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Gossipy old men

Friday, May 15, 2015

The place: work, in atrium after a presentation

The event: a wine/cheese/hors d'oeuvre/dessert reception

The characters: myself, 70-year-old European male colleague (let's call him Andre), 65-year-old American male colleague (let's call him Bob) (all names have been changed to protect the innocent)

The conversation:
Andre - You have lost a tremendous amount of weight!
Me - (laughing) I'm not sure you're supposed to say that to a woman!
Andre - Really, how much have you lost?
Me - (still laughing) Now I'm *sure* you can't ask a woman that!
Bob - You lost weight? I didn't notice?
Me - (while patting Bob on the shoulder) That's because you are a gentleman and won't come up to a woman to exclaim: "OMG, you've lost a lot of weight!"

Turns out both Andre and Bob want to lose weight, so they both ended up peppering me with questions about my diet. I kept telling them to consult with their doctors, and they kept asking me for more details, which I gave but with frequent reminders that they should talk to their doctors first. Andre and Bob ended up dragging another woman (poor woman!) into our conversation, and we finally moved on to other topics after about 20 minutes.

I've decided all I can do is laugh when these things happen. I've known Andre and Bob for over 15 years and they are genuinely nice men, but they have absolutely no tact. I suppose it's too much to expect these days? We are pretty relaxed at work but I am not used to sharing so much of my personal life with people outside my immediate family.

Anyway, the food was delish - but then, I chose the menu items to be ordered! Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, with assorted mini cheesecakes, mini cakes, and mini dessert bars. It all looked and smelled delicious. I had half a Vietnamese spring roll filled with crispy raw veggies and seasoned vinegar, and a glass of water. Very tasty, and I enjoyed the rest of the food vicariously through my colleagues gobbling.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You have been dealing with these uncomfortable conversations for some time now, haven't you? It seems that the people around you don't consider it rude to ask for all the details. I wonder if they think you're so proud of yourself that you are eager to share every little thing. It must be very hard to change the topic every time this happens. Indeed, there are probably a lot of successful dieters who evangelically tout the wonders of their newfound skinniness, and the people who ask you for details probably think you're one of those--waiting to be showered with attention and flattered to be asked the secrets to your success.

    It sounds as if you are very polite to these people. You have a lot of patience.
    2160 days ago
    Persistent, weren't they? I'm torn when someone asks me about my weight loss, a little bit of pride, I want to tell the number but mostly, it feels intrusive, and my business, not theirs. Guess it depends on who is asking.
    2161 days ago
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