...you know the one I mean -- initial shock, followed by a little laugh (because they're not entirely sure if you're jacking with them), immediately followed by a slightly desperate attempt to recover from shock and transition into something close to "blasé"?
No? Well, let me break this down:
I spent the last few days on a video shoot, with my crew. We were shooting at a corporate location, and our contact there was a teeny-tiny woman who, had she been a stranger walking down the street, I would likely have been jealous of how "fit" she appeared to be and how nicely her clothes fit her.
So, we're shooting. And when we have productions like these, they are all-day affairs (this particular shoot was actually a multiple-day affair, but the conversation I'm going to tell you about happened on the first day).
Shoot days are usually 10-hour days -- and you're literally on your feet for nine out of those ten hours, sometimes more. It's tiring, yeah, and very physical, even if you're not lugging gear with my crew. You come to expect that after a day of shooting, you'll need some level of recovery time, whether that means just taking it easy that night, taking a handful of ibuprofen to help with the aches and pains, or taking a relaxing bath to soothe your tired feet and get you ready for the next day of shooting. Happily, most of us don't do this every day.
But, back to Day One of our shoot. Our teeny-tiny contact was our escort for the day, which meant she was supposed to follow us around for the duration of the shoot. Around 3:30, we were setting up a shot and she plopped into a nearby couch, moaning and groaning loudly, "Oh, a place to sit! Oh, thank goodness!"
I asked her if she was okay, and she said that she was exhausted. We commiserated on the physicality of the job, and I told her a story about this 65-year-old gaffer I routinely work with who actually does do this every day of the week and runs marathons in order to keep his level of fitness up to the demands of the job.
Her eyebrows raised and she shot me an appraising look. "So, why aren't you huffing and puffing like me?"
Moment of hesitation, then I figured, eff it, why should I feel weird sharing this? "I'm a runner. Not marathons like Tim, but I run, too."
And that's when I got "The Look". There was a pause, and her eyes grew wide. Her mouth opened a bit, and her eyes actually darted down to my Size 20 self, re-assessing my body. Yep, still fat. A smile came to her face, as if to laugh, and then (I guess she was expecting a "Gotcha" or something?) looked me square in the face.
You could almost see the "Oh, you're *serious*" forming on the tip of her tongue.
Her face froze and she immediately started talking, shifting into forced "casual" conversation, laced with panic, punctuated with a lot of nodding -- like what I just said had not totally blown her mind and that I had not just totally witnessed her freaking out at the thought of a fat lady taking part in a challenging physical activity.
"Oh, you run. That's...so good." Big fake smile. Yes it is good, Sugarpop. Now can we get you off this couch and move on to the next shot, please?
Why is it so hard to for people to get that "fat" and "fit" can co-exist? Not surprisingly, the same people who have a difficult time understanding that also seem to have a hard time acknowledging that "thin" and "healthy" do NOT go hand-in-hand.
Whatevs, though, really.
I need to let it go.
Because the fact of the matter is, by the end of our production days, I was tired, but still on the move and she missed most of the last day on location because her back was hurting and her feet were swollen.
I'm not being catty.
(yes, I am)
Here's hoping that teeny-tiny learned something from the whole thing. Who knows, maybe she'll have gained a modicum of respect for fat girl fitness, and will hesitate before giving "The Look" to anyone in the near future!