Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Overs

I was running in the forest near my house when I came upon a woman who looked as if she knew where she was going.  We ran by each other twice, and she didn't seem like the predator-type.  She didn't look like a murderous, pistol packing jogger so I stopped her to ask if I was on the right trail.

She was middle aged, in sporty jogging clothes and had a streak of purple in her dark hair.  She was jogging with business cards, and her skin hung from her body as if she had lost a lot of weight.  Once I stopped her, I knew my mistake.  I wished I could jog a few extra lost miles to escape the conversation that I saw coming.  My predator light started blinking.

This woman uses her jogs to sell diet pills and shakes.  She gave me her sales pitch:  look at me, I used to be so fat, now I'm sporty and running and have 7 kids, I drink these shakes and take these pills and look how good I look, I'm so pretty now, and how sporty I am now.......

I politely told her that I live a clean life.  I eat my veggies, stay active, drink water and would rather do it my way.  Then she did something amazing: she looked at me and saw me.  Up and down and said, "Well, you're not over-over weight".

My human brain stopped working and the primal-me, the one who doesn't use her frontal lobes, reeled.  OVER-OVER WEIGHT?  Really, did she say that? One 'over' would be a compliment and even the truth, but two was a lie to sell me diet pills and shakes.
This is me from top to bottom, not being over-over weight.

In my defense I was much heavier when I was younger and having babies.  Now, I'm leaner.  I work hard to be leaner and yet at the same time, I'm not comparing myself to anyone, I'm not trying too hard, and I'm not perfect (just like you).  This woman made me want to compare myself to her, to steal the joy from what could have been a friendly conversation in a beautiful forest.  She had already stollen it.

She handed me her card with her number and name, which a mile later I tucked under an old stump (don't tell the park rangers).  Before I was able to escape she told me, "Oh, I also own a salon and we specialize in curly hair."  My hair is actually awesome.  I think I'll just keep running.

1 comment:

  1. WOW. That woman was... I'm drawing a blank at trying to find a semi-kind way of describing what I think of that woman. Sorry. You put it well by saying she stole the joy from that moment. (Maybe referring to her as "that woman" reveals what I think of her... especially if you could hear the tone in my words.)

    Years ago I trained in a temp at my office. She was from CA and I don't recall why she was working as a temp in Minneapolis, MN... I do remember that she was very stylish in her appearance, recently engaged with a platinum band and a huge diamond, and that she was somewhat materialistic. I also vividly remember her backhanded compliment to me, "You're so sweet and nice; they'd eat you alive in California."

    Maybe it's true that people in the Midwest relate to others differently than people from the West Coast. I like to believe that we're all capable of being kind no matter where we live / grow up. It didn't take long before the temp's true colors began to show through her perfectly styled appearance. Like that woman you met while running in the forest; she wasn't very nice.