Note to self, husband. There are certain things better left unsaid, especially to a young woman! I don't know why, but keeping a foot out of your mouth with family can sometimes be near impossible. Let's add in hormones, holidays, personalities, and good intentions: a recipe for major up-to-the-ankle insertion.
Daughter number two, back from college, is on the couch cuffing her jeans in the latest (I think) style. Small talk is flying, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is blaring in the background and my husband and child are bonding.
Husband: "That's the new look huh?"
Child #2: "Yep."
Husband: "Cool. Maybe I should try it." Conversation is going well. He's showing engaged interest. They've established eye contact. Wow!
Husband (now confident): "So, did you have to go up a size?" WHAT?
Child #2 two stares. Smiles fade. Husband not sure why, but like a cornered animal senses danger.
"What? Thanks a lot for noticing I needed a bigger size."
Husband (Man who has given impassioned and applauded speeches before crowds of hundreds begins stuttering): "No I only meant, um, uh, to roll them…um…up." Gulp. "I didn't mean you had gotten fat. Just thought you needed a bigger size."
Oh please quit while you're ahead. Just stop talking. Like they said in When Harry Met Sally, it's already out there. Duck, cover and run! Husband senses my thoughts via the marital mind-meld.
Child #2 standing up and stalking out of the room: "Fine. I know what you meant."
He meant well, but risking sounding like a sexist, I think it's a guy thing. Blessed with little cultural crap about dimpled thighs and pouching tummy fears, for him weight is just a fact. Like eye color, a middle name and his eternal hope for the Vikings: what you weigh JUST IS! Reminiscent of the year he joyfully gave me a 3x sweater for Christmas, or the time he insisted I needed to go to the club more, he just doesn't get it. If you love me, pretend I am a size 2.
I don't know if it's a gender thing, a family thing, or a culture thing. We all have our sore spots. We assume if our family loves us, they'd know our insecurities and avoid them. In family there is no balding head, directionally challenged outing, or burnt pasta. All is good in happy family land and kind denial rules. So as we head over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving meal at Mom's, am preparing for a bit of gravy and salt with the inevitable foot that comes with extended family love fests. Remembering to step lovingly over the landmines of self-doubt, I always can follow it up with a piece of humble pie.