Whatever Finds Her
“BBW Looking For Whatever Finds Her”
she typed in the space labeled “headline.” No, she thought, that’s
not right. That’s a lie. Why BBW? Not all of us are Big Beautiful
Women. That implies that just because we are fat, we must also be
beautiful. If we are supposed to accept our fatness, celebrate it,
why can’t we accept our ugliness, too? Why do we have to pretend to
And the rest is a lie, too. “Seeking Whatever Finds Her”- right. I
want a man who is smart and who is funny and who isn’t embarrassed
to be seen with me in public, a man who doesn’t live thousands of
miles away, a man who- God, I never thought these words would form
in my brain- likes me for me, not just for my body. That’s so sad,
so ironic, really, that it almost makes me laugh. Everyone knows a
fat girl is a fate worse than death, even worse than celibacy, to
any man. But there are those few out there, that tenth of a percent
of the men in the world, who like us. To ninety-nine percent of
those ones, though, we are all the same- interchangeable. As long as
we are fat chicks, we might just as well be axe murderers; they
She looked at the computer screen again, then rested her chin on her
fat, fleshy mounds of breasts and exhaled violently. I just lied,
she thought, and I have told the same lie a hundred times before, on
every dating website I have ever found with BBW or fat in its name.
Those other dating sites, the ones that advertise million-question
surveys guaranteed to help you find true love, are useless to me.
Men who like fat chicks, BBWs, chubbies, whatever you want to call
us, are embarrassed about it. They don’t advertise on sites where
famous guys who call themselves doctors will draw attention to them.
I can’t believe I lied. Especially since the same lie has never
gotten me anywhere before. What’s wrong with me? Maybe it’s not a
lie. After all, I am lying naked on my bed, which is dressed in
flannel rubber ducky sheets and cat fur, at three in the morning,
propped up on a pile of pillows in front of my laptop, crying, while
I lie my way through filling out profiles on fat chick dating sites.
This must be the true definition of the word desperate. I really am
looking for whatever finds me, anything.
She clicked the submit button on the screen in front of her, shut
down her computer, closed it, pushed it aside. She rested her head
on her pile of pillows and cried, loudly, deeply, in great gulps and
sobs. shudders. After minutes or hours or maybe days, she fell
asleep with her cat rubbing his head against her teary cheeks.
She opened her eyes. No more tears, but God did they burn. That’s
what I get for crying all night, she thought. Slowly, she got out of
her warm cocoon of a bed and lumbered into the bathroom, where she
settled herself on the toilet, stomach resting on her thighs. She
sat there and blinked for a while, trying to find the sadness, the
grief, the desperation, that she had been drowning in the night
before. Hard as she tried, with the sunlight streaming in through
the bathroom window to warm her puffy cheeks, she could not summon
it. With a sigh that balanced somewhere between relief and sorrow,
she stood up and went back into her bedroom. She opened her
computer, turned it on, and resumed her position, propped up on
pillows in front of the screen.
These things never work, she thought, never. If I meet someone, they
want to see me on my webcam, or call me on the phone. Then I get all
nervous and after a chat or two, they never talk to me again. Why
should this be any different? I shouldn’t get my hopes up.
Still, she logged into her e-mail with a sense of anticipation. Five
new e-mails- maybe I got a response, she dared to think. The first
three were junk mail- Viagra, important stock news, and Mastercard.
The next one was from her sister. The fifth, though, was from
bbwsneedluv2.com. Her breath caught for a second as she opened the
message. She closed her eyes and listened to her heart beat.
Finally, slowly, she opened them. “Dear Alice,” she read, “Thank you
for joining www.bbwsneedluv2.com. Your password is…” Of course,
there were no responses yet.
Hoping she would have a response 12 hours- no, she saw, looking at
her alarm clock, only 8 hours- after she had posted her profile was
just silly. Still, she couldn’t help hoping. I’m twenty-eight years
old, she thought, haven’t I waited long enough? Twenty-eight years
with no boyfriends, no dates, no kisses, nothing. Well, except for
in the eighth grade, for about a week, but that never really
counted. He was even more desperate than I was. It just doesn’t seem
fair that there are murderers in prison who have potential lovers
waiting for them when they are released and there is no one in the
entire world for me.
Once again, she shut her computer down with a sigh.
“I don’t have a webcam right now,” she typed, then paused and
reconsidered. Had she already told him she had one? She deleted the
words. “I am at a friend’s house,” she typed this time, “So I don’t
have my webcam.”
“Can you go get it?” iheartphatchix typed back, “Or go home?”
“No.” She paused again. “I am babysitting for her kids and I can’t
leave.” More lies. I wish I could just give him what he wants, she
thought. I wish I could be brave enough, bold enough, to just turn
on the webcam, but what if he never speaks to me again? It’s not
like I even know the guy, but still- I don’t want to take the risk.
At least if he chats with me, I can pretend there is someone who is
interested in me, someone who I might potentially get to know some
day. It’s nice to be able to pretend, anyway.
She waited for iheartphatchix to respond, but after 5 minutes she
gave up and closed the messenger window. She’d screwed up again. But
why had he been so insistent? I’m not just some sex object for him
to get off on, she thought, I am a real person and I am just as cool
as anyone else. Why couldn’t he have been happy just talking to me,
getting to know me?
As she sadly considered her situation, a new messenger window opened
up on her screen. She looked up, expecting to see a response from
iheartphatchix. Instead, she saw, “Hey, what’s up?” and the screen
name was fullmetalphoenix.
“Not too much,” she responded. “You?”
“Not 2 much. I found ur profile on bbwsneedluv2.com. Thought Id say
“Cool. Where are you from?”
“I live in Ann Arbor. U?”
“I live way up north. Escanaba. What’s your name? How old are you?
Whatcha looking for on here?”
“Jon, 23, just 2 meet peeps. U?”
“I am Alice, I’m 28, and my profile pretty much says it all.”
“U lik black guys?”
“Um, I guess so. I mean, I don’t like black better than white or
vice versa, really, but I guess I do sorta have a thing for guys
with dark skin.”
“That coo’ So it don’t bug u if I am?”
“No, of course not. So what are you looking for in a woman? Like,
describe your dream woman.”
“OK. U evr watch boy meets world?”
“Yeah, I used to watch it all the time.”
“U no Topanga?”
“Yeah, I love her. I always wanted to be her!”
“I like her, too. A lot. She’s my dream woman.”
She rested her chin on her hand. He didn’t respond for a while. God,
she thought, he hates me. Well, maybe not. “Oh” isn’t much to
respond to. Maybe I should say something. What, though? What do I
say to a guy who found me on a website for fat chicks and then told
me he likes Topanga, who is thin and gorgeous?
The messenger window flashed, interrupting her thoughts.
“So what u look 4 in a man?”
“Well, I don’t know. I don’t really have a physical type. I like
guys who are nice and funny and somewhat intelligent, and all those
things are optional, really, as long as he likes me. lol”
“I got all those things.”
“Cool. Too bad I don’t look like Topanga, or we’d be all set.”
“Damn, grl! U asked me what was my dream woman. That’s a dream, not
real. I no I ain’t getting’ Topanga.”
“Well, if you like thin women, what were you doing looking on
“I like big women but if I had a shot with Topanga I cud 4give her
for not Bing 1.”
“Oh, I see. That’s cool, I guess.”
“Y u single?”
“Ummm, let me think. Oh, wait, I remember. Cuz I’m fat, remember?
Guys don’t like fat chicks.”
“Lots of em do.”
“None I’ve ever met.”
“Their loss then. I got 2 go, gonna B around l8r?”
“Yeah, I should be.”
“Ttyl, hot stuff.”
“Whatever. Lol. Ttyl.”
Two months. Two months of almost bliss. She had talked to Jon almost
every day. She had told him absolutely everything about her—the
messy house, the inexperience, the cats, the fact that every other
man in the world seemed to see something in her that made her
utterly undateable. Aside from the fact that he asked her a couple
of times if she was trying on purpose to scare him away, he hadn’t
seemed bothered. He had told her she was just fine, reassured her
over and over again that those things didn’t matter and that she
would be okay. He had told her that if they ever got together, her
inexperience wouldn’t be a problem, that he would teach her
everything she needed to know. They’d talked on the phone a few
times and started text messaging on their phones as well as online.
Things were going well.
Alice’s days consisted of watching her niece’s softball games,
chatting with Jon, even taking pictures of herself to send him.
Once, in a fit of desperation, trying to convince him that he would
never in a million years like her if it ever got to the point of
seeing her naked, she had taken a photo of herself completely in the
nude, at her worst, rolls of fat hanging from her hips and stomach
and almost covering her womanhood, and sent it to him. Even then, he
had declared her beautiful and said he would still like to meet her.
Softball and Jon. It was the perfect summer. Each day was better and
better, until the day that her niece’s team won the district finals
and the chance to compete in the state championship. The team waited
expectantly to see where they would travel to. Alice was more
anxious than anyone else. Quietly, deep in a hidden place within her
most private thoughts, she hoped the championship would be somewhere
near Jon. She never told anyone, not her sister, not her friends,
not anyone, because if she asked him to meet her and he said no, she
didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her. Or laughing at her, for
that matter, for having the boldness to believe that a man could
actually be attracted to her.
The day she found out that the championship would be held in
Jackson, she raced home and logged on to the Internet. She looked at
her messenger list. No fullmetalphoenix. He wasn’t online. She
quickly went to a map site and typed in the cities of Ann Arbor and
Jackson, then crossed her fingers and hit “Find Directions.”
Thirty-two miles, it said at the top of the screen. Only thirty-two
miles! As she danced around the room in celebration, for once not
cringing at the sound of her stomach flesh slapping onto her thigh
flesh, a notice popped up informing her that fullmetalphoenix was
now online. She threw herself onto her bed and began typing.
“Hey, Jon- my niece’s softball team made it to the state
championships and guess where they are? In JACKSON! I am coming to
Jackson next month!”
“Hell, yes, that’s cool! I can come see you!”
“If—if you still want me to, that is. I mean—tell me if not.”
“Yeah, awesome. ’Course I want u2.”
“I’ll letcha know more when it gets closer.”
As the trip grew closer, she got more and more excited. She
fantasized about all kinds of things that might happen. Mostly,
though, she just fantasized about kissing him, about touching a man,
about the simple things she had never done before. Jon’s text
messages were full of excitement, too. One morning, she woke up to
the sound of the text message tone on her phone. She flipped it
“Wen we get 2gether u going 2 have sex wit me?” she read.
“Don’t know. Want to. Scared. Don’t know how,” she sent back.
“U’ll b fine. Let me teach u.”
“OK. Yes. I think. No promise.”
Over the weeks, Jon was online less and less. He was moving back
home, he said, to save money. and there was no internet there. Alice
trusted him, by then, and did not question this. Every few days they
sent messages on their phones and things seemed okay. When she
booked her hotel room in Jackson, she made sure to get her own, even
though she could have saved $300 by staying with her sister’s
family. She wanted to be sure she and Jon would have a place to be
alone, just in case. Two days before she left for Jackson, she got a
text message from a number she did not recognize.
“Fone shut off. Cdnt pay bill. Can get calls but not make. Jon.”
She called him, but he didn’t answer. She left a voice mail message.
He didn’t call back. Once she got to Jackson, she sat alone in her
hotel room late each night. She alternately hoped that Jon would
call her or answer her calls and hoped that he wouldn’t, so she
wouldn’t need to be so nervous. She spent the days under the July
sun in one of the worst heat waves anyone could remember, watching
softball, and the nights crying.
After three days, Jon finally answered her call. “Tomorrow,” he said
when she asked him “when”, when she carefully didn’t ask him “if.”
“After work,” he said, “around ten. I’ll call you.” She called him
when she hadn’t heard from him by ten, and he didn’t answer the
call. “Just wondering if we’re still on,” she said into her phone,
“So- give me a call. Let me know or something.” He didn’t call back.
Alice went to her sister’s room and played Scrabble for a while. She
tried to keep her mind off Jon completely. If she thought of him and
dared to hope he might still come, she was suddenly coated in cold,
sticky sweat at the thought that she might get to touch him, kiss
him, even have sex with him, and at the thought that as soon as she
did any of those things he would immediately hate her, because she
wasn’t any good at them. If she instead thought of the more likely
possibility that he wouldn’t call and they would never meet, she had
to fight back tears.
She answered her phone when it rang, but could barely say “hello.”
She was filled with rage that he would put her through this, and
that she would let him, and she was filled with fear, and she was
filled with longing.
“Did you think I wasn’t coming?” he asked her. He sounded the same
again, just like he had when they had first chatted. He sounded nice
again, and trustworthy, not like the stranger that had seemingly
been avoiding her in recent weeks.
“Yes, I- kind of- are you?”
“You want me to?”
“Yes, of course.”
“I am going home to change and take a shower. Call me back in a
She hung up her phone and looked at her sister.
“Go ahead,” her sister said. “Have fun. I’ll pack up the game.”
I wonder what’s going on in his mind, she thought. He had told her
to wait on the phone while he was in the shower. Why? Why couldn’t
he call her back when he got out? He had told her his phone was back
on, and it must be, since he had called her, so why, when she was so
nervous, when she so needed some time to breathe, would he keep her
on the phone? She contemplated hanging up, but was afraid to lose
contact with him, afraid he would somehow disappear if she did.
They talked on the phone, or stayed on the phone, rather, since they
didn’t talk much, while he got dressed, got in his car, and made the
30 minute trip to Jackson.
“How are you doing?” he asked her at one point.
“I am scared to death,” she replied.
“I am afraid as soon as you see me, you will turn around and leave.
That’s how men respond to me.”
“I won’t. I promise. After all, I’ve seen you naked already,
“Yeah, but—I don’t know. I have met guys online before, and that has
gone okay, but I have never, ever met anyone in person. I think I
give off some kind of vibe that warns men away from me.”
“Shut up. You’ll be fine. Where should I meet you? I am coming off
the freeway right now. I can see the hotel sign.”
“Pull in the back parking lot and I will meet you outside by the
“What are you wearing, so I know you?”
“A blue checked skirt—no, red pants and a white and red tank top,”
she told him. “See you soon, I have to go.” She hung up the phone,
shed her clothing, and pulled on the clothes she had described. She
had spent an hour shaving her legs smooth in anticipation, but the
pants were safer. They hid more of her. And the tank top fit snugly,
which wasn’t good because it showed off all her lumps and bumps and
rolls and globs, but it also showed off her cleavage. She grabbed
her phone and room key and ran outside, barefoot, shaking, scared.
Standing by the pool, she listened to the parents of the softball
players talking and laughing quietly inside the gated pool area. She
longed to be one of them, quietly confident and accepting of the
fact that there was someone who loved them. She wasn’t convinced she
would ever be able to have that sense about her.
She jumped when the phone rang. She was suddenly overcome with
dizziness and nausea and almost didn’t answer it. She forced herself
to fight back the nausea and answered.
“Hey. Where are you?”
“By the pool. Can you see the pool?”
“No, not yet. I am coming around the corner of a building. Oh, there
“I am off to the left of the pool.”
“Can you see me?”
“I don’t know. Where are you?”
“Do you see someone waving?”
“Yes. I take it that’s you.” They hung up their phones.
“Do I get a hug?” he asked as he approached. She steadied herself
against a brick planter before nodding, shyly. He came near, wrapped
his arms around her, and she somehow found the strength, the
courage, to lift her own arms and hug him back.
The feelings that rushed through her mind, her skin, her blood, even
her bones, were unlike anything she had ever experienced before. Her
reaction was so powerful that it scared her. In seconds, five or
maybe ten, relief and security and fear and something she almost
wanted to call love and even desire flooded her entire being. It
made her even more dizzy.
“Should we go up to your room?” he asked quietly, and she nodded
yes. She led the way, with a million thoughts chasing each other
around her head. First was the thrill of knowing that the parents
may have seen her leading a man up to her hotel room. They might, if
they had noticed, think now that she was a normal human being, a
real woman, someone who men could be attracted to, a completely
normal young person who was following the course of the hormones
that flowed through her body.
Then came overwhelming fear. He was following her. That meant he was
watching her fat ass waddle its way up the stairs. Would he hate
her? Would he turn around and leave? Her fear was even more intense
now, because she had tasted bliss in his arms, and she longed to
taste it again. She wondered if he would really be patient with her,
if they would end up having sex, if he had brought condoms or if she
would have to admit that she had actually bought some, just in case.
She wondered what it would be like to kiss him, how she would know
if he wanted her to open her mouth, how one thing would lead to the
next. She thought that it was entirely unfair that she was forced to
go through all of this paranoia and uncertainty at age twenty-eight,
when most people got it over with by the time they were sixteen.
She slowly slid the key into the slot on the door to her room and
swung the door open. Only then did she turn to see if he was still
“Still here,” he told her. She was horrified that she had been so
transparent. All she really wanted was to appear sophisticated and
mature, even though he already knew the truth. She wanted to
maintain some dignity.
“So, what do you want to do?” he asked. Silently, she screamed YOU
TELL ME! You’re the one that knows how these things are supposed to
work! Outwardly, she managed to speak calmly.
“Let’s get to know each other.”
She sat in a chair on one side of a small writing table, and he sat
in a chair on the other side. Neither spoke. She thought of a
million things to say, things like So what do you think? Do you like
me? Do you want to kiss me? Are you going to stay the night? She
didn’t say any of them. She found herself unable to speak.
“So what do you want to talk about?”
“I don’t know. Let’s just talk,” she said shyly. “I can’t think of a
thing to say.”
“I always start the conversations. Tonight it’s your turn. Anything
you want to say, anything you want to do, it’s all up to you. I’m
not saying or doing anything until you do.”
You asshole she screamed silently. I hate you! You promised! You
said you would help me, that it didn’t matter that I don’t know what
to do or what to say or how to start! You said YOU would do it,
would help me, would make it all easy. You LIED to me! And then in
the back of her mind, a little voice told her that she had lied to
him, too. It reminded her of the lie she had told months ago—“BBW
Looking For Whatever Finds Her.” She wasn’t really looking for
whatever found her; she was looking for a man she could depend on to
guide her through the awkward times when she felt unsure, when she
had no idea what to do or say next, a man who could tease her gently
and break into soft laughter and make her laugh at herself, and make
everything okay. It wasn’t his fault; he wasn’t giving what he had
promised, but then, she hadn’t told him what she needed, either.
After what seemed like hours but was maybe twenty minutes, they were
finally speaking somewhat more easily, but things were tense and she
was carefully avoiding any topics that might lead to awkwardness. He
finally stopped talking and brought things to a head.
“So what do you want to do? Kiss? Make out? Have sex?” She blushed
“Maybe. Maybe. I don’t know.”
“Well, if you do, just let me know. Or if you want, I can just
“No, I don’t want that.”
“Then what do you want?
“I don’t know. I know, but I don’t know how to tell you.”
“Damn, girl, I’m going to have to do all the work, aren’t I? Come on
He rose and moved to the bed. He sat down and gestured for her to
sit next to him. She did, nervously, mainly because she was afraid
if she didn’t, he would leave, and she didn’t want to be alone
again. Inside, she was still screaming. This isn’t how it’s supposed
to be! You are supposed to make me feel special, like you really
want me to sit by you, hold you, kiss you, not like you are doing me
a favor. You promised! It’s not FAIR!
His lips on hers silenced the voice, though, or made her concentrate
on kissing and not on listening, anyway. She wanted to enjoy it so
badly, but she couldn’t. Every bit if her energy was taken up with
wondering if she was kissing right, responding right, if she was
screwing things up. Her body was responding appropriately, she knew,
because there was a weird tingling running through her body,
strategically zapping her in a few key locations as it raced up and
down, but she could not enjoy it. Every breath, every tiny movement
of her lips or her tongue or her hands took absolute concentration.
Every time she moved any part of her, she wondered if she had done
the right thing or the wrong one. She didn’t dare ask.
They kissed, touched, held, petted all night long. At times they
slept. Every so often, he asked her if she wanted to have sex. She
did, more than she had wanted anything in a very long time, but she
could not bring herself to tell him. If she admitted that she wanted
to, then it would somehow be her fault if she failed to please him.
If he had made the first move, she would have melted into him and
given her body to him completely, but he didn’t. He stayed true to
his word; anything she wanted, she had to ask for.
As soon as the sun was up, he rose, half naked, and stretched.
Silently, he dressed.
“I have to go,” he said. “Work. I’ll be in touch.”
You said you didn’t have to work today! the voice in her head
“Okay,” she said. She stood, half naked, and hugged him.
He walked out of the door and she watched it swing shut behind him.
A month later, Alice got a text message from Jon.
“How u doing?” it asked.
“Long time no see,” she responded. It was only in the past week that
she had stopped crying over him, and now he was back.
They messaged back and forth for a few hours. Soon, the topic turned
to sex. Every message he sent started with, “Would you ever…” She
answered his questions honestly and he told her he had come to the
conclusion that they really needed to get together.
“You had your chance. I would have, you know. All you had to do was
start things off, and I would have.”
“I wanted u.”
“Shoulda told me then.”
“Thought u new.”
“I didn’t. I told you, that was all new to me. I didn’t know
Over time, their messages became more and more graphic. He sent her
photos that matched the one she had sent him. Their messaging
sessions were heated and left her thinking of him, of sex, all the
time. She slowly began to trust him again.
“U bz over T-day?” he asked her in the beginning of November.
“Wanna hook up?”
“Maybe. OK. Yes.”
“Coo’. It OK 2 b frendz with benefits?”
“Sure,” Alice messaged back. Noooooo! screamed the voice inside of
Thanksgiving came and went and no mention was made of getting
together. Depression set in, but every time Jon messaged her, she
responded immediately and with the words she knew he would want to
In the beginning of December, it started again.
“U bz over xmas?”
“ I can make time for you.”
“Coo’,” he said, and they even set a date and made a plan. She would
get a hotel room half way in between their homes, a four-hour drive
for each. He would pay for half when he got there. They would go out
to dinner and they would talk and they would hold each other close
and do all sorts of things, and he would make everything up to her
that she had felt was lacking last time. It would be the perfect
weekend. She cleared her schedule and the old feelings of
apprehension and bliss and excitement and being normal came back.
There was a man in the world who could appreciate her just the way
she was! He had met her, in person, and seen her, and he wanted to
see her again! He had seen her naked body, and he still wanted to
get naked with her! She looked nothing like his dream woman, but
there was still something about her that made him want her!
In the middle of the night, one week before Christmas, Alice’s phone
sounded its text message tone.
“Meet me online- need to talk,” it said. It was from Jon, of course.
She got out her computer, logged on to the Internet, and found him
“Hey, what’s up?” she typed, smiling. She expected him to tell her
some kinky new thing he wanted to try, or at the worst to say he
couldn’t afford to help with the hotel room.
“Can’t make it next week,” he answered.
Her heart sank into her stomach. She almost threw it up.
“Remember the conversation we had about my dream woman?”
“Yes,” she whispered. Stupidly, she managed to convince herself that
he was going to tell her that she was his dream woman, and that he
didn’t want to be friends with benefits anymore, that he wanted to
stay away from her until he could love her fully with all his heart
“I met someone,” he continued. “Headed 2 Vegas 2 get married.”
Naked on her bed, propped up on a pile of pillows covered in rubber
duckies and cat fur, Alice cried loudly, deeply, in great gulps and
sobs. shudders. BBW, she thought. Right. Beautiful outranks Big
every time. Against her will, a scribbled message appeared in her
thoughts, a flashing neon sign, reminiscent of Las Vegas: Topanga,
Go To Hell!