RIDDLE ME THIS
When can you egregiously insult a woman, and make her smile at the same time?
Well, I hear some of you saying it’s not possible, but it is. I watched it happen. This is why I’m blogging about it. I thought it was funny, but then I remembered another instance and I realized this could only work with a woman of a certain age.
Don’t worry. I’ll explain.
The woman who was given a left-handed compliment — that’s what we used to call it when there was a silver lining that took out the sting from the words — was too old to have children. So, when a gentleman asked her when she was due, she could have been mad because she wasn’t pregnant only plump. Instead, she beamed because she clearly passed for someone of childbearing age.
See? Insulted on the one hand and complimented on the other.
Now, I’m not going to discuss the implications. Plump versus age defying. I’m going to point out a similar ageism that happened to me years ago. It’s one that I can personally relate to and oddly enough, it’s the opposite but the same as this one.
Many, many, many, did I mention that it was many years ago, that this happened? I was pregnant with my first child and a situation occurred when I went to meet cranky contractor at the train station in the center of downtown. We were living in Canada at the time and Union Station was always busy. So imagine a busy train station that had just been redone with high vaulted glass ceilings and big indoor potted trees.
Anyway, there I was waiting for hubby and this man comes to sit down next to me. I kind of thought it was strange because I was sitting in a leaning position against a huge potted planted, but truthfully, I didn’t go downtown much so I shrugged it off until he came at me sideways and whispered, “How much?”
There’s me thinking, ‘Is he talking to me?’
He had to be, I was the only one there, so I leaned away from him before I turned in his direction to ask, “How much what?”
“To go upstairs?”
There I’m thinking, ‘How would I know? The hotel upstairs had just opened above the station. Man, did I look like an information kiosk girl or something?’
So I answered him, “I don’t know. I hear the hotel is pretty pricey though.”
“Yeah, you look pretty pricey. How much?”
After I scraped my shocked jaw off the floor, I stood up and said something. I’m not sure. I can’t remember. All I remember is being able to tell the story back then as an outraged married women who was four months pregnant getting mistakenly propositioned for being another kind of woman.
It probably wouldn’t have bothered me if I wasn’t pregnant.
Point is, now when I tell that story, there’s as an ‘Oh, yeah!” to that recall. As in, “Oh yeah, I looked great too. One time when I was four months pregnant a guy tried to pick me up as a Call girl in Union Station.”
*Looks right at you*
That’s just sad, isn’t it? At twenty-three and ready to be a mom - I’m outraged and at…well, never mind how old, I’m whipping out that story as proof to somehow validate my youth during pregnancy?
Actually, I usually mention style more than youth, because once I got over my shock that day I had a look around. Those girls that I hadn’t really noticed on that side of the station before I took a look? They were gorgeous and wearing the same over the thigh high-heeled boots I was wearing. Maybe the footwear was a signal. Who knows?
I’ll tell you a secret though. Until this very moment, I never questioned hubby as to why he always walked through that way to go the trains. The other side of the station entrance was closer.
Meh, it was probably the scenery, right? Those huge potted trees were beautiful.
As always thanks for stopping by!