Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Story Has To Be Told

I had an experience last Sunday that is too crazy not to be shared with the blogging world.

At church on Sunday, I came into the Relief Society room happy and surprised to see a woman I visit taught a while ago, who I’ve only seen at church two or three times since I moved here 5 years ago.  For anonymity’s sake, I’ll call her Fanny.  I went up to her and said, “HI!!  So nice to see you here!” 

She says “Hi!  IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’VE GAINED WEIGHT!!!”

Oh yes, she did.

Long pause from me.  My original smile faded into a fake smile trying to hide the shock and horror.  My brain racing trying to give her the benefit of the doubt (why would she be saying this to me???)  Finally I managed to say, “Um, yes I have.”  Couldn’t do the fake smile anymore.  By now I’m rolling my eyes and sighing.

Fanny says, “YOU’RE NOT… I MEAN… YOU’RE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT???”

NO I’M NOT!!!!!!!!”  My face changes into complete impatience.

“OH I THOUGHT MAYBE YOU WERE EXPECTING A BABY!  I’M SORRY!  I mean I thought maybe you were happy about it and you’re not?  Gee, I’m sorry!  You mean you’re not expecting?”

I am interspersing, “No.”  “That’s ok.”  “No, I’m not.”  “NO!”  “No!” and “No!!!”  “Hey, let’s talk about visiting teaching!  Guess what, they switched us and I’m you’re visiting teacher again.”  Trying desperately to change the subject.

“WELL, WHY DID YOU GAIN SO MUCH WEIGHT, THEN?”

“I. DON’T. KNOW.” “So um, yeah.  Visiting teaching…?”  It didn’t work.

“WELL, DON’T YOU EVER EXERCISE????????”

I am dying!!!!  She will not DROP IT!    “Actually, I exercise quite a bit.  And Fanny, you can’t ask people if they’re pregnant!  That makes them feel bad!”

“I’m sorry!  I just thought you were happy about all that weight gain.  YOU’RE PROBABLY TOO BUSY WITH YOUR OTHER KIDS TO EXERCISE.  I know!  Why don’t we exercise together??”

I’d rather die.  I AM dying.  Dying, dying, dying.  And Fanny, I might add is not the smallest woman in the world.  She’s actually quite a large woman with a fairly large voice.  I’m looking around the room.  I’m pretty sure her voice is carrying across the whole room but no one is rescuing me, and everyone is hearing all this!  Dying, dying, dying.

I mutter something inaudible and start to walk away.  She follows me.  “SO WHERE ARE WE SITTING?”

Great.  We go and sit down on the front row.  Fanny continues, “Yeah, I know how it is to GAIN A LOT OF WEIGHT.”

This is not happening.  I try 2 or 3 more times to change the subject.  She was BOUND AND DETERMINED to keep talking about it. 

“I’M SO SORRY I THOUGHT YOU WERE PREGNANT.  I JUST THOUGHT YOU WERE PREGNANT.  YOU JUST LOOKED LIKE YOU MIGHT BE PREGNANT.”

I couldn’t take it anymore.  The only way out was to physically exit.  “Excuse me.  I have to go to the bathroom.”  I was half scared she was going to FOLLOW ME OUT!

Luckily, she didn’t.  But wow, that was a tough experience.  I spent about 20 minutes crying my eyes out in the women’s bathroom.  I kind of had watery eyes for the rest of the day. 

Let me be honest.  She’s not the first person to have been rude enough to ask me if I was pregnant when no, I’m just overweight.  L  But it hit me so hard because it was so unmerciful.  Usually people who ask me if I’m pregnant are merciful enough to drop the subject quickly and walk away!  Also, it kind of devastates me because I prefer to be in denial.  I thought I looked pretty cute that day when I left the house that morning.  But when I looked in the full length mirror in the women’s bathroom, the truth was, yes, I did look like a pregnant person walking towards her, especially if you haven’t seen me in a couple years.

It just made me sad that she pointed out something that was true, but that I hoped people overlooked.

And the hard part is that I can’t wish that I would never see her again, because it’s such a great thing that she wants to come to church.  But I hope God forgives me if I’m not her Number One Most Enthusiastic Fellowshipper for a while.

Whew!  I’m glad that’s off my chest.

16 comments:

Sarah said...

She obviously is out of touch with normal social cues. My guess is she has some degree of mental illness and ought to be medicated. Really, who says stuff like that and doesn't let it drop?
You are beautiful. I'm sure you don't look prego. You exercise, you try to eat well, and more importantly, you are raising a faithful family.
Everyone in the RS room on Sunday was soooo glad it was you and not them. We're all self-conscious.
As hard as it is, we can't let other people's idiocy affect us. Hang in there, Nat, and thanks for sharing.

Kenny and Linsey said...

What a nightmare. People are so tactless. And, in her case, it really doesn't even sound like she was well-meaning, just basically lame. I'm sorry. Keep your head up!

Ryann said...

I can't believe that someone would do that. I completely agree with Sarah that she must not have seen the social cues.

Hopefully,the next time she sees you she will have better sense!

Carrie Johanson said...

So sorry you had to deal with that. Everybody's metabolism is different. Comments about things you already care a lot about are often the hardest to take. And, yes, it would have been nice if she had just dropped it, or focused on how cute and darling you are! :-)

Annie said...

NO NO NO NO! I cannot believe this!! Seriously she must be the most socially retarded person I have ever heard of in my life. I'm glad you stuck up for yourself but it makes me want to cry to think of how awful that must have made you feel. I hope you ask for a VT switch - no one deserves to be subjected to that kind of treatment!

Rob and Jewls said...

I am actually with Annie that you should as for a VT switch. I am completely baffled by such utter stupidity. First of all, you are beautiful and I do NOT think you look pregnant in any way! Please remember how awesome you are despite people's rude comments.

flem-fam said...

Wow and WOW!!! I cannot believe that happened. For one thing, I saw you 3 times this week, and you looked great all three times. You do not look pregnant at all. I know it's easier said than done, but forget about that stupid woman. You're a beautiful, smart, sweet and wonderful person who is a great friend and a fantastic mother. She's obviously a socially retarded idiot. I also think you should request a VT change.
Oh, and just so you know, when I got to the end of your post, I had not blinked the entire time (out of disbelief) and my eyes were a bit glazed over, so when I read " Number One Most Enthusiastic Fellowshipper" I thought it said " Number One Most EUTHANISTIC Fellowshipper." I thought you were going to euthanize her. As in put her to sleep. Haha - that is what I would want to do!
And, as a final thought (just so you will know you're not alone), once, when I was in Florida with Scott, his brother and my skinny sister in law, a woman approached me in a store and told me she sold a weight loss supplement and told me she thought I could use her product. I tried to tell her I wasn't interested, but she pressed it for about 5 minutes, until I ended up crying my eyes out for about a half hour...

Lisa T. said...

I am so sorry you had that experience! It amazes me how some people think that anything and everything is their business. Where are the boundaries??

I have come to believe that the only thing that truly makes us beautiful is the light of Christ in our countenance. I know this for a fact because I've seen the change both ways in people I know. That light outshines all of our flaws (we all have them!) and it can't be replaced with a great haircut, perfect make up, or darling outfit. You have that light in your countenance and that is what makes you beautiful!

Hatch said...

Oh goodness-she is a piece of work. I loved that her code name was Fanny(giggling). That started it off for me and I giggled a lot. Your ability to make a sticky situation into a great read is impressive. TIffany's comment was perfect "'euthanistic' fellowshipper" sent me over the edge.
A good friend asked me if I was pregnant (when I wasn't) and I don't know why I felt compelled to let her off the hook. From now on (cuz I know it'll happen) I'm gonna scream, "NO!" and run away. You handled the situation like a true lady.

Cunningham Blog said...

Evil lady! Sounds like she is lacking a few social skills. Egads. My heart breaks for you when I think of you in that restroom. Hopefully you know how beautiful you are -- inside and out.

The monkey bunch said...

I hate that this happened to you. Are there really people out there that don't know you never ask a woman if she is pregnant? Seriously- even I don't put my foot in my mouth that bad!
Weight isn't the only thing that makes you beautiful, Natalie! I think as long as you are trying- like you are, confidence and the light of Christ is the thing that make a person beautiful. And I personally think you have always looked awesome. I wish I had 1/2 the style you do!
Don't worry about silly, slightly retarded people like that!

Christensens said...

That deserves an OH MY HECK!!! So sorry you had to go through that. I just can't even believe that she didn't stop. I think that most people wouldn't have stayed quite as level-headed as you. You are AMAZING!!!

Teresa said...

Oh no she di-unt! It's obvious that she has issues, cuz that's evil. I wish i was there cuz I would have saved you.

Jen Cardon said...

Lisa T had a great comment--I echo her words! I'm just curious, because I served a mission in Chile, is this woman hispanic? Because, sometimes they have no sense of how we feel about our bodies. It is common for the men to call their wives "fatty." And not think twice about it--it's a term of endearment to them! In the winter I wore a heavy sweater while in Chile. I was often described as the short fatso--and, I can't do much about the short--but, when I took off the heavy sweater in the spring, the Chileans thought I was too skinny and wanted to fatten me up! You can't win for trying! But, you are beautiful inside and out--so, keep up the great work!

Michele said...

This story sounds like a scene out of my life. I thought that I was the only one these self-esteem building experiences happened to. Knowing your ability to see the humor in things, it will get funnier as time goes on. You are beautiful and lovely from the outside in and have always had looks and class to boot.

p.s. Corbin got the "grandpa" comment last week. He feels really great about that.

Patti said...

Natalie,

No way and then some! And you even TRIED to shake her. Sorry about the tears. I still can't believe it.

Love, Patti