I met my husband when I was only 19. We had been dating for a few weeks when he brought me home to meet his parents. I wasn't all that nervous- I am naturally outgoing and had no trouble carrying on conversations with my friends' and former dates' parents. The meeting started out as I'd expected. They were very nice; asking about my family, what I was studying in college, etc. At some point, my (now) husband and his father went into another room leaving me to chat with his mother. I don't remember what we were talking about, but out of nowhere she asked me if I had ever thought about getting breast reduction surgery. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I wish I had said, "Why would I want to do that?" As it was, I sat there with my mouth hanging open for what seemed like an eternity while possible responses raced through my mind, none of them particularly polite. In the end, I think all I said was, "No I haven't." I've wondered for years if there would have been a more appropriate response to politely convey my shock and outrage at being asked such a personal question. (She has brought up the subject a time or two since then. I don't even dignify it with a response- I just change the subject.)
The truth is, she was not the first (and certainly not the last) to make incredibly rude comments regarding the size of my bust line. I do tend to carry my weight in my chest- most women would be thrilled to have that problem! I am amazed at the number of total strangers who think it appropriate to make remarks about my body. One simply asked me, "What is it like to have huge boobs?" (I wanted to ask what it's like to have a tiny brain.) One acquaintance made the assumption for years that I was planning on having reduction surgery when I was done having children. I was particularly amazed by her insensitive comments, considering she is one of the unfortunate people who carry their weight in their backsides. I would never ask her if she was planning liposuction to get rid of that huge butt! A good friend was apparently under the same assumption. Being closer to her, and more comfortable speaking my mind, I said to her what I have wanted to say to all the insensitive people over the years. She was talking about my "upcoming surgery" like it was all planned, when I interrupted her and asked, "Are they bothering you?" She looked surprised and said "No..." I stated, "Well they aren't bothering me either, and I'm not planning on having any surgery!" At least she had the decency to apologize.
I've never forgotten that first meeting with my mother-in-law. Ten years later, we have a wonderful relationship and are very close. While I wish I could have come up with the perfect response, I'm glad that I squelched the impulse to say the two things that came to mind. The first response to leap into my mind was "Why would I get rid of them- your son loves them!" The second was to ask if she was going to do anything about the big hump on her back. For you see, she is a hunchback. Has been for years. She's on disability, can't stand up straight, has multiple rods in her spine, and has a hump rising off her back about six inches high. You'd think she would know what it's like to have a physical trait that you don't really want people making rude comments about.