"Oh my god, Glow, you've put on so much weight... what happened? Oh, you probably don't want to hear that... but what happened?"
These were the EXACT words that greeted me a few weeks back when Bobbin and I shuffled off to a morning of stopping my child putting crap in her mouth at playgroup.
I'd like to say that I immediately had some witty retort but instead I just mumbled something about life being hectic and "oh Bobbin is getting too close to the heater, excuse me". She was half a room away, but it was the best exit strategy I had available, and one that I will continue to use, I'm sure.
I avoided the woman who said it for the rest of play time and even left early because AWKWARD.
When the only pants that fit you have an elastic waistband and your muffin top is now a whole fucking bakery top, it's a bit obvious you've put on weight. But I was absolutely gobsmacked that it was said (before she even said hello), and since it was only a day after the whole baby in the car incident, my already fractured confidence was further shattered. It's not like I didn't know it had happened, but kick me while I'm down, whydontcha?
I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that it's just not polite to mention that someone you haven't seen for a while is now a fatty boombah. Because a) RUDE, b) what business is it of anyones? and c) REALLY FUCKING RUDE.
I asked the followers of my Facebook page what I should do when I was going back to playgroup...
"Oh my god, you've become such a bitch! What happened?" was quite popular, as was ignoring her. I was so anxious and I played different scenarios over and over in my head all morning and even considered just never returning. But I rocked up with Exit Strategy, err, I mean Bobbin, ready to see what happened and maybe, just maybe, be an adult.
Breathe. You'll be fine.
She waved hello, with a warm, genuine smile.
I gave her a close lipped, raised eyebrow smile. You know the one. The one that says either "oh, we're friends, are we?" or "I think I have something in my teeth". I'm not super proud of myself but I was panicking a little.
After a while she made a beeline for me, and asked if I was OK because I seemed anxious.
Aw geez, don't be nice! I'm trying to be indignant and maintain a sense of superiority. That just won't work if you're not a cold bitch.
I brushed her off (I'm really not good at the whole conflict thing) and a few minutes later she came over again, expressing concern that I was so stressed that she could see it from across the room. Here I was thinking I was acting cool and aloof when in actual fact I was showing signs of being seriously unhinged.
Oh great, you're fucking lovely and concerned. How am I meant to be cranky at you now?!
So I did it. I acted like an adult.
I told her calmly and carefully why I was the Queen of Awkward. I let her know what she had said, and that it had hurt my feelings that she would rather point out my weight than talk about ANYTHING else. As soon as I said "hurt my feelings" I was kicking myself. I felt like I was seven. I had rehearsed this and used a thesaurus full of words because that totally makes me feel smarter. Insulted. Annoyed. Offended. Affronted. Antagonized. But no. Hurt fucking feelings.
She was absolutely mortified and so genuinely apologetic. She thanked me for being honest with her and you could have blown me down with a feather, you know, if I wasn't so fat. She had wanted to start a conversation on her own weight gain and that is how it popped in to her head to start it. I hadn't noticed her weight gain (which is probably indicative of my observational skills rather than any "I see inner beauty only" bullshit), but she explained to me she'd been diagnosed with a thyroid condition and promptly diagnosed me with one too.
I diagnose myself with cake. And zero self control. And poor time management. And chocolate. And binge eating.
I'm disappointed in myself for eating my feelings (and oh boy, they are delicious) and not dealing with my problems. I'm annoyed that I was so healthy this time last year - a great weight, a great BMI and a great place mentally. I lost all my baby weight then put it all back on, one Nutella croissant at a time, and at the same time went a little crazy.
I'm slowly coming back from the crazy by focusing solely on my family (and thus neglecting the blog and what feels like a billion emails), taking medication and I've even started exercising. It'll figure itself out soon. Well, it better. Otherwise I'm going to need to buy new clothes. But hey, at least I don't go around pointing out if people have gotten fat.
How would you deal with this situation?