Sometimes, saying less is saying more. I realized this as I was sitting next to a woman at a lunch earlier this week.
I had never met the woman sitting next to me at the table. At first glance, she seemed nice enough. Being friendly, I started the conversation. With a huge smile on my face, I introduced myself and asked to hear more about her. She didn’t waste any time and proceeded to tell me that she owned a business and she was currently involved in a new venture.
She went on to explain that she was working for a skin care company and she loved her work. That’s when it happened- she leaned into my personal space and stared intently at my face. I felt my guard go up as she intensely examined me; my instincts told me to move away. In that split second, I remember having a thought that went something like this, “she wouldn’t dare go there!”.
She certainly did. As she leaned into my face, she took her finger and pointed directly at the area below my left eye. “We could definitely iron that out”. For a minute, I thought I must have heard her wrong. She DID NOT just refer to my wrinkles and say, “we could iron that out”. She went on. With a sway of her hand while studying the defective area of my face, she said, “Yes, this product would do wonders on that area. We could smooth that out!”.
A flash of anger traveled through me. Never one to react without thinking through the consequences, I pondered what had just transpired. Do I tell her how she just insulted me? Do I make a scene at the table with all these women present? Clearly oblivious to what I was thinking, she had the audacity to continue like nothing at all had just happened. “Look at me- can you believe I’m 64?” Now fishing for a compliment, I decided she had gone too far with me. In a monotone voice and with little enthusiasm, I commented with “really”.
Even though I wasn’t feeling physically good the day of the lunch, I pushed myself up and out of the house. When I looked in the mirror after I was fully dressed, I decided that I looked pretty darn good. I liked the way my new teal sweater dress looked on me. I didn’t focus on the veins that were pronounced in the front of my right leg, or the way my eye crinkled and wrinkled when I smiled. I just focused on the whole look and decided it was sassy. I felt good about me.
I think we can all agree that we don’t need women in our lives like this girlfriend at the table. Playing on a woman’s vulnerabilities to make a sale is pretty low. We’re hard enough on ourselves without others aiding in the process.
As I drove home from the event, I thought about the incident, indignant that a woman would say that to another woman. The more I thought, the more I realized how ironic the whole incident was. She was focused on improving what she perceived as my outward flaws, while I was focused on the obvious flaws she possessed within.
It’s a funny thing about having external flaws- they seem to bother you a lot less when your inside doesn’t need much work.
Yes, I’d rather be me- flawed skin and all.