I Don't Want To Talk About It
I really hope I’m not wrong in saying that I am not a fussy person.
I’m not a fussy eater: I love food in basically all its forms, vegetarianism permitting.
I'm not a fussy dresser: my entire wardrobe is black. Makes the laundry loads easier though, eh?
I’m not a fussy traveller: chuck my hand luggage in the hold, whack me in the aisle seat, delay my flight by an hour or so and oblige me to purchase a third Pret salad. Whatevs.
But recently I’ve been feeling really fussy.
I feel fussy because I’ve made a request to my friends and family to take something totally off the table:
I don’t want to talk about weight any more.
I don’t want to talk about my weight, about your weight, about your friend's weight, about your French Bulldog's weight, about your cousins’ combined weight (those once removed, ironically, included). About putting on weight. About losing weight. About maintaining weight. I could not care less about anyone’s weight, my own included.
And I’ve made it pretty clear, through writing this blog and through asking explicitly telling some friends and family, that it’s just not a topic I’m interested in discussing. And it’s not just that I find it mind-numbingly dull at best, but at worst, I find it hugely triggering. Because inevitably, of course, it makes me think about my own weight. It brings me closer to a mindset that I am working pretty bloomin' hard to step away from. It pulls focus to something that I tell myself that people don't care about. I think that talking about weight reaffirms the notion, sad and disheartening as it is, that body weight is something so important, so crucial, so integral to our beings, that it's worth bringing up over dinner.
I know how precious this sounds.
Whine whine whine, poor me, right? Someone's mentioned a juice cleanse and I've gone off on one.
And that's how I've been feeling for the last few weeks. Like, who the bloody hell am I to ask my friends and family to censor themselves? What gives me the right to stop them talking about something they might be genuinely interesting? Why should I request that they tailor their topics of conversation to me? I am so demanding. I am so difficult. I am Princess Cait (I-don't-want-to-talk-about-the-weight-on-your) Middle(ton).
But then, obviously, I've found a few points to console myself with.
Firstly, really, if weight really is 'just a topic of conversation', it shouldn't matter so much if I change it, should it? If it's just chat, just small talk, like so many claim.
Secondly, I think one can have one's boundaries. I find it a difficult topic. It makes me anxious. It makes me defensive and it pretty much kills a conversation in an instant. I know that I would respect someone else's request not to talk about what is a pretty slim (pun intended) topic of conversation, so I don't actually think it's too demanding to ask this of others.
Thirdly, if someone really does want to talk weight, which is completely within their right, they could just find someone else to speak to. I am just little old me. I'm sure there are loads of people who will happily chat pounds n ounces.
And lastly, it's a mad one, but there are JUST SO MANY other things that we could have a chat about.
I can do high brow! Let's get into British politics, the youth vote, white privilege, intersectional feminism, translation techniques. Gimme some low brow too! Bring on the new series of Big Brother, lay it on me about Love Island, chew my ear off about Made in Chelsea, about Tinder, about Instagram filters. Waffle on about waffles, chat to me about cheese boards, babble on about brownies. Talk to me about tablecloths, about your personal proficiency in trampolining, about an unfortunate ladybird infestation from 3 years ago, about how you organise your emails, about your top 3 forms of potato (discussed here).
Anything. ANYTHING. Anything but weight.
I just don't want to talk about it.