What a Dumb Thing to Say

My nine year old son started school recently and, as usual, I took the day off from work. First day of school is a half day. I like to pick him up after school and spend the afternoon with him, to help with the transition back.  It’s our little tradition.

After I dropped him off in the morning, I headed to the gym for the first time in a month. As I worked out my legs, a man I hadn’t seen in a while approached me. He’s one of those guys you try to avoid because he loves to talk your ear off. Before you know it, a half hour has gone by and you’ve done nothing but listen to him ramble on when you should have been working out. However, given the fact that I had three hours to spare before I needed to pick up my son, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to be friendly.

That was my first mistake.

At one point in the mostly one-sided conversation, he asked me how old I was. I told him, and watched his eyes widen with what I like to think was disbelief, but the truth is he appeared to recoil from me, as if I’d just told him I had leprosy. Then he said the dumbest thing imaginable, Well, you don’t look as good as you used to. I mean, you don’t need to lose weight, but you could use some toning up. Your skin’s not bad, though, no crow’s feet or anything.

I sat in stunned silence, before making my second mistake. I told him I’d lost close to 15 pounds since last year. To which he responded with the even dumber, I can’t believe you let yourself go like that.


What a dumb ass. That’s what I wanted to say to him. That’s what I wanted to title this post, but decided against it. This guy knew nothing about me or why I’d gained the weight, during a stressful period in life while I was working full-time, pursuing a master’s degree, and dealing with some major family issues. (And yes, numbing myself with cheese and crackers and wine too many nights, and not exercising, but what business is that of his?) Yet he had the audacity to think he could comment on my appearance, on my body!

Instead, I politely said that I had to pick up my son soon from school and needed to get on with my workout. He left me and went to accost another unsuspecting female. If only I’d had the courage to tell him what I thought of his dumb remarks, though it probably wouldn’t have mattered. I doubt he would have fully understood how dumb they really were.

How do you handle it when someone says something dumb or inappropriate to you?

23 thoughts on “What a Dumb Thing to Say

  1. Sounds like the type of guy who has to cut other people down so he can feel good about himself..once you’ve got their number, just don’t ever engage in any form of acknowledgment or conversation. If they persist, hold up your hand in the STOP signal & carry on

    Liked by 3 people

    • Honestly, Svet, I think I was in such shock that he would even say what he did that I couldn’t find my tongue fast enough for a comeback. Here I am glad to just have lost the weight and be there, and he’s nitpicking my appearance as if he has the right.

      Liked by 3 people

      • That’s usually what happens to me in those situations. I can hardly believe the person even said something like that, so my brain is still processing what’s happening. Usually, I end up just being quiet and moving on, if it’s a stranger.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I probably would have been too stunned, gobsmacked and just plain speechless to make any sort of retort. And quite honestly it probably wouldn’t have made any difference. Some people just don’t get it and are just downright rude. And that’s putting it really nicely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Miriam, I wish it ended there. Tonight I went to the gym (at 8pm mind you, after being up since 5:30am, working all day, making a home-cooked dinner for my family, monitoring homework, and going for a walk with the hubby and our youngest son – talk about dragging myself there), and a male trainer who has been trying to get me to do the free fitness assessment stops by to say hello. He comments that he notices I’m using the same ab machines all the time, that he could teach me how to do a few new exercises, and that if I train with him MY ENTIRE BODY WILL CHANGE. But no pressure, I should let him know when I’m ready. Then he says, See you later, young lady!! He’s at least 10 years younger than me! As he walked away, I’m left wondering, is my body so bad it needs to change ENTIRELY? I think the gym is bad for my self-esteem, and that his world is not kind to aging women.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG, really?? What is the world coming to? Seriously, these guys need to get a life!
        Maybe you need to change gyms or start Zumba or do something where you’re with like minded women and people who value YOU. And aren’t so quick to judge.
        Having said that however, you should be able to go where you want and not feel criticised, it does make you wonder!
        Take care and don’t pay any attention to these so called “experts”. It’s a ridiculously harsh and crazy world out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Miriam, I appreciate you saying that. And you’re right about a change. I texted a friend afterward and told her it’s time for me to get back to the yoga studio regularly. But seriously, I’m 5’4″ and 127 pounds – hardly in need of an “entirely” different body! (Okay, deep breath Kim, time to get over it :))

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, you’re absolutely fine just the way you are Kim, it’s these others that have a problem. And I think, yes, it’s time to head back to the yoga studio for you. 🙂 Now, deep breath …

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, wow, you handled that better than I would have! I probably would have been too stunned to answer as well, which is probably good. Anyone who felt he had the right to “sum you up” and give you his opinion on your personal appearance is far too thick to even understand any response you would have made. But I have to admit that I almost hope you run into him again, just so you can look him over, shake your head slightly, and say, “Don’t worry, if you keep working hard and take better care of your skin, you’ll look good eventually.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, I honestly can’t believe there are people in this world that would say something like that! Some people are so ridiculous. I have luckily never experienced something like this, but I have definitely had friends and acquaintances who say back-handed compliments that don’t feel like compliments at all. I always just assume they are really insecure and need to tear others down to make themselves feel better. Still doesn’t give them any excuse though!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s funny, Shelly, because I almost questioned if I should post this. Part of me wondered if I was taking it all too seriously. But given the reactions I’m getting, I realize that his comments really were as bad as I believed. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, you have to take everything that’s said from the source, Kim and apparently this guy is an insensitive, clueless, inconsiderate, insecure, blowhard of an ass so how much stock can you really put into his words.
    I’ve come to a point in my life where, if someone says something dumb, i do one of two things…I laugh at them and walk away or I laugh at them and tell them it was an asinine thing to say. Right now my second option is winning out. It makes me feel better and let’s the ignorant individual in front of me know my feelings. That way they don’t usually bother me again..;)
    It’s just an ignorant source, Kim. Nothing more. He’s not important to your life. Don’t let him or others like him mean anything to you..;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for saying this, George, especially the last part. You are absolutely correct and I needed to hear it. His dumb comments felt like an assault on my person, but you’re right, what can one expect from a moron.

      Liked by 1 person

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