"The Cindy" drink
12 oz of flat lifeless beer
dash of bitters
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
infinite amount of self-loathing
*allow to get to room temperature and drink with a scowl
Note: the following is a fictional representation that does not represent the real individual beyond the italicized interaction/description.
I’m sitting at a bar watching a football playoff game and catching up with my friend, more of the latter, since nothing is happening in the game yet, when my chair is shoved and my full to the rim lifeless beer spills onto my jeans. I look over my shoulder trying to mask my discontent as I await an apology. There sits a heavyset young woman, who slides her chair with wheels away from me with a look that could kill and then looks me up and down before turning away. I turn back to my friend comment on it and what her “deal” could be but let it go and enjoy my evening, until now…
She, let’s call her Cindy, sits with a man, let's call him Bob; he seems more interested in the game than her, shown by her body language and how he doesn’t notice: chair turned to him, elbow resting on bar, head in hand, head cocked sideways, smiling, laughing, and playfully hitting his shoulder. Her voice is high pitched and at times is whiney. They seem together from the close proximity of their bodies, yet Bob seems completely uninterested. Perhaps it is because she is whiney and rude, or more likely he just wants her to shut up so he can watch the game in peace. I still am in awe of her gall to shoot me a mean look, but I’m used to it. Something about my appearance rarely allows someone to glance and move on. I’m not beautiful nor ugly, not fat but not thin. In fact almost everything about me is “average” except my height, or lack thereof. I’m only 5 feet even and I look young for my age. This usually makes me a target for some reason. People think naïve, ignorant, helpless, a pushover, innocent, etc., and then they’re surprised when I’m none of those. I did this with college students as an ice breaker—how we view others on appearance—so I am aware of how young people view me.
So here we are, I’m viewing her and judging how she must view me. It is a vicious cycle of mankind. She hates me; the nasty looks tell me that, although I do not know her, never met her even. I remind her of everything she is not: short, curvy, small boned, happy. Our matching color hair and eyes makes no difference. She feels her eyes are smaller than my large almond shaped ones. My hair somehow has a silky shine to it. She is so insecure her eyes glare over at the three other women in the sausagefest (mostly male patrons) bar. My friend is blond, thin, and intelligent looking. Glare. The curvaceous blond in the corner who has beautiful skin gets a big glare. And I’m left here wondering why she is so bent, and so obvious at that, on hating everyone. Apparently she hates those that she feels point out her physical flaws, only she doesn’t realize the person she truly hates is herself. Cindy is utterly miserable, wheedling, and whining. All the while, Bob, or now I’m venturing to just call him guy-who-feigns-deafness, ignores her and rarely partakes in conversation. The football seems to be the most interesting thing in the world to him and still it is nil-nil entering the second quarter. He has given up, muted her. He doesn’t want her anymore and she knows it. Her body language and her nasal voice project her desperation for all to see. And now I feel bad. At first being angry at her rebuff and inability to apologize, I have now walked a mental mile in her shoes and see how she is losing the last thing that makes her happy. She is stupidly blaming his indifference to her being fat, when in reality it is her putrid attitude and her pervading misery. After all, not once did he check out or even glance at the other women in the bar.
What will happen to Cindy? On the way home she talks smack about the girls in the bar. Bob knows better than to interrupt her tirade. When they get home and go to bed, she tries a little to seduce him, but she’s never been comfortable in her body and has never felt good at it. Cindy had too much to drink; Bob is tired and doesn’t like to take advantage of her when she’s in that state. However, she takes it as him not being attracted to her body, even though Bob loves her body and in general bigger girls; after all, he is a huge guy, with lots of muscle and his own little pot belly. He loves a girl who eats, who is nice and compassionate, has a lot of energy, and who is happy—the way Cindy was when he first met her. Cindy cries and vents about the so-called beautiful girls in the bar and how he must be cheating on her if he doesn’t want her. Bob is tired of it all and retires to the sofa for the night. If she can’t realize her own beauty, and if all his reassurances over the past year aren’t enough, then Bob is out. He breaks up with her the next morning, collects his things from her apartment, and leaves. He's had enough of her insecurities. A year had been her longest relationship, and Bob was the only man she truly loved in her 23 years. He was older than her, more mature, and she liked that.
Cindy, with her sympathetic girlfriends in tote, go out for the evening cursing Bob and trying to get her to check out other guys. Cindy doesn’t have time for them; her friends frown and whisper how in love she is with Bob to not look at other men. However, they don’t realize what Cindy is up to. Cindy is staring daggers at the beautiful, young, thin red-head who has a bunch of guys around her and a free drink in her hand.