at times). But this didn't make me a raging whore- just because I didn't get attention in college or highschool, doesn't mean I have fucked my way through New York- believe me if I did, I would probably have a sex life right now. But it did make me somewhat innocent when it comes to men and susceptible to assholes. This weekend was a case in point, I always see more in assholes, b/c for many years, no one saw more in me. I rather liked the way I turned out and only over compensate by being an outright bitch.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger emily said...

damn. Reading this made me sad. Maybe you don't need to worry so much about your outsides? Not to be all stranger analysis on you, but the cool-as-shit people I love spending time with are never the best looking, or in the best shape. Your good looks ultimately don't get you anywhere when we're all old and wrinkly, don't you think? Personality is always what matters more.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I don't know Dade. Everyone I know who knows you wonders why you have such trouble with women. Maybe you're trying to hard, or maybe when the opportunity arises to meet a non psychotic girl you think too much instead of relaxing and going with the flow. I relate this to basketball. As a coach, many of my players "think" too much instead of just "playing" or letting some form of natural instincts come to the forefront. Just a theory.

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Morbidly Obese Joe said...

Oh, and don't knock my video games.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

I hope that you find the normal girl you've been looking for--and I hope you do before Ryan does (not that I don't want him to find one, but I met you first)!

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I swear, our country as a whole is emotionally weak. This is the issue that keeps us up nights--we are fucked up and have problems and all b/c you are teased a little bit as a kid.

Not due to abuse etc, but once upon a time in F'ing middle school girls didn't find you attractive. This isn't a flame, but to make this comment section less warm and fuzzy, toughen up! You are a freakin' Marine (according to your posts)!!!

Someone needs to pull a Vito Corleone and slap you around yelling "YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!!".

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey WD,

Your blog has recently become one of my favorites, let me give you some of my thoughts... I've had some similar experiences. Not fat but really socially awkward.

Have you considered that maybe the reason that you are constantly meeting crazy hot girls because you meet them in clubs? A lot of stable attractive girls (probably most girls above a 7) are in relationships almost all the time and jump from guy to guy. A lot of attractive girls who are single are single because they cannot maintain a relationship. And they need to go out to clubs to feel validated. Clubbing is a subculture and most people do not meet s/o's through clubs. And your sexual success as you describe it seems pretty astounding.

I buy your narrative about your lack of self-confidence and fear of rejection keeping you from pursuing more normal girls without freaking them out, but have you thought about what makes crazy girls attractive to you (the dynamic of attraction is usually more than just physical attraction and chase, there are a million steps and recalibrations along the way). Crazy girls give off their own energy that more stable girls might keep to themselves. You might be geared towards high energy relationship because of previous experiences. Also, it is my experience that crazy girls have very weak boundaries. You know when they are sexually interested in you. And they make emotional connections very quickly. Perhaps you take these weak boundaries as motivation to get over your fear of rejection.

Also, do you have attractive single female friends that you are not pursuing? Just wondering. When you're out of college, it's really hard to make women friends. It's also hard when you've had bad experiences of being "just a friend." It might be worthwhile to try meeting girls through friends where they're vouched for, etc...

Just some thoughts.

Ps. Write more rants about Jewish girls.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girls that are insecure, overweight, etc and then become somewhat attractive become strippers. These were the girls that were teased or ignored in high school.

Maybe that's why you've dated them because your very similiar.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went to bed 3 hours ago, have the shakes, spins, still drunk and have a meeting with Jap Man Boss in 10.....these are real problems.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

MPants - Well, there you go. Works noth ways. But that 20 weeks thing is wholly voluntary.

Betty - Go ahead. I'd be interested to see what you have to say. But I wouldn't say you're even close to a bitch.

Emily - In "friend" type settings, absolutely true. When you have a chip on your shoulder about hot girls like I do, I tinhk it much much less relevant.

Joe - Hae you ever seen me play sports. No one would argue that I do not have the physical tools to be a good athlete, but for some reason I am mediocre at best. It ALL boils down to overthinking everything.

Angel - Me and Ryan thank you.

Anon - Thank you. That was quite refreshing. I have my roommate for that but unfortunately he has lost some credibility lately. But this blog is becoming way too EMO.

Anon - I meet girls in clubs and sleep with them. I rarely date them. The strippers I"ve met I actually met through friends. I do have female friends, but I really don't want to sleep with any of them (sorry). Hence my ability to keep them as friends. I tried that "friends to more than friends" thing once, it was absolutely awful. Now if I like a girl I tell her early on to save myself future aggrivation. As for crazy girls, you are dead on. I find girls who come on strong very attractive becasue there are no games and no guesswork. Your analysis is pretty good.

Anon3 - Yep. And if I were a girl, I'd probably be stripping right now.

JJ - Who was that girl who's uncle you met last night? WTF were you talking about?

At 3:14 PM, Blogger jenjen said...

the name Lauren Conrad must mean something to you. I have no idea who the bitch is....but, if I want to meet her, uncle will be more than happy to introduce me. I got one girl's phone number too for a lunch date.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger jenjen said...

Oh yeah, and after bitching at SurferMike in drunken rage..decided to lay into Eugene too in our little meeting. Gave him the ultimatum, either 2 days telecommute at home or 2 weeks notice. He can take his pick. He will get back to me in a week.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous nicole said...

There's always something in our backgrounds that predisposes to behave in ways we're not exactly proud of. I guess it's all in how you deal with it. Bench pressing like a fiend is much more positive a lot of other ways you could be making up for your past...

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, here's the problem. Girls need to have good looks to attract the highest bidder (the stable guy with a great job and ambition). Looks are optional, as long as the person is not disgusting. So, you see, you CANNOT confuse yourself for a girl and think that your looks are going to get you anywhere as a guy (except maybe if you were a model and trying to make money from your looks). Normal girls are attracted to guys based on their potential, their ambition, passion about life, and possibly the willingness to support a family. If no family is part of the plan, there still has to be a major driving factor in life to achieve.

And for guys, ACHIEVEMENT = MONEY. Okay, so if you have the money coming, or even the potential (moving up the ladder), that alone will suffice to provide confidence in the man. The man could still be a loser, but the confidence of his financial success gives him a whole new dimension.

The looks issue is only an issue for yourself. As in, do you impress yourself with your looks because obviously that's a point of contention in your psycho mind. It matters very little to the audience you are working on attracting.

Try to stay sane, and get your mind back on track!

Yours truly,

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone said, girls are not just looking for looks. Every time you whine on here about some fat girl you met, you seem like a jerk. When you talk about being the fat kid, that's kind of cute. But a good-looking jerk is still a jerk. Girls are insecure too. We'd love to be with a guy who is sweet and nice.

So: Stop hanging out in bars, stop writing about not using condoms (ulp) and having to talk to fat girls, and be more of a good guy. Also, what are your interests? Do you have any? Besides hanging out in clubs, tat is.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

MVTT - This from the woman who gave me the timesless advice "Don't marry for love. That's a load of crap." Or something along those lines.

That could be the first comment I've ever gotten ripping me form someone I know. Thank you. But you were so much nicer when you were getting paid to criticize me.

Don't you think women should look for more than money? Personality, sense of humor, stuff like that? I think you'd agree I certianly don't lack those. It's not my fault Stever Brown couldn't pay me enough to keep up with the BMW-driving jackasses of Newport Beach.

And I think you know I'm not a jerk. So what you're saying is that if I spent more time working and making oney and less time in the gym, at the tanning salon and at the day spa, I would get more good-looking women? Isn't that a recipe for a heart attack? Thanks, but I'm going to trade on my looks until I can't anymore.

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy. Truly, I did not mean that in a not nice way. It's not that women actually think about this process, it is truly a natural instinct. I am in no way a gold digger (remember, I actually married for love and not money -- I just complain about it sometimes). Quality women, the kind that YOU want, get to pick and choose. Therefore, what they will tend to pick and choose is what will support their own wants and needs. See the difference?

And BTW, I am pretty sure you could count on ONE hand the number of times I have ever criticized you. Don't forget it was me that hired you because of your positive qualities!

Totally sorry if I offended at all, I was only trying to offer enlightenment in the general sense. My apologies. Obviously, you are man enough to do as you please and be happy with it.

Take care,

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Derek said...

Quality girls may be harder to get than the crazy ones, but they are worth it. A sane, stable 7 is worth a lot more than a psycho 8 or 9. Maybe try to meet girls at the library!

I wouldn't worry about how much you're making, there are plenty of attractive girls out there who just want to date a decent guy.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

MVTT - Oh, I know you weren't being mean. I know your style well enough for that. I believe we actually had that conversation in your office a few times. Hence your classic line about marrying for love. And do you have JenJen's email?

Derek - A lot of people are missing my points here....I've done the 7's and 8's. Plenty of them. you've read the sheet. I am not looking for a girlfirend, neccesarily, but I would like to, for once, date a girl that I think is smoking (or at least warmly glowing) hot. I've never done it before and it's an experience I'd like to have before I am too old to do it. I'm not planning on being rich, so my time is now.


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