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Stranger Soda Censure

I’m sitting in an airport terminal, completely FREAKING OUT as I’m about to get on a plane to fly internationally for the first time alone. It’s 6:30AM and I slept exactly 45 mins. the night before ‘cuz butterflies, packing panic, and full-to-bursting excitement. I make it through security with literally 2 hours to spare because I’m chronically early when I’m stressed out so I grab a much-needed dose of caffeine in the form of a diet coke (sugared sodas make me feel like I need to shave my teeth and I am one of approximately three people from the Pacific Northwest that absolutely loathes coffee).

I’m sitting in the waiting area, uselessly jabbing at my phone with nervous fingers, when I become aware of a voice just at the edge of my consciousness.

“Excuse me. Ma’am?…Ma’am?”

I look up. “Yes?”

“You know that stuff is poison, right?”

Confused brows.

“You really shouldn’t be drinking that. I get that you want to lose weight but diet coke is not the way to do it.”

“Umm — I’m good, thanks.”

She moves a chair closer. “I don’t mean to pry.”

“Really? ‘Cuz it seems like you do.”

“It’s just, the universe just told me you needed to hear this right now. There are better ways to lose weight that won’t harm you in the process.”

The rest is a blur of not-having-it-ness. I managed to tell her that I wasn’t trying to lose weight (shock-face!) and that, while I agreed with her about diet coke being not-awesome, what I do with my body was none of her concern. I told her about Fat Activism, ‘concern trolling’, and our gawd-given right to have imperfect coping mechanisms that we work through in our own way, at our own pace, without pandering condescensions from strangers. She eventually got it. Yay!