An Open Letter to a Dude in Zabar’s


Dear Dude in Zabar’s:

I’m pretty sure you just looked at my sandwich and said, “Somebody’s hungry.” Thanks for noticing! I actually am hungry, and I purchased this sandwich so that I could be nourished and therefore more effective today.

I’m not totally sure what you meant by that comment, and you may have noticed me remaining somewhat close to you as I thought about what I should do. I considered asking you what you meant, and wondered what you might say. Most likely, you would say that you meant nothing. You might accuse me of being overly sensitive. In the worst case scenario, you would call me fat.

Being a woman who is short but not thin and therefore not seen as traditionally attractive, and you being a man, it seems likely to me that you would be implying something about me as an individual consuming this particular sandwich. Maybe you think I should be eating something else? Something smaller? Something diet? Something that was in theory but not in reality food? (This is Zabar’s. They don’t make shit like that here.)

I watched you leave, rooted to the ground. You took a very long time doing whatever it was you were doing to your coffee. Would you have made an off handed comment like that,  if that’s what it was, to a man? Did it occur to you not to say it, or was it a “reflex,” like some men claim street harassment is? You might have made the comment because you were certain that I would either not hear you or not respond to it. That’s usually how it works-men rely on women’s socialization around passivity and niceness to protect them from consequences.

I wasn’t sure I was ready to hear what would come out of your mouth if I challenged you or asked you to clarify your statement. I knew I didn’t want to hear it, I wasn’t sure it was going to make me feel better. I was skeptical that you would gain anything from it. Maybe now that you’re gone, I wish I’d said something. Maybe I don’t.

Anyway, Dude in Zabar’s, thanks for the observation and for reminding me that I needed to write a blog post today. Have an awesome day.


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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to a Dude in Zabar’s

  1. says:


  2. KRG says:

    I know I’m fighting a whole society’s worth of bullshit, but FYI: You’re not fat. You aren’t slender ( nor am I – I think technically I do meet the definition of fat), but I’ve seen you and you are definitely not fat. You are, however, short.

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