I was too angry to post about this yesterday so I wanted to wait and cool off so I'd have some perspective and not blow it out of proportion. But I'm still pretty irritated about it and it still seems just as rude as it did then.
Yesterday Dh, boys, and I had to have lunch with another family, who for the purposes of this story we'll call John (grown adult), Lisa (grown adult) and Tammy (teenager). Note the words "had to" because trust me when I tell you that I wouldn't have done so otherwise. There were other people present but we were all trapped at a table together so getting away wasn't an option.
For whatever reason, John seems to feel that he must criticize and put me down while making his wife, Lisa, the better of the two of us. It's really done in a rude way, but couched in a feeling that all he's doing is trying to compliment his wife so it makes it weird to actually say anything about it. And it almost always happens when Dh is out of the room, or involved in another conversation. Yesterday, I attempted to use "What an interesting assumption" to defuse the situation and honestly, it didn't work very well.
The conversation went to weight. Lisa, John, and Tammy are all overweight. Dh is as well, but this has little to do with them at all. It's more about me, and indirectly, my children, who are not. (Dh was talking to someone else at the time)
John to me (as I was stuffing my face with chicken, btw)-You must be anorexic.
Me (after chewing and swallowing)-That's an interesting assumption
John-I prefer a woman with a little meat on her bones
Me- That's nice. (going back to my chicken)
John-What do you do, throw it all up?
John-Well, you can't possibly be that small without doing something.
Me-Like I said, that's an interesting assumption
John-I don't find women as small as you attractive at all.
For the record, I am NOT 'that small' I am 5'6" and weight about 110 at the moment (It fluctuates about ten pounds). I am a very small boned person as well so 110 pounds is about right for me, size wise. (what I'm trying to say is that I know 110 sounds really small but I'm a really small person framewise so it's just about right)
I let the last comment go on by me and turned to someone else to talk for a while. Our conversation turned to hair at that point. I have naturally blonde hair, but it's not white blonde, it's a gold blonde and is natural. My oldest son has white blonde which will likely darken as he grows older. I also have a natural wave to my hair. Just enough to make it a pain in the neck to try to style. So, the other person and I were talking about this and her hair as well when John pipes up again-
John-Lisa's hair is naturally curly.
Other person-I know. I told her I wished my hair was curly as hers.
John (looking at me)-she doesn't color it either. (Lisa's hair is brown)
John-why do you color your hair?
Me-That's an interesting assumption.
John-People with naturally blonde hair have the same color eyebrows. Yours aren't that color.
Me-That's also an interesting assumption.
Other person-John, women use eyebrow pencils.
John-No one has hair that color unless it came from a bottle.
Me-Like I said, that's an interesting assumption.
John-Well, I prefer *real* hair. Lisa doesn't use a bunch of stuff on her hair like color or gels or flat irons (I often use one of these). I much prefer her curly brown hair to blonde straight hair.
Me-Good for you.
I went back to ignoring him at that point and started talking to other person again. Dh joined in for a while so John left me alone. Then Dh got up to go to the restroom. We were talking about jobs at the time and I told other person that I had enrolled to finish my degree and had just about made up my mind to teach.
John-Lisa already has her degree.
Me-Yes, I know.
John-Lisa would make a great teacher. (Lisa's degree is in something that has nothing at all to do with education)
Me-She probably would.
John-She'd probably make a much better teacher than someone who worked in the school system before getting their degree. (Which is what I do now)
Other person-Why would you say that?
John-She hasn't picked up any bad habits (I guess learning what works and doesn't from experience and seasoned teachers are bad habits?) She could change things! The people that are there now are stuck in a rut.
Me-That's an interesting assumption
John-Are you sure you want to be a teacher, Felica? But I guess it'd be ok, it's not like you'd be the boss. There would be a principal there to oversee you.
Went back to talking to ther person and her husband. Dh came back too. So John, of course, shut up at me. We began to talk about hobbies. One of mine is beaded christmas ornaments. I do the fancy ones and actually sold some at our festival this year. Dh and other person's husband began talking RC Airplanes while Other person and I diverted to beads.
Me-So I actually sold all but two sets that I made for the festival!
John-Why would people buy stuff they can make themselves?
Me-Because it's timeconsuming and some of those ornaments are complicated.
John-I doubt that!
Other person-You ever made those things John?
John-No but I'm sure Lisa could do it if that were our taste. She's very artistic and that stuff is so simple. A five year old could do it.
John-We don't care for those things anyway. Too tacky looking.
Other person-Well, I think their lovely. I have several sets myself that Felica made me. And you've obviously never seen her tree. That's almost all she uses and it's lovely.
John-I've seen her tree. I prefer Lisa's decorating. It's got more flair.
At this point, other person was getting offended for me so I just nudged her under the table and shook my head at her about saying anthing else.
At this point, lunch was breaking up and we all went out to the parking lot. I have a new Dodge Charger. I LOVE this car. John took one look at it and made a face. Dh was there for this one.
Dh-What's the matter John, don't like Felica's car?
John-It's a nice enough car I guess. I don't care for those wanna-be sports cars myself.
Dh-Oh, ok. (also laughing to himself)
John-Besides, Lisa's next car will be red or bright blue (my car is white) I think white cars are just too plain.
Dh-Oh, I see.
John-She too pretty to be stuck in a plain car. She needs something flashy to show herself off in.
At which point Dh choked and said bye.
When I told Dh what had happened when he wasn't paying attention, he got pretty miffed and said I should have said something to him. But the thing is, I really think that this is what John wanted. He wanted to upset me and if I had told Dh then he'd have known he succeeded. So I kept still. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing his insults worked.
This is the first time John's actually been this bold with Dh around. Always before, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth when Dh was there and it it was when I was without Dh that he'd take jabs at me like that. And he couches it all in compliments to his wife. Who, btw, does not participate in these conversations, but smiles broadly whenever he says something like this.
He's done this to me almost every single time I'm around him. Even when it's just passing in the grocery store. And it's always me he singles out for some reason. I can't think of a thing I've done to him or Lisa. I mean not even a small thing. Lisa and I were pretty good casual friends before she met John. He seemed to dislike me from the start because this started the first time I met him. I have wondered if Lisa has told him something horrible about me (although I don't know what it could be) and if he thinks I'm an awful person or something. I certainly don't like him, but it's because of this sort of thing, not because I actually know anything about him otherwise.
This happens about once a month, because as I said before, I can not avoid the occasional gathering with him at this time. Maybe someday I'll be able to avoid him but right now, that's not an option. I just need to find a way to shut him down. And since this didn't work, I really can't think of another way to do it except cutting on Lisa, since he hides his insults to me by complimenting his wife.