A friend of mine, Jenny (not her real name), lost 186lbs / 84.36 Kg over 19 months after weight loss surgery. Then she had two surgeries that included a bunch of loose skin removal, a breast lift, a butt lift, and a tummy tuck.
She has gone from being a very overweight woman to a size 6 and is overjoyed. She is training to run a half marathons and doing Crossfit. She says she feels better than she ever has and she’s thinner than she was in high school. We are all so happy for her. It is great to see her having so much energy and drive.
The only damper on my happiness for her is I’m starting to feel like her friends and family have become her spare piggy bank.
First was the GoFundMe to raise money for her surgeries. That didn’t seem so outrageous. She talked about how the skin pulled and moved when she was working out. How she was getting heat rash under the skin folds when she wore compression gear to keep it from moving around. How the weight of the loose skin on her belly was so heavy it made her lower back ache after standing for 20 minutes.
She also explained how it’s almost impossible to get insurance to cover skin removal surgery. They classify it as cosmetic despite the skin infections and problems often associated with it. All together the surgeries cost something like $12,000 and she just couldn’t afford that. So her friends and family banded together. We donated just over $10,000. She had the surgeries.
Next came a call for gift cards to Macy’s. None of her work clothes fit her any more. And since the GoFundMe didn’t raise all $12,000 for the surgery, she’d wiped out her savings to cover the remaining $2,000. Now she simply didn’t have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe.
She works in a professional environment (not business casual) and she only had three outfits to wear. Two of them items from before the weight loss that she’d taken to a local dry cleaner for alterations to fit her new figure. Basically she stated she needed new foundation garments and new work outfits.
She really likes how one of the lines carried by Macy’s fits her new body.
So she asked if people could please send her Macy’s gift cards.
Her friends and family sent her the gift cards. I don’t know how much she received in total. But she did post a picture of her bed covered in new blouses, skirts, pants, a couple blazers, plus several matching bra and panty sets. It was enough for her to buy a new work wardrobe.
About a month after the request for Macy’s gift cards came a new request. She stated that she is 36 and determined to get married before she is 40. So it’s time to start dating! BUT, she doesn’t have any sexy dating / night on the town outfits. She decided to host a wine tasting & game board party as a fundraiser. She provided 12 different wines to taste, plus some healthy nibbles. The fundraiser portion she called “fill the jug”. She had one of those big water jugs that go into office water coolers. She encouraged people to bring all their loose change to the party, plus any folding money they were willing to add to the pot, to “fill the jug”. She drew lines on the jug and as each new line was reached, she’d bring out a new wine for everyone to try. The jug got a little over half filled. 7 of the 12 wines made an appearance at the party. And she used that money to go out and buy a bunch of “husband catching” outfits and lingerie
I know that medical bills are very expensive and so are new clothes. But she’s a working adult with a professional job. It’s not like her house was wiped out by a fire or she’s a struggling single mom trying to make ends meet. She an upper middle class woman in her mid 30’s who has lost a lot of weight.
Is it really the obligation of her friends and family to fill her closet with “new clothes for” her “new me”? Am I being unreasonable feeling like she’s now taking advantage of her friend’s and family’s generosity? 1015-18