Just when did good old-fashioned friendliness become so suspect?

Why is it so much easier to believe the insults that some fat loser no-mates slob might yell at you, and yet still assume that a random guy paying you a compliment is just being a creep?

Before I embarked on Mission Fabulous, I will admit to packing a few more pounds than is strictly necessary – don’t get me wrong, I was never reduced to shopping in plus-size stores, and Kirsty Alley would win hands down in a sumo wrestle, but I still couldn’t shop in Gap without feeling slightly that the über-thin changing room girls were judging me…

On occasion, when walking the fine streets of Brighton, some kindly soul would clearly feel that it was his moral duty to loudly point out my less-than-perfect figure, just in case I hadn’t noticed it myself and might be on my way to Burger King. My hero.

“Oi, big momma !!!!!”

“Hey, fat arse!”

Nice. Thanks. And yet, the strange thing is….these people had the power to reduce me to tears. I would believe every word of it. Never mind that on the “big momma” day I was wearing one of those bloody smock tops which, I’m sorry, but this irritatingly fashionable item would make Kate Moss look like a heifer….and never mind that these guys were emptying bins for a living, had their pants halfway down their buttcheeks, and could easily be mistaken for Danny de Vito’s body double…clearly, they know better than me, and that is, I am F-A-T. Huge. Humungous. Sod it, I might as well volunteer my services in holding back those floodwaters in Gloucester…who needs sandbags when a beached whale will do just the job?

And yet….

I went to my local convenience store the other day to get my usual Saturday necessities….a bottle of wine and a lottery ticket. (It really could be me, dammit!!!!). The larger-than-life “I just want to be best friends with all my customers” guy behind the counter looked at me and said “Wow! Man! Your eyes are amazing!!!”. Right, OK. What do I say to that? “Erm. OK. Thanks, I worked hard on them”.

At this point, he turns to his mate, saying “Man, check out her eyes, it’s mad!”. Right, well now I’m uncomfortable. Please, can I pay, I’d really really like to leave now! And eventually I get a farewell by way of a “Have a great night Miss Beautiful Eyes!”.

My thoughts on finally escaping outta there? What a slimeball !!! Eurgh….how creepy! That guy is a total sleaze!!

But…..Why is this? Why are we automatically suspicious of anyone who says something nice to us, and yet will obsess for days over the throwaway insult of some tosser who clearly has penile dimension issues? Just when did we become so damn riddled with all these insecurities and angst?

“Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.”

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