Fruit Salad

Fruit salad makes me kind of mad for reasons I cannot explain. Oh wait, yes I can.

Summer, 2011

I was going on a field trip. I was in grade seven. It was our graduation trip, if you could call it that. Do you really call it graduation if you graduate from elementary school? Who the fuck knows? Anyways.

We were put into groups of five, and we were going to this river I can’t remember the name of to go rafting. I didn’t like that for so many reasons.

First, it was rafting. And I wasn’t good at any sort of sports, if rafting counts as sports. It wasn’t even hardcore rafting. It was just recreational rafting. Nevertheless, it was activity and I wasn’t looking forward to being that one kid who was just bad at everything.

Second, rafting involved water and water involved swimsuits. This was the part I was worried about the most. Even though I was in Canada, where everyone was so nice (yes, they do live up to the stereotype) and body-positive, body image issues still remained. And back then, I didn’t have tumblr to feed me with body positivity posts so I had no moral backup. I was just out there.

And of course I had to be in the van with the skinny girls. Of course.

In the van, the skinny girls all took turns comparing their skimpy swimsuits (bikinis) and talked about what fun they were going to have today. I didn’t participate. I didn’t know how to explain the waterproof t-shirt thingy I brought along to cover up my tummy rolls. So I just listened to music. I had my “moody and sad about life” playlist handy so that cheered me up a bit. Ironic.

Anyways, we stopped by 7/11 to get some snacks. My usual at 7/11 with my friends at the beach was a jumbo slurpee. It was so good and cold and just everything by the beach. My friends weren’t skinny but nobody cared about it. We had pizza and we ate chips and it was everything. I was so happy.

So when we arrived, I was just about to get my usual before the skinny girls all went over to the other section. Fruit salad. “Fruit bowls!” They giggled as they all grabbed a tiny plastic container holding about a handful of fruits. Melons, cantaloupes, oranges, grapes, and apples. I wasn't a fruit hater but I mean this wasn’t Whole Foods and I wasn’t looking for that kind of stuff.

“Oh, Sally, are you getting one too?” One really pretty girl with sandy blonde hair asked me as she held out a fruit salad to me, making it feel super natural.

“Oh, yeah. Thanks.” I just smoothly replied as I walked away from my slurpee section and over to her, and I took the tiny fruit bowl.

“Anything else, girls?” The instructor asked. The other girls all said no so I said no too. “Okay, then.”

Well, I didn’t know that this tiny fruit bowl was going to be my lunch. Had I known that, I would’ve gotten something more solid. Perhaps I was the strange one here, thinking that a tiny fruit salad was not a sufficient lunch.

Peer pressure got the best of me, so I just decided to kind of forget my hunger for the rest of day. I really regretted it when our raft tragically flipped over due to some rocks and we had to swim to the shore in the horribly fast and terrifying stream. I did that all on fruit.

I’m fucking glad I survived.

So, am I really mad about fruit? No, not really. But I just feel like society shames women for wanting to eat a lot. And I like to eat. What was wrong with that? I notice this all the fucking time.

When I’m at the cafeteria, the lunch lady gives much bigger helpings to the boys and much smaller portions for me. And I’m too shy to get seconds because I just am. Boys get seconds without hesitating, though.

When I am at family gatherings, I can’t bring myself to eat a lot or have dessert because of what my family always says to me. When we have family gatherings, since there is honestly nothing to talk about, we always talk about weight loss, school, our recent relationships, et cetera. Weight loss always comes up and it is treated like asking how my day was and it feels so fucking trivial that I can’t stand it. Not when I’m battling body image issues all the time.

It just sucks. I don’t know what to feel about it. To be cynical? To accept it? To change? To struggle? To love?

It is what it is, I guess.

It is what it is.

Fruit salads. Hmm. They’re just fruit. On a bowl.