There’s a guy in my husband’s and my social circle who I already didn’t think liked me, because of two things. 1) It’s a discussion group and I always arrive with a couple of topics to throw out so I won’t be a knot on a log, but he always pooh-poohs anything I say. My husband is the host of the group and it’s his mission in life and a lot of fun for him, so I let it go by. I just ignore the guy and keep on trying to hold my own in the discussion with others, while not dominating at all. There are others in the group a lot more knowledgeable than I am, and I’m happy to let them do most of the talking—I just make sure to contribute, pay attention to their topics, and go with the flow of conversation. Anyway, anything I say is met with pooh-pooing of the “Oh I don’t know about that” variety by this guy and one other guy. The other guy is widely considered annoying...others get way more annoyed at him than I do. He picks on me for going to church, although several other members of the group go to church. It’s a liberal discussion group, and those of us who go to church go to liberal-leaning denominations.

Anyway, reason #2 I don’t think this guy likes me is that I occasionally play a game on my phone. I don’t do it during the discussion, but sometimes before the discussion starts or after it winds down. One time he said “My wife plays video games all the time—we’ll be watching TV and she always has to be on her phone playing that game!” I don’t think he’s happy in his marriage due to other things he has said from time to time, but that’s not my business. Other couples who belong to our group don’t seem happy in their marriages but it happens. I just hope my husband and I never get “bickery” like them or “checked out of the marriage emotionally” like this guy, let’s call him Bill, seems. Anyway, the state of his marriage is not my business, but maybe that’s one reason he seems to dislike me—maybe I’m “safe” to take stuff out on. I do not know. Maybe I just irritate him on general principles. I promise I’m not long-winded in the discussion group like I am in writing.

Anyway, last night there was a relatively new woman in the group—tall, thin, and way more talkative than I am. She and I both ordered BLT’s. I got a side salad with mine. I don’t know, nor do I care, what she got. She got her BLT first and it was huge. She commented on it but nobody said anything or gave her grief for getting such a huge honkin’ BLT (Neither of us knew the BLT’s would be so big). It was too late to change my order, had I even THOUGHT to do so, which I wouldn’t have thought to do so. But then I got my BLT and ate my side salad.

When I picked up the BLT to take the first bite, Bill points and guffaws really loudly in front of the whole group. I thought it would die down in a minute and the attention get off me and let me eat my damn BLT. But it went on and I put the whole plate in my lap under the table thinking I could pick at it with a fork or something and the attention would die down. But after a little bit, after the conversational topic had changed and I was in fact contributing a useful piece of information to the topic, I again attempted to take a bit of my stupid BLT and he starts in again!!!!! I sort of turn around because I couldn’t think straight that quickly how to address this, and he goes “You don’t have to HIDE it!” I said FUCK, FUCK, FUCK and covered it with napkins and didn’t touch it again. My face felt really hot and I looked down for a while and my husband patted my arm (he’s not the type to raise a confrontation and I don’t expect him to). He’s very sweet to me about the whole topic (I don’t eat as healthy as he does) but he didn’t notice everything as it was going on (he thought it was another guy who did the shaming...I think the second guy was going along with the shaming but I’m not sure the second guy was going along....my husband thought the second guy did the whole thing)

The food-shaming bully never apologized, never acknowledged that he’d gone too far in any way. He’s probably proud of himself that he shamed me out of trying to eat my stupid goddamn sandwich.

There’s another guy in our trivia group, who...I know we are not supposed to talk about numbers here. Let’s say his diet is super, super unhealthy even though mine is not super great. One time a few months ago, ONE TIME, I got tater tots. ONE. TIME. He started in on me that night and from then on, he ALWAYS comments on what I order. Now I always get the side salad with my sandwich at trivia and he STILL always says “I see you didn’t get the TATER TOTS” right in front of my husband. I did whisper to him once to please lay off, but I didn’t want to cause bad feelings at trivia so I let it go and just ignore it.

Yesterday afternoon before I ordered the goddamn HUGEST BLT IN HISTORY, I had mowed the entire lawn myself, as I always do—I don’t ask my husband to help because I know I need the exercise. He helps when I’m in a time pinch or there’s some sawing to do. But I bet Bill the BLT Bully doesn’t know I mowed the entire lawn that afternoon and all I had after mowing had been a salad (because I needed to use up the salad stuff) I was looking forward to that goddamn BLT. I wish I’d either taken my plate and invited the other woman to sit at another table with me for a few minutes, or taken my plate and drink and gone outside, or told my husband I’d be back in about 45 mins and gone elsewhere to eat (I’m the designated driver) or thought to tell him publicly that I had mowed the entire lawn that afternoon. All I could think to do was blush beet red and throw my sandwich away.