Weighty Matters

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Pardon Me While I Rant

on January 3, 2013

I was sitting at the salon this evening enjoying a very nice pedicure, catching up with my friend who also happens to be my nail tech/esthetician.  A flower salesman came in that we both know.  He’s slightly obnoxious anyway, kind of pushy in sales, but mostly harmless.  I haven’t seen him in a year.  When he walked into the salon, he exclaimed, loudly, “How are you?  There’s like half of you.  Half of you!”

On the surface, this is no different than a good friend coming to me and saying roughly the same thing, but the delivery and the attitude weren’t anything at all the same.  I was immediately grateful that the only other people in the salon at the time were two stylists who are also my friends and their customers.  The one customer couldn’t hear anything over the blow dryer and the other customer was farther away and out of sight.

The flower guy wouldn’t let it go.  “Really, you’ve lost a lot of weight.  You’re half your size.  How much did you lose?”

I smiled and said, “A lot.”

The answer didn’t satisfy him and he pushed.  “No really.  How much?  30?  40?”

Did he honestly think that, if I’d lost half my size, the total would be 40 pounds?  I repeated my answer, “A lot” and was positive that he’d get the hint and shut up.  No such luck.  He kept after me and finally, I smiled my biggest, most charming smile and said, “How much isn’t actually your business.”

He finally got it and switched to hawking his flowers to the other women in the shop.   He was only there for a few more minutes and I breathed a whole lot better when he left.

I enjoyed the rest of my pedicure and manicure appointment, chatting about the holidays with my friends, but every once in a while, an uncomfortable twinge hit me in my stomach and emotions.   Each time, I had a little flashback to old days when I felt like a big fat freak.  Months ago, you might remember that I struggled with the flood of positive attention I received from co-workers, particularly when it was voiced in front of other people who didn’t know me or my history.  I’ve worked really hard on this emotional issue and am happy to say that I’ve gotten to the point where I can smile and thank them for their compliments.

Today was different.  This guy didn’t have the sincere, warm caring for me that I experience from my family, friends, and work-family.  When they comment on my weight loss, the happiness for me shines in their eyes and glows in their smiles.  It’s wonderful.

With this man, the look in his eyes reminded me of every asshole kid who bullied or teased me when I was young.  I remember one high school class mate in particular.  Whenever he saw me, whether near or from a distance, his eyes would light up as he realized that his favorite target was in range.  That kid used to yell, “Thar she blows” when he saw me and couldn’t give a shit that he was hurting me by comparing me to a whale.

There is a logical part of me that realizes the guy tonight isn’t that high school kid and wasn’t trying to make me feel like a freak.  In his own way, he was probably happy for me, or at least pleasantly impressed.  I doubt he had bad intentions.  So, I’m most likely ranting about him unfairly.   I should probably feel bad about my reaction but I’m taking solace in the fact that I didn’t leap up out of the pedicure share, bitch-slap him, and suggest he shut the hell up.  Even when I told him the number of pounds I’d lost weren’t his business, I did it with a joking, convivial smile and attitude.

My hope is that by writing about it here and processing the situation I can let it go.   In the grand scheme of things, I need to not give this much power to a short conversation with a slightly obnoxious salesman.  I’m not the high school girl who wanted to avoid that beastly classmate and his cruel taunts, and felt like crying any time she couldn’t.  I’m not the same that I was a few months ago, so uncomfortable with even positive attention.   I’m stronger, more confident, and much further along in my emotional recovery.

I can accept the fact that I can’t change some people and have the courage to change my reactions.  Happily, I didn’t come home and eat inappropriately because of the upset.  I’m on track and doing great.

Thanks for letting me rant.

7 responses to “Pardon Me While I Rant

  1. Hope says:

    He probably thought he could get you to buy some flowers by “complimenting” you. What an idjit.I’d like to talk some sense into him for you.

  2. Susanne says:

    The guy is an a$$hole. You handled the situation with grace and took the high road. Big hug.


  3. KarenB says:

    You know there are people in this world who constantly open their mouths and toads hop out. Most of us notice when we open up and something obnoxious hops out making croaking noises, but there are just some people totally oblivious to the effect. Just call him Toad Man and pity him for how his mouth must taste ALL THE TIME. The toads will also give you something to watch and laugh at as they hop around tipping over nail polish and falling into the tubs where your feet soak.

  4. I get your feelings and I hope you can let them go. It is horrible when people who shouldn’t matter can affect us so dramatically. I wish I could give the whole world sensitivity lessons.
    I havn’t been around for a while I am so glad to read your blog again and to see that you are still doing well. You have faced this important transformational time with such wisdom. you go girl!

  5. lunarmom says:

    Very often letting off steam, typing it all out, simply processing the whole situation is all it takes to release it. As we work on our Transformation* we are gathering tools, while at the same time letting go of old patterns. I know *I am!

    * Capitalized because it’s a Me Project that I’m going through/working on, thought I’d share the term with you.

    From a few days ago, you showed your messy spare room, comparatively speaking, that’s not bad AT ALL! And it reminded me that I promised to buy a copy of your book(s). Gah! I lost the original e-mail when I realized I didn’t the money. So now, I’m going to write again, and we’ll try this one more time.

    • lunarmom says:

      Crap, asterisks galore. There shouldn’t be one next to the big bold I, or there should be two (*I*).
      You knew what I meant, I’ll just turn my OCD eyes away from this train wreck keep moving.

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