Monday, November 30, 2009

well-intended but misguided (m)

Driving Harrison to school this morning, listening to a Boston radio station.  They are interviewing a woman named Angela who is a casting director (I think) for one of those reality tv shows for very large people who want to lose weight.  Not "The Biggest Loser", but a new show where the people are "ginormous".  The uneducated-sounding Angela is regaling us with a story of how she just came back from her high school reunion and one of her former classmates was so big, that Angela took it upon her fine self to give this woman her business card and told her to call her and maybe she could get her on the show.

The classmate's response?  She turned her back on Angela and walked away.

I can write the rest of this story for the classmate.  It goes like this:

1. the nasty comment ruined her evening
2. she went home and cried....and then, maybe ate some more
3. she couldn't sleep all night
4. she woke up humiliated and angry.

Why did Angela think it was okay to do that?  What if the classmate handed her a card for diction lessons (which she clearly needed) or a phone number for a continuing education course (again, which she clearly needed)? What right do people have to say such hurtful things to other people under the guise of "helping them"?

I once had a hair colorist who was a great technician.  She won all sorts of awards.  However, I dreaded going in there as she was always on me about my weight.  She would talk loud enough for others to hear and told me she "was concerned for my health.  I don't want you to get diabetes."  Meanwhile, it was no secret that she was an alcoholic and heavy user of recreational drugs but I never expressed my concern for her liver...out public.

The DJ told Angela he thought she was being insensitive to the classmate.  Angela laughed and said she disagreed as she was "only trying to help".

Is she right or is she wrong?

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