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Fat Family
(An Observer Tale)

[This story is actually a composite from a Church discussion group about the realities of living in a thin-conscious world. The experiences related are real, the lessons perhaps applicable in several regards. Read and enjoy]

Jill first met Ethan in Junior High. Amidst her mother's many moves she had briefly lived across the street then. He was six years older and in his Senior year. Despite the difference in their ages he treated her with a kind friendliness that she was not used to. When she and her mom moved they kept in touch. Things got rough about two years later with her Mom's latest boyfriend. It was then that Jill turned up at Ethan's place and asked to stay.

Ethan was no lawyer, but he knew that harboring a runaway could be bad news. But by then he was making money, going to school, and had a spare second bedroom. So he called her mom and proposed letting her stay there. Her mom, realizing Jill would otherwise just run somewhere else, in effect said "why not?"

It was, at first, a completely platonic relationship. She still had to attend school, he was gone most of the time, and simply appreciated having someone else to cook his meals and take care of his laundry. It also put a stop to suspicions that he might be gay because he seldom dated.

The truth was, Ethan had a different secret --- he was frequently turned on by larger women, and was filled with angst about his feelings. He thought there must be something wrong for feeling as he did. That is why, in addition to his work and studies, he seldom dated. It just wasn't fun for him.

Jill at age 15 and as gaunt as a rail was not a temptation for him. Ethan enjoyed Jill's company as a person, but their relationship remained that of a platonic brother to a younger sister. After a time, however, they began talking and sharing more, and after four years they decided to formalize their relationship --- marrying and sharing the same bedroom.

Two years later they had a baby, and Ethan knew he liked the filling out of Jill's body --- which was really not that much by BBW standards, but a gain of fifteen pounds nevertheless. The second child added ten more pounds to her 5'10 frame, putting her at around 150. The kids added a new dimension to both their lives and even brought Ethan's mom back into the picture. They also became involved with a local church group. Still, their relationship lacked the warmth and spontaneity that comes with people who understand love and attraction.

It was formal, based on the fact that what they had was better than what either of them had ever experienced elsewhere. And so they were, on the surface, content. Ethan kept his secret desire to himself and was faithful to the lady he had married.

Jill was 24 when she received a promotion from the factory floor where she had been working for six year to the office staff on the second floor. She had been taking night classes to add computer skills to her high school typing and shorthand --- taken mostly to facilitate taking notes in class. Now she was entering a new world of business. She little realized, at first, that it was the beginning of a transformation --- both of her and the nature of her relationship with Ethan.

She was introduced to her new responsibilities by Alicia Morgan, a large friendly lady who easily topped 200 lbs. Some of the other workers were also heavier than the average, but Jill took little notice of it at the time. She was simply fascinated with the chance to put her newly acquired skills to work --- and because she had been trained on the latest computer program versions she was ahead of most others.

It wasn't long before she was also partaking of a custom of the office --- freely available morning pastries, the result of many employees having long commutes and no chance for breakfast. Jill was used to having breakfast for Ethan and the kids before dropping them off at his Mother's for the day. It was not a usually a large breakfast, and so Jill quickly came to look forward to the morning treat. Some days it was doughnuts, other days eclairs, another day bearclaws or cream puffs. They were all delicious, and, at least at first, her body seemed to simply absorb them.

After a few months Alicia called Jill into the office. She had noticed Jill using her shorthand abilities to scribble notes --- an archaic skill no one else on the staff had. Alicia thought it might be helpful to the company's presentation team in dealing with clients. Jill was informed that, if she wished, she could be part of the firm's presentation group --- which would include going out for a full luncheon once or twice a week.

Ethan and Jill had never had the money to go out to fine restaurants --- IHOP on Saturday mornings 2-3 times a year had been about the extent of her experience. Now, although she at the time didn't realize it, she was about to be exposed to the calorie laden cuisine from the finer restaurants of the area. She knew that she should have a more formal wardrobe. She easily found several comfortable outfits --- noting with some surprise that they were size 12s, which was two up from what she had been used to.

That evening she took a close look at her body. Her hips, it seemed, were a little rounder than she remembered --- her ribs a little less prominent --- but her stomach and face seemed about the same. "I seem to have gained a few pounds," she thought, then dismissed it from her mind. "I guess that's what happens as you get older."

The first time out with the presentation team Jill worked hard all morning and was ready for lunch. So much so that she overdid the rolls and found herself struggling to finish the main course. But the food was marvelous!

It took about two months --- including a cycle of Italian dishes, Mexican specialties and good old American steak and potatoes --- for her appetite to grow. Her stomach, already adapting to the regular ingestion of savory pastries, now had to accommodated to the new situation. But by the third month she found herself able, even eager, to accept Jim Egleston's perennial offer to "go ahead and have dessert."

The reports from the presentation team was that her notes were among the most complete and accurate they had seen in years. Her participation in the presentations became more frequent, and she also received a raise. Ethan had as well, and so it was that they were able to buy a house.

Her stomach by now had become quite accustomed to the larger noonday meals. As a result. on the days when there were no presentation luncheons, Jill found herself becoming hungry. It was then that she would look for left over morning pastries --- or grab a burger, along with some fries and a malt, on the way home.

Ethan, the strong, silent, stable and loyal husband took awhile to notice what was happening. But one day he noticed that wife's hips were filling out her slacks quite bountifully. Her ribs were no longer evident, and there was a new softness to her face. She was becoming attractive to him in a way he had never really felt before. Sexual foreplay began taking longer and the act itself became more frequent.

Ethan did something else as well. He took heed of some suggestions at Church that husbands should spend more time with their families. He began getting home in time to have dinner with the family -- then playing games and having discussions. Jill took note of the increased attention --- and shared with the kids the frequent desserts and treats he would just "happen" to pick up. Ethan's Mom noticed that both her son and Jill seemed to both be happier than she had ever seen them.

It was about this time, about two years from her promotion, that they went shopping together. Jill discovered that the size 18 clothes were fitting her the best, and even some of them were a bit snug. Suddenly she had to acknowledge to herself what her new found eating habits had been doing.

"I've been gaining weight in this new job," she admitted that night to Ethan, "and I have a problem --- I know I should go on a diet but I don't want to. I feel, somehow, liberated and happy with what has been going on. You don't think I'm getting too fat do you?"

Ethan considered a moment. He had seen her belly stretching against her slacks for some time. Their tightness had been turning him on as his secret attractions to heavier women were being satisfied. He knew her ample hips were pulling her hemline on some dresses up over her knees. He had known all this, and had remained silent. Now he was one the spot --- how much did he dare say?

He decided to try being diplomatic and encouraging at the same time.

"Darling, you have to me just been getting to be more beautiful and lovely than ever this past year. . I thought maybe it was just husbandly pride --- you know, fine mother, happy kids --- but maybe if you have been adding a few lbs that has been part of it. I wouldn't worry a whit about such things."

Jill had no idea how many "a few" added up to, but somehow felt warm about his response. And the next morning she had what were, by now, her usual morning pastries followed by a sizable lunch without guilt. But Ethan now understood what was happening --- the waif he had taken in as a child and married as a friend was now becoming the full-figured woman of his dreams.

Over the next two years he made a point of being more of a family man. He took the family on weekend outings, which he had seldom done before. This meant more eating and snacks. Jill, ecstatic at the new life and romance in their life, didn't worry about the fact that her size had by now become a tight 22. She had noticed, though, that she was now nearly the plumpest worker in the office and was beginning to be a little self conscious about it.

So was Rachel Jenkins, an always dieting, quasi-anorexic and twice divorced co-worker. Jill's buoyancy, energy, and popularity with the bosses irritated her. She would never speak to her directly but routinely would make snide remarks to others about Jill's size. "Did you see what Jill had this morning --- another eclair! She is getting to be a balloon!" To which the others in the office, most of whom had gained a few pounds themselves, generally remained indifferent.

Finally, though, one of them had had enough and said to Jill, "You really ought to do something about Rachel's remarks. Its none of her business how much someone else eats or weighs."

To Jill it was a shock that her weight was even a discussion issue. She brought the matter up to Alicia that afternoon, as well as to Ethan that very night.

"Lonely girl envy if you ask me," observed the matronly Alicia. "You have a loving husband, a good family, a beautiful house --- she has four bear walls and Richard Simmons videos. And, until she changes her attitude towards other people, that's all she is going to have most likely."

"You don't think I've been becoming a fat cow? I mean, I have probably gained sixty pounds in the last three years. I don't know why it is I can't resist eating the way I do --- but I enjoy it too much to quit."

"Like me," Alicia said, patting her ample torso. "272 last time I checked. When I was young food was in short supply and I was always hungry. So, when I had a chance to get fat with a husband that liked me that way I just climbed aboard."

"Your husband likes you fat?"

"More to fondle, is the way he puts it. If I even start to think about dieting he mounts a counter offensive. Have you ever noticed how loving fat couples are? They have a freedom and naturalness that the conformists don't."


"Yes - the thin is in bunch. They don't enjoy food. They don't enjoy activities that involve food. They sometimes don't enjoy people. And frequently they can't enjoy one another."

"I never thought of it that way."

"You should --- because once you become a fat person you normally never go back. At least not for long."

Jill's mind was swimming. She suddenly realized that Ethan was very much like Alicia's husband, becoming more affectionate and plying her with food once she had started to gain. Was there something sensual about it to him?

She took up the issue with him that very night.

"I know you love me, but apparently I look like a freak to this person at the office," she lamented. "What should I do about her?"

Ethan smiled. "I'm glad to see you thinking about her attitude as the problem and not feeling guilty about you.

"She is probably very upset inside about all sorts of things. She is transferring her pain into criticism and judgment ---and its totally uncalled for. You are a lovely and beautiful wife - and don't you forget it."

"So what do I do about it?"

"Find something this Rachel does well, then tell her truthfully that even though apparently you can't agree on everything you appreciate what she does in that area. Then tell her how you feel about being a liberated woman. Its hard to criticize someone who gives you praise and is totally their own person..

Jill tried it, and within a month or so Rachel's comments were a thing of the past.

She also started noting Ethan's behavior -- the way he would smile at her ever rounding body while she was dressing, then turn up with something fattening that night. If they were out and she didn't have dessert there was a laconic acceptance of her decision ---obvious pleasure if the reverse was true.

Finally she discussed Alicia's husband and her suspicions about Ethan with him, asking "do really find me more attractive as a heavier wife than when we got married?"

"Does it show that badly," he replied. "I married you because you were a fine person I cared for and deserved to have a life with someone with that kind of caring. I also thought you loved me. That would never change at any weight --- but you ask about preferences --- yes, I have find you becoming more intoxicatingly beautiful with every pound. I have lived in fear that you would become aware of just how much you were gaining and go into reverse --- and yes, if you did I would at least like to be as Alicia's husband and try to discourage you from it. "

"You lover boy --- you don't have anything to worry about. You have just destroyed the only logical reason I could think of to go on a diet, because in truth I like eating and living as I do. I just didn't want to be repulsing my husband!"

Ethan laughed, "I guess that calls for a banana split." And they went out to a local coffee shop and shared one.

In this environment it was not surprising that both of the kids were becoming somewhat plump as well.

Eric was the first to hear about it. Someone at school told him he was "fat" and he came home upset. Not really upset, you understand. He just didn't like being called a name. But he wasn't old enough to comprehend that he wasn't going to solve the problem with three heaping scoops of ice cream before supper. Ethan, perfectly happy with everyone's size, realized that his family's little world was threatened from the outside.

He asked Eric what "fat" meant to him.

Eric paused --- he was only in the second grade, after all. "I dunno, but Bobby said I was."

"So am I, so is Julie, so is Mommy and so are millions of others. Do you know why?"


"Because we have fun together and enjoy life. Does Bobby have a family that takes him places like we do?"

"He doesn't even have a Daddy - and his Mom is crabby and mean."

"Hmmm ... do you think maybe he is calling you names because he feels bad that you have things he doesn't?"

"I dunno."

"Well, let me tell you something. Yes, you are fatter than some people. You are also skinnier than some others. There is nothing wrong with either one. But people who are unhappy sometimes call others names who are different than they are. Do you know why?"


"Because for a little while it makes their pain go away. But it won't last. Would you like to help Bobby?"

"Maybe, I guess."

"We are going to the beach next week. Why don't you tell Bobby that I said you could bring a guest and you would like it to be him."

"I don't think he's even been there."

"Tell him he can have his Mother call your Mom or I to get permission --- OK?"

And with that Eric got his first lesson in diverting criticisms --- and Jill, who had been observing the whole thing, gained a new appreciation of her husband's real feelings.

"You really don't mind having a plump family, do you? Not a word about watching what he eats or anything --- just turn critics into friends."

"I guess I'm nailed --- do you disagree?" he replied.

"It's different than the way my Mother would have handled it - that's for sure. She would have made some sarcastic remark about what do you expect and then railed for ten minutes about the other kid's family pedigree."

"Jill, thanks. I know our life style is a little different from some. But for us it seems to be getting better for everyone all the time. Yes, I like you larger and the kids being that way doesn't bother me either. But we have to carry our weight with pride and not shame or we will become like carrion for would-be vultures like Bobby or Rachel. They don't know why they attack, but it needs to be dealt with."

Two days later Jill decided that she should ask her boss a question she had been dodging because of her latent reservations about her size --- what could she do to qualify for advancement within the company.

"I've enjoyed the luncheon meetings, as you can tell," she jokingly began, "and have gone to computer training classes as well. But I was wondering, have I hit a glass ceiling with the firm or what should I do?"

Howard Eversole looked at the large, well dressed confident appearing woman before him. He know she lacked a full college degree, but he also knew her track record with the firm.

"Have you ever considered taking some management classes at night --- getting a BA degree to go with your AA? The new tax laws permit firms to contribute up the $5000 a year for employee education you know. Just about any managerial position --- and that's what you are talking about --- is going to take that. Bookkeeping for non-accountants might be a good place to start, then some business management classes.."

Jill accepted his offer --- and three years later, degree in hand and by then wearing a full size 28, she became the firm's Operations Director, reporting directly to the Controller.

As for Ethan, his preferences now openly acknowledged, he researched and became more adept at dealing with the realities of living as a large person in a size-conscious society. He discussed these matters not only with his family, but in Church meetings and elsewhere. As a result his kids and family became known, and respected, for what they are --- a large, loving, talented and healthy group of people known for their confidence and willingness to help others.

As for Bobby and several other of kids like them? Their taunts turned into friendship, and (although not all becoming plumpers themselves) even becoming open defenders of those who in appearance differed from themselves. Eric is now in college, his sister in High School, both with distinguished scholastic records and free of scars about their size.