Posted by Pattie on 3/21/2002 10:52:00 PM

How does one begin a conversation? The weather? Sports? The day's events?

Today has been a difficult day. In Pennsylvania, a school board is taking upon itself to single out fat children. Letters have been sent to parents about diet and exercise as if only fat children could benefit from healthy habits and thin children could never eat sweets or sit in front of a television all day long. I have visions of internment camps where fat people will be sent "for their own good" -- concentration camps masking as fat farms designed to shed those pounds and make fat people acceptable. Oh, their heart is in the right place, I guess, but it is misinformed. More fodder for the bullies of the world.

I was called fatty-patty before I was fat and before I was patty. To be called "fatty" was one of the worst insults kids could think of to hurl at me. And my name rhymed with fat. I dreaded being called "Pat" or "Patty" simply because of its relationship to "Fat" and "Fatty." As I grew older and larger, I hated the name and the fat even more. Now some 35 years later, the name seems powerful to me. The world obviously hasn't changed, but I have. Still, I'd like to see other little patties having a chance to grow up without the pain. I guess it won't happen in Pennsylania. Not this school year.