If it makes you feel better…

This week hasn’t been the best for me. I understand that there are several differences between the German and the American mind. I get that I should not be offended if you tell me something to my face that I wouldn’t even say to my best friend even though I barely know you as my coworker.

I get how I must sound like a hypocrite for supporting HAES and FA when I’m for all appearances a normal-weight person. I get how I must sound like a hypocrite for advocating self-made people when it seems like I don’t have to struggle for most achievements (I do, though. You people don’t see the amount of all-nighters I pull!).

Why do you have to hurt me to make you feel better, though? What is it in this country that has people sniping you down from every small high you manage to create for yourself?

Three situations over the past few days have made me want to cry…

#1. The office. Tiger mom controversy goes international while most of us are absently listening to someone reading said article out loud during lunch break.

Coworker #1: Yeah, well, we all know how these people turn out. *significant glance and eyebrow waggle* Nell, how did you ever get out?

Me: *silent sputter*

My mom would never ask for anything from us when she’s not willing to go twice the distance herself. She’s an inspiration, a person who has such high standards for herself that she would never ask from anybody else. To have her compared to a borderline abusive person (at least from what I got from the article) is beyond offensive. Her credo in raising us was to make us want to know. Insatiable curiosity and a spunky personality combined with a never-back-down attitude wrapped in one small, tousle-haired package, that’s my mom. NOT someone who tapes violin scores across the TV (she didn’t need to, by the way, there was more of a war for the grand piano going on between the four of us playing in my house).

#2. At home. Just posted a few pics of the spring theme decoration that I’ve been working on. Feeling accomplished if very tired because I’ve been working through the night writing thesis.

Roomie (per text, she’s out of the house for a month): Just saw your pics. Remember I also live here and that I don’t like or feel comfortable in your idea of a decoration most of the times. Also take care to water my plants and wipe the floors.

Me: *feeling slightly hurt* Alright…

#3. Took one of my coworkers with me to TKD class as he wanted to get into the sport (maybe, if my teacher accepts him).He’s a really nice guy normally, pretty good-looking too (if you like gym bodies). We’re doing the usual warm-ups.

Coworker #2: Hey, this is fun. By the way, how do all those fatties get through the whole program? I mean, look at her *points at black-belt who regularly wipes the floor with me*. She’s jiggling all over. I’d kill myself before I go out to do sports looking like that.

Me: You do know that I’m also overweight according to those standards, don’t you?

Coworker #2: *scoffs* Yeah, sure.

Me: No, seriously. Plus, said “fattie” will win any push-up match against you when she’s not busy kicking ass in the ring. I’m only safe ’cause I don’t like sparring and don’t do competitions atm.

Coworker #2: She should lose some weight, though. I mean, who wants to LOOK at that? Maybe not only do TKD, like, go running or to a fitness studio?

Me: She’s not here for your visual entertainment. She’s here for a martial arts lesson and to do sports. Nobody cares about what you look like inside these walls, we care about doing TKD, and doing it right.

Coworker #2: But, still. I mean, it’s not healthy.

Me: And how do you know that she’s not healthy? Have you had access to her medical records?

Coworker #2: Everybody knows that. *air of superiority*. So, if you’re overweight you should lose some weight. *glances over*

Me: *finally flying off the handle* Alright. So it’s a lot better to starve yourself and not be visually offensive to steroid-enhanced gym rats. Seriously, get a clue. We don’t tolerate these kind of comments here. You’re not even a student here, and dare to disrespect one of our senior students who even teaches us sometimes.

Coworker #2: Why are you defending her? I mean, you’re not exactly model material but you don’t look as ugly as her. Even if you could try to wear some more skirts and do something with your hair.

Me: I don’t even know you. I took you here because I thought you wanted to learn. Where are you getting off telling me these kinds of things?

Coworker #2: I thought women liked honesty.

Me: Well, this woman likes gentlemanly behavior and getting back to her workout more.

Coworker #2: And I wanted to take you out for a drink after this- crazy bitch!

Me: *sputters in silent rage and goes on to kicking the air*

Luckily, he didn’t make the cut. If I had a better grasp of the German language maybe I could’ve said more, explained in more detail, but I can’t yet defend myself on a scientific playground in that language- something I’m working on like crazy, by the way.


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