Our gym has three different Zumba instructors and each one brings something completely different to the table. One is a free spirit, she’s the oldest, and has so much energy that you can only hope to be that exciting when you are that age. She likes to bring in scarves to pass out when we are dancing, and even a mini disco ball for fun. It’s a lot of hooting and hollering.
The second one is the “middle” one I guess you can say. She is very athletic and her routines are fun and really work your muscles. She keeps the blood flowing with the right mix of fast and slow and loves to play Bruno Mars in her routines, which was really fun come the Super Bowl Half-Time show.
The third girl is the youngest and looks about my age, which means she has to really be in her late 20’s at best. She looks like me too, with long onyx hair and fair skin. I had been dying to know what she is so I finally just asked her.
Before you think this is weird you must understand that it isn’t weird for someone who looks ethnic to ask other people who look ethnic what they are. Sure, if a blond-haired and blue-eyed person asks someone who clearly is a first generation from somewhere where the population is dark and speaks a different tongue this is stereotypically intolerant, because why would they want to know and why are they noticing the differences in the first place? Though, I’m not sure why. But when you are clearly first generation yourself like I am, and see someone who looks like you, it is totally acceptable to find out where they are from. Take my new Greek bestie from my Lap-Band support group. We just gravitated toward each other and were both like, so….where are you from? We eat the same food! Since we are both Mediterranean we now have a cosmic connection. Just works that way.
So now that’s clear, back to Zumba instructor #3. Her name didn’t pop out at me pinning her to a particular culture, but her body moves told a different story. Hmmm…maybe not Italian….but maybe Greek, Armenian, Spanish, Portuguese, Iranian, Guatemalan, etc. etc. I start by saying, “Wow you are a fricken awesome dancer, we need you at a club!” (We both laugh.) “So, are you Hispanic?” I ask.
“Cool, I’m Sicilian, I was wondering because you look like me.” (We both laugh).
So even though the above conversation, again, is not weird at all, you just have to get it, what is weird is that I suddenly want to be friends with this girl. To laugh over Margaritas. To talk about things only ethnic girls understand. But I’m not that big a freak, I’ll have to give this friendship time.
Tonight, in class, I am looking at her shake her ass in a totally non-sexual way, and thinking…damn, to look like that! What it must be like and feel like! The swim suits she must be able to wear! What a lucky husband! And then I feel kinda sad because even though my new dark-haired-fair-skinned sister is showing me how many body rolls I can muster in 50 minutes, I will never have that body. That awesome island body.
After my workout I tell my husband that I have had an epiphany. I’m no different than those Transgenders I saw on Oprah when I was a stay at home mom. They feel like they are trapped in the wrong body. I feel that way too. I have never, EVER, felt comfortable in my skin, always wondering why the me inside didn’t fit the me outside. Even now, after all these pounds are gone, I still feel like I got fucking cheated.
He thinks I’m crazy of course. But just like there are things only ethnic people understand, there are also things only thicke people understand.