April 24, 2005

A ton is 2,000 pounds

Yesterday, my neighbor stopped me on the end of my run.

"You've lost a *ton* of weight."

"A ton? Wow, I had no idea I used to look like a 1957 Chevy 1 ton in need of restoration. Thanks for letting me know."

Or, that's what I wanted to say. But, his "I'm the NRA, and I vote" bumber sticker, his wardrobe of rifle club paraphenalia, and the general sentiment in the neighborhood that he's not playing with a full set of marbles kept my tongue in check. Instead, I tried to treat his statement like the compliment he no doubt intended it to be.

So, I silently stared and tried to give him time to reformulate his statement.

He stammered, "I mean, you lost a *lot* of weight."

"Uh, Thanks... I guess."

"I mean, you look good. Really healthy."

Finally! I smiled, said thank you and went into the house. I took comfort in the angry psuedo-whispered earful his wife, who had silently witnessed the whole thing, immediately started giving him when my back was turned.

People -- you have no idea why or what is going on with other people's health. If they appear to have lost weight, it may be because they are *very* sick and do not wish to celebrate it, they may weigh exactly the same amount but are just wearing more flattering clothes, or they may have actually gained muscle and lost fat, thereby weighing *more*. The same logic applies for people who appear to have gained weight--they may be wearing unflattering clothes, they may be pregnant, they may be severely depressed, or they may be celebrating the fact that they are no longer *very* sick.

If you have a compliment, then say it, but make sure it's phrased as a compliment and not a general assumption about something that is none of your business.

1 comment:

SF Road Warrior said...

So so true. I really hate how people just can't seem to stop themselves from making comments and assumptions about what's going on with other people's bodies / health.