After going (mostly) dark for a couple of weeks (and blogging sporadically before that) I realized that I have a lot to say here. I just haven’t been making time to say it. I’ve been busy, but I’m also having laptop issues which makes it easy to put things off until later. Anyway, I’m back in blogging mode, and I’m curious what you all think of what someone said to me over the weekend.
I valet park across from my building. They park my car, bring it down for me, help me carry heavy things, etc. Some people think it’s a hassle, and it would be if the staff of valet boys weren’t friendly and helpful. There are many valet guys at the garage, but several of them are really kind and attentive toward me. They go the extra mile, and we’re friendly with each other. I bake them cupcakes, and they carry heavy things. It works.
A few days ago, I baked a batch of cupcakes for them and brought them down. (I’m happy to do it because they see me carrying them so often for other people.) My friend, Ariel, and I went into the office and sat for a few minutes while they enjoyed their little treats, and one of the guys started telling me that he wants to lose 30 pounds. He’s one of the sweetest guys there, and he’s young and handsome and super skinny. I looked at him like he was crazy, then I told him he was silly. I didn’t think anything of it until Sunday night when he caught up with me as I was leaving. This is how the conversation went:
J: Kenlie, Sweetheart…Did I say something to you that hurt your feelings?
Me: What? No. What makes you think that you did?
J: Well, the other night the guys got on me for the way I was talking, and I would never want to hurt you in any way. You’re a great person, etc.
Me: Ohh..Do you mean when you were talking about how you need to lose 30 pounds?
J: Yeah. I mean, we all have insecurities, and I don’t want you to think I meant that you needed to change. You’re great how you are.
Me: Nooooo, that didn’t hurt my feelings at all. I think you’re cray cray, and that you’d look sick if you lost that. But no….you didn’t hurt me at all. You’re always so sweet. We’re good.
J: Oh, I’m so glad because I would never ever want to say anything or do anything to hurt you.
Following the conversation I started thinking about why someone would be hurt by someone else’s desire to change their own body. I can think of many people who might have taken that personally, but it didn’t occur to me to do so. He was talking about himself, not me.
I’ve let me weight and my weight-loss and my need to lose more weight define who I am for a long time, but over the last several months (longer really) I have begun embracing myself. I love a lot of things about me even though I don’t love the extra weight, and I no longer jump to conclusions or assume the worst when people around me are talking.
He was surprised (pleasantly, I think) that I wasn’t offended, but I can’t figure out why a bunch of dudes in the office thought I would be. Too often, I think people make assumptions about me based on my size. We all know it happens, but I know that they like me. I know that they think I’m friendly and sweet, and I know that some of them would throw down if they saw someone trying to hurt me.
Should I have been offended by J’s assertion that he needs to lose weight? Should I have taken it personally? Should I be offended that they thought that I might be offended?
The bottom line is that I’m not offended so I guess there real question is – would you be offended?