A chapter from my book ‘My Big Fat Fat’ (2018)
A humorous and touching account for those losing or coping with excess weight. With her laugh-out-loud humor, Samantha Dee covers all subjects from beauticians to socks in this easy to read A to Z guide on weight loss, maintenance, and ways to nourish your self-esteem.
C is for… Cafes
I recently went out to London for the day as a treat with my sister and my best friend. I work in London, but rarely get to do the ‘touristy bit’, and since my bestie and I had lost forty pounds each that year, it was first class all the way.
Our first stop after a ‘blue-seat’ ride on the train, was Simpsons in The Strand. The restaurant was beautiful, old-world oak-panelled and chandeliered (not even sure that’s a word) and we were directed to a booth seat.
On approach to said booth, I could see that there was about eight inches of space between the table and the ‘arm’ of the booth.
Well, it’s a blessing that we had both lost so many pounds each; otherwise, we wouldn’t have managed to squeeze into the booth. Still, I had to do this weird ‘leg thing’ over the arm of the bench, sit down and drag my other leg over the top; it was super-glam, I can tell you—akin to climbing over a gate in a field.
So, there we were, enjoying our jolly posh surroundings, and it suddenly dawned on me that there was just no way I was going to get out of this booth. The booths and table, as I had suspected, were wall-fixed and immovable. I was going to have to do the ‘leg thing’ again, and I hoped the party of twelve at the adjacent table would be gracious enough not to notice me doing a ‘Bear Grylls’ to get out of my booth.
My best friend is a beautiful, bubbly type of lady who just doesn’t let anything like that bother her. However, I was silently mortified all through breakfast. Luckily, the people at the table settled their bill and left and, since we were having quite a late breakfast, there was no one else coming in.
Staff were beginning to set the tables for lunch, and I waited until they had gone back into the kitchen to do my ‘Bear-Grylls leg-swing’. It was truly ugly—kind of swung my left leg over the top of the bench, did a twist, hopped a couple of steps back, and dragged my other leg over the top. I’m quite sure my bestie did it in a far more elegant way.
I, however, left the restaurant wishing I’d insisted on a table and chairs in the centre of the room, rather than a booth. Maybe then I would have spent the time enjoying my Eggs Florentine, instead of wondering how I was going to escape elegantly. Another reason I don’t wear skirts.
On the same day, we ended up in the Godiva Chocolate café in Harrods. As a treat (we’d been weight-watching ALL year), we ordered a ton of stuff, and the two immaculately-turned-out young ladies at the table next to us went completely silent when our order arrived.
Every time either of us picked up a fork, they stopped talking and elbowed each other to look over.
It took all my willpower not to make a scene. I cast glances sideways at them to see their sniping looks at each other. I find it really difficult not to be self-conscious, I don’t have thick skin in these situations. Part of me wants to explain myself to these strangers, so that they don’t just go away back to work and tell their colleagues about the two fatties stuffing cake at the next table.
It shouldn’t matter to me at all what these other immaculate and beautiful brunching-ladies were thinking. (I’m working on that.)