This may surprise you, but I often find myself in some awkward situations. Here are three moments where at face value it seems like the person is complimenting or helping me, but when you think deeper about it, I’ve actually just been massively insulted.
I’m told I have a fat head
One New Year’s Eve I went snow tubing with some friends at the local ski hill. You have to wear a helmet. The helmets were distributed from a hut outside on the way to the hill. We walked up to the hut and the employee, a young man, selected a helmet for each of us. My friends were given a medium size. He turned to me and said, “Don’t worry, I saw you coming.”
He handed me an XL.
The helmets were labeled on the outside and colour-coded, so there was no hiding it. I wouldn’t have felt so embarrassed, but later as we waited in line to tube down the hill, my friend nudged me and said, “Look, you aren’t the only one with an XL!” It was a 7 feet tall behemoth man.
(FYI, I actually don’t even have a large head. I believe the employee was taking into account the giant, messy bun my hair was in. I refuse to let myself have a complex because of him. Though I did just double-check all my baseball caps for proof. They’re all “One size fits all.” So that doesn’t help my cause. But I’ll let you measure my head next time you see me so I can prove it. No complex here…)
I’m told I am a loser
I went into Best Buy to purchase the latest season of The Big Bang Theory. I was having trouble finding it and one of the employees, again, a young man, came over and asked if I needed help. “Yes, do you have The Big Bang Theory?” He laughed and said, “I thought you’d be looking for something like that.” In the moment I was appreciative that he was helping me so I just happily followed him as he led me.
But then I got home and thought about it. He was either saying I look like a giant nerd OR that I looked in need of a big bang.
I’m told I am a man
I work at a university and we host receptions for prospective students. I was chatting up a mature student as he asked me questions about the school. He suddenly changed the topic.
“You have a great chin. Very unique.”
Still in recruitment mode, I hid my discomfort with the personal compliment(?), flashed a big smile and warmly said, “Thank you!” Then he said, “Just like Kirk Douglas. He has a great chin.” I just continued saying, “Thank you!” and worked to change the subject.
When I got home I looked online for pictures of Kirk Douglas.
I DO NOT have a chin like Spartacus!
I can overlook the fact that I’ve been told I resemble a man if it’s actually warranted. But his biography on imdb.com starts with “Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema…” for chrissakes! My facial deformity is NOT that pronounced. I’m pretty sure my friends don’t describe me as “cleft-chinned, beautiful, and hilarious…” — they just say “beautiful and hilarious.” Right?
I will admit my chin has the bum cheeks due to a crease down the center, but not the bum HOLE. Let’s just get that straight. Again, no complex here…
But, he actually was right. An unfortunately placed pimple that day did create the illusion.