When people yell at me in the street…

I’ve had people yell all sorts of things at me while walking or biking.  Usually it’s negative.  I am, after all, a fat woman existing in public.  I’m used to things like being moo-d at, having trash thrown at me, being called a fat pig (to my face) in the grocery store, having a person in a passing call wolf-whistle then the entire car begin laughing hysterically when I turn to look where it came from, and so forth.  It’s a shameful list, and it barely scratches the surface.  But yesterday someone yelled something from a passing truck that made me go “WTF?!”

“Hey, nice bike! Good ride?”

I located the source of the yell, and replied, “Yeah, great, thanks!”  Non-sarcastically, I promise.

“I like the basket on the front!”

“Thanks!” Smile, break eye contact.

The yell-er was the passenger in a large, lifted pickup truck with a BBQ roped into the back.  Usually a big, flashing neon sign indicating a jerk.  But this time, no laughter.  No insults once I’d located the source and made eye contact.  No detectable sarcasm in their voice.  Hunh.  Strange.  That’s never happened before.

I’ve been getting lots of positive comments lately on my bicycle.  It’s a retro-styled Schwinn, yellow, with a white basket on the front.  People will engage me in conversations about it, or about how it reminds them of bicycles they had, or whatever.  No comments about “oh, you’ll loose lots of weight since it must be so much fun riding around on it!” or other such idiocy.  Just genuine compliments.  I…I hardly know what to do with those.  And that’s sad.


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