January 2, 2007

Just Don't

I went into the office today to sign some papers and the woman took one look at me and said, "You look awful!"

Okay, so I've been sick, haven't gotten more than 5 hours of sleep a night for the past few weeks and hadn't done my hair that morning. But really, "awful?"

"Yeah, I've been a little sick." I replied groggily.
"But I've never seen you look this bad!"
"Well I haven't been getting much sleep..."
"I guess not! Your face... you really look terrible!"
"Yeah... and I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy so don't expect me to be looking better any time soon."
"Oh my!"

Maybe it's just the hormones talking, but I was surprised at her enthusiastic response to my haggard appearance. Wouldn't something like, "poor dear, looks like you need a nap" suffice? Or maybe, "hmm... the big black circles under your eyes really take the focus away from your enormous pregnant belly." Something with just a hint of empathy. But no. Instead I just got a repulsed diatribe about my ghastliness. I always try to look semi-professional when I go into the office every few weeks but I guess my hastily applied mascara and new woolen wrap-around didn't do the trick today.

There are times when it is appropriate to comment on another's appearance. But usually you should keep your yakity trap shut. Let's look at a few scenarios:

You're on a date with a guy at a fancy Italian restaurant. He tells a joke and you flash him that award winning smile with a big green piece of spinach wrapped around your front tooth. At this point, your date is obligated to discreetly motion to his mouth and indicate that you need to take care of your dental situation rather than arrive home hours later to find it still wedged there and never call him again. Honesty is a good thing here.

Here's another scenario. In college I was at a party and a wild limb clubbed my face. I was a bit dazed but kept dancing. A few minutes later I went into the restroom and looked in the mirror to see that my nose was a full 1/2 inch to the left of where it usually resided. The thing had been cleanly broken and happily relocated in the middle of my check. You'd think a friend at the party would have told me my face had been rearranged. Honesty here, as well, is fantastic.

Yet another scene: Skip forward 3 months to my delivery date. I'm in a hospital bed, in full labor and the baby is just about to come. The room is full of nurses and my husband is poised to cut the cord. Perhaps here it is appropriate to ask me when I'm due. But it's NOT. For all any bystanders know, I'm just a fat chick having a bad day. NEVER ask a woman when she's expecting, I don't care how big her stomach is. You may get it right 99% of the time, but it's the 1% error that you'll go to hell for.

Here's the cheat sheet for your wallet:

Do offer helpful suggestions when confronted with:
-Blood that drips or flows
-Food on face
-Shirt tucked into undies
-Fly unzipped

Just keep your mouth shut about:
-Poor wardrobe choices
-Mt. Helen sized zits
-Body odor, bad breath
-Need for make-up

Unfortunately, there are grey areas. Maybe you really should say something about the 2 inch long hair growing from under your boss's left eye. And what if your loony professor really didn't mean to put his underwear on over his trousers. But just to be safe, drop an anonymous note to their spouse to rectify the situation. It's best to err on the side of caution.

Good luck. I'm off to get some beauty sleep. Apparently I need it.


Samantha said...

That is honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate hate hate it when people say "you look really tired!" or "oh, man are you tired today?" or "you've looked tired lately, I should have known you were pregnant." I can not understand why people would actually feel like it's OK to say these things. What are you supposed to say back to that? All that does is make you feel terrible. And half the time when people say that to me, the you look tired thing, it's on a day when I thought I looked great. I hate that. Your boss was poop for saying that.

On a related note, when I was talking to one of my co-workers recently, I said "take a wild guess why I've been so sick lately." He was like, "I don't know, bronchitis? Is it your nose? You look like there's something going on with your nose." I wanted to punch him. There's something going on with his brain not working. Jerks. How are people honestly that dumb and rude?

Point is, with this blog, I agree.

Julie said...

I'm intrigued by the 2-inch long hair growing from under your boss's left eye....

Torchness said...

Other helpful suggestions that should be offered:

-Toilet paper on shoe
-Odd hairs growing out of chin (caveat: you can only point this out to a relative)
-Gum stuck to butt
-Awful boyfriend (ha!)
-Booger on face

Anonymous said...

Samantha, I have no pity for anyone who asks a question like that and then gets mad when someone attempts to answer. What was he supposed to say? You asked for it. And now you enjoy griping about it. Wow.

Sarah said...

Oh boy, oh boy! An anonymous public lynching!! Can I bring the hot tar? No wait - I'm more of a tickle torture kind of gal. Man, I just can't decide...

tracy m said...

Oh poor dear!! I feel your pain, and what a tacky boss, reitterating how awful you look. Sorry!

Oh, and consider yourself linked. Thanks!

Rachel said...

You know what my pet peeve is? People who leave anonymous critical comments. Especially about my sistah. Coward!

Funny story, Sarah! Sorry it happened though! My problem is that apparently I look angry or something if I'm not constantly smiling, so I'm always being asked if something's wrong. Do I have to keep a grin plastered on my face at all times??!!!

Stephanie said...

It must've been the light b/c you've never looked anything less than absolutely faaaaabulous, dahling! Your boss has serious tact issues. Hope you enjoyed your nap!

angelicious said...

here's a question: what do you do when your teacher is lecturing and has his fly down? every student in the class knows it but no one wants to go tell him while he's lecturing because then he'll be embarrassed. this actually happened in medical school and i felt so bad for the guy. he realized halfway through class, but continued to lecture except he held his papers oddly in front of him to TRY to cover it up. oops!

acte gratuit said...

Tee hee hee! You're a really great writer! (I'm a new blog stalker you've never met)

I'm in my second trimester and have totally given up on make-up so know one is even surprised by my slovenly appearance anymore.

Thanks for that laugh!
P.S. If your blog starts getting really famous will you link mine to it so I can get rich and famous too?!?!?

Rrramone said...

Get better soon. :-) And happy new year!!

Sarah said...

Hey acte gratuit - I can't see where your webpage is. Could you send me the address? I want to surround myself in the company of slovenly pregnant women for a few more months so I don't feel like a total monster here in the beauty capital of the U.S.

Suzie Petunia said...

Whoa. You just made me realize that I am also in the third trimester of pregnancy! When did THAT happen? It has been going by pretty fast for me - what a miracle! How 'bout you? I have a feeling these last 3 months will feel more like 9 ... or 10...

the Editor said...

Sarah, if you ever decide to post that 'tired' photo I sent you this morning of me, I will have to lynch you on the same scaffold as the anonymous crab poster. Remember and beware!

You are, by the way, so lucky to get read by rrrramone, aka Wily Willy the Artistic Wonder. His site full of drawings is one of the more delicious blogging treats on the face of the earth. He and Annie had the Battle of the Sketchbooks all through Italy a few years ago on our art tour with SMU. Amazing!

Lindsay said...

Oh my...I can see I have much to look forward to...

Emily said...

Sure thing. I'm not sure why it's not linked to my name. Maybe because I just switched versions.
My blog is www.actegratuit.blogspot.com

Keep up the great work!

Lianne said...

You are a poor, sad, baby. Go to bed and gestate. That's an order.

I hate when people as ME if I am pregnant. (I'm 50 and FAT). I just say, "Yes, it's my food baby." That shuts them up.

Samantha said...

yeah, not everyone knows how I feel about how lame anonymous comments are...plus the author of said comment didn't bother to ask the context of me asking that question to my coworker, which explains why I asked it.

This kind of thing makes me hate the blogging world. I anticipate another

Melinda said...

wow, samantha, so what, pray tell, was the context?

anyway, i just logged on to say that sarah, you look like frodo in that picture.

Anonymous said...

That was pretty rude of the boss. No manners at all.

Thanks for the cheat sheet for our wallets! I know of a few guys that could really use one of those!!

Rachelle Black said...

HA! I just made a pregnancy faux pas myself. I asked a friend at church when she was due, and after she told me I said- (gulp, dare I repeat it here??)
"Wow!" in a totally shocked and amazed voice.
I am just lucky she didn't punch my lights out. But, considering the question I posed, perhaps the lights weren't on in the first place. How could I forget how that feels??

Wait a minute.....
I am 42, my youngest is 13 and I look pregnant still. When people ask me, I say- going on about 120 months now.... and smile a scary smile.
You look Maaavelous dahling!

Jenny said...

Here's one for the books: I was Christmas shopping, my baby was due in less than a week, and a kind store clerk decided to be friendly and strike up a conversation. She asked me when I was due, and I responded "Tuesday." She said, "Oh! Is something wrong with the baby?"

She continued to make the situation more uncomfortable by asking more questions about how big the baby was and if she was developing normally. Did my doctor think there were problems? Was he going to have me wait a few more weeks to deliver so the baby could continue to grow? Good grief lady!

Foxy said...

Dave Barry said the only safe time to ask if a woman is pregnant is if you see it coming out of her.