Hey I didn't recognize you!
Hey Corinne - I almost didn't recognize you in your profile pic because you've put on even more weight.......
That's the precious opening line of someone who recently reconnected with me on Facebook. Here are the possible responses I want to give him:
- Oh wow, did you just return from a course called 'Rude - It Will Get You Places Fast' ?
- Yippee! I'm so glad someone noticed. I've been trying to put on weight for years.
- Huzzaah! You finally had that cataract surgery you've been putting off for years.
But did I do that - no. I sent him a polite message back, pretending I hadn't read his opening lines.
Until half a day later - the anger hadn't passed - anger at his rudeness, his presumptiousness and sheer gall - because he cerainly had put on a lot of weight too. Keeping the anger didn't fit in with my new plan to be authentic. So here's what I messaged him with:
I should have asked you this right at the beginning of my response. Don't you think it's awfully personal and rude to tell someone about their weight (which they're usually aware of, anyway) especially in a conversation with a) someone you don't know so closely and b) are connecting with after a long time? For that matter, I would consider it rude even if someone said that to someone else who had lost a lot of weight! I realized I was upset with what you said - and needed to tell you that - or else I would not be authentic in any interactions with you in future.
Do you think I did the right thing, dear readers? How would you react?