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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Should you comment on someone's weight gain?

I was on my afternoon walk when I happened to overtake an older couple ambling along with their two dogs. 

“Are they Mini-Fox Terriers?” I enquired, staring at the corpulent little spotted bodies .

“Yes, they are!” replied the woman proudly.

“Really? I have a Mini-Foxy at home and she’s a third of the size of them! Like their tucker do they?” I joked.

“Well yes…” replied the woman and quickly added, “But they’re on steroids.”

“Oh,” I continued on my comic roll. “Mental note; never take steroids!” 

They laughed and I walked on. But as I walked away it struck me their laughter had sounded somewhat hollow, empty, forced.

Had I insulted them by insinuating their dogs were fat?
I mean, you wouldn’t say that about somebody’s kid would you?

“How old is your son? Five!!! Cripes my son is five as well but he’s a third of the size of your bruiser! Likes a bit of a chow down, does he? It must cost you a fortune in food to feed that little porker!”

No. You would never say that.

It’s different with babies

You aren’t allowed to make comments like, “Good grief, what an ugly little face your baby has!” or “Would you take a freakin’ look at the ears on that baby. He’ll be able to fly before he can walk!” even if it is the honest truth. 

But you are permitted to squeeze the baby's chubby thighs and make a smart alek remark about how much more appealing cellulite is on a three month old than on a forty-five year old woman.

The mothers love to hear how fat their babies are. It’s a badge of honour for insecure new mums proclaiming to the world what excellent breast feeders/nurturers they are.

I can honestly say I’ve never carelessly informed a person they’ve put on weight.

There have been enough times in my life when I’ve suffered the sharp sting of an insensitive, rude buffoon commenting on my frequent bouts of fatty boombah-ism to know better. 

Most people are quite well aware they've put on a bit of beef. They don't need anyone else to remind them.

But what about telling someone their dog is fat?

My mother, who is never backward in coming forward, becomes highly defensive when I grab a fistful of fat from her Cocker Spaniel’s back and ask her if the dog is eating up my inheritance in dog food.

“She hardly eats a thing! She can't help it. It’s her metabolism.” Mum will declare protectively. Meanwhile this dog, Millie, is afraid of having her photograph taken because of a bad experience when the police took her into custody and took Identikit photos after catching her in the act of stealing the neighbour’s chickens.

                                     Spoilt Mutt.

Perhaps a middle of the road approach is the way to go… diplomacy not judgement.

Something along the lines of-

“Millie is looking so well! The fuller face suits her. Has she been on a holiday cruise or something? Something’s agreeing with her anyway!”

Got to preserve my share of what’s left of the inheritance somehow I suppose.

Has anyone ever told you you've put on weight?

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace