Gotta get this off my chest!

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BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
Something happened to me on the train this past Friday and I'm not sure if I handled it correctly.

I get on the train right here where I work (takes me a minute to get to my desk after getting off the train). The platform where I get on is basically in the middle of our medical complex that is co-located with a university school of medicine. Of course, there are dozens of people who work for the hospital or the school that get on when I do to go home each day.

One gal is a very tall (I'm guessing 6'3") BBW who has such a youthful face with freckles (I LOVE freckles) and a smooth, sorta deep voice that reminds me of warm honey. Anyway, a few of us are regular riders and usually stand near the door when the train is full and sometimes when weird things go on during the train ride we talk about it or other things. So, I've learned that she used to live in Florida and that she works for the university. Normally, she is happy and smiling. But Friday was different.

On Friday, she didn't seem right and kept her head down mostly and didn't chime in when one of the other regulars made a comment about a rather aggressive panhandler that came through the car at an early stop.
At the next stop, I took the opportunity to move closer to her as more people boarded the train. I whispered, "Is everything alright", to which she replied "No". She looked so sad as tears welled up within her brown eyes. She said that there was this guy she has a crush on that works down the hall from her. Every day she stops by and talks to her friend who sits across from this guy and sometimes he'll talk to them both. But that day as she was coming up the hall she overheard him tell the other gal "She's too big" and it crushed her spirit. She was lamenting her size and felt if she were thinner, she'd have a chance with him. She said that she wanted to lose weight and was thinking of looking into WLS.

I told her to think long and hard about something like that. Does she want to possibly date a guy for whom she has to be a certain size, shape, or way. Or should she hold out for someone who accepts her the was she is, no matter what that may be. I said, if you'd already been thinking about WLS and this is a catalyst to move you forward, then by all means do what you feel is best for you. She thanked me for listening to her and got off at her stop. This isn't the bad part though.

After the young lady got off, a woman who was sitting a couple seats away started to admonish me for what I said! She told me that I should have pushed her to accept her body as it is. That all bodies are beautiful and that being thin is not the end-all-be-all for every woman. I thought to myself, "Who asked you?" But I just nodded and moved to another section of the car. The fighter in me wanted to let loose with both barrels but the gentleman in me kept my verbal six-guns in their holsters. :mad:

Was I wrong to basically tell this young lady to do what she wants to but for the right reasons? Or should I have jumped on my body positive soapbox?
 

FleurBleu

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Cat,

a) Is your friend certain they were talking about her?

b) You told her to do what she feels was best for her, which is always the best advice in my opinion. If you tell people what to do, they might hold you responsible for the consequences ("But you told me...!").

I think you did a really nice thing asking her if she was OK. Many people wouldn't have said anything at all.
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
Cat,

a) Is your friend certain they were talking about her?

b) You told her to do what she feels was best for her, which is always the best advice in my opinion. If you tell people what to do, they might hold you responsible for the consequences ("But you told me...!").

I think you did a really nice thing asking her if she was OK. Many people wouldn't have said anything at all.
Yes, she's certain. Her friend there apologized about the whole thing. She was thinking that she was doing her a favor by asking the guy what he thought of her. he said that she was nice but too big which I find to be far from reality. But again, words like big, small, fast, slow are all subjective.

Sometimes it's hard for me to see someone who is usually smiling to be sad.
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
Cat,

a) Is your friend certain they were talking about her?

b) You told her to do what she feels was best for her, which is always the best advice in my opinion. If you tell people what to do, they might hold you responsible for the consequences ("But you told me...!").

I think you did a really nice thing asking her if she was OK. Many people wouldn't have said anything at all.
Thanks, FleurBleu.
 

wrenchboy

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I think that you did the right thing too.
You know your acquaintance better than that stranger. So you knew how to talk to her better than someone else.
And if that stranger felt that strongly she should have spoke her mind at that moment. And not waited until after the woman in question was gone.
It sounds like she appreciated your kind words. Sometimes when we are down we just need someone to listen. And that in itself was the very best thing that you could have ever done.
So don't second guess yourself.

I also want to congratulate you for not "letting loose with both barrels ". When people do that emotions run high and we say things that we don't mean. You had friends and coworkers there that could have taken nasty words and turned them around and gotten back to your friend in a bad way.
 

loopytheone

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Everybody is entitled to there opinion on such things. You are entitled to give advice as you feel free, and if you do so in public, other people are entitled to critique or disagree with that advice. You did the right thing by leaving it at that and not responding, though.
 

Starling

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I think you did the right thing as well. While I’m not a BBW, I can attest that it’s annoying as all get out if I talk about working out more, drinking less, or doing anything that’s generally better for my wellbeing - only to get cut off by someone going “Oh my God NO never make any changes to yourself if you want to be considered body positive”.

I can imagine it’s infinitely more frustrating for BBWs, so I’m sure she appreciated you respecting her enough to let her make her own decisions about *her* body.
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
I think you did the right thing as well. While I’m not a BBW, I can attest that it’s annoying as all get out if I talk about working out more, drinking less, or doing anything that’s generally better for my wellbeing - only to get cut off by someone going “Oh my God NO never make any changes to yourself if you want to be considered body positive”.

I can imagine it’s infinitely more frustrating for BBWs, so I’m sure she appreciated you respecting her enough to let her make her own decisions about *her* body.
It would be highly hypocritical of me to suggest she not change herself if she wants to. I am constantly lamenting my own body on a daily basis.
 

DragonFly

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You were supporting the person in a time when she was feeling down. Going on a rant about bo-po would not have been great. You read your audience correctly. As for the person that yelled at you, she was inappropriate...... but part of me wants to say go get it lady and spread the gospel.
 

Tad

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Multiple issues in there, and personally I think you dealt with them as well as likely could be done, and I think you hit the right notes with the first woman and were right not to engage with the second.

Hopefully you'll grt a chance to talk to her in the near future and see how she is doing.
 

BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
Just an update:
I haven't seen her in a while now, which is unusual. I'm not sure if she quit her job, changed departments, or changed shifts. I look for her when I'm out and about on campus but I'm not trying to be a stalker and look deeper. I don't know where she works, just that she works for the university. I hope that she's okay.
 

landshark

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Bummer. Maybe she’s just sick.

I echo those who’ve said you did the right thing. Asking if she’s okay and then ignoring the unsolicited advice from someone who didn’t see fit to speak up but thought it okay to critique your response was probably the best move.
 
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BigElectricKat

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Yeah, no.
Another update:

I finally saw the young lady on Friday. I didn't think that she would speak to me. She sat a few rows behind me so I couldn't see her at first. But after a little bit and some people got off, she came and sat in the seat directly behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. She had changed her hours for a couple weeks and said she didn't see me on the train. She was grateful that I spoke with her that one day and that she thought about what I said. Basically, almost all of her friends and family said the same thing I said. So, all is good with her.
 

DragonFly

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Another update:

I finally saw the young lady on Friday. I didn't think that she would speak to me. She sat a few rows behind me so I couldn't see her at first. But after a little bit and some people got off, she came and sat in the seat directly behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. She had changed her hours for a couple weeks and said she didn't see me on the train. She was grateful that I spoke with her that one day and that she thought about what I said. Basically, almost all of her friends and family said the same thing I said. So, all is good with her.
My hero
 

Killexia

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That other lady who admonished you should mind her own business. I'm glad it all worked out and the young lady thanked you. That is really nice. :) Btw, I think you did the right thing.
 

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