Sunday, October 08, 2006

You Talking to Me?

Okay, so I'm not sure how to tell this story to maximize the "Oh my God!" factor, but I'm going to give it a shot.

I was talking with a group of fellow students this afternoon about popular culture. We were talking about how babies get the best features from their parents and celebrity babies are a perfect example of that - Liv Tyler is beautiful, but looks exactly like her father Steven Tyler who has, to put it politely, not aged well. This one guy in the conversation then says that Steven Tyler's other daughter looks like him too, but she "has a weight problem". (She also happens to be a model, but I'm not sure if that really matters to the story.) I came close to saying, "but there's nothing wrong with having a weight problem", but I chickened out.

Not two seconds later, the guy who made the comment asked me to talk to go talk with him in private (well, off to the side of everyone else, out of earshot). To set the scene, this guy is extremely blunt, bordering on rude because he has absolutely no filter. He is incredibly smart, and moderately funny, so he isn't ostracized for his rude comments. I wouldn't call him a friend, but I'd say I am on more friendly terms with him than some other people.

He proceeds to ask me if I was offended by the comment he made about the girl with the weight problem. He then admits there's no polite way to ask that question because he is basically saying I have a ... He doesn't actually say that I have a weight problem, but its implied. He then says he knows he's made comments like this in front of me two other times (He can remember the exact conversations, I can't.) and keeps wondering if he's offending me. I am exceptionally bad at telling people they have offended me. I said something like, yes, what you're saying is awkward, but I actually appreciate the fact that you even think about my feelings since people say insenstive things about weight in front of me all the time and never think twice about my feelings. I was being honest, but not completely honest.

We ended up getting into a larger discussion about whether or not I think I have a weight problem and if I even want to lose weight. (He kept asking me questions and I just couldn't manage to stop giving answers.) I told him I was trying to lose weight, but asked him to not mention it to anyone or in front of anyone because I wanted to keep it private because I don't want anyone to know I think there's something wrong with me.

It was one of the most awkward and bizarre conversations I've ever had. I certainly do not want to repeat it. On one hand I'm offended that he had the audacity to tell me to my face he thinks I'm overweight. But on the other hand I am overweight, and I know it, and at least he apologized for being insensitve, but by apologizing he was being insensitive. It's a vicious circle.

I just had to share and find out if anyone else has had a similiar experience.


kathrynoh said...

I hate those people - they manage to be as rude as hell while putting across that they are being all sensitive. Did he do that intent look thing as well?

The thing is, why did he even have to mention that she had a weight problem to start with? Maybe the trick in these situations is to turn the conversation around and start asking those questions.

Imagine if he'd said someone had glasses, for example, then took you aside to have the same conversation about that. He'd look like a total knob!

Cheryl said...

I agree with Kathryn about this guy. What a jerk. If he's so worried about offending you he needs to keep his mouth shut.

JessiferSeabs said...

A couple of things here....

1) Liv Tyler DOES NOT have a weight problem. If anything, that offends me the most of anything about this entire conversaion.

2) I'm intrigued by the fact that this guy had the sensitivity to 1) realize he might have offended you, and 2) SAY something about it rather than just acting like... well, acting like a guy and ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away.

3) I think I'm going to take the stance that you should not be offended by this conversation. Surely, it's awkward and uncomfortable... as you are not at the stage yet where you comfortably talk about your weight. When I was 250 lbs, I thought that if I didn't acknowledge it, haha, nobody could "tell" that I was overweight, but obviously that's denial talking. So I actually sorta give the guy props for taking the risk to make sure you weren't offended.

One time, however, I remember having a drunken conversation wiht a guy at some bullshit music-industry party (this was like 6 years ago, loooong before I was comfortable talking about my weight), and somehow thte topic of women and weight came up, and we were talking about how some women are really sexy even if they are overweight, and he said soemthing offhand to me like "like you, you're not skinny, but you're still really hot."

I was so busy being offended about the "you're not skinny" part that I forgot to be flatted by the "you're really hot" part.

(I'm still a little offended by it, truthfully, but mostly it's my "old self" that is offended, and "new self" says, "see? Even at 250, you still had it goin' on!")

Anonymous said...

Look here, Trixie...I often am filterless when speaking to people, but even I, the king of foot-in-mouth, would not make the comment...nor would I have the guts to pull you aside and ask later if I had offended you. Kudos to him for doing that, but he's still obviously an idiot.

As for your pounds...rock on! Who cares if you're only supposed to lose 2 pounds a week and you lost 6! That should be a motivating factor, not something on which you should dwell. In this case, more is better!

And who cares if the bike was on the lowest resistance least you went, and that's the important thing. Most people avoid the gym for fear of feeling vulnerable, uncomfortable or're there for you, not the bimbo on the treadmill next to you.

Keep it up!

Phat Fighter said...

Difficult one Trixie. Never had something like that happen to me. Glad to see that you are still doing so well, and are getting to the gym, keep it up!

Amazon Alanna said...

I think he overstepped his bounds by taking you aside and engaging you in a very personal conversation. Yes, it was thoughtful of him to consider your feelings, but then why did he make comments about overweight women in the first place if he was truly trying to be considerate....

christie said...

I haven't been in a situation quite like that before... you're right it's a viciuous cycle because if he ignores it and continues to do it he might continue to offend you, but bringing it up and apologizing is offensive in it's own way too. Kind of a catch 22, no real way to get around it. At least it sounds like he was trying... I don't know.