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
The Ad (Part 2)
seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.
The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is
a plus. Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or
pretend that she is “Mama.” Intelligent conversation, a
little respect, and the lack of a current significant other
will get you far. And a well-developed sense of humor won’t
hurt, either. If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies
and thunder thighs, reply to
Candidate 2.6: The Disappearing Act
i liked ur ad n thought u
might like to get together sometime.
u gotta pic?
Subject: Re: hiya
Well, you never know.
like to get together sometime.
My name is
Jany, I work in an art gallery, I like to paint, read, and
surf the web, and hope to some day teach art.
picture for more information. ;) How ‘bout tellin’ me more
Subject: Re: Re: hiya
yea i do that stuff 2 but
mostly i like 2 spend time with the ladeez.
if u get my drift.
don’t get me
wrong, i like 2 go out and have a good time but the end of
the night is the real reward.
here’s a pic
Subject: Re: Re: Re:
You “do that stuff 2”?
As in, you
work in an art gallery, paint, read, etc.?
don’t quite believe you, though.
you’re just working on scoring some private time.
isn’t an easy thing to do, with me.
I like to
think I’m a little more discriminating than that.
Nice pic, though, and if
you want to meet somewhere,
I could go for that
into her apartment and pulled the door shut behind her.
feeling good; it was getting easier to look forward to dates
enough good experiences that she was no longer gripped by
crippling fear for a day or two beforehand, and prettying
herself up was fun now that she sometimes got noticed for
have high hopes for this date, based on the guy’s e-mails,
but the weather was gorgeous—sunny and cool and just
starting to feel Christmasy—and she had every intention of
At five to
six, she was waiting in the lobby of her building.
to think of it, he’d never even given her his name—had
insisted on picking her up in a cab.
attempt to impress her, since he’d already admitted his goal
was basically to get her into bed.
It was better
than taking the bus, though, so she’d readily agreed.
At six, there
was still no sign of anyone who even vaguely resembled the
man in the picture she’d been sent.
In fact, there
was no sign of anyone except a lady who lived on the first
floor and liked to hang out in the lobby and make
conversation with anything she happened to find there, human
Today, she was
quietly chatting with a potted plant next to the basement
to go say hi.
It would help
pass the time until this guy showed up.
Or until she
decided to give up on waiting for him.
approached the old woman, Jany could hear her prattling on
about her daughter who lived in California and who would be
coming to visit for Christmas.
That was no
surprise; ninety percent of her conversations were about her
The thing that
did surprise Jany was that the plant seemed to be muttering
back at her.
A quick glance
around the corner convinced her that she wasn’t as nuts as
the old lady was.
A man was
hiding on the other side of the wall—a man who looked just
like the man in the picture, except a good ten years older.
Jany bold and blunt.
“Hey, are you
looking for me?
The man looked
away—not at anything, just away.
Then he looked
down toward his feet.
How ya doing?”
out to shake his hand, her voice friendly, oozing false
on the basement stairs?”
“I was just—I
was hiding from this old lady.
I didn’t wanna
talk to her.”
Even if Jany
had believed him, the way he avoided looking at her, and the
way his face flushed more with every word, would have made
her doubt him.
talking to her.
hiding there so you could watch me when I came downstairs,
You wanted to
see what I looked like in person so you could decide if you
wanted to go out with me before you showed your face.”
For a second,
Jany wondered if it was just her old insecurity talking, but
she somehow had a feeling she was right.
The man didn’t
The old lady,
however, kept right on talking.
“Are you going
to come visit Carol when she’s here?
She’s a good
girl just like you are.
She comes to
visit her old mother every year.
and the children can’t come, but she comes every year.
I so look
forward to her visits.”
And on and on.
Jany bit back
words of irritation.
She wasn’t in
the mood to deal with a crazy lady right now and had an
irresistible urge to remind the woman that everyone in the
building was well aware that Carol was a lesbian without a
husband or child in sight.
And that she
hadn’t been to visit in three years because the last time
she had, her mother had spent the entire time talking to
grandchildren who didn’t exist as they opened Christmas
presents that didn’t exist in front of the Christmas tree
that didn’t exist.
heartbroken at her mother’s condition and unable to handle
the pressure, had promptly arranged for home health care and
a senior companion and then boarded a plane back to
It wasn’t the
old lady’s fault she wasn’t aware of the real world, though,
any more than it was the old lady’s fault that Jany had made
another date with an idiot.
Why don’t you
go back to your apartment?
I think your
Meals-On-Wheels lady will be here soon.”
The people in
the building were always aware of one another’s business,
which is what made it a good place for the old lady to live,
and what made Jany feel safe there.
the lady down the hall and toward her apartment.
You know, you
remind me so much of my Carol.
coming to visit soon.
and the children can’t make it, but—”
as Jany patted her on the shoulder, gently shoved her in the
direction of her apartment door, and returned to the
she asked the man who was still standing there, staring
around the wall.
“You decide to
send me a picture of yourself from ten or twenty years ago,
and then you don’t believe that I’m any more honest than you
are so you figure you should spy on me to see if I’m what
you really want?”
And you seem
because, unlike you, I told the truth about my age.
am very young, compared to you.
should be a little more honest next time.”
in those ads.
How was I
supposed to know I found the only honest person in the
voice was whiny and defensive.
“And you know
little fatter than I like anyway!”
He pushed Jany
back from the edge of the stairs and stormed out of the
building and into a waiting taxi.
Jany leaned on
the wall, stunned.
supposed to be the one who was righteous and condescending
in this situation, not the dishonest nincompoop of a man
she’d almost gone out with.
thought she looked pretty good today, too.
man she met thought she was either too fat or not fat
walked toward the elevator, tears stinging her eyes.
The phone was
ringing as she unlocked the door to her apartment and Jany
looked at the caller ID, not really intending to answer.
Except, it was
really, but I will be.”
“I was on a
conference call and all of a sudden you popped into my head,
so as soon as the call was over, I called you.
maybe there was something going on.”
abilities strike again.”
“Not a damn
Same ol’, same
to go out with this guy and I found him hiding in the lobby,
waiting to see if I met his expectations.
that he was ten or fifteen years older than he told me he
was and kind of an asshole to boot.”
let it get you down.
beautiful and strong and anyone who tells you anything else
doesn’t know you.”
I’m either too
fat or too thin for every decent man I meet.”
“Who was the
last guy who said you were too fat?”
mean—no one’s really said it to me.
But no one
ever asks me out or anything, either, other than the guys I
meet on Personalz, so that’s sort of telling me I’m too fat,
now, isn’t it?”
telling me that all the men that exist everywhere in the
world that have never asked you out have decided you’re too
“Not the ones
I haven’t met.”
slightly unrealistic, darling.
How many have
said you’re too thin?”
“That one guy
that took me to the plus-sized club wanted me to be his
Can’t you ever
just let me feel sorry for myself?”
Won’t get you
Now tell me
that you’re hot.”
“No one else
is gonna think you’re hot if you don’t think so.
So say it.”
I’m just going
to say, ‘Hey, I’m hot,’ and then every guy in the world is
gonna fall at my feet.”
“Not what I
But if you
don’t think you’re worth anything, guys pick up on that.
about this before.
scared of women and their emotions.
easier to approach someone who looks approachable.
If you’re all
gloomy and starin’ at the sidewalk, a guy’s not gonna start
much chance of rejection.
But if you’re
all confident and making eye contact and smiling, then a guy
might have the guts to give it a shot.
“I’m not going
to say it.
don’t go around saying things like that about themselves.”
Jany felt her
Now say it
like you mean it, and without the insecure little giggle at
me: ‘I’m hot.
I am hot.’”
one more time, then cleared her throat.
“I’m hot,” she
“I am hot.”
“Come on, I
I’m not going
to say it again.
I can think
I’m the hottest piece of ass in the world and if no one else
agrees with me, it doesn’t mean a thing except that I’m also
arrogant and delusional.”
true and I think you know that.
Hey, I have to
A client’s on
the other line and we have some stuff to work out.
But next time
we talk, we’re gonna do this again.
Say it often
enough and you’ll believe it.
Jany was still
positive affirmation thing seemed weird and awkward.
It seemed even
weirder that it should be so hard to say something positive
about her appearance, though, even to someone she trusted as
much as she trusted Michael.
Why should it
be so hard?
There was no
law that said she had to believe she was ugly.
Jany went to
the mirror and checked herself out again.
thought she looked pretty good, even if the stupid guy in
the stairwell thought she was too fat.
It was too
nice out to spend the day sitting inside and feeling sorry
her purse and coat.
She got off
the bus downtown and slowly walked along the crowded
displays were brightly lit and breathtakingly beautiful.
The throngs of
people around her were talking and laughing joyously and
there was a feeling of excitement surrounding them all.
help but smile.
in the air, and the gaiety was contagious.
beyond the busy shops and toward the park.
It was just
beginning to get dark, and the city lights glowed in the
rink in the park was filled with skaters: young parents and
their small children, teenagers holding hands, groups of
giggling girls skating in long chains and huddles of boys
who were too cool to skate and instead stood on the edge of
the rink, balanced precariously on their ice skates, keeping
a careful eye on the girls and pushing one another around.
out of speakers above.
Jany suddenly felt as if she’s never seen anything
more beautiful in her entire life, and that she’d never
more beautiful in her entire life.
It was one of
those rare moments when it seems like every single thing is
right in the world.
Jany had to
capture the moment.
onto a park bench that nearly froze her backside as soon as
she made contact and pulled a pencil and her sketchbook from
her strong suit, but it would do to help her remember what
lines and arcs and shadings on the page, jotting down a few
words to help her with color when she painted the scene.
It all seemed
like something out of a dream.
looked up again, it was fully dark and the stars were
twinkling above the city.
She took a
moment to look around and feel the aura of the park.
Maybe it was
Michael’s phone call, or maybe it was the magic of the
glittering ice rink in the park.
Maybe it was
just the feeling of Christmas in the air.
was, Jany felt like absolutely anything was possible.
course she would find love.
course she would settle down
with someone, have a family, be surrounded by loved ones for
the rest of her life.
In a world
this perfect, only good things could be possible.
And then, out
of the corner of her eye, she saw a man on the next park
He was looking
down toward the sidewalk, but his face tipped to the side
and he studied her for just a few seconds before he caught
her eye and looked away.
Had he really
been looking at her.
As she watched
him, he looked again.
This time, his
face flushed before he looked away, but he didn’t stand up
and disappear like most guys did if they caught Jany looking
In fact, he
glanced her way one more time.
Jany sat up a
little straighter, tossed her hair back over her shoulder.
It was the
first time she had ever noticed, or thought she had noticed,
anyway, a man who was just a member of the general public
checking her out.
was only men who advertised on Personalz, men who only liked
her because she was fat, that were interested.
this guy was interested, that is.
if she had the courage to approach him.
Of course she
Jany, plain and unattractive and shy, didn’t do things like
But it was
Christmastime, in the most beautiful park in the world in
the heart of a beautiful city.
approached the man.
“Hi,” she said
quietly, barely glancing up from the sidewalk.
“I—I saw you
sitting over here and—well, I don’t know.
me want to come say hi.”
The man looked
up at her, almost shyly.
Then a smile
brightened his face.
noticed you, too.
I wanted to
come say hi, but I’m just not very good at that sort of
Mind if I sit
He shook his
head and scooted over.
Now that she
was here, she had no idea what to say next, but it felt like
every cell in her body was jumping up and down and clapping
its hands in celebration of her bravery.
to breathe, even though she thought that worldly things like
oxygen might not be very important in this moment.
the man finally said.
“What is your
It’s nice to
It is getting
cold out here, isn’t it?
I just like to
watch all the lights and hear the music.”
“Yeah, I know
what you mean.
I was trying
to sketch it all before, but my fingers were so cold I could
hardly feel them.
beautiful I don’t want to leave, though.”
like to go into the coffee shop over there?
I will buy you
turned him down.
just go off with a guy, she needed time to prepare, to get
past the nerves, to make herself presentable.
But he was
already looking at her, seeing her the way she was now, and
he wanted to buy her a drink.
If she said
no, she might never see him again.
well-dressed and dark-skinned and attractive, and he was
kind, and he liked her.
hard before she answered.
“Yes, I’d like