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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Open mouth; insert foot

I attended tonight's meeting of the Tracy Express Network (a local chapter of the American Businesswomen's Association).

During the networking portion of the evening, I was chatting with an engaging woman from New York Life. We were talking about all the illnesses that seemed to be going around this spring, which both of our husbands caught with gusto. I told her that I get very worried when my husband is ill, because he's such a thin guy, adding that I don't have the same concern for myself. She chuckled a bit and looked me up and down. I realized then that this woman had no idea I have ever looked contrary to the way I do today. I let the subject drop and we parted ways to mingle further.

We caught up again a few moments later when another member, a woman I know rather well, greeted me by calling me "Skinny." She made a comment to the New York Life agent about how great I looked. Finally, I let the agent in on the secret.

"You have no way of knowing this, but I used to be almost 200 pounds heavier than I am today. That's why calling me 'skinny' is humorous."

She was obviously shocked and after congratulating me, said she never would have guessed. I told her that I realized she had no idea based on her reaction to my earlier comment about my husband.

"Truly," I told her, "I have to be careful. I often forget I'm no longer a big girl and will make comments that come off as insensitive or rude."

It's not that I'm a narcisist who thinks the world revolves around her. It's just that I've chronicled my weight-loss experience for so long and so many people approach me in public about it that I forget it's not common knowledge. And then there are times like tonight that jolt me back into reality. I assume that the further out I get from surgery, the more common it will become to meet people who assume I've always been thin. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it. I want to say that it'll become old had after a while, but that's hard for me to picture. I guess time will tell.


Dagny said...

This reminds me in some ways of how I've realized I have to censor myself now around fat people. I wrote about it in my former blog and it got me ridiculed pretty harshly. But your perspective changes and you relate to everything differently! It's an adjustment in many types of situations!

Megan said...

I'm not sure you necessarily need to censor yourself, but keep in mind that no matter what you say (to us still-fat girls or someone that's not fat), that words have a way of cutting if taken the wrong way. Your mind set is still that (to a degree) of being a "fat girl". You have the "backup" of being able to make a seemingly callous statement and then explain WHY you still feel that way. I applaud anyone that's had the courage to lose weight in whatever way was best for them (Yay for being down 10lbs myself!), but I don't necessarily condone those that have lost weight and have become "fat haters".

Anyway. That's my 2 cents. I've known you for a long time - and even I have trouble remembering what you looked like before you lost the weight. (Although I distinctly remember a truck w/ an auto lift, some Mike and Steinlager ....a bit TOO well!)

Tonya said...

Auto to be young and silly again.