hawaiian weddings and the fat-man stigma

Perhaps we’re dreaming big, but Ashley and I are hoping to have our wedding in Hawai’i.[1] Like many women, she’s been planning her wedding for a long, long time; but, unlike many women[2] she’s aware that the wedding she’s been dreaming of since like age eight is probably financially prohibitive. So if you’re paying attention you realize this means that one of my first acts as a betrothed man has been to deny my future wife the wedding of her dreams. Please don’t judge me too much.

But she likes the idea of a beach wedding and she likes Hawai’i, having been there years ago when the Make-A-Wish Foundation[3] granted her wish.[4] Her parents are members of the Disney Vacation Club, which is opening a resort in Hawai’i very soon, and this will somewhat mediate the expense of the whole thing.

 Earlier this week, while we were on the phone with one of the resort’s reps, Ashley asked about the availability of certain activities. Things like surfing, snorkeling, hiking, wind-surfing[5], and parasailing. Never mind that when she’s talking about hiking she means hiking up a volcano and that I’ve long run under the assumption that my own personal life-expectancy would be greatly enhanced if I remain safely distant from any and all volcanoes,[6] my idea of enjoying Hawai’i is more like sitting on a beach and reading on my Kindle.[7] Even swimming in the ocean is questionable for me due to a similar belief re: life-expectancy and shark-infested waters.[8] Not one of those other activities had crossed my mind until she mentioned them.

Yet, this is our wedding we’re talking about here. And the honeymoon. I feel it incumbent upon me to indulge her desire for these activities. And, for good or ill, Ashley’s enjoyment of pretty much activity is enhanced greatly if I join her in said activity.[9]

My biggest public inhibitions don’t revolve around a fear of failure or of looking like a fool. I don’t care terribly much about either, nor do I care enough about other people’s (especially strangers’) opinions of me. What I do care about is looking like a really fat failure and/or fool.

There’s a stigma about fat men: we tend to be unclean, we tend to sweat, we tend to kidnap children and do things that no one wants to talk about except for the folks over at the Today show. And plus also: we have rolls. And man-boobs. We are something to laugh at when we fall, when we fail, when we look like fools. I am intensely aware of this stigma every time I begin to sweat because there’s nothing more disgusting than a sweaty fat guy.[10]

Although this guy attains a high level of creeper status with no visible perspiration.

In everyday life I dress and maintain myself in such a way as to avoid the notice of these things. I wear 4X shirts not because I need to but because they hide certain shall we call them contourous features of my own personal anatomy. I wear hats and sometimes bandanas to absorb the sweat. I never look at anyone’s kid longer than two seconds unless that kid is talking to me and the parent is someone I know. And I never take my shirt of in public.[11] So yes, earlier when I talked about reading on the beach, I meant while wearing a shirt – probably a really large Hawaiian shirt, which I usually avoid because there’s also a big-dude-in-Hawaiian-shirt cliché/stigma, but well, when in Rome…

That’s all well and good when you’re just sitting on a beach. But snorkeling I’m pretty sure requires shirtlessness. And surfing not just shirtlessness but a certain Matthew-McConaughey build that I’ll never attain anyway but still.

More to the point, though: I’m pretty sure things like wind-surfing[12] and parasailing are next to impossible for a dude over 300 lbs.[13] There’s simply no way to generate enough lift without at least a category three hurricane or a speed boat with a V-12 Ferrari engine in it plus also a Batmobile-type rear-jet-propulsion thing that somehow never melts the macadam or sets litter ablaze not to mention homeless vagrants gawking.

So but anyway: it seems the best part about planning a wedding for October 2012[14] is that yours truly has what one would think is plenty of time to shed some serious poundage. And also ideally rolls and man-boobs, but I’m not going to expect too much.

[1] No date is set as of yet, just FYI. Because that’s like the first question everyone asks when we talk about the engagement and/or wedding planning, I thought I’d just get that right out of the way. But thanks for your enthusiasm!
[2] Especially those on WE TV.
[3] Hyphens appear as placed in the foundation’s name and, it’s worth noting, are impressively not sic.
[4] Well, sort-of. Like her future husband, one of their first acts was to tell a young woman that she could have the wish she’d been dreaming of. Their second act was a repeat of the first. The third one they granted, making them a very specific and perhaps rare type of genie.
[5] Unsure about the hyphen here but I’m going with it on the assumption that the sport hasn’t been around long enough to make this fully a compound word.
[6] Not to mention pretty much anything in liquid form that comes from far below Earth’s surface. And probably anything of same of solid form.
[7] Which every Kindle commercial ever should have you aware by now that I can read in direct sunlight, of which I’m assuming there will be lots.
[8] The Huffington Post reports that shark attacks were up 25% in 2010. I cite this merely in support of my claim. Otherwise it’s best for me to stay away from these types of articles. And no way am I clicking on that ‘World’s 10 worst shark attacks’ link that shows up in my Google search.
[9] Which is really honestly very sweet and no small factor in why I think our eventual marriage will rock. But it is also why once a year I find myself walking around at the fair, wholly thrilled that I was born with no sense of smell I might add, trying not to recoil or just flat-out run away from the what must be millions of gallons of grease being used on all the food. These people will literally fry every comestible known to man.
[10] At least in my assessment of what other people are thinking at the moment, which of course only makes me sweat more and anything I try in an attempt to head-off the sweating causes more stress and hence more sweat. Surely you can see where this is going.
[11] This causes its own paradox when Ashley and I go over to her aunt-and-uncle’s place to swim during the summer. Because my choices are: a) being the guy her family makes fun of because of my rolls and man-boobs and 2) being the guy her family makes fun of because I keep my shirt on the pool. The only plus-side to this is that being in the pool masks the sweat that this other-perceptive stress inevitably causes.
[12] See note 5 supra.
[13] That’s 136kg for those of you across the pond.
[14] And that’s a rough estimate, but still see note 1 supra.

2 comments on “hawaiian weddings and the fat-man stigma

  1. The new Disney Aulani resort promises to be something pretty special. Though, for non-Vacation-Club-members, the wait to stay there was a very long time indeed (last time I checked).

    When I was in Oahu last week, I drove by the development area and it looks pretty spectacular. But the best part of all? You’re just a mere 40 minutes from Puka Dog Waikiki… the best place to eat on the island! 🙂

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