There’s a Fat Lady

Fat woman in a bikiniThis morning in the grocery store I heard a little voice say, “Daddy, there’s a fat lady.”  I turned around and saw a cute little girl, about 3 or 4 years old, shopping with her father, who was looking mortified.  I said, “Yes, I’m a fat lady” and went back to putting my stuff on the register belt.  I admit that I was cranky but not overly preoccupied with the exchange.

On the way out to the car, the same father and daughter were pulling out of their space as I got closer.  He rolled down the window (okay, he pushed a button and it went down magically) and said that his daughter wanted to apologize to me, which she did.  Made me wonder about the conversation they had after our in-store exchange.

I looked in and told her, “Thanks, sweetie.  People come in all different shapes and sizes.  You are a short size and I am a round size.”  She looked thoughtful and then smiled.  I felt a lot better going back to my car.

Kids notice sizes and shapes and differences.  At that young age, they usually don’t see or speak in a judging way.  She saw a fat lady and told her dad.  Her dad knew the emotional charge that went with those words and I was pleased that he didn’t just let it go.  (We know it was his idea that she apologize to me, not hers.)  I hope my response gave them both a different perspective.

Fat ladies really are a different shape and size.  We’re not better or worse, weird or undisciplined, prettier or uglier.  We’re just rounder.  Looking at myself with the objectivity of a 3 year old lets me say that yes, I’m the fat lady, without the pain that comes with it when I say it about myself.

Mushrooms in Unexpected Places

Mushrooms are growing out of the carpet in the corner of two of my rooms.  Yes, it’s disgusting and I guess it tells you what kind of housekeeper I am that I just discovered them yesterday.  In my defense, the corners are usually blocked by furniture and don’t get vacuumed all that often.  When I pulled it out yesterday, I discovered weirdo half-mushroom cap thingies sort of floating on the oddly dark carpet.  And the walls close to the baseboard showed signs of mildew.

Aha!  my little mind said.  We’ve seen this before, back in Boston when the bathroom pipe broke while I was away and I came back to extensive water damage throughout the apartment.  It was gross.  This was only ewwww, not heart-stopping.

Both of the icky corners share an outside wall backed up to mechanical closet off the patio, which holds the water heater and HVAC stuff.  Being a good little sleuth, I went outside and looked at the foundations and sure enough, they were wet.  Not good.

I called maintenance, who returned the call after about 2 hours and came to look at it.  A pipe in the mechanical closet is leaking, although I haven’t noticed any changes to water pressure or hot water availability.  They’ll be here on Monday to fix it and do repairs, though I’m not totally sure what that means.  I do know the beloved kitty needs to be shut up in the study so she’s not quite as freaked out by strangers or tempted to run outisde while the door is open.  Can’t have that.

I’ll see when I get home exactly what got fixed and will follow up with someone who has better English skills.   This has been going on for a long time, I think, and I’m afraid they’ll have to pull out the carpet and work on the walls, which could mean staying in a hotel – with kitty – while everything happens.  Unfortunately I have experience with it so at least I know what to do ans ask.  My brother’s a construction attorney, too, so I have legal counsel if need be 🙂