Hold on to your seat kids because this is a kind of long one. New York feels forever a way now that I look back at it but it really hasn’t been. My sister, our friend Beth and myself went because Beth was on the Today show for this segment on body image during Love Your Selfie Week.
The trip started off a little rough do to my own stupidity in decision making the previous evening that resulted in a special little hell I created for myself for the day we left. I could leave this part of the story out but it only added to the adventure.
I love drag queens and the night before we left to New York City Carmen Carrera, Phi Phi O’Hara, and Shanel were coming to Nina Flowers Drag Nation here in Denver. My friends and I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and opting for table service for our group is usually a cheaper option than buying drinks when queens from the show are performing. Let me preface this by saying I rarely drink enough to actually get drunk. If I drink I will normally stop after a few because my body seeks violent revenge the next day if I drink enough to be hung over.
That being said somewhere between only getting 2 drinks out of our first bottle and saying yeah lets get a second bottle (even though we only have 5 people) and the end of the show (which wasn’t very long maybe an hour) I got shit show drunk. Which resulted in me falling asleep in my friends shower after sitting under the water for hours because it was the only thing keeping me from purging my soul along with the cranberry vodkas that won that night.
I awoke to sunlight and birds and started freaking out because I had no clue if I missed my flight, or how long I had to get home and pack. Turns out it was only 6am so I gathered my friends and I had to have one of them drive home because I felt like I was going to die. I proceeded to vomit as if I was expelling demons all the way home from Denver. After hitting snooze until I could no longer avoid what would come out if I sat up, I had to pack 15 minutes before we had to leave for the airport and then proceeded to dry heave all the way there. I had to ask TSA for a trash bag because I wasn’t sure I could survive the train ride to concourse C without heaving on the train (but I did) all they had was a 50 gallon trash bag but it was better than what might happen without it. So needless to say I was in rare flying condition that day. I managed to not get sick on the plane, but couldn’t even stomach ginger ale I was in such bad shape. I finally was able to hold down some 7up (yup I broke down and had soda I felt so shitty) and half a slice of pizza at like 11pm.
Overall we had a lot of fun on the trip even though there were some bumps in our room reservation, and the fact that we didn’t actually see a whole lot. We under estimated how long it would take to get around on the double decker buses (we figured buying an unlimited pass on that for a few days would be a good way to see and hear about the city on route to places).
I love how ornate all of the buildings in NYC are. There was something to look at everywhere you looked and the double decker bus really allowed for you to get a close look at some of the beautiful art that covers the buildings there.
We walked around site seeing and did a carriage ride through central park on our first day. On our way back we got on the same loop for our bus that took us to Central Park because we figured it would just loop around and go back to Rockefeller Center which is where we were staying and the first stop on the loop. After the Time Square stop they announced that everyone should get off at this stop. Well we thought oh that’s because it’s the last stop but we should be able to stay on to go back to the beginning.
Boy were we wrong about that one. The guide come back up top and it took him a minute to notice there were people up here and they shouldn’t be. When he does notice he jumps in the air and proclaims “holy shit, you scared the crap out of me”. He immediately starts freaking out and yelling for the bus to stop. It turns out that this bus had to go through a tunnel to go do another loop and if we would have stayed on we could have been decapitated if we wouldn’t have dropped down on the floor. We couldn’t stop laughing we thought it was pretty hilarious.
We spent the next day wondering around the city, and battery park so we could see the Statute of Liberty (from a far) and Ground Zero. On the way back to Rockefeller Center I had once of the most humiliating and infuriating experiences of my life. It was pretty chilly while we were out there, and well we brought warm clothes we really needed a decent coat to sit on the top of the bus. On our way back we decided we would sit inside the bus because it was cold and crowded up top. My sister and Beth had sat on a row of seats that had three seats and they left the middle one open, and I sat across from them in a two seat. When we got to the next stop a number of people got on and this girl sat next to me and her friend had to go sit next to a stranger further back so I offered to go sit with Beth and Monica so they could sit together. I looked at the spot between them and since we are 3 larger ladies I wasn’t sure if we we would all fit but we did.
A couple of stops later this European couple got off that had been sitting a row or two behind us and I can just feel Beth and Monica’s blood start to boil. As soon as they exit my sister tells me I should have tripped them. I missed what happened but apparently the second I sat down (I was ahead of Beth and Monica so they would have been walking towards them as my back was turned) they started laughing and whispering in my direction. Then when I got up and was like we all fit they started cracking up and were like leave it up to the Americans.
I was so furious I wanted to jump off the bus and unleash a few choice words on them. To quote Allson Rosens segment where people write in about jerks, “Go fuck yourselves”. I have never been picked on because of my size, if anybody has ever made fun of me for being fat it’s never been to my face, so for two random people I don’t even know to be such dicks infuriated me.
Even though this has never happened before it’s something I have always feared. It has something has held me back and has caused social anxiety and kept me from doing things when I am having off days because I don’t want to be the target for someones hate when I haven’t done anything to them.
It’s made me terrified to audition and interview for things because I am afraid they will only see me for my size and not for what I can offer. It’s kept men from openly dating me (and resulted in me leaving) because they are afraid of being made fun of by their friends for dating a fat girl. I just don’t get why it’s socially acceptable to be so cruel to people. Do people realize that it makes people so terrified of being humiliated that it makes the petrified to be able to even walk into a gym or studio (or even outside to walk or ride a bike) to make a change because they feel like the are damned either way?
We didn’t let it ruin our trip and the next day flew by with our visit to the Today show, Lunch, and then heading to the airport. I loved NYC and didn’t really cross anything off my list but NYC cheesecake and the carriage ride so I will certainly be back at some point.