What’s the most tactless thing anyone ever said to you?
I was sitting there minding my own business when seemingly out of nowhere, the man I was speaking with asked me, “Hey, did you know you’re a little cross-eyed?”
Now I’ve been told a lot of things about my appearance — most of which I was already keenly aware of — but this was a first for me. Believe it or not, my first instinct was not to feel flattered.
No, my first instinct was to punt him across the room for being so tactless. My second instinct, of course, was to pull out a compact mirror and stare at myself for the next 20 minutes to confirm or disqualify his observation. Given that I couldn’t really do either one of these things, we just carried on our conversation. He talked, while I swirled around inside my own head wondering how many others had noticed this condition of mine through the years.
It reminded me of the time I was visiting a friend during college and her twerpy kid cousin looked right at me and said matter-of-factly (but laced with a twinge of hostility), “You’ve got a lot of zits on your face.” That was a zinger I didn’t need a mirror to confirm — it was the undeniable truth — and it too was a statement that made me want to punt the person across the room. Please note that I have never punted anyone across a room. What everyone fails to point out is my incredible management of self-control.
I gather this type of thing happens to people all the time — being told something about their physical appearance, imagined or real — that defies the general laws of tactfulness and grace.
And if you’d be so kind as to share your experiences here, I think we’ll all feel just a little bit better. I think we’ll also collectively get a few laughs out of the experience.
What’s the most tactless thing someone ever said to you? (Feel free to comment anonymously!!)