If you are reading this sentence, it’s safe to assume there has been, at a minimum, one time you didn’t fit in: social groups, sports teams, neighborhoods, churches, family, school, towns, cultures, clothing…what about physical spaces in public like airplane or bus seats, stadium seats at games or concerts? Sound familiar? This week, I didn’t fit in…a chair at a coffee shop.
I identify as living in a bigger body. I have anxiety when going to restaurants, coffee shops, or the possibility of sitting at the bar. Typically, I have a hard time navigating between the spaces between tables, barstools, fitting in the chairs, or worrying the chair might collapse.
Over the past year, I have avoided one of my favorite local coffee shops. I love this coffee shop! They have amazing coffee, duh! Their pastries and breakfast burritos are on point. The BEST part is the wonderful staff and all my friends that hangout, work, and study from the coffee shop.
You might be wondering or scratching your head – so why did you stop going?
I stopped going because of my anxiety and discomfort. I feared the only tables available would be a tight squeeze and even embarrassing for me to maneuver into. I stopped going because the chairs are very uncomfortable. They are metal and have confining arms. The arms press into my hips and it is painful.
This week my friends were at the coffee shop and invited me to join. I took the risk and joined. As I drove over, I mentally prepared myself to be physically uncomfortable as it is always busy. I emotionally prepared myself to feel embarrassed, sad, and frustrated because of the space I would need to squeeze into.
My friend texted me the spot she saved for me. My heart sank. I knew I was going to either be trying to squeeze in between the tables with my butt in someone’s face or squeezing my butt in the uncomfortable metal chairs. It was the uncomfortable chair. Perhaps the lesser of the two evils?
My positive intent is that this coffee shop, like most businesses, is maximizing their space so more customers can enjoy the lovely environment. It’s good business practice. It makes sense financially.
My ask local coffee shop and other businesses (not even food related), please take a moment to look around your business and imagine being in a bigger body. Could you maneuver? Would you fit in your spaces? Do you carry sizes bigger bodies can wear? SKI INDUSTRY I’M TALKING TO YOU! #patagonia #thenorthface #burton #roxy #quicksilver #spyder
Feel free to reach out if you want to keep the conversation going.