The Adventures of Phatgurl
by Emily Suzanne
Adventures Of Phatgurl
is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a
plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a
personals website. As she embarks on her dates, she meets many
different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.
Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more
serious and even sad.
If you have any
ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see
depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at
I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future
SW SSBBW seeks SM willing to ask her out.
Need not buy gifts, remember dates, put toilet seat down. Video
game fanatics and men who require guys’ nights out okay. Willing to
watch action movies and avoid “the talk.” Reply to:
Candidate 5: Not All There
Subject: i want to gf
name is james and want gf real bad and may b u can b it. wat ur
Subject: Re: i want to gf
I’m Jany. How are you doing? Tell me more about yourself.
Subject: Re: Re: i want to gf
i play baskitbal an work at a stor doing bageing grosheries. i like
girls and i wana go on dates with somone.
Subject: About Me
I work in an art gallery and would love to be an artist someday. I
also like music, movies, and books. I don’t mind watching sports,
either, but I don’t do it very often. I sent you a picture along
with this e-mail because I think it’s important that you know what I
look like. Looks don’t matter much to me, but I know that they are
important to most people, and since I think it’s only fair to be
honest, most people don’t like the way I look. So I hope you don’t
decide not to talk to me anymore.
Subject: Re: About Me
i dont care wat u loock like, im ugly to. wana go on a date. cum
to my hous on valntin day
And so Jany found herself, on Valentine’s Day, no less,
getting ready for yet another date. With yet another unintelligent
guy who disguised rude comments as compliments. Exactly what she
needed. But, all the stupid magazines she read said not to limit
yourself, date-wise, because you never know what might happen and
who might be your type. And as long as he didn’t rape her, throw
her down the stairs, or want her to be his mother, she figured he
couldn’t be that bad.
His apartment was only a few miles away from hers.
Fifteen minutes on the bus and she was standing outside of what
almost looked like a nursing home. She studied the back of her
hand, where she had scribbled the address. This was the place, all
right. Slowly, she walked up to the door. It opened easily, but
the set of doors beyond it was securely locked. She looked around
the entryway for a minute before she noticed a set of buzzers above
the thirty or so mailboxes that were built into the wall. There
were faded, pink construction paper hearts taped to the wall. A
tattered piece of paper instructed visitors to ring the bell
belonging to the person they wished to visit.
She went outside and sat on the bench by the door to
calm herself before she went back in and hesitantly rang the buzzer
by the mailbox for apartment 23. Almost immediately, a voice
crackled through the speaker.
“Hello?” The voice sounded garbled, as if its owner had
a mouth half full of oatmeal, but Jany blamed the speaker. It
looked like it had been there for maybe a thousand years or so.
“Hi. This is Jany?” There were a few seconds of
“Hello? You there?” The garbled voice again. Then,
“If you want me to hear, you gotta push the red button.”
Jany flushed just as quickly as she always did, even
though the only other person to witness her stupidity barely had a
functional knowledge of the English language, judging by his
e-mails. She reached up and held the red button in.
“Sorry. I wasn’t sure how it worked. This is—this is
“Oh. Well, come on in!”
Jany heard a beep and the door clicked and then swung
open. She stepped inside and looked around for a clue as to where
to go next. Suddenly, she heard a voice calling her name. She
turned toward it to see a gangly, brown-haired man lurching down the
hallway toward her. He was wearing black sweatpants and a torn
t-short, and he had a baseball hat pushed down over his head, the
brim hanging over the back of his neck. Classy. Great way to
impress a girl. She smiled and stepped toward him anyway, holding
out her hand.
“I’m Jamesh,” he replied.
Jamesh? Okay, so the ancient speaker wasn’t at fault
for the garbled voice. It really was the way he sounded. Still,
that didn’t mean anything. If there was one thing Jany tried to
avoid, it was judging people.
“Good to meet you.”
“Wanna go back to my aparment? I thought we’d jusht
wash a movie.”
“Oh. Okay, sure. That’s fine.”
She followed him down the hall to an apartment with a
football poster taped on the front door. The frat boy apartment
door, the lurching walk, the garbled voice, the nursing home-looking
thing he lived in—Jany was starting to get a much clearer idea of
who James was. And while he seemed, so far, like a nice guy, she
was pretty sure he wasn’t the kind of guy she was looking for, any
more than Bob or Paul or Tim had been. She wished with all her
might that she was the kind of woman who could meet a man and then
just wish him good luck and walk away if he didn’t seem right for
her. She wasn’t, though. She had to grasp at any tiny straw in her
quest for a real relationship.
A pang of guilt stabbed her as she followed him into his
apartment. She was practically dismissing him already, when he had
done nothing, so far, to justify her thoughts. Well, other than
calling her ugly, anyway, but he had called himself ugly, too. He
might be the perfect man for her. She owed it to him to at least
give him a chance.
She looked around the room. On the far side, there was
a poster of a cheerleader. Thin, blonde, the usual. Wearing a tiny
cheerleader skirt and an even tinier bikini top, which barely
covered a chest that probably weighed as much as the rest of her
body put together. The only pieces of furniture were an old couch,
a beat up coffee table, and a mammoth entertainment center that
housed a television, two VCRs, a DVD player, a stereo with six or
eight speakers, and about four different video game systems. Game
cartridges and DVDs covered the rest of the entertainment center and
littered the floor. Three empty or half empty Coke cans sat on the
coffee table and there were rings all over it to suggest that many
more had graced its surface. It was not the apartment of a mature,
“Shit down,” James told her, grinning.
Jany complied, but it took all her willpower not to
remove her sweater and place it on the couch before she did.
Nothing in the place looked overly clean.
“What movie ya wanna wash?”
“I don’t care. What do you have?”
He pulled a handful of movies from the floor under the
coffee table and handed them to her. All dumb comedies. The kind
she loved. They were all pretty much interchangeable with one
another, though, so she grabbed one from the stack and handed it
back to him. She decided to try and make conversation while he got
up to put the movie in the DVD player.
“I like your poster,” she said. Liar! she
silently screamed at herself. There wasn’t much else to say,
“Thanksh. Me too. She’sh pretty hot, hey?”
“Uh, yeah. Yeah, she’s a real hottie.” Jany fought
back the urge to roll her eyes. It felt almost like she was having
a conversation with a child. She was beginning to see that he
wasn’t just a little odd. There really was something wrong with
him. Well, not wrong with him, that was mean, but he was obviously
impaired in some way. She couldn’t tell, yet, if it was a mental
impairment, something that affected just his speech, or something
altogether different. All she knew for sure was that he was not
your typical twenty-four-year-old man. He was more like a
twelve-year-old boy in a twenty-something body.
James slid the movie into the DVD player and returned to
the couch. He hit play and then immediately started talking over
the TV’s volume,
“What kinda moviesh you like to wash?”
“I like to wash—eh, watch—just about anything, really,
but mostly funny stuff like this, or horror movies.”
“I like funny moviesh, too, but I never wash shcary
moviesh. I washt one onsh at my dad’sh camp with my coushin and
hish girfriend when I wazh a little kid an’ I got sho shcared I
shtuck my head in her titsh. Then I tole her she had a nishe rack
and everyone thought it wazh sho funny. I alwaysh shay what I
think. I like boobsh.” He grinned again, as if he was proud of his
bold statement. Jany once again managed to refrain from visibly
“Cool.” Cool? That wasn’t a cool thing to say to your
date, especially the first time you met each other, and even more
especially on Valentine’s Day, when romance was supposed to be in
the air. She didn’t have a good feeling about this. But it was a
little late to do anything now. And she did have the fantasy
involving curling up on a couch with a guy to watch a movie and
cuddle. Maybe she could at least live out her fantasy. She turned
to her head to the television to signal that she intended to pay
attention to the movie.
She watched it without really seeing it, though. She
was acutely aware of the man sitting next to her on the couch, even
though he wasn’t touching her. Every time she thought she felt the
couch shift, she glanced out of the corner of her eye at James to
see if he was moving closer. And when she discovered that he was
only stretching or that she was imagining the whole thing
altogether, she was simultaneously relieved and disappointed.
The movie was almost over when she thought she felt the
ghost of a touch on her thigh. And this time, when she glanced
down, she saw that James’ hand really was resting there. Her
heartbeat quickened. In an instant, she decided that she was not
going to sleep with this man, no matter how much he begged. Not
that he would, she was sure. He didn’t seem like he was all that
into her. The chick in the poster on the wall was more his type.
But still. This time, it wasn’t going to happen. When he finally
placed his hand fully on her thigh and pressed down into its
softness, she boldly picked the hand up and moved it back to his own
Jany was afraid James was going to yell at her, or tell
her to get up and leave. Instead, he didn’t respond at all. Didn’t
even look at her. She tried to return her attention to the movie.
Within minutes, the hand was back. Once again, she picked it up and
placed in the lap of its owner. This time, she scooted over on the
couch just a little. Seconds later, he had followed her. She felt
his thigh pressed up against hers. And then the hand again. She
moved it. He replaced it. They played this game until the movie
At which point James turned off the television. And
placed an arm over her shoulder. He placed his face in front of
hers and planted his lips on her mouth. She sputtered.
“Ish shumthing wrong?”
“No, no. It’s fine. I just—you surprised me. That’s
So he replaced his lips. And since Jany hadn’t told him
not to, she didn’t feel like she had any right to stop him. She
kissed him back. Seconds later, his hand was loosely wrapped around
her wrist and he was weakly guiding her hand toward his lap as they
She frantically pulled her hand away and placed it
safely in her pocket. Although she half expected him to grab her
arm and try again, he didn’t. His lips remained pressed against
hers, but she wouldn’t have said he was really kissing her. They
were just sort of sitting there. He was doing something with his
hand, but Jany couldn’t tell what. She wished he would just put his
arm around her. That way, she could pretend he really enjoyed
kissing her. She could also be sure he wasn’t masturbating. Her
experience with Tim had been enough to make her wary of that.
For someone who spent so much time wishing she had
someone to kiss, cuddle, even just touch, Jany grew bored very
quickly with the whole his-unmoving-lips-pressed-against-hers
thing. Feigning the need to stretch, she sat up straight and leaned
back against the couch. And almost screamed. James’ pants were
unzipped and he was—well, exposed. Exposed in a creepy, sex
offender kind of way, because there didn’t appear to be any
particular reason for it, and he was acting as if nothing was out of
the ordinary. In fact, while Jany sat there quite unable to move or
say anything, James got up and took the DVD out of the player. He
replaced it with another and walked back to the couch, the most male
part of his anatomy just sort of bobbing in front of him as he did.
Jany clawed at the couch and avoided looking at him as she tried to
think of a way out of the situation. It was even worse than her
experience with Bob. If she actually let anything happen between
James and herself, she’d feel like a pedophile. He obviously didn’t
function the way a grown man does. Not any grown man Jany’d ever
James sat down next to Jany once more, twisting his body
to face her. She pushed herself as far from him as she could, but
she was already against the arm of the couch.
“Wanna tuhsh it?” he asked her, grinning.
“Um. Uh. No, that’s okay. I—uh, I should be going. I
have—I have this thing—this—somewhere I have to be.” It was the
most unconvincing lie she’d ever told. Even James didn’t believe
“It’sh okay, baby. You can tuhsh it. I wanna get off.”
Jany laughed a stilted laugh that definitely sounded
“I—it’s a bad time—a bad time of the month. I really
“Why’sh it bad?”
“I, um, it’s girl stuff.”
“Ohhh, I get it. You on your peryud. You can shtill do
shum shtuff, though. Like tuhsh it.”
“No, I really can’t. I’m sorry. I’m—I just don’t—feel
sexy, you know?” Jany grasped for an explanation. She couldn’t
make herself just tell him she wasn’t attracted to him, but she
couldn’t let things go any farther, either. She knew she’d lose all
respect for herself if she did.
She’d heard of people hitting rock bottom, but she’d
never really had a good working definition of rock bottom. Now she
did. Dirty couch? Check. Dirty apartment? Check. Movie full of
vulgar, juvenile humor playing in the background on the most
romantic day of the year? Check. Half naked cheerleader poster on
the wall watching a mentally impaired man expose himself to you?
Double check. Definitely rock bottom. Somehow Jany gathered the
strength to stand up.
“I’m sorry, but I really need to go. Thank you for
having me over.” She picked up her purse and walked toward the
“Bye, then. But jusht sho you know, I don’t really like
you, cuzsh I don’t like fat girlsh. But no one elshe will ever like
you, so I know you can’t get shumone better’n me and I ashked you
out anywaysh. Sho there.”
Jany was proud of herself for walking away. She really
was. And yet, as she walked slowly back to the bus stop, where a
man was sitting on the bench with his arm around a woman as they
kissed, there were tears in her eyes. It didn’t matter that she was
the one who had walked away from a possible relationship with James,
or that she had walked around for a very good reason. She still
felt as though she had somehow failed.