Unsolicited advice

157: Celebratory BeerSunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to grab a bite at a local marina. Dinner on the lake? Yes, please!

We grabbed menus and headed for the deck. On our way out, we were asked what we wanted to drink. My husband and I both ordered a cold beer. Ahhh… perfect on a hot day, out by the lake.

A woman walks up to me and goes, “You know you shouldn’t be drinking.”

I was confused! I went, “Yeah? Probably not…” with a nervous laugh. My mind racing… what? Why? I’m trying to get in better shape, and beer doesn’t exactly help that along. I know this. But I’ve also walked a lot today, and its hot outside. Besides… how would she know that I’m on a health kick? What on earth is she talking about?

I looked at her thinking maybe I’d seen her around. Perhaps a reader or Twitter follower.

Nope, didn’t know her.

She goes, “Yeah. I’m just saying. You shouldn’t be drinking.”

As I was handed my beer, I gestured to my husband and went, “Well, I’m not driving. So… whatever.”

She goes, “Well, that’s good…”

And I walked away without a second look. I have to admit, though. It bugged me for a long time. I sat and stewed. I posted about it to Twitter. What on EARTH did she mean? And where did she get off saying that to me?

Finally, I decided maybe she was implying that I’m pregnant. I mean, I admit, my “problem area” is my stomach. Always has been! When I barely weighed 110 lbs., I would buy tummy flattener underclothes for certain dresses. Some women say they have big butts. Some women have thick thighs. I have a belly. No matter if I weigh 110 or 150, its there. I’m working on it, but, frankly, its how I was made. It’s an imperfection, and there is only so much I can do.

I’ve been working hard lately, and I’ve lost over 5 lbs. in the last couple of weeks. My husband can see the change in my shape. I can feel it. I can see it. It feels great! So the more I thought about this, the angrier I got.  I wished I hadn’t been so thrown and I’d have said something to the effect of, “Excuse me? You don’t know me. I don’t know you. Your unsolicited advice is NOT appreciated.”

Oh ok. I’d have probably not said that. That is part of my confusion. I try to get along with everyone, and I didn’t want to be rude. But, I do wish I’d have asked her, “Why?” though. And had she said something to the effect of my being pregnant I’d have GLADLY set her straight. Because, dammit, that is just RUDE.

Yes, my husband and I plan to have kids someday. Just not yet. And as I said, I am working hard to get in shape, and her statement was hurtful in one vein, and motivation in another. On the oft chance she was making some sort of religious point or something else… well, her opinion is STILL not welcome.

For one thing, I’m not pregnant and implying as such is like saying, “You’re fat.” Which, I’m not. And WHAT IF I couldn’t get pregnant. Or WHAT IF I had recently had a miscarriage. Talk about being HURTFUL!!! Talk about this woman potentially placing extreme heartache on someone! How DARE she!?!

I would NEVER tell someone they shouldn’t be drinking. As a bartender, I will decline to serve someone who is already drunk. But past that… every person has their own story, every person is in charge of their own body. And unless you know that person personally, or you are their doctor, or at the VERY LEAST have some clue SOME THING about that person, it is NOT your place to say something.

Assume. It makes an ass out of you and me. This woman, made a TOTAL ass out of herself today. And I am sure somewhere she is thinking she did her part and tried to do a good deed.  Well, all she did was gave me blog fodder. Ha!

Anyone else have a similar thing happen to them? Please, do tell!!

12 thoughts on “Unsolicited advice”

  1. well, you know…there are stupid people everywhere. brush them off, whatever. next time someone comes over and says something about physical appearance? walk away. i’m not nice to people who aren’t. so there ;)

    i remember being around 10 and an auntie always pointing out that my “behind” area was very generous and how feminine and how pretty and blah. she never knew, despite asking my mom to talk to her and to please stop, that it made me feel more self-conscious about the way i looked. i remember going red and rolling my eyes at her…
    xime recently posted..Recapitulando II

    1. Just walking away is a good piece of advice, I think. Often you can state your case… and they’re never going to view it any other way. It is just easier to walk away… Especially in cases such as this!

    1. Same here!!! I looove to people watch. I come up with my own little stories in my head or opinions based on my observations. But I also know… they’re my thoughts and not necessarily reality. I would never approach anyone and tell them my thoughts on something they are doing or how they look. Because I just don’t KNOW.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, I am sure I probably said something to that effect somewhere in my life to someone. But at the same time you are so right in that we should never ever assume we know what is best for anyone else when we usually don’t know what is best for ourselves. Remember everyone you meet is carrying a burden they usually don’t discuss and therefore it is a good idea to show more than just a “little kindness”!

    1. Well put!!! Everyone is carrying a burden that we don’t know about. I am not a fan of confrontation, and ultimately I am glad I just walked away from her. No need to start a debate or anything on a day that was special! I have no doubt I have opened mouth and inserted foot at times myself… we all do it. I just want to try to remember to take a moment and think before I speak. It could save a lot of heartache!

  3. Wait a minute….. you assume she thought you were pregnant. I can understand your feelings, if that was the reason. But, she might have had a whole other reason for making that statement, that only known to her at this point.

    1. Possibly! As someone else had suggested, it could have been a religious-based statement. Though she didn’t say a word to Craig, which is what alarmed me further. I base that guess on having been flat out asked a few times if I was pregnant — and I was about 10 lbs lighter then! I was trying to come up with reasons why a women would tell me I “shouldn’t be drinking” and it was the most logical guess.

      Besides… it made for great blog fodder, and it IS something I’ve wanted to address in the past. ;)

  4. I keep thinking of random comebacks ever since I read that tweet. LOL

    This sort of reminds me of the pregnant woman in a bar in… Chicago? Cleveland?… somewhere. She was asked to leave even though she wasn’t drinking anything but water. She was with a group celebrating a friend’s birthday. She spoke out about it, and the bar kept stating that they just did not want a reputation of serving pregnant ladies alcohol. Even though this lady was NOT drinking. And my opinion is that everyone is different. My mom’s dr back in the day told her it was fine and even healthy for her to have wine now and then or to have a beer now and then when she was pregnant with me.

    While that lady had courage (or stupidity… or both, really) to say something to you (though grossly uninformed), I sure wish she’d speak up about something else. The world needs a person to speak up for animal shelters, child abuse, education reform, etc. Her “talent” could be suited elsewhere.

    1. Right!!! Craig and I talked about that — that some doctors STILL say a glass of wine is not only allowed, but healthy during pregnancy. And we discussed it in my various bartending courses, etc. Its an establishment-by-establishment rule. A bar can state they will not serve pregnant women, and then it be a basis of a bartender being fired. But past that… its the patron’s choice. You can’t opt to not serve someone based on your own personal belief. (And, besides, you can’t just assume someone is pregnant! It can be really hard to tell in many cases!!)

      You’re right, though. If she’s use her courage and energy towards positive measures — heck, she can start a campaign of an “in general” lesson about alcohol and pregnancy — then more power to her!! That’s great! But making assumptions in a bar is just… well. I know people who would swing first and ask questions later. LOL! I’m glad I opted to just walk away. ;) And, you know, later write about it.

  5. Oh bitch please… you should have dropped her flat and been like… YOU JUST GOT YOUR ASS KICKED BY A NON-PREGNANT WOMAN…

    Or politely said… “Woman, you’re effed up.”

    Either or… just sayin. ;)

  6. Now Denise….I am SURE the woman said it because you looked under aged. I know you, so I can say that. :-) You look like a teen-ager!!

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